Mallard’s Team of the Week — Trafalgar Thunder

first_imgStaff at Mallard’s Source for sports would like to salute the Thunder squad with Team of the Week.The Thunder include, coach Staci Proctor and players, Aurora Panko-Dool, Hannah McClure, Abby Ens, Atlyn Proctor, Daisy McBeath, Shelbi Van Hellemond, Ava Anast and Olivia Bezaire. The Trafalgar Thunder capped an amazing season the court by capturing the West Kootenay Grade 8 Girl’s Volleyball Championships Saturday at the Trafalgar Gymnasium.The Thunder defeated rival J. Lloyd Crowe of Trail 2-0 (19-17, 15-8) in the best-of-three final.last_img read more

Brawls and arrests after Nurmagomedov beats McGregor

first_imgChaos erupted after Khabib Nurmagomedov retained his UFC lightweight title with a submission victory over Ireland’s Conor McGregor on Saturday with members of his support team arrested after an all-in brawl broke out after the bout.The Russian ended McGregor’s attempt to win back the title when he sealed a brutal submission victory with a rear naked choke hold in the fourth round, which then sparked a mass brawl.Fights broke out in and around the cage, with a red-shirted fan landing several blows on McGregor before security intervened. Both fighters were escorted from the arena by police and security.UFC boss Dana White later told Fox Sports that three members of Nurmagomedov’s team were arrested.The fight had been highlighted by bad blood between both camps, with McGregor pleading guilty in July as part of a deal with prosecutors to resolve charges over an April melee in which he attacked a bus the Russian was travelling on.The situation boiled over after referee Herb Dean waved off the fight, which prompted Nurmagomedov to jump out of the cage and head straight for McGregor’s teammate and corner-man Dillon Danis, prompting a series of violent scuffles.One man jumped the fence, swinging blows at McGregor before being bundled away by security and there were punches thrown in the crowd as police and security struggled to deal with the angry crowd, most of whom had been backing the Irishman.White entered the octagon to try to placate Nurmagomedov, who was not presented with the belt, although he was announced as the winner.The Russian’s fans chanted his name and danced in the street outside the T-Mobile Arena, but rather than the fight bringing to the end the feud, it only poured more fuel on the fire.WRESTLING STRENGTHMcGregor, making a comeback to the octagon after nearly two years away, had looked dangerous in the early striking exchanges but as expected, Nurmagomedov quickly took the fight to the ground.The Russian smothered him with his wrestling skills and prevented him from getting back to his feet for the rest of the first round.The Irishman was then wobbled by an early right cross from the Russian in the second round and the fight was soon on the floor again, but this time the Russian champion was able to keep the challenger from getting his back to the cage.McGregor survived until the end of the round, giving a tired smile as the horn went, and in the third period he managed to keep the fight standing, tripping off shots to the head and body as he rediscovered his range.However, it proved to be too little, too late, and Nurmagomedov was once again on top in the fourth, sapping McGregor’s energy with his excruciating pressure before the choke ended the fight 3:03 into the fourth round.Despite McGregor tapping his arm to indicate his submission, Nurmagomedov seemed to hold on to the winning choke rather than releasing it, encapsulating the bad blood between the pair.The victory stretched Nurmagomedov’s professional record to 27-0 and handed the Irishman his second defeat in the UFC, both to the same choke hold, before the chaos began.last_img read more

