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saco-indonesia.com, Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pagi ini akan meninjau pabrik pembuatan tahu di Sumedang, Jawa Barat. Dengan didampingi Ibu Negara, Ani Yudhoyono, SBY juga akan meninjau ke lokasi pabrik tahu Palasari pukul 09.00 pagi WIB.

"Peninjauan rencananya akan dilakukan mulai pukul 09.00 pagi WIB ," seperti yang telah tertulis di website www.presidenri.go.id, Senin (3/2).

Selain meninjau pabrik tahu, SBY juga direncanakan akan meninjau RSUD Sumedang. Peninjauan itu untuk dapat melihat langsung penerapan BPJS Kesehatan yang telah diluncurkan.

Rangkaian kegiatan ini juga merupakan kunjungan kerja SBY ke Jawa Barat dan Jawa Tengah. Sejak Minggu pagi (2/2) kemarin , SBY bersama rombongan telah berada di Jatinangor, dan kunker ini akan berlangsung hingga Rabu (4/2) siang.

Berdasarkan situs www.presidenri.go.id, SBY diagendakan menuju kompleks Makam Cut Nyak Dien, Gunung Puyuh, Sumedang Selatan. Kemudian dilanjutkan dengan peninjauan ke PT Sinjaraga Santika Sport.

Sore harinya, SBY juga akan melakukan kunjungan ke Kabupaten Majalengka. SBY juga akan menerima laporan dri Gubernur Jawa Barat Ahmad Heryawan terkait dalam pembangunan megaproyek infrastruktur di antaranya, pembangunan Bandar Udara Internasional Kertajati dan pembangunan jalan Tol Cisumdawu (Cileunyi-Sumedang-Dawuan). Dan juga, Jalan Tol Cikapali (Cikampek-Palimanan).

Usai dalam melakukan kegiatan tersebut, SBY dan Bu Ani juga akan menanam pohon di Alun-alun Majalengka. Kemudian, SBY beserta rombongan menginap dan berkantor di Kuningan Jawa Barat.

Rombongan yang ikut dalam kunker kali ini yakni Menko Perekonomian Hatta Rajasa, Menteri Koperasi dan UKM Syarief Hasan, Mendikbud M Nuh, Menkes Nafsiah Mboi, Menteri PU Djoko Kirmanto, Menko Kesra Agung Laksono, Mensesneg Sudi Silalahi, Wakil Menteri Perindustrian Alex Retraubun dan Dirut Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

SBY TINJAU PABRIK TAHU DAN RSUD DI SUMEDANG

saco-indonesia.com, Seorang wanita setengah baya di Kabupaten Batang, Jawa tengah telah ditemukan tewas dibunuh, sedangkan seorang balita lemas diikat tangannya.

Hingga berita ini diturunkan, kasus pembunuhan tersebut juga masih dalam pengusutan aparat Polres Batang, diduga keduanya telah menjadi korban kebrutalan perampok. Peristiwa yang mengagetkan itu telah terjadi di Desa/Kecamatan Warungasem, Kabupaten Batang.

Korban tewas diketahui bernama Siti Asimah yang berusia 41 tahun, warga setempat , sedang Balita yang masih keponakan korban yang telah ditemukan terikat adalah Naza Alima Syafira, yang berusia 2 tahun . Siti Asimah telah ditemukan tewas dengan kondisi dilakban mulut dan hidungnya serta tulang leher belakangnya patah. Menurut laporan polisi, pembunuhan ini terungkap berawal dari keponakan korban bernama Nurul , yang berusia 12 tahun , siswa SMP 1 Warungasem Batang saat pulang dari sekolah . Seperti yang telah diketahui rumah kuno besar yang ditempati korban selama ini ditempati empat keluarga yang masih bersaudara .

Sesampai di rumah yang telah terletak di tepi jalan raya Warungasem-Batang , saksi Nurul tidak bisa masuk rumah karena, pintu terkunci. Meski pintu sudah diketuk berulang kali, namun tidak ada yang membukakan. Sementara suara radio dari dalam telah terdengar sangat keras. Setiap hari mulai dari pagi hingga siang , di rumah yang telah ditempati empat keluarga itu hanya ada korban dan keponakannya Naza Alima Syafira, yang berusia 2 tahun . Karena tidak bisa masuk rumah , selanjutnya Nurul telah meminta bantuan tetangganya Mudhor untuk dapat membukakan pintu.

Pintu telah berhasil dibuka, namun suasana rumah sepi karena Siti Asimah dan Naza Alima Syafira tidak terlihat . Dalam rumah kuno model khas Batang yang telah terdiri atas banyak kamar itu, akhirnya telah ditemukan Naza dalam posisi tangan dilakban diikat dengan leher di kamar depan. Selanjutnya balita yang kondisinya lemas itu langsung dibawa ke luar rumah. Sedangkan Siti Asimah telah ditemukan tewas di kamar yang lain dalam posisi terlentang di tempat tidur , mulut dan hidung dilakban . Selain itu tulang leher korban juga patah diduga akibat lehernya dipeluntir .

