Scott Pruett to retire following Rolex 24 at Daytona

first_imgRELATED: Pruett’s NASCAR stats | Allmendinger to run Rolex 24DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Scott Pruett walked into the Daytona International Speedway media center and smiled widely as he looked at the Lexus banner hanging behind the podium displaying three cars he had driven in the Rolex 24 and honoring him for a “storied career in racing” that spanned five decades.Moments later, the 57-year old Pruett smiled again and calmly, thoughtfully, announced his retirement from the sport, revealing he will hang his helmet up after the upcoming Jan. 27-28 Rolex 24 At Daytona – the great sports car endurance race that Pruett has hoisted the overall victory trophy five times in an amazing career that’s spanned five decades.“As an athlete if you’re fortunate enough to have a long and successful career and lucky enough to come to the end on your terms then you are truly blessed, and I truly am,” Pruett said. “Today, after 50 years of racing, the 2018 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona will be my last race.“It’s a magical place and I love it and what better way to say goodbye to a sport I love than at this revered place surrounded by my respected peers and diehard fans. So here we go. I’m so excited about the next chapter of my life and getting on with the Rolex 24 here in the next few weeks.”Early in Pruett’s diverse and celebrated career, it became clear the question wasn’t what this driver might accomplish, but what wouldn’t he achieve.His is a five-time champion in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with an amazing 60 sports car series wins in addition to claiming victories in the prestigious International Race of Champions (IROC) circuit. He competed in both NASCAR’s premier Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ranks and the IndyCar Series, where he won twice. He even made a pair of starts in the famed Australia SuperCars Series.When it comes to sports car racing, Pruett is considered a legend already.And how fitting that his final green flag – teaming with Dominik Farnbacher, Jack Hawksworth and David Heinemeier Hansson in the No. 15 GT Daytona (GTD) class Lexus — will come in the Rolex 24 At Daytona where he is among the great race’s absolute best. His five overall victories ties him for the most all-time with the legendary Hurley Haywood.Since 2004, Pruett has led an astonishing 5,262 laps in fulltime sportscar competition and in the last 10 years, he’s led 2,010 laps in the Rolex 24 alone.“Scott Pruett is a legend of sports car racing,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “It is a word and a description that is often over-used, but in this instance it is a statement of fact. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to have him represent IMSA for decades.“His on-track accomplishments and larger than life personality made him the face of American road racing. He became a household name among race fans through his versatility, and while he also enjoyed success in IndyCar and NASCAR, his sports car racing résumé is what made him a hall of famer.“As we embark upon what many expect to be the biggest season yet for IMSA and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, we will miss having Scott out there battling for race victories. And we will also miss his ‘Hi to the family back home,’ gesture that was his signature element of every TV interview… On behalf of Jim France, Ed Bennett and everybody at IMSA, I offer heartfelt congratulations to Scott on a truly amazing career, and most importantly, thank you, Scott, for all that you’ve done for our sport.”He is truly one of the most well-rounded competitors in the sport’s history.Pruett’s first victory in the renowned IROC (International Race of Champions) circuit came as a 28-year old in 1988 on the Riverside, Calif. road course. He bested a healthy version of the sport’s all-time all-stars including sports car’s Chip Robinson, two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr., and legends such as Al Holbert, Bobby Rahal, four-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser and NASCAR Hall of Famers Terry Labonte, Bill Elliott and the late Dale Earnhardt.He won a second IROC event on the Daytona International Speedway high banks during the 1991 Speedweeks – less than a year after he recovered from massive injuries – broken feet, ankles and back — he suffered while testing an IndyCar the previous March. That victory remains one of the brightest moments of his highlight-reel career, Pruett insisted Friday.“Coming off my bad accident and coming here and beating Bill Elliott in the IROC race, that was huge after breaking my ankles and shattering my knees and breaking my back,” he said. “There was never a moment I didn’t want to get back in a race car, in fact it drove me harder.”Pruett earned three top-five finishes in 40 starts in the Monster Energy Series, including 28 starts in the 2000 season. His best finish was runner-up, fittingly at the Watkins Glen, New York road course in 2003. He also made a combined 11 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in six different seasons, winning three pole positions and earning top-five finishes in two Mexico City starts.Pruett’s two IndyCar victories came in 1995 (Michigan) and 1997 (Queensland, Australia).When it’s all said and done, having competed in such a wide array of race cars and racing series, Pruett reiterated his truest love remains sports car competition. And therefore it is most fitting that he officially retire after the country’s most celebrated sports car race, the Rolex 24.“Sports cars,” Pruett replied, when asked to reflect on his favorite form of racing competition. “Overall, people long past when I’m gone, I think will remember me for sports cars. Even though I have achievements in other forms, by far, sports cars are my love.“More so than anything else I’d like to go out and just have an incredible race in my final 24.“My wife and I were looking. … My first race was when I was 24 and I believe this is my 24th time doing the 24. … maybe all those wonderful 24s will come together in the coming weeks here at Daytona.”“I have so many incredible memories here, it just seemed appropriate this was the time and place.”last_img read more