NBA: Disgruntled Rondo to ask for trade if benching continues

first_imgSEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold00:50Trending Articles01:57Local peace talks in Davao City may proceed – Palace01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter Senators to proceed with review of VFA Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. We are young Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, in Chicago. (AP/Kamil Krzaczynski)After being traded from the Boston Celtics in 2014, Rajon Rondo had a fall out from the Dallas Mavericks and did not seem to be the right fit for the Sacramento Kings.The feisty point guard has since moved on as a member of the Chicago Bulls this season, but it seems like he could once again be headed to his fifth team in just three seasons.ADVERTISEMENT Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine PH among economies most vulnerable to virus The one-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star has fallen out of the rotation as of late and has already caught the ire of head coach Fred Hoiberg.He did not play for the entirety of the Bulls’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on New Year’s eve, and was once again relegated to the bench on Monday’s (Tuesday in Manila) victory against the Charlotte Hornets.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSPORTSWe are youngREAD: ‘Phenomenal’ Butler does it with 52 points for BullsThe demotion did not sit well with the former Kentucky product and will “absolutely” request a trade if the coach continues to keep him out of the rotation, according to the Chicago Tribune.center_img Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH PBA D-League: AMA elated with ‘all-around’ Teng MOST READ However, the 30-year-old’s disappointing averages of 4.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 7.3 assists, while shooting just 29.6 percent has forced Hoiberg to play Michael Carter-Williams and Jerian Grant in his stead.Rondo’s struggles deeply affect the team,  which has dropped two games below .500 with a 5-11 win-loss record in December. Khristian IbarrolaRELATED STORYNBA: Rondo dropped for one game after outburstSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town EDITORS’ PICK View comments “He told me that I’ve been looking slow the last five games,” Rondo detailed his conversation with the former Iowa State bench boss.“I disagree. But that’s part of it. He’s the head coach. And we’re going to go with that,” he added.Despite clashing horns over Rondo’s lack of playing time, Hoiberg still lauded his guard’s professionalism regarding the delicate matter.“I’ll say this about Rajon, he’s handled this as well as he possibly can in this type of situation,” Hoiberg said.After somehow regaining his pre-injury form with Sacramento last year, Rondo signed a two-year deal worth $27 million prior this season.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

GPSU elections and the Patrick Yarde syndrome

first_imgThe way was cleared by the courts for the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) to hold elections on Thursday. However, one wonders what service has the leadership of this embattled Union rendered to its membership over the years, while living off members’ contributions out of meagre salaries like fat cats.The Trades Union Congress (TUC), inclusive of the GPSU – which for the duration of the oppressive People’s National Congress (PNC) Administration was a toothless poodle without bark or bite – under successive People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administrations had become such a ferocious bulldog that it called protests and strikes to destabilise and destroy the labour constructs of this country at the whims and fancies of its master puppeteers – political opportunists who have historically proven that they have no qualms in using their supporters to destroy and decimate their own survival systems.The TUC and the GPSU calmly accepted the PNC’s destruction of the bauxite mining industry and its abominable treatment of public servants with oppressive, punitive conditions of work – (including them being forced to work for free on Hope Estate or in the cane fields on holidays and weekends); wages frozen at $2000 to boot and no relief in the various vital social service sectors, such as housing, health care, education, etcetera. But, the unions suddenly found a ferocious voice to destabilise all the people-friendly, empowering mechanisms that the previous Administration devised to give Guyanese citizens – across the board – opportunities for upward mobility.A cursory examination of the history of the GPSU would clearly show its primary historical role is that of a (strong) arm for a violence-prone political party.Every initiative the previous Administration implemented to better the lives of Guyanese was shot down by then opposition forces, including the GPSU. A prime example of its modus operandi was one instance when, purporting to represent the rights of the labour force, it agitated relentlessly against the PPP/C Government employing prisoners to work, as if Guyana’s prisoners are Martians with no right to a means of earning revenue to support themselves or families.The right to work and earn is a basic human right, and a government is mandated to take care of every citizen of the land over which it governs. In a Third World, developing country that has to guard its spending and strategise to stretch dollars while obtaining maximum service for public monies spent – if the people can benefit in a multiplicity of ways from an allocation, that benefits everyone, because all the stakeholders win.The previous Government was to be commended for the initiative whereby this resource served a dual purpose – giving prisoners a sense of purpose and self-worth while empowering them financially, as well as utilising their services in its drive to clean up the city, which had, under Hamilton Green’s stewardship, become a huge garbage dump and a microcosm of Guyana under the PNC Administration.The contract fittingly awarded to the Guyana Prison Service by the PPP/C Administration simultaneously addressed several essential national needs. The Government needed to get on with the job for which it was mandated by the citizens of this country, which was to govern for the betterment of country and citizens and leave the perennial naysayers, doomsayers and destroyers of this nation’s survival systems to do what they do best – prophesy gloom and doom on the nation, then act to fructify their portentous prognostications.But today the GPSU has reverted, under another PNC-led regime, to once again becoming a toothless poodle, only yapping at the heels of its masters, while the public servants remain in limbo as the fat cats drive in limos and spout unending rhetoric and make unrealisable and implausible promises to its membership – the Patrick Yarde syndrome.One awaits the outcome of the GPSU elections. Will Patrick Yarde retain his position, or will there be a change of leadership that will create a dynamic representational force, advocating and agitating for the rights of the workforce it represents, instead of using them as perennial protesters and battering rams to wrest power and riches for leaders of a political construct that always neglect their needs once they have served their purpose to install their leaders in high office?Time will tell, but it is to be hoped the membership of the GPSU has learnt its bitter lessons and will choose its representational leaders wisely and carefully.last_img read more

