Browse Category: In The News

The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge and its Crushing Impact on California Ski Resorts

 

Who is Andy?

Andrew “Andy” Wirth is the current CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, which is the parent company of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts in Olympic Valley, California. Utilizing over 25 years of mountain resort and hotel industrial work, he renovated the infrastructure and base area facilities and signed off on 70 million dollars in company upgrades. According to Wirth, “Squaw Valley moved from the bottom 20 percent of ski resorts into the top 20 percent over the year” due to customer satisfaction rates increasing under his management. In addition to tremendous business success, he was awarded the Chairman’s Outstanding Service Award from the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees in 2012. Recently, he was recognized as Citizen of the Year by Disabled Sports USA in 2014, reinforcing his positive reputation.

The Big Question

The distressing topic, How will The Drought Affect California Ski Resorts? was addressed by the California radio station KCRW in the program entitled “Press Play with Madeleine Brand.” From the title, it is difficult to understand the impact a drought would have on a California ski resort if you are not in California or do not visit ski resorts in California; however, after listening to the audio program, Madeleine allows a multitude of listeners to be a part of the conversation and not only allows you to understand the significance the drought has had on Californian citizens, but also the impact it has had on ski resorts in the regions it effected.

Madeleine begins the program by mentioning the fact that Californians are forced to cut down their water usage by 27%, which is considerably lower than the recorded water usage two years prior to the drought. She states that the drought that has occurred is not only a large issue to Californian citizens, but the drought can affect large businesses such as ski resorts. In fact, she mentions that ski resorts in California have suffered greatly from the drought, stating that ski resorts are in their “driest winter in recorded history”—which forced many resorts to end their season early. Madeleine poses the question that perhaps many ski resort owners and businessmen alike want to know: What can Californian ski resorts do when faced with complications amplified by a drought?

The Drought and Winter

Brand turns to Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, for answers. She begins by asking a simple, yet relevant question: “How was your winter?” To this, Wirth answers with confidence, “it was tough.” He even chimes in by using the drought’s nickname, stating that meteorologists are calling the drought a “ridiculously resilient ridge.” He states the complications that arose due to the drought did have an impact on his business, mentioning the fact that ski visits were only 20% lower than last year; however, indicates that the drought did not halt his overall success.

When asked, “How many winters could his ski resort survive?” He replies, “An infinite number of them.” Wirth believes that his capital structure is solid enough to withstand any number of winters. Although, he wishes that conditions were as favorable as it would have been on an average year, but says that his ski business will remain profitable due to alternate opportunities that the business can explore.

Opportunistic Approach to Business is Key

To Wirth, taking advantage of opportunities is key to the success of his ski resort, especially when facing adverse weather conditions. He states that with a total of 6,000 acres, only 4,000 acres were utilized during the drought; but assured madeleine and listeners that the 4,000 acres can still provide more than enough skiing to be enjoyed by visitors. In addition, during the months of December and January, drought conditions were favorable enough to utilize artificially made snow.

The Future of Ski Resorts

When prompted with the idea of ski resorts potentially becoming extinct within the next 20 years, Wirth believes that he and many ski resort owners try to enhance their businesses by building their business models around summer visitations, summer activities, and events. As a businessman, he feels that it is of great importance for him to understand the relevance of meteorology and how his prior work as a resource manager can ultimately leave a positive legacy.

Impact of Technology in Business

Technology brings many benefits, both tangible and intangible, to the company regardless of the size of the business. The benefits that technology brings to the enterprise will help it become efficient in meeting the growing needs and demands of the customers. Technological innovations have those effects as employee-employee relationships, business culture, and corporate efficiency. The security of confidential business information greatly depends on the quality and type of technology applied. The birth of online social networking sites and the Internet have significantly reduced the cost of business operations. Besides, companies find it easier to use the Six Sigma management methodologies in their business processes. Due to its low cost, most firms had to shift from hiring their personnel to outsourcing.

