Saudi Aramco signs up to World Bank routine gas flaring scheme

first_imgAhead of its long-awaited IPO, Saudi Aramco commits to the World Bank’s gas flaring ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030’ initiative in a bid to reassure investors Saudi Aramco keen to address gas flaring and climate concerns ahead of IPOSaudi Aramco’s IPO has been the subject of much discussion throughout the year, with weak oil prices and a drone attack on two of its key facilities disrupting its progression – as well as growing public opposition to the fossil fuel industry dampening investor confidence.Despite reports that the company has been the world’s biggest emitter of CO2 into the atmosphere for the past 50 years, it is making a concerted effort to reassure potential investors that the issue of issue of climate change is being taken seriously.Al-Saadi added: “We are also investing in advanced technologies to enable greater efficiency and lower emissions in transport, carbon-free hydrogen fuels, and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).“This is all part of our broader effort to enable the circular carbon economy and deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to the world while minimising greenhouse gas emissions.” Abqaiq Oil Plant (Credit: Saudi Aramco) Saudi Aramco has committed to a World Bank initiative aimed at reducing natural gas flaring by oil companies during their production operations.The Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 scheme was launched in 2015, as a way for industry and governments to cooperate on eliminating the wasteful burning of natural gas created as a by-product of oil extraction.The Saudi oil giant – which this week green-lit plans for its long-awaited IPO – says its flaring activity already accounts for less than 1% of its total raw gas production, and that its upstream carbon intensity is among the lowest globally at 10.2kg of carbon dioxide per barrel of oil equivalent.Saudi Aramco senior vice president of technical services Ahmad Al-Saadi said: “We are proud to join the Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative, which we view as an important global effort to eliminate flaring.“We have been taking active steps to reduce flaring in our operations for the past 40 years and have invested in a range of flaring reduction technologies and programs to achieve our excellent performance.” US gas flaring increased by 48% last yearBetween 2014 and 2018, Russia, Iraq, Iran, the US and Algeria were found to be the top five regions accountable for gas flaring.In 2018, the US was shown to have increased its flaring activity by 48% year-on-year, which is far more than any other region.These increases were concentrated predominately across the country’s “big three” oil producing regions — the Bakken in North Dakota, and the Permian and Eagle Ford basins in Texas.Recent data compiled by Rystad Energy reveals that flaring and venting across the Permian oilfields reached an “all-time high” in the third quarter of 2019 – averaging more than 750 million cubic feet per day.The increase was attributed to higher activity levels in the region, more production from areas with less developed gas gathering infrastructure, and basin-wide takeaway capacity bottlenecks.Rystad head of shale research Artem Abramov said: “Oil production in the Permian Basin is growing at an accelerated pace again, and we observe high, sustained levels of flaring and venting of associated gas in the basin.“The most recent increase in flaring is predominantly driven by the Delaware Texas portion of the basin, which accounted for more than 40% of basin-wide flaring and venting as of the third quarter of 2019.“Northern Midland also saw a significant boost in new activity, which resulted in increased flaring of associated gas.“The sub-basin has basically returned to the record level of flaring seen in the fourth quarter of 2018.”center_img The World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiativeThe World Bank scheme to eradicate routine gas flaring across oil production operations was launched in 2015, in an effort to reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.Natural gas flaring has been a routine practice across oilfields worldwide, with low gas prices, underdeveloped gas transportation infrastructure and commodity taxation prompting many oil producers to simply discharge the gas they extract as a by-product of crude oil extraction.This is done by either burning off the unwanted gas, or simply releasing it directly into the air in a process known as venting.Gas flaring is the practice of disposing of unwanted natural gas through burningWhile natural gas is a useful and sellable commodity in itself, oil hunters have frequently decided that it is more cost-effective to waste it rather than to collect and use it for industrial or commercial purposes.According to the World Bank, global gas flaring increased by 3% in 2018 to 145 billion cubic metres – a figure equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Central and South America, and responsible for 350 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. BP and ExxonMobil identified as main contributors to US gas flaringEarlier this year, a probe by the Greenpeace investigative unit Unearthed revealed the scale of natural gas flaring across the Bakken, Permian and Eagle Ford regions – which collectively accounted for 57% of US oil production in 2018.In the 12 months to March 2019, companies operating across these areas released 369 billion cubic feet – roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 10 coal-fired power stations – of natural gas into the atmosphere, either through flaring or venting.ExxonMobil and BP were found to have been the biggest practitioners of gas flaring activity – particularly in the Permian basin – despite both having made carbon reduction commitments, and BP being a signatory to the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 programme.last_img read more

