Backwoods Pondfest Organizer Tells Us What To Expect From This Year’s Amazing Lineup

first_imgBackwoods Pondfest has just released its final artist announcement. New additions include Lucid, Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis & Friends (a Twiddle and Lucid fusion), Balkun Brothers and artist-at-large Ian McGuire, and will be joining previously announced artists such as Melvin Seals & JGB, Pink Talking Fish Is Bowie, Spiritual Rez, The Nth Power, Sophistafunk, Hayley Jane and the Primates, and more (purchase tickets HERE).Full Audio Of Pink Talking Fish’s Tribute To David Bowie & Prince Has EmergedEntering its tenth consecutive year, Backwoods Pondfest is ready for its biggest year yet, and takes place August 4th – 6th at Twin Ponds Campsite in Peru, NY. This also marks the beginning of an indefinite hiatus for Lucid, as the band has set plans to take time off the road. Lucid frontman Lowell Wurster discussed the band’s decision to play the fest this year, “When we made the decision to take a break from life on the road – from playing live shows … Pondfest was always sort of a grey area. We’re really psyched that we’re going to be up there playing music for everyone, we felt like it wouldn’t feel right if we couldn’t make it happen”. For additional information, check the festival website.We had the opportunity to chat with Backwoods Pondfest organizer and owner of Full Circle Music Productions’ Derek Haviland about this year’s event.L4LM: Tell us your thoughts about this year’s headliners.DH: Melvin Seals and JGB has always been a personal favorite. Going back to ’80 when Seals first started taking the stage with Jerry Garcia Band, his style and his presence on that B3 is unique and unrivaled in the Grateful Dead musical community. Pondfest has never had JGB and Melvin Seals before, but they did co-headline Backwood Pondfest’s predecessor festival along with Pork Tornado for Pondstock way back in 2001.Pink Talking Fish is another first-year artist, and we’re looking forward to this special Bowie incarnation they’re bringing us for Pondfest. We’re pretty sure we’re going to see Hayley Jane, and maybe even an artist at large in there to jazz things up even more. Mihali & Friends featuring members of both Twiddle and Lucid is also one of the most anticipated performances of the weekend. With Lucid’s recent hiatus, and a ten year history playing at Pondfest for both Mihali and all the members of Lucid, the collaboration is really an awesome thing to have coming to fruition this year.  We’re expecting a high-energy, electric performance from this fusion of artistry. L4LM: What are your expectations for this year’s event?DH: Expectations are high: we’ve got more bands, more days of music and more years of wonderful experience under our belts then ever before. L4LM: What do you think makes Backwoods Pondfest so unique? DH: Most festivals that are able to offer the scope and quality of bands that Pondfest does aren’t able to keep some of the little things that help make a weekend feel at-home and comfortable. Fans look forward to driving in and camping next to their vehicles, bringing their four-legged friends if they want to, and even having their own small campfire at night while they listen to bands and artists from throughout the country. L4LM: Which act on the bill do you think will surprise people the most?DH: The Lucid sets and Mihali & Friends are really going to blow people away, we can count on that based on experience. Lucid has always done two sets since the band and Backwoods Promotions helped create this thing ten long years ago. I can’t imagine Backwoods Pondfest without them, and a lot of fans made it clear that they couldn’t either. Mihali is another familiar face that’s never missed on opportunity for an on-stage appearance at Pondfest, and when you put the Twiddle boys and the Lucid boys together, ‘surprising’ seems like a bit of an understatement.L4LM: Thanks for your time, Derek!For ticket and additional information about Backwoods Pondfest, check out the festival website HERE.[Cover photo credit: Jerry Cadieux]last_img read more

Epstein-Barr Virus implicated as a cause of MS

first_imgResearchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Walter Reed ArmyInstitute of Research, and a team of collaborators have observed forthe first time that the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) increases bymany folds following infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Thisfinding implicates EBV as a contributory cause to multiple sclerosis.The study was published in an advance online edition of the journal Annalsof Neurology and will appear in a later print edition.Hundred of thousands of individuals not infected with EBV werefollowed up for several years through repeated blood samplescollections. Researchers were then able to determine the time whenindividuals developed an EBV infection and its relation to MS onset.“The recruitment of individuals before they were infected with EBV andfollowing up with them for several years is the critical methodologicalaspect that makes this study qualitatively different from all previouswork,” said AlbertoAscherio, senior author of the study and professor of epidemiologyand nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and professor ofmedicine at Harvard Medical School.MS is a chronic degenerative disease of the central nervous system.Women are more likely than men to get the disease and it is the mostcommon neurologically disabling disease in young adults. Althoughgenetic predisposition plays an important role in determiningsusceptibility, past studies have shown that environmental factors areequally important.EBV is a herpes virus and one of the most common human virusesworldwide. Infection in early childhood is common and usuallyasymptomatic. Late age at infection, however, often causes infectiousmononucleosis. In the U.S., upwards of 95% of adults are infected withthe virus, but free of symptoms. EBV has been associated with some typesof cancer and can cause serious complications when the immune system issuppressed, for example, in transplant recipients. There is noeffective treatment for EBV.This is the first study based on the longitudinal follow-up ofseveral thousand individuals who were not infected with EBV at the timeof recruitment. The study population was made up of active-duty US Army,Navy, and Marines personnel who have at least one blood sample in theDepartment of Defense Serum Repository. The electronic databases of thePhysical Disability Agencies of the US Army and Navy were then searchedfor individuals whose records indicated a possible diagnosis of MSreported between 1992 and 2004.The researchers selected 305 individuals diagnosed with MS and whohad blood specimens collected before the date of their diagnosis. Twocontrols for each case were then selected from the serum database andmatched by branch of service, sex, date of blood collection, and age attime of blood collection.The study found that MS risk is extremely low amongindividuals not infected with EBV, but it increases sharply in the sameindividuals following EBV infection.“The observation that MS occurred only after EBV is a big stepforward,” said Alberto Ascherio. “Until now we knew that virtually allMS patients are infected with EBV, but we could not exclude twonon-causal explanations for this finding: that EBV infection is aconsequence rather than a cause of MS, and that individuals who are EBVnegative could be genetically resistant to MS. Both of theseexplanations are inconsistent with the present findings,” said Ascherio.“The evidence is now sufficiently compelling to justify theallocation of more resources to the development of interventionstargeting EBV infection, or the immune response to EBV infection, asthese may contribute to MS prevention,” he said.The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute ofNeurological Disorders and Stroke.last_img read more

