Thursday, May 26, 2016

Listeria Monocytogenes Concerns




by C. Henry Adams

Listeria Monocytogenes is a bacterium that grows without certain nutritional supplements, AKA a Nonfastidious bacteria.  It can be found in foods that we eat, particularly Sun Flower Seeds, soil and sewage to name a few.

Since April 23rd 2016, we have been observing a number of Food Recalls on the FDA and posting them in Social Media ( From the likes of Facebook to Twitter, to Linkedin and Next Door.)

See a list of FDA recalls below:

1) April 23rd 2016   CRF Frozen Foods Recalls Frozen Vegetables Due to Possible Health Risk
    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm497297.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

2) May 9th 2016     Kroger Recalls Broccoli Raisin Salad After Supplier Listeria Concern
    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm499961.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

3) May 10th 2016    Kroger Recalls Simple Truth Organic Frozen Mix Vegetables after Supplier Listeria Concern    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm500271.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


4) May 13th 2016    Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods, Inc. Announces Voluntary Recall of Various Dr. Praeger's and Ungar's Products Related to CRF Frozen Vegetable Recall for Possible Health Risk     http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm501243.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery



5)  May 16th 2016    The Quaker Oats Company Issues Voluntary Recall of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars Due to Possible Health Risk      http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm501248.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


6)  May 21st 2016   Papa John's Salad and Produce Recalls Oriental Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing Due to Possible Listeria monocytogenes Contamination     http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm502537.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


7)  May 23rd 2016   First Source Recalls "Various Products Containing Sunflower Kernels Received From Our Supplier Sunopta" Because of Possible Health Risk    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm502736.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


8)  May 24th 2016    E S Foods Recalls Meal Breaks Containing Sunflower Seeds Because of Possible Health Risk    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm503034.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Because, Listeria Monocytogenes is associated with listeriosis and could cause meningitis; this is no joking matter.

Possible Problem Solver: 

Practice rinsing and cleaning Fruits and Vegetables off in clean water before eating. 

Regarding Sun Flower Seeds, try pouring them in a bowl of clean water; let sat for 15 minutes; then drain them slowly in a strainer.  Allow them to air dry.  Heat them at 200 degrees F in a stove for 15 minutes; this could help kill the type of bacteria mentioned above,  if any is present. 

Well, these are my thoughts, what say you?  Thanks for reading our blogs!


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Monday, May 23, 2016

What is it to know about SBA’s Scorecard


Monday Morning Contracting Tips

Dannie E. James Sr
JE Group LLC
Phone: 404-557-0027
www.jegroupllc.com


According to the SBA, its annual Scorecard is an assessment tool to:

1) measure how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals,

2) provide accurate and transparent contracting data, and

3) report agency-specific progress.
Every year, the SBA works with each agency to set their prime and subcontracting goals and their grades are based on the agreed upon goals.  Each federal agency has a different small business contracting goal, determined annually in consultation with SBA.  SBA ensures that the sum total of all of the goals exceeds the 23 percent target established by law.
The individual agency scorecards released by SBA, as well as a detailed explanation of the scorecard methodology, is available online at:  https://www.sba.gov/contracting/finding-government-customers/see-agency-small-business-scorecards.
Since SBA started the current small business procurement scorecard methodology in FY 2009, six agencies have received a grade of “A+” or “A” seven fiscal years in a row (FY 2009 through FY 2015):  the Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor, Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The overall federal small business prime contracting performance released on April 28, 2016 by the SBA, as well as a detailed explanation of the calculations, is available online at http://go.usa.gov/Nxxd.



All The Best





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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Crunch Period For EEPMCF Began Today



by C. Henry Adams


Today ( Thursday, May 19th 2016 ) at 7:00 pm EST; 'Experience East Point Multicultural Festival' ("EEPMCF") will go before the East Point Planning and Zoning Commission to pursue the opportunity to bring this Festival to East Point, Georgia in 2016.

There is a saying, " Nothing great comes easy. 'Experience East Point Multicultural Festival' will be a colossal special event."  From May 2016 through the month of June 2016, EEPMCF will work hard to make this occasion a reality in the City of East Point, Georgia on Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2nd - 4th 2016.

EEPMCF's Staff are constantly balancing themselves through proper planning of this event while seeking sponsors, vendors and acts.

Although, it is the beginning of the crunch period for the organization, success is a job won.

