Book now for BIA as final places go fast

first_imgOnly a handful of tables are left for this year’s Baking Industry Awards, which takes place on Wednesday, 7 September, at the Park Lane Hilton.Bakers and industry executives are being urged by organiser William Reed, which publishes British Baker, to sign up quickly for the event or risk being left disappointed.This year the black tie ceremony will take a Brazilian carnival theme and will see Robert Ditty of Ditty’s Bakery, David Smart of Greenhalgh’s and Chris Freeman of Dunn’s fight it out for the coveted Baker of the Year title, sponsored by Vandemoortele.The evening, which is an excellent opportunity to network with leading figures in the baking industry, will include a three-course dinner and entertainment, before the winners are announced.To book your place, contact Elizabeth Ellis on 01293 846593 or email [email protected]last_img read more

New flour to put bread back on the menu?

first_imgWest Yorkshire-based Spiffing says its new range of sprouted flours uses “natural technology to put bread back on the table for healthy eaters”.The grain used in the flour is soaked for 24 hours and maintained at a temperature of 20 degrees for five days. The grain and sprout are then milled to create an end product that looks the same as other flour.Spiffing Sprouted claims its flour is easily digestible, rapidly absorbed and kind to the stomach (unlike some raw grains). It also claims it has increased bioavailability of key nutrients including Vitamins B and C, folate, fibre, essential amino acids and increased anti-oxidants, as well as an enhanced taste and texture.Bakers and consumers can now buy the sprouted flour across the UK. It was previously only available in health food shops.Jason Bull, MD of Spiffing, said: “We have witnessed a huge appetite for sprouted from British consumers. It turns bread back into the healthy staple that it should be.“It brings together two exciting trends, our love of baking and our desire to eat healthily. The fact it is also easily digestible will put bread back on the table for healthy eaters.”“At a chemical level, Spiffing Sprouted has a higher phytase activity and lower levels of antinutrient compounds that pave the way for the gut to absorb more nutrients,” said the company.There are three products in the range:·       Sprouted Wheat Flour – 500g – RRP £3.99·       Sprouted Wholemeal Spelt Flour – sweet and nutty – 500g – RRP £4.49·       Sprouted Buckwheat Flour – 500g – RRP £4.49last_img read more

Branded coffee shops take 40% sales hit from Covid-19

first_imgSource: Getty ImagesThe UK’s branded coffee shop market has suffered a sales decline of nearly 40% over the last year, according to an industry report.The World Coffee Portal’s Project Café UK 2021 report revealed that disruption caused by Covid-19 has set sales in the sector back to 2013 levels, wiping nearly £2bn from market value.Figures contained in the report show the UK branded café segment posting negative sales and outlet growth – down 39% and 1.9% respectively – for the first time in over 20 years.The total UK branded coffee shop segment currently comprises 9,159 outlets, a net decrease of 182 over the last 12 months.However, the UK’s three largest branded café chains, Costa Coffee, Greggs and Starbucks, added 56, 28 and 30 stores for a total of 2,681, 2,078 and 1,025 outlets respectively. Caffè Nero now operates 648 UK stores after a net drop of 16 outlets.Greater London, which accounts for more than a quarter of all UK branded cafés, saw the number of outlets in the sector fall for the first time in 20 years, down 1.9% on 2019 to 2,330.Negative outlookAgainst a backdrop of trading restrictions and reduced footfall, 59% of industry leaders surveyed by World Coffee Portal reported a year-on-year loss exceeding 5% over the last 12-months. Those loss-making operators report an average negative financial impact of £27,650 per store, per month.Just 15% of industry leaders surveyed were positive about the current trading environment, down from 69% from a year ago.According to Allegra research, 85% of UK consumers typically visit coffee shops at least once a week, but just 56% maintained this frequency during the pandemic.A number of operators, including Costa, Greggs, Starbucks and Caffè Nero, have responded to restrictions by offering delivery, and 26% of UK consumers surveyed said they would use such a service if it were more readily available.Pandemic restrictions have also seen a growth in drive-thru coffee outlets. Costa, Starbucks and Tim Hortons have the largest UK presence in this area, with 200, 109 and 10 sites respectively, having added a combined 76 locations during 2020.“We anticipate further casualties over the next 12 to 18 months and further government assistance may well be required”Despite strategies to mitigate the effects on business from Covid-19, World Coffee Portal forecasts it will take at least three years before the segment returns to pre-pandemic levels.“While there’s no doubt the UK’s branded coffee shops are here to stay, Covid-19 has had a devastating impact over the last 12 months,” said Jeffrey Young, Allegra Group founder and CEO.“Recovery will require significant innovation, discipline and leadership, with successful operators adapting to ongoing trading challenges with smart, technology-led solutions and new store formats.“Unfortunately, we anticipate further casualties over the next 12 to 18 months and further government assistance may well be required to ensure the short-term viability of many coffee shops and the wider hospitality industry,” Young added.last_img read more