GOT HIM! Stoke complete £12m record deal for Xherdan Shaqiri

first_img Xherdan Shaqiri Stoke have completed a club-record £12million deal for Xherdan Shaqiri.The Potters agreed a fee with Inter Milan for Shaqiri earlier this summer but the Switzerland international rejected their advances.However, Mark Hughes refused to give up hope of luring the 23-year-old to the club and his persistence has paid off.Shaqiri, who was present at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday for the Premier League opener against Liverpool, has penned a five-year contract.The fee for the former Bayern Munich star exceeds the £10million Stoke paid Tottenham for striker Peter Crouch in 2011.Chief executive Tony Scholes said: “It’s no secret that we have been pursuing Xherdan for some time now and we are delighted to have finally secured his signature.“He’s an exciting young player who is really looking forward to playing in the Premier League having played at the very highest level in Germany with Bayern Munich and in Italy with Inter.“Xherdan will be a fantastic addition to our squad and adds to the attacking options at the manager’s disposal.”The signing of Shaqiri represents a major coup for Stoke, given the speedy wideman was not long ago rated as one of Europe’s top young talents.He cost Bayern Munich around €12m from Basel in 2012 and went on to win the Bundesliga and Champions League with the German giants.He joined Inter Milan in January in search of regular first team football but struggled to make an immediate impression under Roberto Mancini.Now, after making just eight starts for the Serie A club, he will look to realise his full potential in the Premier League under Hughes’ stewardship.Hughes said: “He’s a dynamic and explosive player who will bring something different to the group and at the age of 23 he still has a great deal of potential.“In the chats I’ve had with him it’s obvious that he’s excited about playing in the Premier League and showing what he’s capable of.”Shaqiri, who has scored 17 goals in 46 appearances for Switzerland, could make his Stoke debut in Saturday’s Premier League trip to Tottenham. 1last_img read more

