Share This!We’ve updated our Lines mobile app to route you around unexpected ride breakdowns while you’re in the parks. If your Magic Kingdom touring plan calls for you to ride Space Mountain soon and Lines learns that Space Mountain is temporarily closed, upon optimization Lines will adjust your touring plan by moving Space Mountain to later in the day, after the time when Lines expects it to reopen.This new feature keeps you one step ahead of the crowds by finding the best attractions to see now, and by knowing the best time to schedule a closed ride later in the day. It might also save you from walking across the park to find a closed ride.The idea for this feature came from us testing our touring plan software. Three major ride breakdowns happened in the first few hours I was in the park. My work-around was to just skip those steps in the plan, but it would have been great if Lines detected the ride closures and re-did the plan for me automatically. Now Lines does that whenever I optimize my plan.We’ve also added a new text field to Lines showing our estimate of when the ride might re-open.Behind the ScenesOnce Lines learns that an attraction has gone offline, it has to estimate how long it’ll be until that ride re-opens. To help with this, we’ve been collecting data on temporary ride closures for the past few years.Lines starts by using the ride’s median downtime length as an estimate of when the ride will be back up and running. For example, Lines knows that if Big Thunder Mountain closes unexpectedly in the morning, it stays closed for about an hour. And Lines also knows that when Big Thunder closes unexpectedly between noon and 6 p.m., it stays closed longer – around 90 minutes. Lines will adjust your plans accordingly based on the time at which the ride went offline.Lines also responds appropriately when a ride re-opens earlier than expected. When that happens, Lines will mark the ride as open and start estimating wait times again (including how much longer the waits will be because of the closure). If the ride stays closed longer than average, Lines will continually update your plan with its estimated re-opening time.If Lines thinks a ride will be closed for the rest of the day, your touring plan will display an appropriate message, along the lines of “We don’t think you’ll be able to get to this today.”One Important Note: The “re-opening time” estimates that appear in Lines are statistically generated using our own data. This information is unofficial and not from Disney. Although we use sensible estimates, the actual outage duration may vary from what appears in Lines.FastPass+, Universal, and DisneylandIf you’re scheduled to use FastPass+ on a ride that is closed unexpectedly, Disney should notify you through My Disney Experience and give you some options:Reschedule your FastPass+ for the same ride later in the dayChoose another attraction for your FastPass+ reservationIf it’s late in the day, get an extra FastPass+ reservation for the next dayYou should update Lines with whatever option you choose, and Lines will re-do your plan accordingly when you optimize your plan.This new ride closure feature also works for the Disneyland and Universal Orlando theme parks we support.
The SHRM Advocacy Team has been developed by SHRM Government Affairs as a way to assist HR Advocates — professionals like you — in making their voices heard on public policy issues impacting the workplace. It’s time that policymakers — both in Washington and in state capitals across the country — understand the role HR plays in today’s workplace. The SHRM Advocacy Team is a crucial component of SHRM’s advocacy efforts, and works with you to advance the interests of the HR profession at both the federal and state levels. As a member of the SHRM Advocacy Team, you will join the ranks of other HR Advocates committed to moving the HR profession forward, and be the voice of our profession.Here’s a recap of some of the most recent SHRM A-Team activities:Georgia- 10/10/13The 5th SHRM GA DC Fly In had been scheduled for several months. Little did we know that our trip, planned for October 1, would coincide with the government shutdown! When eight of us from the Peach State arrived on September 30 we weren’t sure if we would be able to see the seven legislators or their staff with whom we had made appointments. Our biggest concern was whether we would be able to even get into the government buildings. Even if they were letting people in, we had a pretty good idea that they would allow only essential personnel through the security checkpoints. There were three in our group who had not participated in a SHRM Hill visit before, and we were concerned that they would be sorely disappointed.Feeling optimistic, we set out early to hit the Hill. We approached the Rayburn Building with confidence, rehearsing the line, “We have an appointment with Congressman Barrow.” To our delight, the security guards were out in full force and let us in with a smile.Our first meeting was with Congressman John Barrow of the 12th District. He shared that it had been a late night for him, with meetings that didn’t end until 1 a.m. He explained that his staff had shown up for work as normal even though they weren’t being paid. He expressed his frustration over the inability to get a budget passed. He moved past the subject and invited us to begin