Grainger continues breakneck expansion into rental sector

first_imgLeading build-to-rent player Grainger plc has received planning permission for its latest development in London, a 163-home site called Apex House in Seven Sisters, North London, it has announced today.This will bring its total units under management to some 3,600 homes once Apex House is completed. The development is due to start construction next year, cost £60m to build and be ready to rent out in 2020. It will have an initial yield of 6.5% and rental revenues of £3m per annum.Last year the company launched its first purely commercial build-to-rent development in Barking called Abbeville Gardens and also recently bought a 600-unit development in Salford Quays, Manchester. Grainger has also built and managed residential developments for several councils including Kensington & Chelsea in London.It now has operations in Newcastle, London, Manchester and Birmingham and has said it aims to be the largest residential landlord in the UK by 2020. It already owns developments worth £2.7 billion and has also launched a new strategy that will see exit operations in overseas markets and participation in the UK equity release sector.As part of its trading statement for September, chief executive Helen Gordon (pictured) said: “We have seen a strong and resilient performance despite the changes to stamp duty legislation and the EU referendum, and we look forward to providing further details on strategic progress at our full year results in December.”Letting agents may be less impressed with this performance, nevertheless. Grainger plc, like most build-to-rent operators in the UK, deals directly with tenants and manages repairs and building maintenance using its own teams, rather than employing outside suppliers.But agents are still used to gain tenants and for example Bairstow Eves, Currell and other letting agents have been playing a central role in renting out much of the company’s Abbeville Gardens apartments in Barking.   October 11, 2016Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Grainger continues breakneck expansion into rental sector previous nextHousing MarketGrainger continues breakneck expansion into rental sectorNew site in North London announced as PLC sets sights on PRSNigel Lewis11th October 20160935 Viewslast_img read more