Kaine to deliver Democratic response

first_imgARLINGTON, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, tapped to deliver the State of the Union response for Democrats, has sharp words for both parties in Washington: Stop being so partisan, negative and irrelevant. “There’s a better way,” he said Monday. Less than three weeks after taking office, Kaine is a rising star inside his party because he succeeded last November where many other Democrats have failed – in a Southern state and in the fast-growing exurbs. “I want to contrast what I consider to be an administration that is super partisan and not really able to deliver results with a different model, a better way, which is what we’ve been doing in Virginia and other states,” Kaine said, previewing his Tuesday night speech in an interview with The Associated Press. “Results matter. Planning matters. Management matters, and you can make much more progress if you do it in a bipartisan way,” he said. That was a dig at the president, but Kaine said Democrats in Washington also could learn from the success achieved by him and 11 other Democratic governors who run states that Bush carried in 2004. “I think we have to be much more about an optimistic and positive message,” Kaine said of his fellow Democrats, an assessment that will not be part of Tuesday night’s speech. “I think sometimes we perfect the criticism without a positive, forward-looking message.” “I think it’s all about talking to people about the issues that really matter to them, which is what successful governors tend to do. They became successful in campaigns because they talk about real basic things and don’t get off on insider issues and purely social causes – the strength of the economy, the power of education, health care needs and health care solutions,” Kaine said. He ran as a moderate and promised better roads and tools to curb urban sprawl. While his popular predecessor, Mark Warner, is a Democrat, too, Virginia is a Republican-leaning state that hasn’t backed a Democrat for president since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Bush won the state by about 8 percentage points in 2000 and 9 points in 2004. What really caught the attention of Democratic Party leaders was Kaine’s performance in exurban communities, the sprawling new suburbs filled with big-box stores and Republican-leaning families. Kaine defeated Republican Jerry Kilgore in Loudoun and Prince William counties outside Washington, both of which Bush won in 2004. Kaine fared better than 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in five other fast-growing Virginia counties won by Bush. Kaine, the son-in-law of Virginia’s first modern Republican governor, won despite his opposition to the death penalty in a state that has executed 94 inmates since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976, second only to Texas’s 356. Republican Kilgore tried to play a law-and-order card when he ran an ad that said Kaine’s opposition to the death penalty meant he would not have executed Adolf Hitler. Kaine pledged to enforce the death penalty despite his personal opposition, using Kilgore’s attack to shine a spotlight on his own faith and values. He is Roman Catholic. “I’m not apologizing for my religious beliefs to anybody,” Kaine said throughout the campaign. His first ad aired on a Christian radio station. The first TV ad he ran in the fall of 2005 highlighted his experience with Catholic missionaries. Party leaders said Kaine’s victory illustrated how candidates can share voters’ values without abandoning party principles. “Tim Kaine is a wonderful fresh face who speaks from the heart about his values,” said Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean. But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said it’s Republicans who should take a lesson from the Virginian. “He is someone who embodies the leadership and accountability that’s missing in Republican Washington,” Reid said. Kaine’s speech, which advisers say will take less than 10 minutes, follows an address by Bush that also will include a call for bipartisanship. The president said Monday he will ask Congress to help him “elevate the tone here in Washington, D.C.” Kaine said he appreciates the assignment from Reid and other party leaders, even as he distances himself from Washington. “I’m no shill or mouthpiece or posterboy for anybody,” he said. “I’m going to do it in a way that I think it should be done.” Kaine said he has gotten plenty of advice from Washington. Some has been good. As for the rest: “I said, `No, thanks. I think I’ll take it in another direction.’” Associated Press Writer Bob Lewis in Richmond, Va., contributed to this story. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Around Whittier

first_imgNORWALK – Authorities are investigating the theft of more than $6,000 worth of sports equipment, uniforms and hats from Corvallis Middle School.Around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, three people broke into a storage unit located in the school’s athletics field, said Sgt. Angela Shepherd of the sheriff’s Norwalk Station.Authorities were able to identify one of the suspects, and retrieved from him some of the stolen items: 10 baseball caps and a chrome drill.It wasn’t clear if the suspects had a connection to the school. No arrests have been made, and the investigation was ongoing.Man recovering after shooting A 22-year-old man is in stable condition after being shot near his residence in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County between Santa Fe Springs and La Mirada on Sunday morning.Paul Morales was rushed to UC Irvine Medical Center after being shot in the back in the 13000 block of Beaty Avenue, said L.A. County sheriff’s Lt. Louis Duran of the Norwalk Station.Duran said Morales was standing in front of a residence near his own at about 10:05 a.m. Sunday when a vehicle drove by and several shots were fired out of the window. Detectives believe the shooting was gang-related, and the incident is still under investigation, Duran said.Anyone with information on this crime should call detectives at the L.A. County Sheriff’s Norwalk station at (562) 863-8711.Church to host free music lectureWHITTIER – First Friends Church, 13205 Philadelphia St., will host a free lecture on the music of Mozart and Tchaikovsky at 10 a.m. Friday.The Rio Hondo Symphony Orchestra will be playing the music at some of its four concerts this year.For more information, call (562) 693-4638.Course offers help parenting teensWHITTIER – Parents struggling with their teenagers can gain resources to cope at a SKILLS Foundation course series called “Parenting Teens 101.”Eleanor Rodriguez, an Intercommunity Child Guidance Center teacher, will lead the courses. The classes are free and are held on the first Friday of each month at the Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave.For more information, call (562) 945-8287.Breast-feeding support availableWHITTIER – Information on breast-feeding will be provided at a meeting of La Leche League of Whittier at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at St. Bruno’s Parish Church, 15740 Citrustree Road.The league is a nonprofit organization that offers free breast-feeding support at meetings and over the phone. For more information, call (562) 448-9226.Theater slates `Lughnasa’ WHITTIER – Whittier Community Theater will present Brian Friel’s “Dancing at Lughnasa” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Center Theater at the Whittier Community Center, 7630 S. Washington Ave.Tickets are $10 for adults and juniors under 18, and $8 for seniors 62 and older.For more information, call (562) 693-1105.Acupuncture talk to be held March 8WHITTIER – The Scoliosis Association of Greater Los Angeles, a volunteer support group, will hold a free lecture on medical acupuncture from 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 8 in the Spine Center Conference Room at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, 12401 Washington Blvd.The speaker will be Dennis Y. Lee. For more information, call (562) 947-4475. – From staff reports AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Good conversation happening in my Bots post