Dalam sekejab kejadian itu telah membuat gempar seluruh warga , para tetangga berdatangan ke lokasi kejadian ingin melihat peristiwa terebut dari dekat . Sejumlah polisi datang ke lokasi kejadian dengan melakukan penyelidikan setelah mendapat laporan .Kapolsek Warungasem AKP Juharno langsung memimpin anggotanya melakukan penyelidikan dan memasang garis polisi di seputar lokasi kejadian.

Sore itu jenazah Siti Asimah langsung dibawa ke kamar mayat RSUD Batang untuk dapat divisum. Sampai berita ini, telah diturunkan polisi masih melakukan pemeriksaan terhadap sejumlah saksi . Sementara rumah korban juga masih dijaga ketat. Beberapa keluarga yang lain, mengaku tidak tahu menahu peristiwa itu. Peirtiwa itu diduga berlatar belakang perampokan , ujar seorang petugas.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

WANITA SETENGAH BAYA TEWAS

saco-indonesia.com,

Perawatan Untuk Mesin Pengering

Mesin Pengering merupakan mesin pengering pakaian setelah proses pencucian dengan menggunakan mesin cuci. Mesin pengering ini biasanya telah tergabung dalam satu paket mesin cuci, dan banyak masyarakat yang lebih menyukai dan telah memilih mesin cuci yang telah dilengkapi dengan mesin pengering di dalamnya. Biasanya mesin pengering ini banyak di miliki oleh para pengusaha jasa laundry, karena akan dapat memudahkan dan mempercepat proses laundry yang sedang dilakukan. Apalagi cuaca yang tidak bisa di prediksikan, kadang siang panas terik namun sore hari hujan lebat dengan angin.  Sehingga akan susah untuk dapat mengeringkan pakaian dengan bantuan sinar matahari.  Oleh karena itu, harus diperlukan sebuah mesin cuci yang telah dilengkapi mesin pengering untuk dapat memudahkan proses pengeringan pakaian.

Perawatan Mesin Pengering
Mesin Pengering
Cara untuk membersihkan mesin pengering, pastilah akan sama halnya dengan membersihkan mesin cuci. Apalagi mesin pengering ini juga ada dalam satu paket bersama mesin cuci. Pasti, membersihkan nya akan juga sekaligus baik untuk mesin pengering dan juga mesin cuci nya. Berikut tips perawatan mesin pengering sekaligus mesin cuci, yaitu :

    Berusaha untuk mengatur mesin pengering dan mesin cuci dengan sistem penyetelan normal. Ini dilakukan untuk dapat menjaga perputaran mesin cuci dan juga mesin pengering, sehingga baik mesin cuci dan mesin pengering nya akan menjadi tahan lama.
    Usahakan tegangan mesin pengering dan mesin cuci cukup. Sebuah mesin pengering dan mesin cuci membutuhkan tegangan yang stabil  yaitu di bawah 240 volt.  Jika tegangan khusus mesin pengerring ini di atas, maka pematik api atau ignitor  tidak akan mampu berfungsi secara sempurna sehingga api tidak akan keluar dan mesin pengering tidak digunakan dengan maksimal. Untuk cek dan melihat tegangan mesin pengering, anda bisa menggunakan alat seperti stavolt.
    Sering cek elemen pemanas mesin pengering anda. Elemen pemanas pada mesin pengering ini seperti burner, pematik api, sensor termal panas.  Usahakan untuk selalu memeriksa dan membersihkan elemen tersebut dari kotoran, sehingga proses pengeringan akan dapat dilakukan dengan cepat. Pastikan selalu untuk melihat ignitor yang berwarna merah itu menyala  dan timbul percikan api ketika mesin pengering dihidupkan. Namun jika ignitor tersebut menyala dengan lampu indikatornya berwarna putih atau kekuningan, maka ada baiknya untuk segera ganti ignitor tersebut dengan yang baru.
    Pastikan pengaturan proses pengeringan sesuai dengan pakaian  yang akan dikeringkan. Untuk dapat mengatur proses pengeringan pakaian, anda alihkan tombol atau knop program  pada setelan normal heat atau panas sedang. Namun jika anda memilih tombola tau knop program no heat, maka tidak akan udara panas yang keluar. Semua hal tentang pengaturan pengeringan mulai dari memilih waktu, pilihan program, jenis kain dan juga temperature sangat memainkan peran yang sangat penting  dalam proses pengeringan pakaian di dalam mesin pengering

Editor : Dian Sukmawati

PERAWATAN MESIAN PENGERING

Saco-Indonesia.com - Publik Indonesia rata-rata hanya mengenal dua jenis kopi, robusta (Coffea robusta) dan arabika (Coffea arabica). Namun, Indonesia sebenarnya memiliki satu jenis kopi lain yang tak kalah membuat penasaran, kopi liberika (Coffea liberica). Seperti apa kopi liberika?