Meet the Balliol student running for Oxfordshire County Council

first_imgSM: So we’re going to wrap up by talking about University Challenge. How did you even end up doing that? How does it work? I don’t understand it to be honest. MOC: Usually, if you’re a JCR president, you get an email from a producer at University Challenge around September every year. And it is (laughs), a quiz show I should clarify. And a couple of years before I joined Balliol, a Balliol team won it. And one of the remaining team members was there when I was in first year. And I took the test and got on the team, but then we didn’t get on TV. And then last year, [I] did it again for the third time, my third year, and we got on. And I suppose that, clearly, you’re not somebody that watches University Challenge, but for a certain small segment of the country – I was sort of aware of it. I knew Balliol had won it and I’d watched a couple of series quite closely. And it’s one of those things that’s just very enjoyable to be on. I mean, it’s such a nice home for all those useless bits of information that you have buried in your head. I was on it with four people from Balliol […]. We did our first first sort of sets of filming a few months ago, and then everything stopped because of lockdown. So to film the rest of the rounds, we journeyed up to the studios in the middle of the long pandemic months. It’s quite surreal, we checked into a Holiday Inn in Manchester and sort of got into the studio with these great big glass screens between us (laughs). The Oxfordshire County Council Elections are taking place on the 6th of May, and the deadline for voting registration is the 19th of April. You can find out more about the election here. Image Credit: Michael O’Connor In terms of where students fit in more generally, they have lots of time on their hands, and they care about lots of things. And so it’s often in student groups or people in further education [that]  really powerful ideas come out. That’s as true in Oxford as anywhere else. I guess that because students don’t have set places of residence, they switch from one place to another – they’re only at University for three years – they don’t necessarily see that much of the whole city. And they’re hard to canvas: you can’t walk down the road and knock on their doors, especially if they’re in colleges. They do perhaps tend to be sidelined by big parties trying to get votes. And University Parks, for instance, the turnout is often very low indeed, like 20-30% or something. Even in [2017], when there’s a general election, the local elections turnout still wasn’t huge in these Central wards. So the product of that is that maybe their voices don’t get heard as much as they might be.SM: It seems like, from what I read in your campaign materials, that climate change and climate policy [is] the heart of what you want to work on. What do you think the best would be the best policies for Labour to be pushing for on a national level? And what do you think can happen in Oxford further to the initiatives that are already ongoing?MOC:  Well, I don’t want to commit myself too far, because I’m really not an expert. I mean, I should say that one of the reasons why I’m emphasising say climate change [is] you want to give people something that you can actually do. And Oxford is taking great measures on the environment. The county council is sort of getting in the way. So, I can say, if you vote Labour, this is something we can give you. This is something we will give you. And it resonates with students who are not necessarily in Oxford for the long term, [and] care about lots of different issues. But climate change is one that just hits home because it affects everybody everywhere.  Setting a target can be self-fulfilling, [and] if you set an ambitious target, you then change your policy to meet the ambitious targets. Merely setting the target already has an effect. So just an ambitious Net Zero target, probably combined with the kind of Green New Deal that was being sold a couple of years back, and [that] Keir Starmer committed to in running for leader, something along those lines. Oxford is already sort of over a decade or more ahead in its targets. And it’s not just its targets, they’re actually meeting them, the council will go Net Zero at the end of this year. And one of the best things Oxford’s ever done is had a climate assembly a couple of years ago, which just got together with lots of ordinary people who gave them lots of information about the climate. And then said, “What do you think we should do?”, and the overwhelming consensus was ‘the climate crisis is a huge issue and Oxford needs to do as much as possible and go as fast as it can’. And the city’s policies have reflected that. Recently, as well as its main budget, it had a whole climate budget, increasing funding by [18] million pounds per year, with 50 million pounds towards insulating homes and all these different measures. SM: There is a really massive contrast between this enormously wealthy University, and then the poorer parts of the city. What do you think are the long term changes that need to happen in order to address this wildly imbalance situation in the city?MOC: There’s a really interesting reflection by Danny Dorling, a Professor of Geography at Oxford, who grew up in Oxford, on how Oxford has changed, and how it’s always been unequal. But the inequality, as in so many other parts of the country, has accelerated, and become even more geographically divided.  The real inequality is between the north of Oxford and then the East, especially areas like the Leys out beyond Temple Cowley, where the car factories still are. And the problem with trying to resolve inequalities like that is that there is no single thing behind them all. I guess one of the central issues is housing and poor quality of housing, food poverty, fuel poverty, high rent payments, all these things that play into that.I mean, the city council announced last year a plan to build 11,000 New Homes, and had a very active [plans] for the past five years or so on food poverty and fuel poverty, the former of which is mostly modelled on the ones that they have in Bristol, and it’s championed the Oxford living wage. And those sorts of things have had an effect. I think in 2015, there were several Oxford areas in the bottom decile of most deprived areas in the country. And then 63 of the 83 areas into which Oxford’s divided improved, according to the government’s indices of deprivation, between 2015 and 2019. So something’s clearly having an effect. But equally, there is still that big educational and income inequality, and that massive life expectancy difference between, I mean, the far north of my division, life expectancy is late 80s, and might even be 90. And then