Rock of Ages owner buys famous French limestone quarries

first_imgRock of Ages Corporation,Vermont Business Magazine The parent company of Barre’s Rock of Ages, Polycor Inc of Quebec, announced today the acquisition of four famous limestone quarries located in Burgundy, France, previously belonging to Rocamat. The French quarries have been used for centuries to build landmarks across Europe. Vermont-based Swenson Granite and Rock of Ages are part of the Polycor family of brands. As a result of this acquisition, local Rock of Ages customers will now have access to this heritage French limestone along with the American granites.France is currently sourcing stone from Vermont’s quarries for its restoration projects. Notably, La Grande Arche de la Défense (in Puteaux, west of Paris) designed by Johann Otto von Spreckelsen, has been restored with Vermont’s Bethel White Granite. The Bethel white is taking the place of Italian marble. Bethel white also was chosen for the 74-story home of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in the United Arab Emirates.The Grand Arch was built to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution (July 14, 1789, storming of the Bastille). The concrete, granite, marble and glass arch is also an office building with 35 floors of office space. The massive structure is large enough to fit the Notre-Dame Cathedral inside its 348-foot span and 361-foot high rooftop terrace. Courtesy Jennifer Smiga (Marketing).Polycor is known for its vast portfolio of stones, many of which are the building blocks of the US’ cherished heritage sites such as the Washington Monument benches, New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and Union Station.The acquisition of these French limestone quarries allows Polycor to further diversify its offering, now including the well-known Massangis stone. For centuries, this limestone has been used to build some of the most important structures in France, including the Louvre Museum, the Louis Vuitton Foundation and the base of the Eiffel Tower.Here in the US, this iconic limestone clads the exterior of the modernist Katzen Arts Center at American University (link is external)in Washington, DC.This acquisition furthers Polycor’s global presence as the company aims to expand its scope of activities and line of products from one continent to another. Thanks to Polycor’s existing sales infrastructure, US and world clients alike will now be able to purchase this iconic French limestone in a variety of shapes and sizes for residential and commercial projects: slabs, tiles, blocks and custom made projects.Polycor plans to invest equipment and infrastructure updates, as well as return 18 employees back to their original activities at the French quarries, now under Polycor’s leadership. SEE RELATED STORY HERE(link is external)About Polycor Inc.Founded in 1987 in Quebec City, Canada, Polycor Inc. is a leader in the natural stone industry in North America. The company’s growth through acquisitions, including U.S. based Rock of Ages and Swenson Granite in September 2016, demonstrates its position as a leader. Polycor Inc. employs nearly 900 people and owns over 30 quarries and 15 manufacturing plants across Canada, the United States and now, France. For more information, please visit our website: polycor.com/incSource: Quebec, July 9, 2018 – Polycor Inclast_img read more