Newlywed Kyle Larson a solid fifth in Charlotte Roval qualifying

first_imgCONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson has qualified among the top five for the last three Watkins Glen races and won the pole position at Sonoma Raceway two years running.So perhaps Friday’s fifth-place qualifying effort ahead of Sunday’s inaugural Bank of America Roval 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) shouldn’t present such a striking surprise for the driver of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 Chevrolet. Still, Larson was hesitant to take on the label of road-race specialist ahead of the first Monster Energy Series event on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s combination road course and oval layout.RELATED: Turn-by-turn at the Roval | See every car in the field“Maybe a qualifying expert, but not a race expert, that’s for sure,” Larson said. “I seem to struggle when it comes to racing on road courses. For whatever reason, I feel like our cars always qualify good on short tracks and road courses. We’ve gotten better in race conditions, so hopefully this weekend we can have a decent balance on it and not be too out of control and keep from making a mistake. We’ve seen a lot of people have issues already, so just try to be cautious to not make a bad day out of Sunday.”Larson was involved in test sessions at the 2.28-mile course then rolled to the sixth-best time in Friday’s opening Monster Energy Series practice. But the Roval circuit continues to be a mystery for the 40-car field in terms of what to expect in race conditions.RELATED: Full schedule for Charlotte | Starting lineupWith drivers not yet pushing the limits to complete passes, side-by-side action has been limited so far. That’s why Larson says he’ll be a curious observer in Saturday’s preliminary event, the Drive for the Cure 200 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the NASCAR Xfinity Series.“I’m definitely going to be paying attention to the Xfinity race to see how they start that thing,” Larson said, “then also just seeing how we go down to the end of pit road.” The layout requires a sharp left at the commitment line, a tight turn if cars are running abreast.Whatever the outcome, the week has already been a memorable one in the life-event category for Larson, with Sunday’s event coming on the heels of his Wednesday wedding to longtime girlfriend Katelyn Sweet. The couple was engaged last December and has two children, 3 1/2-year-old son Owen and 4-month-old daughter Audrey.MORE: Larson, Sweet tie the knotFriday afternoon on pit road, Larson reflected on the nuptials with equal parts elation and relief.“I feel like our lives are so, there’s no certain schedule or stuff,” Larson said. “We’re pretty crazy and just go with the flow of things, so having a midweek wedding in the middle of the season, middle of the playoffs is just normal life. It’s just cool to get it done, and it went perfect. It was a lot of fun. Glad to have it over with, though. I slept a bunch yesterday. I’m ready to go home and sleep some more.”last_img read more

