Industry waits at the school gates

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article ElaineEssery looks at renewed efforts by business and education to reach a consensuson closing the skills gap and awards low marks for effort Industryand learning need to become partners in creating a skilled workforce and alsothe right environment in which the habit of learning can flourish.Fewwould disagree with this statement, which after all has been kicked around forthe past decade, but now there does seem to be a ground swell of high-profileactivity to make it a reality.Whenthe Learning and Skills Act received Royal Assent this summer, it placedemployment interests at the heart of the National Skills Agenda. Employersnow have a critical role in saying what skills they need and how they can bestbe achieved. It makes it vital that industry and education and trainingproviders work together to equip individuals with the skills central toemployability in a rapidly changing workplace and business success.Andthe soon-to-be more influential Further Education Development Agency is keen tokeep this subject in the spotlight as it furthers links with the new Learningand Skills Council on this area. Earlierthis month it raised the subject with Ufi at its Learning 2010 conference. DrAnne Wright, chief executive of Ufi, was among those delivering papers. Shespoke at the conference on the subject of meeting the skills needs ofemployers. “Peopleneed to go on learning because of changes in the economy and working practices.We all need to recognise that. It’s a question of making sure we can meet theskill needs of employers throughout people’s working lives,” she says.ITskills are becoming increasingly important, according to Wright, but, as shepoints out, the knowledge economy still places a high premium on literacy, numeracyand other key skills. ConvergenceWrightbelieves some employers are beginning to see for the first time a convergencebetween the interests of employees in developing core skills, which they cancarry with them to another job, and their own interests in training forbusiness needs. “Evenin what you may think of as knowledge industries, including wholly IT-basedindustries, communication skills are more important than they ever were.Because people can process so much more data, communicating and working withone another become more important,” says Wright. “Whatwe need to do as quickly as we can is identify those skills that are going tobe necessary for e-business – people needing to work in teams remotely from oneanother, being able to manage people as well as processes through e-business.All that takes on a new dimension in the new economy.”Wrightbelieves it is absolutely vital that people from both industry and educationhave a good understanding of employers’ needs and become partners in thetransformation of learning which she expects to see in 10 years’ time. Itis the task of teachers in schools and colleges to lay the foundation on whichemployers can build to meet their specific needs. But is the education systemgiving employers the people and qualities they are looking for?“Firstand foremost we look for people with a good broadly-based education thatprovides the best foundation for lifelong learning in industry,” says DavidBrown, chairman of Motorola. “Secondly,to the extent that it’s possible to teach them in schools, we look for keyskills. And I mean the whole panoply of key skills, not just literacy andnumeracy.”CommunicationBrownacknowledges that communication and teamworking skills are difficult to teachyoung people, but probably the hardest of all to teach is how to manage one’sown learning. “Inmy view that’s the skill that’s in shortest supply in industrial Britain today.People are often motivated to carry on learning – particularly foremployability – and a great many employers make learning resources available. “Thebit that’s often missing in the middle is how do you connect the motivationwith the resources? How do you direct people’s learning? “Theissue is giving people the skill they need properly to select the learningthat’s right for them and follow it through,” says Brown.Inan age where people need to continue to learn at an ever-faster rate throughouttheir working lives, figuring out what learning is required can be apartnership between employers and employees. But lifelong learning is alsosomething for which young people can be better prepared by the educationsystem.Stateof mind“Atschool it would be very helpful if more and more they created a state of mindin people which was not just ready for learning to continue through employmentbut actually eager for it,” Brown believes. Andyoung people need to understand the many forms learning can take, sincelearning in industry is far from sitting in front of a blackboard with ateacher and being given facts. “Learningis more about exploring as a team how to find new