GALVESTONBeachgoers arriving at the Galveston seawall this weekend will find a far more spacious beach to relax on following the pumping of more than 1 million cubic yards of sand along 3.5 miles of badly eroded beach.

The $19.5 million effort to pump sand taken from a sand bar in the Houston Ship Channel ended March 27 as the last batch of sand slurry plopped onto the new beach near 61st Street, said Reuben Trevino, operations manager for the Galveston Park Board.

"Come on down and enjoy the beach," said Kelly de Schaun, executive director of the park board.

Beachgoers will see the formerly narrow strip of beach extended to about 300 feet from the seawall. The beach is designed to gradually erode and form a slope until it stabilizes at about 150 feet, Trevino said. He said the process should take about two weeks.

The project got underway more than two months ago after numerous delays but was completed well ahead of the May 13 deadline set by the park board. The contractor would have faced penalties of $1,500 for each day it went past the deadline.

The contractor began by extending more than 4 miles of pipe from a sand deposit known as Big Reef, putting much of it offshore to avoid beach that fronted private property east of the seawall.

East Beach and Stewart Beach, on the eastern end of the island, are in an area where sand is collecting, keeping the beaches healthy. However, the beaches roughly west of 12th Street are eroding all the way to the western end of the island.

The contractor, New Jersey-based Weeks Marine Inc., began pumping sand onto eroding beaches at about 12th Street and gradually extended the pipeline as new beach was created.

The pipeline eventually extended more than 7 miles from the sand bar in the Houston Ship Channel to the project's end point at 61st Street. The pipe is now being taken apart.

NEW RIDE: Trolley to roll into Galveston by mid-May

The new beach will help act as a barrier from storm surges and boost the Galveston economy by keeping the beach a prime tourist attraction, de Schaun said.

The park board plans to use sand from Army Corps of Engineers dredging operations to maintain its beaches. The new sections of beach would probably need maintenance in about five years.

The board hopes to get money set aside by BP for coastal restoration following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that can be used for beach replenishment projects in 2018 and 2020, de Schaun said.

The two new projects would add to Babe's Beach west of 61st Street, built in 2015 in an area where erosion had wiped away all traces of beach more than 65 years earlier. The projects would shore up the existing Babe's Beach and extend it westward toward the end of the seawall.

JOYOUS MOMENT: Man proposes to girlfriend in Galveston Mardi Gras flash mob

The replenishment of the beach in front of the seawall is the third since 1995. The last beach renourishment was in 2009, when sand was hauled by truck to restore stretches chewed away by Hurricane Ike in September 2008.

The bulk of financing for the project has come from $15.5 million that originally was intended to help finance a $40 million beach restoration project for sections west of the seawall, the largest replenishment effort ever planned on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The project was scuttled after a Texas Supreme Court ruling in 2012 left in doubt whether the Texas Open Beaches Act applied to the west end of Galveston Island and raised the possibility that the beaches there were held by beachfront property owners. Then-Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson yanked the project, arguing that tax dollars could not be used to enhance private property.

The Land Office provided $2.7 million for the recently completed project and the Park Board and city of Galveston contributed $1.2 million.

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A Galveston County man has sued H-E-B and RediClinic after he claims he fainted inside a Rediclinic at an unnamed store.

A Galveston County man has sued H-E-B after he claims he fainted inside a Rediclinic at an unnamed store.

A Galveston County man has filed a lawsuit against H-E-B and the grocer's in-store clinic, RediClinic, after he said he was injured while having blood drawn.

The suit, filed April 5 in Harris County Court by Raymundo Calvillo-Luna, does not specify the H-E-B store where the alleged incident occurred or the date of the incident.

Calvillo alleges in his petition that he had blood drawn as part of a physical at the H-E-B Rediclinic.

SHOPPING PERSONALITY: What does your favorite grocery store say about you?

"On the third unsuccessful attempt to draw blood, Calvillo fainted, fell to the floor, struck his head on the concrete floor, and had a grand mal seizure," the petition states. "He was taken by ambulance to St. John's Methodist Hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion and post-concussion syndrome."

Calvillo claims the clinic should not have allowed him to remain standing up while the technician drew his blood. He also claims the clinic failed to diagnose or treat the alleged head injury.

Calvillo seeks between $200,000 and $1 million in compensation, according to the petition.

H-E-B declined to comment on this pending litigation.