Saint Mary’s students gather to support victims of sexual violence

first_imgAs Saint Mary’s students walked around campus Wednesday they may have seen sporting violet t-shirts. On Monday, one fourth of the Saint Mary’s student body were handed t-shirts that read “One in Four” — representing the statistic that one in four college women have been or will be effected by sexual violence in their lifetime. On Wednesday, Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) and Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry held a Belles for Healing Vigil in support of survivors of sexual violence. The prayer service featured reflections, music and prayer. As students gathered on Alumnae Green, the director of Campus Ministry, Regina Wilson, and BAVO student representatives invited students to stand, gave opening remarks and led the group in song. Wilson said it was important for the Saint Mary’s community to gather in support of those effected by sexual violence. “It’s an opportunity to come together and, since we’re a faith-based institution, to express our hope that there is hope for everyone and to pray in solidarity with all those who have suffered — and to stand together as a vision, as a community in prayer and solidarity,” she said.Wilson said the vigil allowed the Saint Mary‘s student body to lift up violence survivors in prayer.“Anytime people gather for prayer, I hope it gives comfort,” she said. “I hope it gives language to people’s feelings of confusion or their feelings of feeling alone. When we’re all here, we’re a sign that we are not alone, even when we feel a deep loneliness.”Between songs, students read the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou and passages of scripture on healing. Students were invited to write the names of survivors, messages of hope or their personal stories on slips of dissolvable paper and to place them in water. Students also lit candles and observed a moment of silence. Assistant director of campus ministry Liz Palmer said she hopes students walked away from the event with “a spirit of solidarity.” “Life is one of relationships and one where we should all support and be with one another,” Palmer said.Senior Courtney Driscoll, BAVO Student Advisory Committee (SAC) member and co-chair for the events and campaigns committee, explained BAVO is led primarily by Student Advisory Committees, each with two co-chairs who lead a group of 10 to 15 allies. “Liz Coulston recently joined BAVO as the new director. With my experience working for BAVO the last three years, we could not ask for a better director,” she said. “Liz is everything Saint Mary’s needs. She is punctual, creative and displays all-around leadership.”Driscoll said the vigil was organized in the hope of creating an inclusive space for the Saint Mary’s community to unite and promote a message of hope and healing for those affected by sexual violence.“I aim to create unique visual campaigns,” Driscoll said. “I believe through this — making students more aware and supporting them — will cultivate a safer environment and potentially lower sexual violence in our campus community.” Junior Katelyn Edwards, a committee ally entering her first year working for BAVO, said the event was an emotional and inspiring experience for her.“It supplied students with a safe space to let go and heal from whatever they have been affected by,” she said. “It allowed the community to support them in a silent and respectful way. I look forward to working with BAVO this next year and help plan the events to come.”Tags: BAVO, saint mary’s, sexual violencelast_img read more

UC Workspace Just Launched the Best New Product for UCC Since Zoom

first_imgUC Workspace’s new UCC product is called WEAV; more information is near the bottom of this product announcement but read this first to understand its positioning.UC Workspace jumped on the scene a few years ago with a universal UX for all collaboration boards. Called Quicklaunch, it’s the maiden product of UC Workspace that allows users to securely start a meeting or digital call, regardless of collaboration platform, with a single click. Once in a meeting, users can use Quicklaunch to control virtually every aspect of the meeting as well as launch apps and access and share files. Quicklaunch supports all the major meeting provider tools such as Skype and Zoom as well as a broad array of hardware from manufacturers such as Avocor, NEC and Dell. After a meeting is over, Quicklaunch securely erases residual content from the meeting room computer, making Quicklaunch the first choice for highly secure and regulated environments.New features and benefits of Quicklaunch version 4.0 include:Functional enhancements to Tabbed and Flat modeAdded meeting provider features and supportNumerous additional meeting control settingsNew capture card and camera supportConfiguration and integration with UC Central and WEAV (in preview — see more below)UC CentralSo, that brings us to UC Central, which is a cloud-based meeting room control and insights hub that will help customers monitor and control their meeting rooms while providing insights that will help them maximize meeting space utilization and productivity.Features and benefits of UC Central include:Centrally control the settings all Quicklaunch enabled rooms across an organizationMonitor the health of meeting rooms and connected devicesControl the settings of a limited set of meeting room devicesMonitor and report on space utilization and meeting metricsMonitor and report on apps used in meeting roomsReads and controls settings from devices such as room occupancy and temperature sensorsProvides and extensible, scalable and secure integration and management platform for a wide range of hardware and software peripheralsWatch this video to get more details on UC Central, which is now in preview mode:WEAVWEAV is a category-defining new product that will reshape digital sharing in the enterprise and very well could be a true game-changer. WEAV was designed to be the most flexible way of sharing screens and content, providing a revolutionary form of interaction, woven experiences.We at rAVe think this may be the best new product to come to the UCC space since Zoom Video made its debut!Features and benefits of WEAV include:Flexibility to share content, files and screens from any device on any platformCreate woven experiences with or without an appSharing participant self-discoveryAbility to share local, network or cloud-based filesScreen sharing with annotationRich woven user experience including features such asShared keyboardsTouch throughTouch backTouch forwardMagic wand (presentation highlighting)Now in preview mode, find out more about WEAV here, or watch this video:WEAV will be available in preview starting February 11th. For more information on everything UC Workspace is showing at ISE 2020, go here.Here’s a video we shot of WEAV from UC Workspace at ISE 2020:last_img read more

