first_imgSOMOTO, Nicaragua — Somoto appears to be a vulnerable place, an economically depressed border town, just 20 kilometers from gang-ridden Honduras. There isn’t much work here, so many people migrate to Spain in hopes of finding jobs. Children get left behind to live with grandparents or alone.This close to the border, the town regularly sees people come through from Honduras and El Salvador for business or to visit family. Many locals fear that among them, there might be gang members looking to recruit young people in Somoto.But Somoto, like other Nicaraguan towns, hasn’t had to face the high murder rates and criminality that towns in Central American countries to the north have. Nicaragua does a good job of keeping transnational gangs out, thanks, in part, to a police force that interacts closely with the population. But they still must deal with local gangs.Enoc Gurdian, a 23-year-old tour guide, says the people of Somoto keep a close watch on their town, and are especially on guard when a new migrant turns up.“Everybody knows everybody, so when someone has an inkling that a gang member from outside is trying to recruit people here, they will immediately call the police,” he said. “Nobody wants that craziness here.”Last year Gurdian experienced how serious the police will take such a phone call. There was a boy from El Salvador who came to live in Somoto with his uncle. The boy was friendly, easy going and funny, so Gurdian and his friends hung out with him.But one day, while walking with the newcomer down the street, they suddenly found themselves surrounded by heavily-armed police. The boy was forced against a wall with his hands cuffed behind his back. The police pulled up his shirt so everybody could see the gang tattoos on his body.Someone had tipped off the police. The boy was hiding in Somoto after killing two rival gang members in San Salvador. He was immediately deported.Though foreign gang members are closely monitored, the real risk for Nicaragua is homegrown gangs, called grupos juveniles. These groups imitate the gang life they see in the so-called Northern Triangle countries – Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Boys bike past gang graffiti on a wall in Somoto, April 2015. Local leaders say the graffiti comes from homegrown gangs imitating their more powerful and violent counterparts in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Eline van NesOne former gang member explained how neighborhood groups are formed, imitating the Mara Salvatrucha or Barrio 18. He said most Nicaraguan gang members are involved in petty theft and small-time drug dealing. They mainly fight each other. Extortion of regular citizens is uncommon, unlike in the Northern Triangle countries.“There are not many guns here, so they fight with knives and stones,” the former gang member said. He declined to give his name because he fears for his personal security.Despite the relative lack of guns, the former gang member was shot two years ago, and it almost cost him his life. It was a wake-up call: he realized he had to change his life if he wanted to be a father to his now nine-year-old child. He stopped smoking crack and started a course in agriculture with the local nonprofit organization, Inphru.He left the gang and became an active Christian. Fortunately for him, Nicaraguan gangs don’t kill members for leaving the gang, as they often do in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.National Police spokesman Fernando Borge Aguilar explained how the Nicaraguan police work with at-risk youth. The police have career training programs for young people, and they work with the government to create job opportunities following training.“We don’t just fight the gangsters with a strong hand,” Borge said. “We try to use an intelligent approach.”The Nicaraguan police also have a special department dedicated to making sure officers don’t take bribes from gangs.Nonprofit groups like Inphru in Somoto also work to create opportunities for Nicaraguan youth.Luis Alberto Álvarez Alvarado, a field worker with Inphru, drives around town to show the different places Inphru has helped set up to teach people about horticulture, honey and seed collection. Inphru doesn’t solely target vulnerable youngsters, but it has helped some turn their lives around.Still, Álvarez said he worries about Somoto’s homegrown gangs, which have strengthened in recent decades. At least once a year, fighting between neighborhood gangs results in a death.“The most important thing is that they need someone who listens to them,” Álvarez said while visiting a group of young people sorting red beans. “When we see someone who becomes the (gang) leader of their neighborhood, we try to give him that same role in a positive way. We take him seriously as part of the society.”For Álvarez it’s usually a case of lost boys in search of a father figure, a role he readily provides. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican held in ‘deplorable’ conditions in Nicaragua granted house arrest  Dueling stories behind shooter at Nicaragua protest reveal sharp divide over Sandinista government Guatemalan president spars with US over Chixoy Dam reparations Costa Rica’s ‘Macho Coca’: A fishmonger accused of being a drug lordlast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Health Ministry expands list of liquor brands suspected of causing methanol poisoning Adulterated alcohol in Costa Rica: What you need to know today Costa Rica issues sanitary alert over adulterated alcohol Updates: Health Ministry suspects 19 deaths due to adulterated alcohol Costa Rica’s Health Ministry on Wednesday expanded to nine the list of liquor brands that may contain dangerous amounts of methanol.Translated from Spanish, the Health Ministry’s update reads, in part, as follows:The Ministry of Health … informs the general population about the extension of the Health Alert issued regarding the sale of products packaged in bottles labeled “Guaro Chonete”, “Guaro Guerazo”, “Guaro Sacheto”, “Guaro Gran Apache”, “Aguardiente Estrella Roja”, “Guaro Montano”, “Aguardiente Barón Rojo”, “Aguardiente Timbuka” and “Aguardiente Molotov”, which according laboratory results, are adulterated with methanol.