Colorado Yoga Teacher Trainers Up in Arms Over Regulations, Freezes on Teacher Certification

Jan 31, 15 Colorado Yoga Teacher Trainers Up in Arms Over Regulations, Freezes on Teacher Certification

Posted by in Legal

Lawmakers in Colorado wants to regulate yoga teacher training — and tempers have flared for normally calm yogis and studio owners alike. In December, a state agency that oversees private occupational schools sent letters to 82 yoga teacher training programs, saying that they needed to comply with a 2002 law that demands registration with the state. But many of those studio owners who received letters pointed out that just six teacher training programs have actually registered with the state Division of Private Occupational Schools. Yoga teachers met with state lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 27, to debate the issue, and what was supposed to be just half an hour for public comments turned into over an hour of debate and discussion. Most of the teachers who attended the meeting said that yoga teacher training isn’t about gainful employment — the standard that most private occupational schools have to meet. Instead, yoga is about self-fulfillment, and most who are registered yoga teachers don’t work in the industry full time unless they run their own studios, which are set everywhere from busy downtown areas to quiet master planned communities. Further, they argued, yoga teacher training programs are already overseen — not by a government agency but by a private regulatory body that specializes in setting standards for yoga teachers and studios. The Yoga Alliance establishes guidelines for teacher training classes, from the most basic requirements for 200 hour training to specialized training to teach children’s or prenatal yoga. A basic 200-hour teacher training includes areas of study such as yoga techniques and practice; teaching methodology and practicum; yoga philosophy and ethics; and anatomy and physiology related to yoga poses. Training regarding anatomy and physiology in yoga helps prospective teachers understand the health benefits and risks for their students. For example, a yoga practice of three months or more can significantly improve lung function in patients with chronic conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) or other breathing issues. However, teachers also have to know when their students may be at...

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IBM’s Response to Shifting Topography of Tech Industry and Digital Business

Jan 21, 15 IBM’s Response to Shifting Topography of Tech Industry and Digital Business

Posted by in Featured, Technology

Monolithic tech company IBM recently unveiled its new z13 mainframe system, which is designed to provide real-time encryption on all mobile transactions, and is the first system to be able to process as many as 2.5 billion transactions per day. The “z13 system culminates a $1 billion investment, five years of development, exploits innovation of more than 500 new patents and represents a collaboration with over 60 clients underscoring IBM’s singular commitment to providing higher value, innovative technologies to clients,” said IBM in a statement. The new system’s abilities are a natural response to the perpetually shifting topography of the tech industry, for several reasons. First, e-commerce is huge. More than $1 trillion of retail sales were directly connected to e-commerce in 2012. According to figures from eMarketer, e-commerce was expected to reach $1.471 trillion by the end of 2014. With consumer attention clearly shifting towards e-commerce and m-commerce, a faster, more secure system is necessary to capitalize on the trend. Using the z13 servers, business could offer higher-quality, faster transactions. Second, the swift growth of mobile applications has also created a new breed of consumer, who expects his or her mobile transactions to be fast and seamless, regardless of who is providing the service. Consequently, business now have to reevaluate their IT infrastructures, determining whether or not they can — at the very least — meet consumers’ high expectations. Otherwise, they may risk losing those clients to competing businesses. “The z13 mainframe delivers scale and economics with real-time encrypting and analytics to ensure speed and safety for trillions of transactions in the mobile economy,” said the Inida subsidiary of IBM in a statement. “The z13 is the first system to make practical real-time encryption of all mobile transactions and help protect the transaction data with security features built into it.” With the new app economy on the verge of redefining what digital business means, the z13 is a necessary solution. What modern, e-commerce business wouldn’t want servers capable of providing real-time transaction insights...

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Innovative, Home Improvement Startup Raises $65 Million