JLL sends all staff home after two employees test positive for Coronavirus

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » JLL sends all staff home after two employees test positive for Coronavirus previous nextAgencies & PeopleJLL sends all staff home after two employees test positive for CoronavirusStaff working at its 31 residential and commercial branches and offices across the UK have been told not to come into work as two premises are deep cleaned.Nigel Lewis18th March 20201 Comment1,452 Views Residential and commercial property giant JLL has told all its employees to work from home after two members of staff tested positive for Coronavirus over the weekend.JLL says any clients who came into contact with the pair have been made aware of the situation and that, as a precaution the two offices they were based at have been closed and are in the process of being deep cleaned.The two employees are said to be recovering from their bout of Coronavirus and JLL says it is ‘doing all we can to help them through this difficult time’.“In the light of the rapidly worsening and changing circumstances of Covid-19, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what we’re doing in response,” an email sent to all clients by UK CEO Chris Ireland (pictured, below) says.“Our priority remains the health and well-being of our people, our clients, our supplier partners and communities. We have robust contingency plans and procedures in place to provide continued services to our clients.”The two Coronavirus cases were confirmed just hours after the company carried out a planned test closure of all its offices and branches on Friday.JLL says it is well prepared for the Coronavirus outbreak because it established a ‘work from anywhere’ policy some time ago and that it is ‘confident that remote working at scale is achievable for extended periods of time’.“Clearly in the short term we’re going to be talking more and meeting up less,” says Ireland. “I’ve asked our teams to get on the phone and support you in any way they can.”Read more about Coronavirus.JLL March 18, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentPaul O’Hara, Service Provider Service Provider 18th March 2020 at 12:10 pmThe average deep clean is unlikely to achieve the level of hygiene you are hoping to achieve. To deal with viruses, bacteria, mould or yeast infections ‘environmental decontamination’ is required.The very best cleaning operative will not thoroughly clean walls, windows, furniture, ceilings, lighting, the undersides of furniture, inside cupboards and drawers mechanical and electronic equipment manually and achieve the same as the new technology that we have to use. In acute care settings we have to achieve a 99.99% reduction in microorganisms airborne droplets surface pathogens of the variety I’ve mentioned. Deep cleaning is great but will make the place look like a new pin and clean but not to the level where proper decontamination is required.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