the discussion that we had scheduled. He listened to our positions on both immigration and tax reform. Because E-Verify is required by law in Georgia, our group was able to provide an accurate perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of this system.On one of our following visits, Congressman Jack Kingston of the 10th District was very interested to hear about E-Verify from the Savannah chapter. In fact, he gave us an assignment: to survey SHRM members in our chapters about the pros and cons of the current system so that he could share these with his colleagues.We met with several staffers and two other members of Congress that day, including Senator Johnny Isakson and Congressman John Lewis. In each office we saw loyal staff who continued to perform their duties despite working without pay. All expressed their regret and frustration over the government shutdown and shared the hope that the stalemate would be resolved quickly. We heard an interesting perspective in each office and took an unofficial poll on how long the shutdown would last.At the end of the day we were thrilled that we had met with so many people even with a government shutdown. We accomplished our goals to meet with as many legislators from Georgia as possible, share our perspective on two key issues and build on our relationship with lawmakers so that we can continue to be a resource. It was exciting to be a witness to history in the making. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!Sally RobertsHuman Resources DirectorAugusta, GeorgiaPennsylvania – 9/27/13As a member of the Delaware SHRM chapter, I live in a multistate region that represents HR professionals and employers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. My home in Landenberg in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania is in close proximity to Philadelphia, so I made district office visits to my elected officials a priority this summer during the Congressional recess.While the A-Team’s focus for the summer recess was meeting with members of the House to obtain support for immigration reform, I chose to visit both House and Senate offices. In all three meetings, as a way to establish rapport, I mentioned my recent visits to legislators’ offices on Capitol Hill during the March 2013 Legislative Conference.In the offices of Senators Bob Casey and Patrick Toomey, I met with district staffers and made my introduction of SHRM the headlining message. I presented the Pennsylvania SHRM fact sheet to portray the strength of our membership of individual professionals who ensure compliance with federal workplace laws each day as part of helping employers manage human capital. I also provided contact information and invited the staff of both Senators to think of SHRM as a resource on public-policy issues such as immigration, health care reform, workplace flexibility and employee benefits. After introducing SHRM, I outlined its position on immigration reform. Both district staffers of Senators Casey and Toomey expressed interest in learning about the partnership solutions for immigration reform proposed by SHRM and its affiliate, the Council for Global Immigration and acknowledged this issue as a topic of interest.Given the anticipation of a potential post recess House vote on immigration reform, I was thrilled to obtain a meeting with Representative Patrick Meehan in his Springfield, Pa., office. I still used the SHRM introduction to kick off the meeting but focused on bringing the Society’s position on immigration reform to life through my personal experiences with the hiring process and, especially, my background in immigration case management. I presented the SHRM-Council for Global Immigration solution of doing employment verification in one step, instead of the current three-step process, and highlighted the Trusted Employer Program as an example of efficiency without cost—by simply streamlining the work. Representative Meehan’s thoughtful, detailed questions confirmed that gaining legislative support for immigration reform is not a simple request, and our ability to extract the key elements and communicate them is essential! The resources that the SHRM government affairs department provided was a tremendous help, which included a high level of detail and specific talking-points to help drive home the message.Shortly after I left Representative Meehan’s office, I heard him speaking live about Syria on the local news. The reality is that current events may alter the timing of a vote on immigration reform and the A-Team may need to prepare for another round of legislative outreach to lawmakers and their respective staffs on this important topic to gain support for SHRM’s position. On behalf of the Delaware SHRM chapter, I am looking forward to the challenge to ensure that the changes to E-verify and the adoption of a Trusted Employer program become a reality.Julia Orescan, CCP, SPHRDelaware SHRM Chapter Legislative ChairAlabama – 9/20/13Although the focus of this week’s blog is meeting with lawmakers at home in the district, I wanted to talk a bit about Alabama SHRM’s day on the Hill this past week in Washington, D.C. A group of HR professionals from across the state travel to D.C. twice a year to meet with all of our Members of Congress and/or their staffs about current issues affecting or potentially affecting HR and our