Hundreds of artists have signed an open letter to Congress requesting federal aid for ailing independent music venues as the live event hiatus continues due to COVID-19. The new push from artists joins the ongoing efforts of the National Independent Venue Association, a coalition of independent venues and promoters that’s been lobbying the federal government for financial assistance since forming in April.As the letter explains, “Independent venues give artists their start, often as the first stage most of us have played on. These venues were the first to close and will be the last to reopen. With zero revenue and the overwhelming overhead of rent, mortgage, utilities, taxes and insurance, 90% of independent venues report that if the shutdown lasts six months and there’s no federal assistance, they will never reopen again.”The open letter was co-signed by hundreds of entertainers including Dave Grohl, Billie Eilish, Willie Nelson, Mavis Staples, Jimmy Buffett, Lady Gaga, Gary Clark Jr., Coldplay, Neil Young, Kacey Musgraves, David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Brittany Howard, Billy Joel, André 3000, Brandi Carlile, St. Vincent, Earth Wind & Fire, Justin Vernon, Cher, David Byrne, Norah Jones, Alice Cooper, Robert Plant, Bonnie Raitt, Chris Stapleton, Josh Homme, Carole King, Aaron Neville, Leon Bridges, Kamasi Washington, Wyclef Jean, Joan Baez, Trent Reznor, Graham Nash, Jack Black, Billy Porter, John Mayer, The Lumineers, Bob Weir, Jason Isbell, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Ilana Glazer, Carly Simon, Damian Marley, Michael Franti, Drive-By Truckers, Beck, Kim Gordon, Eric Andre, Flatbush Zombies, Jon Hamm, Mickey Hart, and many more.The NIVA mission statement notes, “These entertainment hubs are critical to their local economies and tax bases as employers, tourism destinations, and revenue generators for neighboring businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and retail. Independent venues exist in every state across the country; they were the first to be closed, they will be the last to open. The economic recovery process will extend past just reopening the front doors, requiring solutions unique to the industry.”You can read the full open letter to Congress from artists and check out a full list of co-signees below:Artists’ Letter To CongressJune 18, 2020We, the undersigned artists, respectfully submit this letter in support of NIVA’s request for federal assistance for independent music venues and promoters across the United States.We will know America is “back” when our music venues are filled with fans enjoying concerts safely. The live music experience is inextricably tied to our nation’s cultural and economic fabric. In fact, 53% of Americans – that’s 172 million of us – attended a concert last year.We urge you to remember we are the nation that gave the world jazz, country, rock & roll, bluegrass, hip hop, metal, blues, and R&B. Entertainment is America’s largest economic export, with songs written and produced by American artists sung in every place on the globe. All of these genres of music, and the artists behind them, were able to thrive because they had neighborhood independent venues to play in and hone their craft, build an audience, and grow into the entertainers that bring joy to millions.Independent venues give artists their start, often as the first stage most of us have played on. These venues were the first to close and will be the last to reopen. With zero revenue and the overwhelming overhead of rent, mortgage, utilities, taxes and insurance, 90% of independent venues report that if the shutdown lasts six months and there’s no federal assistance, they will never reopen again.We are asking you to support NIVA’s request for assistance so these beloved venues can reopen when it’s safe and welcome us and our fans back in. The collapse of this crucial element in the music industry’s ecosystem would be devastating.Independent venues are asking for an investment to secure their future, not a handout. One Chicago report found that every dollar small venues generate in ticket sales results in $12 of economic activity. If these independent venues close forever, cities and towns across America will not only lose their cultural and entertainment hearts, but they will lose the engine that would otherwise be a driver of economic renewal for all the businesses that surround them.With respect and solidarity, we, as artists and as community members ourselves, urge you to pass federal legislation that will help #SaveOurStages. Artist