Quote of the moment

"I have to tell it again and again: I have no doctrine. I only point out something. I point out reality, I point out something in reality which has not or too little been seen. I take him who listens to me at his hand and lead him to the window. I push open the window and point outside. I have no doctrine, I carry on a dialogue." Martin Buber

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Princeton bans academics from handing all copyright to journal publishers

This should raise an eyebrow or two of my professorial friends and the various professional organizations I belong to that also publish exclusive membership only journals. “Read the full article at The Conversation”


Princeton
Princeton University hopes its new Open Access policy will pressure academic publishers to stop requiring the copyright to the papers they publish. Flickr/Yakinodi


Prestigious US academic institution Princeton University has banned researchers from giving the copyright of scholarly articles to journal publishers, except in certain cases where a waiver may be granted.

The new rule is part of an Open Access policy aimed at broadening the reach of their scholarly work and encouraging publishers to adjust standard contracts that commonly require exclusive copyright as a condition of publication.

Universities pay millions of dollars a year for academic journal subscriptions. People without subscriptions, which can cost up to $25,000 a year for some journals or hundreds of dollars for a single issue, are often prevented from reading taxpayer funded research. Individual articles are also commonly locked behind pay walls.

Researchers and peer reviewers are not paid for their work but academic publishers have said such a business model is required to maintain quality.

At a September 19 meeting, Princeton’s Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy adopted a new open access policy that gives the university the “nonexclusive right to make available copies of scholarly articles written by its faculty, unless a professor specifically requests a waiver for particular articles.”

“The University authorizes professors to post copies of their articles on their own web sites or on University web sites, or in other not-for-a-fee venues,” the policy said.

“The main effect of this new policy is to prevent them from giving away all their rights when they publish in a journal.”

Under the policy, academic staff will grant to The Trustees of Princeton University “a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all copyrights in his or her scholarly articles published in any medium, whether now known or later invented, provided the articles are not sold by the University for a profit, and to authorise others to do the same.”

In cases where the journal refuses to publish their article without the academic handing all copyright to the publisher, the academic can seek a waiver from the open access policy from the University.

The policy authors acknowledged that this may make the rule toothless in practice but said open access policies can be used “to lean on the journals to adjust their standard contracts so that waivers are not required, or with a limited waiver that simply delays open access for a few months.”

Academics will also be encouraged to place their work in open access data stores such as Arxiv or campus-run data repositories.

A step forward


Having prestigious universities such as Princeton and Harvard fly the open access flag represented a step forward, said open access advocate Professor Simon Marginson from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

“The achievement of free knowledge flows, and installation of open access publishing on the web as the primary form of publishing rather than oligopolistic journal publishing subject to price barriers, now depends on whether this movement spreads further among the peak research and scholarly institutions,” he said.

“Essentially, this approach – if it becomes general – normalises an open access regime and offers authors the option of opting out of that regime. This is a large improvement on the present position whereby copyright restrictions and price barriers are normal and authors have to attempt to opt in to open access publishing, or risk prosecution by posting their work in breach of copyright.”

“The only interests that lose out under the Princeton proposal are the big journal publishers. Everyone else gains.”

Professor Tom Cochrane, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Technology, Information and Learning Support at the Queensland University of Technology, who has also led an Open Access policy mandate at QUT welcomed Princeton’s new rule but warned that the waiver must not be used too regularly, lest the policy be undermined.

If all universities and research institutions globally had policies similar to Princeton’s, the ultimate owner of published academic work would be universities and their research communities collectively, Professor Cochrane said.

“They are the source of all the content that publishers absolutely require to run their business model,” he said.

Dr Danny Kingsley, an open access expert and Manager of Scholarly Communication and ePublishing at Australian National University said the move was a positive step and that the push for open access should come from the academic community.

In practice, however, the new policy requires staff have a good understanding of the copyright arrangements they currently have with journal publishers in their field.

They will need to ensure future publisher’s agreements accommodate the new position and if not, obtain a waiver from the University.

“This sounds easy but in reality might be a challenge for some academics. There is considerable evidence to show that academics often have very little understanding of the copyright situation of their published work,” she said.

“What will be most telling will be the publishers' response over the next year or so. If they start providing amended agreements to Princeton academics then the door will be open for other universities to follow this lead. I suspect however they will not, as generally the trend seems for publishers to make the open access path a complex and difficult one.”