“Guaro Chonete” is the newest addition to the list.Do not consume any of the liquor brands named in the alert, and report to authorities if you suspect an establishment of selling adulterated liquor. A criminal complaint can be filed via email at: or companies selling adulterated alcoholic beverages are subject to various administrative and criminal penalties. The Health Ministry said Wednesday it shut down two establishments in Upala, Alajuela this week “due to the commercialization of alcohol brands adulterated with methanol indicated in the health alerts.”The Health Ministry says at least 55 people were treated for methanol poisoning in June and July. As of July 30, 23 people have died.The last death was reported on July 24, according to the Health Ministry.The U.S. Embassy has said it is “not aware of any U.S. citizen illness or death due to consuming adulterated alcohol in Costa Rica.”In an effort to reduce the risk of additional poisonings, more than 38,000 bottles of liquor have been seized by authorities, according to the Health Ministry. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals coach Steve Wilks hadn’t heard that cornerback Patrick Peterson was unhappy and seeking a trade from Arizona.But minutes before Wilks spoke with the media Monday at Cardinals headquarters, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson was “desperate” for a trade before the Oct. 30 trade deadline and that the team had so far refused to consider such a move.Wilks seemed to reaffirm the latter when asked if, regardless of how Peterson feels, the franchise would consider dealing one of the NFL’s top shutdown cornerbacks. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “Oh, no,” Wilks said. “We’re not trading Patrick. That’s out of the question.” Asked how he would go about managing unhappy players, Wilks said he wouldn’t indulge in any speculation.“I’m going to sit down and talk to Patrick,” he added. “Patrick is a captain. He’s well-respected around here, he’s well-respected throughout the league. Are we in a difficult situation? Yes, we are.“It’s about trying to turn the corner and make things happen so we can make sure we get this thing on track.”Two weeks earlier, Peterson echoed that sentiment.“We have to continue trusting in the process, continue trusting in one another. It will eventually turn for us,” Peterson said.“It’s been extremely tough. Obviously you want to win. I don’t care how you cut it — there’s nothing like winning. Especially when you have a new head coach, have so much going against you, you already have the outside world counting you out. It’s a rebuilding stage. But at the end of the day, we’re professionals. We want to go out there and prepare to win each and every Sunday. And we have been doing that. Just the ball hasn’t been falling our way. I believe, truly, we should at the worst, be 2-and-2.” Patrick Peterson will not be traded— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) October 22, 2018Peterson and his head coach, a defensive backs coach by trade, will sit down to discuss the reported feelings of discontentment, Wilks said.So as of Monday afternoon, Wilks would move forward with a status quo.That said, the status quo is that Arizona is 1-6, having fired its offensive coordinator Mike McCoy three days prior. The defense ranks 11th in the NFL having allowed 233.9 total yards per game and 23rd by allowing 26.3 points per game.Related LinksReport: Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson asks for a tradeS Eddie Pleasant signs with Cardinals, Deatrick Nichols releasedThe Cardinals are coming off their worst loss of the year, a 45-10 defeat against the Denver Broncos that saw turnovers on offense and broken plays on defense turn into a first-half rout.Now, with the San Francisco 49ers on deck Sunday, Arizona must deal with another distraction as one of its stars has reportedly asked out as the team rebuffs any such trade talk.“Patrick was here today — he hasn’t spoken to me about it at all. Had a pretty good practice. No concerns whatsoever,” Wilks said. “I don’t know whether or not he’s really requested that. He hasn’t expressed that to me but we will talk at some point in time.” 16 Comments   Share   center_img Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling INJURY UPDATES— Quarterback Josh Rosen didn’t practice Monday but will ditch a practice boot. He is expected to be able to participate in some capacity on Wednesday after spraining his toe last Thursday in the loss to Denver.— Guard Mike Iupati (back) and safety Treu Boston (ribs) sat out of practice.— Right guard Justin Pugh (hand) was limited. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

first_imgHagerty Insurance Announces its Hagerty Hot List: Top 10 Future Collector CarsTRAVERSE CITY,Mich.Could you have tomorrow’s collector cars sitting in your garage?To help consumers answer that question, McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance Agency and a respected collector car valuation expert, has compiled his choices for Hagerty’s Hot List: Top 10 Future Collector Cars.With hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts flocking to the world-renowned Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction and six other auction houses in Scottsdale , Ariz. , to ring in the collector car auction season – some may wonder:Who can afford a collector car?With Hagerty’s Hot List, you just might already have that car sitting in your garage.All you have to do is wait…“Many consumers could be driving a future collector car right now.” says Hagerty. “Our goal was to find cars that are currently on the road but may be considered nostalgic in 15 to 20 years. Each car on Hagerty’s Hot List possesses a ‘buzz,’ a Wow Factor that resonates with consumers of all ages, many cars being daily drivers that turn heads already.”In determining the Hagerty Hot List, Hagerty analyzed the reasons today’s collector cars are such hot commodities: pop-culture popularity, limited production numbers and the style of the next generation of collectors. The company included a wide range of models that span market segments and price ranges: cars that are more affordable, fun to drive and still enticing for future generations.Hagerty’s Hot List:·Cadillac XLR-V Roadster:Under the hood sits a hand-built 4.4-liter V8 that’s been supercharged and puts out 443 horsepower.This is a serious domestic roadster that competes with the Mercedes SL-Class, Porsche 911 Cabriolet and Jaguar XKR, as well as the four-seat BMW M6 convertible.