employees (their constituents). This past week was an exciting time to be in the capital—so many issues jostling for the forefront, a horizon of multiple crises—people were indeed engaged. In fact, the whole city seemed energized. There were protesters as well as at least a million bikers, and our trip included 9/11 and Friday the 13th.We talked with House Members and their staff about the need for an amendment to H.R. 1772, to strengthen protection against identity theft in the employment verification process and to provide a safe harbor for employers who, in good faith, follow all required steps and use all provided tools. In every case there was good conversation and support for those sought-after provisions, and in several cases, a request to see a draft of this amendment as soon as possible. We came away with specific contacts to pass on to SHRM for this purpose. In the Senate we expressed our desire for the preservation of the current tax-treatment status of retirement benefits, especially 401(k)s, as Congress looks for additional revenue in the coming months.It’s great to connect our efforts at home in the district with our visits to D.C. In more than one office we talked with individuals whom attendees had met at home. Last March, in fact, one district staff member traveled to the capital to join our meeting there. This past week, after discussing our chosen topics, they shared information with us about Syria, the looming debt ceiling, a possible government shutdown and further sequestration issues. We left feeling at least a little more “in the know” and a little more connected.Along with allowing us to share our perspective on specific issues, provide facts about the impact of those issues and strengthen our connection with Members of Congress and their staff, these visits are about offering ourselves as a resource to lawmakers. Recently, we’ve been given the opportunity to provide a company to host a press conference for a House-bill-introduction announcement and to provide a person to testify at a House hearing and a Senate hearing. Outcomes like that make us keep coming back and cause us to smile really wide when they open their office door and say, “It’s so good to see you guys again.”(Well, OK, sometimes it’s “y’all” instead of “you guys” . . . whatever.)Juanita Phillips, SPHRAlabama SHRM Co-director of Governmental AffairsNew Hampshire – 9/18/13New Hampshire is the “Live Free or Die” state where we take our politics seriously. Whether you are talking about our New England tradition of town meetings or a citizen legislature (oldest legislative body meeting in the same statehouse chambers—with annual compensation of $300) or our access to candidates with our first in the nation presidential primary, the people of New Hampshire are used to and expect access to legislators, policymakers and enforcement agencies.The A – Team was perfect for HR professionals in this state. We have four teams: one for each of our two U.S. senators and one for each of our two representatives.While the crisis in Syria was a hot topic during Congressional District Days in August, we still met with the local staff from Senator Ayotte’s and Representative Porter’s offices. We talked about the practical implications of proposed immigration reform and, in particular, the issues related to widespread use of E-Verify. Our teams presented SHRM materials and talking points on E-Verify. The most valuable part of those materials was the solutions proposed by SHRM. In other words, we didn’t just raise questions and concerns; we proposed a fix, and that was a welcomed change for the legislative staffs.Perhaps the most important part of these meetings was establishing a relationship and a connection to the real life of workplaces in New Hampshire. Our team members come from large and small organizations—from retail to high-tech companies, from manufacturing to not-for-profit and private- to public-sector workplaces. Our team members shared anecdotes that proved to be very useful to our hosts. These legislators recognize the benefits and value of this information. They also recognize the need to be accountable to this large and wide-reaching advocacy group.In keeping with our “Live Free or Die” tradition of insistence on access to and accountability from our lawmakers in this state, to paraphrase lines from the A-Team of the popular TV series, “The A-Team [HR professionals] are here to do what needs to be done,” and “I [we] pity the fools” [who don’t listen to the practical impact of proposed or existing workplace laws].Jim ReidyNH State HR Council Legislative Affairs Chair and enthusiastic A-Team member
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Eastern Washington, seeded 13th, is a somewhat trendy upset pick in this year’s South Region. The Eagles have a win at Indiana to their credit this season, and they’ll face No. 4 seed Georgetown tomorrow night in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. EWU’s head coach Jim Hayford appears very confident in his team’s chances against the Hoyas. In face, he guaranteed a victory on Jim Rome’s radio show. Eastern Washington coach Jim Hayford just told the Jungle, “We’re going to win, talk again Jim.” Most confident 13 seed ever.— Jim Rome (@jimrome) March 18, 2015Do you think the Eagles will pull it off tomorrow? Three of our four Collegespun experts do.