Co-Signees – Full ListAdam ConoverAdam Lee MillerAdelineAdolescentsAfterlifeThe AgonistAhmed GallabAidan AlexanderAlabama ShakesAlan ParsonsAlex GreenwaldAlex HallAlex MaliAlexa MansourAlgebra BlessettAlice CooperAlison Mosshart (The Kills)Alison WonderlandThe AlmostAlpha WolfAlter BridgeAmanda Anne PlattThe Amazing KreskinAminéThe AmoursAmy SchumerAna PopovićAndre BenjaminAndrea RicciAndrew KyneAndrew LaubacherAndrew Savage (Parquet CourtsAndy CabicAngela JohnsonAngelica GarciaAnna St. LouisAnnie HartThe AquabatsArmand MajidiARTHURArthur MoonAsh CostelloAshlee SimpsonAugust Burns RedAyron JonesBAILENThe Ballroom ThievesDack JanielsDamian MarleyThe DamnedDan SmithDan Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy)Dance Gavin DanceDaniel NorgrenDaniela BojorgesDarius KoskiDarkest HourDarlingsideDaryl Hall (Hall & Oates)Dave AlvinDave Grohl (Foo Fighters)Dave MasonDavid Byrne (Talking Heads)David CopperfieldDavid CrosbyDavid GrayDavid LettermanDavid Ryan HarrisDavid WestDean WarehamThe Dear HunterDeb NeverDebi NovaDeep Sea DiverDeer TickDehdDemon HunterDeon ColeDermot KennedyDerrick DonaldsonDeva MahalThe Devil Wears PradaDIIVDinosaur Pile-UpDJ Beauty and the BeatzDon McLeanDonnell RawlingsDonnie ShawDoug BensonDoyle Bramhall IIDragged UnderDrive-By TruckersDrug ChurchDuane LauginigerJeff TweedyJeremiah Fraites (The Lumineers)Jerry SeinfeldJesse MalinJesse McCartneyJessie MuellerJessy WilsonJewelJim AdkinsJimbo MathusJimi PrimeTime SmithJimmy BuffettJimmy Eat WorldJoan BaezJoe HottingerJohn BonnelJohn Cafferty & the Beaver Brown BandJohn JorgensonJohn LeeJohn MayerJohn MellencampJohn P. HammondJohn Paul WhiteJohnny SimonJoJo BentonJon GabrusJon HammJon MohrJonah SwilleyJonathan KirchnerJoni MitchellJordan KlepperJoseph EscalanteJoseph Lally (Fugazi)Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age)Josh RouseJosh SmithJulien ChangJuly TalkJune Diane RaphaelJustin Vernon (Bon Iver)Kacey MusgravesKaki KingKalbellsKamasi WashingtonMichael Ian BlackMichael Martin MurpheyMichael SeyerMichael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies)Michaela AnneMickey Hart (Grateful Dead)MijaMIKEMike CooleyMike KrolMike MattisonMike Patton (Faith No More)MILKKMinistryMipsoMiranda LambertMisery SignalsMiss May IMiss TessMisterwivesMitskiMoaningMolly Hamilton (Widowspeak)Moon TaxiMoon ToothMotionless In WhiteMovementsMr. BungleMundy’s BayNahkoNatalie PortmanNate Mendel (Foo Fighters)Negative GeminiNeil YoungNew Years DayNicola KuperusNight BirdsNight MovesNo AgeNoah GundersonNorah JonesNorth Mississippi AllstarsNothing Leftnothing, nowhere.NOTSO.A.R.Scott MulvahillSean Eden (Luna)Seth WalkerSevendustSharon Van EttenSharp ShockShawn PhillipsSheer MagShinedownShirley JonesShovels & RopeSick Of It AllSidepieceSilent PlanetSilversteinSilversun PickupsSkating PollyThe SlackersSleater-KinneySlothrustsmrtdeathSoccer MommySon LittleSonny LandrethThe SoundsSpeedy OrtizSpike SlawsonSpirit of the BeehiveSquirrel FlowerSquirrel Nut ZippersSt. PantherSt. Paul and the Broken BonesSt. VincentStarkillThe Starting LineSteady Rock & CodeThe SteelDriversSteve ForbertSteve VaiStick To Your GunsStray From The PathSUBHUMANSSunn O)))SunsleepSuperetSuzanne SantoSweet Tea TrioThe Baylor ProjectBayonet RecordsBe//gottenThe Beach BoysBeach BunnyBeach HouseBeartoothBeing As An OceanBen WhiteleyBenjamin RuttnerBenjamin ScheuerBi TYRANTBiffy ClyroBig GiganticBig WildBill BellamyBillie EilishBilly Gibbons (ZZ Top)Billy JoelBilly PorterBilly SquierThe Black Dahlia MurderThe Black KeysBlack Stone CherryBlack ViolinBlue Oyster CultBLUEOXBob CorritoreBob Weir (Grateful Dead)Bonnie RaittBorn Of OsirisBoy Named BanjoBradd MarquisBrady BladeBrandi CarlileBreakup ShoesBrett DennenBrian OwensBritt Daniel (Spoon)Brittany AnjouBrittany Howard (Alabama Shakes)Britton WalkerBroadsideBroken Social SceneBrothers OsborneThe Cadillac ThreeCahalen MorrisonDuckwrthDuncan ShiekDylan Slocum (Spanish Love Songs)The Early NovemberEarth, Wind, and FireEclair FifiEdie BrickellEilen JewellEli MaimanElizabeth PentaEllie GoodmanEmancipatorEmmureEnda ScahillEntheosEric AndreEric RobersonEvan RossEve 6ExodusThe FaimFastballFaye WebsterFayucaFit For A KingFlatbush ZombiesThe Flesh EatersFlying BuffaloesThe FormatFoster The PeopleFoxingFrank TurnerFrank VicarioFrankie CosmosFreddy Cricien (Madball)Frederic YonnetFree ThrowFRENSHIPThe FrightsFu ManchuFur CoatGang Gang DanceGareth EmeryGary Clark, Jr.GatecreeperGentle TemperGeorge ClantonKaren O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)KassianKatey SagalKathryn Crutchfield (Waxahatchee)KayeKelly ZutrauKelow LaTeshaKendollKenny Wayne ShepherdKeshaKevin PhillipsKevin RossKevin SecondsKhemmisKill The LightsKim GordonKingsmenKitchen DwellersKublai Khan TXKurt VileKvelertakLa Santa CeciliaLady GagaLance Hoppen (Orleans)LATENIGHTJIGGYLaura VeirsLauren ZettlerLee GreenwoodLee James (Lee Ving)Lee Roy ParnellLeft AloneLennon StellaLeslie MendelsonLifetimeLike Moths To FlamesLimbeckLindsay EllLisa LampanelliLizzy CaplanLocate S,1LogicLorrie MorganLos LobosLos Nuevos BajosLos StraitjacketsLouis Freese (B Real)LucatiODESZAOh LandOK GoThe Old Firm CasualsOliver FrancisOshima BrothersOteil BurbridgeOughtOver the RhineOzzy OsbournePaint It BlackPalaye RoyalePalehoundParker MillsapParquet CourtsParty FavorPascal StevensonPat BoonePat Smear (Foo Fighters)Pat TraversPatrick BriggsPatrick Carney (Black Keys)Patrick GlynnPatterson HoodPatti SmithPatton OswaltPatty GriffinPaul CebarPaul KostabiPayton SmithPete KollerPete YornPhilip GlassPhillip PhillipsThe PicturebooksPigeon KingsPigeons Playing Ping PongPinegrovePlain White T’sPlayboy ManbabyPom Pom SquadPortugal The ManPower TripPropagandhiQueensrÿcheRa Ra RiotRachel BloomRachel BradleySwitchfootSydney Silver (Lunachicks)SylarTamarynTamsin WilsonTank and The BangasTanya TuckerTaylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters)Taylor Scott BandTeddy Gentry (Alabama)TerrorTheo KoganTheory Of A DeadmanThey Might Be GiantsThe Third MindThird WorldTHOMAS MACThree Sacred SoulsThriceThurston Moore (Sonic Youth)Tiffany HaddishTig NotaroTim DarcyTim GreenTim KasherTom Higgenson (Plain White T’s)TomahawkTori KellyTrent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)Trew CultureTriathalonTrombone ShortyTwiddleTWIN XLTwiztidUke-HuntThe UMAUnderoathUniformUpstateVacationerValley MakerVanessa WilliamsVeil of MayaCailin RussoCaitlyn SmithCalexicoCan’t SwimCannibal CorpseCarly Rae JepsenCarly SimonCarmen VandenbergCarol BurnettCarole KingCass McCombsCat CooreCaylee HammackChaos in The CBDChapelCharlene KayeChelsea GrinCherChris AikenChris EricksonChris ShiflettChris SmitherChris StapletonChristopher OwensChristopher Paul StellingChristopher TitusChuck ProphetCindy CashdollarCitizenCitizen FishThe ClaudettesColin FarrellCon BrioConor OberstThe ContortionistControl TopCordovasCorey LaitmanCounterpartsCraig SetariCrown The EmpireCryogeyserCulture ShockCurrentsCursiveCyancaThe Cybertronic SpreeCyndi LauperGeorge LopezGeorge WinstonGin BlossomsGina VolpeGio BenedettiGiraffageGlittererThe Good LifeGood RiddanceGooseGraham NashGrayscaleGreg HumphreysGRiZGuccihighwatersGWARThe HalestormHarvey Mason Jr.HavokHayes CarllHex CougarHighly SuspectThe HillBendersHONNEHope SandovalHopesfallHot Water MusicHovvdyI PrevailIan FowlesIan MacKaye (Fugazi)Ian RobertsIlana GlazerIliza ShlesingerIntervalsJack AntonoffJacob KileyJames Mercer (The Shins)James RouseJamie KennedyJason IsbellJason Schwartzman (Coconut Records)Jay LenoJay MohrJay SomJed Hilly (Americana Music Association)Jeff Cook (Alabama)Lucie SilvasLucinda WilliamsLucy DacusLucy WoodwardLuka KuplowskyLundThe MachineMacklemoreMadeline FollinMadison BeerMadison CunninghamMaggie RogersMaggie RoseMaimouna YoussefThe MaineMakonnenMandolin OrangeMandy MooreMara ConnorMarco BeneventoMarcus MachadoMarcus StephensMargo PriceMarielle KraftMars WilliamsMartha ScanlanMartie MaguireMary LattimoreMason JenningsMatt and KimMatt BesserMatt WalshMattiel BrownMaurice TorresMavis StaplesMax LeoneMax Savage (Parquet Courts)Mayday ParadeMe First And The Gimme GimmesMeg & DiaThe MelvinsMemphis May FireMia Berrin (Pom Pom Squad)Michael DiamondMichael FrantiRachel BrosnahanThe Rad TradsRafiq BhatiaRAMI JAFFEERancidRandy Owen (Alabama)Randy TravisRatboysRay LaMontagneRay RomanoThe Re-VoltsReal FriendsThe Red Clay StraysReggie WattsRenée FlemingRenee LaGoffRhea ButcherRhiannon GiddensRhyeRichard LewisRichard ThompsonRichie James FollinRick BurchRickie Lee JonesRings of SaturnRita OraRiverboat GamblersRob Ickes & Trey HensleyRob Thomas (Matchbox 20)Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin)Robert RamosRobert Williams (Big Sandy)Roger McGuinn (The Byrds)ROLE MODELRufus WainwrightRussell PetersRyan GaulRyan MattosRyan ScottSad13Sam AmidonSam DeRosaSam MeansSamy NameSarah BorgesSarah SilvermanSASAMISatellite ModeSavoir AdoreViolent FemmesVolumesVon VargasWalk The MoonWalker & RoyceWalton GogginsWar On WomenWarren HaynesWatskyWayne Kramer (MC5)We Banjo 3The Weather StationWenzdayWesley Schultz (The Lumineers)Western CenturiesWeyes BloodWhitechapelWhitney CummingsWhoopi GoldbergWHY?WilcoWill StrattonWilliam CanningWilliam HehirWilliam TylerWilliam WildWillie NelsonWilsenWingtipThe Wonder YearsThe Word AliveWukiWyclef JeanX AmbassadorsYowlerZac BrownZach LindZakk Wylde (Black Label Society)ZeddZeena KodaView List of ArtistsFor more information about the National Independent Venue Association, head here.