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Protected Media, a global provider of digital advertising solutions that increase media quality, announced today the availability of a multi-layered solution to effectively boost the value of mobile advertising. Protected Media is providing a multi-layered anti-fraud solution that detects a new strain of viruses that fake viewability, combined with a solution that verifies that ads are fully rendered and within viewing range on screens of mobile devices. Together, these two solutions provide double protection to protect advertising budgets and maximize the value of mobile advertising.

"Viewability is becoming a currency for online advertising, but at the same time bots are becoming more sophisticated and are undermining the validity of these measurements," said Asaf Greiner, CEO of Protected Media. "By detecting false viewability data that indicate that bots are at work, and then confirming that legitimate ads can be seen, we are providing a powerful combination that help bring back faith, trust and value to mobile advertising."

Inability to accurately verify the viewability of mobile ads is a growing concern for digital advertisers since mobile advertising is taking up larger portion of their budgets. According to eMarketer, mobile ad spending will grow 45% this year to reach $45.95 billion, and by 2019, mobile will represent more than a third of total media ad spending in the US. At the same time, mobile ads provide additional challenges due to the different types of mobile operating systems and devices and the fact that it can take longer to render ads based on connectivity.

Protected Media's anti-fraud solution utilizes technology and sophisticated methods from cybercrime investigations to uncover bots that fake viewability. Then, by providing information at the granular level about the exact position of mobile ads, Protected Media is able to confirm that legitimate ads are visible on mobile screens. In-depth reporting provides a detailed actionable data that can pinpoint exact sources of problematic traffic enabling agencies and publishers to identify all ads that aren’t visible, including those that are fraudulent and impersonate viewability to maximize mobile advertising effectiveness.

About Protected Media

Protected Media's solutions enable buyers and sellers of digital advertising to ensure that display mobile and video ads are properly located, visible, and seen by real people. Protected Media's technology provides in-depth information at the impression level to detect problematic traffic so agencies can work side by side with publishers to identify and eliminate suspicious activity to dramatically increase over-all ad quality. For more information, visit Protected Media online.

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That’s themessage of crude TV programs

I’m no fan of Fox TV’s The Family Guy. To me, it’s crude,moronic and not very funny. But I recently found myself watching a rerun thatfeatured a plot involving insurancefraud. The three main characters got caught burning down their friend’sfinancially troubled pharmacy.

They pleaded with the arresting officer to let them go.“Insurance agencies are all scumbags. They deserve to get hurt,” one charactersays. After thinking about how his health insurer had screwed him, the copdestroys the evidence and lets the trio go on their merry way.

Cringe factor aside, I realize that this is only a cartoonand few people take the messages seriously. Yet, those messages do have animpact. They plant seeds. And over time, as other similar messages pile on,they reinforce the idea that committing insurance fraud is no big deal.

More than five million people watched this episode of TheFamily Guy when it first ran — the most popular program on TV that evening. Thefraud-fighting communitystruggles to reach five million people in a year with anti-fraud messages.

I was reminded of this episode today when I saw the tweetbelow from a young woman who wants to secretly push her car off a cliff. Howdid these ideas form in her head? How can we discourage such destructivethinking?

For one, public outreach needs to be beefed up bigtime. Andsecondly, let’s keep our young children from watching such crude and sociallyirresponsible TV programs like The Family Guy. What shows are your kids watching?

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I have been in the recruiting industry in Tokyo since graduating business school at the end of the '80s.

The opportunity to help professional (people To Whom career is vitally important issue issue) find a path to a better life through proactive career building is, in my opinion, an honorable under taking.

KK Pacific Associates Limited

President, Paul A. Levine

President Bio & History

In 1998 I made the decision to move my own career forward from being a senior recruiter who happens to own a head-hunting company to being a full-time president who happens to be an expert in recruiting.

My goal then was to discover life beyond That of 12+ hours days and enjoy the life of the early-retired.

Like a pleasant afternoon nap That comes to a refreshing end, my time in retirement came to a happy finish with my establishment of Pacific Associates Limited in 2010. Pacific Associates Limited (PAL) is established as a partnership rather than sole-proprietorship.

Paul Levine's Profile

Paul Levine first visited Japan in 1985. He got an MBA at the University of San Diego and the California State University in 1989, and In the same year, came back to Japan to be a headhunter.

He has been married with two children.

His trademark white shirt, red tie and red suspenders havebeen prominent since 1995. "I meet different candidates in the Sami meeting room, dressed in the Sami clothes. Staying consistent Really Helps you to concentrate on the people you meet. As a professional in judging people, "I can understand an individual within about five minutes of speaking with them".