ways of doing a job. In asense, inventing things is a totally valid form of learning and I would verymuch like schools to be saying that as often as they can. “Discoveringnew things, generating new insights and passing on those insights to the peopleyou work with is learning.”Wrightagrees with Brown on the importance of managing one’s own learning. One of thechallenges that Ufi has specifically addressed through learndirect is the needfor learning to be individualised and made easy. “Allour learning is self-managed in a very easy way and entirely individual –people can do it where they want and when they want so you don’t have to plantoo far ahead. “Everylearndirect learner will have their own learning log, personal to them, whichthey can use to plan and record learning. “Ifthey want they can present it to an employer and it can be used to help planlearning in the context of a company programme,” Wright explains. Ufihas also developed a diagnostic tool for learners. It asks them to look at whattheir own interests and styles are, what kind of job they may be aiming at andhelps them to plan for that. “Learndirectprovides an all-round tailored solution for individuals, but it also provides abusiness solution for companies large and small,” says Wright.Ifemployers look to schools to provide key skills and a broad base for extendedlearning, they look to the further education system to provide knowledge andskills pertinent to their industry. GarryHawkes is chairman of the NTO National Council and the newly appointed chairmanof the Edexcel Foundation, one of the country’s leading exam bodies foracademic and vocational qualifications. His 20 years as managing director andchairman of Gardner Merchant has given him an insight into what industry wantsfrom the education system. Heis concerned that the current system is driven by providers not users and hebelieves employers should talk to educators more. “Ithink business people have got to get out of their business environment andparticipate in the world at large – that’s why I got involved in Edexcel. “It’seasy to criticise, but if you employ people and have a view about education andtraining, you’ve got to get involved in the process and try and influence andchange things,” he says.Adopta collegeHecites as an example the “adopt a college” scheme, which he ran and participatedin at Gardner Merchant. It involved every senior executive linking up with acollege and working in various committees there. “They learned a lot about thecollege and its problems, but also were able to articulate the needs of ourparticular industry. It worked exceptionally well,” he says.Hawkes’sviews are echoed by key figures in government and education who spoke at aconference organised earlier this year by school leadership specialist, Heads,Teachers and Industry (HTI), and education strategist, Education and Youth(E&Y). Their report, Today’s Leaders – Tomorrow’s World, consolidates thethinking of the Feda conference on developing a national strategy for businessto work with education. “Educationneeds business, but business also needs education. In achieving long-termambitions, business needs a close relationship with the education sector morethan has ever previously been the case,” says Lord Puttnam, chairman of theGeneral Teaching Council and the National Endowment for Science, Technology andthe Arts. Workingtogether“Onlywhen businesses and schools recognise their fundamental need for each otherwill we truly begin to get the benefits of working together.”Businessesof all sizes could play a much bigger part in influencing the content of theNational Curriculum and therefore the quality of their future workforce byforging closer links with education, the HTI/E&Y report says. But93 per cent of smaller firms have no links with education. This is somethingthat Estelle Morris, School Standards Minister at the DfEE, wants to change. “Weneed a cultural change in our society so that everyone accepts theirresponsibility to be an educator. Whether you’re from a small business,medium-sized business or a large business, whether you’re working on theshopfloor, as the head of a company, or as an accountant, you’re an educator aswell,” she says.Thereis little doubt that industry and education need to come closer together. Fedachief executive, Chris Hughes, would like to see the relationship becomeseamless within the next 10 years. “Educators and employers tend to stand offeach other and a blame culture still exists,” he says. “Alot of good things go on but it doesn’t add up to continuous engagement. Itwould be good if employers started regarding providers of skills training withthe same seriousness as they do other parts of the supply chain – as less of apublic service but more as a partner. I think that would be progress.” Industry waits at the school gatesOn 1 Nov 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Read More →