Outsourcing human resources functions leads to a more productive workplace

first_img 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Steve Swanston Steve Swanston is EVP of Sales for Velocity Solutions. He is responsible for defining the firm’s sales strategy in order to maximize growth and market share, as well as … Web: Details As credit unions continue to balance the on-going demands of economic and regulatory expectations with increased competition for membership, the role of the HR department  is becoming a more integral part of developing and maintaining an institution’s overall business strategy. At the same time, it is essential that all of the daily functions of personnel management are handled skillfully to ensure a quality working experience for every employee.But for credit unions that don’t have the in-house expertise to manage the growing responsibilities of human resource administration, outsourcing all or part of these functions to an HR specialist can improve workplace management, reduce overall HR costs and allow more time for staff to focus on important strategic core competencies.Begin with the basicsProbably the most outsourced service in the business world today is payroll. No matter how many people a credit union employs, the time someone in the organization spends on payroll administration –  processing payroll, preparing payroll taxes and year-end W2 and W3 forms, tracking vacation and sick leave, and everything in between – could be put to better use on improving the bottom line.In addition to saving time, outsourcing payroll administration to a dedicated specialist can improve data integrity and provide compliance and legal peace of mind. In an  environment where regulations and laws regarding employee benefits and tax management  are constantly changing, it can be reassuring to have a professional looking out for your organization.Value-added services increase overall efficienciesBut as every HR professional knows, payroll is just one small, although important, responsibility of the HR department.  Simply stated, HR is the heartbeat of any organization and the myriad functions that fall under its umbrella are critical to a productive work environment. Yet, according to a recent article in Forbes, an estimated 50 percent of large companies outsource all or part of their HR needs.It takes substantial staff time and resources to maintain the complete list of duties required to employ your credit union’s personnel – standardizing job descriptions, reviewing and updating employee policies, standardizing HR forms and processes, FMLA tracking, performance management, employee training – to name a few. By outsourcing these tactical HR tasks, you can shift your human capital to more strategic activities and provide growth opportunities for valued employees.Completely automated HR management system provides comprehensive solutionJust as technology has played an important role in improving the products and services you provide to your members, an automated Human Resources Information System (HRIS) can streamline all internal HR processes and add efficiencies to processes that have historically been completed manually. In addition to decreasing the amount of paperwork required to manage personnel documents, a web-based system can easily integrate multiple systems across administrative functions – such as providing benefits and payroll information to individual service providers – to simplify daily reporting and strengthen employee engagement.Outsourcing this function can be extremely beneficial in many cases, as credit union human resources departments are already taxed with increased responsibilities due to budgetary restraints brought on in the past several years as a result of the economic downturn.A professional HR consultant can take a look at the overall human resource administrative process your credit union utilizes and identify better ways to consolidate all functions into one seamless operation. Not only will this save resources and free up internal staff to work on more strategic or member-focused activities, it will create a more standardized process that is easier to administer.For instance, when different HR systems – such as payroll, benefits and HR administration – are handled separately or operated in silos, it can be difficult to get all of the elements to communicate with each other, especially when they are captured in different formats or proprietary software, or administered by different HR personnel.  With the onset of new initiatives like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), integrating employee information into one module can reduce the time it takes to administer this function, eliminate errors and make tracking the information much easier.By outsourcing this service, credit unions can escape the costs of implementing internal hardware and software systems, and avoid adding IT personnel to manage the process.One size doesn’t fit allWhether your credit union is looking for a solution to improve a specific HR function, add employee services or revamp your entire human resources model, a credit union-centric  HR expert can develop a customized plan to address your needs. With a more streamlined HR process in place, your institution will have the knowledge and tools you need to manage a more  highly productive workforce and reach your strategic goals.About CU PeopleCU People is a leading provider of human resource (HR) outsourcing solutions to financial institutions.  For 13 years, CU People has provided comprehensive administrative support including Payroll Administration, Human Resource Administration, Benefits Administration and Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS). Through CU People’s value-added services, financial institutions can realize improved data integrity, streamlined HR Processes and eased HR administrative burdens – all of which allows them to concentrate on their strategic initiatives. For more information on CU People, Inc., contact Steve Swanston, executive vice president at or call (281) 243-6417.last_img read more

