Archive for August, 2010:
SOURCE: Associated Press
A judge removed a juror from a trial in suburban Detroit after it was discovered that the young woman wrote on Facebook that the defendant was guilty.
The problem? The trial wasn’t over. Hadley Jons, of Warren just north of Detroit, could be found in contempt when she returns to the Macomb County circuit court Thursday.
Jons, 20, was a juror in a case of resisting arrest. On Aug. 11, a day off from the trial and before the prosecution finished its case, she wrote on Facebook that it was “gonna be fun to tell the defendant they’re guilty.”
The post was discovered by defense lawyer Saleema Sheikh’s son.
This is not the only case involving a Facebook post and a faulty jury. In Manhattan recently, a juror on a case who also worked for a New York City computer service company was questioned about his comments involving knowing a defendant.
Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski confronted Jons the next day and replaced her with an alternate.
“You don’t know how disturbing this is,” Druzinski said, according to The Macomb Daily.
A message seeking comment was left for Jons on Monday.
“I would like to see her get some jail time, nothing major, a few hours or overnight,” Sheikh said. “This is the jury system. People need to know how important it is.”
Sheikh’s son, Jaxon Goodman, discovered the comment while checking jurors’ names on the Internet. He works in his mother’s law office.
“I’m really proud of him,” Sheikh said.
Without Jons, the jury convicted Sheikh’s client of a felony but couldn’t agree on a separate misdemeanor charge.
MY TAKE: Personal information and secrets are no longer rarified. It’s fine to use the Internet and even friends on your Facebook page to find childcare, get some good advice about buying Carhartt flame resistant clothing, or even locating Marbella homes for rent. But the site is being used for people to essentially spew out what they’re up to and comment on what your up to all day long; comment on your pictures; your status and your previous comments to other people’s pages. It’s really too much connectivity for me. Don’t get me wrong: I am one of those people who have used FB to ask friends about a good childcare center and even get some advice about NY computer support services.
Changing Political Positions
One of the reasons why it’s become important for various communities to stay apprised of how the different Senate races are shaping up is because major changes in the government could spell significant changes to the government and it’s important to keep up with fights such as the New York Senate race as changes in the government’s political parties and who has the majority control of such areas could significantly change what people have been expecting of their government in the next few years. This year’s political races are significant in the potential changes of power that could occur.
Difficulties in Worker Compensation
There are many issues to consider regarding the realm of worker compensation and how various insurance rules and general practices might impact the type of case that a group of Colorado workers’ compensation lawyers might be interested in fighting on behalf of their client. The cost of doing business has certainly risen in recent years and this has required that legal teams who are dealing with such compensation and insurance issues have had to stay updated on a regular basis as far as changes and modifications to the overall industry that have happened in the last few years.
Swiftly Obtaining Legal Counsel
Dealing with the courts can be a difficult process and it’s often important for anyone who is interested in making sure that they are going to be getting the best legal representation possible investigate local lawyers to figure out who might be the best individual for the job. As far as Richmond Hill criminal lawyers are concerned, it’s often important to make sure that individuals who have not been through the courts system before realize that the sooner that they obtain legal counsel that the better their case will go as a lawyer will have more time to strategize if he is involved in the case early.
Working with Assumption of Guilt
It is often difficult to understand how a person can truly be considered innocent until they are proven guilty, but people in the United States are amazingly lucky in that they are able to enter the courtroom with such an assumption. For individuals who engage the assistance of a Philadelphia County criminal lawyer, one of the best aspects of defense is always going to be the fact that the entire defense strategy can be built around the idea that someone will always be in a courtroom at the start of their trial as an innocent person.
SOURCE: Associated Press
An emerald pulled from a corn row pit on a North Carolina farm is reportedly so large it’s being compared with the crown jewels of Russian empress Catherine the Great.
The nearly 65-carat emerald its finders are marketing by the name Carolina Emperor was pulled from a farm once so well known among treasure hunters that the owners charged $3 a day to shovel for small samples of the green stones. After the gem was cut and re-cut, the finished product was about one-fifth the weight of the original find, making it slightly larger than a U.S. quarter and about as heavy as a AA battery.
The emerald compares in size and quality to one surrounded by diamonds in a brooch once owned by Catherine the Great, who was empress in the 18th century, that Christie’s auction house in New York sold in April for $1.65 million, said C.R. “Cap” Beesley, a New York gemologist who examined the stone.
While big, uncut crystals and even notable gem-quality emeralds have come from the community 50 miles northwest of Charlotte called Hiddenite, there has never been one so big it’s worthy of an imperial treasury, Beesley said.
“It is the largest cut emerald ever to be found in North America,” Beesley said in a telephone interview from Myanmar, an Asian country rich in precious gems.
The discovery is a rarity for emeralds found not in the rich veins of South America and Asia but in North America, said Robert Simon, owner of Windsor Jewelers in Winston-Salem.
“Most of the stones that have come out have not been gem-quality that I would mount in jewelry,” said Simon, who was part owner of a 7.85-carat, dime-sized emerald found in the same community in 1998 that has since been set in jewelry and sold to a private owner.
Terry Ledford, 53, found the roughly 2-inch-square chunk rimmed with spots of iron a year ago on a 200-acre farm owned by business partner Renn Adams, 90, and his siblings. The rural community of Hiddenite is named for a paler stone that resembles emerald.
“It was so dark in color that holding it up to the sun you couldn’t even get the light to come through it,” a quality that ensured an intense green hue once the stone was cut with facets that allowed light into the gem’s core, Ledford said.
The North Carolina stone was cut to imitate the royal emerald, Ledford said. A museum and some private collectors interested in buying the emerald have been in contact, Ledford said.
Modeling an empress’s emerald is likely to have less influence on the North Carolina stone’s sale price than its clarity, color and cut, said Douglas Hucker, CEO of the American Gem Trade Association, a Dallas, Texas-based trade association for dealers in colored gems.
“A 65-carat cut emerald from North Carolina is a big, big stone,” he said. But “once an emerald is cut, it’s subject to the same type of market conditions that any emerald would be.”
Emeralds are part of North Carolina’s mineral claim to fame, though other places in the U.S. also are rich in gems. Maine mines have yielded aquamarine and amethyst, Montana bears sapphires, Idaho is known for star garnets, and Arkansas has diamonds.
It’s not fully known why small, subterranean cavities containing emeralds formed in central North Carolina, said geologist Michael Wise of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, who has studied the underground world around Hiddenite for years.
Emeralds are produced where a superheated fluid carrying the element beryllium migrated through rocks that contain chromium, Wise said.
“This doesn’t happen frequently,” Wise said. “The conditions have to be just right to make an emerald. … It happens to be the case at this particular place.”
