Fishing at Molly’s Falls Pond. Vermont Fish & Wildlife photo.by Chris Kolmar, Zippia All work and no play… well, you know the rest. That’s why it’s important to find a good balance between putting in the hours at the office—and on the golf course. (Feel free to replace golf course with your favorite leisure activity that isn’t boring.) No matter the type of fun, there are some states that seem to be better about penciling it in, in general, than others.These are the 10 best states for a healthy work-life balance:UtahMinnesotaMassachusettsNebraskaWisconsinVermontIowaIdahoNorth DakotaRhode IslandYep, that’s right—Utah takes the cake in this one; that delicious, but oh so balanced cake. Keep reading to find out why Utah, and the rest of our 10 winners, made the cut.How We Determined the States in America with the Best Work-life BalanceWhen it comes to work-life balance, there are some key characteristics that apply, no matter where in the country you live. Those two key ingredients (I can’t seem to stop thinking about that cake now…) are, of course, happiness and satisfaction.With that in mind, we identified this set of criteria from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey(link is external) and other sources (See below):Commute time (Shorter is better)Hours worked per week (Shorter is better)Married population (Higher is better)College educated (Higher is better)Unemployment rate (Lower is better)Religious population (Higher is better)Things to do per capita (Higher is better)Unemployment numbers reflect the preliminary data from the BLS(link is external) for February 2016. Religion data taken from the 2010 Religion Census(link is external).Basically, if you don’t waste time getting to and from work, work fewer hours per week, and have a family, you’re on the road to work-life balance.Of course, it’s also important that there are things to do and that the people who do want to work can actually work. Plus, it’s always nice to have some sort of higher purpose. So with these things in mind, we included the population density as a proxy for things to do, the unemployment rate, and percentage of people that are adherents to a religion.We then ranked each place from one to 50 (for each state) in each criterion, with one being the best in any given category.Finally, we took the average rank across all criteria, where the state with the lowest score was crowned our “Best State for Work-Life Balance.” Here’s lookin’ at you, Utah.1. UtahSource: Flickr User Steven GernerYou know what they say about the Beehive State: every bee has a good work-life balance. No, no they don’t say that. But maybe “they” should, because residents in this state don’t just have a good work-life balance; they have the best in the country.Why? Glad you asked. It’s because of three factors in particular: 1) Utah residents work the fewest hours on average per week in the country. Just 36.8. And sure, it’s not exactly the most densely-populated of states (like not at all), but who cares—everyone there is already married, it seems (or at least 56 percent of residents—the most in the country), so you’ll always have someone around to hang out with. Plus, the unemployment rate is the seventh lowest in the U.S.!2. MinnesotaSource: Flickr User JoshBerglund19Here’s another state that’s not too densely-populated, but it more than makes up for this, oh, in pretty much every other category. First and foremost, residents here only work an average of 37.9 hours per week. Who needs a 40-hour work week?Second, over half the population is married (52 percent), and even more (56 percent) are involved in some sort of religious or spiritual practice. And God knows that’s important to feeling balanced. (See what we did there?)3. MassachusettsSource: Flickr User Steven GuzzardiOkay, who’s surprised to see Massachusetts on this list? C’mon. We all know that residents in this state can get down on work (likely they have to, because of the higher cost of living), but they can also just plain get down. There are so many things to do in this state—as evidenced by the densely-packed population—and with an average of 37.6 hours worked per week, plenty of time to do them.Massachusetts residents are also made up of the most college-grads in the country, which yes, means a lot of hard work—but it also means that when you want to play, you won’t be surrounded by a bunch of half-wits.4. NebraskaSource: Flickr User Amanda MacArthurOkay, going from the densely-packed Massachusetts to Nebraska may seem like quite a jump; after all, there’s not as much going on in Nebraska. (Its nickname is the Cornhusker State…)But that doesn’t mean that residents don’t still enjoy a healthy work-life balance. Case in point: the commute time. At just 18 minutes on average, these guys aren’t dilly-dallying in the car. Instead they’re… well, by the looks of it, working (just 39.1 hours per week, though!), going to church or meditating or something, or hangin’ with their boo (53 percent are married.) So who says there’s nothing to do in Nebraska?5. WisconsinSource: Flickr User Richard HurdAh, Wisconsin: the land of thousands of streams and rivers, dairy farms aplenty, and you know, all those badgers…It’s also the land of both work and play for many residents who enjoy a healthy heaping of both. First off, these guys aren’t messing around with intense commutes to work—at just 22 minutes on average, they come in at No. 12 in this category. They also ranked well for their married population—51 percent of folks—and for working fewer than 40 hours per week on average.Keep up the good work! But, you know, don’t work too hard.6. VermontSource: Flickr User Nate MerrillFun fact! Did you know that 35 percent of Vermont’s residents are college-educated, making this the 7th most educated state in the country? And did you know that said residents only work an average of 37.6 hours per week? And that the unemployment