New report: Rightmove is the most vulnerable it has been for years

first_imgThe Say No To Rightmove campaign has this afternoon released a ten-page report that claims Rightmove is the most vulnerable it has been for many years.The report also reveals that 3,300 branches representing 1,750 agents have so far joined up its ‘rebel’ campaign. This is in addition to the branches who have backed the other three campaigns also battling to loosen the portal’s grip on estate agents.Rob Sargent, who is also CEO of 36-agency estate agency The Acorn Group, says he has spent recent weeks privately canvassing all the players in the market.This includes Rightmove, Zoopla, OTM and both small, medium and large estate agencies as well as industry experts, consultants and commentators.He says the research found that one-branch independents paid the most to Rightmove and that 65% of the UK’s 18,000 branches have fewer than three offices. Sargent consequently urges smaller agents to quit Rightmove, support OTM and list with Zoopla as well as investing in their own brands rather than relying on portals to get leads.Competitive market“Smaller agents want to see a permanent move to a more competitive market in which portals compete for their business rather than simply dictating terms to them,” the report says.Sargent also accuses the big three chains – LSL, Countrywide and Connells – of enjoying preferential Rightmove access and pricing structures compared to smaller agencies, and of supporting the status quo.“Whilst many big agents are supportive of the aims of our campaign they are, in the main, unable to take tangible action to support us I while still in contract with Rightmove,” says Sargent.A solution to this impasse is suggested. The three portals should compete for agent listings and fees, rather than one being dominant and the two others fighting it out for second place.And challenger portals like OpenBrix, Homesearch, Residential People, Moovshack and OneDome also have a role to play, the Say No To Rightmove campaign says.Read the report in full.SayNoTorightmove Rob Sargent’s Say No To Rightmove Rightmove OTM Zoopla June 16, 2020Nigel Lewis2 commentsAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 17th June 2020 at 7:47 amRob Sargent is a consummate property professional, he is not a client, but in discussions with him indeed others heading anti-Rightmove groups, such as David Thomas it is clear Rightmove is not the way forward.Also it is clear that Giles Ellwood and Sam Hunter Homesearch, Mick Silver Moovshack, Chris May Residential People, Adam Pigott Openbrix and Ben Davis PropertyHeads have real support amongst the anti-Rightmove groups, which is translating into action.Putting aside the toxic and draconian methods that Rightmove has been utilising, and its total lack of engagement with the pressure groups – a sign of utter contempt, Rightmove’s biggest problem is that the new insurgent portals actually have more functionality and value, and many are free to list, or have transparent low charge rates.Also, the new portals actually enhance the end clients buying experience – because unlike Rightmove who have sat on a two decade old model, the new portals have ‘listened’ to the needs of the end user and the agents and built property ecosystems accordingly. Listening and taking notice is a valuable part of any business relationship and Rightmove are about to learn sticking their fingers in their ears and hoping a bad situation will go away is going to cost them millions and a big slice of market share.Log in to ReplyAndrew Goldthorpe, PropertyMutual.com PropertyMutual.com 16th June 2020 at 5:46 pmOTM PLC should have been a “wholly” owned portal forever, but it is now only a “majority” agent-owned PLC. At launch, OTM PLC was approximately 70% agent owned, but already, depending on whose numbers you believe, that is down to 60% – 65% agent owned. A PLC Board must work solely in the best interests of shareholders so seeking “assurances”, as agents did from Rightmove PLC, is by no means certain. Who do you think has more sway, financial institutions promising to invest millions in return for more profit, or independent agents?35% – 40% of OTM PLC is already owned by institutions and non-agent investors. They only need 51% to have majority control. Because it is a PLC, OTM is undoubtedly driven primarily by the interests of its institutional shareholders. These investors have a say in setting the direction of the business which has implications for revenue targets and thus subscriptions. Should OTM PLC make future profits, these investors will be entitled to 35%-40% of these profits. Crucially, OTM PLC and its shareholders also have control over agents’ data, an extremely dangerous thing in my view, if agents want to avoid being owned outright by a “for-profit” business.Zoopla may have “re-positioned itself” and been forced to become more competitive, but it is 100% private equity owned so 100% of profits go to investors, not agent, and agents control 0% of the data they are giving away. Of course Zoopla has positioned itself as a supporter of independent agents…I believe, that as sure as night follows day, OTM PLC will have to go the same way as Rightmove PLC and Zoopla PLC did. When a company is listed on the stock market and starts gaining momentum, institutions pile in, agent share ownership gets diluted, ultimately below 50% as happened with Rightmove PLC (100% investor owned) and Zoopla PLC (100% investor owned), and greed always wins.It is my view that agents should only support a 100% agent owned business and simply STOP backing corporate portals. Investment in such a wholly owned mutual would allow agents to create virtually whole of market inventory, have a year on year multi-million marketing budget without giving away any ownership or control and, who knows, even engineer a reverse takeover of OTM PLC and take it back to being the 100% agent owned mutual it should always have remained.This report, as I feared, is very disappointing for the challenger portals. SNTRM appears to be focused entirely on making a more competitive “corporate” portals market. These exciting and disruptive new challengers, all of whom no doubt think they have the solution to the portal crisis, are effectively dismissed with a token mention based on the premise that if three corporate portals decide to behave themselves (don’t hold your breath), these challengers are expected to compete for the crumbs left over out of agents already hard pressed marketing budgets.Please can all future SNTRM announcements start with a disclaimer breaking down the per centage of OTM shareholders making up their office membership so far? It is not enough for Mr Sargent to announce that only his business is an OTM shareholder.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » New report: Rightmove is the most vulnerable it has been for years previous nextAgencies & PeopleNew report: Rightmove is the most vulnerable it has been for yearsDocument released today shines a light on the extraordinary situation most agents face when paying for Rightmove – and the need to reduce the portal’s power.Nigel Lewis16th June 20202 Comments4,733 Viewslast_img read more

McCambridge results rise

first_imgIrish bakery group McCambridge saw turnover rise by more than 50% to £15.9 million last year, despite tough trading conditions.Profits at the Dublin-based firm rose slightly to £1.38m, up from £1.2m the previous year, as a result of rising flour and energy costs.The company has a number of operations in Britain and has invested almost £3.5m in West of England Bakeries, based in Plymouth. It has also invested £1.3m into Derbyshire-based Aldreds the Bakers and £1.2m in Berkshire-based WR & SV Hussey, which it bought in 2001.last_img read more