Adams said decades ago when his parents owned the farm, they allowed anyone with a shovel to dig for emeralds on the property for $3 a day. Virtually all of it was too full of flaws to be cut into precious stones and was mostly sold to mineral collectors, Adams said.
Ledford said they don’t plan to quit after pocketing the profits from their big find, Ledford said.
“We’ll definitely keep on mining,” he said. “It would be good to know you don’t have to go and could do it for pleasure. You feel like you’ve got to find something to survive but since we found this emerald, once we get it sold, there will be less stress.”
MY TAKE: If I could quite my job as an answering phone service representative and head out to North Carolina I would. I love emeralds and I love the idea of mining for them. They go great with formal dresses and evening dresses of course. But I’d take the money and sell it and tell the owner of my If answering service company good bye! I would probably look for Blane homes for rent for a while before buying. They do have some nice homes for rent that I’d consider before moving out and setting up.
Behaving at the Dog Park
Many cities around the world have dog parks somewhere in town and it’s at this place where dog owners can take their dogs and puppies and run around and have a good time, but it’s important to consider as well that a dog owner might actually need to have his or her canine spend time with a New Jersey certified dog trainer prior to taking the dog out to the park because some socialization is necessary before the dog is put around stranger dogs. Such training should happen early so that the dog can get used to other animals soon.
Planning an Interfaith Wedding
With the amazing variety of cultures and religions that are present within the various societies in the United States, it is not uncommon at all to see that the religions of two people who have gotten engaged are different. There are many people who might think that New York City Jewish wedding planning would be impossible if one member of the future marriage wasn’t Jewish, but there are actually some couples who will celebrate a wedding with two officiates and not only have a rabbi present, but a representative of the other person’s faith as well.
Influences of Ground Water
One of the biggest issues that home owners face when they have a basement is the invasion of ground water into the basement space and if such issues are not taken care of in a timely manner, it’s possible that a NJ basement waterproofing company would have a rather extensive job ahead of them regarding ground water issues. The reason why ground water can be such a significant issue with basements is because of the dept to which a basement might be dug and the level of collected water that exists below the surface of the water.
Food Maker Gets in Trouble
There has apparently been a lawsuit filed against the parent company that makes “Hebrew National” hotdogs as a group is suggesting that the food sold under that brand is not actually kosher food but that buyers of the hotdogs are led to believe that the food is actually kosher. The group that is suing the food manufacturer contends that it’s not possible to sell the hot dogs with the marketing campaign that has suggested the hot dogs are kosher because no kosher authority has been invited to observe the manufacturing process for the meat as it is readied for sale.
Sizing a China Box
When a person is interested in utilizing a China box for their pig roasting needs, one question that will invariably come up if that person doesn’t already own a Caja China box is how large of a pig might be roasted inside of a particular box. For a pig that’s around seventy to eighty pounds, it’s usually best to consider a box that’s at least four inches long and at least two feet wide. The box would likely need to be almost two feet tall as well although the height could certainly be variable depending on the box.
Using a Condo for Travel
Hotels are certainly an option for true luxury for any type of family or traveler, but sometimes it can be preferable to consider a condo for a rental since such an option is going to likely offer special amenities such as a kitchen and perhaps even a dining room or separate rooms for the parents and the kids. For anyone seeking the best in Waikiki condo rentals, most reputable landlords will offer up-to-date and clear photographs of the residence that’s to be rented, which is important since it’s not often someone can travel to Hawaii to see their rental before they travel to Hawaii.
Data Offsite Management
Looking for a colocation quote that won’t cost you more than your bottom line has to offer? All good collocation facilities are relatively inexpensive and provide the best 24/7 offsite data management and site response security you can buy. Get quotes from at least three providers and references.
SOURCE: New York Times
Donna Ings, 47, finally landed a job in February as a home health aide, earning about $10 an hour, with a company in Lexington, Mass, after being out of work for more than a year.
Chelsea Nelson, 21, started two weeks ago as a waitress at a truck stop in Mountainburg, Ark., making around $7 or $8 an hour, depending on tips, ending a lengthy job search that took her young family to California and back.
Both are ostensibly economic success stories, people who were able to find work in a difficult labor market. Ms. Ing’s employer, Home Instead Senior Care, a company with franchises across the country, has been aggressively expanding. Ms. Nelson’s restaurant, Silver Bridge Truck Stop, recently reopened and hired about 20 people last month in an area thirsty for jobs.
Both women, however, took large pay cuts from their old jobs — Ms. Ing worked in the office of a wholesale tuxedo distributor; Ms. Nelson used to be a secretary. And both remain worried about how they will make ends meet in the long run.
With the country focused on job growth and unemployment continuing to hover above 9 percent, there has been comparatively little attention paid to the quality of the jobs being created in this still-struggling economy and what that might say about the opportunities that will be available to workers when the tumult of the Great Recession finally settles. There are reasons, however, for concern, even in the early stages of a tentative recovery that now appears to be barely wheezing along.
For years, long before the recession began, job growth had become increasingly polarized in this country, with high-paid occupations that demand significant amounts of education and training growing rapidly, alongside low-wage, entry-level, service-type jobs that do not require much schooling or special skills, according to David Autor, a labor economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The growth of these low-wage jobs began in the 1980s, accelerated in the 1990s and began to really take off in the 2000s. Losing out in the shuffle, according to Dr. Autor, are jobs that he describes as “middle-skill, middle-wage” — entry-level white-collar positions, like office and administrative support work, as well as certain blue-collar jobs, like assembly line workers and machine operators.
The recession appears to have magnified that trend, according to Dr. Autor in a recent paper, released jointly by the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning policy group, and the Hamilton Project, which has a more centrist reputation. From 2007 to 2009, the paper found, there was relatively little net change in total employment for both high-skill and low-skill occupations, while employment plummeted in so-called middle-skill occupations.
A new analysis by the National Employment Law Project, a liberal advocacy group, takes a different approach, identifying industries that have actually experienced job growth in 2010 and examining their median wages. It is a blunter measurement because it focuses on industries, within which there is often great diversity in income. Economists also cautioned that it was still too early to know exactly which sectors would eventually lead the way in a sustained recovery.
Nevertheless, the law project analysis offers a snapshot of where the employment growth has been so far. It found job expansion to this point has been skewed toward industries with median wages that are low to middling, with a disproportionate share of job growth happening in industries whose median wages fall below $15 an hour.
“There’s a striking contrast so far between which industries have lost jobs and which ones are growing,” said Annette Bernhardt, policy director for the law project. “If this kind of bottom-heavy job creation continues, it could pose a real challenge to restoring consumer demand and making sure working families have a way to support themselves.”
