Daily Postcard: A house finch perches on a tree branch amid falling snow Thursday afternoon in White Rock. Photo by Nancy Ann Hibbs
Daily Postcard: A house finch perches on a tree branch amid falling snow Thursday afternoon in White Rock. Photo by Nancy Ann Hibbs
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Visteon Corp. has appointed Sachin Lawande as president and CEO, effective June 29, succeeding Timothy Leuliette. At that time, Lawande also will join Visteon’s board of directors.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementLawande is an accomplished automotive OEM electronics veteran with more than a decade of global leadership experience in the industry. Starting in 2005, Lawande held several leadership roles at Harman International Industries, most recently serving as president of the Infotainment Division, the company’s largest division with nearly $3 billion in annual sales. Prior to joining Harman, Lawande held senior roles at QNX Software Systems and 3Com Corp.“After a thorough evaluation of potential candidates, we are confident that we have found in Sachin the perfect individual to lead and transform our company to achieve further success in the rapidly evolving automotive electronics market,” said Francis Scricco, chairman of the board. “Sachin’s significant operational expertise and unique combination of experience in the automotive, technology and software industries will be critical as we seek to capitalize on the dynamic growth of the connected vehicle ecosystem and provide our OEM partners with innovative and cost-effective technology solutions.”Lawande is one of the foremost technology and business thought leaders in the automotive OEM electronics supplier industry. Throughout his career, Lawande has championed the need for automotive suppliers of cockpit electronics to evolve to meet the demands of the connected car era.Before joining 3Com, he was responsible for the development of networking and consumer electronics systems at corporate giants such as AT&T Bell Labs and U.S. Robotics. Lawande has a wealth of experience in developing embedded systems and software and holds four patents in communications software.Advertisement“It is an honor to be named Visteon’s next CEO,” said Lawande. “Electronics and software are more important to the automotive industry than ever before, and the newly transformed Visteon is in an ideal position to emerge as the innovation and technology leader in this space to continue to deliver value for customers and shareholders. I am excited about the opportunity to build on the company’s momentum and lead Visteon into the next phase of its growth as the premier provider of driver information systems and infotainment that form the backbone of the connected car. I look forward to working closely with the board, management and the talented Visteon team to advance innovation in the connected car and further capitalize on the growing importance of electronics to the automotive industry.”Lawande holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and telecommunications from Bombay University in India and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
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Plans to create a central registry of ‘beneficial owners’ of companies could threaten the UK economy, a committee of the Law Society has warned. The proposal, set out last July by the business secretary Vince Cable in a discussion paper ‘Transparency & Trust’, is intended to ‘inject greater transparency around who really owns and controls companies’.In its response, however, the Law Society warns that the requirement to identify beneficial owners would put the UK out on a limb internationally, making it a less attractive place to incorporate.Kathleen O’Reilly, chair of the Society’s company law committee, said that the proposal was incompatible with the government’s ambition to cut red tape for business. ‘With the increased administrative burden, there is a danger that if introduced businesses would locate elsewhere,’ she said.The Society says that indirect investors in private companies ‘currently have a reasonable expectation that, if they so wish, they will be able to keep their interests private’. It is ‘strongly of the view’ that the register should not be made publicly available. ‘It is a fundamental principle of English law and natural justice that people should be entitled to privacy, unless there is an overriding public interest issue that requires otherwise.’ Even if the proposed register was not published, there would be ‘considerable disquiet’ about the risk of unauthorised leaks.Chancery Lane also raises concerns about how the register would dovetail with the existing regime of anti-money laundering regulations.LLPs should be exempt from any such register, the Society says. At present, the lack of any requirement to make public the ownership split between members ‘is an attractive feature’ of LLP status.One possibility would be for companies to be required to maintain their own lists of beneficial owners rather than creating a central register, the Society suggests.The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said it would publish its next steps on the proposals at ‘the turn of the year’.