Peneliti dan pencicip kopi dari Pusat Penelitian Kopi dan Kakao Indonesia (Puslitkoka) di Jember, Yusianto, mengatakan bahwa kopi liberika adalah kopi yang oleh masyarakat kerap disebut dengan "kopi ngongko (nangka)" dan memiliki citarasa unik.

"Kopi ini sering disebut kopi nongko karena bijinya yang besar-besar. kalau dirasakan, kopi ini ada citarasa sayurnya. Seperti kacang panjang mentah. kalau orang Sunda membuat karedok, ada sebagian rasa karedok yang bisa dirasakan di kopi ini," urai Yusianto.

Kopi liberika adalah kopi yang berasal dari wilayah Liberica, Afrika Barat. Kopi ini dibawa ke Indonesia pada abad 19 saat banyak tanaman kopi arabika saat itu terserang penyakit. Saat ini, kopi jenis ini ditanam di wilayah Jambi dan Bengkulu.

Berbeda dengan arabika dan robusta, tanaman kopi liberika berukuran besar, bisa mencapai tinggi 9 meter. Biji kopi liberika juga lebih besar, kadang mencapai dua kali lipat ukuran biji arabika. Yang unik, daun tanaman kopi ini mengandung kafein lebih banyak dari bijinya.

Yusianto mengatakan, kopi liberika adalah salah satu peluang Indonesia. Indonesia bisa mengembangkan jenis kopi liberika untuk diekspor. Saat ini, banyak orang yang belum mengenal jenis kopi ini.

"Kalau ada yang menganggap kopi ini tidak enak, itu hanya karena tidak kenal saja. tak kenal maka tak sayang. Makanya, kita harus kenalkan," katanya saat ditemui dalam acara Press Tour dan Media Gathering yang diadakan Kementerian Riset dan Teknologi, Jumat (17/5/2013).

Yusianto menilai, selain arabika, liberika potensial karena pasar ekspornya pun ada. Masyarakat negara tetangga, Malaysia, banyak yang mengonsumsi kopi jenis ini. Dari sisi harga, liberika juga lebih baik dari robusta. Budidaya dan pengembangan kopi liberika perlu dilakukan.
Editor :Liwon Maulana(galipat)
sumber:Kompas.com

Kopi Liberika, Kopi dengan Cita Rasa Sayuran

Hak asuh atas anak

saco-indonesia.com, Sepasang suami istri tengah menghadiri sidang perceraiannya. Dalam sidang akan memutuskan siapa yang mendapat hak asuh atas anak.

Sambil berteriak histeris dan melompat – lompat si istri berkata :
“Yang Mulia, Saya yang mengandung, melahirkan bayi itu ke dunia dengan kesakitan dan kesabaran saya!! ”
“Anak itu harus menjadi hak asuh Saya!!”

Hakim lalu berkata kepada pihak suami:
“Apa pembelaan anda terhadap tuntutan istri Anda”

Si Suami diam sebentar, dengan nada datar ia berkata :
“Yang mulia… Jika saya memasukkan KOIN ke mesin minuman Coca- Cola, mesinnya BERGOYANG SEBENTAR, dan minumannya keluar, Menurut Pak Hakim … Minumannya milik saya atau mesinnya?”


Iya juga ya??????
Hak asuh atas anak

Mr. King sang for the Drifters and found success as a solo performer with hits like “Spanish Harlem.”

Ben E. King, Soulful Singer of ‘Stand by Me,’ Dies at 76

From sea to shining sea, or at least from one side of the Hudson to the other, politicians you have barely heard of are being accused of wrongdoing. There were so many court proceedings involving public officials on Monday that it was hard to keep up.

In Newark, two underlings of Gov. Chris Christie were arraigned on charges that they were in on the truly deranged plot to block traffic leading onto the George Washington Bridge.

Ten miles away, in Lower Manhattan, Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on accusations of far more conventional political larceny, involving a job with a sewer company for the son and commissions on title insurance and bond work.

The younger man managed to receive a 150 percent pay increase from the sewer company even though, as he said on tape, he “literally knew nothing about water or, you know, any of that stuff,” according to a criminal complaint the United States attorney’s office filed.

The success of Adam Skelos, 32, was attributed by prosecutors to his father’s influence as the leader of the Senate and as a potentate among state Republicans. The indictment can also be read as one of those unfailingly sad tales of a father who cannot stop indulging a grown son. The senator himself is not alleged to have profited from the schemes, except by being relieved of the burden of underwriting Adam.

The bridge traffic caper is its own species of crazy; what distinguishes the charges against the two Skeloses is the apparent absence of a survival instinct. It is one thing not to know anything about water or that stuff. More remarkable, if true, is the fact that the sewer machinations continued even after the former New York Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, was charged in January with taking bribes disguised as fees.