Both studies are disquieting because of the potential import for many who had once scratched out middle-class livings and are now looking for work. A unifying theme is the stubborn march of labor-intensive, low-paying service jobs, like the ones Ms. Ings and Ms. Nelson found.
Jobs dry up
There is typically a downward slide during recessions, said Till von Wachter, a Columbia University economist, in which higher-skilled and higher-educated workers are re-employed first, often landing jobs for which they are overqualified, squeezing out the lesser skilled and lesser educated. Indeed, in the current downturn, the unemployment rate has climbed the most for the least-educated workers, suggesting they have been hit the hardest.
However, while researching workers who lost their jobs in California in the 1990s, Dr. Wachter found that people who fall in the middle when it comes to their educational background — possessing high school degrees or some college — and the skills required for their occupation tended to experience larger and longer lasting income losses after job loss than people on both the lower and higher end of the scale.
Ms. Ings had worked in a variety of office and administrative roles in the wholesale tuxedo industry. Her wages of just over $16 an hour were enough to build a relatively comfortable life for her and her daughter, Jillian, now 21 and in college.
“During her whole growing up, I never got child support,” Ms. Ings said. “I always had to try to find a job that paid well to help support her. That’s my job, being a mother.”
When Ms. Ings was laid off in March 2009, she dove into finding another “corporate job.” But she found that nearly everyone seemed to be looking for people with at least a college degree, if not more. She had only a high school diploma.
As a teenager, she had worked in a nursing home and enjoyed it. So, after getting her certified nursing assistant license, she applied at the Home Instead office in Lexington, which has been steadily hiring this year, said Jack Cross, the franchise owner. Nationally, the company has created more than 2,400 jobs this year, and home health aides are one of the country’s fastest growing occupations.
Ms. Ings adores her job, but her finances remain taut, even though she is working 50 hours a week. She had been without health insurance for her first few months, but soon the company will begin deducting for it — a further pinch on her already meager paycheck.
“I’m going to be coming home with nothing,” she said.
In Arkansas, Ms. Nelson has been hampered by her decision to quit college after a semester several years ago. She has worked a variety of jobs, including a three year stint as a secretary, earning about $12 an hour.
Last year, she and her husband, Kenneth, and their son, Riley, now almost 2, moved to Colton, Calif., where they had relatives and believed the job market would be better. They moved back to Arkansas this year, however, after struggling to find steady work.
He quickly accepted a factory job at $8 an hour, but she got rejection after rejection trying to find office work.
She eventually gave up and took up waitressing. The couple is living with her mother, trying to save enough for their own place.
“I don’t know, with the jobs we have, if we’re ever going to be able to make it on our own,” Ms. Nelson said.
MY TAKE: If you think you’re going to go from unemployment to that $60K a year job load testing position, or step right into a top collocation company, forget it. The chances are that, unless you own and manage that collocation firm or some other company, you’ll find yourself like this woman: working for less alongside less skilled younger workers.
New Email Welcomes
There are a number of general protocols that should be followed after the average email marketing campaign has been sent out and one thing that most email marketing services are likely to provide is a welcome email designed in part to confirm that someone has actually signed up for an email list. By sending a confirmation email after an initial signup, the recipient is very likely to hold the company in higher esteem since a welcome and confirmation email is going to act like the company is asking permission to contact the recipient even if a prior signup was valid.
Analyzing Lighting Design
It is important for any store owner to consider that when they move into a new business space, there’s no reason that the existing lights in the structure need to be used as the frames display should definitely be placed in an area which is best for the display of the products themselves and not something that is simply placed in a particular area because of the fact that some lights were already locate in a specific spot. The thing about most business spaces is that they can be easily modified as far as lights are concerned.
Utilizing Used Equipment
One of the important elements of running a profitable business is maximizing profits through the smart use of equipment by ensuring that expensive items that are difficult to replace are well maintained so as to offer longevity in use. Another option for smart equipment purchases is obtaining used equipment and often items such as skid steer attachments and other support equipment can be obtained in a used version which is likely to represent a lower cost for investment and will probably last a long time provided the equipment has been maintained well by its prior owner.
Turning Calls into Sales
It is important for companies that handle sales over the telephone to realize that not all sales result from out bound calls and that it’s very common for companies to experience enhanced sales when they work with an inbound telemarketing company as their partner in sales. Selling products through inbound communications is a fairly standard approach to sales in the modern market and it’s important for companies that have customers that spend a lot of time on the phone investigates turning every potential call whether it is inbound or outbound into a sales and enhanced communication opportunity.
Enhancing Small Business Options
There are a lot of people who have found that one of the best ways to utilize today’s simple business options is to include the internet in various plans and one of the biggest time savers a company can utilize is the option for online scheduling as not only will online scheduling reduce the amount of time that is required of employees to complete various types of scheduling for appointments, events and meetings, but when clients can make their own appointments through such software, clients usually find this option very convenient because they can make appointments at any time.
Surfaces for Playgrounds
Many playgrounds over the years have had an asphalt or even cement surface on the ground and no matter how safe kids are told to behave, it’s never that good an idea to allow kids to play on playground equipment that’s stationed above a giant slab of cement. New playgrounds should always be constructed in such a way that if a child is unfortunate enough to fall that the surface onto which he lands isn’t going to add to his injuries. This safety measure should always be paired with work on making sure the height of the equipment is not too tall.
Love Your Smile
A good VA cosmetic dentist can help you get back your smile after an accident or just simply work to keep your smile in the best shape possible. For a list of excellent Virginia dentist referrals click here.
L.A. Law Update
Los Angeles injury attorneys are here to help you. If you need a Los Angeles criminal attorney and don’t know where to start, try legalzoom.com or 123 defender.com.
Some relief concerning the economic slowdown came this summer as U.S. consumer confidence edged up in August while prices for U.S. homes gained more than expected in June.
Another report on Tuesday, however, showed business activity in the U.S. Midwest registered a slowdown in August, and was just shy of the pace economists expected.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of U.S. consumer attitudes rose to 53.5 in August from an upwardly revised 51.0 in July.
The median of forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters was for a reading of 50.5. Forecasts ranged from 47.5 to 55.0.
The rise came as a relief to investors following a slew of weaker-than-expected economic reports in recent weeks. High unemployment and weak consumer spending are seen among the biggest hurdles for the recovery.
“This small improvement is encouraging. It suggests that even though consumers remain in a glass-half-empty mood, sentiment isn’t getting any worse,” said Zach Pandl, economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.
“We wonder if this level of confidence will sustain if the labor market deteriorates as we suspect,” he said.
U.S. stocks (.SPX) turned positive following the confidence data, while U.S. Treasury debt prices pared some gains and the U.S. dollar trimmed losses against the yen.