Turkuaz To Perform Special Phish After Party In NYC

first_imgLive For Live Music Phish Baker’s Dozen Run Late-Night ShowsJuly 21 – The Werks @ American Beauty (tix)July 21 – The Motet @ BB King Blues Club (tix)July 20, 21, & 22 – Twiddle @ Irving Plaza (tix) *July 22 – The Werks @ American Beauty (tix)July 22 – Circles Around The Sun @ Gramercy Theatre (SOLD OUT)July 23 – Circles Around The Sun (early brunch show) @ Brooklyn Bowl (tix) #July 25 – Turkuaz @ Irving Plaza (tix) *July 28 – Dopapod @ Gramercy Theater (tix) *July 28 – James Brown Dance Party – 2 Shows @ Highline Ballroom (early tix/late tix) *July 29 – Dopapod @ Gramercy Theatre (tix) *July 29 – Perpetual Groove @ BB King Blues Club (tix)Aug 2 – Matisyahu @ The Cutting Room (tix) *Aug 3 – Greensky Bluegrass w/ Marco Benevento @ Ford Amphitheatre At Coney Island Boardwalk (tix) **Aug 4 –  “Kraz & Taz” – Eric Krasno Band w/ Brandon “Taz” Niederauer Band @ The Cutting Room (tix)Aug 5 –  Spafford @ BB King Blues Club (SOLD OUT)* (L4LM & CEG Presents)**(L4LM & Live Nation Presents)# (L4LM & Brooklyn Bowl Presents) The Baker’s Dozen run is less than two months away, and Phish fans have been handed an eclectic variety of late night shows to help them party into the wee hours of the morning. With thirteen shows at Madison Square Garden and a seemingly endless supply of late night options on the horizon, choosing late night plans have never been more complicated. Well, allow us to simplify things, as a can’t-miss show has just been added to the calendar.Brooklyn power-funk masters Turkuaz will join the fray for a very special late night show at Irving Plaza on Tuesday, July 25th. The band has been rising through the ranks over the past few years, making a name for themselves as they’ve crisscrossed the country, bringing their tight and polished sound to clubs and festivals nationwide. The band, who spent their early years making a name for themselves at the beloved venue Brooklyn Bowl, have already made a huge impact in 2017, having crushed a national tour with support from Organ Freeman, dominated Jazz Fest with two shows with moe., and turned in an incredible performance at the beloved venue Red Rocks as part of Lettuce’s Rage Rocks event. Now, the band will bring their tour-tested live show back to NYC for an intimate post-Phish late night performance for the ages. See below for full info on this funky late night show with Turkuaz!CEG & L4LM Pres. A Phish After-Party with…TurkuazVenue: Irving PlazaTuesday, July 25, 2017Doors: 11:00pmShow: 11:59pmTickets: $26 advance GA / $28 day of show GA / $45 VIP**Buy Tickets Here** Enter To Win A Pair Of Tickets:last_img read more

Tony Poll! Which Performance Was the Showstopper of the Night?

first_imgOh what a night! The 2015 Tony Awards are officially over—we laughed, we cried and we watched a bald Kristin Chenoweth pop out of Alan Cumming’s dress (you know, like we do every year). We also watched a ton of phenomenal performances, and now we want you to pick the best number of the night. Did Fun Home make your heart say “hi”? Did An American in Paris give you fidgety feet? Did Gigi make you want to throw back the champagne? Cast your votes for best performance below, then stay tuned for the results on The Broadway.com Show! View Commentslast_img