Lawyers spruce up the Manatee Children’s Services Group Home & Shelter

first_img June 1, 2015 Regular News Lawyers spruce up the Manatee Children’s Services Group Home & Shelter MANATEE BAR VOLUNTEERS took on the task of painting rooms inside the Manatee Children’s Services Group Home & Shelter in Bradenton. The facility provides assistance, safety, housing, clothing, personal hygiene items, and transportation to children ages 6-17 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, abandonment, and/or neglect. Volunteers included Paul Grondahl, Scott Rieth, Steele Williams, Maureen Sikora, Angel Colonneso, Jennifer Fowler-Hermes, Paul Hermes, Richard Perlman, Rob Eschenfelder, Dorothy and Keith Morse, Lindsey Dunn, Andrea Johnson, Jeff Goethe, and Sue Revell.last_img read more

NAIOP: Commercial real estate strongest since economic recovery

first_imgThe commercial real estate development industry grew at the strongest pace since the economic recovery began in 2011, according to an annual report on the state of the industry released today by the NAIOP Research Foundation.  The report, entitled “The Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate,” determined that the economic impact realized by the development process rose a significant 24.06 percent over the previous year, the largest gain since the market began to recover in 2011. Direct expenditures for 2013 totaled $124 billion, up from $100 billion the year before, and resulted in the following economic contributions to the U.S. economy:·       Total contribution to U.S. GDP reached $376.35 billion, up from $303.36 billion in 2012;·       Personal earnings (or wages and salaries paid) totaled $120.02 billion, up from $96.75 billion in 2012; and·       Jobs supported (a measure of both new and existing jobs) reached 2.81 million in 2013, up from 2.27 million the year before.The report says that the outlook for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015 is that the figures will continue to rise, with year-over-year growth expected in the range of 8-15 percent.Commercial real estate development has an immense ripple effect in the economy, providing wages and jobs that quickly roll over into increased consumer spending.“Commercial development’s economic impact is tremendous; simply put, a healthy development industry is critical to a prosperous U.S. economy,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP president and CEO. “As the uneven pace of the nation’s economic recovery continues, the industry seeks public policy certainty that bolsters investors’ and developers’ confidence. Despite this lack of assurance, we see positive indicators of a rebounding industry, but believe the industry could be more robust.”Industrial, Warehousing, Office and Retail Show Strong Gains:·       Industrial development posted a year-over-year gain of 48.5 percent due mainly to groundbreaking of energy-processing facilities.·       Warehouse construction registered a third strong year of increased expenditures in 2013, gaining 38.1 percent in 2013. This is on top of 2012 growth of 28.4 percent and 2011 growth of 17.8 percent, showing a sustained increase in demand for warehousing space.·       Office construction expenditures rose for a second year in 2013, up 23.3 percent from 2012.·       Retail construction expenditures rose modestly for a third year in 2013, up 4.8 percent from 2012.Operations and Maintenance Surge Even As Building Owners Cut Costs With Energy Efficiencies and New Technologies:Through increased energy efficiency and advanced technology, building owners cut the average per-square-foot cost of operating building space in the U.S. by 14  cents, from $3.20/square foot to $3.06/square foot. Still, maintaining and operating the existing 43.9 billion square feet of commercial real estate space resulted in $134.3 billion of direct expenditures, and resulted in the following economic contributions to the U.S economy:·       Total contribution to GDP in 2013 $370.9 billion;·       Personal earnings (wages and salaries) totaled $116.8 billion; and·       Jobs supported, 2.9 million.Top 10 States by Construction Value for Office, Industrial, Warehouse and Retail:1.     Texas2.     Louisiana3.     New York4.     California5.     Iowa6.     Florida7.     Maryland8.     Georgia9.     West Virginia10.  OregonFour new states joined the list: Louisiana at No. 2, Maryland at No. 7; West Virginia at No. 9, and Georgia at No. 10. These states made the top ten list due predominantly to development of highly specialized and expensive energy-related processing facilities.Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts and North Carolina dropped off the top 10 list, slipping to Nos. 11, 14, 15 and 18 respectively. The report includes detailed data on commercial real estate development activity in all 50 states, and also ranks the top 10 states specifically according to office, industrial, warehouse and retail categories.The report is authored by Dr. Stephen S. Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, and funded by the NAIOP Research Foundation.Where Arizona ranks nationally in terms of value of construction:>> Office……………………………… 10>> Industrial………………………… 41>> Warehouse ……………………… 8>> Retail/entertainment ……..22>> Overall..…………………………..22last_img read more

