Dealer.com named one of best places to work in America by Outside Magazine

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first_imgOutside is America¹s leading active lifestyle magazine, with over two million readers a month. For more than 30 years, the magazine has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. Along with receiving many other accolades, Outside is the only magazineto win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence. Visit the magazine online at www.outsideonline.com(link is external). August 4, 2011 (Burlington, VT) ‘ Dealer.com,Dealer.com (www.dealer.com(link is external)), the global leader in automotive internet marketing solutions, has been named one of ‘America’s Best Places to Work’ by Outside magazine. Out of a total of 50 companies who made the 2011 list, Dealer.com ranked No. 14. The full list and related story will be published in the September issue of Outside magazine, available on newsstands August 16, 2011. ‘We are incredibly honored to be listed on Outside’s Best Places to Work in America,’ said Mark Bonfigli, CEO of Dealer.com. ‘At Dealer.com, our commitment to the wellness and happiness of our employees has always been a top priority. But there is also great value in providing our team with these unique benefits. Our employees are enthusiastic about their work and consistently provide excellent customer service, develop innovative products and build forward-thinking digital marketing solutions for our clients.’ With a team of more than 550 employees, Dealer.com spends more than $12,000 per employee per year on wellness programs that include a company-subsidized organic food café, comprehensive on-site fitness facilities, indoor tennis and basketball court, ping-pong tables, on-site massage breaks and more than 20 ‘intramural’ teams, among many other features. For a full list of benefits, and to view current job openings, visit www.careers.dealer.com(link is external). Outside’s ‘Best Places to Work’ project celebrates the innovative companies setting a new standard for a healthy work-life balance. The list was compiled with the help of the Outdoor Industry Association and Best Companies Group. The yearlong selection process began with an outreach effort that identified a wide range of non-profit and for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in the United States. Participating companies were then sent confidential employee-satisfaction surveys and employer-questionnaires to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, and community outreach programs. All of the results were analyzed by Best Companies Group experts, who selected the 50 companies that strive to enhance their employees’ enjoyment of active endeavors, and environmental and social involvement. About Dealer.com (www.dealer.com(link is external))Dealer.com is the global leader in online marketing solutions for the automotive industry, providing award winning e-marketing solutions to OEMs, auto dealers and media companies.  The company’s innovative websites and integrated online tools include advertising alternatives that significantly lower the cost of customer acquisition, enhancing dealers’ efficiency and profitability.    Recent national and international accolades include the American Business Awards ‘Best Company of the Year’ and ‘Fastest Growing Company of the Year,’ Inc. magazine’s 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces and Inc. 5000 Rankings, and Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500. In addition, Dealer.com won three 2010 DrivingSales Vendor Ratings Awards as Top Rated Provider in the Website, SEO and SEM-PPC categories; the Automotive Website Association’s 2010 Pinnacle Platform Award and its award for Best Online Advertising Tool; the 2010 Dealers’ Choice Diamond Award for Best Website Solution; and Auto Dealer Monthly’s award for Best Video Technology of 2010.  Dealer.com also was recently recognized by Vermont Business magazine as the state’s fastest-growing company, and was ranked first in SEO effectiveness among auto dealer website providers for the third consecutive year by Sorgenfrei LLC.  For more information visit: http://www.dealer.com/promo/look-inside.htm(link is external). About Outsidelast_img read more


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first_imgDear EarthTalk: With all the talk of desalinization of ocean water for drinking, what do we know about the impacts this might have on climate, ocean salinity and other natural processes?                                                                                                                         — Fred Kuepper, via e-mail Due to its high cost, energy intensiveness and overall ecological footprint, most environmental advocates view desalinization (or desalination)—the conversion of salty ocean water into fresh water—as a last resort for providing fresh water to needy populations. Sourcing fresh water from streams, rivers, lakes and underground aquifers and adhering to strict water conservation measures are much more viable for both economic and environmental reasons in most situations, although some desert regions with thirsty and growing populations may not have many such options. The relationship between desalinization and climate change is complex. Global warming has increased droughts around the world and turned formerly verdant landscapes into near deserts. Some long held fresh water sources are simply no longer reliably available to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Meanwhile, expanding populations in desert areas are putting intense pressure on existing fresh water supplies, forcing communities to turn to desalinization as the most expedient way to satisfy their collective thirst. But the process of desalinization burns up many more fossil fuels than sourcing the equivalent amount of fresh water from fresh water bodies. As such, the very proliferation of desalinization plants around the world—some 13,000 already supply fresh water in 120 nations, primarily in the Middle East, North Africa and Caribbean—is both a reaction to and one of many contributors to global warming. Beyond the links to climate problems, marine biologists warn that widespread desalinization could take a heavy toll on ocean biodiversity; as such facilities’ intake pipes essentially vacuum up and inadvertently kill millions of plankton, fish eggs, fish larvae and other microbial organisms that constitute the base layer of the marine food chain. And, according to Jeffrey Graham of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, the salty sludge leftover after desalinization—for every gallon of freshwater produced, another gallon of doubly concentrated salt water must be disposed of—can wreak havoc on marine ecosystems if dumped willy-nilly offshore. “For some desalinization operations,” says Graham, “it is thought that the disappearance of some organisms from discharge areas may be related to…the salty outflow.” Of course, as supplies of fresh water dwindle, the economic cost of desalinization—especially in coastal areas with easy access to ocean water—begins to look competitive with traditional water sourcing. To date there are about 300 desalinization plants in the United States, with 120 in Florida and less than 40 each in Texas and California. Some 20 additional plants are planned for the coast of California in the coming years, unless environmentalists extolling the virtues of conservation and wielding low-flow shower heads and toilets prevail. CONTACT: Scripps’ Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, www.cmbb.ucsd.edu. GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.phplast_img read more