It was by then common gossip in political and news media circles that Senator Skelos, a Republican, the counterpart in the Senate to Mr. Silver, a Democrat, in the Assembly, could be next in line for the criminal dock. “Stay tuned,” the United States attorney, Preet Bharara said, leaving not much to the imagination.

Even though the cat had been unmistakably belled, Skelos father and son continued to talk about how to advance the interests of the sewer company, though the son did begin to use a burner cellphone, the kind people pay for in cash, with no traceable contracts.

That was indeed prudent, as prosecutors had been wiretapping the cellphones of both men. But it would seem that the burner was of limited value, because by then the prosecutors had managed to secure the help of a business executive who agreed to record calls with the Skeloses. It would further seem that the business executive was more attentive to the perils of pending investigations than the politician.

Through the end of the New York State budget negotiations in March, the hopes of the younger Skelos rested on his father’s ability to devise legislation that would benefit the sewer company. That did not pan out. But Senator Skelos did boast that he had haggled with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, in a successful effort to raise a $150 million allocation for Long Island to $550 million, for what the budget called “transformative economic development projects.” It included money for the kind of work done by the sewer company.

The lawyer for Adam Skelos said he was not guilty and would win in court. Senator Skelos issued a ringing declaration that he was unequivocally innocent.

THIS was also the approach taken in New Jersey by Bill Baroni, a man of great presence and eloquence who stopped outside the federal courthouse to note that he had taken risks as a Republican by bucking his party to support paid family leave, medical marijuana and marriage equality. “I would never risk my career, my job, my reputation for something like this,” Mr. Baroni said. “I am an innocent man.”

The lawyer for his co-defendant, Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, a Republican, said that she would strongly rebut the charges.

Perhaps they had nothing to do with the lane closings. But neither Mr. Baroni nor Ms. Kelly addressed the question of why they did not return repeated calls from the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., begging them to stop the traffic tie-ups, over three days.

That silence was a low moment. But perhaps New York hit bottom faster. Senator Skelos, the prosecutors charged, arranged to meet Long Island politicians at the wake of Wenjian Liu, a New York City police officer shot dead in December, to press for payments to the company employing his son.

Sometimes it seems as though for some people, the only thing to be ashamed of is shame itself.

Finding Scandal in New York and New Jersey, but No Shame

Mr. Alger, who served five terms from Texas, led Republican women in a confrontation with Lyndon B. Johnson that may have cost Richard M. Nixon the 1960 presidential election.

Bruce Alger, 96, Dies; Led ‘Mink Coat’ Protest Against Lyndon Johnson

Mr. Mankiewicz, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for “I Want to Live!,” also wrote episodes of television shows such as “Star Trek” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

Don Mankiewicz, Screenwriter in a Family Film Tradition, Dies at 93

Ms. Pryor, who served more than two decades in the State Department, was the author of well-regarded biographies of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Confederate commander.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, Dies at 64

Fullmer, who reigned when fight clubs abounded and Friday night fights were a television staple, was known for his title bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio.

Gene Fullmer, a Brawling Middleweight Champion, Dies at 83

HOBART, Tasmania — Few places seem out of reach for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has traveled from European capitals to obscure Pacific and Caribbean islands in pursuit of his nation’s strategic interests.

So perhaps it was not surprising when he turned up last fall in this city on the edge of the Southern Ocean to put down a long-distance marker in another faraway region, Antarctica, 2,000 miles south of this Australian port.

Standing on the deck of an icebreaker that ferries Chinese scientists from this last stop before the frozen continent, Mr. Xi pledged that China would continue to expand in one of the few places on earth that remain unexploited by humans.

He signed a five-year accord with the Australian government that allows Chinese vessels and, in the future, aircraft to resupply for fuel and food before heading south. That will help secure easier access to a region that is believed to have vast oil and mineral resources; huge quantities of high-protein sea life; and for times of possible future dire need, fresh water contained in icebergs.

It was not until 1985, about seven decades after Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen raced to the South Pole, that a team representing Beijing hoisted the Chinese flag over the nation’s first Antarctic research base, the Great Wall Station on King George Island.

But now China seems determined to catch up. As it has bolstered spending on Antarctic research, and as the early explorers, especially the United States and Australia, confront stagnant budgets, there is growing concern about its intentions.

China’s operations on the continent — it opened its fourth research station last year, chose a site for a fifth, and is investing in a second icebreaker and new ice-capable planes and helicopters — are already the fastest growing of the 52 signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. That gentlemen’s agreement reached in 1959 bans military activity on the continent and aims to preserve it as one of the world’s last wildernesses; a related pact prohibits mining.

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But Mr. Xi’s visit was another sign that China is positioning itself to take advantage of the continent’s resource potential when the treaty expires in 2048 — or in the event that it is ripped up before, Chinese and Australian experts say.

