Beans, Bikes, and a Bald Guy

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first_img“That coffee you’re drinking? The guy who grew that got shot in the head last week.”The couple casually sipping on their just-purchased cup of joe pause, unsure of how to react to the bald man standing before them. Is he joking? Is he serious? For a moment, the four of us stand on the front porch of Bald Guy Brew with only the sound of cars idling through downtown Valle Crucis, N.C., to break the silence. The woman nervously laughs and takes another sip.“What’s in your cup matters,” he continues, patting a sack of unroasted Mexican coffee beans that has just arrived. Considering the blunt delivery of his message, the couple recovers surprisingly well and begins to ask questions to the bald guy.That bald guy is the Bald Guy of Bald Guy Brew Roasting Company. His name is Don Cox, and he’s just about as complex of an individual as the third-world coffees he roasts in his little shop in western North Carolina. An Appalachian State University alumnus, carpenter, priest, aspiring cyclist, and “grunt” of Bald Guy Brew, Cox’s diverse array of life experiences and interests can be seen in every corner of the coffee shop.Framed photographs of Rwandan refugees adorn the walls, bike jerseys hang off the handlebars of Cox’s commuter ride, and a stack of coffee sacks from around the globe sit in a chest-deep pile by the main roaster, Lucille.“She’s got a nice groove, like B.B. King’s guitar,” Cox says, nodding toward the roasting machine that’s loudly churning freshly roasted coffee beans.The machine isn’t tucked away in some back room of the coffee shop. Instead, Cox has it on display so customers can see the roasting process, from green coffee bean to delicious caffeinated beverage. Cox’s wife Shannon is a schoolteacher, so he’s well versed in the ways of education. There’s a story behind every photograph, a lesson in each empty sack of coffee, but his main platform for helping educate others on “what’s in your cup,” is his bike.“I’m not a cyclist,” Cox says. “I’ve fallen off my bike more than I’ve ever ridden it. Plus, a bald guy in spandex…bad.”Don’t let his modesty fool you. Cox has spent his fair share of hours in the saddle. After diving into the coffee growing industry during a three-year stint in Mexico, Cox was invited to work with genocide survivors in Rwanda where he came up with the Beans for Bikes initiative. In the spring of 2011, Cox hopped on a bike in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., and pedaled his way home to Boone with 100 pounds of Rwandan coffee on board. His mission? For every mile he rode, a backer would pledge $1 to the initiative to help fund the production of bikes for coffee growers in Rwanda.“It was amazing…that I made it,” Cox says laughing. “I helped raise over $5,000. I think I was younger and dumber. But, now I’m older and dumber so I’m going to do it again.”This fall, Cox plans to hop back on the bike and reverse his trip, this time pedaling to Wrightsville Beach from Boone with 100lbs of Costa Rican coffee. The goal now is to raise funds to create a research and development farm in Costa Rica. The farm will serve as an educational project to help coffee growers, which will in turn create a standard to open up the doors for market access. If you’ve ever wondered what “fair trade” really means, this is it.“We exist to empower coffee growing communities rather than exploit them,” Cox says. “Coffee has to be doing good things for us and it has to be good. So if it’s good, and it’s doing good, it’s kind of a win.”Since starting his business in 2011, Cox has made every effort to provide eco-friendly, socially responsible, artisanal coffee. From the bio-fueled, solar-powered Dodge Sprinter van where Bald Guy Brew began to the 4,500 pounds of coffee beans that have now been distributed to wholesale clients entirely by bike (3,800 of those by Cox himself), this bald guy doesn’t just talk the talk – he rides it too.“Why do I ride bikes to promote Bald Guy’s mission of doing good? It’s because if I walk carrying coffee it will take too long,” he says. “I think small businesses can make a difference without having a lot of money. You have to be who you say you are and do what you say.”It’s a lot easier said than done. From coffee shareholder politics to clogging up the injectors of his van while trying to make his own biofuel, Cox has built his business from the ground up, largely through trial and error.“I have a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old who were six and nine during that Beans for Bikes ride,” Cox says. “They saw their old man humpin’ up a mountain on a bike with a bunch of coffee trying to make a difference in the world. I just want my boys to know that there’s another way to live. We don’t have the ability to write fat checks, but I have a bike.”last_img read more