MANTECA, Calif. (AP) – Officials say one person is dead and five are injured after a highway collision involving two big rigs and cars on a San Joaquin County highway. California Highway Patrol Officer James Smith tells Sacramento’s KCRA-TV (on.news10.net/1a0aAxG) that the collision was reported at about 3:15 p.m. Monday in Manteca (man-TEE-kuh) northwest of Modesto. The eastbound side of State Route 120 was shut down for about four hours while the injured were helped, the wreckage was cleared and the CHP investigated. No further details have been released on the cause of the crash or the number or seriousness of the injuries. ___ Information from: KCRA-TV. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
This year in particular things were going really well for the team, until Tuesday when, on their way to Colombia for a tournament, their charter flight ran out of fuel and crashed, killing 75 people in the worst accident in the soccer history.RELATED: Flight Crew and Passengers Do Sweetest Thing for Grandma of Orlando Shooting VictimBetween the tears and grief (the Brazilian and Colombian presidents declared 3 days of mourning), this disaster brought out the best in people. The Colombian team scheduled to play against Chapecoense, Atlético Nacional, sent an official message to FIFA – the Federation that organizes the tournament – stating they wanted FIFA to declare Chapeconse as the 2016 champions. They also invited every football fan in the region to go to the stadium to say goodbye to fallen roster.“Tonight was supposed to be a party in celebration of football, but we decided to use this time to invite fans to pay their respects to the athletes and staff of Chapecoense. We would also appreciate FIFA’s understanding in declaring Chapecoense the 2016 Champions of Copa Sulamericana,” according to a translation of the official note.MORE: Policeman Drives 100 Miles So Youth Can Be Home After His Sister DiesOther members of the Brazilian Major Football League also took action, sending FIFA and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) an official letter suggesting that every team on the League should offer a player for free to help rebuild Chapecoense’s roster. They also suggested an amendment to the rules that would save the devastated team from being demoted to the lower leagues over the next three years, in case a losing record would merit it.Soccer teams, players and cities around the world also expressed their condolences. Players and teams are changing their official social media pictures to the Chapecoense’s logo, and major tourist attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil and the Orlando eye, in Florida, are adorned with lights of the team colors – white and green.WATCH: An A-League Soccer Player Stop Game to Rescue Felled SeagullAs this text is being written, the soccer stadium where the match was supposed to happen in Colombia is packed with fans paying their respects for the players. The whole stadium as well as many cities Brazil are singing the chorus “vamo vamo chape” (let’s go Chape), a beautiful gesture from fans everywhere.FIFA released a note saying they will evaluate the possibilities in a meeting on December 21st. CBF says the agenda of 2016 Major Soccer League includes one more game for each team and they will evaluate what will be done when it’s appropriate.The Major Football League of 2016 already had crowned a champion, Palmeiras, and that team has obtained authorization from the appropriate authorities and sponsors to play the last game using Chapecoense’s jersey on their final game.(WATCH the amazing outpouring in the Medellin, Colombia stadium below, where thousands more fans packed the grounds outside)Click To Share The News With Your Friends – Photo by UOL AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA wave of solidarity and sportsmanship has swept through the world of professional football days after a plane accident killed nearly the entire Brazilian soccer team of Chapecoense and their staff.Founded in Chapecó, a small city in the countryside of southern Brazil, the Chapecoense team was founded a little over 40 years ago. In the past seven years they managed to play convincingly well to remain in the country’s Major Soccer League.