some parts, sort of in the east of Oxford, just beyond the and around the ring road, it’s 15 years below that.So in terms of what can actually be done, one of the key things is housing, it’s building more homes, it’s improving the homes already there, it’s doing things like improving the efficiency of those homes, because if they’re not well insulated, then that means higher energy bills, and that leads to fuel poverty. And that also ties in with the environmental agenda; they mesh quite neatly. Danny Dorling’s essay is about the University in relation to the inequality in the city. Oxford hasn’t built many schools in the past 50 years. And he says it wouldn’t be that hard for, say, a College to give up a playing field for a new school. And you look at things like for instance in the living wage, the University recently signed up as a living wage employer. But I mean, as Cherwell recently wrote, many colleges are not still not paying the living wage. The University can’t abdicate its responsibility on that front. Because it exists in the city.  Sasha Mills speaks to Michael O’Connor, a student at Balliol studying for a master’s in philosophy, who is running in this year’s County Council Elections for the University Parks Ward who is also a member of the last standing Oxford team in this year’s University Challenge. SM: I thought I would start by asking how you got into politics in the first place. Not everyone does this kind of thing, you know?MOC: I obviously have a general political interest in things like climate change, or homelessness in the city. All these things just matter to me.In terms of why local government specifically, my parents live in London. And in 2018, I happened to live next door to the local Labour Party campaign coordinator. And one day I bumped into him, and he said, “Do you want to come knocking on doors?” And I sort of said, “Yeah, okay!”And I ended up spending a lot of time knocking on doors for three counsellors. And they just seemed like really wonderful people who cared about even [the] very boring bits of local politics, which wasn’t something I knew that much about. There’s something that’s very attractive about knowing a community well, quite aside from the broader things that you can do in local politics, there’s also just the fact that talking to people, doing things for them on that close, local level is just very rewarding. And then there’s also the fact that in this particular situation, where there’s a pandemic on, Labour are looking for candidates and when there’s a Tory government at Westminster that isn’t doing very much on climate change. And when you do walk through the city every day, or when you’re driving into the city, you see the marks of inequality. Or you go from Greater Leys to Central Oxford, and there’s a 15-year life expectancy difference, or you walk to the city centre – and it’s not unfamiliar as somebody who has lived in London and been at the centre of London – but you do see people who just don’t have homes on the streets.  And the University Parks division of the county council is basically just the very centre of Oxford, and some residential areas a bit North. So the only thing that it directly influences in that area is transport. But that’s critically important at the moment, because many of the city’s plans to reduce emissions and make Oxford greener and more livable hinge on cooperation from the county council in that area. But also, you have a vote on all issues on the county council. So anything that it deals with from, education, to social services, all fall within that sort of purview. And especially because University Parks is mostly student-y, it kind of gives you licence to rove further, and to take a more ideals based approach.SM: How do you think that student politics and the political scenes in unis, like Oxford, fits into the national scene? And also that kind of links into, how do you think the best way of representing students will be in the county council? So it’s kind of a two-part question, one that’s kind of ideological and slightly wishy-washy. How do students fit into politics? Do they fit into politics all the time? I’m not convinced that they do. MOC: In Oxford itself, there’s student politics in terms of, OULC and OULD, and that sort of thing. There’s Oxford SU, the JCRs, and there’s also the great activist campaigns – Oxford Worker Justice, Oxford Climate Justice Campaign, Oxford Fair Living Wage Campaign. And then things like It Happens Here, which exist in pretty much every university. Oxford [University] is quite crucial to the visual life of the city as a whole, because the university is such a big part of the city. It employs so many people, it’s so big and wealthy. So anything that they can do, together with, say, the SU, to change how the university works, inevitably has effects in the city, like efforts made for the living wage. The activist groups in Oxford SU and JCRs are important because they influence the university and the university has an influence on how the city council operates. And these little activist groups can often exert influence within, say, the labour group on the council. Lots of counsellors work closely with them.  So, it’s a sort of cocktail of those things.SM: You’re obviously running as a Labour candidate. How does what you do relate to what people tend to think of as ‘Labour,’ which is Labour in Westminster, Keir Starmer, etc. MOC: Hmm, well, I guess there is quite a difference between local politics and national politics. But equally, there’s substantial value overlap. The National Party cares about addressing issues like climate change, it cares about making sure that we live in a country where everybody has a home, everybody has an opportunity. So in that sense, there’s a link, but local councils are, I would say, quite autonomous to some degree. And that is a good thing, insofar as it means that when there’s a government at Westminster, that isn’t doing as much as you’d like on certain issues, local government can still do its own thing. Obviously the local government has to balance its budget. Other than council tax, it doesn’t have the same powers of taxation. There is that fundamental value overlap. But then [it’s also] a powerful site of change in its own right, and has that degree of autonomy.SM: How do you think the University Parks fit into what’s going on at the county level? And what do you think are the issues that are most pressing specifically in this area?MOC: The city council deals with housing planning, waste collection, leisure, it’s technically responsible for things like homelessness and the environment, but it has to work very close to the county council on them. And the county council [is] just education, social services, transport, etc. last_img read more