first_imgI know it’s the weekend and not the ideal time for a blog conversation, but there’s a great one happening in the comments of my recent post On Bots and Content Creation / Aggregation. I’d like to get more points of view on this discussion, which is focused on the moral aspects of automatically-generated websites. I have strong views on it, as does Don Harrold from Article Bot. Why not jump in and add your opinion? To me, this is a crucial issue in an era of ever-increasing automation of websites and blogs. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts richard macmanus Tags:#RSS & Feeds#web last_img read more

Organized Retail Crime Gangs Targeting Optical Goods

first_imgReports indicate that security in the United States has worsened in many arenas since September 11, 2001. Many crime-fighting resources are being focused specifically on terrorist activities at the expense of other offenses, including those that affect retailers such as organized retail crime.In addition, once the perception of an immediate threat evaporates, it is human nature to want to return to “business as usual,” which often means that some retailers ignore the risks or simply pay lip service to the implementation of security measures.It’s always simpler to sit back and do nothing than to take an action, but some retail entities can be lulled into complacency by the nature of their businesses. Retail opticals are a prime example of companies that experience more than three times their share of shrinkage, yet take almost no actions to prevent the losses.- Sponsor – Competent, professional LP execs who work for chain opticals often find their hands tied when it comes to shrinkage control.Reliance on Old TechnologyOne of the unique difficulties that opticals have is that their employees don’t want to think of themselves as retailers—instead, they are “doctors,” “opticians,” “health care providers,” or “optical professionals.”Another stumbling block is that the optical industry has typically been years behind other business sectors in terms of sophistication and technology. This lag can be illustrated by the content of optometric trade magazines just prior to the millennium. The topic of discussion in computerization articles was not “What kind of computer should you get?” but “Should you get a computer?”The lack of business savvy among optical professionals—ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians, known as the “Three Os”—can be easily understood given their background and training. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in surgery and the treatment of diseases and disorders of the eye. Their medical school training emphasizes the medical aspects, not the business topics, related to their careers. Now that health insurance has become a nightmare in this country and doctors are seeing reimbursements shrink, many ophthalmologists are focusing on expanding their revenues by providing other services. LASIK, or laser vision correction, plastic surgery, and the dispensing of prescription eyewear and contact lenses supplement these doctors’ incomes.As relative newcomers to the business of retail optical, dispensing ophthalmologists experience a great deal of shrinkage. Unfortunately, their image of themselves as doctors, rather than retailers, precludes their making their difficulties public or seeking the appropriate remedies. Instead, incidences of loss are whispered about at medical conventions and on golf courses, rather than spotlighted in public, so they continue to be victimized in greater numbers because they fail to put deterrents into place.Optometrists, on the other hand, have been dispensing eyewear and contact lenses on a large scale for over twenty-five years. They have a slightly better sense of their businesses as retail concerns. However, their training in business matters is also limited. After four years of college, an optometrist attends a four-year optometry school, where business matters are skimmed only lightly. Add to that the collective feeling of not being respected as a “real” doctor (similar to that experienced by dentists, podiatrists, and chiropractors), and optometrists are much too busy fighting to get and maintain the rights to prescribe medications for certain eye conditions to pay attention to accepted business practices.Optical goods have long been favorites of organized retail crime. A branch of the Russian Mafia working out of New York City has been going on “field trips” to various towns and serially shoplifting from the local opticals for years.Opticians have a completely different set of circumstances with the same resulting problems. In many states, an optician, the person who fabricates eyewear, fits eyeglasses and contact lenses, and dispenses both, is not required to have any type of license or certification. In those states that do require opticians to be licensed, the educational requirement is for a two-year college degree or an apprenticeship combined with other training in lieu of college credit. Although opticians have been retailing eyewear for hundreds of years, most are neither business-savvy nor sophisticated.The lack of sophistication and