National Guard to train at UGA CAES

first_imgA team of Georgia National Guardsmen will soon deploy to Afghanistan on a special mission to revitalize the war-torn country’s agriculture industry. And University of Georgia agricultural experts will arm them with the knowledge to do it. Later this month, 25 members of the Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team will visit the UGA campus in Athens to get hands-on training from specialists with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. During their visit, the guardsmen will be trained in agriculture-related areas such as irrigation, crop production, pest management, soils assessment, livestock management and food storage. “This not a typical training session for us, but when the Georgia National Guard asked for help, we wanted to do all we could,” said Steve Brown, assistant dean for UGA Cooperative Extension. “While our scientists may not be experts in Afghan agriculture, the basics are the same worldwide.”“UGA provides the technical expertise and the experience for this education,” said Lt. Col. Ken Baldowski, media relations officer for the Georgia National Guard. “Afghans are using farming methods that are hundreds of years old in a soil that is depleted of all nutrients. The talent, expertise and knowledge that will be shared with us at UGA will help us to perform this important mission.”The Mission“This is a very different mission for us,” Baldowski said. “While Georgia Guardsmen have been deployed to Afghanistan for more than 10 years, now we are arriving with technology and agricultural know-how to share with the Afghan farmers. We hope these methods and insights will help them to produce crops to feed their families and possibly to create a viable agricultural export product.” More than 70 percent of Afghanistan residents are farmers, but most lack the knowledge to produce viable crops and productive yields. “Afghanistan may be a high-tech battlefield,” said Col. Bill Williams, who commands Augusta’s 201st Regional Support Group, “but its agricultural practices are like those of America’s during the 1900s, or in some cases the 1800s. And the income of its people, especially the farmers, is in terrible shape.” Thirty years of war and prolonged drought have set Afghan farmers way back, says Williams, who will lead the first of three Agribusiness Development Teams to Afghanistan this spring. “Our job will be to help the Afghans change their practices through education, mentorship and ‘easy-to-train, easy-to-sustain’ crop, livestock, water and land-management projects that fit their culture and environment,” Williams said. Well-equippedMany of the citizen-soldiers on the Guard’s team already have agriculture degrees or hands-on experience. Sgt. Carmen Benson, an agriculture teacher from South Effingham Middle School in Guyton, Ga., will be the team’s soil specialist. “Anything related to soil, soil conservation or anything of that sort, the team will bring to me,” Benson said. “But I believe the leadership is also going to rely on my agricultural education and experience for teaching the Afghan children basic agriculture principles in irrigation and horticulture, for example.” Benson, a CAES graduate, says she is thrilled about finally putting her passion for agriculture and her education to work for the military. “I love what I do, especially what I do with my students here at home,” Benson said. “Helping Afghanistan children and adults alike become better farmers, better stewards of the their land, is – without a doubt – absolutely perfect for me.” This mission is “right up the Guard’s alley,” Williams said. “After all, our organizations symbol [the Minuteman] is an armed farmer standing next to his plow.” Georgia is one of five states preparing units with agriculture experience to aid Afghanistan. Georgia National Guard made a three-year commitment to return to Afghanistan for agriculture training.last_img read more

Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador cooperate against synthetic drugs