“So far, our research is natural-science based, but we know there is more and more concern about resource security,” said Yang Huigen, director general of the Polar Research Institute of China, who accompanied Mr. Xi last November on his visit to Hobart and stood with him on the icebreaker, Xue Long, or Snow Dragon.

With that in mind, the polar institute recently opened a new division devoted to the study of resources, law, geopolitics and governance in Antarctica and the Arctic, Mr. Yang said.

Australia, a strategic ally of the United States that has strong economic relations with China, is watching China’s buildup in the Antarctic with a mix of gratitude — China’s presence offers support for Australia’s Antarctic science program, which is short of cash — and wariness.

“We should have no illusions about the deeper agenda — one that has not even been agreed to by Chinese scientists but is driven by Xi, and most likely his successors,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former senior official in the Australian Department of Defense.

“This is part of a broader pattern of a mercantilist approach all around the world,” Mr. Jennings added. “A big driver of Chinese policy is to secure long-term energy supply and food supply.”

That approach was evident last month when a large Chinese agriculture enterprise announced an expansion of its fishing operations around Antarctica to catch more krill — small, protein-rich crustaceans that are abundant in Antarctic waters.

“The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share,” Liu Shenli, the chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group, told China Daily, a state-owned newspaper. China would aim to fish up to two million tons of krill a year, he said, a substantial increase from what it currently harvests.

Because sovereignty over Antarctica is unclear, nations have sought to strengthen their claims over the ice-covered land by building research bases and naming geographic features. China’s fifth station will put it within reach of the six American facilities, and ahead of Australia’s three.

Chinese mappers have also given Chinese names to more than 300 sites, compared with the thousands of locations on the continent with English names.

In the unspoken competition for Antarctica’s future, scientific achievement can also translate into influence. Chinese scientists are driving to be the first to drill and recover an ice core containing tiny air bubbles that provide a record of climate change stretching as far back as 1.5 million years. It is an expensive and delicate effort at which others, including the European Union and Australia, have failed.

In a breakthrough a decade ago, European scientists extracted an ice core nearly two miles long that revealed 800,000 years of climate history. But finding an ice core going back further would allow scientists to examine a change in the earth’s climate cycles believed to have occurred 900,000 to 1.2 million years ago.

China is betting it has found the best location to drill, at an area called Dome A, or Dome Argus, the highest point on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Though it is considered one of the coldest places on the planet, with temperatures of 130 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, a Chinese expedition explored the area in 2005 and established a research station in 2009.

“The international community has drilled in lots of places, but no luck so far,” said Xiao Cunde, a member of the first party to reach the site and the deputy director of the Institute for Climate Change at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. “We think at Dome A we will have a straight shot at the one-million-year ice core.”

Mr. Xiao said China had already begun drilling and hoped to find what scientists are looking for in four to five years.

To support its Antarctic aspirations, China is building a sophisticated $300 million icebreaker that is expected to be ready in a few years, said Xia Limin, deputy director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration in Beijing. It has also bought a high-tech fixed-wing aircraft, outfitted in the United States, for taking sensitive scientific soundings from the ice.

China has chosen the site for its fifth research station at Inexpressible Island, named by a group of British explorers who were stranded at the desolate site in 1912 and survived the winter by excavating a small ice cave.

Mr. Xia said the inhospitable spot was ideal because China did not have a presence in that part of Antarctica, and because the rocky site did not have much snow, making it relatively cheap to build there.

Anne-Marie Brady, a professor of political science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the author of a soon-to-be-released book, “China as a Polar Great Power,” said Chinese scientists also believed they had a good chance of finding mineral and energy resources near the site.

“China is playing a long game in Antarctica and keeping other states guessing about its true intentions and interests are part of its poker hand,” she said. But she noted that China’s interest in finding minerals was presented “loud and clear to domestic audiences” as the main reason it was investing in Antarctica.

Because commercial drilling is banned, estimates of energy and mineral resources in Antarctica rely on remote sensing data and comparisons with similar geological environments elsewhere, said Millard F. Coffin, executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart.

But the difficulty of extraction in such severe conditions and uncertainty about future commodity prices make it unlikely that China or any country would defy the ban on mining anytime soon.

Tourism, however, is already booming. Travelers from China are still a relatively small contingent in the Antarctic compared with the more than 13,000 Americans who visited in 2013, and as yet there are no licensed Chinese tour operators.

But that is about to change, said Anthony Bergin, deputy director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “I understand very soon there will be Chinese tourists on Chinese vessels with all-Chinese crew in the Antarctic,” he said.

 

Top News China’s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica
Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”
Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Children playing last week in Sandtown-Winchester, the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was raised. One young resident called it “a tough community.”

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Hard but Hopeful Home to ‘Lot of Freddies’

Ms. Crough played the youngest daughter on the hit ’70s sitcom starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.

Suzanne Crough, Actress in ‘The Partridge Family,’ Dies at 52

Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.

