Bill Walton Pens Heartfelt Remembrance For Jerry Garcia

first_imgBill Walton may be known to some as a legendary NBA player, but to us he’s just one of our tallest family members. Walton has been a diehard Deadhead for decades now, even making his debut as a Rhythm Devil in the recent Dead & Company tour finale. With Walton’s high-profile fandom, the basketball player has shared some thoughts on the late great Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia in a new post on Mickey Hart’s website, on the 21st anniversary of Garcia’s death.Walton writes about his experience learning about Garcia’s death, the aftermath, and the legacy. You can read his note below.August 9, 2016It was 21 years ago, in early August. It was in the morning. I was at home in San Diego. The fog was still in. But it was bound to be another perfect day. It was summer in San Diego. I was playing the piano, practicing for the lesson that would come from Dmitry later on. The house and everything around was very, very quiet, just like always, before the children woke up. The phone rang. I never answer the phone when I’m working my way into the zone on the piano–the time and moments are just too precious. But for some reason, I got up, walked to the phone and picked up. It was Ram Rod. He was very quiet, and sad. Jerry had just died. And things were never the same again. Ever.A few days later there was a service, at Saint Stephen’s church in Belvedere, half-way up a small hill that jutted out into San Francisco Bay. It was foggy that day too. We got there real early. It was overwhelmingly sad. What to do ? What to say? Where to go?Everybody was there. Ken Kesey and Robert Hunter spoke. David Grisman played. Bob Dylan came to silently pray. So did Bruce Hornsby. Mostly, people cried. Sad, lonely and fearful tears fell like stones from our eyes. We stayed late, at the church, until there was nobody else there.Everybody reconvened at Bill Graham’s old house up on top of the hill. Michael Klein had bought it after Bill had died. There was no sense of time, or anything else. Everybody and everything was numb. Jerry was a rare and different force of nature. He personified excellence at whatever he chose to be important.Jerry lived in a sad, hard and cruel world that had grown dark and mean. But with a promise of the glow, he was able to beautify that existence with his spirit, his soul, his heart, his mind, his voice, and his guitar. Jerry could make people happy. He was happy himself. Life with Jerry was like a spiritual quest, but he didn’t see things that way– -at all—ever. He was fun, and he had fun. He was welcoming to so many; and the inclusiveness that was his own life was infectious. He had so many remarkable and enviable qualities. He was kind, sweet, playful, joyous, sharing, gentle,loving, contemplative, creative, imaginative, unpredictable, warm, funny, thoughtful, empathetic,adventuresome and innovative–for starters.And he was most curious about nearly everything; and more than willing to explore and experiment beyond the edge.Jerry was always able to float seamlessly between so many personalities: from the soft and awestruck freshness of a young child; to the rambunctious wildness and freedom from restraint of unbridled and unconquerable adolescence; to the laser focus and steeled determination of the guy charged with getting things done now; to the wizened sage of the poised, serious and composed master-teacher responsible for everything.But it was never easy for Jerry. Everybody always wanted something from him, mostly help. Of all the people I’ve ever known, Jerry and Bob Dylan always get the weirdest trips laid on their doorsteps. But Jerry had kindness, elegance, style and taste. He had incredibly high moral standards. And he wouldn’t get involved in things that he didn’t think were right or pure; nor sing songs that delivered a message that he thought inappropriate. Jerry carried a very heavy burden–the failures, flaws and limitations of others. But having given the best he had to give, his heart eventually just broke down. The load was simply too heavy.The scope of his life, dreams and aspirations were universal–and beyond, to places that only he could see, and get to.It was his selfless integrity, class and dignity, at an unparalleled level, that helped create the culture that was so alluring to all of us. And as his melodies touched the themes and chords of our lives, he sang directly to each of us about love, death, forgiveness and renewal. Jerry was a great leader in many classic ways. He made it fun. He made it fair. He made it authentically real. He made it cool. He made you want to come back for more–forever. He knew that the band had something very special going, and he was most often able to fight off the forces of greed and selfishness.At the end of the day, Jerry dreamed of a world as it could be. He was a man of honor who was personally able to make good things happen. And keep the bad things at bay. And that is really hard to do. And as we all said a long, sad, quiet, silent goodbye, we knew that it would never be the same again. We thank you, Jerry. We thank you for your sacrifice. We thank you for your life.We’ll always remember you, Jerry, more so today than ever before, now that we’re all alone, in the great unknown.~Bill Waltonlast_img read more