INTERNATIONAL: An updated version of the Regulations Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail came into force on January 1, replacing the 2015 rules which may however continue to be applied until June 30 2017.RID applies to international rail transport between 44 countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa, and also to domestic transport within European Union member states. It is harmonised with the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, which serve as the basis for multi-modal rules and have been updated to take account of technical progress.The Entity in Charge of Maintenance is now included as a participant in the transport of dangerous goods by rail, with a formal duty to ensure the correct maintenance of wagons. In line with other modes of transport, there are also changes to the rules about polymerising substances and the construction and testing requirements for flexible bulk containers. A new label for lithium batteries indicates their particular hazards.
Whenever I hear the term “Kafkaesque” I’m always reminded of the brilliant Noah Baumbach film The Squid and the Whale, which also starred Jesse Eisenberg. Ever since that film, which brilliantly skewers pretentious literary twaddle, it’s been a phrase I’ve tried to avoid. Lorcan Finnegan’s new film Vivarium however – a strange and surreal suburban nightmare – is nothing if not Kafkaesque.Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots are Tom and Gemma, a young and unmarried couple looking to buy their first home, lest they get “left behind”…god forbid. This leads them to an estate agent selling houses in the paradise idyll of Yonder. The agent in the office is the extremely weird Martin (Jonathan Aris). His odd behaviour should set alarms bells ringing at this point, but they agree to let Martin take them to Yonder.The housing development is a vast maze-like estate of identical pale green houses. A suburban hellscape of perfectly manicured niceness, without another car or person in sight. Martin shows Tom and Gemma around the house, which is lovely but like everything else, a little off-kilter, and they quite rightly decide it’s not for them and want to leave. They go to tell Martin but he has disappeared. They ignore this and decide to leave anyway. Unfortunately they can’t escape Yonder. No matter what direction they drive in, they end up back in front of the house Martin showed them. Their phones have no signal here. They run out of petrol. They are trapped.With no other choice, they stay in the house overnight. Food mysteriously arrives in boxes outside the house. It is all vacuum packed and devoid of any taste. Then another box arrives, only this one contains a baby, and a single ominous message: raise the child and be released.Credit: Vertigo ReleasingDrawing on classic suburban horror such as The Stepford Wives and The Midwich Cuckoos, with even a touch of John Carpenter’s often overlooked In the Mouth of Madness, Vivarium manages to be both darkly comedic and deeply disturbing. The child grows quickly, so after what seems like a few months in the life of Tom and Gemma, he (it) is a ten-year-old boy. The creepiness of this boy cannot possibly be undersold. He screams like some hideous alien being until he is fed or tucked in, and speaks in a grotesque mimicry of his “parents”. Forget Kafkaesque, things have taken a turn for the Lynchian.I had a lot of fun with this film, but I’d be interested to see how people react to it. I was lucky enough to see Vivarium a few weeks ago, but I write this now in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown that is gripping most of the world. How a film about people being stuck at home for months on end, in the suburbs, with their kids, will go down at this time is anyone’s guess. It may well strike a chord with viewers looking for something even more bleak than our current reality.Vivarium is a witty and stylishly made film. The central metaphor is in no way subtle, and the films views on parenthood and settling down in the humdrum hell of the suburbs are decidedly depressing. As a piece of high-concept satirical sci-fi however, it is very entertaining, occasionally horrifying, and that’s before it descends into a dizzying psychotropic nightmare.Vivarium will be released in the UK and Ireland on digital from March 27th courtesy of Vertigo Releasing.Cast: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris Director: Lorcan Finnegan Writer: Garret Shanley Released By: Vertigo Releasing Certificate: 15 Duration: 98 mins Release Date: 27th March 2020