Clive Emson marches into spring

first_imgClive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers raised £16 million from 134 lots catalogued in their latest a auction achieving a sale rate in excess of 70 per cent.The auction – the second of eight sales in 2019 – took place across five days in five venues from March 18-22.The auction house also celebrated its 30th anniversary year with a new fixed date, online only auction.Managing Director James Emson said, “We continue to innovate to provide absolutely the best service to vendors and purchasers – the new online only auction is very much part of our present and future.“Our new service complements this, offering a new dimension to our business and extending the options available to both our clients and customers. In today’s fast-moving, technological age it is imperative to keep ahead of the curve.“Running alongside our ballroom auctions we will continue to offer the best possible land and property deals across the South Coast and further afield– with our experienced team of auction experts ensuring that sensible guide prices lead to successful sales.”online auction James Emson auction auctioned pub Clive Emson May 24, 2019The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Agencies & People » Clive Emson marches into spring previous nextAgencies & PeopleClive Emson marches into springThe Negotiator24th May 20190149 Viewslast_img read more

Read More →

Bronze Age site uncovered

first_imgArchaeologists have discovered what they believe to be a prehistoric Bronze Age burial site in Oxford.Representatives from the Museum of London Archaeology (Mola) say the find, discovered on the site of the old Radcliffe Infirmary could be 4,000 years old. Radio carbon dating is being carried out in an attempt to substantiate the claims.The experts were alerted to the possibility of the presence of ancient burial sites by the discovery of three large “ring ditches”.A Mola spokesperson explained, “Ring ditches are, as the name suggests, circular ditches, which are often the remains of ploughed-out barrows, that may be associated with burials of high-status individuals in the later Neolithic or Bronze Age, about 4,000 years ago.”Prehistoric burial often took place around the River Thames, known as the Isis as it passes through Oxford.Evidence of a later sixth century Saxon settlement has also been revealed. Features found included a sunken featured craft hut known as a Grübenhauser and a pit containing unfired clay loom weights.The Mola spokesperson said, “The knowledge obtained should make a significant contribution to public appreciation of this important part of Oxford’s past, when the landscape was very different from that seen today.”Mike Wigg, Head of Capital Projects at Oxford University said, “The University was delighted to provide the opportunity for an investigation of Oxford heritage to be carried out in advance of any development work.”The news has provoked interest and excitement from the student body. Second-year historian Olly Richard commented, “I think this it is fantastic. The city has such a great historical pedigree and this only adds to it. I thought I knew Oxford, but it is clear that the dream of discovering new elements of our beautiful city is not over.”Fiona Ström, also a second-year student added, “It’s fascinating that all this rich history that is now being uncovered has been hidden just a few metres below the surface for so many years. It is wonderful how we are still uncovering the stories and secrets of the past.”The Radcliffe Infirmary site, situated between Woodstock Road, Somerville College, Walton Street and Observatory Street is being redeveloped as part of plans for Oxford University’s new Radcliffe Observatory Quarter.Last month Oxford University revealed its redevelopment plans for the 3.7 hectare site, which will form part of the new Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. The area will house a mathematical institute, a humanities building and a library. The dig was carried out prior to building work beginning.last_img read more

Read More →

Special Weather Statement: Flood Advisory

first_imgThe National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory in effect for Ocean City from 6 a.m. to noon on Sunday.A new moon and strong southerly winds are expected to cause minor tidal flooding. Water levels will peak in the hours around high tide on the bay side of Ocean City at 7:48 a.m. Sunday. The water level is predicted to reach 5.6 feet on the mean low water scale. Visit www.ocnj.us/octides to compare these predictions to other recent and historic tide levels.Residents in areas that typically experience tidal flooding should be prepared to move vehicles before going to bed on Saturday night. The roads closer to the beach including Central and Wesley avenues are typically at higher elevation.For your safety and the protection of your vehicle and neighboring properties, never attempt to drive through flood waters, and do not drive around barricades.The National Weather Service also issued a Wind Advisory in effect for Ocean City from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Southerly winds could gust as high as 50 mph.For Police and Fire Department emergencies, call 911. For non-emergencies, call 609-399-9111.last_img read more

Read More →

As The Crow Flies Offers A Peak Performance In L.A. [Photo]

first_imgPhoto: Steve Rose Photo: Robert Forte Photo: As The Crow Flies | Wiltern Theatre | Los Angeles, LA | 5/9/2018 | Credit: Robert Forte Load remaining images On Wednesday evening, As The Crow Flies rolled through Los Angeles, making a stop at the legendary Wiltern Theatre for a highly anticipated performance. As The Crow Flies is a relatively new project from Chris Robinson, formerly of The Black Crowes, which is in the midsts of its inaugural tour that kicked off at The Capitol Theatre on April 17th. The band also features Crowes guitarist Audley Freed and bassist Andy Hess, Chris Robinson Brotherhood drummer Tony Leone and keyboardist Adam MacDougall, as well as young famed guitarist Marcus King.Largely lauded as one of the unit’s best shows to date, As The Crow Flies has found itself loosening up and getting comfortable as it begins to settle fully into the tour. Like many of the other shows they’ve laid out this tour, the band followed its traditional format, offering up the band’s traditional tour openers, “Remedy” and “Sting Me” off the group’s sophomore album, 1992’s The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, to start the show.Similarly, in Los Angeles, the group laid out a large swath of classic Black Crowes tunes at the start of the show, breaking up this chunk of tunes with a take on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Almost Cut My Hair”. With the band seeming to truly feel comfortable as a working group, the band’s chemistry on stage was a highlight of the night. To close out the show, the band offered up covers of Otis Redding’s “Hard To Handle” and Joe South’s “Hush”, though deviated from past performances by closing the night with an encore of The Doors’ “Peace Frog”.You can check out photos from As The Crow Flies’ Wiltern Theatre debut below, courtesy of Steve Rose and Robert Forte.Setlist: As The Crow Flies | Wiltern Theatre | Los Angeles, LA | 5/9/2018Set: Remedy, Sting Me, Hotel Illness, Nonfiction, By Your Side, Sometimes Salvation, High Head Blues, Good Friday, Almost Cut My Hair (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover), Wiser Time, She Talks to Angels, Thorn in My Pride, Jealous Again, Hard to Handle (Otis Redding cover), Hush (Joe South cover)Encore: Peace Frog (The Doors cover)center_img Photo: Steve Rose Photo: As The Crow Flies | Wiltern Theatre | Los Angeles, LA | 5/9/2018 | Credit: Steve Rose Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Read More →

