A fifth of Bank of America branches are gone and more closures are coming


WHERE TWO ROADS MEET – 1st Chapter Winning Novel Reading by Paula Carlson

WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

WILDsound Book Writing Contest Festival Review:

Written by Paula Carlson

STORY Read By – Becky Shrimpton


It is the Irish myth of Cuchulain told in modern times during the 1998 Northern Ireland Peace Process through the eyes of three friends.

10 Questions from the April 2014 1st Chapter Novel Winner.

1. What is your NOVEL about?

It is the Irish myth of Cuchulain told in modern times during the 1998 Northern Ireland Peace Process through the eyes of three friends. It was Inspired by a screenplay I had started as an undergrad.

2. Why should your novel by published?

Because someone out there just might like it and that is reason enough for me.

3. How long have you been writing?

Fifteen years

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Stand By Me

5. What artists would you love to…

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business, Leaning In, Lifestyle and Relationships, Musings, Opinion, Self discovery, women entrepreneurs, Women in leadership

BBC News – 10 things we didn’t know last week

Her are 10 things I discovered or embraced about myself last week:

  1. I’m a good negotiator, even when others believe all hope is lost.
  2. The best business associates are those who embrace and share good ideas.
  3. Good intuition cannot be excluded when interviewing prospective talent.
  4. People listen when you speak sincerely.
  5. I can’t be in 2 places at one time.
  6. The parking situation in the District of Columbia has officially entered the abyss.
  7. Virginia is a great state in which to do business
  8. Men will invite you to the negotiating table if you speak with a definitive voice.
  9. More than leaning in, we need to make an indelible mark  among our peers if we’re really going to make a difference for all women.
  10. Bitches get stuff done!

Here are 10 other things we didn’t know last week. What are some of yours?

BBC News – 10 things we didn’t know last week

via BBC News – 10 things we didn\’t know last week.


Panera to Remove All Artificial Ingredients By 2016

Health News / Tips & Trends / Celebrity Health

Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you’re one of those people tired of unhealthy ingredients like trans fats and MSG thrown into your food, you’ll rejoice in this news: Panera Bread is the latest in a string of chain restaurants to kick artificial ingredients to the curb, joining Chipotle and Starbucks.

You heard that right. The popular cafe-bakery is set to implement a new food policy that will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives from its menu by the end of 2016. A few changes have already been made while others are in the works.

Starting in July, Panera’s Summer Corn Chowder will be sold without ingredients like maltodextrin and corn starch and, earlier this year, they rolled out horseradish sauce sans calcium disodium EDTA, and cilantro hummus minus the potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. Just last year, the chain introduced a new grass-fed sirloin steak to replace its roast beef, which…

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Dealing with those confusing non-compete agreements

ImageIt’s no secret that private duty agency owners face human resource challenges on a daily basis. The stress of call-outs, no shows, overtime, and wages can be stressful, but what about those employees who want to leave  to form their own agencies? Jumping ship with agency clients for the purpose of higher wages or launching a new company is a real issue for private duty agency owners. In the past, owners would have staff persons sign non-compete agreements with the idea that they’d be protected should the staff person decide to leave the fold. Depending on the state of operation, these agreements may or may not be enforced. How do I know? I’ve drafted policies and agreements regarding non-compete clauses for over a decade and many states do not honor them. What’s also a harsh reality; many agency owners don’t pursue relief in court because of the cost of pursuing a case. In recent years I’ve advised my clients of the need to update or change policies regarding non-compete issues. Some have listened, some haven’t but what has persisted is the need to address this very real problem. Now there may be a new issue to consider.

Scott Kirsner, correspondent for the Boston globe recently penned an article regarding non-compete agreements and the possibility of being hauled into court for breach of such agreements. Kirsner writes that some states allow for greater enforcement of non-compete agreements and therefore employees are less likely to break them. However, the same cannot be said for all states. Furthermore, many state legislatures are considering the idea of making non-compete agreements a thing of the past. The thinking is that the theory behind non-compete agreements has become obsolete. Consider this, originally non-compete agreements were designed to prevent individuals from gaining access to company secrets and then using the information to sell to competitors or launch new companies, thereby creating an unfair advantage. Nice idea but in today’s transparent environment, are these agreements realistic? Now consider the private duty industry. Exactly what secrets would you be selling? The healthcare business is peculiar. Rarely are there nuances and resources available to one provider that are not available to another. Last and certainly very important are the rights of the staff person and the rights of the patient. Two policies, not in dispute in any state are the staff person’s right to the pursuit of happiness and the patient’s right to choose a care provider. No non-compete agreement can supersede those rights. To this end, I am completely in agreement with Scott Kirsner; it may be time to do away with these agreements.

The savvy provider might ask, “how will I protect myself from my staff leaving with my patients?” Good question and one that should spawn discussion in the provider community. But for now I’ll offer some safeguards that may prevent headaches later on. First, all providers should have integrity agreements and intellectual property agreements. These agreements should be discussed with and signed by the staff person during the hiring process. Next, in-house HIPAA agreements should be signed by staff persons. The three policies suggested will protect the provider if enacted and enforced regularly. That is to say, staff cannot share information belonging to the company or the patient without drawing substantial penalties under most state laws. Also, discussing the serious nature of these policies initially goes a long way toward deterring unethical behavior down the line. Protect your business by having policies in place that protect your patients and your integrity. Talk to your policy consultant or compliance consultant about how to protect your business from unethical practices.

If you’d like to explore how to develop the policies mentioned above, call me. I can be reached at EnvisionCare Strategies 703-245-1124. 

If you’d like to read more about Scott’s opinion regarding non-compete agreements, his article is available on The Boston Globe’s website under the Business Section: Innovation Economy


Peek Inside the Homes of 10 Counterculture Icons

These homes are exactly as I would have expected from their inhabitants.


If you’ve ever wanted to be Steve McQueen, you might just be a little closer to that goal — or at least, you can now be yourself in his old home. Recently, HiConsumption posted photos of McQueen’s “Pioneer Moon Ranch,” which is now up for sale — but more importantly, this glimpse into the homestead of “The King of Cool” inspired your intrepid Flavorwire editors to get to snooping into a few more of the homes of some of our greatest counterculture icons. Check them out after the jump, and add links to any great ones missing here in the comments.

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