first_imgThe drug enforcement center primarily uses equipment that Guatemalan security forces seized from drug trafficking organizations. For example, large pots that organized crime operatives once used to make synthetic drugs are now employed at the center to destroy precursor chemicals. “That which once was used to manufacture drugs, we now use to destroy drugs,” said Eunice Mendizábal, Guatemalan Vice Minister of Internal Affairs for Drug Matters. The drug enforcement center primarily uses equipment that Guatemalan security forces seized from drug trafficking organizations. For example, large pots that organized crime operatives once used to make synthetic drugs are now employed at the center to destroy precursor chemicals. The governments of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador are jointly stepping up their enforcement efforts against the chemical precursors used to manufacture synthetic drugs, such as crystal methamphetamine. Very good news It’s good Positive and advantageous actions to which we all should commit in Central America and the Caribbean, keep it up. While cocaine and marijuana continue to dominate the illegal drug market in Latin America, the increase in production labs and seizures of large amounts of precursor chemicals in Central and South America suggest that the manufacture of synthetic drugs is a growing business, according to a report titled “Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment” issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). “That which once was used to manufacture drugs, we now use to destroy drugs,” said Eunice Mendizábal, Guatemalan Vice Minister of Internal Affairs for Drug Matters. Guatemalan officials made “the right move” in building the center, said Sandino Asturia, director of the Guatemalan Center for Studies (CEG). “We must not look at it as just a place to destroy drugs, but as a place that will benefit the public health.” The center is huge, taking up 50,000 square meters. It has 15 chemists and three consultants who work to ensure that precursor chemicals are disposed of safely, without harming people or the environment. Adhering to OAS protocols, the chemists wear helmets, goggles, and gloves as they destroy the dangerous substances. The center is huge, taking up 50,000 square meters. It has 15 chemists and three consultants who work to ensure that precursor chemicals are disposed of safely, without harming people or the environment. Adhering to OAS protocols, the chemists wear helmets, goggles, and gloves as they destroy the dangerous substances. By Dialogo October 29, 2014 From 2007 to 2012, law enforcement agents seized 79 tons of precursor chemicals in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. The highest number of seizures was in El Salvador, followed by Guatemala, Argentina, Honduras and Panama. From 2007 to 2012, law enforcement agents seized 79 tons of precursor chemicals in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. The highest number of seizures was in El Salvador, followed by Guatemala, Argentina, Honduras and Panama. For example, in early September law enforcement officials visited Guatemala’s drug enforcement center in the Department of Zacapa to see how they dispose of precursor chemicals. center_img And they destroy a lot of dangerous substances. In April, for instance, they destroyed about 53 tons of precursor chemicals seized from drug trafficking groups. A center to dispose of precursor chemicals Guatemalan officials made “the right move” in building the center, said Sandino Asturia, director of the Guatemalan Center for Studies (CEG). “We must not look at it as just a place to destroy drugs, but as a place that will benefit the public health.” They’re sharing information about trafficking and production, as well as expertise on the safe disposal of such chemicals. And they’re working to integrate the efforts of their military and police forces so that they can better collaborate in the fight against synthetic drugs. They’re sharing information about trafficking and production, as well as expertise on the safe disposal of such chemicals. And they’re working to integrate the efforts of their military and police forces so that they can better collaborate in the fight against synthetic drugs. “The program in Guatemala for destroying these chemicals leads the region and is world- class,” said Erick Somarriba, the Organization of American States (OAS) representative for Guatemala’s precursor chemical destruction program. “The program in Guatemala for destroying these chemicals leads the region and is world- class,” said Erick Somarriba, the Organization of American States (OAS) representative for Guatemala’s precursor chemical destruction program. And they destroy a lot of dangerous substances. In April, for instance, they destroyed about 53 tons of precursor chemicals seized from drug trafficking groups. For example, in early September law enforcement officials visited Guatemala’s drug enforcement center in the Department of Zacapa to see how they dispose of precursor chemicals. While cocaine and marijuana continue to dominate the illegal drug market in Latin America, the increase in production labs and seizures of large amounts of precursor chemicals in Central and South America suggest that the manufacture of synthetic drugs is a growing business, according to a report titled “Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment” issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The governments of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador are jointly stepping up their enforcement efforts against the chemical precursors used to manufacture synthetic drugs, such as crystal methamphetamine. A center to dispose of precursor chemicalslast_img read more