The government’s key monthly jobs report is expected on Friday, with a Reuters poll showing economists expect non-farm payrolls declined by 100,000 in August and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 9.6 percent.
HOME PRICE RECOVERY SLOWS
Also among the day’s more upbeat economic news, the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.3 percent in June from May on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The rise was better than the 0.2 percent increase expected by economists polled by Reuters, though slower than the 0.5 percent rise in May.
However, the gain reflected the lingering boost from homebuyer tax credits that ended in April, and economists agree the effects of buyer tax credits have largely filtered through. They say home prices will be hard-pressed to sustain these gains with unemployment still near 10 percent.
Tuesday’s data also showed the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer dropped to 56.7 in August. The reading was 62.3 in July, and economists had forecast an August reading of 57.
The employment component of the index fell to 55.5 from 56.6 in July. New orders fell to 55.0, from 64.6. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy.
MY TAKE: With housing prices slowly limping upward and consumer confidence on the rise, it’s possible more aging boomers will begin with their plans. Visit any baby boomer site and you’ll quickly learn that the again seniors in our country are busy working to set up their lives so that they can live comfortably. They are meeting senior financial planning companies to try and figure out how they’ll pay for an Ocean County doctor house call and of course whether or not their homes will be worth what they are now when they hit retirement.
Comfortable and Modern Homes
One of the misconceptions about a home that is decorated in a very modern style is that it’s not going to be something that is comfortable and that all of the furniture is going to be something that isn’t nice for visitors to sit in and wouldn’t otherwise be something that would be considered a fun place to hang out. But just because someone has an Eames lounge chair and a whole host of minimalistic styles in their home doesn’t mean that hanging out in the living room won’t otherwise be comfortable because modern furniture can also be very comfortable.
Deciding Upon Resolution and Mediation
With specific issues that seem like they would never be resolved without legal action, it’s important to consider that legal action is not always the only way to resolve disputes. A group of Metro Denver dispute resolution attorneys would likely be able to provide objective third party assistance which could likely reduce the potential for a particular dispute to end up in court. Individuals who already have a lawyer or counsel can still benefit from the assistance of a mediator and will likely be able to figure out a solution before the issue moves into the courts.
Differing in Grade of Property
One of the specific elements of a 1031 exchange of which some individuals involved in the transference of property aren’t aware is the idea that two different properties handled under NYS 1031 exchanges might be of a different value, but because they are the same type of item, they can represent a proper exchange. Certain items handled under like-kind exchanges must possess specific types of characteristics and if those characteristics differ, they cannot be exchanged. In the alternative, it’s important to make sure that when goods are being exchanged that they are properly certified as like-kind exchange eligible.
Getting Great Options for Condos
One of the misconceptions about staying in a condo for a vacation is the fact that people tend to think that staying in a condo doesn’t allow for neat perks such as early or late checkout when most places that offer Waikiki vacation rentals will use all of the same, fun perks that would be offered to people staying in hotels. Most of the time a person is going to be able to obtain many of the same advantages as staying in a luxury hotel would offer with the extra benefits available for staying in a condo.
Fixtures to Consider
There are a number of different fixtures within the bathroom that can be upgrade and it is often a good idea to consider replacing all of them during a refurbishment of the bathroom even if some of the bathroom fixtures are working just fine and aren’t that old. The style of bathroom fixtures does tend to change fairly often and this usually means that matching new fixtures with old fixtures is sometimes difficult because the styles tend to change rather often not only through different colors that become popular but also different materials such as bronze or steel.
Legal Help in Philly
Philadelphia criminal lawyers understand the nature of the laws better than anyone. If you’re looking for a Bucks County criminal lawyer to help represent you, click here for more information.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines says he’s vowed to shutter a San Fernando Valley charter school over the alleged theft or misuse of as much as $2.7 million by the school’s founding principal.
The problems at NEW Academy Canoga Park turned up in an audit released Monday by the inspector general’s office of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
More than “$2 million of misappropriated and unaccounted public funds is egregious,” Cortines wrote in a letter to the board of the school. “Students have been inexcusably deprived of funds that were designated solely to further their education.”
As a charter school, NEW Academy is governed by its own board of directors, independent of L.A. Unified, which authorized the school. Los Angeles has more charters, public schools that are independently run, than any school district in the nation.
Virtually no local charter schools have been forcibly shut down by the district, although several have closed after officials failed to renew an expiring charter agreement, which typically lasts three to five years.
It’s often not easy to track down some unaccounted funds, especially when they might be related to small-scale expenditures, such as for imprinted pens for teachers or staff, private security guards or fraternity clothing.
The elementary school of about 500 students faces a charter revocation hearing. The chairwoman of the school’s board contends that NEW Academy should survive because students are thriving.
Although the school’s scores are still in the lowest 30% of schools statewide, according to last year’s data, its students’ gains on standardized tests have been among the region’s strongest each of the last three years.
“It is clear that our school has been a victim of fraud,” board chair Maggie Cervantes said in a statement. “The school is taking aggressive and necessary steps to recover its assets and work to successfully resolve this issue. These steps have included terminating the employment of the former principal of the school.”
The former principal, Edward Fiszer, could not be reached for comment. Although not identified by name in the published audit, Fiszer was the target of the inquiry, officials confirmed.
NEW Academy Canoga Park opened in 2005 as an unusual example of public-private collaboration using school bonds and other funding sources to combine a new school with low-income housing.
The school’s visible face, Fiszer, the author of three education and motivational books, was once honored as a “Champion of Children” in a City Hall ceremony.
Among the auditors’ findings is that Fiszer allegedly withdrew cashier’s checks totaling nearly $1.1 million from school accounts between July 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2009.
“The former principal claimed that funds deposited into his personal Ameritrade account were not withdrawn, but were deposited and repeatedly lost,” the auditors wrote, apparently as a result of unsuccessful investments.
One cost questioned by auditors was $62,247 paid to a company called Burgundy Bunny for science enrichment for fourth- and fifth-graders over a six-week period. “We performed an Internet search to verify the validity of the vendor,” auditors wrote. “We noted that the address and phone number were invalid. The address shows as a vacant lot. In addition, the business entity name does not exist.”
Auditors also allege that the principal paid a former teacher — who at some point married the principal — $129,450 for services as a grant writer, although a company was already being paid for grant writing.
The audit included a harsh assessment of the oversight by the charter’s governing board and the outside company that provided accounting services.
Handling the audit became complicated because the school system’s interim inspector general is a member of the board of directors of the charter’s founding organization. Jess Womack is board secretary of New Economics for Women, whose acronym, NEW, is part of the school’s name. Womack, a retired L.A. Unified attorney, recently rejoined the school system as inspector general. Womack recused himself from dealing with this audit, district officials confirmed.