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We use computers to pay bills, shop online, chat and evenkeep in touch with friends on social media platforms. You might not realize it,but this makes us vulnerable.

Because we willingly broadcast over the Internet valuabledetails, such as our credit card information or bank account credentials –information usually needed by cyber criminals – we can never be too carefulwhen securing our financial transactions or personal information.

A 2016 report from the PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that cybercrimeis the “2nd most reported economic crime, affecting 32% of organizations.” Andthe same study reveals another cause for concern, apart from the economicimpact:

“The insidious nature of this threat is such that of the 56%who say they are not victims, many have likely been compromised without knowingit."

The data clearly shows that cybercrime affects individuals andglobal economic growth. Cyber-attacks on financial institutions or withfinancial consequences for users like you and me are putting financial assetsat risk. Consequently, financial data protection should be a strong concern foranyone.

So is there a way to for our online activities to remainprivate and safe from cybercriminals?

Definitely! Here are afew best practices that will keep your system protected:

1. Check the linkbefore you click it

Pay attention to the links you want to access. To make sureyou are not deceived; simply hover the mouse cursor over the link to see if youare directed to a legitimate location.

If you were supposed to reach your favorite news website,such as “www.cnn.com”, but the link indicates “hfieo88.net“, then you shouldresist the urge of clicking the link. Hyperlinking is a common practice inphishing attacks and it’s always best to double check embedded URLs.

Most of us use shortening services for their links, such asgoo.gl or tinyurl. But in some cases an unknown link may send you to amalicious site that can install malware on the system. So, how can you knowwhere you’ll arrive if you click it?

To make sure you are about to access the right onlinedestination, use a free tool such as Redirect Detective. This tool will allowyou to see the complete path of a redirected link.

Alternatively, you can also check the suspicious links usinga reliable URL checker, such as VirusTotal.

2. Check the filebefore you click it

We all know malware is everywhere. But how can we make sure afile (or an executable file) we just downloaded is what it’s pretending to be?Can we tell the difference between a safe file and a malicious one?

An important step for everyone is to use a browser whichintegrates a reputation-based technology. This technology uses a cloud scoringsystem to analyze each application downloaded and where it comes from. As aresult of the analysis, websites that distribute malicious software – not yetdetected by existing defense mechanisms – are more easily blocked. For moredetails, you can access the following article.

To make sure you are not running a malicious executable file(which may download a Trojan virus on your system), use VirusTotal, whichanalyzes suspicious files on multiple antivirus solutions.

3. Use secure websitesto run financial transactions

Financial operations and transactions should be given highscrutiny, as they hold the key for cyber criminals to cashing out your life’ssavings.

Here’s how to make sureyou visit a secure website:

1.     Lookto the left of the web address and find the “Lock” icon. This indicates thatyou are visiting an encrypted and/or a verified website.

2.     Makesure the web address starts with “https://”. The “s” comes from “secure socketlayer” and it indicates you are connected to a website where data, which issent and received, is encrypted.

4. Set strong passwordsfor your accounts

Your passwords should contain around 20 characters. Don’tforget to combine upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t usethe same password for all your accounts. Make a habit of changing your mainpasswords every 30 days. Even if you are hacked, having different passwords foreach account will help you limit a potential loss.

For more information on how to set strong passwords andmanage them safely, see our step by step guide on password security. Thisincludes details on how to use a strong and secure password manager likeLastPass or Sticky Password.

5. Use two-factor authentication

This is one of the best ways to ensure your online accountsor your email inbox are not accessed by anyone else but you.

This option means that, besides entering your credentials,you will be required to enter a one-time code sent to your phone. Use thismethod to protect confidential information from social media accounts, such asFacebook, Twitter or valuable data from email accounts.

Read More About 15Steps to Maximize your Financial Data Protection

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This year marks six decades of IFCwork in developing countries and emerging markets. A milestone made all thesweeter with six recently awarded projects in Asia Pacific.

The Asset, a regional publisher andmulti-media company, drew attention to IFC’s impactful contribution toinfrastructure in the region at its awards dinner on June 30. IFC receivedseven of the 50 accolades at The AssetTriple A Asia Infrastructure Awards 2016.