VANCOUVER – Lululemon Athletica Inc. is raising its sales and earnings guidance for its fourth quarter.The retailer says it now expects net revenue will be in the range of $905 million to $915 million for the quarter based on a total comparable sales increase in the high single digits on a constant dollar basis.The revised forecast compares with its earlier guidance for net revenue in the range of $870 million to $885 million for the fourth quarter based on a total comparable sales increase in the mid-single digits on a constant dollar basis.Lululemon also says it now expects diluted earnings per share of $1.24 to $1.26 for the fourth quarter. Excluding the impact of the restructuring of its Ivivva operations, it expects adjusted diluted earnings per share in the range of $1.25 to $1.27.That is up from earlier guidance for diluted earnings per share of $1.18 to $1.21, or $1.19 to $1.22 excluding the Ivivva restructuring.The guidance did not include the impact of the U.S. tax reform which was enacted late last year. The company says it expects to recognize a significant income tax expense in the fourth quarter related to the one-time deemed repatriation tax on accumulated foreign earnings.“We are thrilled with our performance this holiday season that reflects an accelerating trend across all parts of our business, and we look forward to continued momentum in 2018 and beyond,” Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin said in a statement.
MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s president-elect announced an even more ambitious proposal for a train on the Yucatan peninsula Monday that would link nearly all the region’s main tourist draws and cost double or more than the previously announced figure.Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had campaigned on building the tourist train from the beach resort city of Cancun down through Tulum and to the Mayan ruins of Palenque, 520 miles (830 kilometres) to the southwest.The new plan adds a western spur that could stop in the cities of Campeche, Merida and Valladolid — the latter near the famed ruins of Chichen Itza — and ultimately complete the circuit in Cancun.Lopez Obrador said the “Mayan train” would cost between $6 billion and $8 billion, compared with the previous figure of $3.2 billion. He said it would be financed over six years through both public and private investment, including tourism taxes that currently net about $370 million a year.What was to be 560 miles (900 kilometres) of track would rise to about 930 miles (1,500 kilometres), and would be completed in four years “at the latest,” he said. Most of the route lies on land already owned by the federal government.“This will greatly stimulate tourism and will create jobs in the southeast, which is the most neglected region of the country,” Lopez Obrador said.The announcement amounted to a doubling down on a campaign proposal that had left some scratching their heads, and perhaps improving its viability by extending it along a well-travelled tourist route.The region is dotted by low jungle, wildlife reserves, pre-Hispanic archaeological sites, wetlands and underground rivers that can suddenly cave in.Even the initial proposal would have taken years to build, and soaked up scarce money, to reach ruin sites like Calakmul, which now gets only about 35,000 visitors a year — the number better-known sites like Chichen Itza have in a week.The new plan would bring Chichen Itza into play, as well as Campeche and Merida, two gorgeous if sweltering cities known for their picturesque colonial buildings.For fans of Lopez Obrador’s initial plan, it’s all about getting people off the beaten track — the heavily travelled tourism route of Cancun-Riviera Maya-Chichen Itza-Xcaret visited by millions of tourists every year.“Tourists today prefer other types of tourism projects that are more in contact with nature. … They are showing less interest in the coast,” said Vicente Ferreyra, a Cancun-based consultant whose Sustentur company specializes in sustainable tourism. “They are turning more toward the jungle, and there is an opportunity to diversify for markets that don’t just want sun and sand.”So, imagine if you could hop on a train at the Cancun airport and step off two hours later in one of the communities at the edge of the Sian Ka’an nature reserve, south of Tulum, where the coast turns into lagoons and mangroves.Villages like Muyil are offering tours such as floating down fresh-water canals dug by the Mayas, visiting local pre-Hispanic ruins, seeing local craftsmen and sampling regional foods.Few doubt that the first stretch of proposed train on the Caribbean coast — from Cancun through the Riviera Maya to Tulum — would be heavily used. Almost 7 million international tourists visit this stretch of coast every year, many of them arriving