The charter has a board of directors separate from New Economics, but there’s overlap: Cervantes is executive director of New Economics and Loyola Marymount University Assistant Dean Marta Sanchez serves on both boards. A second NEW Academy operates near downtown.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said it hasn’t yet received the audit for review for potential prosecution.
The school becomes the second San Fernando Valley charter school facing allegations of impropriety. The founders of Ivy Academia face felony charges related to co-mingling private and public accounts. They have denied wrongdoing.
MY TAKE: I’m sure school principals all over the country are guilty of accepting promotional products, like golf shirts and pens, but not quite clear about possible expenses for private security or Greek apparel unless we’re talking about a very expensive and exclusive school. In this case, the schools are not any of the above.
Fees are Negotiable
Monmouth County DUI attorney fees are negotiable. If you are looking to hire a Monmouth County traffics tickets lawyer, divorce lawyer or an attorney to help you with debt issues, remember to discuss all fees in advance and that not all costs are set in stone. The same goes whether you’re hiring a Philadelphia civil litigation lawyer, Philadelphia PA family attorneys, or a Philadelphia PA criminal attorney.
Source: Los Angeles Times
School opening in Los Anglees sparks criticism: it’s like the Taj Mahal of education.
The opening of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools will be auspicious for a reason other than its both storied and infamous history as the former Ambassador Hotel, where the Democratic presidential contender was assassinated in 1968. With an eye-popping price tag of $578 million, it will mark the inauguration of the nation’s most expensive public school ever.
The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of “Taj Mahal” schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities.
“There’s no more of the old, windowless cinderblock schools of the ’70s where kids felt, ‘Oh, back to jail,’” said Joe Agron, editor-in-chief of American School & University, a school construction journal. “Districts want a showpiece for the community, a really impressive environment for learning.”
Not everyone is similarly enthusiastic.
“New buildings are nice, but when they’re run by the same people who’ve given us a 50 percent dropout rate, they’re a big waste of taxpayer money,” said Ben Austin, executive director of Parent Revolution who sits on the California Board of Education. “Parents aren’t fooled.”
At RFK, the features include fine art murals and a marble memorial depicting the complex’s namesake, a manicured public park, a state-of-the-art swimming pool and preservation of pieces of the original hotel.
Whiteboards Canada offers for classrooms and kids desks are also expensive, but not completely off the table for this project.
Partly by circumstance and partly by design, the Los Angeles Unified School District has emerged as the mogul of Taj Mahals.
The RFK complex follows on the heels of two other LA schools among the nation’s costliest — the $377 million Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, which opened in 2008, and the $232 million Visual and Performing Arts High School that debuted in 2009.
The pricey schools have come during a sensitive period for the nation’s second-largest school system: Nearly 3,000 teachers have been laid off over the past two years, the academic year and programs have been slashed. The district also faces a $640 million shortfall and some schools persistently rank among the nation’s lowest performing.
Los Angeles is not alone, however, in building big. Some of the most expensive schools are found in low-performing districts — New York City has a $235 million campus; New Brunswick, N.J., opened a $185 million high school in January.
Nationwide, dozens of schools have surpassed $100 million with amenities including atriums, orchestra-pit auditoriums, food courts, even bamboo nooks. The extravagance has led some to wonder where the line should be drawn and whether more money should be spent on teachers.
“Architects and builders love this stuff, but there’s a little bit of a lack of discipline here,” said Mary Filardo, executive director of 21st Century School Fund in Washington, D.C., which promotes urban school construction.
Some experts say it’s not all flourish and that children learn better in more pleasant surroundings.
Many schools incorporate large windows to let in natural light and install energy-saving equipment, spending more upfront for reduced bills later. Cafeterias are getting fancier, seeking to retain students who venture off campus. Wireless Internet and other high-tech installations have become standard.
Some pricey projects have had political fallout.
After a firestorm over the $197.5 million Newton North High School in Massachusetts, Mayor David Cohen chose not to seek re-election and state Treasurer Timothy Cahill reined in school construction spending.
Now to get state funds for a new school, districts must choose among three designs costing $49 million to $64 million. “We had to bring some sense to this process,” Cahill said.
My Take: In an age when everything from online defensive driving courses to Oaklahoma dog training certificates can be obtained via the internet, you have to wonder why so much money needs to poured into brick and mortar buildings for our kids’ education anymore. I’m not saying algebra and English comp. are on the same level as safety courses for driving or how to work with personal protection dogs, but when kids are using iPhones and min-laptops to communicate about 90% of the time, you have to question the need for more buildings, let alone expensive ones. What about cheaper schools with online access options for advanced and well-performing students as a way to eliminate overcrowding, save money, and embrace online educational technology?
Romantic Dresses Popular
The most popular styles of dresses these days are quite soft and romantic and many famous stars and designers who are looking into creating beautiful homecoming dresses have started to consider the romantic look as a beautiful option. One of the things to remember about romantic style dresses is that they can often look like lingerie so it’s important that the dress is floor length unless the girl wearing the dress wants to appear as though she’s wearing her night clothes. Many romantic style dresses will flatter just about any body shape or height as well.
Dress Styles for Day or Night Problems
There are a number of decisions any girl needs to make when her prom is close and the style of her dress is a very important decision. Sometimes a prom is held during the day and an afternoon styled dress would be best for the occasion while sometimes a prom held at night would warrant a more evening styled gown. One way to mix it up is to join up with friends and wear prom dresses that might make a unique statement. For example, it can be fun to wear an afternoon dress at night or a summery themed dress during the winter.
Religion versus Secular
One consideration for a family who is choosing to place their child in a private school is that they will probably need to consider whether they would be interested in a school with religious themes or whether they would prefer a Panama private school that wasn’t otherwise affiliated with a specific religious denomination. There are benefits for each type of school and it’s generally up to how the parents feel about a particular religion as to whether that school might be appropriate for a child and the particular religious beliefs of the family and their friends.
Long Island Law
Long Island harassment lawyers know a little bit about what it’s like to work for an employer who abuses his or her workers. If you need to contact good NYC discrimination lawyers be sure to do so prepared with a fully documented case describing your situation with dates and locations and a synopsis of each event. The more detail you offer the lawyer the better your chances of winning your harassment case in court.
Denver Divorce Options
Divorce lawyers Denver CO are a different animal from other lawyers. If you’ve worked with personal injury attorneys Denver CO, you have had the experience of one side of the states laws and regulations. Denver divorce is a whole other legal animal. For a little background on Colorado’s divorce laws, click here.
SOURCE: Associated Press
Unemployment insurance applications for first-timers reached the half-million mark recently, the first time since November, a sign that employers are slashing jobs once more as the economy limps.