The In the Heights film may be a year away, but we can breathe knowing that we have a perfect Abuela Claudia. Powerhouse Broadway veteran Olga Merediz, who originated the role on and off-Broadway, has signed on to reprise her Tony-nominated performance on-screen.In addition to her stage turn in In the Heights, Merediz has been seen on Broadway in Mamma Mia!, Reckless, Man of La Mancha, Les Misérables and The Human Comedy. Her screen credits include Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Marvin’s Room, The Sunshine Boys and Evita.Also newly announced to join the film is Emmy winner Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue) as Kevin and Gregory Diaz IV (Carrie Pilby) as Sonny.They join a previously announced slate of stars that includes Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, Tony nominee Corey Hawkins as Benny, Melissa Barrera as Vanessa and Leslie Grace as Nina. Jon M. Chu is the film’s director.Featuring the Tony-winning score of Lin-Manuel Miranda and a screenplay adapted by Tony-nominated book writer Quiara Alegría Hudes, In the Heights follows Washington Heights bodega owner Usnavi (Ramos) and the trials and celebrations of his neighborhood of friends and family, including his Abuela Claudia (Merediz).The movie musical is scheduled for release on June 26, 2020. Olga Merediz on Broadway in “In the Heights”(Photo: Joan Marcus) View Comments
Starting today, Comcast X1 customers in Vermontwill be able to access their TV lineup on any connected screen in their home. Additionally, they will be able to download programs they have recorded on their digital video recorder (DVR) to watch on IP-enabled devices or stream them using an Internet connection, anytime and anywhere. The in-home streaming feature provides access to virtually the entire channel line-up and Xfinity On Demand programming on mobile devices and computers. The content is presented to customers via the familiar X1 user experience. “These new features — live in-home streaming and X1 DVR with cloud technology — give our customers more flexibility for watching their favorite shows and movies in and out of their home,” said Mary McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Western New England Region, which includes Vermont. “Now, any screen in the house can become a personal TV, and recorded programs can be accessed anytime, anywhere.”According to the Consumer Electronics Association(link is external), nearly 46 percent of all TV households watch video on a laptop, notebook or netbook, and 43 percent view videos on a smartphone. That’s up from 38 percent and 33 percent, respectively, from the year prior.X1 DVR with cloud technology gives customers more flexibility for viewing their favorite programming at home or on the go. While in the home, they can watch any recording on IP-enabled devices over Comcast’s managed network, or download recordings to take on the go. Out-of-home, they can use an Internet connection to stream or download their recordings as well.To deliver these new features to Xfinity TV customers, Comcast has launched an Xfinity TV app for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, and a dedicated portal(link is external) for viewing on computers. To live stream their TV lineups or watch DVR and On Demand programming while on tablets or smartphones in their homes, customers can simply download the Xfinity TV app from the App Store, open the app and sign-in with their Xfinity TV credentials.Live in-home streaming and X1 DVR with cloud technology were announced today in Connecticut; Western Massachusetts; Putnam County, New York and Vermont. They are also available in Atlanta, Augusta, Baltimore,Boston, the greater Chicago area, Houston, Nashville, Knoxville, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Comcast will continue to roll these features out to more of its X1 customers next year.About Comcast Cable:Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com(link is external) for more information. www.comcast.com/X1(link is external). SOURCE: SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., Dec. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Comcast Cable