Doom Flamingo Announces Spring Concert Dates And Beverage Collaboration With Fatty’s Beer Works

first_imgNewly formed power synthwave group Doom Flamingo gave jam fans some big news to start off their week. Fresh off their recent performance in Atlanta on December 28th, the rock band announced a run of more shows scheduled for this spring, in addition to news that they’re working on finalizing their own India Pale Ale beer to be debuted locally in the upcoming months.For those who are late to the Doom Flamingo party, the rock band is comprised of Umphrey’s McGee bassist Ryan Stasik, along with keyboardist Ross Bogan, Terraphonics‘ guitarist Thomas Kenney, drummer Stu White, sax player Mike Quinn, and lead singer Kanika Moore. Select cities across the country will get their live introduction to the relatively new retro rock/jam outfit this spring, as the band is scheduled to play the Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN on March 29th; a hometown show at the Charleston Pour House on April 27th; the French Broad River Festival in Hot Springs, NC on May 4th; and Cervantes’ Other Side in Denver, CO on June 20th. The upcoming performances will follow the band’s previously announced Umphrey’s afterparty shows at The Broadberry in Richmond, Virginia this Friday, January 11th, and Brooklyn Bowl in New York City on February 16th.Doom Flamingo – Live at Charleston Pour House Highlights – 10/26/2018[Video: Doom Flamingo]The band’s April 27th show in Charleston is largely in celebration of their soon-to-be-released single malt, single hop India Pale Ale in partnership with Fatty’s Beer Works. The single malt IPA will be brewed with Golden Promise malt, Strata Hops, and industrial hemp, according to the statement shared via a press release. There’s also a Doom Flamingo graphic novel in the works according to the same announcement, so fans should be on the lookout for updates on the book coming in the near future if you’re into that kind of thing.Speaking of Umphrey’s, the prog-rock jam band shared the pro-shot video for their performance of “Slacker” earlier this week, initially captured  during their NYE run in Atlanta late last month.Fans can head to Doom Flamingo’s Spotify page to listen up on some of their recently shared original singles. Tickets for their newly announced spring concerts will go on sale starting this January 11th, and can be found at the band’s website.last_img read more

Read More →

BAVO hosts midterm candlelight yoga session

first_imgAs midterm week continues, the Saint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) planned a restorative and healing event for the students. A candlelight yoga session took place in Angela Athletic Center, open to all students who wished to participate and take a break from the stress of the week.Junior Emily Scott — who took a medical leave of absence before returning to the College — has been with BAVO since 2015, serving as an ally and student advisory committee (SAC) member. Scott said the event was intended to be rejuvenating. “During brainstorming we came up with some uplifting events because the topics are pretty heavy. I thought of candlelight, restorative, trauma-informed yoga to kind of go back to BAVO,” Scott said. “During my medical leave I did a lot of restorative trauma-informed yoga and that was probably one of the biggest parts of my healing, so I wanted to kind of bring something like that back to Saint Mary’s with me.”Scott said yoga is a calming practice, one that BAVO wants to fully take advantage of in their list of events planned for the year. “We thought of timing of the year and that probably the most stressful time would be midterms and finals. So each semester we have two yoga sessions,” she said.The next BAVO candlelight yoga session is scheduled to take place in December around finals week.This midterm session was led by Kimmy Troy, a 2000 Saint Mary’s alumna who frequently teaches yoga classes in the Angela Center. She led the hour-long candlelight yoga session, helping students to release the anxiety that builds around midterm week.First-year graduate student Jessica Purvis, who has also been a BAVO ally and SAC member since 2015, said the event could help students heal from the stress and anxiety of the week.“I feel like yoga is a secular thing so you can involve a lot more people and Kimmy did a great job of making it a healing and restorative type of event. You don’t have to have gone through a traumatic event to get something out of it,” she said. “We’re college students, we all have things that we need to heal from regardless of what it is. It’s a safe place, you don’t need to have experience, that was my first time doing yoga.”With candles dotting the room, relaxing music playing over the speakers and hot tea provided after the session, the BAVO event had students leaving feeling relaxed, restored and ready to finish the week.“It was a great break from all the stress of the week,” sophomore Jade Adomako said. “I had a great time just stopping everything for an hour and recollecting myself. You don’t realize how caught up you get in your stress until you take a step back.”Tags: BAVO, saint mary’s, yogalast_img read more