Video: Positive effect from BIA win

first_imgSandra Monger, last year’s Celebration Cake Maker of the Year, said she has seen an increase in orders as a result of winning a Baking Industry Award (BIA). The Bath-based cake designer revealed the news to British Baker, organiser of the BIAs, in an exclusive video interview at her home-based studio.Monger explained being handed the award at the 25th anniversary awards ceremony, which took place last September at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel, helped to raise her profile, as well as securing positive press coverage and opened the door to a number of opportunities within the bakery industry.“Even on the night of the awards it was a good place to network with other related businesses and people in the industry,” she added.Monger created a 1980s-themed cake design as part of her entry into the Celebration Cake Maker of the Year category, featuring 24 sugarcraft characters and taking around five weeks to complete.Read more about Sandra Monger, her award-winning cake design, and the future of her business in 19 April issue of British Baker.Why not enter this year’s Baking Industry Awards. For more information visit – deadline for entries is Friday 10 May.last_img read more

Hamilton, Fun Home & More Pick Up 2016 Grammy Nominations

first_img View Comments Nominations for the 58th annual Grammy Awards were announced on December 7, and five Broadway cast recordings have been nominated for Best Musical Theater Album.This year’s nominees are Hamilton (Atlantic), Fun Home (PS Classics), An American in Paris (Masterworks Broadway), The King and I (Universal Music Classics) and Something Rotten! (Ghostlight).Traditionally, select nominees from the Musical Theater category perform during the pre-show ceremony, when a majority of the awards are presented. However, as Hamilton continues to burst the Broadway bubble and appear on several charts beyond Cast Album, an appearance by Lin-Manuel Miranda and his co-stars on primetime TV would leave us satisfied.As is often the case, the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category is stuffed with nominees boasting musical theater ties. The nominees include Josh Groban’s Stages, which features musical theater staples and a duet with Audra McDonald and Kelly Clarkson, Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap for The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern, Seth MacFarlane’s No One Ever Tells You, which includes show tunes and Great American Songbook selections, plus My Dream Duets from Barry Manilow, which pairs the crooner with several late performers, including Judy Garland.The 58th Grammy Awards will air on February 15, 2016 on CBS.last_img read more

Agency of Transportation begins testing TowPlow

first_img‘The Agency is looking forward to seeing the results of testing this equipment during a storm’ noted Scott Rogers, Director of Operations for VTrans. ‘We are always looking to improve our service for Vermonters and are focused on becoming more effective and efficient. We hope new technology such as this can help us better achieve our goals.’If the results of an initial test are positive, the Agency may look to test the equipment in other parts of the state for the remainder of the winter season.The TowPlow is a steerable snowplow trailer equipped with a 26-foot plow and a granular spreader. In conjunction with a standard plow truck, the combination is able to plow a 24-foot pathway ‘ the width of two typical traffic lanes. This allows the truck and TowPlow combination to cover as much ground as two standard plow trucks. This equipment, if successfully deployed, could allow the Agency to adjust its approach to snow and ice control on Vermont’s interstate highways.In the initial test, the TowPlow and plow truck combination will be deployed during normal hours (4 am to 10 pm) to clear the travel lane and breakdown lane. During night patrols (10 pm to 4 am) the TowPlow and plow truck combination may be used to clear the passing lane and travel lane. During the first few test runs, the TowPlow and plow truck combination will be followed by a VTrans pickup with flashing strobes.Drivers are advised to use caution when approaching or passing the TowPlow and plow truck combination. The Vermont Agency of Transportation announced today that it will begin testing a TowPlow as part of its ongoing effort to explore new technologies to improve winter maintenance operations during heavy snow events. The new equipment test will take place during the next few storm events along I-89, northbound and southbound, between Brookfield (mile marker 35) and Berlin (mile marker 50).last_img read more

Conservation: Access vs. Preservation?

