Author: KaiThrasher

Woman stole $24000 of lingerie from Victoria's Secret store, police say 0

Woman stole $24000 of lingerie from Victoria's Secret store, police say

Cynthia Roman (Paramus Police via the Paramus Daily Voice) Police have charged a Pennsylvania woman for allegedly stealing $24,000 worth of lingerie from Victoria s Secret in Westfield Garden State Plaza during nine different trips to the Paramus mall. Paramus Police charged Cynthia Roman, 39, of Tobyhanna, PA with nine counts of theft for taking clothing from displays around the store beginning in August, according to a report on NJ.com 1 . Paramus Deputy Police Chief Robert Guidetti told the Paramus Daily Voice 2 that detectives Norman Gin and Christopher Zuck worked the case and in January developed Roman as a suspect after sharing her description with mall security guards and store staff.

The description was shared with loss prevention officers throughout the 326-store shopping center. Victoria Secret employees spotted Roman Wednesday and contacted the detectives, Guidetti told the Daily Voice. Roman is being held on $75,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, according to police.

References ^ report on NJ.com (www.nj.com) ^ Paramus Daily Voice (paramus.dailyvoice.com)

Britain just got bigger – for some of our birds 0

Britain just got bigger – for some of our birds

New research, just published in the scientific journal Bird Study, shows that many of our birds have expanded their geographic range in response to climate change. A changing climate is predicted to see many species shift their breeding ranges polewards and we already have evidence of this for birds and butterflies, amongst others. Over the longer term researchers expect to see a contraction in the size of the overall range available to species, putting them under increasing pressure, but what about short-term impacts?

A new analysis, using data for 80 species of British birds and derived from the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey, has shed new light on the speed and pattern of this climate-induced shift in range, additionally revealing some unexpected patterns. Nuthatch by John Harding/BTO The results of the study, which looked at how reference points within the breeding distributions shifted over a 15-year period, revealed that the northern margins of the breeding range had pushed even further north for the majority of the species examined. In fact, they were moving northwards at an average rate of 3.3 km per year.

Interestingly, the southern margins were found to have moved much more slowly, leading to the overall distributions stretching over time. This suggests that different factors are operating at the two margins, as lead-author Dario Massimino explains: Bird species may be physiologically limited by cold winter weather at their northern range margins, with warming potentially releasing the limiting conditions and allowing rapid range expansion. In contrast, there is increasing evidence that retreat from southern range margins is more likely to be driven by community-level interactions, including competition with other species, and these may operate at a slower rate.

The net result of these contrasting patterns is that the geographical ranges of British birds have expanded over the past 15 years. The observed patterns of range shift are much lower than predicted from the observed 108 km northwards shift documented in mean annual temperature, suggesting that our bird species are experiencing warmer climates than before, which may have consequences for their conservation longer term. While Britain just got a little bigger for those species that have been able to adapt to the short-term influence of a changing climate, the future looks less certain and there is a real need to carry on with long-term monitoring of Britain s birds in order to understand the future impacts on biodiversity.

James Pearce-Higgins, BTO s Director of Science, commented: Our ability to track the long-term and large-scale response of species to climate change is entirely due to the efforts of volunteers who participate in schemes such as the BTO/ JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey. Martin Harper is the RSPB s Conservation Director. He said: This research provides further evidence of how rapidly and deeply climate change is already impacting the natural world, requiring species to move to track suitable climate conditions, possibly into areas without suitable habitat.

To see such marked and compelling results with the relatively modest rate of warming experienced so far, especially in the UK, it s disturbing to consider the future impacts, on a wider geographical scale, if humankind doesn t keep global temperature rise to the absolute minimum.

Railway Strategies 0

Railway Strategies

First is the UK’s only rail operator that runs every type of passenger train service. From regional and commuter services, open access and freight services to high speed intercity trains, overnight sleepers and local branch lines, First’s service is all encompassing. First Capital Connect, the group’s newest franchise, brings together the Great Northern and Thameslink franchises for six years with a possible extension of up to three years.