at the Cancun airport and then taking buses or cars down the coast.While resorts have been popping up south of Cancun since the 1990s, most hotel workers still live in Cancun, which was founded in 1974. So huge numbers of tourism workers could also use the train to get to their jobs, a trip that can currently take them an hour and a half or more.But it’s not clear whether the train would have stops at Playa del Carmen or other busy resorts that would be destinations for the tourists and workers. The initial plan shows it making its only Maya Riviera stop in Tulum before heading farther south.It is the second, southern stretch from Tulum to the unpicturesque Maya town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, just southwest of the Sian Ka’an environmental reserve, then on to Bacalar, the state capital of Chetumal, Calakmul and Palenque that raises more questions. Some see it as an expensive folly. There is little developed tourism infrastructure until one gets around the Bacalar fresh-water lagoon. And the route from there west is practically undeveloped.“The biggest doubt (about the southern leg) is regarding the profitability of the project, based on tourism flows,” said Francisco Madrid Flores, director of the Tourism and Gastronomy Department at Mexico’s Anahuac University. “In southern Campeche, where Calakmul is, there are practically no hotel rooms.”That’s not to say that Mayan communities there don’t have something to offer tourists beyond sites such as Calakmul, a sprawling ancient Maya city-state almost completely covered in low jungle. Five communities in the low jungle around Calakmul already offer hiking, biking, bird watching, cave tours, kayaking and craft workshops.Historically, the largely Mayan southern half of the Yucatan has been locked out of the tourism boom that has enriched the northeast — around Cancun — that now is largely populated by non-indigenous Mexicans. But in part that is due to the logic of who has the white-sand beaches and turquoise waters loved by tourists. The south has them, too, but only on the Costa Maya, a narrow peninsula running from Mahahual to Xcalak, an area the train apparently wouldn’t go to, although cruise ships do.In 2012, current President Enrique Pena Nieto announced that he would build a rapid-train link connecting the Riviera Maya with Merida, passing by Valladolid and Chichen Itza. The $1.5 billion project would have connected already developed tourist destinations on a heavily travelled, well-known route.It was cancelled in 2015 due to a lack of funds, but the idea now would appear to be revived with Monday’s announcement by Lopez Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1.“Based on the sheer numbers of inhabitants, it would seem to me to make more sense to run it in the northern part” of the Yucatan peninsula to Merida, said Ferreyra.___Associated Press writer Maria Verza contributed to this report.
New Delhi: In a major push to utilise CSR for sustainable development of skills, Bihar Skill Development Mission (BSDM) brainstormed with corporate honchos, heads of CSR wings of PSUs to promote sustainable development of skills.While addressing the conglomerate, BSDM Chief Executive Officer Deepak Kumar Singh said, “The concept of CSR is evolving. It’s no longer an act of few people carrying out philanthropic activities, but is being increasingly seen as a medium of active cooperation between people, government and corporations.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “Skills development is a dynamic concept. We need to evolve the public-private partnerships to better address the challenges of current society in terms of unemployment, generation of livelihood opportunity, enhancement of skills in disadvantaged groups and develop the various model of upskilling and livelihood,” said Singh, who is also Principal Secretary of labour Department in Bihar government. The summit was a recent addition to the long list of initiatives being undertaken by Bihar’s premier skill development agency to equip Bihar youth to make them industry ready. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KIn reply to a question as why the government is focusing on conventional skill training activities which would become redundant in the years to come, Singh told Millennium Post that initiating the dialogue with industry experts is a move to understand the requirement of the latest skill trends in the country. “We want to create a force of trained manpower keeping in view the demand of the industry. The industry is the best platform to know about the kind of skill would be required in the coming years. Since artificial intelligence is emerging trend, so we have also moved in this direction and started training in artificial intelligence in the ITI centres of Jamui, Bhagalpur and Gaya,” Singh said.
