Received this from several folks since yesterday:
Archive for the ‘Everyday Living’ Category
At Monday’s borough council meeting, councillor Jim Smith injected how impressed he was with the response from the borough’s volunteer fire companies’ response to a recent fire incident on Chestnut Street.
He related how orchestrated the response was and how the firefighters exercised great care in protecting the contents of the property as they acted to suppress the fire caused by a lightning strike.
The mayor and out-going borough manager added that the swiftness and cooperative nature of the borough’s responding public safety resources – fire, law enforcement and emergency management – was a result of “lessons learned” in the aftermath of a fire in the borough last year.
Councillor and chairperson of the Committee for Public Safety, Mary Barninger, reinforced that “lessons learned” and the open sharing of information and perceptions are important improvement processes influenced by the “after-incident” assessment and discussion. Departments across the country have given this discussion a number of names: the bumper talk, the hot-wash, the after action report, the debrief. All refer to the process in which, following the incident, persons involved in the response identify what happened, what was supposed to happen and what may be considered “to improve the outcome the next time something like this happens.”
The “after-action review” is a critical component of the Incident Command System (ICS) – a part the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Formally adopted in February 2003 as Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5, NIMS intended “to enhance the ability of the United States to manage domestic incidents by establishing a single, comprehensive national incident management system” in which “all levels of government across the Nation have the capability to work efficiently and effectively together, using a national approach to domestic incident management.”
To add consistency and teeth (and to be eligible for any future federal funding) to the directive, all municipalities and jurisdictions in the nation had to implement their own proclamations promising to “institutionalize” the establishment of a “single, comprehensive system.” Pennsylvania’s proclamation which “mandate(d) the National Incident Management System be utilized for all incident management in the Commonwealth” was signed in December, 2004.
Columbia Borough’s resolution was in March of 2006. (SOURCE: Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency)
The fire service has been a proponent of the principles of ICS since its introduction as a management tool in fighting wildland fires in the early 1970s. Many fire departments and other first (and subsequent response agencies and resources, including elected public servants) were slower to institutionalize or enable the ICS and NIMS principles.
The NIMS Integration Center strongly recommends that all elected officials who will be interacting with multiple jurisdictions and agencies during an emergency incident at the minimum, complete IS 700 and ICS 100. These courses provide a basic understanding of the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System. Everyone directly involved in managing an emergency should understand the command reporting structures, common terminology and roles Read the rest of this entry »
This New York Times article takes a look at the situation of newspapers, at least the situation of newspapers in one organization – Advance Publications, the organization that owns the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Harrisburg Patriot-News. The article claims that “Advance made its decisions up against some very dark trends in the business, but they were made with the dead-eyed arrogance of a monopolist in a much-changed world.”
“Newspaper Monopoly That Lost Its Grip” by David Carr
“A year after announcing a plan to reorganize The Times-Picayune of New Orleans into a more digitally focused enterprise that produced a newspaper just three days a week — enraging local residents — its owners have added a new innovation: they will go back to producing a printed product every day.
“’We are excited about this opportunity to extend our daily reach in print,’ an advertising executive at the newspaper said in the announcement.
“You don’t say.
“This daily newspaper thing may be catching on. Last week, The Philadelphia Inquirer announced that it would begin selling a Saturday edition on newsstands after a nearly two-year hiatus.
“The much ballyhooed unmaking of daily newspapering seems to be unmaking itself, and there’s a reason for that. Most newspapers have hung onto the ancient practice of embedding prose on a page and throwing it in people’s yards because that’s where the money and the customers are for the time being.
“The industry tried chasing clicks for a while to win back fleeing advertisers, decided it was a fool’s errand and is now turning to customers for revenue. But in order to charge people for news, you have to prosecute journalism.
“The belief that historic monopolies will hold together just on the basis of inertia has proved to be wrong. Newspapers that have cut their operations beyond usefulness or quit delivering a daily print presence have suffered. The audience has to be earned every day.
“Newspaper publishing will never return to the 30 percent plus margins it once had, but some people believe there is a business model. Warren E. Buffett thinks that a 10 percent return is reasonable, now that sale prices have sunk.
“Clearly, commanding a market to change on a dime because it suits your business plan does not mean readers will obey. Just ask Advance Publications, owned by the Newhouse family, which is back to where it started in New Orleans with The Times-Picayune.”
“Every age has its estimate of the pressures and perils of work. Adam Smith, writing in the 18th century, focused on the toil and trauma of work. Karl Marx, writing in the 19th century, spoke of the alienation of labour.
“In our own time, employment – for more and more people – is being stretched to embrace new personal tribulations and emotional troubles.
“As revealed by the Financial Times, Amazon have been deploying electronic tagging on some employees. This scandal is one powerful indication of such torments.
“The Amazon employees, based at the company’s flagship factory in Staffordshire, entered into labour contracts that required them to carry handheld devices. These electronic devices were, in turn, used to measure worker productivity in real time.