The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 last week to 500,000, the fourth increase in the past five weeks. Wall Street economists forecast that claims would drop.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose by 8,000 to 482,500, the highest since December. There were no special factors that distorted the numbers, a Labor Department analyst said.
The increase suggests the economy is creating even fewer jobs than in the first half of this year, when private employers added an average of about 100,000 jobs per month. That’s barely enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising. The jobless rate has been stuck at 9.5 percent for two months.
Stock futures fell on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average futures had risen more than 50 points before the report was released. They dropped quickly and were down as much as 20 points afterward.
Jobless claims declined steadily last year from a peak of 651,000 in March 2009 as the economy recovered from the worst downturn since the 1930s. After flattening out earlier this year claims have begun to grow again.
The number of people continuing to receive benefits fell by 13,000 to 4.5 million, the department said. The continuing claims data lags initial claims by one week.
MY TAKE: I’m not surprised to hear the numbers of jobless claims is rising. I’ve been on unemployment since 2008 and the prospects for work are grim. Employers ranging from manufacturers of infant hair bows and wall padding, to the highest priced Dallas TX criminal defense attorney are all freezing hiring plans in an effort to ride out the double dipper.
The wholesale baby headbands company, the Dallas TX DWI attorney, and even the guys who make those signs you see on stadium poll pads are all cutting jobs to save their bottom lines, and who can blame them? If they go out of business they, too, would wind up in the back of the jobless claims application line.
Using Soy Candles
For many centuries candles have been made of something called paraffin wax and this type of material has served everything from candle sticks to jar candles very well for a very long time. But these days soy candles are starting to become popular because they are considerably longer lasting which means if a person likes to burn candles on a regular basis, using soy candles is going to be the most cost effective option. Many people end up only being able to burn a candle for a short amount of time because they don’t want to run out of candles too early.
Replacing Components Regularly
One of the reasons why backup systems are so important in digital situations is because without that safety net, it’s likely that at the worse moment possible a person would end up having to deal with a total loss of data. Most hard drive recovery Dallas companies will suggest that general components should be updated on a regular basis because relying completely on a type of component that is older and failing to update it is generally considered to be just as bad as if someone was to not have a backup system at all.
Easy Setup Options
There are a number of individuals who tend to feel that they don’t have the right sort of expertise to properly craft and market their website online, but the truth is most people can probably navigate those waters just fine as most hosting companies will provide specific software that the business owner can utilize and then figure out to buy visitors and get some traffic going at the site. For the most part anyone who is interested in building a website and getting visitors will find that all the tools are out there and are almost all fully automated.
Verifying a Candidate
When a company is looking to hire a temporary employee, it can be difficult to figure out just how much experience a person has or what their background in a particular profession might be and for this reason, many people will utilize a California temp services outfit instead of searching on their own for a temporary employee as setting up such employment often requires some extra work from the company that is more easily accomplished through the assistance of a professional firm that specializes in offering temporary workers to a company who might only work at that site for a few weeks or months.
Getting Married on the Water
There are people who are definitely interested in finding the most amazing location for their wedding and for the most part if a person is going to be getting married anywhere in the New England area, coming to New York City and going on Manhattan cruises for the ceremony is going to be an absolutely unforgettable experience. There are probably very few experiences out there which can compare to how someone might feel if they were able to get married while standing under the amazing New York skyline which is one of the most well known skylines anywhere.
Choosing Long Lasting Makeup
One of the defining elements of makeup in the past that has been designed to look beautiful for a long time without requiring replacement of colors over and over has long been heavy and prone to clumping and when trying to get a complex look for the eyes such as the smokey eyes design, using such makeup has often led to heavier than usual makeup looks. For anyone who hasn’t bought makeup for a while, it’s worth noting that today’s long use makeup is much less heavy and the lighter options for long lasting makeup can make any look appear more natural.
Booking in Advance
The art of finding the perfect place to stay while on vacation is something that often takes a few ventures into the accommodations world as far as hospitality and vacations are concerned and for anyone seeking the perfect vacation home rentals for their trip, the number one way to ensure that the best residence is going to be found is to start early on the search because particularly busy areas are probably going to have a lot of people looking through listings to find the perfect place to stay. Some places sell out an entire year in advance.
SOURCE: Associated Press
JetBlue’s All-You-Can-Jet pass is back, making it possible again to travel to an unlimited number of cities over a one-month period.
The pass is valid for flights between Sept. 7 and Oct. 6, the company said Tuesday. There are two price tiers: an unlimited pass for $699 or a $499 pass that excludes travel on Fridays and Sundays.
Last year, the first time the passes were offered, they cost $599 and sold out quickly.
The promotion also brought the 10-year-old airline a lot of publicity, as customers documented their travels on Facebook and Twitter. People used the pass for tours of everything from the nation’s sports stadiums and music meccas to 30-day job searches.
The wildly popular promotion is rolling out a week later than last year. Last week, JetBlue Airways was wrestling with the national attention focused on Steven Slater, the now-infamous JetBlue flight attendant, who cursed out a passenger over a plane’s intercom and made a quick exit down the emergency slide with beer in hand.
The passes are being issued during a traditionally sluggish travel period wedged between the summer vacation and winter holiday seasons, when airlines are keen on filling seats that would otherwise be empty.
The limited number of tickets, which can be booked online through Friday, sold out much faster than expected last year.
All travel must be booked between Monday and Oct. 3. Passengers must book flights within three days of departure, or pay a $50 booking fee. There’s also a $50 fee for changes or cancellations within three days of travel.
Despite fees and a higher price, this year’s pass is a better deal than the first time around, said George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog.com.
Because fares are much higher this year, a single flight across the country is $100 more in some cases, he said. Hobica thinks JetBlue will draw even more crowds this year because of the $499 option.
Of course, this doesn’t mean an end to airport cargo rules. And, you’ll still find yourself subjected to all of the post-911 airport security rules that make for long lines and anxious customers at virtually every airline terminal in the world. But, the perk may just make moving around the country interviewing for those vp jobs a little less expensive.
Travelers must join JetBlue’s frequent flier program, TrueBlue, to participate. All participants earn a standard amount of frequent flier miles for buying the passes — 4,200 points for the purchase of the unlimited pass, or 3,000 points for the pass that’s valid five days a week. One-way flight awards start at 5,000 points.
The airline serves 61 cities with 650 daily flights.
MY TAKE: I don’t know of anyone, save the guys out there on that executive search for new employment who could travel enough places, let alone afford the costs of the flights, to make this perk a worthy venture. With online casino gambling and everything else being handled via the Internet, is it really a realistic thing to believe people still need to hop on planes so often? I think this may be just a JetBlue PR trick to get us to take our eye off the ball that is/was the angry flight attendant who quit his job in an angry huff a while back before exiting the plane via the emergency shoot.