rate is the 7th lowest in the country?!!Well now you do. This is why Vermont made the cut. Drop the mic.7. IowaSource: Flickr User Alan LightOkay, calm down: You don’t have to live in some densely-populated urban mecca to have a good time—and Iowans certainly do have a good time. Because they’re not constantly at work or spending precious time behind the wheel of their cars (just 19 minutes on average, in fact!)53 percent of residents here are married, and it has the 10th lowest unemployment rate in the country. So, that’s fun.8. IdahoSource: Flickr User FishermansdaughterFor those looking for a healthier work-life balance, this state is a gem. (See what we did there? It’s called The Gem State!) Sure, it’s not the most densely-packed state, but hey, that can be relaxing, right?And what better way to spend your time (likely with your spouse, as you know, 56 percent of you guys are married) than to relax, away from it all? You certainly have the time—Idahoans only work 37.9 hours per week!9. North DakotaSource: Flickr User U.S. Department of Agriculture’s photostreamAnd speaking of sparsely-populated states… North Dakota! For real, though, if you’re looking for a state where you have plenty of space to relax or play, this is your spot. No one lives here. Kidding—they’re just really spread out. Which is interesting, seeing as though this state has the lowest average commute time in the country (17 minutes.)Other factors in its #WINNING – it also has the third lowest unemployment rate and as the second highest number of religious or spiritual residents. Amen to that.10. Rhode IslandSource: Flickr User leeseanNow we jump from one of the least densely-populated states to the second most packed-in state. Pretty much no one is married here (45 percent) and the unemployment rate isn’t great—but residents still manage to work a good 37 hours per week and certainly put in the time to get a college degree—at least 31 percent of them did.Plus, almost 55 percent of Rhode Island residents are religious or spiritual. Ah, balance.Get Back to WorkOkay, you’ve had your fun—now get back to work! Or, if you found this to be more work than play, please feel free to call it a day and head out to the driving range. (Again—feel free to replace with your favorite leisure/non-boring activity.)Have fun! (But not too much fun.)Zippia is a career expert site, where job seekers can learn about the best career paths to take, based on their chosen field of study. For more, visit https://www.zippia.com/about-us/(link is external)
City councils in Mission and Roeland Park have each been grappling with changes to how they do business in recent months and on some aspects – notably public comment – may be headed in different directions.Jennifer GunbyIntroduced proposal to eliminate comment at committee of the whole in Roeland Park.Roeland Park heard a recommendation Monday to abolish taking comments from the public during its committee of the whole meetings. Mission last month added public comments to its committee meetings, which will function similar to a committee of the whole.The Roeland Park proposal has not been adopted by the council yet and could face some opposition. The recommendation was made by Councilor Jennifer Gunby reporting on a task force study of council procedures. “This was not an easy decision,” Gunby said Monday. “While it does not sound ideal, it is the best decision for us.” Councilor Becky Fast said she would not favor the proposal since Roeland Park recently has tried moving to one council meeting per month rather than two with the committee meeting once per month as well. Teresa Kelly said she was “torn” by the proposal, but said the committee of the whole is the “time for us to talk.”The number of comments coming from the public during committee of the whole meetings has been substantial lately but driven largely by the debate over a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes.The number of meetings per month also is an issue in Roeland Park. Gunby suggested a meeting each Monday night, either a workshop or committee of the whole supplementing the council schedule. Staff had asked that the separated committee and council meetings – previously they were held on the same night – be continued until after budget season. City Clerk Debra Mootz noted that committee agendas are now being completed in one meeting. Previously, items ofter were carried over.Fast also questioned the need for more meetings. “We are meeting twice as much as other cities. The school board only meets once per month,” she noted.In Mission, the city has not only moved to add public comment at its committee meetings, but it will be adding all councilors to the membership of its two standing committees and have them both meet on the same night. Council meetings will remain on a separate night, so the council will be booked for meetings twice per month. Its new public comment policy reads as follows:“Public comments will be allowed at committee meetings. “Public Comment”cards will be available for the public to complete prior to meetings. These willbe provided to the chair of the committee. Public comments will also beaccepted from members of the public who have not completed a PublicComment card. All public comments are at the discretion of the chair andcommittee members”