This article was originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.
Read further on the Open Access Debate published at The Conversation

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Chilean Path to Development-A Public Address by H. E. Sebastián Piñera , President of Chile

President H. E. Sebastián Piñera and his wife, Cecilia Morel, attended the Annual Forum of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, as part of his working visit to Boston September 23, 2011.   I saw a blog post today that showed an audience member pose a question  and a snippet of Piñera's response regarding the student revolt that has been on going for about 6 months now. While I understand its use as a political and advocacy tool, I resented not having full access to the complete video or transcript. After a little poking about I discovered the speech was recorded and archived by Harvard (and I would not have expected anything less).  His presentation, The Chilean Path to Development  to the Harvard's John F. Kennedy Forum may be viewed in its entirety. In order to view the video you MUST have RealPlayer downloaded .

The video is expected to be available for download Wednesday, September 28 on iTunes U Harvard University: Institute of Politics- John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. Below I summarize the presentation and then attempt to quote verbatim the first questioner and the President's response.  The questioner makes a pointed attempt to challenge the President on an apparent "change of policy" mentioned in an earlier speech compared to the reality as described by the questioner of the students back home in Chile. That exchange follows the summary.

One point of clarification or correction in the President's response to this individual. He suggests the exchange rate for Chilean Peso to the US Dollar is 200-1. In reality the day of the speech (9/23/2011) it was nearly 518-1. 

As for the rest of the questions I encourage you to look and listen for yourselves: 

The Chilean Path to Development

The program begins with introductions by Dean David Ellwood and Professor Marilee Grindle 
Dean Ellwood's opening comments welcomes back Piñera to Harvard. The Dean notes that holding a forum at 4:00 PM on a Friday afternoon and to have it in fact start early is a testament to the importance and anticipation Piñera's presentation. Ellwood cautions that there is only one firm and absolute rule for the speakers at the Kennedy Forum: to take free and unfettered questions from the audience. The audience for its part must also remain respectful of the speaker.  Professor Grindle introduces the President noting the world's focus on Chile to due to the earthquake of 2010, the 33 miners and most recently the protests for education reform.

Piñera opens his speech recalling his first day of class at Harvard, September 11, 1973, the day that Chile lost its democracy for 17 years due to Pinochet's coup de tat of President Allende. He recalls how that night he called Cecilia Morel, his girlfriend at the time and asked her to marry him.

Piñera presents Chile today as a country no longer separated by the wall of poverty that had stretched between the northern and southern hemisphere. Rather his country is now in the midst of a transformation into a developed country offering its people quality opportunities.  Chile has joined others to form a society of information referring to its development system of communications. He notes that his country once the poorest of all of Spain's colonies now has the highest  per capita income in all of Latin America. It has free trade with 58 countries.

The Chilean experience, known as the Chilean Miracle, during the 12 years between 1987-1998 were years of prosperity. Many trade agreements were made, employment was improving, investments were improving, an impressive accomplishment given after 17 years of dictatorship.  Piñera notes a new logic of dialogue and agreements took precedence over a dialogue of confrontation.

With the financial crisis of 1998-2009,  Chile lost its momentum of leadership and will of becoming a prosperous country known as the Chilean Night. The growth rate halved, employment was low, investment went down. The country lost its potential of becoming and retaining its status of a developed country.  He notes that with the election of 2010 he democratically won the right to lead his country away from 20 years of the Concertación coalition government and lead it towards prosperity.

Piñera observes he has only been in power for 18 months. Beginning 10 days prior to his taking office he recalls and describes the disaster and economic impact of the fifth largest earthquake, February 27, 2010. Besides the great lost of lives, great devastation with a loss of one out every three schools and hospitals, roads, airports and other private and public investments and wealth.  Piñera points out that losses amounted to 20% of of Chile's GMP as compared to less than 1/10 of 1% of USA's GMP after Katrina.

The second great event of his first year of office was the Bicentennial Celebration of Chile's independence. Following that event Piñera recalls the Copiapó mining accident trapping 33 miners below ground more than 2,000 feet below the ground for 69 days. Anguish and desperation were the feelings of the families and his country. He recalls his self commitment and that of the government to their rescue as though they were his own son.