“Workers carrying such devices were bestowed with percentages for their speed in completing designated tasks. Fast work scored high marks. The flipside, however, was the latent message that one might get axed for crimes like failing to keep up.
“The devices also transmitted continual messages and warnings from management. Performance management thus covered updates on the grave risks of talking for too long with fellow employees (or the perils of taking too many toilet breaks).
“Guardian journalist Zoe Williams declared Amazon’s electronic tagging part of “the new shamelessness” with which corporations treat lowly paid workers. This “shamelessness” encompasses a creeping criminalisation of employees, one that at once monitors and humiliates workers.
“How might we best understand the spread of a workplace culture of electronic tagging? One place to start arguably concerns the wholesale shift away from jobs-for-life to short-term contract labour.
“The end of a job-for-life, and of the associated notion of a “career” developed within a single organisation, has been … “
Nation’s Largest Sports Complex Opens Its Doors
The anticipation has been building as Spooky Nook Sports opens its doors to welcome the public. The event is a free open house on May 19, 2013 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Spooky Nook invites everyone to experience all it has to offer. Courts and fields will be buzzing with contests, open play and demonstrations. Clip n’ Climb will be open for a jump off of the “Leap of Faith”, as well as a challenge on the top rope wall. Kids can play in the family entertainment center, featuring one-of-a-kind arcade games, while parents roam the facility or join in a Zumba class. The Nook staff will be running crafts for kids to showcase summer camps and birthday party activities. Visitors will have free roam over the facility.
Admission to the event is completely free, however it is required to RSVP via e-mail at RSVP@nooksports.com to obtain a free parking pass. A parking pass is required to park at the facility. Parking passes are limited to one per family. Passes are on a first come, first serve basis.
See you at the Nook! 2913 Spooky Nook Road Manheim, PA
The May 2013 borough council meeting was held at the borough hall’s council chambers last night. All the councillors but Jody Gable, who was ill, were present, as was the mayor, solicitor, borough financial officer, the outgoing borough manager and the new borough manager. Council president, Michael Beury convened the meeting of nearly a dozen citizens – including five students from Lancaster Catholic High School’s government class – at 7:00 pm. The meeting was adjourned at 9:09 p.m.
Agenda – page 0ne
Agenda – page two
Meeting notes: Below are a few notes on some of last night’s topics of discussion. Again, the best way to know what transpired at any meeting is to attend in person. Otherwise, the information you get about what happened will be second-hand: it will Read the rest of this entry »
Or you can find this at the Columbia Borough Website
Happened onto a couple of frail pages from an old Sunday News recently. Pages 1-2-15 & 16 of the September 15, 1963 Sunday News contain history of that time in this nation’s life. We scanned articles from some of the brittle, yellowed pages from almost 50 years ago.
We were in a war then. When aren’t we?
Lancaster Catholic High School’s building plans were announced
By BARRY MEIER, JO CRAVEN McGINTY and JULIE CRESWELL | The New York Times
“A hospital in Livingston, N.J., charged $70,712 on average to implant a pacemaker, while a hospital in nearby Rahway, N.J., charged $101,945.
“In Saint Augustine, Fla., one hospital typically billed nearly $40,000 to remove a gallbladder using minimally invasive surgery, while one in Orange Park, Fla., charged $91,000.
“In one hospital in Dallas, the average bill for treating simple pneumonia was $14,610, while another there charged over $38,000.
“Data being released for the first time by the government on Wednesday shows that hospitals charge Medicare wildly differing amounts — sometimes 10 to 20 times what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure, raising questions about how hospitals determine prices and why they differ so widely.
“The data for 3,300 hospitals, released by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, shows wide variations not only regionally but among hospitals in the same area or city.
“Government officials said that some of the variation might reflect the fact that some patients were sicker or required longer hospitalization.
“Nonetheless, the data is likely to intensify a long debate over the methods that hospitals use to determine their charges.
“Medicare does not actually pay the amount a hospital charges but instead uses a system of standardized payments to reimburse hospitals for treating specific conditions. Private insurers do not pay the full charge either, but negotiate payments with hospitals for specific treatments. Since many patients are covered by Medicare or have private insurance, they are not directly affected by what hospitals charge.
“Experts say it is likely that the people who can afford it least — those with little or no insurance — are getting hit with extremely high hospitals bills that may bear little connection to the cost of treatment.
“‘If you’re uninsured, they’re going to ask you to pay,’ said Gerard Anderson, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Hospital Finance and Management.”
“Tech columnist David Pogue shares 10 simple, clever tips for computer, web, smartphone and camera users. And yes, you may know a few of these already — but there’s probably at least one you don’t. David Pogue is the personal technology columnist for The New York Times and a tech correspondent for CBS News. He’s also one of the world’s bestselling how-to authors, with titles in the For Dummies series and his own line of ‘Missing Manual’ books.”