‘Jelly bellies’ memo costs Florida police chief his job

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Winter Haven, Florida police chief Paul Goward was tired of seeing fat hanging out over the belts of some of his officers. So he posted a memo to encourage the so-called ‘jelly bellies’ to get in shape.

The memo, entitled ‘Are You A Jelly Belly?’ didn’t single anyone out, and, apart from the title, didn’t call anyone names.

Goward, a former deputy police chief in Wichita, wrote “If you are unfit, do yourself and everyone else a favor. See a professional about a proper diet and a fitness training program, quit smoking, limit alcohol intake…Don’t mean to offend, this is just straight talk. I owe it to you.”

It provided a list of 10 reasons cops should get fit. Goward said that overweight cops poorly represent the profession, are liable to ‘poop out’ when chasing suspects, and may have to use a higher degree of force.

In the end, Goward resigned from his position as police chief.


Does Anybody Want Cheap Cabinets?

byAlma Abell

Many people automatically associate the word “cheap” with another word and that word is “nasty”. This gives rise to a reluctance to get involved with anything “cheap”. For example, if we see an advertisement telling us to buy Cheap Cabinets for our home we will automatically ignore it. We get a mental picture of shoddily made cabinets using very low cost, inferior, raw materials that have been badly put together; in other words, something that might be put in a cheap motel room but never in your own home!

If Cheap Is Nasty; What Is Economical?

If that same advertisement had been for economically priced cabinets; then, we would have read on with interest in the expectation of getting a bargain and saving ourselves some money. Other ways of implying a, lower than you expect price, include phrases like: “cost saving”; “discounted prices”; even “bargain prices”. Such phrases can lead you to believe that you are being offered a good quality product at an advantageous price and, assuming that it is a product that you currently have a use for, you will investigate further and, possibly, purchase it.

How Do Cheap Cabinets Vary From Economical Ones?

Although the possibility exists that they may not vary in price, Cheap Cabinets are unlikely to be made from genuine, natural (as sawn) wood. They are more likely to be covered with a cheap, self-adhesive plastic layer that has been colored to pretend to be a wood veneer surface and things like door hinges and shelf brackets will probably be of inferior quality. Additionally, the supplier might not provide any sort of warranty on your purchase.

If we are looking at cheap RTA (Ready To Assemble) cabinet kits, we are likely to face that most frustrating of DIY problems when an instruction manual does not match up fully with the contents of the kit. For example: – “Place part 1 into hole 2”; you have found part 1 but there is no sign of any hole 2 whatsoever!

If the economically priced alternative is manufactured by a reputable company and purchased from an equally reputable dealer – either online or from a warehouse or store – then you should not encounter the sort of problems that you could get from purchasing cheap cabinets.


Protests in Greece over proposed budget cuts

Monday, May 3, 2010

Widespread protests occurred Saturday against measures being enacted by the Greek government to reduce spending in order to reduce a severe debt crisis.

The capital of Athens was filled with an estimated 17,000 protesters at gatherings called by three separate political groups. During the protests, small groups of youth broke windows of several buildings, set a government press van on fire, burned trash barrels in barricades and threw rocks and firebombs at police officers.

Riot police arrested at least fourteen people and sprayed tear gas to disperse crowds. Seven policemen and two demonstrators were reported to be injured. Another estimated 5.000 people took to the streets in Thessaloniki.

The demonstrations were called to protest against government plans to cut major portions of the national budget in order to receive an estimated 120 billion euros in aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The government formally requested the activation of the bailout plan on April 23, 2010, after the cost of borrowing funds on the open market became prohibitively high.

About 9 billion euros in Greek government bonds will come due on May 19th; without the ability to borrow from the market, government officials had to turn elsewhere. The looming deadline, in combination with the recent uncertainty of the markets over the economic stability of Greece, Portugal and Spain, has put pressure on Greek, IMF and EU negotiators to work out the final details of the aid plan quickly so that it can go into effect as soon as possible.

Among the items to be agreed upon are the exact measures the Greek government is going to put in place over the next three years to cut its debt, and the precise amount of aid it will receive in exchange. The Greek Cabinet is to meet tomorrow morning to finalize the measures before the formal announcement at noon.

The cuts in spending are expected to cut both pensions and salaries to public service workers, while raising consumer taxes. Greek unions have opposed the measures and were a major part of the protests. A nation-wide strike in protest of the budget cuts is planned May 5.

A participant in one of the protests said that “These measures are death. How people are going to live tomorrow, how they’re going to survive, I do not understand.” Alexis Tsipras, of the Coalition of the Radical Left, opposed the budget cuts, saying that “The Greek people do not owe anything to anybody. Those who have brazenly robbed public money and pension funds should pay for the crisis.”

Greece’s Prime Minister, George Papandreou, however, said that the cost-cutting measures were inevitable, and that they were essential to the survival of the country.