IFC Regional Director for East AsiaPacific, Vivek Pathak, joined the IFC teams on stage in Hong Kong. “Ourinfrastructure work, especially in this region, is pivotal to the developmentof emerging markets and connects people to essential resources such as waterand energy.”

Among the projects honored were tworenewable energy projects in Pakistan. Both Gulpur Hydropower Project andTenaga Generasi Wind Power Project won Best Energy/Renewable Energy Deal of theYear.

Gulpur Hydropower is one of threehydropower projects in the country addressing severe power shortages. Thejudging panel said: “[The project] could serve as a precedent for developingfuture Pakistani hydropower projects as the government makes a push intoadditional renewable technology.”

Tenaga Generasi Wind Power Projectis making important inroads with wind power generation as one of the first ofits kind in Pakistan to operate under the country’s Upfront Tariff regime,which transfers risk from the power purchaser to the power company.

The Asset also praised IFC for itsfive-year green Masala bonds which raised 3.15 billion rupees for privatesector investments that address climate change in India. IFC has invested theproceeds of the bond in a green bond issued by Yes Bank, one of India’s largestcommercial banks. Yes Bank has committed to investing the proceeds of its bondin renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, mainly in the solar andwind sectors.

The Best Power Deal in the HighlyCommended category went to the $525 million syndicated loan facility forMasinloc Power Partners Company in the Philippines. The loan allows for thecompany to supply power to seven electric cooperatives for 20 years, which willhelp drive down electricity prices for households.

A greenfield ammonia plant inIndonesia won favor as Best Industrial Project Deal. IFC’s $509 million loanfacility for PT Panca Amara Utama was applauded for supporting thelocally-sponsored plant. In addition to mobilizing long-term financing frominternational institutions, IFC also helped the company develop theirenvironmental and social standards, which will set a benchmark for otherprojects in the region.

“The project will create over twothousand jobs during the peak of construction in a frontier region ofIndonesia, and upgrade local infrastructure,” said IFC Investment Officer, SeanChanho Ahn. “By using locally produced natural gas and converting it intoammonia, the project will facilitate domestic value addition to Indonesia’snatural resources and generate revenues from domestic sales and export ofammonia.”

Mongolia’s Oyu Tolgoi, a copper andgold mine in the South Gobi desert, has generated thousands of jobs andbillions of dollars in government revenue. The mine received both Mining Dealof the Year and Project Finance Deal of the Year awards. “The project is thelargest single investment ever in Mongolia, which is a very significantstimulus to the economy,” said the judges.

At the heart of IFC’s work issustainable development – growth that benefits families, households andcommunities in productive and non-destructive ways. These projects help toelectrify neighborhoods, generate jobs and encourage investment in growingindustries.

AWARD WINNERS:

Best Energy/Renewable Energy Dealof the Year

Gulpur Hydropower Project

Best Energy/Renewable Energy Dealof the Year

Tenaga Generasi Wind Power Project

Best Green Bond Facility – HighlyCommended, India

International Finance Corporation (IFC) 3.1 billion rupees GreenInfrastructure Bonds

Best Power Deal – Highly Commended,Philippines

Masinloc Power Partners Company US$525 million syndicated loan facility

Best Industrial Project Deal,Indonesia

Panca Amara Utama US$509 million IFC loan facility

Mining Deal of the Year and ProjectFinance Deal of the Year, Mongolia

Oyu Tolgoi US$4.4 billion facilities

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The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) hasfinalised its guidance setting out IOSCO's expectations for issuers withrespect to the presentation of financial measures other than those prescribedby Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), so called 'non-GAAP financialmeasures'.

The IOSCOguidance is contained in the Statement on Non-GAAP Financial Measures, whichsets out IOSCO's expectations for the presentation of such measures by issuers,including that sufficient information should accompanying non-GAAP financialmeasures to aid in their understanding and that the measures should bepresented transparently and with disclosure of how they are calculated.

The statement provides specificexpectations in the following broad categories:

Defining the non-GAAP financial measure. This encompasses providinga clear explanation of the basis of calculation, clearly labelling measuressuch that they are distinguished from GAAP measures, explaining why themeasures are useful, and explicitly stating the non-GAAP measure does not havea standardised meaning and may not be comparable between entities.

Unbiased purpose. This requires that non-GAAP financial measuresshould not be used to avoid presenting adverse information to the market.

Prominence of GAAP measures versus non-GAAP financial measuress.Non-GAAP measures and their most directly comparable GAAP measures should bepresented with equal prominence, or the GAAP measure given greater prominence,and non-GAAP measures should not in any way confuse or obscure the presentationof GAAP measures.