Many of them were, at least, at one elite consulting firm studied by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. It’s impossible to know if what she learned at that unidentified consulting firm applies across the world of work more broadly. But her research, published in the academic journal Organization Science, offers a way to understand how the professional world differs between men and women, and some of the ways a hard-charging culture that emphasizes long hours above all can make some companies worse off.

Photo
 
Credit Peter Arkle

Ms. Reid interviewed more than 100 people in the American offices of a global consulting firm and had access to performance reviews and internal human resources documents. At the firm there was a strong culture around long hours and responding to clients promptly.

“When the client needs me to be somewhere, I just have to be there,” said one of the consultants Ms. Reid interviewed. “And if you can’t be there, it’s probably because you’ve got another client meeting at the same time. You know it’s tough to say I can’t be there because my son had a Cub Scout meeting.”

Some people fully embraced this culture and put in the long hours, and they tended to be top performers. Others openly pushed back against it, insisting upon lighter and more flexible work hours, or less travel; they were punished in their performance reviews.

The third group is most interesting. Some 31 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women whose records Ms. Reid examined managed to achieve the benefits of a more moderate work schedule without explicitly asking for it.

They made an effort to line up clients who were local, reducing the need for travel. When they skipped work to spend time with their children or spouse, they didn’t call attention to it. One team on which several members had small children agreed among themselves to cover for one another so that everyone could have more flexible hours.

A male junior manager described working to have repeat consulting engagements with a company near enough to his home that he could take care of it with day trips. “I try to head out by 5, get home at 5:30, have dinner, play with my daughter,” he said, adding that he generally kept weekend work down to two hours of catching up on email.

Despite the limited hours, he said: “I know what clients are expecting. So I deliver above that.” He received a high performance review and a promotion.

What is fascinating about the firm Ms. Reid studied is that these people, who in her terminology were “passing” as workaholics, received performance reviews that were as strong as their hyper-ambitious colleagues. For people who were good at faking it, there was no real damage done by their lighter workloads.

It calls to mind the episode of “Seinfeld” in which George Costanza leaves his car in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium, where he works, and gets a promotion because his boss sees the car and thinks he is getting to work earlier and staying later than anyone else. (The strategy goes awry for him, and is not recommended for any aspiring partners in a consulting firm.)

A second finding is that women, particularly those with young children, were much more likely to request greater flexibility through more formal means, such as returning from maternity leave with an explicitly reduced schedule. Men who requested a paternity leave seemed to be punished come review time, and so may have felt more need to take time to spend with their families through those unofficial methods.

The result of this is easy to see: Those specifically requesting a lighter workload, who were disproportionately women, suffered in their performance reviews; those who took a lighter workload more discreetly didn’t suffer. The maxim of “ask forgiveness, not permission” seemed to apply.

It would be dangerous to extrapolate too much from a study at one firm, but Ms. Reid said in an interview that since publishing a summary of her research in Harvard Business Review she has heard from people in a variety of industries describing the same dynamic.

High-octane professional service firms are that way for a reason, and no one would doubt that insane hours and lots of travel can be necessary if you’re a lawyer on the verge of a big trial, an accountant right before tax day or an investment banker advising on a huge merger.

But the fact that the consultants who quietly lightened their workload did just as well in their performance reviews as those who were truly working 80 or more hours a week suggests that in normal times, heavy workloads may be more about signaling devotion to a firm than really being more productive. The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.

In other words, maybe the real problem isn’t men faking greater devotion to their jobs. Maybe it’s that too many companies reward the wrong things, favoring the illusion of extraordinary effort over actual productivity.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

Mr. Miller, of the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, represented companies including Lehman Brothers, General Motors and American Airlines, and mentored many of the top Chapter 11 practitioners today.

Harvey R. Miller, Renowned Bankruptcy Lawyer, Dies at 82

A 2-minute-42-second demo recording captured in one take turned out to be a one-hit wonder for Mr. Ely, who was 19 when he sang the garage-band classic.

Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, Dies at 71

UNITED NATIONS — Wearing pinstripes and a pince-nez, Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations envoy for Syria, arrived at the Security Council one Tuesday afternoon in February and announced that President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to halt airstrikes over Aleppo. Would the rebels, Mr. de Mistura suggested, agree to halt their shelling?

What he did not announce, but everyone knew by then, was that the Assad government had begun a military offensive to encircle opposition-held enclaves in Aleppo and that fierce fighting was underway. It would take only a few days for rebel leaders, having pushed back Syrian government forces, to outright reject Mr. de Mistura’s proposed freeze in the fighting, dooming the latest diplomatic overture on Syria.

Diplomacy is often about appearing to be doing something until the time is ripe for a deal to be done.

 

 

Now, with Mr. Assad’s forces having suffered a string of losses on the battlefield and the United States reaching at least a partial rapprochement with Mr. Assad’s main backer, Iran, Mr. de Mistura is changing course. Starting Monday, he is set to hold a series of closed talks in Geneva with the warring sides and their main supporters. Iran will be among them.