Honduras Seizes 489 Kg of Cocaine in Light Aircraft Coming from Venezuela

first_imgBy Gustavo Arias Retana/Diálogo October 13, 2020 Honduran authorities dealt another blow to narcotrafficking on August 23 by detaining an aircraft carrying 489 kilograms of cocaine.“The twin-engine aircraft coming from Venezuela, and with an alleged Mexican registration, was intercepted after crashing in a clandestine landing area in the southwestern part of Aguas municipality, Gracias a Dios department,” the Honduran Office of the Attorney General stated on its website.Authorities praised cooperation among the countries of the region to achieve such seizures and confront transnational criminal organizations that operate in Latin America.“As is known, the Technical Criminal Investigation Agency maintains close channels of information exchange and collaboration with the authorities of the countries in the region and in South America, which has been key to making this seizure possible,” the Office of the Attorney General added.The Office of the Attorney General’s Division against Organized Crime coordinated the operation, with the support of the Honduran Armed Forces.Route from VenezuelaThis is not the first time the Honduran Armed Forces have intercepted large drug shipments this year. For instance, authorities intercepted another light aircraft carrying 806 kg of cocaine in late July. The Colombian Navy provided support during that interception.“Thanks to the information exchange between Intelligence authorities and the Colombian Navy, the Technical Criminal Investigation Agency, and the Division against Organized Crime, we were able to intercept a light aircraft coming from South America in the early morning,” the Office of the Attorney General stated on July 20.Honduras is working in coordination with partner nations, such as the United States, to become a benchmark in Central America in the fight against organized criminal groups that operate in the region.“In the last three years, it has been publicly acknowledged that currently only 3 to 4 percent of drugs pass through Honduras, which is one of the Armed Forces’ greatest challenges,” Honduran Minister of Defense General (ret.) Fredy Santiago Díaz Zelaya, said in an August 24 statement.“We are focused on reducing any kind of common organized crime in our territory and also on collaborating with our Central American partners, Mexico, the United States, and any other country that needs our support,” Army General Tito Livio Moreno Coello, head of the Honduran Armed Forces’ Joint Chiefs of Staff, added in the same press release.last_img read more