Other results during his 18 months in government Piñera lists include:
  • Economic growth rate of 8.4% (compared to 2.7% under Michele Bachelet
  • Creation of nearly 1/2 million jobs (compared to the USA the equivalent of 15 million jobs)
  • Increases in exportation (20%) and investment (moving upwards and out of placement below zero)
  • The ability to move from poverty to development
As a developing country Chile is stable democracy, transparent, open integrated market and economy, but that is not enough for continued progress, says Piñera. Today Chile must build new pillars of development:
  1. Major change in education to improve quality, access and finance at all levels, scholar and university levels
  2. Triple investment in science and technology 
  3. Promote innovation and creativity, the only real renewable and inexhaustible means of growth
  4. Rid and defeat poverty building a society with a real equality of opportunity, justice, firmness and respect for all
Main concerns of Chile currently:
  1. The international economy, especially with the USA at the brink of default and Europe's inability to sort out its crises
  2. The lack of a strong international governance to address current global issues: Global warming, economic crisis, terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, hunger, poverty. Changes need to be made in world international institutions starting with the UN, World Bank, IMF.
  3. Much more needs to be accomplished in Chile to become a realized and developed country. Some believe that all has been accomplished and now benefits must be given to everybody according to some impatient Chilean people.  Work remains in per capita increases, improving institutions, strengthening democracy, assuring equality in income distribution, improving the environment, providing human rights. A responsible government must resist giving it all to those who demand it.  Currently Chile has 20 Billion USD in banks around the world, but with today's news is concerned about their deposits. Spending Chile's savings means "Bread for today, hunger for tomorrow."
  4. Avoid the entrapment in a middle income level trap
The future holds that the Pacific Ocwill now become the center of the world especially with the Trans Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement with countries on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. OPEC meeting in Honolulu will see a big jump ahead in this project.

Piñera's closes quoting  that some people see the world as it is and ask why, while others dream of the world as it should be and ask why not.    noting the greater need of the later for Chile's future. He adds the times are made of men and women and if we are to have better times we must have better people.

The President finally announces a strategic alliance between the State of Massachusetts and Chile  in the areas of energy education, and technology.

Questions /Answers: 
[Note: I have attempted to transcribe as accurately as possible the first question and the Presiden's response in their entirety. DM]

Piñera jokes that he is forced to take all the questions, but not obliged to give all the answers.

Question 1: Artist  Historian: (see also http://vimeo.com/29577248 )
I have a question for you sir: I was very please with your speech yesterday before the general assembly.  But I was slightly confused by one point. During your speech you said, you referred to the student movement as you did today and you referred to the cause as great, noble, and beautiful cause, if my memory doesn't betray me. Now I must say that I was fairly surprised because that is not what the Chilean government has been telling the students in Chile.

On the contrary. It has been saying the exact opposite. It has either belittled their demands or demeaned them, or just plan ignored them and suspend the right to assembly and in some cases extremely forcefully  repressing their gatherings.

So basically my  question is does this reflect the change of policy on your behalf; will you sit down with the students and listen to their demands without any conditions as they have requested?

Thank you sir.

Piñera's response to Speaker 1: 

One American that ran for pres for have the right to have their own opinions but not their own facts. So let me start by disagreeing with the "facts" you have pointed out. First of all we have never repressed the right to gather or protest because that is a constitutional right. And we also have the First Amendment. And we are a very respectful government and particularly of the law [chuckle] the  great law of the land. The students have manifested more than 100 times in all cities and the streets of our country and they have never been denied. So the first fact you pointed out I think is wrong. Secondly we have never repressed them, actually there have 550 people injured during  the last protest that has taken place in the last four months, 510 of them are policemen and only 40 of them are civilians so of course we have to keep public order because that is another responsibility.

So I think you have started with two wrong assessment but let me go to the central part of your question. Of course I think cost of improving the quality of education is a great noble and beautiful and URGENT cost and we agree with that 100%. That's why our government is undertaking the major educational reform that should have been undertaken many years ago by the former governments. And we're doing that! Even though we are not part of the problem, we want to be part of the solution to the education sector in our country. But of course we fully agree that we need to undertake a huge, a major, a  Coperincan reform of our education sector, and we're doing that. I don't have the time here to express everything that we have done in terms of changing the system, the law, improving the financing, improving the quality but there is one thing I would like to mention to you in this respect. We have committed all the resources necessary to for this; not only the normal budget of the Ministery of Education but we have dedicated 4 billion USD on top of the regular budget in order to finance this major reform. 4 Billion dollars! In Chile you have to multiply that by 200 to compare that to with a US figure.