In an interview at United Nations headquarters last week, Mr. de Mistura hinted that the changing circumstances, both military and diplomatic, may have prompted various backers of the war to question how much longer the bloodshed could go on.

“Will that have an impact in accelerating the willingness for a political solution? We need to test it,” he said. “The Geneva consultations may be a good umbrella for testing that. It’s an occasion for asking everyone, including the government, if there is any new way that they are looking at a political solution, as they too claim they want.”

He said he would have a better assessment at the end of June, when he expects to wrap up his consultations. That coincides with the deadline for a final agreement in the Iran nuclear talks.

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Whether a nuclear deal with Iran will pave the way for a new opening on peace talks in Syria remains to be seen. Increasingly, though, world leaders are explicitly linking the two, with the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, suggesting last week that a nuclear agreement could spur Tehran to play “a major but positive role in Syria.”

It could hardly come soon enough. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian war has claimed 220,000 lives, prompted an exodus of more than three million refugees and unleashed jihadist groups across the region. “This conflict is producing a question mark in many — where is it leading and whether this can be sustained,” Mr. de Mistura said.

Part Italian, part Swedish, Mr. de Mistura has worked with the United Nations for more than 40 years, but he is more widely known for his dapper style than for any diplomatic coups. Syria is by far the toughest assignment of his career — indeed, two of the organization’s most seasoned diplomats, Lakhdar Brahimi and Kofi Annan, tried to do the job and gave up — and critics have wondered aloud whether Mr. de Mistura is up to the task.

He served as a United Nations envoy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and before that in Lebanon, where a former minister recalled, with some scorn, that he spent many hours sunbathing at a private club in the hills above Beirut. Those who know him say he has a taste for fine suits and can sometimes speak too soon and too much, just as they point to his diplomatic missteps and hyperbole.

They cite, for instance, a news conference in October, when he raised the specter of Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslims were massacred in 1995 during the Balkans war, in warning that the Syrian border town of Kobani could fall to the Islamic State. In February, he was photographed at a party in Damascus, the Syrian capital, celebrating the anniversary of the Iranian revolution just as Syrian forces, aided by Iran, were pummeling rebel-held suburbs of Damascus; critics seized on that as evidence of his coziness with the government.

Mouin Rabbani, who served briefly as the head of Mr. de Mistura’s political affairs unit and has since emerged as one of his most outspoken critics, said Mr. de Mistura did not have the background necessary for the job. “This isn’t someone well known for his political vision or political imagination, and his closest confidants lack the requisite knowledge and experience,” Mr. Rabbani said.

As a deputy foreign minister in the Italian government, Mr. de Mistura was tasked in 2012 with freeing two Italian marines detained in India for shooting at Indian fishermen. He made 19 trips to India, to little effect. One marine was allowed to return to Italy for medical reasons; the other remains in India.

He said he initially turned down the Syria job when the United Nations secretary general approached him last August, only to change his mind the next day, after a sleepless, guilt-ridden night.

Mr. de Mistura compared his role in Syria to that of a doctor faced with a terminally ill patient. His goal in brokering a freeze in the fighting, he said, was to alleviate suffering. He settled on Aleppo as the location for its “fame,” he said, a decision that some questioned, considering that Aleppo was far trickier than the many other lesser-known towns where activists had negotiated temporary local cease-fires.

“Everybody, at least in Europe, are very familiar with the value of Aleppo,” Mr. de Mistura said. “So I was using that as an icebreaker.”

The cease-fire negotiations, to which he had devoted six months, fell apart quickly because of the government’s military offensive in Aleppo the very day of his announcement at the Security Council. Privately, United Nations diplomats said Mr. de Mistura had been manipulated. To this, Mr. de Mistura said only that he was “disappointed and concerned.”

Tarek Fares, a former rebel fighter, said after a recent visit to Aleppo that no Syrian would admit publicly to supporting Mr. de Mistura’s cease-fire proposal. “If anyone said they went to a de Mistura meeting in Gaziantep, they would be arrested,” is how he put it, referring to the Turkish city where negotiations between the two sides were held.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains staunchly behind Mr. de Mistura’s efforts. His defenders point out that he is at the center of one of the world’s toughest diplomatic problems, charged with mediating a conflict in which two of the world’s most powerful nations — Russia, which supports Mr. Assad, and the United States, which has called for his ouster — remain deadlocked.

R. Nicholas Burns, a former State Department official who now teaches at Harvard, credited Mr. de Mistura for trying to negotiate a cease-fire even when the chances of success were exceedingly small — and the chances of a political deal even smaller. For his efforts to work, Professor Burns argued, the world powers will first have to come to an agreement of their own.

“He needs the help of outside powers,” he said. “It starts with backers of Assad. That’s Russia and Iran. De Mistura is there, waiting.”