Digital document and information management strategies for credit union growth

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dania Buchanan Dania Buchanan is Head of SmartVault and has served in leadership roles since the company was founded in 2008. In her current role, Dania is responsible for the culture, vision … Web: Details Growing your credit union’s membership and revenue is an ongoing challenge. This is especially true given the dynamics of the current business climate such as: increasing pressure on net profit margin due to diminishing revenue opportunities; rising expenses related to operations, compliance, and technology expenses; and a highly competitive landscape which makes attracting and retaining members difficult and costly.How can your credit union facilitate growth despite these fundamental market challenges? An important strategy for credit unions that are focused on driving growth and overcoming environmental business issues is the implementation of a digital document and information management platform. Let’s take a closer look at the specific key growth opportunities provided to credit unions by the use of this technology and the available solutions:1. The ability to efficiently and profitably expand your service area. Credit unions across the country have significant market competition from other financial institutions and financial service providers. However, recent changes to the Field of Membership rules allow credit unions to expand the size and geographic characteristics of the populations they serve. These changes offer growth opportunities to credit unions if they can efficiently serve more members, particularly those in rural areas. However, in order to capitalize on such opportunities, the advantages of implementing a cloud-based document and information management platform across all areas of a credit union must first be realized. Without these efficiencies in workflow, elevated member service via collaborative information sharing and e-signature capabilities, and the benefits of remote staffing made possible by a digital document and information management platform, serving an expanded market area efficiently and competitively it is not possible.2. Increased throughput of loan applications and member onboarding documentation. By its very nature, the right digital document management and information management workflow platform will enable your credit union to process more revenue-generating loan applications, retain existing business, and onboard new members faster. In comparison, credit unions trying to meet these goals and manage operational processes using traditional on-site paper-based workflow or maintain asynchronous documents using slow, on-site servers coupled with storage on local machines are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to increasing their capacity for handling new business and effectively welcoming and serving new members.This is because working in the cloud enables a completely different and higher level of workflow efficiency, speed and security capabilities. For example, using a cloud-based document management system allows your credit union to adapt its workflow to meet increased volume generated by new business by setting up the structure of electronic files to be accessible by all pertinent departments, individual staff members as well as specific members to expedite processing. This technology also allows for all documentation requests and exchanges as well as required signature execution to be handled electronically. Another key benefit of a cloud-based document management platform which expedites the processing of transactions and member services is the ability to facilitate customized alerts and notifications which can be created for individual users further elevating efficiency and the client experience while reducing operational and human resource expenses.3. Reduction of overhead costs freeing up operating capital and increasing net profit margins. In addition to enabling opportunities to achieve market expansion, using a cloud-based document management solution eliminates the expense and ongoing maintenance costs of maintaining an on-site server as well as providing inherent FINRA compliant features, thereby reducing compliance costs. This also eliminates the need to maintain a costly IT infrastructure because it meets the need for file encryption and other security requirements. Thus, the implementation of this technology creates significant relief of overhead costs and eases the downward pressure on your credit union’s net profit margin.4. The attraction of top-tier talent with remote work and access capabilities. Another often overlooked need connected to credit union growth is that of having additional staff. Hiring the best possible staff will allow your organization to increase its operational bandwidth while performing at a higher level. Using a cloud-based document and information management platform to enable remote work functionality allows your credit union to give employees the capability of performing all of their duties remotely. This not only saves money on office space and costly third-party systems such as a VPN, GoToMyPC or a hosted desktop environment, it also boosts productivity and allows your credit union to choose from a larger and more diversified pool of talent, rather than being limited by geographical constraints. Being able to have your key employees work effectively on a completely remote basis is also an increasingly important employee incentive and can help your credit union attract and retain top-tier talent.Choose the right digital document and information management partner to help you leverage growth opportunities. In today’s business environment choosing the right digital document management solution is a fundamental driver of strategic credit union growth. Beyond the immediate benefits of cost and workflow efficiencies that implementing a cloud-based document management platform provides, the long-term growth opportunities made possible are an even greater incentive for doing so. While there are many cloud-based document management and information workflow systems available, your credit union should consider the overall feature and benefit set of any platform in the context of its ability to offer the maximum benefits of this type of technology. Fuel your credit union’s growth with cloud-based document management.Cloud-based document management platforms must be deployed strategically and as efficiently and effectively as possible in order for your credit union to fully realize all of the opportunities and advantages available. This requires the full support of a vendor as an implementation partner. SmartVault helps credit unions leverage the benefits of overhead cost savings, workflow efficiency and new growth potential with a seamless, smooth and fully supported onboarding and implementation process. Regardless of the document management platform you choose, be sure that the vendor is willing and able to provide unlimited, customized support.last_img read more