Read More →

J.P. Harris Old School Country

first_imgJ.P. Harris and his country road show keep alive  the traditions of a grand musical genre.Three things strike me about J.P. Harris – his beard, which is big, the rich timbre of his voice, and his commitment to the traditions of the Golden Age of country music. Not even thirty years of age, J.P. Harris and his band, The Tough Choices, are criss crossing the highways and byways of this country – they have played from coast to coast in just the last couple months – playing music that is three plus decades old. J.P.’s music is pedal steel and cigarette smoke, chicken wire and scuffed bar room floors, not the processed pablum that dominates modern country radio.  J.P. just released his first record, I’ll Keep Calling, and Trail Mix features the title track this month.  I recently caught up with J.P. to chat about the new record and good country music.BRO – At its core, what makes a great country song?JP – It’s funny that you would ask that, as I was just thinking about this while driving around Nashville the other day. I was thinking that the thing that catches everybody about country music is the emotion that is imparted in it. Excitement, crazy wildness, love, anger, despair – there is this whole array of emotion that draws people to country music. And the key to making a good country song is making it simple. It’s kind of like being a preacher man; you have to take a complex emotional concept and simplify it so anyone can access it and understand it. That is truly what is at the heart of a good country songwriter and a good country song. I like to think of a good country song as real good, simple sermon for the people.BRO – Who are your country heroes?JP – The singers and songwriters that I have listened to the most and that have really influenced me are George Jones, Del Reeves, and Merle Haggard. Those three have always had a really good mix of irony, sarcasm, and a good grasp of their singing and how they can pierce a heart with an arrow – how they can really drive something home in a simple way.  George represents to me the untouchable enigma; that guy had one of the worst reputations in country music. He’d fire bands on stage, show up late, show up drunk, just a whole slew of bad judgment. But he was George Jones. That’s what he did. He had the golden voice and the perfect approach. Put him behind a microphone and all of his bad decisions were suddenly forgotten. Merle Haggard was the real deal. He grew up poor – maybe even in a box car – and spent some time in jail, just hard scrabble post-Depression California living. He was fearless in his songwriting. He always wrote edgy material. I admire that he was a rebel. He was never one of these flag-waving Nashville pop country jerk offs. He was making records with Willie Nelson, working with David Allan Coe, and was always sort of a fringe element. And Del Reeves was just a fun loving guy who wrote hysterical songs about girl watching and truck driving. Generally, he was just a super sweet fellow who cared more about being just a country singer. He cared about keeping the old traditions alive when he has television show – he’d bring Jimmy Martin and Bill Monroe out during an era when everything in country music was getting really cheesy. If I could ball bits of these three guys together, I would die a happy man.BRO – You just used the term “Nashville pop country jerk offs.” Should I bother asking you your take on the world of modern country music?JP – I’ve been known to be pretty outspoken about my opinion of modern pop country radio music. I can make some pretty tongue-in-cheek comments about it being filth or garbage, but the truth is that there are some pretty good players out there. I’ve lived in Nashville for a while and have met folks that play with these CMT- grade characters, and these guys and gals are good people. There is some of that stuff I like. Brad Paisley is a killer Telecaster player. But it doesn’t mean I think he is tasteful about what he plays all the time, and it doesn’t mean my opinion on folks like him is going to change that much, because I think they are degrading the name of country music. They are playing rock and roll.  They are playing pop. Just because you sing about drinking or about a truck and you put a cowboy hat on doesn’t mean it is country music. The idea that you can dumb down country music for the masses by melding it with other styles of music to make it popular on the radio is just offensive to me. Take Trace Adkins – he’s a great singer, and he’s funny. But I don’t think I’d ever want to go see him play and I would never go so far as to say he is an authentic country singer. He sings pop country music. In this day and age, there needs to be a real distinction there. Old school country characters that have been playing the music I play for a lot of years, guys like Dale Watson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, and Wayne Hancock, never took the poison golden apple. I think these pop country guys could have stayed on the route of real old school country music, stuff that is real and simple, but they all get tempted by the big record deals and fancy mansions. Now, Lord knows I want to get paid real money for what I do, but I don’t feel like sacrificing authenticity and genuineness in my music to do that.  