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first_imgNew money appropriated for dependency cases Associate Editor It may not be all that children’s advocates had hoped, but $7.5 million in new funding will make sure more abused and neglected children have guardians ad litem.Before the new dollars, children’s advocates have long bemoaned that only about half of the abused and neglected children in dependency court are afforded guardians ad litem, even though Florida statutes provide that children in Chapter 39 proceedings shall be represented.“There are about 12,000 kids who didn’t have GALs, and what we wanted were more GALs, and we wanted attorneys to represent the GALs,” said Sen. Locke Burt, R-Ormond Beach, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.The new money is a far cry from the goals of SB 686 that had called for $12 million to double the Guardian ad Litem Program budget, add attorneys to represent the GAL, as well as provide lawyers for the state’s most vulnerable children.“We didn’t change the law, and we wanted to,” Burt said. “We were very disappointed SB 686 didn’t become law, because that would have clarified a lot of rules in dependency cases and the type of representation provided.”While SB 686 easily passed the Senate, in the last days of the regular legislative session, the bill was pulled from the House special calendar before it was scheduled to be heard.At least boosting the underfunded GAL Program became a reality in the special session on the budget.“I give the credit, really, to Senate President John McKay. All of the senators felt very strongly about this issue. In the final negotiations over the budget, McKay was able to keep $7.5 million,” Burt said.In the end, $7.528 million of new funding was appropriated, of which nearly $1.7 million will finance the second year of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Attorney ad Litem Pilot Project, where guardians ad litem are appointed in every case, and attorneys for children are appointed on a case-by-base basis, at the discretion of the judge.The new dollars will fund 137.5 full-time equivalent positions to be established as case coordinators and secretaries in the GAL Program, according to the Office of State Courts Administrator. Funding is provided both for contracts for attorneys to represent the GAL Program and best interest of children. Additionally, there will be some money available for attorneys to represent the expressed wishes of children “when a judge determines it is in the best interest of a child to be represented by an attorney,” according to OSCA.The hope that this new source of money could reap attorneys to represent children popped up during recent oral arguments at the Florida Supreme Court about whether dependent children sent to mental health facilities against their will should have their own attorneys by amending Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.350 (see story page 14 of this News ).Eleventh Circuit Judge Sandy Karlan, chair of The Florida Bar Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, argued these children do need attorneys and there are enough pro bono attorneys and law school clinics to represent them. Additionally, Karlan told the justices: “The legislature just passed a statute that provides for $7.5 million in funding under a guardian ad litem provision. But if you read that statute, the last sentence indicates that the money is to go to the circuits, or the circuits are supposed to decide standards of practice of lawyers that are appointed for children in court.”Taking the opposing position was Ninth Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson, chair of the Children’s Court Improvement Committee and a member of the Conference of Circuit Judges, who believes it should be left to the judge’s discretion when a child needs an attorney, as is practiced in his pilot project.“I do not believe that adding an attorney to a proceeding is always the answer to fix the problem,” Dawson told the justices during oral arguments.Of the $7.5 million for legal representation for children, “only about $3 million of that is actually earmarked for attorneys, and the majority of that is ear-marked for attorneys for the GAL Program,” Dawson said. He added that it does provide some money for attorneys to represent children “in the appropriate circumstances.”“I know there have been concerns about the effectiveness of the Guardian ad Litem Program. That concerns our group because the Guardian ad Litem Program was established by statute. It is a substantive right and funded by close to $10 million,” Dawson told the justices.“Actually, we will have about $17 million next year, and it is under the direction of the court and still is unable to have sufficient guardians ad litem to represent children. And what this rule would propose is to create a right to an attorney, and the inability to proceed to a hearing without that attorney. It has been pointed out that in some pockets of the state, there may be sufficient pro bono attorneys, and in many areas of the state there will not be sufficient pro bono attorneys. If there is not specific statutory provisions and funding, there will not be an attorney and there will not be a hearing.”While the debate rages on when children should be represented by their own attorneys or whether a guardian ad litem is sufficient, beginning October 1 there should no longer be children in dependency court deprived of their statutory right to a guardian ad litem.“What passed is the budget, and the budget will ultimately provide that every kid gets a guardian ad litem, and GALs have contract attorneys and staff,” Burt said.Just how that new money will be distributed to the 20 circuits is still in the planning stages. According to a memo from Deputy State Courts Administrator Lisa Goodner to chief judges and trial court administrators: “In order to develop an equitable allocation plan, it is likely that the Trial Court Budget Commission will consider factors such as the existing staff in each circuit, the number of dependency petitions filed, and the unmet needs in the circuit.”The increased funding will not begin until October 1, Goodner noted, and “thus there is ample time for the TCBC to make decisions regarding distribution and for the circuits to take appropriate steps to ensure these new resources can be utilized as soon as possible.” New money appropriated for dependency cases July 1, 2002 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img read more