Video Footage From Fatal Car Crash Clears Venus Williams
Jul20

Video Footage From Fatal Car Crash Clears Venus Williams

Although a Florida police department originally blamed tennis superstar Venus Williams for a fatal car crash that took place on June 9, new video footage has caused them to rescind their initial assessment. Now, Palm Beach Gardens police are saying that Williams “lawfully entered the intersection” in a tragic accident that eventually resulted in the death of 78-year-old Jerome Barson. The Associated Press reported last month that witnesses told investigators that Williams ran a red light and caused the Hyundai Accent driven by Jerome Barson’s wife, Linda, to crash into her SUV. But Williams’ account differed: she said that she entered the six-lane intersection during a green light but was forced to stop in the middle due to traffic in front of her. Police estimate Williams was traveling at around five miles per hour when Barson’s vehicle crashed into hers. Williams said she didn’t see the car coming. Linda Barson was badly injured in the crash, but her husband sustained critical injuries that led to his death two weeks following the accident. Unfortunately, 1.2 million people worldwide die in car accidents every year. Barson’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against Williams on the grounds of negligence. The suit asserts that his fatal injuries included “severed main arteries, massive internal bleeding, a fractured spine, and massive organ damage.” But upon further inspection, video footage shows that Williams may not have been at fault. As reported by USA Today, police explained in a statement: “Based on the evidence obtained in the ongoing investigation, it has been determined the vehicle driven by Venus Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a circular green traffic signal, and attempted to travel north through the intersection to Ballenisles Drive. As Williams was traveling through the intersection, a Nissan Altima entered the intersection traveling south, and made a left turn in front of Williams’ vehicle, causing her to stop advancing through the intersection to avoid a collision. The traffic signal then cycled to green, at which time Barson continued westbound and entered the intersection. The front end of Barson’s vehicle collided the right front of Williams’ vehicle.” An initial police report noted that Williams had violated the Barsons’ right of way, but in the official statement, there was no mention of who was at fault for the accident. This investigation is ongoing and no criminal charges have been filed. When asked about the incident at a press conference following her Wimbledon match, Williams broke down in tears. The seven-time Grand Slam champion has expressed her devastation and heartbreak pertaining to the accident on social...

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Could Text Messages And Emails Be Hurting Business Communication?
Jul05

Could Text Messages And Emails Be Hurting Business Communication?

The age of the telephone, at least in the traditional sense, has been in decline for some time. For businesses, a great deal of focus has been shifted to the internet for their communication needs as many of the 11 million meetings per day in the U.S. occur over video conference or VoIP (voice over internet protocol). Even the way we communicate with each other has changed, with the text message becoming more common among the younger generation. In-person communication has been abandoned for the digital, and for Millennials and Generation Z, even phone calls are considered “passe.” But with these text communications come issues, according to Dr. Nicholas Epley in his book, Mindwise. “People using [these] mediums think they are communicating clearly because they know what they mean to say, receivers are unable to get this meaning accurately but are certain that they have interpreted the message accurately, and both are amazed that the other side can be so stupid,” he writes. Text-based communication is ambiguous, he believes. That is one of the messages that Polycom’s EVP of Engineering is trying to illustrate: why prioritizing the personal matters in business communication, like video conferencing, should be the new normal. A study of 25,234 workers, commissioned by Polycom, showed that 77% of them now take advantage of “flexible” working in one way or another. This means that remote work has become commonplace in the business world. Dr. Epley believes that this can come at a cost. He says, “Often, the miscommunications in this are minor. Resulting in redundant workflows, or at worst, missed deadlines. However, the touchier the topic, the more catastrophic the consequences.” Sending an email can feel so much less confrontational than talking face to face with another individual, but it can be well worth the interpersonal struggle to host a video conference, or to talk on the phone. Voice, facial and body language, all say more than words ever could. Dr. Epley encourages the business professional to take part in things like VoIP, or video conferences, even during remote work, to resist the temptation to go purely digital and remove the human experience. “The only way to overcome the challenges of text is to leave text...

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Indian Wells Debating On Increasing The Cost Of Real Estate Improvement Permits
Jul05

Indian Wells Debating On Increasing The Cost Of Real Estate Improvement Permits

The costs of home improvement will be rising in Indian Wells, CA, where user fees are being adjusted to cover costs to process permits at City Hall. In addition to this, the conditional use permit will be experiencing a decrease in cost, dropping from $8,387 to $6,556. These fee changes will go into effect in about 60 days. “The city processes about 760 building permits per year,” McCarthy said. So far, the most commonly seen permits are for single-family home remodels, as the city doesn’t see a large amount of development. The estimated fees for a 2,200-square-foot-home is anywhere between $464 and $1,755.15. This could mean a change in the return on investment (ROI) of many home projects that homeowners were looking forward to doing this year. There does not appear to be anything regarding landscaping, however, which has the largest ROI per expenditure, at 5% of home value for an ROI of 150%. While there has been no real opposition to the establishment of these fees, Gretchen Gutierrez, CEO of the Desert Valley Builders Association, asked that the council continue to discuss the issue at the meeting in September. “The association has not had time to fully read the Willdan study, which also compared Indian Wells fees with surrounding Coachella Valley cities,” she said. The study mentioned is the Temecula-based Willdan Financial Services study, which had been the source for the idea of the fees in the first place. Gutierrez also stated that the association had made more than one request to get access to the full document, and when they had gotten that access, a key consultant had been on vacation. This meant that that consultant had not been able to access or read it. The new fee idea and its schedule were approved 4-1, with Mayor Richard Balocco opposing without explaining...

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