How the US government limits valid scientific research on cannabis sativa

first_imgPinterest LinkedIn Share on Facebook The use of medical marijuana for millions of patients suffering from a wide range of health conditions and the subsequent therapeutic benefits has long been documented. Twenty-three states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam, have determined that Cannabis sativa (a.k.a. marijuana) can benefit patients suffering from a wide range of conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder.So given all the health benefits for people experiencing debilitating health issues, why does the federal government continue to stifle valid, externally valid scientific research on Cannabis sativa?In a recent paper published in Science, researchers at The University of New Mexico including Associate Professor Jacob Vigil in the Department of Psychology and Assistant Professor Sarah Stith in the Department of Economics, concluded that the federal government continues to make it extremely difficult to conduct any meaningful research on the risks and benefits of medicinal use of Cannabis sativa. Emailcenter_img Share on Twitter Share “Millions of patients have been granted the authorization to use medical Cannabis and Cannabis-based products by their respective state Health Departments and four states have begun taxing and regulating Cannabis sold for ‘recreational’ purposes,” said Vigil and Stith. “However, the federal government continues to categorize Cannabis sativa as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, a more restrictive categorization than that used for cocaine, methamphetamine and PCP.”The definition of a Schedule I drug includes a “high potential for abuse,” and “no currently accepted medical use,” implying “a lack of accepted safety use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision, according to Vigil and Stith.National Institute on Drug Abuse controlThe National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) controls the supply of Cannabis sativa to researchers. The active agent in Cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, has potency levels in the products that NIDA supplies that fall far below those of medical Cannabis sativa regularly sold and used in the U.S., significantly limiting the external validity of most clinical research designed to study the effects of Cannabis sativa on health, both positive and negative.“This has created a truly unique and an unnecessary paradox in modern medicine, in which physicians are authorizing treatments to patients, and patients are regularly using medication without a scientific basis of knowledge on patient outcomes, forced rather to rely only on scientifically invalid or anecdotal information,” Vigil and Stith said.Apart from following internal human subject protection procedures, such as Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, a scientist designing a clinical trial on the effects of Cannabis sativa using human subjects must conduct several independent and lengthy procedures that include filing for an Investigational New Drug (IND) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), registering the study and obtaining approval from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and purchasing the Cannabis sativa to be used in the study through NIDA.“An IND requires a level of specificity that may be difficult to achieve with a plant product or even undesirable when one takes into account the variation of natural phenotypes and the range of products used by patients, Vigil and Stith said. “In the case of new drug development with the intent to commercialize, such oversight may be prudent, but it is unclear why a study on, for example, the effects of smoked Cannabis sativa on driving impairment would also require an IND after receiving approval by a qualified Institutional Review Board.”DEA approvalAfter filing for and receiving IND approval from the FDA, the scientist must also register the study and receive approval from the DEA, an organization tasked with the conflicting interest of “enforcing controlled substances laws and regulations,” which currently prohibit possession or distribution of Cannabis sativa, obvious components of