Safety in Performing Piercings
Decorating one’s body with jewelry has been a popular thing to do not just for centuries but for millennia and regarding the safety concerns for anyone purchasing a load of wholesale body jewelry, it’s always best to make sure that such pieces of jewelry are worn in piercings that have been done by someone who has been properly trained in administering piercings. Some states require that a person performing piercing needs to be certified by a state board and if this is the case it’s important to make sure that the piercer has been thusly approved.
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Source: Associated Press
2010 college freshman say in four years e-mail and the wrist watch, among other things, will have gone the way of the horse and buggy.
The Class of 2014 thinks of Clint Eastwood more as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry urging punks to “go ahead, make my day.” Few incoming freshmen know how to write in cursive or have ever worn a wristwatch.
These are among the 75 items on this year’s Beloit College Mindset List. The compilation, released Tuesday, is assembled each year by two officials at this private school of about 1,400 students in Beloit, Wis.
The list is meant to remind teachers that cultural references familiar to them might draw blank stares from college freshmen born mostly in 1992.
Of course, it can also have the unintended consequence of making people feel old.
Remember when Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Dan Quayle or Rodney King were in the news? These kids don’t.
Ever worry about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.? During these students’ lives, Russians and Americans have always been living together in outer space.
Being aware of the generation gap helps professors craft lesson plans that are more meaningful, said Ron Nief, a former public affairs director at Beloit College and one of the list’s creators.
Nief and English professor Tom McBride have assembled the Mindset List for 13 years. They say it’s given them an unusual perspective on cultural shifts.
For example, as item No. 13 on the list says, “Parents and teachers feared that Beavis and Butt-head might be the voice of a lost generation.”
With far edgier content available today, such as “South Park” or online videos that push the envelope, there’s something quaint about recalling the hand-wringing that the MTV cartoon prompted, Nief said.
“I think we do that with every generation — we look back and say, what were we getting so upset about?” he said. “A, kids outgrow it and B, in retrospect we realize it really wasn’t that bad.”
Everything from the way kids make purchase for theater tickets to the popularity of techno music can be filtered through the concept of generational change. But the graduates of 2014 also will be entering a workplace where they may work alongside 50-year-old workers and the commonality between the two may be nothing more than their community coffee alley or break room.
Another Mindset List item reflects a possible shift in Hollywood attitudes. Item No. 12 notes: “Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.”
A number of incoming freshmen said they partially agreed with the item, noting they were familiar with Eastwood’s work as an actor even if they hadn’t seen his films.
“I know he directed movies but I also know he’s supposed to be sort of bad-ass,” said Aaron Ziontz, 18, from Seattle.
Jessica Peck, a 17-year-old from Portland, Ore., disagreed with two items on the list — one that says few students know how to write in cursive, and another that suggests this generation seldom if ever uses snail mail.
“Snail mail’s kind of fun. When I have time I like writing letters to friends and family,” she said. “It’s just a bit more personal. And yes, I write in cursive.”
Peck did agree with the item pointing out that most teens have never used telephones with cords.
“Yes, I’ve used them but only at my grandparents’ house,” she said.
That’s the sort of comment that can make a person feel old. McBride jokes that he’s not immune from feeling ancient just because he compiles the items. But the 65-year-old said the lists can also reveal a larger truth about tolerance.
The NJ IT management guy in his 50s now was also considered an at-risk youth at one time or another, likely due to the influx of violence on TV, that ominous box that used to sit in the corner plugged in to a wall socket.
The “Beavis and Butt-head” item suggests that maybe parents shouldn’t overreact every time a controversy arises, he noted. For example, maybe it’s no big deal if college freshmen misspell words when they text, and maybe their attention spans will be just fine even though they grew up in the Internet age, he said.
“There’s something about the resilience of human nature that renders these gloom-and-doom prophesies moot after a while,” he said. “I can’t say for sure, but it looks like the track record of these very anxious prophets has not been impressive over the years.”
My Take: I love the reference above to the NJ IT consulting guy and the TV. It’s true, the TV is one thing that has definitely changed radically since the kids of 2014 were born. I predict that, even though they say we’ll soon be watching TV, surfing the net, chatting and e-mail and video conferencing all on one large screen in our living rooms, that nothing we do as consumers will ever be the same, whether that’s concert tickets, downloading house music, booking a cruise or even ordering a pizza.
Items that can be Inspected
When designing a machine vision or inspection system, there are a number of different types of defects which can be considered and detected by the average automated inspection system. By scanning the surface of an item the system can detect whether there are items such as chips or bubbles within the surface or whether any scratches or dents have impacted the integrity of the surface. Assuring that all products are going to conform to specific standards regarding imperfections and other accepted surface defect issues is best handled by an automated system that can measure current characteristics.
Playing Volleyball Well
When learning to play volleyball there are a lot of things that a person must remember if they are to learn to be a player to be reckoned with and for anyone who is lucky to have a volleyball set at home on which to practice, there are some good things to start with that will get someone on the way to playing some great volleyball. First of all, it’s important to keep one’s eyes on the situation at all times. Looking off into the distance or off to the side just won’t do when there’s a volleyball bring thrown around the area.
Ensuring Mold is Gone
One of the issues that some home owners face regarding their ability to keep the mold in their home from growing back is an improper ventilation setup inside an area that has been treated by a New Jersey mold clean up crew. Mold can be a pesky thing to remove and ensure it remains gone and this is why it’s best to consult with a mold removal agency to ensure that after a cleanup has occurred that there won’t be a return of the mold due to a humid environment persisting that can make it rather difficult to keep mold away.
Home or Professional Whitening
One of the most significant aspects of being confident in one’s looks is having a beautiful smile and even if someone maintains their teeth well throughout their life they might end up having to deal with a gradual yellowing of the teeth which can be rather difficult to deal with without the assistance of a Springfield VA dentist. There are some store-bought options for whitening one’s teeth, but they aren’t always something that works as well as what a dentist can do and sometimes they’re rather expensive anyway. To avoid the hassle of repeated whitening at home, a dentist visit is advisable.
Printing is More Advanced
With the plethora of digital options regarding graphics and other promotional items, some individuals might believe that the art of printing and offering graphics on paper or in books is an art that has been lost, but the interesting thing about a modern Long Island printing service is that the options for printing within such a facility have actually gotten more advanced over the past few years. While it’s not rocket science to create a beautiful printout, doing such is still something that tends to require some additionally advanced machinery and techniques than it did in the past.
Getting Rid of Pet Fur
There are a ton of different things that a pet owner has to be aware of such as cleaning the litter box for a cat or taking a dog out for a walk each morning, but there are some neat as seen on TV products that can help with the pet fur that seems to always cover all of the surfaces inside a pet owner’s house. The Shed Pal is a terrific hand held vacuum that helps to groom a pet safely while also removing all of that pesky loose fur that would otherwise end up on the couches and invariably on a person’s black or dark clothing.