There is a variety of high-technology equipment commonly used in the business including computers, photocopiers, and telephone and computer printer. Besides, a paper shredder, touchscreen monitors and laptop computers are also used. Technology comes with it several advantages to the business. Firstly, technology affects communication within and without the business and goes a long way in changing the relations with customers. With the help of technology, commercial enterprises effectively communicate with their branch officers thus allowing for delivery of quality financial reports. Technology helps in the conduction of studies on various companies. The research goes a long way to informing them on the current market trends and how to avoid possible bottlenecks. With technology, employees can interact with each other thus preventing the potential rise of social tensions. In matters business and technology, Shaygan Kheradpir has it all.

Shaygan Kheradpir is a technological business executive holding a Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctorate degrees from Cornell University in electrical engineering focusing on control systems. Shaygan Kheradpir has built mission-driven teams aimed at driving change that matters to employees, customers, and investors. Shaygan Kheradpir has done this throughout his career. Shaygan has amalgamated the traditional disciplines across multiple industry segments internationally. Juniper Networks is a leading network industry in Silicon Valley. The company announced Shaygan Kheradpir as their Chief Executive Officer. Prior to being the appointment as Juniper Networks CEO between January and November 2014, Shaygan Kheradpir worked as a Barclay’s COO between the years 2011 and 2013. On his appointment, Shaygan Kheradpir shared the excitation withy ARN as he thought of being back home. He put his stamp on the company making all the partners excited. Shaygan Kheradpir compares his partners to crossing a river, insisting their importance. Shaygan Kheradpir started off his career with GTE Corporation, which would later merge with the Bell Atlantic forming Verizon 2000, where Shaygan Kheradpir served as the CIO for seven years. As the company’s CIO, Shaygan Kheradpir reduced the technology spending of the company by about 30% by negotiating with vendors. He achieved this by outsourcing to India and improving the utilization of the Information Technology assets. While leading a team of 7,000, he developed new products such as Verizon One. Having accepted the appointment by Juniper Networks, the company anticipated success with Shaygan Kheradpir. The company now looks on to building success in the route market now that they have the right man at stake.

Christian Broda: An Economists and Fund Manager Based in NY

Economists are experts who study several economic factors such as taxation, workers’ wages and salaries as well as market demand and supply. They apply analytical thinking and complex mathematical formulas to study and understand issues affecting the economy, predict trends and give their reports to policy makers and business entities. An economist has different responsibilities depending on his employer and area of specialty. An economist will start his research by gathering information and conducting a survey on certain economic issues. In other cases, they use historical information in their work.

After researching, economists are supposed to give their reports to relevant authorities and policymakers who will then implement their findings. Many countries rely on the work of economists to predict past, present and future economic state. Economists play crucial role in predicting prices of commodities at the market based on demand and supply.

Economists are normally hired by financial institutions, corporate, not-for-profit organization, global organizations as well as research institutions. In a business perspective, an economist will help an entity increase its profit. He will analyze market trends based on demand and supply, sales and supply. Economists will help financial institutions to analyze the effects of interest rates on their target markets. Non-profit organizations will rely on the work of economists in researching specific issues related to their programs.

Economists play critical role of advising investor on the state of economy in a country. Current and future investors will rely on research conducted by economists to learn how the economy is performing. As a results, the investors are able understand future expectation of their investments. Investors will be educated by economists on demand and supply of the commodities in a given area, effects of taxation rates on their businesses and employees’ turnover rate. This information will enable investors to implement important policies to ensure their investments have succeeded.

Christian Broda is New York based economist, fund manager, a professor and MD at Duquesne Capital Management. A few years ago, together with another economist speculated that inflation will remain low for a long time due to market forces and trends. This prediction has been witnessed since inflation has remained below 5% for the last four or so years. Mr. Broda has also worked with other countries like Japan and offered a hopeful analysis of its future performance.

Indeed, economists are important experts in modern world. They will work with government and other private institutions to help them understand the market trends as well as demand and supply. They will analyze a wide range of economic factors that play crucial role in any given economy. Government agencies, financial institutions and non-profit organizations should work closely with economists to ensure success is achieved in their operations.