Russomanno urges lawyers to take the lead Defending judicial independence

first_img January 15, 2001 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Russomanno urges lawyers to take the lead Defending judicial independence Russomanno urges lawyers to take the lead Defending judicial independence Associate EditorFlorida Bar President Herman Russomanno has sounded the alarm for lawyers to vigorously defend the independence of the judiciary, especially at a time when two political action groups have launched campaigns to oust Florida Supreme Court justices they viewed as “liberal” during the contested presidential election. “The overwhelming national trauma flowing from the 2000 presidential election has massively accelerated attacks on our judiciary,” Russomanno said. “We are now entering some of the most crucial months in our judicial history. We must protect our constitutional heritage. The rhetoric must stop. Trashing constitutional principles must stop. This is a time for healing and not attacking judicial independence.” Florida’s election code is fraught with contradictions and ambiguities, Russomanno said, adding that it appears that our state had outdated and defective voting systems and tabulating equipment at the polls before the election. “That’s where we need to spend our energies in clearing that up, not attacking the court,” Russomanno said. “The governor has appointed a committee and has pledged to work with Democrats and Republicans to heal a state divided along lines of race, party and ideology. How ironic that two days later, two groups are starting campaigns to oust Florida Supreme Court justices.” Gov. Jeb Bush has gone on record defending the independence of the judiciary, too. “The governor supports the independence of the judiciary. He always has, and he always will,” said Katie Baur, a spokeswoman for the governor. Russomanno praised the high court for maintaining order during a tumultuous time in our nation’s history. Despite high emotions and a razor-thin margin, a president was peacefully chosen. “We were counting ballots, not bullets, and the only trucks I saw in Tallahassee had satellites, not tanks,” Russomanno said. He said he was proud that the world was able to watch democracy in progress. Cameras in the courtroom for oral arguments, as well as unprecedented Internet access to the Supreme Court’s webpage, showcased well-prepared justices laboring to follow the rule of law, and outstanding attorneys working to represent their respective clients. While any citizen has the right to criticize the court or individual justices, and to organize a campaign to defeat a justice, that doesn’t mean those campaigns or criticisms are justified, Russomanno said. He added that lawyers in particular have a duty to educate the public about the necessity and value of an independent judiciary. “The fact is, just about every right and freedom we hold dear today was at some time upheld by a court in a decision that was criticized at the time,” Russomanno said. “That is a role of our courts to make decisions based on the law and not popularity.” Targeting a Trio of Justices Nonetheless, the week before Christmas, the Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary, based in Miami Beach, unveiled its “Emergency Florida State Supreme Court Project,” on a mission to “strike a blow for conservative principles.” In letters that looked like telegrams sent to 350,000 Republican voters, Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty asked for contributions between $15 and $1,000 to “beat these liberals and have them removed from the court.” The group is targeting Chief Justice Charles Wells and Justices Harry Lee Anstead and Leander Shaw. While Shaw is scheduled to leave the bench in 2003 because of mandatory retirement based on age, Anstead and Wells are next up for merit retention in 2002. The trio of justices, along with their four colleagues, unanimously gave Al Gore his biggest boost during the 36-day quest to name a president, by allowing counties to extend the manual recounts of presidential ballots through the Thanksgiving weekend and requiring the secretary of state to accept the updated totals. In her letter, McCarty called that ruling “an outrageous, arrogant power-grab by a left-wing court which is stuck in the liberal ’60s” and “an effort to hijack the presidency for Al Gore.” Never mind that Chief Justice Wells and Justice Shaw were two of three justices who later disagreed with the majority when it ordered a statewide hand count of contested ballots, and Wells wrote a strongly worded dissent. Still, it’s political payback time from a pair of passionately partisan groups. A second group called Balance to the Bench has plans to raise about $1 million within three months, singling out Justice Anstead. Balance to the Bench is being formed by three partisan activists: Susan A. Johnson of Orlando, the wife of former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Davey Johnson; Sam Rashid of Plant City; and Bill O’Dea, a retired Tampa insurance executive. They are the latest examples in what Russomanno calls an alarming national trend to attack the judiciary for making unpopular decisions, threatening to politicize a branch of government that was designed to rise above partisan politics and make decisions based on the rule of law. Steve Uhlfelder, a former member of the Board of Governors and a lawyer with Holland & Knight in Tallahassee, has formed a committee to help defend the justices against the recall campaign. “I had helped in the ’80s when there was a similar effort against Justices Shaw and (Raymond) Ehrlich, when an anti-tax group was upset about the tax limitation provision being knocked off the ballot,” Uhlfelder said. “And I was involved with the Rosemary Barkett recall effort, too.” Uhlfelder, a Democrat who campaigned for George W. Bush, said, “It’s not like I agree with their opinion, but I don’t believe justices should be attacked for one or two opinions. These justices, Wells and Anstead, have been excellent judges. They are the type of people we want on the bench. We should make sure we have lawyers and citizens interested in the independence of the judiciary to stand up for them and others like them.” For the first time since the Reconstruction era in the 19th century, Republicans took control of the governor’s office and both houses of the Florida Legislature in 1998. Many have noted a strained relationship throughout the three branches of government, after the Florida Supreme Court struck down a law requiring parental notification for girls seeking abortions, and a voter-approved initiative on the death penalty as well as the Death Penalty Reform Act of 2000. In recent years, there have been unsuccessful pushes to add justices to the court and give the governor more appointees to judicial nominating commissions. Last year, legislative leaders turned down the judiciary’s request for new judgeships for overburdened courts, though they did give judges a big pay raise. “The relationship has been very strained, because of the gall, the absolute gall, of those judges,” Senate President Pro Tem Ginny Brown-Waite is quoted in the New York Times. “Talk about thwarting the will of the voters. Regularly, I hear from constituents, `How can the court have ruled that way?’ I think the court is stuck in the liberal ’60s, and hasn’t caught up to the fact that the majority of Floridians are conservative.” On the other side, Rep. Lois Frankel, of West Palm Beach, the minority leader in the Florida House, sent a letter to the editor criticizing the justice recall effort as a violation of the principle of separation of powers. “An independent judiciary is essential to an orderly and free society,” Frankel wrote to The Palm Beach Post. “While certain decisions of courts may be the subject of debate, criticism or praise, I respectfully suggest that members of the executive or legislative branches of government should not declare open warfare on the judicial branch.” It didn’t help that day in, day out on national TV and in newspapers, commentators and reporters highlighted the political affiliation of the justices or trial judges handling hearings and trials in the contested presidential election. The media continually noted that all of Florida’s Supreme Court justices were appointed by Democratic governors, with the exception of Peggy Quince being dually appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles and Gov. Jeb Bush. Watching the media put political labels on judges so angered First District Court of Appeal Judge Phil Padovano that, in the midst of the presidential controversy playing out on the street corners of downtown Tallahassee, he went over to the Leon County supervisor of elections office and changed his party affiliation to “no party.” “There’s such a deeply partisan divide in our country today,” Padovano told the Tampa Tribune, “that I think it’s a good thing for a judge to not be affiliated with any party.” At the Board of Governors’ December meeting, Russomanno said he was dismayed by some lawyers who were also media commentators who expressed highly partisan and critical views that were clearly unsupported by the rulings they were referring to. While lawyers do have freedom of speech, he said, “You have the obligation as a lawyer to follow the rules of professional conduct.” Russomanno noted that Florida Supreme Court justices who came in for some of the criticism have highly distinguished careers. Justice Shaw is the court’s senior justice, having served since 1983. He has been a law professor, a public defender and a prosecutor among the accomplishments in his career. Justice Anstead is considered to be “the founding father of professionalism” among Florida lawyers and served for several years on the Fourth District Court of Appeal before joining the Supreme Court. Justice Wells was recognized as one of the state’s top trial lawyers and served on the Bar’s Board of Governors before he was appointed to the bench. While the Florida Supreme Court has come in for partisan-based criticism, Russomanno noted in the legal community it is considered one of the best state supreme courts in the country and enjoys an excellent reputation. “The Supreme Court is a distinguished institution consisting of a group of dedicated and highly intelligent justices who perform indispensable roles in the preservation and continuing enhancement of Florida’s legal structure and the rights and liberties of the people,” he said. “If you look at the cardinal virtues of what citizens want of their judges — quality of judicial opinions, knowledge of the law, integrity, judicial temperament, impartiality, freedom from bias and prejudice, demeanor and courtesy — these justices are the perfect embodiment of those qualities.. . . ” Russomanno said he’s concerned with the motives of some critics. “Those who are impatient with the rule of law or reject it outright attempt to secure their interest by undermining judicial independence,” he said. “This Bar has to remain steadfast that confidence in our judicial system is the backbone of the law. Judicial independence enriches democracy. And the Bar, without being involved on the Democratic or Republican side, must stand ready to defend the independence of the judiciary, whether it’s the trial court judge, the Florida Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court.” Russomanno is calling upon the ABA, state bar associations and national leadership groups to protect the country’s constitutional heritage. “The ABA and state bar associations must fully implement their programs designed to secure judicial independence,” Russomanno said. “Local bar associations must vigorously organize education programs to counter the attacks on courts, lawyers and access to justice.” He noted The Florida Bar, as a mandatory membership organization, faces limits on what it can do, and that increases the importance of voluntary bar and individual lawyers’ actions. Russomanno also calls upon the political leaders of our state to denounce these partisan groups. “We should unite and work together,” he said. “Bipartisanship is desperately needed to unite Florida and this country. The virulent partisan attacks must end.”last_img

CFO Focus: 4 steps for successful CECL preparation

first_imgCredit union executives are gearing up for what very well may be the biggest accounting change experienced in their lifetimes: CECL, the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s new current and expected credit loss model. As early as 2020, the accounting process that’s been in place for the past 40 years will no longer be accepted; there will be a new standard for recognizing and calculating credit losses.Jack Henry & Associates’ Strategic Initiatives Group conducted a survey earlier this year of more than 400 financial institutions that measured market understanding, readiness, perceived challenges and impact surrounding CECL. The results indicate that financial institutions aren’t quite as organized or prepared as they should be at this point.Three years may seem like a long time, but it actually is not when considering the data collection, archiving and coordination that must happen to be ready for CECL. As the compliance deadline nears, credit unions should keep the following steps in mind to better prepare for a successful and timely CECL implementation. continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more