Sep 29, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – The external committee tasked with reviewing the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) response to the H1N1 pandemic wrapped up its third round of live meetings in Geneva today, hearing from an array of country and organization health representatives, as well as WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, who strongly defended the organization’s response.Chan, who spoke to the group yesterday during a public plenary session on the second day of its meeting, also said the WHO learned some important lessons that will position it to, for example, ease the flow of pandemic vaccine to developing countries. Her address to the group appeared yesterday on the WHO’s Web site. The pandemic review committee is simultaneously reviewing how the International Health Regulations (IHRs) functioned during their first use in an international health emergency.Dr Harvey Fineberg, the group’s chairman, briefed reporters today at the conclusion of the group’s 3-day meeting. He said the committee is still in an information-gathering mode and that the agenda consisted of public plenary sessions and deliberation meetings during which members met by themselves. He is president of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences.The review committee’s last meeting in Geneva was in early July, and Fineberg told reporters the committee will meet again in November for deliberation sessions. He projected that the group would have a draft of a report for its own members to review by early January in time for its final plenary meeting. The members will submit a final report that includes a response from Chan in advance of the World Health Assembly next May.Fineberg said the group heard testimony from a wide range of health and industry experts and confirmed, based on a journalist’s question, that Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, addressed the group during the plenary sessions. Osterholm is director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News.One of the largest blocks of testimony came from key people who led the WHO’s response and were involved in administering the IHRs, including Chan, Fineberg said. At the committee’s last meeting in July they heard from some of sharpest critics of the WHO’s response, including a Council of Europe representative and the editor of the British Medical Journal.”One of the things that was not surprising, but very revealing, was that the principals at the WHO secretariat were very eager to tell their story,” he said. “They are as eager to tell their story as the critics are to tell theirs.”Chan spoke candidly about the challenges and successes she observed during the WHO’s pandemic response and said the group welcomes the review and is mindful of the praise and criticisms it has received. She said the WHO is grateful for the moderate impact the pandemic had, and she said in retrospect some response measure may look excessive.”Had the virus turned more lethal, we would be under scrutiny for having failed to protect large numbers of people,” Chan said. “Vaccine supplies would have been too little, too late, with large parts of the developing world left almost entirely unprotected.”She said experts assumed that H5N1, with its more lethal severity, would cause the next pandemic, which guided preparations for a more severe pandemic than what emerged with the 2009 H1N1 virus. The phased pandemic alert approach was developed as cues to help countries increase their preparedness levels without causing public alarm. “In reality, it had the opposite effect. It dramatized the steps leading to the declaration of the pandemic and increased the build up of anxiety,” Chan said.Chan rejected charges that the WHO exaggerated the pandemic threat and said when she announced the move to alert phase 6 she reminded the world that the number of deaths were small, that she didn’t expect to see them increase suddenly, and that most patients were recovering without medical care.During a time when health officials had to make decisions in an environment of scientific uncertainty, most health officials erred on the side of caution, she said. “In this regard, the phased approach to the declaration of a pandemic was rigid and confining. In communicating the level of alarm, authorities need to be able to move down as well as up,” Chan said, adding that limited vaccine capacity and long production times also hampered the flexibility of countries’ pandemic responses.She strongly rejected charges that commercial interests tainted the WHO’s pandemic alert level decisions. “I can assure you: never for one moment did I see a single shred of evidence that pharmaceutical interests, as opposed to public health concerns, influenced any decisions or advice provided to WHO by its scientific advisors,” Chan said in her statement.On a positive note, Chan said some elements of the world’s pandemic response worked well, including the IHRs, which she said provided a useful set of checks and balances, and the early distribution of oseltamivir stockpiles to developing countries.”In my view, the Emergency Committee, with both experts and affected states represented, functioned well as a balanced and inclusive advisory body,” she said. The emergency committee met at least nine times to advise Chan during pandemic phase and response discussions, and some critics charged that the process lacked transparency, because member names were confidential. The WHO has said the names were kept secret during the pandemic to protect members from undue influence. It revealed the member names on Aug 10 when the WHO declared that the pandemic was over.In response to journalists’ questions, Fineberg said several times that the role of the committee isn’t to assign blame, but to identify ways that the WHO can improve its pandemic response.He said the review committee is hearing a lot about the challenge of decision making under conditions of great uncertainty and that some response measures, such as the vaccine donation process, are very complex.”Everyone came at this from their own perspective, but few had a vision of the whole. Each told an important side of the story,” Fineberg said. “Our job is making a coherent whole out of these perspectives.”See also:Sep 28 Margaret Chan comments to IHR review committeeSep 29 IHR review committee meeting media briefing audioJul 2 CIDRAP News story “WHO pandemic review wraps up second meeting”