Armed troops take control of Suva, Fiji

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Armed Fijian soldiers took control of the streets of Suva, Fiji just before dawn

In a show of force, the troops fired a mortar into the harbour and over Nukulau Island, where George Speight, leader of the Fiji Coup of 2000, is currently serving a term of life imprisonment for his role in the overthrow of the constitutional government. Most of the mortar rounds fell into the ocean.

Soldiers, travelling in a convoy of trucks, set up barricades on key roads that led into the central business district of Suva while others patrolled the city.

Major Neumi Leweni, a military spokesman, said that the activity is not a military coup in disguise. “The exercise is in anticipation of any foreign intervention and the [Fiji military] is taking all precautionary measures.” He pointed out to sea where an Australian black hawk helicopter had crashed and where three Australian warships were moored. Australian officials said the ships were there in case Australian citizens needed to be evacuated.

The black hawk helicopter that had crashed was attempting to land on the HMAS Kanimbla, and its passengers were Special Air Service soldiers. Referring to the crash, Major Leweni said: “[It] just confirms that there are other forces out there and that is exactly why we are doing this exercise”.

Talks in New Zealand between Laisenia Qarase, Prime Minister of Fiji, and , military commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama concluded without an agreement. Winston Peters, foreign minister for New Zealand, said the talks were “lengthy, serious and meaningful”, but ultimately unsuccessful. Mr. Qarase said the three hour talks were not long enough to get to any conclusion, “…it was a good start and there is need for further consultations on some of the issues.”

Mr Qarase arrived at Nadi via a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane and then flew on an Air Chatham Islands plan to Suva. He was met by questioning media. Mr Qarase remained quiet. Commodore Bainimarama also said nothing to the awaiting media when he arrived in Fiji on a commercial flight.

Mr Qarase has requested that all regional foreign ministers come to a meeting being held in Sydney, Australia tomorrow that is related to the coup threats.

Countries that are part of the Pacific Forum are able to help other member countries, if the government asks for help.

Ambassadors from the United States of America, Australia and Britain have all met with Fijian military officers to seek insurances that there wasn’t going to be a coup. Major Lewini responded angrily, “[It is] inappropriate for a civilian diplomat to visit a military camp and seek to speak directly to officers,” he said.

“I’m not aware anyone’s threatening foreign intervention. I can assure you New Zealand isn’t,” Helen Clark, Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, said.

At the same time, Andrew Hughes, police commissioner for Fiji, is currently on leave in Brisbane following threats. Moses Driver will now act as the police commissioner.

The military has said they will “clean up” the government if the armed forces do not get three controversial bills passed and all investigations into senior military officers are dropped.

The military has said that they do not need police permission to conduct such exercises.


Communicating Decisions Seven Things To Share

By Kevin Eikenberry

Leaders know that communication is one of their key roles. In fact whenever I have worked with a leadership team or group the subject of communication always comes up. People want to know how to communicate more effectively, and why people dont always seem to hear when they do communicate.

In those very same organizations people wish the leaders would communicate more often and/or more clearly. They often feel in the dark about decisions, plans and future direction.

In defense of the leaders, most often they do communicate, but often not very effectively. In fact, by definition, if the followers are not clear about what they have read or heard, then the communication hasnt been effective.

One of the areas where the gap is widest is in communicating decisions. Decisions are made (or followers think or assume they have been made), but the communication of those decisions is ineffective or incomplete.

The List

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In working with a Management Team recently we examined this challenge and found a document that outlined some things to consider when communicating decisions. What follows are seven questions (with some commentary) to help you successfully communicate decisions within your organization (and beyond).

What are the key points or major messages you want to share when communicating the decision? Outline these points ahead of time. If each member of a leadership team is communicating individually, creating a common list of key messages is even more important. What do you really need to communicate about this decision?

How is this decision connected to/in alignment with our strategies, vision, mission and values? As leaders you (hopefully) have made decisions taking your strategies, mission, vision and/or values in mind. Since you may have struggled through the decision from these perspectives, or because you understand the strategies so clearly, these connections may seem obvious to you. They wont necessarily be as obvious to your audience. Help them see the connections and the relevance of this decision to the long-term picture of the organization.

Have we answered the why? to this decision? People need to understand why. Too often leaders describe the what, but never address the why. Knowing why helps people hear, understand and accept a decision.

Who will provide the communication? Is one executive making the announcement or sending the email to everyone within the organization? Is each individual manager sharing the message with their groups separately? Is there some combination of both? Purposely decide who will be communicating.

How will it be communicated (what is the best medium)? The how (email, team meeting, voicemail, newsletter, you get the idea) will be different in different situations. Consider the message, its implications and the audience before automatically determining the approach or doing what you always do.