comfort with technology is reflected in the day-to-day equipment used in the optical industry. The method of refraction, or determining a patient’s eyeglass prescription (when the doctor asks, “Which is better, number one or number two?”) is the same as when Benjamin Franklin had his eyes checked.Likewise, the equipment that is used behind the scenes to grind the prescription into the lenses and to fabricate eyeglasses still operates on the same principles as when it was invented. Sure, a small amount of computerization has been introduced, but the machinery is all adapted from other industries and made to be so simple that a monkey could operate it. In short, there are not a lot of technological marvels coming out of or going into use in this industry.Chain Store IssuesA catch-22 for optical chain stores is that they inadvertently contribute to the growth of their retail shrink rates by trying to implement good business practices.A full-service optical store provides eye examinations, contact lens fittings, prescription eyewear, and Rx and nonprescription sunglasses, as well as contact lens solutions and other accessories. One of the biggest costs to a retail optical is payroll. In states with licensing requirements for opticians, a prescribed ratio of licensed opticians to non-licensed floor personnel must be on the premises. The more highly trained the employees are, the higher the wages they command.Chain stores naturally have an interest in keeping their payroll costs down, which are high because of the health-care aspects of the services they provide. They do so by fighting against licensing requirements for opticians and by selecting employees whom they can pay the lowest wages in return for the highest sales. Sometimes, that means that the doctors and opticians who are hired may be good sales people, but theydo not have a good head for the overall business. Other times, they may be fresh out of school and thus inexperienced. What sometimes results is that staff that will work for lower wages or have a lack of ambition to be business owners find themselves employed by chain stores because they prefer the security that comes from working for large corporations. A lack of business-smart employees means that chain stores have few people they can count on to help protect their interests by fighting in-store shrink.This attitude seeps into the corporate management layers as well. Many optical chains do not employ loss prevention executives at all. Of those that do, these LP specialists do not concern themselves with shrinkage, in part because there are too few of them to be able to combat it effectively.Competent, professional LP execs who work for chain opticals often find their hands tied when it comes to shrinkage control. Corporate decision makers for a prominent retail sunglass chain, for example, recently decided to implement “open” displays in several stores to encourage purchases. After a short trial period…and without conclusive evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of the new system…the same people decided to expand the program. Non-prescription sunglasses have a huge shrinkage rate even when they are secured in some way—and this company does not even EAS-tag the sunglasses.A confidential source in the executive LP department who thinks that the open displays are not a good idea commented wryly, “Well, at least the LP employees know that our jobs are secure.”Are Opticals to Blame for Losses?Independent opticals and small local or regional chains are owned by optometrists or opticians, who lack basic retail security knowledge. They, like their corporate counterparts, fail to put security measures into place, not out of a lack of concern, but because of ignorance. On the whole, optical personnel are not in tune with the business realities of today. When it comes to security, they don’t even know where to begin asking the right questions, and they are paying the price for it.The National Retail Security Survey has traditionally provided a snapshot of losses incurred by retail entities, broken down into categories. It is telling that up until a few years ago, only a few opticals contributed their shrinkage figures to the survey. The most recent report, however, includes information from absolutely no optical entities. Their conspicuous absence begs the question as to why they are no longer providing these statistics.A couple of possibilities come to mind. One is that optical chains are no longer keeping statistics on their losses. Although this scenario is possible, it seems more likely that with overwhelming losses and a lack of plans in place to combat them, the opticals do not want to reveal their devastation at the hands of criminals.Through other sources, it has become apparent that organized retail crime activity in the retail optical arena is blossoming and wreaking havoc on these businesses. The Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO), a United Kingdom-based trade association, acknowledges the problem and provides a free handbook for recognizing and combating theft issues. The FODO also conducted a survey of optical practices to assess the scale of the problem, the measures being taken to combat crime, and the additional measures that could be taken. (Not surprisingly, no U.S.