Flexaseal Engineered Seals and Systems, LLC,Vermont Business Magazine Flex-A-Seal, Inc, based in Williston, and Houston-based Momentum Engineered Systems, Inc announced Monday a merger to provide a unified mechanical seal and systems approach to the fluid sealing market. The two companies will each commit their assets to the new entity and the combined group will operate under the name Flexaseal Engineered Seals and Systems, LLC. Financial terms were not disclosed.The new company will maintain operations in Williston, VT, Houston, TX, and Gonzales, LA, with the corporate headquarters in Williston. Employment is broken down as: Williston: 120 people; Louisiana, 6 people; Houston, TX, 23 people; Sao Paulo, Brazil, 55 people.Hank Slauson, former President of Flex-A-Seal, Inc. now Chairman of Flexaseal Engineered Seals and Systems, LLC said in a statement, “I am proud to announce this merger as the next step in our path to increasing our share of the fluid sealing market. This merged company has the rare combination of strong technology and a customer-centric business ethic. It is a timely opportunity to integrate our unique company culture with another forward-thinking force in the fluid handling market.”Alex Slauson, former VP Sales of Flex-A-Seal, Inc. now President of Flexaseal Engineered Seals and Systems, LLC commented “Combining our expertise in seals and sealing systems is a win/win for our customers and solidifies our ability to tackle challenges today and in the future.”Flex-A-Seal founded in 1983, known globally as a leader in the manufacture of welded metal bellows and fully split cartridge mechanical seals, offers engineered solutions for virtually any sealing application. Flex-A-Seal has customers in over 50 countries worldwide.Momentum Engineered Systems founded in 2013, disrupted the poorly served seal support and lubrication markets through innovative customer service. Momentum Engineered Systems is currently the largest independent seal systems manufacturer in the USA.Both companies are distinguished by their commitment to “Made in the USA” and their Vermont, Texas, and Louisiana workforces and cultures. The merger now vertically integrates and supplies Flex-A-Seal and Momentum products under one entity, providing a complete sealing package to customers.Trey Maxwell, former CEO of Momentum Engineered Systems, Inc now CEO of Flexaseal Engineered Seals and Systems, LLC said, “Our customers are looking for a change, our goal is to bring service back. Our American manufacturing and dedicated professionals will be a disruptive force.””Our facilities continue to operate business as usual.”More details regarding the merger will be updated on www.flexaseal.com(link is external).Source: WILLISTON, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE(link is external))–Flex-A-Seal, Inc 10.19.2020
Related Strava, the social network for athletes, has enhanced its social and community experience with the introduction of clubs to mobile.Strava’s latest mobile update further connects athletes across the globe and is seen as the first step in an evolving club experience that will give athletes a comprehensive home for group activities: one place to meet athletes, get inspired by each other’s training, share routes and events, organise group activities, track those activities and analyse and discuss afterwards.Strava Clubs for Mobile is being used by parkrun, the organiser of free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. Strava has ‘taken everything that’s fun about parkrun; the camaraderie, friendly competition and inspiring weekly runs and given it a home on their member’s phones.’ Strava athletes can join their local parkrun Strava club to connect with other runners and extend the parkrun community experience all-week-long.“We’re always looking for new ways to help our community of athletes engage with each other,” said William Lee, Product Manager at Strava. “A lot of our athletes rely on their mobile devices for running and riding, so it made sense to bring clubs to mobile and make them as easily accessible as other Strava features.“Now you can see the top ten athletes of the week on the leaderboard, interact with club members on discussion boards, share news and updates and post announcements all via your phone, to keep the club active, motivating and growing.”Strava developed new club features to make exploring, joining, sharing, and interacting with club members simple. There are already 134,391 active clubs on Strava.The latest updates include:Discussions and comments: athletes can post comments to discussion boards as well as manage and interact with club members, all from their mobile device.Explore: athletes can search and navigate clubs that they are part of, and explore new clubs that are relevant to them depending on their location, athlete network and interests.Push notifications: new push notifications make it easy to stay in touch and interact