Bakersfield Named Worst Air Polluted Place in US

March 15, 2023

An analysis by The Guardian has revealed the worst 10 places for fine particle air pollution in the United States, with the area around Bakersfield, California topping the list.

According to researchers, the places within the contiguous U.S. that were most affected by pollution were also areas with higher Black and Hispanic populations. Race, the article noted, appears to be more of an indicator of air pollution severity than that of income.

“What we’re seeing here is segregation,” Julian Marshall, professor of environmental engineering at the University of Washington and co-director of the Center for Air, Climate and Energy Solutions told The Guardian. “You have segregation of people and segregation of pollution.”

According to The Guardian, the fine air pollution particles recorded, known as Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5, are emitted by cars, factories, wildfires, and dusty agricultural activities. These particles can enter the lungs and bloodstream, causing deadly illnesses such as respiratory disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

The analysis used data collected between 2011 and 2015 to determine which places were the nation’s most polluted, which included areas within Los Angeles and Chicago in the second and third spots, respectively, on the list.

Too Many Apps Clutter Work Production

A recent report has found that too much technology hinders collaboration.

March 15, 2023

The Anatomy of Work Global Index, a report recently released by project management software company Asana, has revealed that technology, to be effective in the workplace, needs to be used sparingly.

The report, which surveyed 9,615 global knowledge workers regarding workplace collaboration, found that having too many apps can cause the opposite of what they are designed to do—improve work processes. Instead, when too many apps were employed, workers felt they were spending more hours working than necessary. 

But how much technology is too much?

Among surveyed workers who use 16 or more work apps, 25% said they miss messages and tasks, compared to 15% who use six to 15 apps at work and just 8% of those who use only one to five apps.

When asked how many hours might be saved if their work processes improved, employees using five or less apps believed they would save three hours a week. But when workers who used at least 16 apps were asked the same question, they felt that improving their work processes would save them 9.6 hours a week—more than a day’s worth of work.

Company leaders in directorship roles reported using an average of 10 work apps and said that they could save nearly six hours a week if their work processes were improved.

“Work about work”—defined as the time spent on duplicated work, unnecessary meetings, and juggling too many apps—takes up 58% of the workday for those surveyed, with skilled work encompassing 33% and strategic work making up 10%. The report found that 62% of the workday was lost to repetitive, mundane tasks.

“There is a big misconception that more collaboration is better,” said Rebecca Hinds, Ph.D., head of Asana’s think tank, The Work Innovation Lab. “The goal shouldn’t be more collaboration; it should be more collaboration where collaboration is necessary.”

Cintas Announces Finalists for 2023 Custodian of the Year

March 15, 2023

Cintas Corp. has announced the top 10 finalists in its 10th annual Cintas Custodian of the Year contest. From now through April 14, the public can vote for their favorite custodian at

“We received an abundance of nominations highlighting remarkable custodians across the country,” said Cintas marketing manager Christiny Betsch. “As always, it’s difficult to select the top 10, but this year’s finalists stood out for their commitment, kindness, and determination.” 

The greatest number of public votes will determine the winner of the Cintas Custodian of the Year contest. Cintas will award US$10,000 to the winning custodian and $5,000 in Rubbermaid Commercial Products and Cintas products and services to the winner’s school. The winner’s school will also receive a facility assessment and consulting package from ISSA valued at $30,000 and enrollment in the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course, provided by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a Division of ISSA. The other nine finalists will receive $1,000 each and complimentary tuition to one ISSA Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) virtual training event, valued at $1,500. The finalists’ schools will also receive a cleaning supply package from Rubbermaid. New this year, the top three finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to the ISSA Show North America in Las Vegas in November where they’ll be celebrated for their accomplishments.

“We’re truly inspired by each of the finalists who do much more than clean schools,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “School custodians are beacons of light in their communities and students look up to them as positive role models who lead by example.” 

The finalists in the 2023 Cintas Custodian of the Year contest are as follows: 

  • Abdul Akeely – Burns Park Elementary School (Ann Arbor, Michigan) 
  • Paul “Mr. Paul” Baerenwald – Mapleview Intermediate School (Kimberly, Wisconsin) 
  • Rodney “Mr. Peanuts” Esser – Park Elementary School (Cross Plains, Wisconsin)
  • Ramiro Hernandez Julia – Tohopekaliga High School (Kissimmee, Florida)
  • Barbara “Mrs. Barbara” James – Yulee Primary School (Yulee, Florida)
  • David “Mr. Dave” Jeffers – Brokaw Early Learning Center (Oswego, Illinois) 
  • Quan “Mr. Quan” Le – Friendswood Junior High (Friendswood, Texas)
  • Doreen “Ms. Doreen” Merritt – Elms Elementary School (Jackson, New Jersey)
  • Jessica Prado – Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas) 
  • Richard Toomey – Kelly Mill Elementary (Cumming, Georgia) 

“We’re proud to honor these incredible custodians for their hard work, talent and dedication, and we wish them all good luck in the contest,” said Robert Posthauer, Rubbermaid Commercial Products senior vice president and general manager of commercial sales. 

For more information on Cintas’ Custodian of the Year Contest and to cast your vote, visit

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