Sign of the times for bakery

first_imgMost craft bakers’ bread and cakes prices have risen in the last 12 months, although some branded products are even cheaper than a year ago, according to British Baker’s Shopping Basket.In the year since our food and drink comparison began recording prices around the country, a large white loaf is up 18p to £1.40 on average, a large granary loaf is up 10p to £1.48, and a jam doughnut now costs 53.8p, up nearly 4p.However, Walkers Crisps in craft shops are selling for 41.2p, down from 45p this time last year. Interestingly, customers at the main coffee shop chains have seen fewer changes on their bill. Hot drinks prices remain virtually unchanged, the only difference being that the cheapest coffee shop chain – Caffè Nero – has increased prices to bring them more in line with its competitors. So its regular tea is 5p more than it was 12 months ago (the same as Starbucks) and Coffee Republic has also increased the price of its tea from £1.30 to £1.59.Similarly, Caffè Nero’s regular latte and cappuccino are another 10p each, while the other chain’s coffee prices haven’t moved, although Starbucks seemed to have a small promotion on its latte last summer, down from £2.40 to £2.05.Coffee shop comparisonThere have been no real surprises with coffee shop food either: Caffè Nero charges 15p more for a cheese panini (up to £3.40), while there is no change in the price of chocolate chip cookies, and blueberry muffins cost the same, except that diners at Coffee Republic are paying 5p less (down to £1.65).A slice of chocolate cake will set you back the same amount as it did last April in Caffè Nero (£2.25) and Costa Coffee (£2.35) although at the end of last year, this had dipped to £1.80 at Starbucks and gone up to £2.50 in Coffee Republic.Supermarket parityWith rising wheat costs, it’s no surprise that plant bread prices have risen at the supermarkets over the last year, but it’s interesting to see that prices are now similar across the major retailers; an 800g Warburtons Toastie sold from anywhere between 70p (Asda) to £1.16 (Morrisons) last April, but it was £1.29 across the board in February this year.There is also more parity across retailers with other products – for example, Soreen Fruity Malt Loaf started out at between 56p and 88p, but a few months later was 62p in all stores.Meanwhile, supermarket crisps fans are paying anything up to 13p more than they were this time last year for a packet of Walkers; Sainsbury’s is charging 43p (up from 30p) while at Asda it’s 40p rather than 32p. However, a 500ml bottle of Coke to wash them down with now costs less; it’s up to 5p cheaper now (down from 97p at Waitrose) and typically 1p or 2p less.—-=== Supermarket price comparisons ===Walkers Crisps (packet – 40g) Warburtons Toastie (800g)*Feb ’09 April ’08 Feb ’09 April ’08Sainsbury’s 43p 30p £1.29 £1.11Tesco 40p 32p £1.29 £1.11Waitrose/Ocado 40p 36p n/a £1.11Morrisons 40p 35p £1.29 £1.16Asda 40p 32p £1.29 70p* bread prices may be affected by seasonal promotions—-=== Craft bakery price comparison* ===Feb ’09 April ’08Large White Loaf £1.40 £1.22Large Granary Loaf £1.48 £1.38Jam Doughnut 53.8p 50pWalkers Crisps 41.2p 45p* mean prices based on BB’s price check over the last 12 month—-=== Coffee shop comparison ===Eat-in prices Regular tea – Nov ’08 Regular tea – May ’08Costa Coffee £1.60 £1.60Coffee Republic £1.59 £1.30Starbucks £1.55 £1.55Caffè Nero £1.55 £1.50last_img read more

The Infamous Stringdusters Announce New Album, Share New Single & Reveal Extensive Tour Dates

first_imgVirginia bluegrass virtuosos The Infamous Stringdusters have announced the details of their upcoming new album Laws Of Gravity, as well as an extensive tour to support it. Laws Of Gravity, set for a January 13, 2017 release via Compass Records, will see the band return to their usual five-piece acoustic lineup after having outsourced the vocal duties on their last album (2016’s Ladies & Gentlemen) to a talented cast of female singers including Joss Stone, Lee Ann Womack, and Nicki Bluhm, among others.Laws Of Gravity is pure-bred Stringdusters at their finest, with honest songs and a fresh yet familiar bluegrass/Americana/progressive feel. “You write what you know,” says guitarist Andy Falco, “We’re on the road all the time and there’s always gravity that’s keeping you grounded, and pulling you home. The themes on this album stem from things that happen out on the road, and the freedom we have to make music. There’s nothing freer than being on stage and making music. We’re telling these stories of musical nomads, all the stuff we like to do.”Banjo player Chris Pandolfi commented on the album’s recording process, saying “We had a lot of good energy stored up as we were getting into production, as well as a few more years of experience with the studio. We had much more of a vision for how we wanted this album to come together than we did with past projects. We know that capturing the live, collective sound always opens a door for the listeners, as opposed to building and crafting something that you can only make in the studio. We are a band. We play live, together, and more than any one song or achievement, this is what we do. Now we have an album that captures that.”The first single from the 13-track LP, “This Ol’ Building”, is available for download now for everyone who pre-orders the album on iTunes. The tune’s gospel-tinged grit and cautionary lyrics are highlighted by the skilled musicianship of the band–Falco, Pandolfi, Andy Hall (dobro), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), and Travis Book (upright bass)–and an infectious a cappella outro. You can stream “This Ol’ Building” below for a sneak peak at the new record:According to Falco,  “I wrote ‘This Ol’ Building’ in the middle of what turned out to be the most polarizing and divisive presidential election of my time. It seems now to be a warning to come together. We must be united and try to understand each other. We must respect each other, listen to each other and help each other. Whether you see it as the country or the planet, ‘This Ol’ Building’ that we all love has a lot of life left in her, but we must live and let live and look out for each other. Then, and only then, it won’t come crumbling down.” The band has also released the full tracklisting for the album:Laws Of Gravity Tracklisting:FreedomGravityA Hard Life Makes A Good SongVertigoMaxwellBlack ElkThis Ol’ BuildingSoul Searching1901: A Canyon OdysseySirensBack HomeLet Me KnowI Run To YouIn conjunction with the new release, the band will hit the road in January for their 40+ date Laws Of Gravity Tour. For more information, or to purchase tickets for any of The Infamous Stringdusters’ upcoming dates–including the Laws Of Gravity Tour and their remaining 2016 performances–head to the band’s website.last_img read more