BRO – Is it more about creating a product and less about creating good music?JP – That’s exactly what it is. That’s what really bums me out about the whole thing. The are working on creating an image and an ideal. What these people are doing is preying on everyone’s poor desires. A lot of folks that listen to country music are hard working American people, making a living at the auto garage or answering the phone. And these pop country folks are doing the same thing that glam rock was doing in the 80s. They are wanting these people to believe that if they listen to this music, they’ll get nearly topless girls and big ass F-250s with lift kits and smokestacks, and every once in a while they’ll throw in a line about daddy’s farm. Even if the music is good, the image and lifestyle that these country people are throwing out there is just not right. It’s not accessible.  It’s not something that people are going to attain. But that’s how music has been sold over the last 35 years. Country music was never intended to be that.BRO – Is there anyone out there doing country music the right way?JP – There’s a ton of people out there doing it the right way. The unfortunate part is that there aren’t a lot of us out there on the road doing it, so a lot of people don’t get to hear it and find out about it. Dale Watson and Wayne Hancock have been out there for years. I have just been turned on to Whitey Morgan, and I am really digging what he does. Even stuff in the more indie country and alt-country vein is pretty cool, guys like Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses. And I love Billy Joe Shaver and Ray Wylie Hubbard. They are still out there beating the pavement. There is a good undercurrent of solid country singers and bands out there touring. And they are doing it for the same reason I am doing it. They believe in the country gospel and have turned their lives into a road show. You have take it from town to town. One of the coolest things I hear at a show is, “You know, I didn’t even know I liked country music because I have never heard real country music.” These other guys I mentioned hear the same thing. That is what these younger guys are really going for – to turn people back on to country music.BRO – Tell me about the new record.JP – Man, I am pretty proud of it. I didn’t know if it was any good by the time I was done with it because I had listened to it about 700,000 times and I had zero objective perspective. But it’s doing really well and we are getting really good feedback about it. After three years of touring with just a little EP, I am happy to have a solid release to show the world what it is I am doing. But I am glad it took this long to get in the studio to get this done. I still have so much to learn about being a country singer and writing country songs. I am glad I was unwillingly forced to wait that long before I could release a record. I know it is better now than it would have been if I had released it a couple years ago.BRO – We are featuring the title track on this month’s Trail Mix. I hope I am not projecting here – or maybe I hope I am projecting – but it sounds like a tune most guys can relate to.JP – Oh, yeah. Guys and gals. I wrote that song about a woman who is still a good friend of mine. We had a short relationship. I was working up in New England working on a barn and staying this little old farmhouse attic and trying to visit this gal on the weekends. I tried calling her one night after a pretty bad day and never got in touch with her. So I just I kept calling this girl and kept getting her answering machine. We all know what drunk dialing is. I’ve done it a time or two in my life, up at 2 A.M. calling that ex-girlfriend from a year ago and sobbing about taking me back. If you haven’t done it, you have at least thought about it. I got to thinking about this idea that you call someone on the phone over and over again and you think they are going to finally answer. You are reaching out to someone, but they don’t have to answer the phone. They don’t have to take you back or tell you that they still love you. Hearing that recorded voice on the other end of the line asking you to leave a message can be one of the worst things to hear when your heart is breaking.J.P. Harris & The Tough Choices are headed west for the month of June, with dates in Louisiana, Texas, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado on the schedule. They’ll be back in the Southeast in July. Catch them when you can and, in the meantime, order a copy of the new record at www.ilovehonkytonk.com.last_img read more