first_img“Imagine only two groups allowed in the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower each day,” said one local. “Or only ten people can stand at the ocean’s edge and watch the sun set over the curve of the earth. This is the equivalent to what you are proposing.”   For now, any solution that keeps public lands from being destroyed, damaged, or sold to private interests is a win. But how will the outdoor community respond when crowds and human waste necessitate a climbing ban at a beloved crag? Or when threats to endangered wildlife require camping closures in Shenandoah or Pisgah? It may not be as simple as chaining the gates.  “There have always been stakeholders that come to conservation measures with different perspectives,” he said. For him, any voice advocating conservation is a good one. While the end result may be a debate over access and preservation (a debate he thinks is worth having), Sterling says we need to get there first.  While most large conservation and outdoor groups oppose the legislation—including the International Mountain Biking Coalition (IMBA)—it’s an obvious crack in the otherwise steadfast unity of the outdoor industry when it comes to land protection, and a clear example of preservation taking a back seat to recreational access. The Sustainable Trails Coalition, a biking organization campaigning for the legislation, has left no questions about its motive: Its members want access to wilderness, and they are willing to partner with traditionally anti-public lands Republican lawmakers to get it.  Fighting a way in The Wilderness Act—one of the most important and preservation-focused laws ever—has banned any kind of “mechanical transport” in wilderness areas. If you want to explore a designated wilderness, you can’t use a mountain bike or any other machine, limiting the potential damage and impact to the land. But two bills before Congress—H.R. 1349 and its Senate partner S. 2877—are trying to change that. The bills propose a change to the Wilderness Act allowing some forms of human-powered mechanical vehicles like strollers, wheelchairs, and bicycles.  “Frankly, I don’t care whether an individual wants to ride their mountain bike or wants to protect the species on that land,” said Sterling. For him, advocacy is advocacy and, at least at this point, most everyone is on the same team.  The two clauses of that charge—to preserve the land, as well as to allow people to enjoy it—might not have seemed at odds in a time of simpler conservation ethics, fewer tourists, and no mountain bikes, drones, or RVs. But today, there is a fierce tug of war over what exactly the purpose of land protection should be. Are we protecting our lands to preserve the scenery and wildlife in its natural form? Or do we protect it simply so that we can have beautiful mountains in which to ride singletrack and clip bolts? “The service’s purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”  Responses to the proposed quotas were decidedly bent toward access. Most were opposed to quotas, permit fees, or any effort to limit their access to publicly owned lands.  The permit solution  “I think it’s inevitable that we’re going to see more access regulations as more people spend their days on public land,” he said. “The Forest Service and other agencies have a mandate to manage those lands sustainably. I don’t love that my local wilderness areas have gotten so crowded that they need to add these restrictions, but I don’t oppose it.” In the end, Forest Service officials scaled back their proposal and implemented a seasonal, limited-entry quota system at select trailheads. In their final decision, the forest supervisors wrote, “We believe the selected alternative…best meets the purpose and need to manage visitor use to reduce recreation-related impacts and to protect and enhance wilderness character.” As more people venture outdoors, impacts from increased use have become an urgent issue.  The tug-of-war over public lands   Even climber-advocacy groups like The Access Fund took a pro-access stance: “We support proposed changes for overnight-use permits under Alternative 4, however we oppose the implementation of any online system to administer limited entry day-use permits which would limit climbers’ ability to access the Wilderness areas.” Excess human and dog waste, illegal trails, damage to rare and endangered species, trash at trailheads and campsites, and crowded summits have prompted the U.S. Forest Service Officials in Oregon to propose a quota system for portions of the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests. By limiting the number of people who can enter certain areas at certain times of the year, the Forest Service aimed to explicitly limit access in favor of preserving the land.  Does it matter? Do our motivations really matter as long as land is being protected? Not to John Sterling, Executive Director of the Conservation Alliance.  The National Park Service was created rather quietly in 1916 by a relatively unknown piece of legislation called the Organic Act. Taking up just over a page in the Federal Register, it was a benign administrative reorganization that called for a small subsection of the Department of the Interior to be known as the National Park Service, charging it with, as it would turn out, a somewhat paradoxical task: Especially today, as the battle for national monuments intensifies and activists clash, an unspoken question lingers: why exactly are we protecting public lands? Is conservation more shallow than we think?  Maybe that tug-of-war between keeping our public lands accessible while ensuring their beauty and wildlife stick around for generations to come was what the architects of the Organic Act had in mind all along.last_img read more