When (or by when) will it be communicated? Chances are the sooner the better. Even if you dont have complete information, give people what you do have as soon as possible. If communicating separately, some agreements on when the communication will be completed are important to make sure some pockets of the organization dont have the information far ahead of others.

What will be the process to check for understanding? Communication is a twoway process. A complete communication plan makes sure that people have gotten the message and that they understand it. This implies that an email alone may not be enough. To be most successful, you need to create some sort of feedback mechanism or dialogue.

As you can see the biggest key is not to make sure we communicate, but to make sure we communicate the right information at the right time in the right way. When we communicate this way our communication will be deemed more complete and therefore more effective.

For your future decisions use this checklist to help make sure you are communicating completely and therefore powerfully.

Potential Principle When we communicate the right information at the right time in the right way our communication will be more effective.

About the Author: Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services.





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Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden fights back after invasion of German naked hikers

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A local Swiss government has shown some bare cheek and has taken action, after hordes of German naked hikers rambling across the Swiss alps au naturel, caused indignation amongst locals.

Authorities in Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden have warned that starting from February 9, the government will impose hefty fines of 200 Swiss Francs (£122, €135) on naturists found walking or hiking in the nude without clothes in the picturesque mountains because of a recent influx of visiting German nudists.

The new ordinance is expected to be passed this spring. If it is approved by the local parliament on February 9 it should be effective on April 26. The Swiss canton aims to stop spread of ‘indecent practice’ by minimally-clad German climbers.

The problem started with a group of “boot-only hikers” who were stopped by the police in the Alpine region last autumn. They had wandered there regularly, proudly marching through nature with bare bums, and had also advertised what they thought was a naked paradise on the internet. But it was all too much for the Swiss.

A nude rambler dressed in nothing more than a rucksack and walking boots in the eastern Appenzell region was arrested and detained in the canton, but authorities were unable to file lawsuit because the act was not punished by law or ordinance at the time.

“We were forced to introduce the legislation against this indecent practice before the warm weather starts,” Melchior Looser, the canton’s justice and police minister, said. “Ultimately, in the summer lots of kids stay in our mountains,” he added.

In the guidelines imposed, arrested offenders who cannot pay the fine, will face legal action. The new enabling ordinance has, however, been met with protests by nude hikers. “We simply try to tune into nature. It’s the most harmless pursuit possible,” said Dietmar, age 58, a German lawyer.

German tabloid Bild Zeitung has editorially attacked Swiss intolerance and even suggested nudist alternatives worldwide, after hinting a Swiss tourism boycott. Local authorities of Harz mountain range in central Germany have also announced the openness to any visitor of an “official naked walking route” in nature’s outdoors.

Freikörperkultur (“FKK”), or “free body culture”, is a popular pastime in Germany. It is a German movement which endorses a naturistic approach to sports and community living. Behind that is the joy of the experience of nature or also on being nude itself, without direct relationship to sexuality. The followers of this culture are called traditional naturists, FKK’ler, or nudists.

The naked ramblers have hoped it doesn’t lead to another naturist-clothed ‘war’, like the one at a beach between German and Polish holidaymakers in 2008. Naturism has roots traced from the start of the 20th century. “Abandoning unpractical clothes enables a direct contact with the wind, sun and temperature”, naked hiker website nacktwandern.de stated.

But Markus Dörig, a spokesman for Appenzell Innerrhoden canton has defended the law, explaining that the “public nuisance” was a foreign import. “We have been receiving many complaints. The local people are upset and we in the government share their concern. How would one feel if one was to go walking in nature and suddenly came across a group of naked people? They are definitely not people from the area, and I think many of them come from Germany,” he noted.

“We are a small and orderly community and such things are simply out of place here. Perhaps in vast mountain areas naked people would not be much of a problem but here they simply stick out,” Dörig added. “I can understand that we all have to live in this world together,” said Barbara Foley, International Naturist Foundation member of the central committee. “But I would certainly enjoy doing the hike in the nude and I wouldn’t want to be deprived of it. It’s nice to feel the sun on your skin. Maybe they should designate a couple of trails and people would know they might come across naturists there,” she added.

Appenzell Innerrhoden (Appenzell Inner Rhodes) is the smallest canton of Switzerland by population and the second smallest by area, Basel-City having less area. The population of the canton was 15,471 as of 2007, of which 1,510 (or 9.76%) were foreigners. The canton in the north east of Switzerland has an area is 173 km². It was divided in 1597 for religious reasons from the former canton Appenzell, with Appenzell Ausserrhoden being the other half.

Appenzell is the capital of this canton. The constitution was established in 1872. Most of the canton is pastoral, this despite being mountainous. Cattle breeding and dairy farming are the main agricultural activities: Appenzeller cheese is widely available throughout Switzerland. Due to the split of Appenzell along religious lines, the population (as of 2000) is nearly all Roman Catholic (81%), with a small Protestant minority (10%).