via discussion boards, posts and comment.Share and promote: Strava athletes can now promote their clubs via Facebook and Twitter.In addition to search and engagement updates, athletes can also have a more in-depth look at their own and other club members’ activities by opening the club’s feed. Improved leaderboards within clubs allow athletes to compare their weekly stats to fellow club members. A newly designed scatterplot aims to make it simple for athletes to see how their training compares to the rest of the group, and is positioned as a way to stay motivated or on-track with a group training plan.Club pages also display basic information such as the club name, profile photo, cover photo, sport type and location, and athletes can view a summary of the club’s engagement as well as the number of members, activities and discussions for the week.Strava’s club features are available now on iOS and Android.www.strava.com
The Shawnee Mission West Vikings and Blue Valley Tigers faced off in a match Feb. 28 on the academic quiz show, ‘Categories.’For more than three decades, students from the Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley school districts have gone head to head on “Categories,” an academic quiz show broadcast on local cable TV.The show gives student participants the opportunity to flex their mental muscles. They have to think on their feet; if they answer a question incorrectly, they must shake it off and prepare for the next one coming 10 seconds later.The Shawnee Mission School District produces the show at the Indian Hills Technology Center (which recently housed Brookwood Elementary while a new building was being constructed).Owen Denniston, right, leads the communications staff who produces ‘Categories’ each week.“I really enjoy just watching the kids develop the answers to what I would consider fairly difficult questions,” said Owen Denniston, television production coordinator for the Shawnee Mission communications department. Denniston leads production of the show each week. “I’m always amazed at the breadth of their knowledge. It’s just really astounding to see what they can answer.”Denniston has worked for the district and assisted with the quiz show since 1981.How the show worksThe SM West Vikings are, top row from left, Sean Perkins and Jonathan Nelson, and bottom row from left, Dane Worthington, Ben Phillips and Eric Hancock.Here’s how it works: Each of the 10 high schools in the two school districts has its own team. Two teams of five students each will face off in a match, which is recorded and later broadcast on cable TV. The two teams vie for the most points by answering the most questions quickly and correctly.The quiz show is called “Categories” because each question is presented in a category. A match involves two rounds of 12 minutes each; in that time, teams answer dozens of random questions. Each round features a broad range of questions, from geography and current events to mathematics, science, art, music, language and pop culture.Each season has 24 matches and runs from the end of October until spring break. The top four teams from the regular season face each other in the playoffs and vie for the championship. The show airs three days a week on three area cable news channels and is also posted on YouTube.Dane Worthington, a junior at Shawnee Mission West, is now captain of his team after three years of competing on the show. He said he sticks with it because his team has a winning streak.“I just like it; it’s fun,” Worthington said, adding that he’s interested in and good at trivia. “I don’t play any sports or anything, so this gives me an opportunity to compete and represent my school in something. And we’ve made it to the playoffs every single year, so I gotta keep the streak alive.”The large room where the show is filmed is set up like a typical studio; students on set face half a dozen cameras, which film each match and capture each student as he or she responds. In the back of the room, production staff oversee the operation in a dark studio.Communications and information technology staff from the Shawnee Mission School District, and a few student interns from the two school districts, keep the show going backstage. Meanwhile, Principal John Bartel of Crestview Elementary plays host for the quiz show, and Principal Paul Colwell of Horizons High School judges the competition.“The teams have a lot of camaraderie,” Denniston said. “It pulls together students; it’s a nice way to demonstrate their academic prowess in the school districts.”