Online Betting Options
There are many different types of betting options out there and for anyone who is looking for a great way to bet on sports without taking a huge hit financially, one of the best ways to do so is to utilize sports betting that’s actually based on a system and not just on a shot in the dark or a guess. Betting these days can be a rather complex operation and due to how much time is spent researching various types of betting there is a lot of work that can be done to make the process a little more scientific.
Video Game Music
Many people consider modern classical music to be something that is wholly in control of the movies these days and an interesting amount of discourse has cropped up in recent years regarding video games and the music on such games. Many people will tend to trade in games after they’ve played them, but they will actually go out and buy the soundtracks to those games and keep them to listen to then later. It would appear that listening to music that was composed for a video game has become very popular for many people in recent years.
Educating One’s Self on Radiation
There are a lot of dangers out there today that some people suggest are just a simple part of life, but there are indeed some dangers that can be reduced or alleviated either through specific behavior or changes in the machinery that people use. One item of concern is the increase in the radiation coming from today’s cell phones and in the last few years cell phone radiation protection technology has gotten fairly advanced and simple to use so that anyone seeking such protections would be able to engage such a device without a lot of hassle.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Herbal weight-loss claims, like other things, moves in cycles.
Less than a decade ago, the stimulant herb ephedra was one of the stars of the scene. It sped up metabolism and weight loss, but it also raised the heart rate and, in some cases, caused strokes and heart attacks.
The Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra supplements in 2004, setting off an industrywide scramble to find another herb that could take its place. For now, the winner seems to be green tea. Its reputation as a healthful, revitalizing beverage goes back thousands of years, and it has recently started showing up in a wide range of weight-loss supplements.
Green tea naturally contains caffeine, a common ingredient in all sorts of weight-loss products. It also contains EGCG, a strong antioxidant that seems to encourage cells throughout the body to burn extra calories. In other words, it seems to be “thermogenic,” a term that tends to get people in the weight-loss business very excited.
Unlike tangible transformations that your body or physical appearance can go through if you get lash extensions or start taking sports supplements or steroids for example, the effects of green tea diet products are not instantaneous, which fuels skepticism.
The Mega-T Green Tea Dietary Supplement from CCA Industries is sold at drugstores everywhere. Each caplet contains enough green tea extract to provide 90 milligrams of EGCG and 50 mg. of caffeine. The caplets also contain chromium, calcium, Hoodia gordonii cactus and (in one version) acai fruit, among other things. Users are instructed to take one caplet twice a day with a meal and a glass of water. A package of 90 caplets costs about $16.
Metabolife — a former leader in the ephedra market that filed for bankruptcy in 2005 amid a series of legal problems — is back in the weight-loss game with Metabolife Green Tea. According to its label, the supplement contains a “proprietary blend” that includes green tea, garcinia (a source of hydroxycitric acid) and guarana (a source of extra caffeine). The label doesn’t specify how much green tea, caffeine or EGCG is in each tablet. Users are told to take two or three capsules a day about an hour before meals. A bottle of 90 capsules costs about $25.
Each tablet of Green Tea Slim from Mason Vitamins contains 60 mg. of EGCG along with chromium and apple cider vinegar, among other ingredients. Users are instructed to take one tablet two or three times a day with meals. A bottle of 60 tablets costs about $6.
CCA Industries, MetaboLife and Mason Vitamins all declined the chance to comment on their products.
The label for Mega-T Green Tea Dietary Supplement says that users can “lose up to 20 pounds.” The package clarifies with an asterisked note that such results would occur “over a period of time with diet and exercise plan.” According to the site, the supplement is “formulated to help you achieve your weight loss goals.”
The Metabolife website says that the supplement “helps boost the body’s metabolism, making it easier to burn unwanted calories.”
The label for Green Tea Slim says the supplement “fights cravings and enhances metabolism” while promoting “thermogenic action.”
The bottom line
Green tea really does seem to speed up metabolism, but recent studies show that the resulting weight loss is modest, bordering on trivial, says Craig Coleman, associate professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. “It sounds like it should work, but when the rubber hits the road in clinical trials, it doesn’t really pan out.”
Coleman co-authored a 2009 review of 15 studies on green tea and weight loss. On average, subjects who consumed green tea products lost an extra 1 to 3 pounds compared with those who took a placebo. Study participants generally consumed 300 mg. or more of EGCG every day, and the length of the studies ranged from three to 24 weeks. Because of such meager results, Coleman says, he “would not recommend patients take green tea extract in any form for weight loss.”
But even modest weight loss can be a positive step, says Arpita Basu, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Basu was the lead author of a 2010 study of 35 obese people who consumed either 4 cups of strong green tea, two capsules of green tea extract (totaling 460 mg. of EGCG) or two placebo pills every day for eight weeks.
Subjects drinking green tea or taking green tea supplements lost an extra 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms) and 4.9 pounds (1.9 kg.), respectively, compared with the subjects who didn’t consume any green tea. Reporting in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the researchers speculated that the weight-reducing power of green tea might be especially strong in people who are already obese.
Nobody should count on green tea alone to help them reach a healthy weight, but it could be a helpful part of a more comprehensive weight-loss program that includes diet and exercise, Basu says. Even if it didn’t help shed a single pound, the antioxidants in green tea might help lower the risk of heart disease, she adds.
Basu is leery of products that pack all sorts of other active ingredients along with green tea, though. Instead, she suggests that people just brew a cup of fresh tea at home. “It’s cheaper and safer,” she says.
My Take: I wouldn’t expect my eyelash extension products to do much for my dieting habits, any more than I would hope the E-cig could cure lung cancer, if I had it. In fact, I’m amazed at how many people I know think there are no risks involved with “smoking” the electronic cigarette, but that’s another story.
As far as the Green Tea Diet is concerned, I’m sure there are benefits because the agents in the tea leaves themselves have been studied and proven to have certain effects on the body’s ability to metabolize calories. Unlike the situation with organic multivitamins or body building enhancers, the transformation you can undergo with Green Tea diets tends to take place more slowly, which may be why so many are reluctant to accept the possibilities.
You need a New York city car accidents lawyer if you’ve hit someone and you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or broke the law in the process. Your NYC accidents lawyer can help you navigate the twists and turns of the court system and help you get your life back on track after your accident.
Real Estate New York
Looking for a Palisades real estate agent to help you sell your home in today’s market? Be sure to ask for your potential agents for copies of their last five to 10 sales transactions including pricing and home size so that you can be sure your agent has experience selling a home similar to yours.