Phish Spreads The Jams Around In Focused Camden Closer [Photos]

first_imgWith better weather than the night before, Phish returned to Camden, NJ for their second of two nights at BB&T Pavilion (formerly known as the Susquehanna Bank Center, the E Centre, and and the Tweeter Center), following up a Tuesday night show that included some very high points, and some that were rather average. However, the only Northeast shows of the summer (excluding Curveball) shook out to showcase some top-notch Phish, as the band continues soaring through their final week of tour before their heavily anticipated 11th festival.“Moma Dance” got the party started, as Trey Anastasio made no hesitation early on to use his washy-Leslie effect that he’s been loving and leaning on so much this tour. Trey and Page McConnell have been locking in with precision and tenacity since Phish’s tour opener in Lake Tahoe, and the pair found each other out of the gates before Anastasio soared into a short but very ambitious solo. “Free” followed, with a smooth intro leading up to the band’s opening lyrics. The four-piece looked as calm and comfortable as ever, as “Free” transitioned into Jon Fishman’s signature opening break down to “Undermind”.Leading out of the lyrical portion of “Undermind”, McConnell and Anastasio quickly found each other again, as Page splashed away on his grand piano, with Trey replicating a splashy rhythmic-riff through his Leslie speaker. Initially, “Undermind” had some legs and potential, but was short lived before the band continued pushing on, diving into “Theme From The Bottom”. With age and 35+ years on the road together comes experience and telepathic connections, and the band seems to be communicating with each other as well as ever. Phish’s were infectious, all of BB&T Pavilion beaming as “Theme” took off into Trey’s hard-hitting solo, with Mike Gordon and McConnell following closely along. Anastasio continued to peak, with a roaring crowd cheering him on, encouraging him to take things further.Picking up the pace, Phish hopped into “My Sweet One”, as Page dazzled the crowd with quick work on the keys. The uptempo ditty led into the ambient, trickling opening sounds of “Steam”, with Anastasio and Gordon locking into the main theme of the heavy-hitter debuted during Phish’s 2011 summer tour. With Fishman and Gordon providing a steady backbeat, Anastasio let it all hang out, bouncing around his extraordinary pedal board before a heavy-sustained power chord led back into the song’s final verse. “Train Song” made its first appearance of 2018 before the slightest pause led to Gordon’s comical opening lyrical work to “Halley’s Comet”. Gordon’s sticky bass bombs got the crowd grooving, moving to a spirited run of delicate improvisation before building to a rocking climax.“Everything’s Right” had a delayed and distorted intro, but the regular newcomer to Phish’s catalog continued to be an impressive exploratory vehicle for Type 2 improvisation.  Last night’s nearly 17-minute, set-closing rendition was nothing short of amazing. More delicate interplay from Anastasio and McConnell led to a monstrous build-up, as Anastasio hammered away up the fretboard. With Gordon holding it down on the low end, Anastasio continued pushing on til’ the day, before Phish sent it to the moon before finally landing back in “Everything’s Right’s” closing refrain.Following set break, Phish returned to the stage with “Julius”, getting things going with their jazzy two-step groove. Fishman and Gordon laid down a driving force no man wants to mess with, allowing Anastasio and McConnell to play off of each other before Trey took the reigns and delivered a gritty solo, continuing momentum as the jam reached its peak. Although not extremely lengthy, the upbeat “Julius” started the set off on the right foot, serving as a counterpoint for Phish to take things down a darker path with the “Carini” that followed. Expectations for the song were high after the band obliterated “Carini” 20+ minutes-deep in Alpharetta last weekend. While this “Carini” didn’t fly as far as the prior rendition, Phish still delivered with some precisely contemplated improvisation between all four members. Patience seems to be the name of the game this summer, and Fishman, Gordon, and McConnell’s patience surrounding Anastasio’s intricate work with his pedals took “Carini” on a fluffy, exploratory journey. Generally, Phish has one specific jam each summer, that they toy with and pick and pull in every direction, and “Carini” seems to be THAT jam this tour.“Set Your Soul Free”—the recently debuted Anastasio number that got the treatment of its life on the west coast—was up next. As Anastasio toyed with his delay loop pedal, McConnell set the tempo, charging into a blissful improvisational segment before Trey unleashed a colossal solo, unchaining Camden’s proverbial collective soul. After returning to the chorus of “Set Your Soul Free”, Phish took a long pause to catch their breath, and coasted into a lofty “Wingsuit”. The delicate tune off 2014’s Fuego got some special treatment, as the band stepped slightly out of the box and let the jam settle into a perfected Trey solo.For the second time this summer, Phish unleashed “Scents and Subtle Sounds”, this time with the full intro. Leading out of “Scent’s” beloved and sometimes hard to catch intro, Fishman and Gordon took the rhythmic charge, marching into the main theme of Undermind gem. The band swiftly took off into a breezy, melodic jam, with Gordon shining bright and powering Phish into uncharted territory, with Trey layering remarkable loops over Page’s untouchable work on the keys.With another brief pause, Anastasio initiated slacker ballad “Waste”, as the band joined in following Trey’s opening lyrics. With the Wednesday night crowd hanging on their every note, Phish settled into a mellow and delicate mood before kicking things up a few notches and keeping it that way for the remainder of the show. With some time left, Fishman hinted at “Split Open and Melt”, and the rest of his bandmates quickly latched on and dove head-first into more dark, ominous Phish. Trey propelled the jam into intergalactic space territory, as Gordon threw down some hard-hitting bombs that could be heard from across the water in Philly. A ripping “Character Zero” brought the set to a close, with Trey and Mike smashing it out of the park with a funky improv breakdown, allowing brief breaks in his solo for the crowd to give a solid “woo.” Recently, when asked by a fan on Phish’s new SiriusXM radio channel, Trey was given the ultimatum of, “to woo or not to woo?” His response… “To woo!”The band returned to the stage for a “Suzy Greenberg” encore, as McConnell had an opportunity to set the venue ablaze one last time. Before taking a bow, Anastasio acknowledged that the band had a ton of fun in Camden, and thanked the crowd so much for coming out.The band heads to Raleigh Friday, followed by a two-night stand at Merriweather Post Pavilion and, finally, the highly anticipated Curveball festival in Watkins Glen, NY. For a list of upcoming Phish dates, head to the band’s website.You can view photos from Phish’s second night in Camden below via photographer Matthew Lang.Setlist: Phish | BB&T Pavilion | Camden, NJ | 8/8/18Set One: The Moma Dance > Free > Undermind, Theme From The Bottom > My Sweet One, Steam, Train Song, Halley’s Comet > Everything’s RightSet Two: Julius, Carini > Set Your Soul Free, Wingsuit, Scents and Subtle Sounds > Waste, Split Open and Melt > Character ZeroEncore: Suzy GreenbergA full soundboard recording of the performance is available to stream via LivePhish.Phish | BB&T Pavilion | Camden, NJ | 8/8/18 | Photos: Matthew Lang Load remaining images Pholast_img read more