Awarded to First Group in December 2005 by the Department for Transport (DfT), the new Capital Connect franchise began operating at 2am on April 1st 2006, and includes the networks previously covered by the former Thameslink and Great Northern franchises. Elaine Holt, managing director, tells Railway Strategies more about this new and exciting franchise: First is delighted to have won the competition to run the Great Northern and Thameslink franchise. First Capital Connect will now run trains between London, Brighton, Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn.

The creation of the new franchise gives us a real opportunity to develop many areas of the network to deliver real, l benefits to passengers. We want to deliver changes in the customers’ experience, but we know that there are many improvements to be made. Elaine adds: First Capital Connect’s objective is to be a customer-facing organisation, committed to improving the whole journey experience, from customer information, service delivery at stations, reliability and punctuality improvements through to investment in ticketing and revenue protection.

We are investing 52 million in the franchise, the majority in the first three years, in a programme of action including improvements to stations and trains, security and safety, and, most importantly, investment in staff. It is through our staff that we can deliver the levels of customer service that will improve the journey experience. We will make a number of improvements as part of the investment into the franchise, introducing, in particular, new cleaning standards and station maintenance.

We will also bring the engineering of our trains in-house for the Thameslink part of the business, because that is in need of special attention, and we will also invested in protecting revenues with investments in gates. Every train will be deep cleaned within six months, and every Thameslink train will be internally refreshed within three years. Additionally, First Capital Connect is investing in customer improvements for journey planning, including improvements to the website and ensuring customers can access information at stations with a series of new measures including new electronic train information displays at 17 stations.

The customer is our first priority, stresses Elaine. They are telling us there are improvements to be made, so we are trying to make them. We are a customer service business and we therefore have to listen to our customers – we simply must.

We did some valuable research during the bid phase to see what both customers and non- customers wanted from our service, which has enabled us to set out an accurate investment programme. We talk to our customers on a regular basis through several different mediums, including online web chats and find that we learn a lot from such experiences. The customer’s priority at the moment seems to be getting a more punctual and reliable service and, of course, we continually strive to deliver this.

Our aim is to get the basics right and provide a service that is punctual, reliable, clean and safe. We have had a relatively good first three periods with a PPM of over 90 per cent, but we still have a long way to go. From our perspective, we are focusing on our fleet performance to make sure we invest in the fleet and deliver the improvements we needt in the areas of reliability and punctuality.

However, as you can see from our investment programme, there is an emphasis on improving the whole journey experience, not just making sure trains run on time. Nonetheless, punctuality and reliability are essential. First Capital Connect will also become more visible at stations.

There will be more revenue protection staff, two British Transport Police (BTP) sergeants, three BTP constables and 24 Police Community Support Officers. Capital Connect will appoint a head of security and also create a new control centre to monitor CCTV from a single, central location. Within the first years of the franchise, First Capital Connect will install 167 new CCTV cameras at 24 stations, 78 more help points at 36 stations and automatic ticket gates in at least 11 stations.

First Capital Connect, one of several franchises responsible for taking commuters into and out of the capital, often runs trains that can get overcrowded. In a move to reduce overcrowding on evening peak services, the franchise has introduced restrictions on the use of off-peak tickets on its northbound evening peak services out of London which took effect on 11th June 2006. We realise that overcrowding is a major concern to our customers and we are looking at several ways of resolving this problem, explains Elaine.

Peak northbound services from London, particularly in the evening, are significantly overcrowded. We are committed to taking action to proactively manage both the supply and demand for these popular services and improve the quality of the journey for all customers. It is expected that the introduction of the new restrictions on the use of off-peak tickets on northbound evening peak services out of London will reduce passenger numbers and have the effect of prioritising seats on these trains for season or full fare ticket holders, providing a more comfortable travelling environment out of London on weekday evenings.

Our primary focus, for the moment, is on improving what I have said before, punctuality and reliability, says Elaine. There are a whole raft of plans and investments, which will help us to do that. One of the major challenges we face, from my perspective, is that we have been here nearly three months now and everybody expects changes to be delivered immediately, which isn’t quite achievable.

So, it is about managing expectations and ensuring we deliver the commitments set out in our bid.

Elaine concludes: We are delighted to be awarded both franchises and look forward to delivering the improved performance, capacity, facilities and customer benefits proposed in our winning bid.

I am relishing my role and look forward to the future.