Jan 21, 15 Innovative, Home Improvement Startup Raises $65 Million

Posted by in Featured, Home Living

The U.S. home improvement industry is extremely lucrative — worth about $57.2 billion in total — so it should come as no surprise that an innovative start-up connecting homeowners to home service professionals would be able to garner a ton of fundraising. What is surprising, though, is just how much it was able to get. Just four months ago, the home improvement start-up Porch was able to raise close to $28 million in its first round of fundraising. With its second round complete, Porch was able to raise another $65 million, bringing the 16-month-old company’s total funds to over $100 million. “It’s a big market and we’re trying to grow an enduring company,” Matt Ehrlichman, Porch CEO, told Forbes. “It’s about building competitive advantages or moats. We are willing to capitalize the business in order to win.” Antonio Gracias, the CEO of Valor Equity Partners, who led the latest round of fundraising, will be joining the start’s board of directors. Other investors included Lowe’s and Ty Pennington, the host of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The new funding will go towards a national roll-out of the mobile app’s booking feature, which lets users schedule and pay for small maintenance jobs at pre-negotiated prices right from their mobile devices. Currently, it’s only offered to Seattle users as part of Porch’s beta program. According to the company, revenue and membership have climbed more than 1,000% over the past 12 months. Now, its network is made up of 3.2 million service professionals across the country, who pay to have Porch promote their services and link them with homeowners. So far, the reputable service professionals who work with Porch have completed more than $2.5 trillion worth of home improvement work. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re twice our size a year from now,” said Ehrlichman to the New York Times. “We will continue to grow...

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Gender-Neutral Restrooms Required by New Law in West Hollywood

Jan 18, 15 Gender-Neutral Restrooms Required by New Law in West Hollywood

Posted by in Featured, Lifestyle

Laws are sometimes pretty hard to understand, considering the fact that they’re written in Legal English, which uses a different grammatical structure and often lacks punctuation. However, the message of one new law in West Hollywood is loud and clear: all single-stall restrooms in businesses and public places must be gender-neutral, and can’t restrict usage to a single sex. “Gender-specific restrooms can be unwelcoming and potentially unsafe for many people whose gender identity falls outside of traditional gender norms,” a city statement read. Business and public facilities have 60 days after the law went into effect, which was on January 15, to replace existing signs on the exterior of single-stall restrooms to indicate that the spaces are gender neutral, and to make any necessary changes to make the restrooms more accessible. It odes not affect multiple-stall restrooms, mandating that only facilities designed for use by no more than one person be non-restricted to a specific sex or gender identity. “Thank you for discussing gender neutral restrooms here in the city of West Hollywood and for giving that protection to transgender people,” said West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board member Drian Juarez. “I believe that the city of West Hollywood truly is a jewel within the LGBT community.” The idea behind the law is to help accommodate the sizable trans and gender non-conforming population living in the Los Angeles suburb. The city said that it will benefit “people with disabilities or with personal attendants, people with children of a different gender, and to the many people who have waited in line for a gender-specific restroom” when stalls intended for the opposite sex are empty. “I hope we can encourage other cities to adopt this,” said councilwoman Abbe Land, who initiated the law. “It’s really so easy when you think about it, and I’m glad that we’re one of the cities that is moving forward on...

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Honda Hit With $70 Million Fine by US Safety Regulators Over Reporting Failures

Jan 15, 15 Honda Hit With $70 Million Fine by US Safety Regulators Over Reporting Failures

Posted by in Featured, Legal

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Jan. 8 that it has fined Honda a total of $70 million for the automaker’s failure to report deaths and injuries associated with its vehicles, as well as underreporting warranty claims and customer complaints. “Honda and all of the automakers have a safety responsibility they must live up to — no excuses,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a release. “These fines reflect the tough stance we will take against those who violate the law and fail to do their part in the mission to keep Americans safe on the road.” The NHTSA says that Honda failed to report 1,729 death or injury claims filed between 2003 and 2014. The total penalty is actually twice the maximum Congress allows the NHTSA to impose, but the figure was reached by implementing the maximum fine of $35 million once in response to injury or death claims, and once in response to warranty and dissatisfaction claims. Honda has agreed to the fines. Honda North America released a statement Thursday saying that it would address its shortcomings as a company and focus on moving forward. Rising Implementation of Penalties The most recent set of fines does not address the scandal over exploding airbags made by Takata and installed in vehicles sold by Honda and numerous other automakers. Damages based on deaths and injuries caused by manufacturer error are handled through personal injury lawsuits (which are won by the plaintiff in auto-related cases approximately 60% of the time), often class-action civil suits; these fines imposed by the government are related simply to reporting failures. 2014 marked a record year both for recalls and federally imposed penalties. About 60 million vehicles were recalled, and automakers paid around $126 million in fines. The NHTSA has been keen to emphasize that it is cracking down on auto manufacturers, and administrator Mark Rosekind said the Department of Transportation is seeking to have fine limits raised to $300 million per violation for future...

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