Priest discusses criminal justice, reconciliation

first_imgAs a part of a series of events from the Center for Social Concerns on the “Challenge of Peace,” Fr. David Kelly, the executive director of Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago, delivered a lecture entitled “Violence and Trauma: Building a Community of Hope through a Restorative Framework.” The lecture was addressed to an audience that consisted of a large number of students participating in Urban Plunge, an experimental-learning course designed to engage students with poverty in U.S. cities.Chris Collins Kelly has worked on issues of reconciliation in Chicago since the 1970s, and he said his long tenure was an important aspect of his work.“I think my claim to fame is that I’ve been doing it for a long time,” Kelly said. “After a while, you do it for so long that people kind of recognize you and say, ‘Man, you were there before, weren’t you?’ … And if there’s a gift I have, it’s persistence. I just can’t see myself doing anything different because as of yet the issues are still out there.”He started his work on fighting violence and incarceration in Cincinnati after he graduated college and said the people he worked with represented a way for him to live out his priesthood. He then went on to work in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center in 1978 and has been working at Kolbe House, the jail ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago, ever since.“It’s a place that’s formed me in more ways than I could imagine,” Kelly said.For many years, Kelly said he worked and lived at a parish that was located along a gang boundary and remembers officiating at many funerals for young people who were murdered.“Often times, when I did the funeral and would accompany those families who had just lost their child … at the very same time I was working for Kolbe House which is jail ministry,” Kelly said. “As you know, in the United States we try our juveniles as adults so I would accompany a lot of families who would lose their children to extreme sentences … There were times when I would know both the one who had been harmed, and the one had done the harm.”Kelly said there was one such a situation in which one young man who he knew shot another young man he knew. He visited the one who had been shot in the hospital and visited the one who had done the shooting in jail, and he said that both men knew he was going to visit the other. When the case ultimately made it to court, Kelly said he felt that the focus was more on punishment and less on the well-being of the people involved.“I couldn’t help but think, ‘There’s something wrong with this.’ At no point along that way … did anyone ask [the young man who had been shot], ‘Hey, how are you doing? Are you okay?’ There was no attention given at all to any kind of healing,” Kelly said.Precious Blood was founded in 2002 as a “restorative justice hub,” Kelly said, and the five pillars of Precious Blood are “radical hospitality, accompaniment, relentless engagement of young people and their families, relentless engagement of stakeholders and systems, and collaboration.”Kelly said he sees a parallel between the work of reconciliation and the Triduum of the Easter season, noting that Holy Thursday and Good Friday are quite busy when compared to Holy Saturday. For him, it is impossible to move those who are grieving past their grief in a short period of time.“There’s not much on Holy Saturday. Holy Saturday is a liturgical void … That’s where the work of the Church ought to be. In that Holy Saturday moment. We have witnessed the trauma of the Crucifixion, and we hope and long for the Resurrection. But the Resurrection’s not yet … We have to be willing to stay in the muddled mess of Holy Saturday,” Kelly said.Reconciliation is an issue of “remembering rightly” and engaging, Kelly said. One of the strategies that his organization utilizes is a circle involving a perpetrator of the crime, the victim and other community members. The people in the circle spend time building relationships and a sense of community with one another before the perpetrator and victim discuss the crime, he said.Kelly said there was a situtation of a young man who burglarized the home of a police officer in the neighborhood. After the people in the circle exchanged stories and the perpetrator apologized for his actions, the conversation ultimately came to the question of what the actual harm of the burglary was. The victim said that his son no longer felt safe in his own home, and the next question was how the perpetrator could heal that harm.The victim said he would like the perpetrator to return to school because it seemed like he had potential. The victim agreed to return to school and with the help of another person in the circle, a retired school principal, was able to return to school even though he had been previously expelled, Kelly said. This arrangement took the place of a court sentence and ended with the victim offering to coach the perpetrator in basketball.For Kelly, that offer of mentorship would have been impossible without the circle.