Court retools professionalism program course requirements

first_img June 1, 2005 Managing Editor Regular News Court retools professionalism program course requirements Mark D. Killian Managing Editor To establish a basic level of professionalism, the Supreme Court has amended Bar rules to require new Bar members — even those in government service — to take the Young Lawyers Division’s Practicing With Professionalism program.Originally set up in 1988 as a mandatory basic skills course — Bridge-the-Gap — to ensure newly admitted lawyers had an opportunity to begin their careers with some practical understanding of the practice of law, it has evolved over the years to focus on professionalism and ethics issues. The court acted May 12 in response to a Bar petition to amend the rules to reflect that reality. Case no. SC04-914.The court amended the rules to codify that the PWP will be one day in length (the old Bridge-the-Gap was a two-day program) and allow new lawyers to complete the course up to 12 months before admission to the Bar (formerly eight) or 12 months after being admitted. The court also changed the rules to increase the required number of elective, basic substantive CLE programs offered by the YLD from two to three that new members’ must take durring their initial three-year CLE reporting cycle.“I think this is a big victory for all Florida lawyers because the court finally in an opinion identified professionalism as a compelling interest,” said YLD President Michael Faehner, adding the division will work with representatives from government lawyers groups to fine-tune the specifics of the professionalism program.The division also will begin discussions about putting on more basic-level substantive courses to meet the anticipated greater demand, Faehner said.In its petition, the Bar said much of the prior criticism directed toward the PWP was that it contained too much substantive material that was inapplicable to many lawyers’ practices, particularly those of government lawyers. The Bar contended that by reducing the PWP to one day and eliminating the substantive materials, the professionalism and ethics portions could be refocused to apply to all new lawyers, regardless of their practice.“Because the amount of time that new Bar members spend in a course dedicated to ethics and professionalism has been reduced, we conclude that it is logical to compensate for the time taken out of the PWP by requiring attendance at an additional basic YLD course, where the attorney can select the most relevant subject matter,” the court said.The court also amended the rules to no longer to exempt full-time government employees from attending the PWP, but did adopt a “grandfather clause” that leaves the deferral in place for certain government employees and exempts others from the PWP altogether. The rules now provide that full-time government employees who were deferred from the PWP requirement at the time of the amendment to the rule continue to be eligible for the deferment as long as they continuously remain in government practice. Those employees who were deferred from the PWP requirement at the time of the amendment to the rule and had already or thereafter served for six years in governmental practice are also granted the exemption.As amended, the rule continues to allow full-time government employees to defer the requirement that they attend three basic YLD courses. However, the rules were further changed to completely exempt from the three basic YLD courses those members who have been continuously engaged in the practice of law for a Florida or federal governmental entity as a full-time employee for a period of at least six years.“In eliminating the deferral of government employees from the PWP requirement, we find that the Bar has a compelling interest in informing its new members of vital information and explanations necessary for the practice of law in Florida,” the court said. “Further, we conclude that in order for government lawyers to receive the best professionalism training possible, they must hear the views of private sector lawyers.”The court said the purpose of the revisions is to foster a community of professionalism that transcends practice area. Court retools professionalism program course requirementslast_img read more