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October 1, 2010 Letters

first_img October 1, 2010 Letters October 1, 2010 Letters Letters Law and Medicine I read with interest the plan by Florida State University to publish an e-journal to increase the flow of information between the law and medicine. As someone who practiced medicine for several years before obtaining my law degree, I feel qualified to respond. My opinions relate solely to the legal practice of medical malpractice.The standard of care the law applies to physicians bears little resemblance to the standard with which they practice medicine. Upon prescribing medical treatment, the physician must ask, “Is there scientific proof that the treatment prescribed is effective?” This represents evidence-based medicine and stems from the peer-reviewed, scientific method.Unfortunately, the legal standard all too often reflects an expert’s own opinion devoid of any scientific basis. That opinion is purposefully framed in a persuasive manner to support the retaining party, which often encourages intellectually dishonest testimony. While judges have leeway under rules of evidence to exclude such testimony, few actually do as they lack the medical knowledge to honestly evaluate that testimony, which becomes a matter of fact.Of course, few med/mal cases are ever tried. Physicians thus throw up their hands in disgust, left alone to ponder how the law, supposedly about truth and justice, could support a system so flawed.These issues run much deeper, however, and strike at the core of honest and ethical representation of the physician.I see attorneys purposefully not filing dispositive motions on behalf of their physician-client for fear they might succeed, which dries up that revenue stream. I know of senior attorneys informing junior associates not to file motions for summary judgment for fear they may win. I am aware of a number of attorneys and even risk-management teams who refuse to cooperate, purely for financial reasons, with physicians who pursue proactive methods proven to reduce non-meritorious claims. They want those lawsuits as they represent billable hours. I point no fingers, as this simply “is.”The annual Gallup poll on Honesty/Ethics in Professions, in November 2009, found 65 percent of respondents rated physicians as either “very high” or “high.” Contrast that to only 13 percent for the legal profession. No doubt, the actions mentioned above contributed to those numbers. Why, as attorneys, do we do so little to correct this grave problem?A Harvard study found that 54 percent of monies awarded patients injured by negligence went to “administrative” costs, including attorney’s fees. The gross inefficiency of the system is unnecessary and is easily improved, if only the desire existed. This would benefit injured patients and help avoid costly and time-consuming frivolous claims and the resultant personal turmoil caused innocent physicians.I would challenge not only the FSU e-journal to explore these issues, but The Florida Bar to engage and work with the many national medical societies who have adopted expert witness guidelines to ensure those guidelines promote fair, honest, and ethical testimony.I lose little sleep that the public holds the law with such distain or that the law promotes such intellectual dishonestly when it comes to medical malpractice. I am greatly troubled, however, by the fact that so few attorneys seem to care. I pray for the legal profession that I am wrong.Robert W. Patton Clearwater Bar’s Website The Florida Bar has an alleged website. Allegedly, members and the general public can access that website for the purpose of finding a lawyer, checking on a lawyer, getting information regarding CLE, unauthorized practice of law, legal research on Fastcase, etc. It is, in fact, nearly impossible to gain any meaningful access to The Florida Bar website. It is without a doubt the most incompetently designed and maintained website I’ve ever tried to use.In the first place, it is unbelievably slow if and when it works at all. Usually it doesn’t work at all. Usually one gets the home page and nothing more. Sometimes, if you exit and try again, it will move on to the page you want, but more usually it doesn’t.In this “information age” in which we live and work, the Internet, and the ability to access it quickly and efficiently, is an indispensable fact of life. Businesses and organizations routinely operate good, useful, and valuable websites without any significant difficulty. Why is The Florida Bar’s website useless and worthless? Computer hardware and software have advanced to the point where top-flight systems can be obtained with great economy. We do not have to put up with a last-class website that does not work.Be assured that I am not alone in my criticism. Every lawyer I’ve spoken to who has tried to use The Florida Bar website has expressed the same thought. I suggest that the Bar assess its website with an eye to building one that we can use and be proud of.William E. Lowe Bradenton Editor’s Note: The Bar’s website is designed for optimum usability with Internet Explorer and Mozilla browsers. Based on user statistics, 96 percent of visitors access the site with these browsers. Other proprietary browsers create issues for users because they use a copy of the site from past visits rather than loading the live site. The Florida Bar is continuously working to improve its website and recently completed a major study involving hundreds of Bar members providing input and suggestions. The study recommendations are now being applied. Monthly, the site has more than 16.7 million hits and in the latest Bar Membership Opinion survey, 91 percent of Bar members said the site was average or above average in terms of its content and ease of use compared to other legal websites. Foreclosure I write from the frustrating foreclosure trenches of Palm Beach County to challenge the assumption that clearing the backlog of foreclosures is necessarily a good idea.The untested, unproven underlying assumption behind throwing millions of dollars at our court system to reduce the foreclosure backlog is that the sooner we clear ’em out, the sooner the houses can get back on the market; and although it might be bad at first, we can climb out of the hole that much quicker if we just get ’er done.This assumption is plain horse hockey. I don’t see it as my taxpayer civic duty to provide a clearinghouse beyond the norm for banks and speculative lenders, many of whom were downright deceptive and dishonest in how they generated all this hoopla in the first place.I’m not saying the lenders don’t get to have keys to the courthouse. I just don’t believe we need to make them their own special keys and give them their own office space and support system for free and over and above the legitimate needs of everyone else. It’s not just a dollars-and-cents issue either: Why should rapists, muggers, and less palatable crooks have to wait whilst we bend over backwards to help these lenders?I say horse hockey, because if the banks suddenly had control of more than 63,000 homes (the foreclosure backlog) in this county — just in time for Christmas — any recovery/stabilization of the housing market we’ve seen to date will crater with no end in sight. Additionally, right now some banks, seeing that they can’t just come in and throw a family into the street, have to deal with families. There is a business decision to be made that allows families to work it out with the lenders when the lenders know they have to otherwise wait a good long time.I say horse hockey, because the banks don’t really want these properties. The September 1 News touched on that, but only in passing. These banks don’t do anything to take care of the properties they get, and they stiff condo and homeowners’ associations every chance they get. Go ahead, try to sue them; you’ll wait a long time, since all our resources are going to do their dirty work.What we really need is to take both a liberal and a conservative attitude to this mess: Liberal, in that we need the courts to remember that foreclosure is a matter of equity and the homeowner should be protected as broadly as possible; conservative, in that most all government involvement should cease. That is, using nothing other than the common law and equity, the courts should simply be letting the parties work out full and fair common sense business solutions. As it is, even in court-ordered mediation, our hands are tied.For example, if a property is worth $200,000 and the loan is $300,000, and if next year that same property is going to be worth only $100,000, then let the parties agree to cut their losses and move on. Not fair to the banks? Then make the banks tell us how much of these losses were bailed out on.I know some people will react negatively to what I’m saying (can’t let deadbeats be rewarded), but we need to practice a bit of forgiveness and there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I mentality. It does not matter what happened, why it happened, or who is to blame anymore. Foreclosures themselves are the problem. Putting people into the streets is going to be a bigger problem. Let’s simply cut our losses. Work it out. Live and let live.Tim Morell Boynton Beachlast_img read more