1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Brian O’ConnellCould the conventional wisdom be wrong about low-income Americans and their perceived “knowledge gap” with more affluent households?It looks that way, according to a report from the New York City-based U.S. Financial Diaries called An Invisible Finance Sector: How Households Use Financial Tools of Their Own Making.What’s been missing from the debate about personal finance knowledge levels among rich and poor is a look at how low-income Americans turn to alternative forms of savings and financial management to make ends meet and better manage their money.And they seem to be doing OK doing so, in general.The Diaries are a consumer research project funded by the Ford Foundation and Citibank for which researchers canvassed 235 low- and moderate-income U.S. households on how they manage their finances. continue reading »
April 15, 2012 Annie Butterworth Jones Associate Editor Regular News Prepaid legal services offer peace of mind Associate Editor S even out of 10 people experience at least one “legal event” in any 12 month period, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at them.According to a study done by Russell Research, most individuals who face daunting legal obstacles choose to go it alone, never hiring an attorney to represent or guide them through the legal system. That’s a problem proponents of prepaid legal service plans say it’s time to eradicate. The plans function like insurance, offering consumers easy, affordable access to attorneys, both through telephone consultations and more comprehensive benefits.For a small fee — ranging from between $9 to $25 a month — consumers can get the peace of mind that comes with knowing an attorney is just a phone call away, said St. Petersburg lawyer John Joseph, chair of The Florida Bar Prepaid Legal Services Committee.“Let’s say a consumer just pays $9 or $20 a month. If this consumer needs help with drafting a will, reviewing a lease, representation in court for a traffic ticket, or some other legal issue, they’ll be able to pick up the phone and speak to an attorney right away. So for a very nominal fee, they can get the help they need.”Individuals can enroll in a plan through their workplace — employees of The Florida Bar are automatically enrolled — or individually, and plans vary depending on the employer and the managing attorney.Although prepaid legal service plans bring the consumer peace of mind, Joseph said attorneys benefit too.“It’s more or less entrepreneurial,” explained Joseph.An attorney interested in serving the community through a prepaid plan must submit paperwork outlining a proposed partnership to the PLS committee, which then reviews and analyzes the plans before approval. Once approved, the attorney’s plan is then submitted to the Bar Board of Governors for final authorization.“Let’s say, for example, an attorney can contact a hospital or a credit union or a large employer in his community,” said Joseph, “and offer legal services to their employees at a reduced cost and as a free benefit from the employer to the employees. The employer can offer a legal plan, which most lawyers cover the cost to do, and it’s a benefit to their employees. It also benefits the community, because these people can get the help they need.“The lawyer, for doing the plan — which is not much money — will be able to have access to clients he can serve and help.”Attorneys can also limit plans to their particular area of practice, a point Joseph said ultimately helps consumers.“It opens up more targeted availability of legal services to people who feel hesitant to talk to an attorney or don’t really like to talk to lawyers.” The barrier between the attorney and an individual in the community is removed.Prepaid legal services plans offer a monthly rate for enrolled employees, but they also offer a reduced legal fee arrangement — a flat fee for services provided. There is no cost to the consumer unless they elect to take the service. Plans are chosen by the sponsoring employer and the managing attorney, and once a plan is selected, employers are responsible for informing their employees about the benefits and how they work.“I’m a panel attorney for a couple of legal service plans, so basically I get calls from people wanting me to review documents such as leases, due demand letters, wills, and trusts, and they really appreciate the fact that someone can speak with them and help them, and they’ll know what the cost is up front,” said Joseph.“A lot of people like this because they know going in that the service provided to them, whether they pay monthly or a reduced rate at the time at which they are retained, will cost the agreed amount.”Plans are designed to help middle-income individuals obtain legal services that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive and to encourage preventative legal services, like document preparation and review, which can help resolve smaller legal issues early. The plans attempt to remove barriers and offer accessible in-roads to the legal system.“People like to avoid lawyers for two reasons: one, they’re expensive, and two, there’s a negative connotation about talking to lawyers,” said Joseph.“Very few people are proactive in saying, ‘I need to get my house in order and talk to an attorney ahead of time before something happens.’ Most people don’t plan that way.”Cost, Joseph said, is also an issue. Prepaid legal service plans are affordable, but they also provide consumers with up-front cost details that they might not receive otherwise, and that knowledge goes a long way for a lot of consumers.“Lawyers charge a lot of money per hour, and oftentimes people are scared not knowing what the total cost is going to be to have a lawyer assist them in their issue. A prepaid legal plan more or less lays out ahead of time what services are available at some certain cost, so the member knows going in what the cost is going to be.”Bar-sponsored prepaid legal service plans operate under Ch. 9 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, and those proposed plans must meet the approval of both the PLS committee and the Board of Governors. Once a sponsor or employer and managing attorney agree on the arrangement and the details of the services the lawyer is going to provide, and the committee has approved the plan for submission to the Board of Governors, the employer will then let the employees or the members of the organization know that the plan is available for their participation.“Every week, I meet with people who appreciate the fact that they have an attorney they can call, because most people don’t know an attorney they can call if they have a need,” said Joseph. “Some people don’t realize that they should have a lawyer review a lease or do a will for them or review a demand letter until they’ve had it done for them. Once you do something for a client, they see the value in what an attorney does.“Attorneys do more than just sue people; we help people. If we can meet with the client, listen to their needs, and convey the information they need based on suggestions to them, then let the client decide what action to take, they feel more comfortable with lawyers. When they have access to a lawyer and meet with him or her, they see that the lawyer provides services that really help them, they’re less afraid of lawyers, and they appreciate what we do.”More information about legal services plans in Florida can be found on The Florida Bar website under “About the Bar,” “Committees,” “Standing Committees,” and “Prepaid Legal Services.” A full list of current plans is available on the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website at www.floir.com. Prepaid legal services offer peace of mind