John Joseph FigueroaOn this Day in Caribbean history, August 4, 1920, John Joseph Maria Figueroa was born. Figueroa was a Jamaican poet and educator. He played a significant role in the development of Anglophone Caribbean literature both as a poet and an anthologist. He contributed to the development of the University College of the West Indies, now know as the University of the West Indies, as an early member of staff, had a career as a broadcaster working for many different media organizations including the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC), and taught in schools across the nation including Jamaica, Britain, the United States, and Africa.Figueroa was born in Jamaica, attending St George’s College. In 1946 he went on a British Council fellowship to London University to study for a teaching diploma and a master’s degree in education. He contributed criticism, stories and poetry to the BBC’s Caribbean Voices radio programme produced by Henry Swanzy.In Jamaica Figueroa became the first West Indian to be appointed to a chair at the University College of the West Indies, and the first Dean of the Faculty of Education. Between 1964 and 1966 he was a visiting professor first at Rhode Island University and then Indiana University. In the early 1970s he became Professor of Humanities leading the Department of Education of the Centro Caribeno de Estudios Postgraduados, Puerto Rico.In the 1980s he moved to the UK, where he worked for the Open University, was a Fellow at the Centre for Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick, and an adviser in multicultural education in Manchester. He edited the pioneering two-volume anthology Caribbean Voices comprehensive landmark collections of West Indian poetry. He was also the first general editor of the Heinemann Caribbean Writers Series.He also played an important role in the development of Caribbean studies as a founder member of the Caribbean Studies Association and the Society for Caribbean Studies.His own poetry “reflects his origins as a Jamaican of [Hispanic] descent and a Catholic who, whilst deeply committed to the Caribbean, was concerned to maintain [the diversity of its] heritage without apology. He insisted that drums were not the only Caribbean musical instrument and championed Derek Walcott’s relationship to the classical and European literary tradition. Ironically, one of Figueroa’s most effective poems is in Nation language.”
By Girum ChalaBishoftu a small town of lakes located some 30 kilometres out side of Addis Ababa has brought together an estimated 5 million Oromos for this year’s grand Irreecha celebration.As it is enshrined in theirs culture, people of Oromo from different walks of lives, both from within the country and abroad, gathered for the thanksgiving festival.“We wish our holiday to bring prosperity and happiness for all of us,”26 year old Tarikua Roba said.Usually the formal celebration of Irreecha in Bishoftu starts with Abba Geda’s also known as Geda fathers blessings. They bless the Oromo and the country as a whole for more health, wealth and above all for peace, love and unity.“The Irrecha celebrations is an exciting festival for anyone. People of Oromo have a colorful culture and heritage. When you see all of the people together for just one purpose makes one so excited. We wish next year to be even bigger,” an excited 25-year-old Kuli Zeleke said.Last year, deaths due a stampede were reported during the Irreecha festival..and large anti government protests were also witnessed.The police are reported to have fired tear gas to break up an ethnic Oromo protest during the festival. An estimated two million people were attending the annual Irrecha event in Bishoftu town, 40km southeast of the capital.This year too, few people were seen at the event demanding more political and economic rights for people of Oromo.However no security personnel were allowed to interfere or be present especially at the main event.The festival which is part of the UNESCO registered Gedda system displayed colorful, mesmerizing and peaceful thanksgiving gathering by the Oromo.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInScottish Water has issued new proposals to tackle flooding in Annan.The residents of Rose Street, Charles Street, Greenlea road and Newington Park have been presented with a solution which aims to get to the root cause of their flooding.Scott Fraser, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs regional manager, said: “This is a significant scheme which we hope will go some way to rectifying the flooding the community has faced in recent years.“After detailed discussions with Dumfries & Galloway Council, community councils and stakeholder groups we have come up with the following proposals which include the construction of a large underground storage tank in the south western part of Newington Park, the upsizing of the sewers within the park, upsizing sewers on Rose Street and Charles Street and some sewer upsizing on Greenlea Road to transfer storm flows away from the area. “We are not able to commit to any timescales for this project at this time but would like to assure the community that we will keep them informed throughout as we progress. We do intend to hold a drop-in style meeting which the local community once we have enough detail to share. We will also be continuing to work closely with Dumfries and Galloway Council to ensure this solution is integrated with their Surface Water Management Plan.” Image sent into DGWGO by one of our members