Read More →

From The Mountains To The Beaches: 5 Easy Coastal Hikes

first_imgWith summertime upon us, we’re trading in our hiking shorts for board shorts and heading to the beaches, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop exploring.While our Southeastern coastline is home to beautiful beaches and winding Intracoastal waterways, it also shelters incredible wildlife preserves, state parks, and hiking trails. The elevation change may not be much, but the scenery offers a refreshingly salty change of pace. From tidal marshes and winding boardwalks to greenways and pine forests, our coasts have a little something for everyone. The following trails are all rated as easy hikes, are perfect for the family, and allow the pups on a leash.Photo: Virginia State ParksFirst Landing State Park Trails, VirginiaRanging from shorter three-mile loops to over eight-mile out-and-backs, the trails at the 2,888 acre Frist Landing State Park in Virginia Beach can be pieced together to make it as short or as long as you’d like. With scenic water views, wooded hammocks, and Intracoastal beaches, the park has the perfect mix of the woods and the sea. During your hike, there are a couple beaches that are perfect for you or Fido to take a dip and cool off.Located on the Northern point of Virginia Beach near Cape Henry Lighthouse, the First Landing State Park trail system makes for a quick and easy hike for beachgoers.Photo: North Carolina Coastal FederationPatsy Pond Trails, North CarolinaThe Patsy Pond Nature Trails are located within the massive, 159,000 acre, Croatan National Forest in the middle of North Carolina’s Coast. This trail system consists of three loops ranging from .75 mile to 2 miles and meanders through an old pine forest, grassy marshes, and the banks of several ponds.This massive National Forest is less than a 30-minute drive from many popular North Carolina beach towns like Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, and Emerald Isle.Photo: South Carolina ParksHuntington Beach State Park Trails, South CarolinaAlligators on one shoreline, sharks on the other, what more could you ask for? Toothy predators aside, the main loop at Hunting Beach State Park is beautiful. At just under three miles long, the trail takes you over a boardwalk, through a coastal forest, across tidal flats, and ends up at the beach. The park is rich in wildlife and features some of the best coastal birdwatching in the Southeast.Located just 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach, Huntington Beach State Park is a timeless representative of South Carolina’s well preserved upper coastal plain.Photo: Georgia State ParksSkidaway Island Trails, GeorgiaLocated in Skidaway Island State Park, just Southeast of Savannah, this 588-acre state park has six miles of hiking trails to explore. Consisting of everything from island hammocks to tidal creeks, salt flats to alligator ponds, the terrain you’ll cover is as diverse as the wildlife that calls it home.Skidaway Island is less than 30 minutes from Downtown Savannah and is a quick outdoor getaway for folks looking to take a break from the city or the beach.Boneyard Beach TalbotBoneyard Beach on Big Talbot Island, FloridaThat’s right…I said Florida. It may not be a part of the Blue Ridge, but in this post, we’re traveling to the beaches, and in my opinion, Northeast Florida has the best of them. Located in Duval County, Boneyard Beach is on the Eastern edge of Big Talbot Island State Park. This apocalyptic stretch of sand looks like something out of a movie. The skeletal remains of fallen trees line the entire beach, forcing visitors to jump, duck, and crawl their way across the sand. With close parking and easy access, this picturesque stretch of coastline is one of Northeast Florida’s most photographed places.Also known as Driftwood Beach, it is only 30 minutes from I-95, making it an easy pit stop for folks headed south. Winding through windswept Scrub Oaks along the coast, the A1A corridor from Fernandina to Jacksonville is worth the trip alone.Most of us go to the beach to swim, surf, and work on our sweet bronze bods. That’s a given, but keep in mind, you may be able to take the hiker out of the mountains, but you’ll never take the mountains out of the hiker. Next time you’re on the coast, go for a hike.Justin Forrest is an outdoor writer, fly fishing addict, and co-founder of Narrative North—based in Asheville, N.C. He posts pictures of cats and fishing on Instagram sometimes.last_img read more

Read More →

It’s a Board Choice: High Performing or Not?

first_img 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr A high-performing organization is directly connected to a high-performing board. So how can you know which type of board yours has chosen to be?A high performing board is obvious because the room is vibrant, the organization’s performance is strong, and the board and CEO have a viable leadership relationship. Unfortunately, high-performing boards are a minority, as most boards could be described as “entrenched.” (For more on the five personalities of boards, including entrenched and high performing, read my “Know Your Rubber Band” post, also on CUES Skybox.)When a CEO is asked about the quality of the board of directors, the answer is spontaneous and open when the board is high performing. The CEO’s face brightens, and he or she smiles while expressing three to four of the board’s best attributes.Read the statements below: How many apply to your board? If I missed some attributes, write them in the comment box at the end of the blog. Let’s share what we see as high performance for all our boards. continue reading »last_img read more

Read More →