first_img Letters Diversity As a speaker at the recent Bar diversity symposium, I’d like to address some of the concerns expressed in a June 15 letter to the News. My remarks at the symposium concerning surveys did not suggest that the Bar need concern itself with “the sexual habits of lawyers in the name of diversity.” Rather, as noted in the final report, “it will be difficult to mirror society without knowing our current composition.” Thus, the report concluded, “a survey must include all categories of diversity identified at the symposium.”Although sexual orientation was one of the categories identified by the first diversity symposium, the survey of voluntary bars undertaken in response did not include the only gay/lesbian bars listed in the Bar Journal directory. Moreover, the bars chosen were not presented with a single question about discrimination based on sexual orientation.Any written survey requires voluntary self-identification. This admittedly presents challenges and, in a culture where discrimination may result from identification, some will choose not to respond. But that is no more reason to exclude gay and lesbian attorneys than it is to ignore other categories that may require self-identification — the disabled or ethnically diverse lawyers, for example.I do not recall any suggestion of “lowering expectations or standards in the name of inclusion. . . . ”A 1994 study by the Los Angeles County Bar showed that gay or lesbian attorneys earn substantially less than their heterosexual counterparts. Similarly, in its 1999 survey, a Washington, D.C., task force found that while 38.4 percent of heterosexuals were earning $150,000 or more, only 19.6 percent of lesbian and gay lawyers did so. The task force also found gays and lesbians continue to be under-represented as partners, which has negative consequences in terms of compensation as well as advancement. In Washington state, officials worked, consulted, and studied for two years before producing their landmark report, In Pursuit of Equality : The report of The King County Bar Task Force on Lesbian and Gay Issues in the Legal Profession (1995). That study concluded, “The current state of affairs is a disgrace.”In January 2001, the California Judicial Council Access and Fairness Advisory Committee became the first state to comprehensively evaluate sexual orientation as it relates to the courts. The results were shocking:• One out of every five court employee respondents heard derogatory terms, ridicule, snickering, or jokes about gay men or lesbians in open court, with the comments being made most frequently by judges, lawyers, or court employees.• 32 percent of court employees heard ridicule, snickering, or jokes about lesbians and gay men in settings other than open court.• 28 percent reported hearing negative comments and 21 percent heard derogatory terms about gay men or lesbians.• 48 percent of court employees who observed negative actions or heard negative comments in open court took no action in response.• 56 percent of gay and lesbian court users in a contact in which sexual orientation became an issue did not want to state their sexual orientation , and 38 percent felt threatened in the courtroom setting because of their sexual orientation.If our noble profession countenances discrimination against any class of persons, let it be a choice made with knowledge. History can then judge the decisions we make armed with that knowledge. That was my point at the symposium. Larry D. Smith Maitland July 15, 2005 Letters letterslast_img read more

US credit unions locked in cyber battle with their regulator

first_img continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Sarah N. LynchA common question asked of people in positions of power is what keeps them up at night.For Debbie Matz, the head regulator for 6,350 of the nation’s credit unions, it’s an easy answer: a cyber hacker sneaking in through a credit union vendor, cracking through to the larger U.S. financial system and wreaking havoc along the way.For years, Matz has warned about a general vulnerability of third-party vendors in U.S. financial markets, with little success.But the rise of cyber attacks, particularly the massive breach at Target Corp that reportedly exploited a data connection between the retailer and its heating and ventilation systems contractor, has given new urgency to Matz’s call.last_img read more

NAFCU joins suit against FCC

first_imgA federal appeals court judge is allowing NAFCU to enter a suit challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s order on Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibitions on autodialed calls to account holders. NAFCU will participate in a joint brief to be filed Dec. 2.The association filed its motion to intervene in September and now becomes a party in the petition filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeking a review of the FCC order. The order responds to 19 petitions from various businesses and organizations that, among other things, sought clarification of FCC rule changes under TCPA that took effect in 2013. The various petitions are being consolidated.The FCC order allows a narrow exemption for certain autodialed calls to address potential account fraud or identity theft. However, NAFCU is asserting the order is too broad in its definition of what qualifies as an autodialer.The association is concerned that the order could lead credit unions to cease important communications with members about their accounts over fear of inadvertently violating the rule. It is participating in this litigation against the FCC to help protect credit unions’ right to communicate with their members and preserve the institutions’ unfettered ability to alert members when necessary to protect their accounts and information. continue reading » 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more