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Almost every New Year, money-related goals rank near the top of resolution lists, right alongside “eat healthier.”The struggle is real. Many try to save money — at least for a few weeks — by bringing a sack lunch to work, driving past their fancy coffee shop or ignoring enticing emails of storewide clearance sales.USAA Bank surveyed people of all ages and income levels about how they save money and find extra cash in a pinch. Though many respondents said they are trying to save, most expressed difficulty doing so.“Savings are typically based on life stages. Those who are just starting out are saving for a major purchase, such as a car or home. If you’re older you’re more focused on retirement,” says Mikel Van Cleve, director of personal finance advice at USAA.As expected, USAA’s research found a person’s ability to save largely depends on their age and household income. Older Americans and those with greater incomes use their savings to cover unexpected expenses and save for retirement.Those with household incomes less than $35,000 are significantly more likely to say they’re not able to save regularly. To be sure, economists say slower income growth in the last decade also may have contributed to inadequate savings levels.When asked how they cover unexpected expenses, most respondents reported taking money out of a savings account. However, nearly half of respondents seek out additional work; 35 percent have been compelled to borrow money from family and friends; 23 percent have sold personal items and 8 percent have taken out a payday loan.More than half of American households have less than one month of income available in readily accessible savings to use in case of an emergency, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts.Household Saving Rate in the United States increased to 5.6 percent in October from 5.3 percent in September of 2015, the highest since December 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal Savings in the United States averaged 8.36 percent from 1959 until 2015, reaching an all-time high of 17 percent in May of 1975 and a record low of 1.90 percent in July of 2005.The good news is that eliminating the occasional grande macchiato and ignoring a swanky handbag that’s finally 50 percent off, might not be necessary or most effective. JJ Montanaro, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM) at USAA, said there’s a better way to save.He offers a few simple strategies to try in 2016:* Review routine bills and compare service providers. Look for ways of reducing fees and costs.* Look into refinancing your mortgage or auto loan — you may qualify for a lower rate. It doesn’t hurt to ask.* Find the right credit card. Look for a card with a low interest rate or cash-back rewards.* Trade down to a less expensive car. We often spend more on transportation than necessary.“Most people think that in order to make a dent in their savings, they have to cut out all unnecessary daily expenses like trips to the coffee shop, but there are other ways to help you save more and reduce annual spending,” Montanaro said.Brandpointcontent.com
KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, says the proposed implementation of a National Diaspora Policy reflects the commitment of the Government across administrations to the development and well-being of Jamaicans abroad.She said the policy, which is now at the draft stage, has gone through various consultations and reviews, including valuable inputs from the Jamaican Diaspora.“We had multilevel layers of consultation [including focus groups] and even then, there were deeper discussions with the Diaspora Advisory Board members… . This is part of a truly inclusive process, which has taken us to this draft National Diaspora Policy,” she said.She was speaking at a plenary session for the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference here on Wednesday.The Foreign Affairs Minister said the policy is intended to provide the foundational institutional framework for engagement with the diaspora.“While we speak about diaspora engagement, diaspora policy, diaspora investment, et cetera… and while administratively it has been done to an extent, there is no institutional framework within the Jamaican policy framework,” she said.According to Johnson Smith the intention is to now embed the policy “to make sure it is there in a formal sense, which will lead to its sustainability”.“We need to have an institutional framework, which will allow us to develop greater understanding of and response to diaspora challenges, and we need to have a sustainable way to build greater affinity with the younger generation.”She noted that the policy will allow for a more cohesive approach to diaspora engagement.“We have to improve communication and coordination. So we need a mechanism that, while flexible, will give a single platform to allow all of the various branches to have something to connect to, and we need to enhance diaspora contribution to national development,” she said.During the session, Johnson Smith gave a presentation on the policy, seeking the endorsement of members of the diaspora before its presentation to Cabinet, then to Parliament.Eight major policy goals have been established for the National Diaspora Policy. These treat with diaspora engagement and facilitation of their partnership in national development, including through human capital inputs, promotion of the well-being of Jamaicans at home and abroad, and the engagement of young people.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will have primary responsibilities for policy implementation and monitoring.In fulfilling these duties, the Ministry will work in collaboration with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the National Working Group on International Migration and Development, and the Diaspora Advisory Board or its successor body.