And we have some disagreements with the students and I have no problem in speak openly about those disagreements. They are asking for many thing. One thing they ask is free education for everybody. We agree that we should guarantee education for the lower levels. Before schools because it is there we can correct this inequality before they become absolutely irreversible at the school level.

But at the university level we think that education should be free only for those people that really need it. Because we don't think this is feasible and we don't  think that it is fair that we use tax payer's money, particularly the taxes paid by the poorest to finance the education of the rich. That's our disagreement.

I mean the democracy ... we have to learn to live with disagreements.

And the way to solve them is not with Molotov bombs, or rocks, or violence. The way to solve them is using out democracy system, which is what we have been proposing them from the very first moment.

And the second difference and disagreement is that we believe that the government should never monopolize the education sector in the country because that would be a betrayal to the freedom, to quality and we believe that both the private sector and the public sector should participate in the education sector. the government is responsible for the quality of both sectors. The government is responsible for financing through scholarship or loans to all those students that needs those scholarships and loans.

But the government doesn't have the right to take away from the parents the right to choose or from the student the right to choose where and what they want to study.

Those are the two differences.

So today I will repeat once again that the costs to increase and improve the quality of education is not only a great noble and beautiful cause. It is the main mission of our government.



Click here to view the remaining 15 minutes of the questions and answers of Piñera's speech, The Chilean Path to Development  to the Harvard's John F. Kennedy Forum may be viewed in its entirety. In order to view the video you MUST have RealPlayer downloaded .

The video is expected to be available for download Wednesday, September 28 on iTunes U Harvard University: Institute of Politics- John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.
Summary of other questions/answers

Question 2. Practice of freedom of association - the difficulty of making a labor union, forming collective tribe without government approval would you grant us freedom of associations or would you keep things as they are now?

Piñera:Yes. He is working on that

Question 3. Rapid growth concerns

Piñera:Yes a very strong concern -that will require large investment on infrastructure

Question 4. Vision of serving in a public sector -What are lessons learned and advice to better prepare youth for public office and success in that office.

Piñera:We need the talent of young people. Battle between audacity and prudence- both attributes are needed. Speaker is invited directly to come back to La Moneda.

Question 5. Failure of international governance systems - what are their greatest faults, vision for better systems concrete conditions that countries such as USA can achieve improvements

Piñera: Environment controls and governance lacking, Financial crisis worldwide, UN- who is coordinating world effort--answer is nobody. Countries will have to give up part of their sovereignty in order to strengthen international governance.

 Question 6: There are significant differences remain between the government and the students, with many losing an academic year. In faect there was a march yesterday (September 22, 2011) What is your plan to resolve this conflict?

Piñera: Makes light of missing another march. Notes there are many attending school on a regular basis. They have always been ready to dialogue with the president. The process is through the Congress. Present their proposals there. If they don't reach an agreement- use democracy.

Question 7: You mentioned it is important for the USA to solve its debt problems in order to secure world prosperity but also prosperity in Chile. As an economist/world leader what would you suggest to the President of the USA as well as the federal government to solve  our debt crisis- include points on cutting back on federal spending and on raising federal taxes.

Piñera: Advised against becoming involved in the internal politics of other countries because you have nothing to win and a lot to loose...but I will disobey that advice. I am convinced that USA cannot have the fiscal deficit  either cut spending or increase taxes...and I leave that up to the American people.

Question 8: Privatized pension system has received praise but more pressure for state spending on that model.

Piñera: Chile moved from public system to a private system in which everyone must pay and it goes to a personal account. At retirement the individual receives that funds. If savings is not enough to guarantee a certain minimum pension the government will intercede.  Individual may put in more as desired, retire when desired. Solidarity component - savings calculated will assure a dignified pension.

















Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Attack of the killer eggs and veggies in Santiago

Beware the unpasteurized eggs in mayo and the unwashed vegetables & fruit
Photo © Donna Martinez, 2011


Just as we get ready for the great eat-a-thon known here as Fiestas Patrias, Dieciocho, or Independence Day from Spain, the announcement is made that hospital records indicate an increase of typhoid cases in the western area of  Santiago.  The San Juan de Dios hospital recorded most of the cases this year.

The Institute of Public Health- Instituto de Salud Pública (ISP), have issued repeated alerts for tougher hygiene checks and encourages people to adopt stricter  more hygiene measures. According to María Teresa Valenzuela, Director of the ISP, seven individuals have been diagnosed with typhoid in various hospitals throughout Santiago.

Individuals are strongly recommended to go to the doctor if they are experiencing symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and headaches for an extended period of time.  In most cases the infection is caused by consumption of contaminated food and drink or fruit and vegetables grown in areas where contaminated water is used in irrigation.

This follows the 66 people (including my nana's grand daughter) who suffered gastro enteritis with 34 of them sent to the hospital suffering salmonella infection from consuming infected homemade mayo on their hot dogs (known as completos or completos italianos if they include a whopping dollop of guacamole).
Completo italiano
Image from the Wikimedia Commons.
As a result the Chilean health department has outlawed home made mayonnaise to be served at the asados (barbeques) this weekend . The restriction does not apply to places that make their homemade mayonnaise with pasteurized eggs such as the tourist and local favorite, Fuente Alemana restaurant chain.

In general - a world to the wise- please watch what you eat and wash all raw fruits and vegetables well before consuming.


TYPHOID:
ISP: ISP confirma aumento inusitado de casos de fiebre tifoidea en sector occidente de la Región Metropolitana

UPI: Chile faces youth unrest, typhoid outbreak

Mercurio/Emol.com: Se confirma un aumento inusitado de casos de fiebre tifoidea en Santiago

La Tecera: Detectan brote de fiebre tifoidea en sector occidente de Santiago

CDC Fact Sheet:  typhoid fever (PDF)

From I Love Chile news:

SALMONELLA
La Tecera: Minsal prohíbe mayonesa casera en restaurantes de Santiago

CDC Facts- Salmonella




Monday, September 12, 2011

Pingüinos on the march in Las Condes

This morning my maid arrived with a very horse throat caused by the lasting cloud of teargas near her home tossed to quell the annual September 11 protests, riots and destruction that occurs in the regions other than where I live. Student marches and protests with its sideline delinquents have made the news these last three months with visions of Mardis Gras, fire, destruction and dismay in regions other than where I live.  

This afternoon, however....
We have had our first "March of the Pingüinos," (colloquial for students in Chile base upon their uniforms of black and white) at 6:00 PM west on Apoquindo marching on down toward Providencia. Carbineros behind the marchers were followed by a long line of slow moving rush hour traffic.

Does this mean the issues have made their way to gringo-landia?

Photos taken from my balcony as students pass by the corner of Apoquindo and Jean Mermoz, Las Condes: 




Learn more about the history of the student protesters
2006 student protests in Chile

Articulating a Movement: A Discourse Analysis of the Pingüino


Students Pressure Chile to Reform Education System - NYTimes.com

Review/ Reseña Neoliberalism and Chile's Public Imagination





Holiday and everyday hints for tipping in Chile

Singing folkloric song for the cueca, the national dance during Fiestas Patrias. Image credited to Flavio Bastos Amie
As spring greets Chile in September with the fresh bloom of cherry trees and flowers, it also brings with it fiestas patrias (literally "patriotic parties").  Fiestas patrias are a time for all Chileans to gather together and celebrate their country, culture, and independence from Spain.  For days before and after September 18, the Dieciocho, the country celebrates with parades, festivities, food, music and beverages.

For many of us who have service workers in our apartments and homes as well as individuals who provide a little extra personal care, it is also a time to say, "Thank you for what you do."  While not required by law,  you may wish to show appreciation to the people who serve you, especially your nana (maid),  apartment buildings  doorman, porter or concierge, your home's gardener or pool boy, your paper boy. You may also want to remember you hairdresser, gym staff and personal trainer as well as giving a little extra to the baggers.