Ex-Employee Claims Organic Chicken Labels were Falsified

It’s the story of little David against the Big Corporate Giant. Vashti Dalipsingh liked her job as manager at Cericola Farms Inc. in Ontario, Canada, but she knew something was not right. After reviewing some of the company’s records, Dalipsingh discovered that documents had been falsified and chicken that was labeled as being organic really wasn’t. When she told her findings to a senior supervisor she was warned that if she said anything more about the issue she would be the one implicated as the wrong doer.
Dalipsingh didn’t heed the warning of her senior supervisor as was stated on gazetadopovo.com. She felt that if she spoke up and made the company owners aware of what was going on things would change. The only thing that changed was her employment status. She was fired from her management position at Cericola Farms and has now filed a lawsuit against the company in Supreme Court. Dalipsingh has filed a claim that alleges wrongful dismissal and is suing for damages, both punitive and aggravated.
Dalipsingh alleges that poultry arriving at the processing plant had code numbers changed to read that they were organic when if fact they were not. The high demand for organic chicken made the product in short supply, so documents were falsified to help meet the demand. The company records of the falsification practices Dalipsingh allegedly discovered dated back 8 months.

Long Work Hours and Demands Affect Gender Equality in Workplace

Current challenges with the 24/7 demands of the workplace can take a toll of women who want to move forward in ranking. While companies have embraced the idea of flexibility in the workplace, such as allowing work from home or flexible schedules, the trade off has been the demand of employees in what would normally be considered off time. The higher level skilled workers such as those in careers of law, finance, accounting, and consulting have the greatest demand on personal time. The New York Times, reported that researchers are more inclined to argue the point the it is a matter of expecting too many hours to be worked across all gender lines.

Robin Ely, Harvard professor, co-authored a study that indicated that rather than giving benefits to women, that would actually derail their careers. She stated that, “The culture of overwork affects everybody.” A global consulting firm was the group studied. Men made up 90 percent of the partners, according to Stephen Murray CCMP Capital. The firm wanted to know how to decrease the numbers of females who quit and improve the numbers of women who are promoted using Bloomberg. The average work week for the employees was about 60 to 65 hours.

Florida State University researcher Irene Padavis and Boston University’s Erin Reid, conducted the research. They concluded that two matters were unchallenged, one being the necessity of working long hours and the other being the impossible chances for women to advance.

Sandra Lee Diagnosed With Cancer

Sandra Lee is a renowned chef, and she has been on American television for the last decade. Aside from being a chef, Sandra Lee is known for her beautiful face and shapely figure. People magazine recently included her on their list of the most beautiful television stars in the world today. Sandra was extremely thankful for her position on the list, but there appears to be some startled news surrounding the celebrities.

Fans like Christian Broda (Linkedin.com) have learned that, while recording a documentary for People magazine, Sandra Lee revealed that she has breast cancer. Sandra also said that it is still early, and her doctors believe that the cancer will be removed safely in the near future. However, Sandra Lee was expected to have surgery this summer, but her doctors have decided to postpone the procedure. Sandra Lee appears very nervous and distraught over the subject, and its normal for someone that has just been diagnosed with a deadly disease.

Sandra Lee is a brave woman, and we are all hoping that her doctors can remove all of the cancer cells from her body. Cancer is one of the hardest diseases to cure, but modern medicine has shown to do incredible things. For more information on this story, visit People.

Woman with no Family Turns 100, Gifts Pour in from Strangers

Sheffield resident Winnie Blagden will be celebrating her 100th birthday this coming May 31. Winnie, who lives in a nursing home, is excited for her birthday however she has has no family members or surviving friends. She is close with the staff, but has no one in the outside world to celebrate her huge milestone birthday with. That is, until BBC Radio Sheffield stepped in.

According to the story on BuzzFeed.com, the woman who runs the home where Winnie lives, Sue Pinder, contacted BBC Radio Sheffield to ask if the birthday girl could have a tour of the studios. Instead of coming to the studio however, the studio came to Winnie. They spoke with her and asked what her big plans were for turning 100. She revealed that she had no big plans, just to celebrate with staff since she has no family or friends.