-based optical trade group has made the same effort, but then the U.K. has always been years ahead of the U.S. in terms of crime prevention issues.)According to the FODO, opticals have no one but themselves to blame for their severe losses. “The main point for us to take to heart is that we are responsible for creating most of these conditions [that] make us an easier target for organized retail crime,” the FODO says in its handbook.“Opticians are considered to be softer targets for organized retail crime because we have failed to keep up with the deterrent measures taken by others. At the same time, the nature and value of opticians’ goods has significantly changed over the last decade – as have consumer perceptions of eyewear.“Designer frames and [sunglasses] are now stocked in greater volumes than before to satisfy increased public demand for branded ‘fashion’ goods.“Opticians are now high-profile targets for organized retail crime,” according to the handbook.Fashion vs. FunctionThe FODO points out that “as banks…and jewelers have taken measures to combat organized retail crime…criminals have turned their attention to the high ticket and portable items now stocked by” retail opticals. Department stores, big-box stores, and drug stores that carry sunglasses and OTC eyecare products, such as eyedrops and contact lens solutions, are also affected by this trend.Interestingly, while some manufacturers will source-tag their optical products or tag their eyewear for sale in certain venues, those measures are not carried through for sales to retail opticals. The Foster Grant Group, which makes the well-known non-prescription sunglasses, utilizes an EAS tag for the sunwear sold to stores other than retail opticals. However, the company does not tag its ophthalmic eyeglass frames (frames that are meant to accept prescription lenses), which are sold to opticals – quite possibly because most opticals don’t have the necessary pedestals required for the tags to function as theft deterrents. No other ophthalmic frame manufacturer or importer offers EAS-tagged products to optical retailers, either, and only a handful of optical suppliers even sell EAS tags. Even fewer opticals purchase them.It can be argued that frame manufacturers are not hurt by the loss of their product at the retail level. On the contrary, an optical that experiences shrinkage will simply have to purchase more product from the manufacturer. Optical professionals, unlike loss prevention executives in department and drug stores, are not savvy enough to band together to demand manufacturer cooperation, and therefore do not get it.Attention may eventually be focused on the problem by the increased availability of source-tagged optical goods, however. A&H Manufacturing, for example, incorporates Checkpoint System’s FR EAS circuits into integrated, multilayer hang tags for sunglasses, which the company calls “one of the hottest trend categories…. Sunglasses have a history of walking out of the store easily.”CounterfeitingOne area of organized retail crime that frame manufacturers do address is that of counterfeiting, because a bogus product bearing a specific brand mars that company’s name. However, they are experiencing great difficulties with getting law enforcement to prosecute their cases. This despite the fact that, according to the Department of Homeland Security, sunglasses, along with watches and handbags, were the second most frequently seized commodities in organized retail crime anti-counterfeiting operations last year, just behind media products (software, CDs, and DVDs).Vance Lommen, the legal and security director for Oakley, Inc., a well-known sunglass manufacturer, attended a conference in April hosted by the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. Speaking about the counterfeiting of his company’s products, he reportedly said that the company works these organized retail crime cases at the street level and that since September 11th, they have had to build the cases in order for law enforcement to take them. The terrorism focus has drained many of the U.S. Customs resources normally focused on counterfeiting, which falls under the purview of Homeland Security.Other companies, such as Silhouette, an upscale eyeglass frame manufacturer, are pursuing counterfeiters through injunctions prohibiting companies from offering inferior goods tagged with the Silhouette brand for sale. The company also has shut down numerous eBay auctions through the site’s verified rights owner (VeRO) program and is monitoring unauthorized sales and advertising and is taking action against other infringers advertising counterfeit Silhouette products.Financing Terrorism with Fashion EyewearA burgeoning trend that hasn’t yet come to light in the form of a formal report, but is being recognized at the ground level is that organized retail crime plays a huge part in the funding of terrorist activities. Shoplifting and burglary crews target optical goods, among others, and feed the rings offences that funnel the profits into terrorist