There is a start to the race, a constant run and a sprint to finish the journey while getting it done.

Well, these are my thoughts, what say you?  Thanks for reading our blogs.











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Monday, May 16, 2016

Rest In Peace SHA-1 There Comes A Time For SHA-2


by C. Henry Adams

In Life on the Internet,  like anything else, this (SHA-1) too, shall pass away.   In telecommunications, the Internet, advance technology; what is new today, could be possibly gone tomorrow.  This is a truth that I dare not deny.

Thus, the discussion here is cyber security related.  If the writing is on the wall or should I state in the blogs (LOL), perhaps, we should all listen.

Let's see, it has been written on  September 14th 2014 in Mozilla or farther back in 2005 by Schneier that SHA-1 was a cyber security risk.  Later in the years following, it would begin to be considered phased out as stated in a Mozilla Blog article.

But, if  you aren't a fan of the Firefox Internet Browser, maybe that news did not pertain to you.

Well, how about in November 4th 2015; that ought to have gotten your attention when Microsoft said it would what?  Depreciate or block SHA-1 signed TLS certificates from Windows.

Huh!  What!?  You don't utilize Firefox Internet Browser or Windows Operating Systems?

Well, what say you about Chrome and Google?  Especially when Google states, "Chrome does not treat SHA-1 certificates as secure anymore," on December 18th 2015?

Are you wondering now what the heck is a SHA-1 (or) SHA-2 and how in the Internet World will it involve you?   Ok cool.  Let's learn a little history about encryption.  Why?  Well, in order to know where you are going in life on the Internet, maybe,  it would be good to know where you come from...

SHA-1 was created by the NSA (US National Security Agency) in 1995.  Sorry, we don't have any links to share, but please feel free to research SHA-1.   Basically, it is a cryptographic hash function; in layman terms, I would state, " a mathematical way to scramble communications".  SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. 

Well, there is an old saying that does not exactly go like this,  " If one person can build an object of desire and usefulness,  a Knucklehead can figure out a way to come and completely tear it down. So, before he or she do,  anticipate this action and build many more. "

Thus SHA-2 and SHA-3.   So, I'm guessing you would like to know the purpose of a SHA.

Well, a SHA has (4) properties:

The ideal cryptographic hash function premises:
  • compute a value for any given message
  • generate a message
  • make a small change to a message
  • create more different messages to communicate
Anyway, it looks like SHA-1 was just not working securely, so they decided to retire it.  In fact, 2017 appears to be an important year, if not sooner (July 1st 2016) for the change over.

I can hear someone saying, " What change over!? "   To best answer that question, a SHA-2 signed TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificate would be ideal now to utilize within web development when communicating money transactions, personal information (healthcare information related) , as well as, many other aspects on Today's Internet.

Well, those of my thoughts, what say you?  Thanks for reading our blogs.



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CZIM: Experience East Point Multicultural Festival Presentation


by C. Henry Adams

On Tuesday, May 17th 2016 at 6:30 pm EST; located in the City of East Point Office of Planning and Zoning, 'Experience East Point Multicultural Festival' will give a brief presentation to the public regarding this upcoming occasion.  The introduction of the special event will be followed by a question and answering period.

A number of Public Notices were officially mail out to Citizens, Businesses and Civic Organizations in the City of East Point Ward A.  Currently, a Purple Sign is also posted in the East Point Commons area next to East Point Street.





To learn more about "Experience East Point Multicultural Festival, click here and download a PDF: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3zMnOB0CuuBVDB5ZU12ajZ1bGs/view?usp=sharing

Well, thanks for reading our blog.  Stay tune for more information regarding this phenomenon.


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Monday, May 2, 2016

The Small Business Government Contracting “Past Performance” Challenge


Monday Morning Contracting Tips


Dannie E. James
djames@jegroupllc.com



As a small business begins the proposal submission process to federal government agencies or to prime contractors the past performance challenge is a major challenge. By definition a start-up company in government contracting has no direct government agency past performance projects to site in meeting the requirement in requests for proposals (RFP’s) for historical references to similar projects in terms of size, duration and complexity.

Past performance data must be specific to the enterprise bidding a contract. Many companies attempt to site historical references to performance of individuals now in the company when they were with other firms, achievements by predecessor companies or successful projects that the current company did not perform as its current entity. Some federal agencies identified this reference as "Fronting" a new enterprise with misleading information about the Company’s past performance.