BBC Radio Sheffield stepped in to help make Winnie’s birthday something a little more special. They posted a request on their Facebook page for people to send their wishes to the woman. Adam Sender thought that was a great idea. Now, offers, gifts, and cards are finding their way to Winnie. She has been offered to have a limo for the day, have a cabaret troupe come perform for her, as well as offers of pizza and cake to celebrate with.

I can’t wait to see the follow up story for Winnie’s big day!

Judge Throws Out Abstinence-Only Sex Education in Part of California

Sex education is one of those serious points of political contention between liberals and conservatives. For conservatives, it’s their way or the highway, and their way is abstinence. Never mind that no scientific research has shown that abstinence-only sex education is effective at causing students to delay sex and does not provide them with needed information about birth control and condoms when they do. That’s science after all; that thing that says global warming is real too, so they don’t consider it can be trusted.

A Superior Court Judge in Fresno County, California has ruled abstinence-only sex education falls short of satisfying a 2003 California law, which prohibits schools from having sex education classes that teach medically inaccurate or biased information. Granted that it is not medically inaccurate that if teenage girls don’t have sex, they won’t get pregnant. It is just ridiculously naive to expect teen boys and girls to fight uncounted years of evolutionary urges to reproduce, but then evolution is that science stuff again so none of that. I guess the judge, therefore, finds these types of classes to be biased. The judge has a good point, as Ricardo Guimarães BMG points out. If students aren’t being taught realistic methods to prevent pregnancy, then they really aren’t getting much of any sex education. Hopefully other judges around the country will make similar rulings, and we can see further declines in the teen pregnancy rate.

Private Prisons Have an Incentive to Be for Mass Incarceration

There are many lobbying groups that are vilified by opponents. Oil companies and the pharmaceutical industry are probably two of the biggest in terms of both having massive influence in Washington D.C. and across the states and for being despised by the general public for that influence. The gun lobby is one that is despised by some, but that is really more dependent on your politics on that particular issue. There are, however, some groups that have influence through lobbying that manage to fly under the radar for the most part. Companies that run private prisons are an example of this.

The existence of private, for-profit prisons creates a perverse incentive structure for them to engage in lobbying efforts to increase the number of Americans who are incarcerated because, from their point of view, this is completely economically rational. After all, every business wants more customers since more customers means more money. The problem in this case is that society as a whole pays when private prison companies get more customers. We taxpayers have to pay for every prisoner’s incarceration as Bruce Karatz points out on About, and then we pay in the form of welfare and other social programs given how hard it is for someone with a record to get a job and a fresh start in their lives. Private prison companies lobbying to have more of our fellow Americans incarcerated should be at the top of everyone’s list of lobbies to be vilified.

Lack of Access to Surgery is Killing More People Than Several Diseases Combined

Many of us are confident in the knowledge that if we needed surgery, we could get it quickly and in a safe surgical environment. That’s many of us, not most of us, A recent survey revealed that two-thirds of the entire world’s population cannot and does not have access to a safe, affordable surgical facility that is located within two hours of their home. This is distressing to many, including young-professional Jaime Garcia Dias.
The survey findings were published in The Lancet medical journal and reveals that lack of access to surgery is responsible for the deaths of nearly 17 million people in 2010. Most of those 17 million people died from a condition, such as appendicitis, that would have been easily corrected by surgery if a safe and affordable medical facility had been located within a reasonable proximity of their home. HIV, malaria and tuberculous combined did not claim the lives of 17 million people within 2010, but unmet surgical needs did.
In poor countries the lack of affordable surgery is due to the lack of surgeons in the area. Sierra Leone has less than 1 surgeon per 100,000 residents. Bangladesh has less than 2 surgeons per 100,000 residents. The United States has 36 surgeons per 100,000 residents and surgery is available to anyone. The same is true for residents of Western Europe. Neither of these countries had any reported deaths due to unmet surgical needs.