With Iran Talks, a Tangled Path to Ending Syria’s War

Hockey is not exactly known as a city game, but played on roller skates, it once held sway as the sport of choice in many New York neighborhoods.

“City kids had no rinks, no ice, but they would do anything to play hockey,” said Edward Moffett, former director of the Long Island City Y.M.C.A. Roller Hockey League, in Queens, whose games were played in city playgrounds going back to the 1940s.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the league had more than 60 teams, he said. Players included the Mullen brothers of Hell’s Kitchen and Dan Dorion of Astoria, Queens, who would later play on ice for the National Hockey League.

One street legend from the heyday of New York roller hockey was Craig Allen, who lived in the Woodside Houses projects and became one of the city’s hardest hitters and top scorers.

“Craig was a warrior, one of the best roller hockey players in the city in the ’70s,” said Dave Garmendia, 60, a retired New York police officer who grew up playing with Mr. Allen. “His teammates loved him and his opponents feared him.”

Young Craig took up hockey on the streets of Queens in the 1960s, playing pickup games between sewer covers, wearing steel-wheeled skates clamped onto school shoes and using a roll of electrical tape as the puck.

His skill and ferocity drew attention, Mr. Garmendia said, but so did his skin color. He was black, in a sport made up almost entirely by white players.

“Roller hockey was a white kid’s game, plain and simple, but Craig broke the color barrier,” Mr. Garmendia said. “We used to say Craig did more for race relations than the N.A.A.C.P.”

Mr. Allen went on to coach and referee roller hockey in New York before moving several years ago to South Carolina. But he continued to organize an annual alumni game at Dutch Kills Playground in Long Island City, the same site that held the local championship games.

The reunion this year was on Saturday, but Mr. Allen never made it. On April 26, just before boarding the bus to New York, he died of an asthma attack at age 61.

Word of his death spread rapidly among hundreds of his old hockey colleagues who resolved to continue with the event, now renamed the Craig Allen Memorial Roller Hockey Reunion.

The turnout on Saturday was the largest ever, with players pulling on their old equipment, choosing sides and taking once again to the rink of cracked blacktop with faded lines and circles. They wore no helmets, although one player wore a fedora.

Another, Vinnie Juliano, 77, of Long Island City, wore his hearing aids, along with his 50-year-old taped-up quads, or four-wheeled skates with a leather boot. Many players here never converted to in-line skates, and neither did Mr. Allen, whose photograph appeared on a poster hanging behind the players’ bench.

“I’m seeing people walking by wondering why all these rusty, grizzly old guys are here playing hockey,” one player, Tommy Dominguez, said. “We’re here for Craig, and let me tell you, these old guys still play hard.”

Everyone seemed to have a Craig Allen story, from his earliest teams at Public School 151 to the Bryant Rangers, the Woodside Wings, the Woodside Blues and more.

Mr. Allen, who became a yellow-cab driver, was always recruiting new talent. He gained the nickname Cabby for his habit of stopping at playgrounds all over the city to scout players.

Teams were organized around neighborhoods and churches, and often sponsored by local bars. Mr. Allen, for one, played for bars, including Garry Owen’s and on the Fiddler’s Green Jokers team in Inwood, Manhattan.

Play was tough and fights were frequent.

“We were basically street gangs on skates,” said Steve Rogg, 56, a mail clerk who grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and who on Saturday wore his Riedell Classic quads from 1972. “If another team caught up with you the night before a game, they tossed you a beating so you couldn’t play the next day.”

Mr. Garmendia said Mr. Allen’s skin color provoked many fights.

“When we’d go to some ignorant neighborhoods, a lot of players would use slurs,” Mr. Garmendia said, recalling a game in Ozone Park, Queens, where local fans parked motorcycles in a lineup next to the blacktop and taunted Mr. Allen. Mr. Garmendia said he checked a player into the motorcycles, “and the bikes went down like dominoes, which started a serious brawl.”

A group of fans at a game in Brooklyn once stuck a pole through the rink fence as Mr. Allen skated by and broke his jaw, Mr. Garmendia said, adding that carloads of reinforcements soon arrived to defend Mr. Allen.

And at another racially incited brawl, the police responded with six patrol cars and a helicopter.

Before play began on Saturday, the players gathered at center rink to honor Mr. Allen. Billy Barnwell, 59, of Woodside, recalled once how an all-white, all-star squad snubbed Mr. Allen by playing him third string. He scored seven goals in the first game and made first string immediately.

“He’d always hear racial stuff before the game, and I’d ask him, ‘How do you put up with that?’” Mr. Barnwell recalled. “Craig would say, ‘We’ll take care of it,’ and by the end of the game, he’d win guys over. They’d say, ‘This guy’s good.’”

Tribute for a Roller Hockey Warrior

Mr. Napoleon was a self-taught musician whose career began in earnest with the orchestra led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers.

Marty Napoleon, 93, Dies; Jazz Pianist Played With Louis Armstrong
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