Bokakhat (Assam): Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday that funds for the ambitious ‘NYAY’ scheme will come from pockets of “chor” businessmen favoured by ‘Chowkidar’ Narendra Modi.Addressing a rally in the Upper Assam town of Bokakhat, Gandhi said the Congress, if voted to power, guarantees to deposit Rs 72,000 annually to 20 per cent poor Indian families under the NYAY scheme. “Modi had promised to deposit money in the accounts of people, but he has done it only in the case of some rich businessmen like the Ambanis. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”The money (for NYAY scheme) will come from the pockets of ‘chor’ (thieves) like Anil Ambani, to whom Chowkidar Narendra Modi has given money during the last four years… We will deposit it in the accounts of the poor, particularly women, irrespective of their caste, class or religion,” he said. The party has promised to roll out the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme, under which Rs 72,000 would be deposited in bank accounts of the women belonging to poor families, annually. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe Congress chief said the rich people employ ‘chowkidars’ (watchmen), which the prime minister has turned into for them. He said the country was witnessing the worst unemployment scenario and promised that his Congress party would ensure facilities for youths to start their own businesses. He also said the Congress, if voted to power, would not allow the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill. The Congress will restore special status of northeastern states and bring in an industrial policy to make the region a manufacturing hub, he said. Gandhi also said the Congress committed to ensuring minimum wages for tea garden workers that PM Modi had failed to fulfil. Polling for the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam will be held in three phases, starting April 11. See P5
NEW DELHI: Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh Monday said the sealing operation in Mayapuri area that led to violent clashes between traders and security personnel was not “violation of model code of conduct”.The Delhi unit of BJP had written to the poll body saying “the sealing drive is being carried out selectively during poll season under direction and instruction by Aam Aadmi Party”. However, Singh said, “The sealing drive is not violation of model code of conduct since it was carried out on an NGT order. We will inform the concerned party about it.” Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAround 14 officials were injured after clashes broke out between the security personnel and scrap dealers during the sealing drive on Saturday. The drive was started by the Delhi Cantonment sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee Meanwhile, the AAP party claimed that from the party moved a Delhi court over the issue and the court has stayed further sealing in Mayapuri till April 26. CM Arvind Kejriwal also hailed the decision. (DPCC).
John Simon’s legacy might be finally cemented. After helping guide Ohio State to a perfect 12-0 season, the senior defensive lineman and captain was named the Big Ten’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year Tuesday. “It means a lot to win this award,” Simon said in a released statement. “It is truly a great honor, but first and foremost, it is a team award. “I wouldn’t be given this award if it weren’t for the great play of my teammates.” Simon, who earned the conference’s Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year honor Monday, was also named a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection. But OSU first-year coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes were forced to finish the 2012 campaign against Michigan without Simon – a player Meyer called the “heart and soul” of the team. “I think everyone knows how highly I think of John Simon,” Meyer said in a released statement. “He is absolutely one of the finest young men I have had the privilege to coach. His determination and effort and selfless approach are second to none, and there is no better player or person to be honored with this player of the year award.” While OSU topped the Wolverines, 26-21 to seal its first undefeated season since 2002, Simon, who missed the contest with a knee injury, seemed to struggle with missing his final game as a Buckeye. “It was extremely tough to have to stay on the sidelines that last game and to watch your family go out there and play,” he said. “But they stepped up and got the win and I’ve never been more proud of a group of guys in all my life.” Simon, however, likely had a large role in putting his teammates in such a position. The senior led the conference with nine sacks this season and notched 44 total tackles-14.5 of which were tackles-for-loss. Simon made his last start as a Buckeye against Wisconsin on Nov. 17. He took down Badgers redshirt senior quarterback Curt Phillips four times to tie the program’s single-game record for sacks.