“In that circle, the victim became a mentor. I’ve been to court a thousand times. I never ever seen that happen in my life. I’ve never seen a court wrestle with, ‘What was the real harm?’ … That’s what can happen in a circle. You remember in order to heal. And what that did for our community, that gathering spurred other victim/offender circles,” Kelly said.Ultimately, the United States’ approach to criminal justice is too tied up in notions of punishment, Kelly said.“As a church, as communities, we can do better,” Kelly said. “But we still are punishing, trying to punish our way out of this. Criminal justice, crime and harm, is not a criminal justice issue: it’s a public health issue. We’ve got to treat this as though it was an epidemic and say, ‘What is the epidemic and how do we bring healing to this?’“Somehow, someway, we as a church, we as communities of faith, we can do better than this. We’ve got to commit to what’s hard, we’ve got to get proximate, and we’ve got to really wrestle with some of this.”Tags: charity, Faith, incarceration, justicelast_img read more

Strategy and execution help to ensure a sustainable future

first_imgWhen a Credit Union embraces sustainability as a part of its core values or ethos, it reaches far beyond its facilities and becomes a clear part of “who we are” and “why are we here.” So often when we sit down with our clients to discuss their goals, as well as the issues that are keeping them awake at night, we hear a common theme. “We need to enhance the member experience while driving more revenue as we become a more effective and efficient organization.” Lofty goals one might say? We don’t think so.Sustainability and strategic thinking go hand in hand. When asked about an organization that used change management, cultural transformation, and community messaging to achieve these goals, we look to $779 million 3Rivers Federal Credit Union in Fort Wayne, Indiana.Their journey began seven years ago with research regarding the placement of retail locations, the review of relevant delivery channels, the development of a retail prototype and unique corporate campus. The management team and board reviewed the growth of the Credit Union over the past 20 years and wanted to take a hard look into the future of their organization, so that they could ensure that they continued to serve the needs of their community. As one key executive stated, “Help us to sustain our growth and design our retail facilities and our workplace to foster and promote a higher level of conversation with our members and our staff.”The comprehensive planning activities paid off, and it’s working. “Our goal was to apply the principles of sustainable design to all of our facilities and best business practices,” explains Tiffany Yoquelet, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at 3Rivers FCU. “We were committed that everything, including our growth, would be organic in manner. Facilities match our business philosophy and help our brand resonate with members and staff. The physical transformation provided the groundwork for an evolution in our staff culture and how we serve members today.”The journey hasn’t been easy. It requires discipline, rigor and commitment in the approach to projecting growth, identifying and achieving reasonable returns on the physical assets and creating a workplace environment that reflects and promotes the core values of the Credit Union. Many hours were spent as a team in evaluating and questioning each and every component of the strategic facilities plan to ensure proper alignment with the management team in delivering world-class financial services to their community. As 3Rivers celebrates their 80th anniversary, the mission of “helping people understand money matters, every day” has continued to serve as the benchmark of how this organization delivers their services and sustains their growth. 136SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bob Saunders Bob is a founding partner of Momentum (www.momentumbuilds.com), which is a national provider of strategic facilities services to the financial industry, as well as higher education. Strategic operations … Web: www.momentumbuilds.com Detailslast_img read more