any clinical investigation. The only exception is for Cannabis sativa purchased through NIDA. In other words, all Cannabis sativa used for research purposes must be purchased through NIDA, despite the fact that NIDA’s stated mission is to bring “the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.” No mention is made of research related to therapeutic benefits or the potential for non-addictive recreational use.Despite petitions from other universities, the NIDA Cannabis sativa supply is grown exclusively at the University of Mississippi since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. It is not uncommon for researchers to invest several years navigating this system only to receive a rejection from one of the controlling federal entities, and typically the DEA, which carries a notorious record of stalling, impeding, or otherwise obstructing sound medical Cannabis research, according to the U.S. Drug Policy Alliance (Drug Policy Alliance, accessed January, 2016).Potency issuesAnother issue with what little research the U.S. government has approved is the limited potency of the Cannabis sativa products available through the University of Mississippi. Reliance on this single source completely restricts researchers from conducting clinical trials using products that match the potency levels of products used in vivo, i.e., studies that would enable scientists to assess the therapeutic benefits and negative side effects of the medicinal Cannabis sativa actually used by tens of millions of people in the U.S.The highest level of THC currently available through NIDA is 12.4 percent (National Institute on Drug Abuse, accessed January 2016). As of December, 2015, out of all the currently funded NIH grants with the term ‘Marijuana’ (n = 51) or ‘Cannabis’ (n = 50) in the Project title, nearly every study addressed Cannabis use as a problem behavior, and only two studies measured the (analgesic) effects of Cannabis sativa in real time, each using products with potency levels between 3.5 percent and 7 percent THC. In contrast, a study presented by the owner of a state-certified Cannabis sativa testing laboratory at the 249th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society found that the Cannabis sativa sold in Colorado averaged 18.7 percent THC levels with some strains registering as high as 35 percent THC.In addition to dosing directly with the plant product, a variety of concentrates have been developed for vaporizing or ingesting edibles, both arguably healthier options than smoking. In New Mexico, the Department of Health has presently capped the THC potency levels in such products at 70 percent (a level that was widely protested as to low by visibly ill patients that attended a recent public medical advisory board hearing).“Clearly, results from studies using Cannabis sativa obtained from the University of Mississippi offer little to no insight into the effects actually experienced by medical marijuana patients in terms of both therapeutic benefits and negative side effects, if any,” Vigil and Stith said.What physicians thinkA recent poll conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine showed the vast majority of physicians in the U.S. believe that medical Cannabis is a safe and effective pharmacological agent for certain mental and physical health conditions (Adler & Colbert, 2013).“With increasing morbidity rates associated with prescribed narcotic abuse (particularly among non-Hispanic Whites) there is a legitimate place for Cannabis sativa as an alternative and perhaps primary therapeutic option for patients with a broad range and severity of negative health symptoms,” Vigil and Stith said.The substitutability of Cannabis sativa for alcohol might also reduce the exorbitant number of deaths and costs associated with alcohol abuse and drunk driving.“Unfortunately, both the costs and benefits of medicinal use of Cannabis sativa remain essentially unknown, and because the federal government effectively bans clinical research on Cannabis sativa, citizens, including many severely ill individuals, may suffer and die unnecessarily from both the unknown risks and the unknown benefits of consuming Cannabis sativa,” Vigil and Stith added.last_img read more