Court calls for 66 new judges

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first_img January 1, 2006 Regular News Court calls for 66 new judges Court calls for 66 new judgescenter_img The circuits need 40, the counties, 24, and DCAs, two Mark Killian Managing Editor The state needs 66 new judges to fulfill the “guarantee of timely and meaningful access to justice for the people of Florida,” according to the Supreme Court.In its annual certification opinion released December 15, the court said Florida needs 40 new circuit, 24 new county, and two new district courts of appeal judges.Writing for a unanimous court, Chief Justice Barbara Pariente said the gap between the certified need and the authorization of new judges was “significantly narrowed” during the 2005 legislative session when 55 new judgeships were created. Another four also were authorized in December’s special session.“However, even with the new positions, judicial workload remains high,” Chief Justice Pariente said. “Florida, the nation’s fourth largest state, ranks second highest among the 10 largest states in filings per judge. Remarkably, as of 2003, our general jurisdiction judges handle approximately 64 percent more filings per judge than the national average.”For the circuits, the court certified a need for:• Six additional judges for the 20th Circuit.• Four additional judges each for the Fifth, 11th, and 13th circuits.• Three additional judges each for the Fourth, Ninth, and 17th circuits.• Two additional judges each for the First, Seventh, 10th, and 12th circuits.• One additional judge each for the Second, Sixth, 14th, 18th, and 19th circuits. For the counties, the court asked for:• Five additional judges for Broward County.• Three additional judges each for Pinellas and Brevard counties.• Two additional judges each for Pasco and Orange counties.• One additional judge each for Duval, Marion, Osceola, Polk, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Charlotte, Collier, and Lee counties.Pariente said had all the circuit and county judgeships that the court certified last year been funded, this year the court would only be asking for an additional 11 judges for the county and circuit courts.“These judicial positions, if funded, will eliminate the remaining gap between the present number of judges and the additional need,” she said.For the DCAs, the court requested one additional judge each for the Second and Fourth DCAs.The Second DCA last received an additional judge in 1993 and the last new judgeship created for the Fourth DCA was in 1988.“Statewide, the district courts of appeal recorded an average of approximately 396 case filings per judge in fiscal year 2004-05,” Pariente said, adding that for the same time period, the Second and Fourth DCAs experienced approximately 434 and 421 case filings per judge, respectively.Of even greater significance, Pariente said, are the increases in the weighted caseload per judge data.“The Second and Fourth districts have the highest weighted caseloads per judge,” Pariente said. “In consideration of our previous years’ certifications, we once again certify the need for one additional district court judge in the Second and Fourth districts, for a total of two new district court judgeships.”Pariente also said supplemental resources assist judges in the fundamental mission of safeguarding Floridians’ constitutional rights of due process, equal protection, and access to courts. Pariente said the legislature, by funding the fiscal unification amendment to Article V, recognized the valuable contribution that case managers, mediators, and magistrates make to the efficient and effective operation of the trial courts.“However, further funding by the legislature of judicial law clerks for trial judges is needed in order to facilitate the adjudication of cases,” Pariente said, adding that judges rely on the support of professionals trained in the law to help them dispose of their cases and it is an inefficient use of judges’ time for them to perform tasks that can be capably performed by support staff, such as reviewing lengthy handwritten pleadings or performing detailed legal research.“We strongly encourage the legislature to consider our legislative budget request related to judicial law clerks, who perform a vital service for the trial courts in multiple areas and are particularly useful in capital cases, county to circuit appeals, and complex civil litigation in addition to postconviction proceedings,” Pariente said.“We call upon the legislature and the governor to complete the process begun during the last regular session and fund all the judicial positions that Florida’s citizens need and deserve,” the chief justice said.last_img read more

7 steps credit unions can take to counteract PINless debit

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first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr PINless debit has been in use for many years. It allows certain merchant categories to bill debit cards for things like utility bills and Internet charges, where entering a PIN created additional security concerns. The use of PINless debit complies with the Durbin Amendment and cuts merchant interchange rates in half.When a merchant processes a lot of sub $50 transactions, they can re-route debit transactions off of Visa and MasterCard and on to EFT networks (such as STAR and NYCE). In most cases, this happens without consumer knowledge or permission. Meanwhile, according to recent reports, the number of retailers implementing re-routing is on the upswing.The impact to credit unions is a reduction in interchange fees. According to the Federal Reserve, for exempt Financial Institutions—those under $10 billion in assets—the average interchange fee per transaction for a transaction processed over Visa’s or MasterCard’s networks is $0.50, compared with $0.26 for transactions processed over most of the PIN networks. That’s nearly half! continue reading »last_img read more

Lyon confirm £20m signing of Moussa Dembele from Celtic on five-year deal

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first_img ultras Old Firm Man United, Arsenal, Wolves, Rangers and Celtic discover Europa League opponents He then started as a professional at Fulham before joining Celtic in 2016.The 22-year-old has now ended a transfer saga by signing for Lyon on a five-year-deal.Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers explained: “Every decision we make will always be in the best interests of the club and our supporters.“It is vital to make clear that we have never promised any player that he can leave the club at a particular time. It has never happened. In fact, we have said all along that we did not wish to sell Moussa, given the circumstances within the transfer window and that is why we rejected a significant offer yesterday. Latest Celtic News Celtic fans have cost club over €500,000 – ‘They’re an embarrassment’, says McCoist Lyon have completed the signing of Celtic striker Moussa Dembele, they announced on Friday.The French side will pay €22m (£20m) for their countryman, who began his career as a youngster at PSG. Big Sam makes ‘Allardicio’ Man United claim, says anyone can win with Celtic Forster heroics as ten-man Celtic stun dominant Rangers to win League Cup Rangers slip up at Aberdeen as Celtic go two points clear in Scottish Premiership Rangers vs Celtic: Kick-off time, how to watch for free and team news cup final BRING IT ON NAME GAME Celtic skipper expecting Old Firm title race to go down to the wire this season center_img GOT IT ALL Arsenal fans are in for a treat when Tierney gets into stride, Brown says Moussa Dembele has moved to Lyon ‘Rangers must deliver’ – Celtic hero warns Gerrard and slams ‘serial loser’ Tavernier TOP BOSS round-up 1 ‘Celtic were lucky to have Brendan Rodgers’, says Bhoys captain Scott Brown do it rival joy CONFIRMED “However, this particular decision to accept this offer has been taken in order to serve the best interests of the first-team squad, my coaching team and the culture and environment we have created in these last two seasons.”Lyon also confirmed the signing of under-19 international Lenny Pintor from Brest.last_img read more