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Pupil dilation study suggests homophobia is linked to lower interest in sex

first_imgShare on Twitter Email Pinterest New preliminary research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that men who hold anti-gay views have a lower interest in sex compared to men who are more accepting of gay people.A team of researchers led by Boris Cheval of the University of Geneva in Switzerland examined pupil dilation to determine that more homophobic men had a decreased physiological response to sex-related imagery.Cheval and his colleagues had previously found that a particular set of homophobic men displayed an unconscious bias in favor of homosexual imagery. However, that study also found that more homophobic men tended to look less long at sex-related photographs compared to men who were less homophobic. LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Share The researchers wanted to follow-up on this secondary finding. In particular, they wanted to know whether this apparent lack of interest in sexual material was an unconscious reaction or a conscious effort. Were these men just less interested or were they purposefully trying to disengage with sexual content because it conflicted with their beliefs and values?For their study, Cheval and his colleagues recruited 38 heterosexual men and evaluated their attitudes about gay people using a survey.The researchers then instructed the participants to rate 25 pictures on a 9-point scale, from “very unpleasant” to “very pleasant.” Each participant viewed 10 images of homosexual couples, 10 images of heterosexual couples, and 5 neutral images. As the participants viewed the pictures, the researchers measured changes in their pupils.The pupils reliably dilate in response to sexually-appealing imagery, even when a person consciously tries to suppress their desire. Among all the participants, the pupil dilated more in response to the heterosexual pictures than the homosexual and neutral pictures.However, the researchers found that the pupil size of homophobic men increased significantly less compared to non-homophobic men.The finding suggests that the lack of interest in sexual material results from “a spontaneous, unconscious reaction, rather than a strategic, conscious form of self-regulation, given that pupil dilation cannot easily be controlled,” the researchers explained. “Theoretically, these findings reinforce the possibility that homophobia reflects concerns about sexuality in general.”last_img read more

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