Two arrested in connection with Mogadishu blast ATTENTION EDITORS – VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Rescuers carry a wounded man from the scene of an explosion in Hodan district, Mogadishu, Somalia September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Feisal Omar Rescuers carry a wounded man from the scene of an explosion in Hodan district, Mogadishu, Somalia September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Feisal OmarAt least six people are dead after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of a district headquarters in Somalia’s capital, authorities said Monday.Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the large blast badly damaged the compound of the Hodan district’s headquarters in Mogadishu.The Aamin Ambulance service said the toll was at least six with another 16 wounded. Hussein said most victims were district workers and soldiers.It was the second such attack on a district headquarters in the capital this month. The Howlwadag district headquarters was targeted on Sept. 2 with at least six people killed, including two children.The Al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for both attacks. The Somalia-based group often targets the capital with bombings, including a truck bombing in October that left at least 512 people dead.Mogadishu residents have been dismayed by the car bombings that occur despite multiple checkpoints and hundreds of soldiers inspecting vehicles entering the city. The government has blocked most back streets as part of a new security strategy aimed at preventing attacks.Somali troops are meant to take over the Horn of Africa nation’s security in the coming years from an African Union force but concerns about their readiness remain high.The U.N. Security Council recently voted to delay the reduction of troops in the AU force from October to February and the target date to hand over security to Somali forces to December 2021.Related Car bomb kills at least four in Mogadishu Huge blast in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu
Namibia Finance Minsiter Ipumbu Shiimi Namibia Finance Minsiter Ipumbu ShiimiNamibia has availed about 450 million dollars (8.1 billion Namibian dollars) stimulus and relief package geared at addressing the negative effects arising from the first 21-day lockdown period, officials said on Wednesday.While addressing the media, Finance Minister Ipumbu Shiimhi, said the package was directed at formal and informal businesses in sectors which are directly affected by the lockdown measures as well as households.“To avoid further retrenchments in the hardest-hit sectors, government will provide a wage subsidy to aid businesses in keeping employees on board in the tourism, travel and aviation and construction sectors.“Details will vary between sectors,” Shiimi said.According to the minister, part of the money will also cater for related labour market aspects such as job retention to mitigate the negative impact on income and provide for the basic amenities for households such as potable water.Namibia has so far recorded 13 COVID-19 cases.Related Namibia halts mining operations amid COVID-19 pandemic Togo confirms first COVID-19 case Stringent measures announced to tackle COVID-19 in S. Africa
Share Sharing is caring! Here are some highlights in photographs of Day Three of the 12 annual LIME Dominica’s Creole In The Park.Phase 5, Mr Gwada, Sickberry, Karina Cultural Group, Triple Kay Band, Skinny Bantan of Grenada, the Paix Bouche Drummers and Skinny Fabulous of St. Vincent were among performances at the event on Wednesday.The 2015 Carnival Queen Contestants also made an appearance.– / 117Dominica Vibes News Share Tweet EntertainmentLocalNews Creole In The Park Day Three by: – October 30, 2014 Share 537 Views no discussions