Tired teens 4.5 times more likely to commit crimes as adults, study finds

first_imgShare Teenagers who self-report feeling drowsy mid-afternoon also tend to exhibit more anti-social behavior such as lying, cheating, stealing and fighting. Now, research from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of York, in the United Kingdom, shows that those same teens are 4.5 times more likely to commit violent crimes a decade and a half later.“It’s the first study to our knowledge to show that daytime sleepiness during teenage years are associated with criminal offending 14 years later,” said Adrian Raine, the Richard Perry University Professor with appointments in the departments of Criminology and Psychology in the School of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.He and Peter Venables, an emeritus psychology professor at the University of York, published their findings in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Pinterest Share on Facebook LinkedIncenter_img Email Share on Twitter Raine had collected the data for this work 39 years earlier, as part of his Ph.D. research (studying under Venables) but had never analyzed it. Recently, he began noticing cross-sectional studies, those that analyze multiple behaviors at a single point in time, connecting sleep and behavioral problems in children. He dug out his old dissertation work to look for a link between these and illegal behavior in adulthood.“A lot of the prior research focused on sleep problems, but in our study we measured, very simply, how drowsy the child is during the day,” Raine said.To get at this information, he tested 101 15-year-old boys from three secondary schools in the north of England. At the start and end of each lab session, which always ran from 1 to 3 p.m., he asked participants to rate their degree of sleepiness on a 7-point scale, with 1 being “unusually alert” and 7 being “sleepy.” He also measured brain-wave activity and sweat-rate responses to stimuli, which indicates the level of attention a person pays to a tone being played over headphones. This represents brain-attentional function, Raine said.Next he collected data about anti-social behavior, both self-reported from the study participants, as well as from two or three teachers who had worked with each teen for at least four years.“Both are helpful. There are kids who don’t really want to talk about their anti-social behavior, and that’s where the teacher reports really come in handy,” Raine said. “Actually, the teacher and child reports correlated quite well in this study, which is not usual. Often, what the teacher says, what the parent says, what the child says — it’s usually three different stories.”Finally, Raine conducted a computerized search at the Central Criminal Records Office in London to suss out which of the original 101 had a criminal record at age 29. Excluding minor violations, focusing instead on violent crimes and property offenses and only those crimes for which participants were convicted, the researchers learned that 17 percent of participants had committed a crime by that point in adulthood.With these data in hand, Raine also incorporated the study participants’ socioeconomic status. He found a connection.“Is it the case that low social class and early social adversity results in daytime drowsiness, which results in inattention or brain dysfunction, which results 14 years later in crime? The answer’s yes,” he said. “Think of a flow diagram from A to B to C to D. Think of a chain. There is a significant link.”Put another way, he added: “Daytime drowsiness is associated with poor attention. Take poor attention as a proxy for poor brain function. If you’ve got poor brain functioning, you’re more likely to be criminal.”The researchers stress that drowsiness in and of itself doesn’t always predispose a teenage boy to becoming anti-social. And many children with sleep problems do not become lawbreakers. But the researchers did find that those with sleepiness and a greater frequency of anti-social behavior during teenage years had higher odds of a life of crime later.Knowing this could potentially help with a simple treatment plan for children with behavioral issues: Recommend they get more sleep at night.“That could make a difference not just for anti-social behavior at school with these teenage kids but more importantly, with later serious criminal behavior,” Raine said. “More sleep won’t solve crime, but it might make a bit of a dent.”last_img read more

Tritax Big Box holds ‘cautious approach’ despite operating profit increase

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