What if we turned branches inside-out?

first_imgBigger Electric Vehicles In my last SharediDiz blog article, I just had to admit it: I’ve always been a branch hater. When I need to get something done, visiting a branch has always been the absolute last resort.But maybe I was being a little harsh. A lot of people still like branches. They can make people feel more connected and safer, and that’s important too. Even with online account opening, branches are still important to membership growth. Members like having an actual place with actual people where they can get answers and assistance.But here’s a Big Idea: what if that place was … all over the place?Moving branches closer to membersOf course, making branches mobile isn’t a new idea. After all, the concept behind the hot dog cart dates back to ancient Greece.What is new is the impending convergence of several technical and social factors that are going to make mobile branches much more possible, very practical, and far more capable in the next few years. Global Connectivity Even in cities, cell networks don’t have stable, high-speed data connections everywhere. But within a year or so, StarLink’s satellite internet connections will cover all or most of North America, and soon after that the entire globe.It’s going to revolutionize life in thousands of rural and underserved communities across the US. It’s a big country; what if you could send a fully functional mobile branch anywhere, with no worries about connectivity for real-time transactions? Sure fancy-schmancy electric luxury cars got the EV ball rolling. But the next big EV revolution is working vehicles.Rivian, for one, is set to start selling electric pickups and SUVs soon, but they’re also in the process of building a gigantic factory to fill Amazon’s first order of 100,000 electric delivery vans. Plenty of room in there for a mobile branch, right?Or take a look at Canoo’s electric car; it doesn’t take much imagination to turn that rolling living room into an office.And you just know someone’s going to build some sort of folding metal robot popup in the back of a Tesla Cybertruck, or maybe in a trailer. The first credit union to do this will officially become the Coolest CU on Planet Earth.Plus, the batteries in an EV can easily power all the equipment and lighting a mobile branch needs without a generator, and with plenty of range left over to reach your most remote members.center_img  More than ever, people are used to getting their daily necessities (and frivolities) delivered to their doorstep. With a mobile branch, you could deliver full service to your members one at a time. Imagine an app or website that lets members schedule a visit when the mobile branch is in their neighborhood, with a little map that shows you when it’s getting close.Or, take a cue from food trucks, and park in predictable spots on certain days. Need an AwesomeCU Branch? Load up the app to see a map showing the nearest one, or book an appointment and it’ll drop by your office this afternoon.It’s really about serving more people better.Fleets of electric mobile branches connected to space sure do sound cool and techy, and you’d score big green points for your CU’s brand and maybe get on the evening news. But is that the only point?Of course not.The deepest roots of credit unions are in serving people and communities who need them most.Depending on how you count them, around 25 – 30% of US households are “unbanked” or “underbanked”, meaning they don’t have even basic accounts, or they’re using “alternate providers” like payday lending, rent-to-own, pawn shops, etc.There are plenty of reasons for this, but one big one is just plain physical availability; there are lots of “banking deserts” in the US where there’s simply no place within a reasonable distance to open an account or take care of everyday transactions.There are also quite a few banking deserts in cities in low-income neighborhoods, where people have to depend on high-cost or predatory options for basic necessities. Maybe postal credit unions could help figure out how to put mobile branches at all of the Post Offices in these neighborhoods and towns?Mobile branches could be a powerful way to bridge these gaps, to reach members in rural towns or underserved areas in cities. And they could also be a powerful driver of membership growth. Instead of being visible and present in just one neighborhood, your branch could be visible and present in dozens of communities every week. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brian Wringer Former watermelon farmer Brian Wringer wears several hats for iDiz Incorporated, including Web Projects Manager, Wordsmith, and Big Idea Guy. He builds better credit unions by day and weird old … Web: www.cuidiz.com Details The App Agelast_img read more