The town, however is far from liberalism: the canton granted women the right of suffrage only in 1990 under pressure from the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland and international human rights groups. The Alpine village of Appenzell Innerrhoden, being known for its beautiful landscape, has recently been declared a “naked rambler paradise” by a German mountaineering website, which was created by a lobby group of hikers.


Full Time Rv\’Er Climbs Into Some Fifth Wheel Travel Trailers

Full-time Rv\’er Climbs Into Some Fifth Wheel Travel Trailers



\” Fivers\”, \”Fifth Wheels\” and \”Fifth Wheel Trailers\” are all terms that make reference to a single type of recreational vehicle. The comes from the design and means of hitching the trailer to the truck.

The hitch is placed in the tow vehicle base pretty much directly over the tow vehicle\’s rear axle. This provides a good deal of stability and towability to the trailer. Since the hitch is mounted over the rear axle of the tow vehicle, a pick up truck or medium duty truck is used to do the towing.

Fifth wheel rvs generally vary in length from about 20 feet to atleast 40 feet long with the bigger designs transforming into a real dwelling when they\’re completely set up for camping out.

These rvs are almost always constructed with a cut out section in-front to allow the hitch pin to extend over the tow vehicle bed to get to the hitch. This extended area used for the main bedroom though several have placed a living room area in this spot.

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The full profile fifth wheel rv includes everything you will need in adwelling. Fullsize recliners and loveseat and also a big screen tv and entertainment center are part of the living room area optons. Bigger designs have a computer desk and sometimes a fireplace.

The \”galley\” will have a refrigerator-freezer combo, a range with oven and a microwave stove to take care of the meal preparation. Upscale rvs have solid surface counters as well as other luxury touches to rival the finest kitchen seen in any home.

Bathrooms also range from the basic to the sumptuous. Glass walled walk in showers aren\’t unusual in the bigger units.

The upper level bedroom may have a queen or king-size bed put in a slide-out with storage beneath the bed. Bigger trailers have a cabinet and larger closet across the very front of the trailer.

Heating is done using a gas forced air heater ducted through the entire living area. A roof mounted air conditioner will keep the interior cool during the hotter days.

One common aspect of this style of rv is the sufficient storage area both within and under the living room. Most current include a ample \”basement\” storage space in the forward section of the rv. This enables for inclusion of all the things that make a fifth wheel home while away from home base.

The current fifth wheel trailers offer the best in travel trailer living. They have the best living space, easy towing, and cost-effective price points for the full time rv\’er.

If you would like to learn more about how to go


, click here to learn more about how you can go

RVing full time


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Virginia law bans mobile phone use by teen drivers

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Virginia governor Tim Kaine signed a bill into law on Friday last week that prohibits the use of mobile phones by newly licensed drivers under the age of 18 while operating a motor vehicle. Mobile phone users must pull off to the side of the road, or into a parking lot, to use a phone. The law takes effect July 1.

The newly signed bill by Virginia’s governor makes it the 14th state in the U.S. to enact a partial ban on mobile phone use. The age group affected, 16 and 17-year-olds, need consent from their parents or guardians to obtain a driver’s license in the state.

“I believe this is a common-sense restriction on those new drivers who may be tempted to pay more attention to phone calls and text messages than the road, endangering themselves and other drivers,” said Governor Kaine.

State legislative proposals to restrict mobile phone use while driving have failed in 17 U.S. states where similar bills were introduced. There are currently four U.S. states, California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, that have passed laws limiting mobile phone use as an on-road hazard while driving. For example, both New York and New Jersey classify use of a handheld mobile phone without an earpiece as a moving violation.

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law mobile phone use limitations that will take effect on July 2008. It imposes of fine of $20 for, “… anyone caught driving and using a cell phone unless the driver uses a headset, ear bud or other technology that frees both hands.” according to Matt Hamblen of ComputerWorld.com.

45 countries currently ban use of the hand held devices while driving. Botswana and New Zealand are debating similar measures.


Proton rocket fails during launch of JCSAT-11 satellite

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Proton rocket which was intended to launch the JCSAT-11 satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit lifted off and successfully completed its first stage burn, but the second stage failed leading to loss of the rocket and satellite.

The launch vehicle was a Proton M booster with a Breeze M upper stage. More than 300 Proton rockets have been launched, all from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Following the launch failure, Kazakhstan suspended the launch of Proton rockets from Baikonur, Interfax news agency reported.

JSAT Corporation immediately placed an order with Lockheed Martin, the satellite manufacturer, for an identical replacement satellite based on the A2100AX design.


Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Penny Lucas, Kenora—Rainy River

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Penny Lucas is running for the Progressive Conservative in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kenora-Rainy River riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.