Some staff or service workers may offer you an envelop, often with a stamp of the Chilean flag or other patriotic symbol for you to slip in a little extra to help them celebrate. Or you may simply offer your own envelop of good cheer to them that includes a small, percentage of their week's salary. You will also notice the grocery stores begin to sell food boxes usually priced between 10,000cLP to 20,000CLP for donation to your staff or people in need.  Another suggested offering is a bottle of wine or Chicha a celebratory drink of the holiday season.
Pitcher of chicha. Image credited to simenon simenon, Wikipedia commons


Christmas


Christmas signals the beginning of summer, end of school and vacation time in Chile. As with Fiestas Patrías, is is customary to show appreciation to the people who serve you, especially your nana (maid),  apartment buildings  doorman, porter or concierge, your home's gardener or pool boy, your paper boy. You may also want to remember you hairdresser, gym staff and personal trainer as well as giving a little extra to the baggers. Once again you will notice the food boxes appear in the grocery stores that many offer to their service providers.

Tipping etiquette in general


The Spanish word for Tip is Propina.
Good tipping or propina is usually remembered with service often even better the next time you return to a place. What may be a small amount to you can make a huge difference to someone else.
Restaurants

In Chile 10% on top of your restaurant bill is considered a good tip and is appreciated.

In Chile the livelihood of most waiters and waitresses depends almost entirely on tips. They may be lucky to have a base/minimum salary, often barely enough to cover the transport to and from work.  Be careful to check the bill before giving a tip as it may already be included,  though that is not the norm. Some waiters may also try to hid the their tip elsewhere within the bill and then try and get a cash tip.

Service providers

In general tipping small amounts is customary for all services. You do tip porters, at beauty parlors, the kid who packs your supermarket shopping.  The amounts vary but porters at 5 star hotels are usually happy with a 1000 peso bill, the same with the assistant hair dresser at a beauty parlor, though some offer 10% of the bill, your hair dresser will appreciate slightly more.

Supermarkets

The young people that put your groceries in the plastic bags at the supermarket do not get a salary. They depend entirely on tips so giving them a couple of coins is always appreciated. Some do it to help out their families and others for their own personal expenses. The baggers at supermarkets are happy with 100 pesos if it's a bag or two, but for a full cart, anywhere from 300 to 500 pesos is very good. However if you want the bagger to help your car or to the nearest taxi stop, anywhere from 300 to 500 pesos is right. If you live near the market you may also request the bagger to carry your groceries home for you in the cart. They may ask if you wish help putting the items away. A tip of 1000 pesos would be appropriate for taking that extra step.

Taxis

You do not tip taxi drivers but people usually round off the fare in their favor. You will also find that unless you have exact change, for taxi fares ending in 50CLP, you will not likely receive the 50CLP in change. Rather the driver will figure it in as his "tip." You may ask for it back,  however you may be created with a shrug or grumble. Taxi drivers should give you correct change but you can say, "Quedese con el vuelto," if it's going to be a small coin or two.

Tour guides

It’s always good to tip the local tour guides since in general they also get paid a very low salary. How much you should give depends on the type of tour and how long it went for though around 5-10% of the tour cost is appreciated.

Car parking in streets

Parking attendants in designated locations (estacionamiento controlado) may appreciate a small tip for assuring they have not let your car be hit while you were away. Official parking attendants wear a distinctive dark blue and red pants and jacket. Some controlled areas may also have individuals who offer to wash your car. These individuals are not officially a part of the parking service, but rather opportunists. Their fees are extra and not figured in the ticket given you by the attendants. If they are very attentive to your car you may wish to provide them an extra 100CLP.

Parking attendants or acomadores may be found on many city streets and near commercial areas or businesses.   A few of these attendants may represent the property owner. But more often acomadores are opportunists looking to make some money. The acomador will help guide you into your parking spot when you arrive and help you back up when you leave. You may pay/tip them from 100 to 200 pesos

 Gas station attendents

Gas stations are full service in Chile. You may want to consider tipping the attendant 200pesos or so if he not only fills your tank but points out he zeroed out the liter indicator, washed your windows, checked your oil and other wise gave you excellent service.

Other ideas

If you know of other tipping hints or suggestions for holiday gifts for the people who work for you please share away.  Or if you  have more questions regarding tipping etiquette post them here and I'm sure an answer will be forth coming.