Reconciliation to comparable GAAP measures. Reconciliations shouldbe provided between non-GAAP financial measures and their most directlycomparable GAAP measure presented in the financial statements, with adjustmentsexplained and reconcilable to the financial statements or information about howthey are calculated provided.

Presentation of non-GAAP financial measures consistently over time.Measures should generally remain consistent from period to period, includecomparative information, with any changes in composition explained and alsoreflected in comparative information and discontinued use of a non-GAAP measuresufficiently motivated.

Recurring items. Items that are reasonably likely to affect pastand future periods, such as restructuring costs and impairment losses, shouldnot be described as non-recurring, infrequent or unusual.

Access to associated information. The information that issuersprovide regarding non-GAAP financial measures should be readily and easilyaccessible to third parties.

The statement is intended to beused by entities applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs)and other accounting principles.

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Tips for creating SLA metrics and measuring serviceperformance

Build performance measurementinto your SLA, when you set it up - consider the following points:

1. Identify the most importantSLA outcomes first - and then determine clear metrics to track those outcomes.

2. Create a range of (say 10)simple metrics, such as targets, kpi’s (key performance indicators), that areeasily understandable.

3. Ensure the metrics arerelevant and match the key business needs of your SLA.

4. Clearly, the metrics shouldalso be measurable/quantifiable and unambiguous.

5. Base your metrics on yourspecific SLA requirements and needs - rather than readily available data,existing reports, or generic SLA metrics applicable for such services.

6. Design the metrics tomeasure different performance problems that your SLA / service provider mayhave.

7. Metrics should be mutuallyexclusive and not duplicate each other. Each metric should focus on a differentpotential problem.

8. The metrics should becomprehensive enough, such that if your service provider fails to meet therequired performance, at least one of the metrics will be triggered.

9. Review and test themetrics, to confirm they will pick up the undesirable problems.

10. Agree the metrics betweenboth parties – service provider andcustomer

11. For each Service Levelmetric include:

·        a reference name

·        a description

·        measurement parameters eg data sources

·        calculation formula and frequency

·        a baseline performance

·        the required performance or target, from aservice provider

·        remedies and penalties for poor ornon-performance eg monetary credits

·        any specific exclusions/exceptions

Then:

12. Set up an automaticmonitoring of the metrics, wherever possible.

13. Set up alerts forexception reporting.

14. Monitor performance(metrics) on a regular basis. Make it one of your regular daily or weeklytasks.

15. Raise any performanceissues at your regular service review meetings.

16. Review metrics and whenrequired amend them, to ensure they continue to be relevant to your serviceneeds.

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10 tips for writing better ServiceLevel Agreements

1. Ensure all key terms areclearly defined eg SLA scope, customer and provider responsibilities,reporting, service expectations, performance indicators, escalation, remediesand penalties. Make sure you understand them. If you do not, or have queries –ask!

2. Include the option tochange the SLA in the future. Businessesand technology change rapidly. So if the SLA is to remain relevant, it willneed to be updated as required.

3. Include the provision for regularSLA reviews. Six-monthly would be ideal, but failing that - annually, to managechanging circumstances.

4. Make sure you have a‘get-out’ clause. It is important to be able to terminate the SLA under certainconditions eg exceptionally poor performance, major problems, significantchanges to services.

5. Includeperformance-monitoring criteria within the SLA. Plus, include automatic penaltycredits for non-compliance of performance. Better to build this into the SLAfrom the start, than negotiate each time it occurs.

6. Writing the SLA should be ajoint effort between customer user and IT staff and the service provider. Inputand agreement from all is required. One party should not dictate or force SLAterms on the others!

7. Allow sufficient time toprepare, negotiate and agree, a comprehensive and relevant SLA. The quality ofthe SLA is improved by not rushing and taking more time, whatever the projecttime pressures.

8. Look out for exceptionswithin the SLA. Ensure you understand them and their potential impact on theoverall SLA.

9. Look out for third partycomponents within the SLA. Ideally, one service provider would provide theentire service. However, there may be input or reliance from other thirdparties. So check who is responsible for what, and whether it is included orexcluded from the SLA.

10. Carefully review your SLA.Make sure it is easy to understand by all – even non-technical users. Does itcover everything? See our SLA Checklist. Does it meet your business and servicerequirements? Are you satisfied with it?

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