Drugmaker Mallinckrodt Reaches $1.6B Opioid Settlement

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Stock Photo: PixabayNEW YORK – The generic drugmaker Mallinckrodt has a tentative $1.6 billion deal to settle lawsuits over its role in the U.S. opioid crisis, it announced Tuesday.The deal is intended to end hundreds of lawsuits faced by the company over opioids.The company said that it had an agreement with a key committee of lawyers representing thousands of local governments suing various drug industry players over opioids — and that the deal has the support of the attorneys general of 47 states and territories.The company, based in Staines-Upon-Thames, England, was one of the highest-volume opioid producers in the U.S. at the height of the nation’s prescription drug crisis, shipping 2.3 billion pills from 2006 to 2014, according to federal data. In 2010 alone, Mallinckrodt’s SpecGX subsidiary, shipped 210 million doses of oxycodone to Florida, then the epicenter of the black market opioid trade. The company’s potent 30 milligram pills were especially sought after by people with addiction.Documents gathered as the company prepared for trial showed that a Mallinckrodt sales manager told a distributor in 2009 of the pills: “Just like Doritos; keep eating, we’ll make more.” A company spokesman later called the statement “outrageously callous.”The company argued in court filings that unlike makers of brand-name drugs, it did not promote opioids to doctors or understate the addiction risks. But plaintiffs in the cases said Mallinckrodt continued to ship suspicious orders without making sure the drugs weren’t going to be diverted to the black market.Under its agreement, Mallinckrodt is filing for bankruptcy. The plan calls for it to make payments for eight years after the company emerges from the protections. That route is similar to one OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is taking to settle opioid claims against it.For Mallinckrodt, there are business concerns, beyond the potential liability in opioid cases, that contributed to its seeking bankruptcy protection.“Reaching this agreement in principle for a global opioid resolution and the associated debt refinancing activities announced today are important steps toward resolving the uncertainties in our business,” Mark Trudeau, president and CEO of the company, said in a statement.Joe Rice, a lawyer on the executive committee of plaintiffs suing in federal court over opioids, said in an interview Tuesday that some details of the Mallinckrodt agreement still remain to be ironed out.Most of the money contributed by Mallinckrodt would go to a trust to pay for addiction treatment and other costs related to an opioid crisis that has been linked to more than 430,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000. Additionally, the trust would be able to buy Mallinckrodt stock at a fixed price; it could be sold to help the cause.State attorneys general praised the deal.“My focus is on not only accountability, but also obtaining the resources we need to get victims of this epidemic the help they deserve,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a written statement. “This agreement is a significant step in the right direction.”Mallinckrodt’s announcement comes weeks before a trial on the toll of opioids is scheduled to start in Central Islip, New York. The looming trial has been a factor in a ramped-up push for other drugmakers and distributors to settle, as well.There have been increasingly public tensions between attorneys general and the private lawyers for local governments over the biggest of the proposed settlements, which would involve at least the three biggest U.S. drug distribution companies. States have also been divided on whether to accept the deal, under which the distributors would pay a total of $18 billion over 18 years.last_img read more

Stretching your credit union: Five steps to stronger prototyping

first_imgMy first job out of college was with a credit union that served Macy’s employees. One of the benefits with that role was that employees of the credit union received an employee discount at Macy’s. That coupled with the fact that some of our team members were former Macy’s employees, meant that I was not only able to buy nice clothes at a discount, but I had colleagues that gave me solid fashion advice and would recommend pieces that I might not have ever even considered. This stretched me.In recent years, without the influence of my fashion forward colleagues, my wardrobe has gotten a bit dull. I tend to pick very similar styles and I don’t stretch myself to try new things. Enter Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix merges fashion, needs identification and technology to provide a regular “fix” for users. Via the Stitch Fix website, I shared my sizes, my interests, my career and the kinds of events I attend. Using a simple rating system, I gave insights into the kinds of clothes I typically like. At whatever interval I choose, I then receive a “fix” which is a package containing interesting and new clothing. I select the pieces I like to keep and mail back those that don’t work.What I like best beyond the convenience and customization of the experience is that it stretches me to try new things. Every time I receive items that I would never pick myself, but that I really like. It has expanded my horizons. It’s also a low risk way to try new options. If I don’t like any of the clothes in my “fix,” I can send it back in an easy to use postage-paid envelope and the only cost is a $20 styling fee.As Filene works with credit unions to build their innovation competency through both i3 and our innovation programming, one of the most important elements of our Filene method is prototyping. Prototyping brings new ideas to life through a quick and inexpensive physical manifestation. It helps to really see what works about a new idea and where the challenges lie.Done iteratively, prototyping helps ensure that great new ideas are more successful and that new ideas that may not have a future are halted before large investments are made. Just like Stitch Fix, prototyping can help credit unions to try new things more often, stretching the organization to improve and grow while also reducing the risk heavily in a new idea before knowing if and how it might work.Here are five ways to help your credit union build prototyping into your innovation process:Invite your biggest critics to review the prototype. When you are ideating and creating new ideas, you want to avoid skepticism and criticism. When you choose an idea to move forward and begin prototyping, you want to invite in your most critical team members, colleagues and constituents. Tough feedback is important and will help shape the idea further.Focus on function over beauty. Your prototype should be inexpensive and does not need to be beautiful. It should be rough around the edges. Let those reviewing it know that you’ll focus on the polish of the idea once the prototyping is complete.Ask at least two questions. As you share your prototype, you’ll get the most meaningful feedback if you have specific questions to ask of those that are reviewing it. Questions should help you to gather insights around the biggest concerns that you have and should be open-ended in nature. Think about what you are most worried about and be sure you ask questions to address those issues.Don’t let your first prototype be your last. Prototypes are intended to be iterative. Once you have built one prototype, shared it, asked good questions and received feedback, use what you’ve learned to build another and follow the same process again. Every idea might have several prototypes before you decide to move forward.Invite your members and potential members to participate. Consumers love to be a part of building new ideas. Invite them to give you feedback on your prototype. Ensure that you invite participation from those that will be benefit most from the idea.It has been fun to stretch myself again and bring variety and depth to my wardrobe. Prototyping can stretch your credit union as well by bringing new ideas to life and making those ideas even more successful while reducing risk. Get your prototyping fix today.Filene’s innovation programming details can be found here. 79SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Tansley Stearns Tansley is a dynamic force of nature, fiercely crusading on behalf of all credit unions while tirelessly driving forward the brand image and family spirit of Canvas. She joined us … Web: https://www.canvas.org Detailslast_img read more