So how can a new organization or one that is new to government contracting muster a response to the past performance challenge?

The answer lies in historical projects that may be similar in the commercial arena and a high quality proposal that clearly demonstrates an understanding of the requirement at hand, a unique and cost effective project plan and high performing personnel and/or products tailored to the statement of work to offset an interim, light past performance record.

A past performance reference sheet usually accompanies an agency RFP. It normally requires the bidder to fill it out with references to historical projects the company has performed and the contact points for confirmation. The government may request these forms in advance of the main body of the proposal to allow enough time to send them to the references. The past performance form is sent by the government to the references and you never see the result. The input goes directly from your past performance references back to the government.

Many small businesses work through prime contractors to "Grow" past performance history (subcontracts count). By teaming with a sizable firm a small entity can relate its participation to larger projects and ultimately graduate to a good library of references, carefully maintained and kept as a living, growing data base of good customer service records that can be sited again and again in proposals.

It is wise to keep customer perceptions of your professionalism and products or services alive by constant vigilance, visits, surveys and other feedback mechanisms so that you are not surprised at a proposal debriefing when you find that a client you thought rated you highly did not.

The major services maintain past performance records by contract that you can access. Inquire with them as to a membership at the appropriate web site and review them regularly. The GSA utilizes service companies to rate contractors. You can get your rating by inquiring with them, much like a credit rating, except pertinent to cost, schedule and technical performance. Monitor your D&B report. It is always out there for prime contractor and government assessment of your financial health, your vendor payment history, your organization profile and your rating.

Insure your web site, your capability statement and your marketing plans are maintained current alive and dynamically reflective of your successes as you pursue new business and carefully develop your library of past performance record by project with accessible profiles to use in your government proposals.

All The Best

Dannie E. James Sr
JE Group LLC
Phone: 404-557-0027
www.jegroupllc.com


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Are Cities and Utilities Benefiting From Social Media?


by C. Henry Adams

Are Cities and Utilities Benefiting from the "likes" of Social Media?  Really!?  Are they?  My answer would be "yes".  Why? 

Well, with the realization of Cell Phones, excuse me; Smartphones coming with Internet, Text Message and Voice mail capabilities. 

Not to mention the fact, you can dial the number and speak with the person; it is one of the official, effective Forms of Communications in Today's Society.

Don't be fool or scam.  I've seen and witness individuals , old as 90 years and young as 4 years, utilizing the aforementioned device or IoT (Internet of Things).

You too have witness it, likely if you are reading this blog.

So, what's the point.   Well, if you live in Atlanta, Georgia, perhaps adding your smartphone number to NotifyATL  ( https://member.everbridge.net/index/3091830992273427#/signup ) is not a bad idea.

Also, you can find Atlanta Watershed Management (drinking water), on Twitter - @ATLWatershed

Regarding traffic notices, the Georgia Department of Transportation notifications ( http://www.511ga.org/cp511 ) is a good idea as well.

OK, OK, that's not a Utility, but Georgia Power Alerts are here: ( https://customerservice.southerncompany.com/Account/PreferenceCenter.aspx?nav=outage#outagealerts )

@GeorgiaPower on Twitter

So, what did we forget?  I  know, Natural Gas Alerts or Emergencies , right!?

Well, the Natural Gas Market has multiple companies to choose from in Georgia, whereas, the main company (Atlanta Gas Light) technically turns on or off the natural gas.

Nonetheless, this would also include responding to gas leak emergencies, but they do not have text message alerts established.

However, you can call Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency response line at 877.427.4321.

Furthermore, you can find Atlanta Gas Light on Twitter:

I can hear somebody living in Atlanta, Ga saying, " But I use Scana! ".  Yet, I hear another person living in Atlanta, Georgia saying, " I utilize Gas South! "  Still, another person yells,  " I use Georgia Natural Gas!"

My reply:  If you mess around and don't pay your natural gas bill; guess who turns the gas off for either of the aforementioned companies in Atlanta, Ga? 

Answer:  AGL or Atlanta Gas Light, now owned by the Southern Company who owns Georgia Power. 

So, that Internet is not all bad afterall, huh!?  LOL   Well, these are my thoughts.  What say you?

Thanks for reading our blogs.   Oh, find us on Twitter @CHENRYADAMS


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