organizations.According to CIS Robert W. Nolen, a lead trainer in a course developed with Bureau of Justice Assistance grant money called “Understanding, Combating, and Surviving Terrorism,” one of the niches exploited by many organized retail crime groups from terrorist “countries of interest” is there sale of stolen consumer goods. The primary method used to acquire the goods is shoplifting by groups of thieves from El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico, who typically travel together. Distribution of the stolen products throughout the U.S. seems to be handled primarily by Middle Eastern fences. One shoplifter reported that she had “worked” stealing baby formula from Florida to Colorado for over seven years, making $3,000 per week.Although reports of such organized retail crime rings in the U.S. are released in dribs and drabs, this trend is reflected by published accounts elsewhere. Last year, for example, Winnipeg Police busted a major Canadian organized retail crime ring by targeting the activities of a local group of known property crime “street level” criminals who were involved in burglaries as well as the thefts of specific high-end merchandise. On an almost daily basis, these thieves hit local businesses, including the Shoppers Optical, where they specifically targeted merchandise to steal, including Oakley sunglasses that sold for the equivalent of about $300 USD.The investigation revealed that on the same day of the thefts, this group would routinely “off-load” their stolen goods to a very specific and select group of high level fences, including some who placed “thefts to order” for worldwide resale, while other fences simply sold their goods to known acquaintances. The authorities confirmed that the group stole approximately $64,000 USD worth of property, and police believe that they are responsible for the thefts of hundreds of thousands of dollars in property over the previous two or three years.The types of goods that are targeted by organized retail crime are reflected by the concerns of recent attendees at an RF Users Group meeting, who said that their highest priorities are eyecare products, as well as cosmetics, batteries, and baby formula, along with meats and bottled beverages.BurglariesIn addition to the theft/resale schemes, Middle Eastern fences have been found to be involved in both the planning and execution phases of large scale burglaries of consumer goods. The burglaries take months in the planning and involve such sophisticated techniques as rooftop entry, cut phone lines, and lookouts with cell phones and walkie-talkies on foot and in cars watching for police response. Many of the Middle Eastern fences caught in such activities have previous convictions for narcotics smuggling. It appears that this type of criminal has given up dealing narcotics because property crimes in the U.S. carry lighter prison sentences and are not as high a priority for prosecution as drug-related cases.Optical goods have long been favorites of organized retail crime. A branch of the Russian Mafia working out of New York City has been going on “field trips” to various towns and serially shoplifting from the local opticals for years. The opticals are often scouted by persons who enter the shop during a busy time and pretend to be a patient or customer looking for high-end frames. Once the optician fetches the expensive product, thus revealing its location in the store, the scout informs confederates, who then return at night to burglarize the store or send in gangs of shoplifters to conduct a “sweep” of the optical’s expensive merchandise.Unfortunately, opticals are so unprepared for these incidences that one burglary or shoplifting sweep has been enough to put many independent opticals out of business. Chains are better able to absorb the blow, but they, too, provide juicy repeat targets when they fail to implement counter measures.The U.S. optical industry’s focus on shrinkage is abysmal. The topic receives very little coverage in the trade magazines and almost no education aside from one written continuing education module and one hour of continuing education delivered by the author of this article. Given the historically slow progress within the industry, it is unlikely…and unfortunate…that change will come anytime soon.This article was first published in 2004 and updated in April 2016. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Former Indian football player Peter Gomes passed away in New Delhi

first_imgPeter Gomes, former Delhi State football player passed away on January 30, 2015 in New Delhi.Gomes, who was 60-year-old, suffered a sudden heart attack that caused his death.He is survived by his wife and two sons.ABOUT PETER GOMES:Peter Gomes was a former Delhi state football player.Gomes began his career in 1980 in Delhi’s famous Buddhist Blue Star, as a forward player.He later on switched to Shimla Youngs FC.Being passionate about football, he regularly participated in Delhi leagues and tournaments like DCM, Durand Cup and many others.In 1990s, he represented Delhi state team in the Senior National Football Championship(SNFC) for Santosh Trophy.last_img read more