·Lotus Exige S:Most practical people will find the Lotus Exige is a miserable little car—that is if you are shopping for a grocery getter!Research uncovered one anonymous review stating “Bottom Line…my heart beats faster when I think about this car…it is that rewarding.”·Audi S5:A slick coupe with solid credentials.We chose this because it provides good looks, impressive all-wheel-drive handling, and an affordable price tag for this segment.·Mustang Shelby GT 500 KR:The new GT500 KR (King of the Road) takes the bare bones of a GT500 and turns it into a 540 horse power muscle car that pays tribute to the legendary Carroll Shelby.Production is expected to be around 1000.·Chevrolet Corvette Z06:The ferocious Z06 is a fixed-roof coupe with a 7.0-liter V8 that produces 505 horsepower.The past 50 years has proven that most Corvettes eventually become collectible…the Z06 will stand out at the top of the crowd as far as collectability.·Smart:At first look, the Smart seems too small to be practical. It’s not. Rather, it is a marvel of packaging efficiency.We chose the Smart car because it is the inaugural year where they will be available to the mass US population.·Subaru Impreza WRX STi:Some Subaru enthusiasts may not like the idea of being spotted in a hatchback, but we think this will make it more collectible down the road.It has 305 horsepower and all-wheel drive…·Honda S2000 CR:Less than 2000 of the “CR” editions will be built…this is a high-performance version of the stock S2000 that is regarded as Honda’s only true sports car.·Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky:This pair of roadsters from GM have a ll the necessary ingredients: rear-wheel drive, a powerful engine, independent suspension and an impressive weight balance.We chose this because it is the first new and exciting sports car for Saturn and the first for Pontiac in many years.·Dodge Charger Super Bee:It has a 6.1 liter HEMI V8 with 425 horsepower and 420 ft. lbs. of torque…need we say more for a family sedan?“In a time when all the major manufacturers are fiercely competing for market share we wanted to pick some modern day driving machines that grab driver’s attention now and will continue to do so down the road,” says Hagerty.“The cars on this list have all the right ingredients to be looked upon by the next generation of enthusiasts as cool cars to collect.”Hagerty is the leading insurance agency for collector vehicles and boats in the nation and host to the largest network of collector car owners. Hagerty offers collector car insurance, financing and roadside assistance, as well as a variety of useful information resources. The company works proactively on hobby legislation and supports the Collectors Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preservation of the hobby. For more information, call 800-922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.comlast_img read more

first_imgRAY Woolley is aiming to complete his 39th dive during his 93rd year “39@93” on Sunday in Latchi in Paphos.The hugely likeable nonagenarian, who is one of the world’s oldest divers, has previously completed 29 dives in his 92nd year. The ex-serviceman is an active diver with the BSAC – British sub aqua club-at RAF Akrotiri.“I am looking forward to completing this dive as it will signify the 39th dive this year and I already have something else planned involving diving for later in the summer, but it’s a secret at the moment,” he told the Sunday Mail.His 90th birthday in September 2013, was celebrated by diving 90ft -“90 @ 90”- on the sunken Zenobia roll-on-roll off ferry in Larnaca.Originally from Port Sunlight in Wirral, Ray now lives in Ayios Tychonas close to Limassol. He was born in 1923 and first started diving with the Portland and Weymouth British Sub Aqua Club in 1960.The World War II veteran, has completed a number of his dives this year with Latchi Watersports, covering depths between 10.3 and 37.4 metres. He has also chosen them to help him complete his 39th dive.“I love water and I feel very privileged to be so active and able to dive, and it’s so surprising but veryRay served in the Royal Navy Radio Branch during WWII. He worked on shipping convoys in 1943-44 before a secondment to ‘SBS Special Force 281’ in the Dodecanese. He was among the first Allied forces to land on Rhodes as the Germans retreated in May 1945.After taking up diving in 1960, Ray was posted to Cyprus in 1964 and was a regular diver with BSAC during and attained further qualifications during three tours. In 1999 he retired and returned to Cyprus to live permanently after diving in locations all around the world.One of his daughters will be with him when he completes his dive 39th dive in Latchi.“I’m really looking forward to it as she has seen me go off to dive before, but this is the first time that she will come and with me in the boat and see me actually dive,” he said. You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgPolice will on Monday begin a week-long clampdown on the use of mobile phones and other kinds of ‘distracted driving’ by motorists, they said on Sunday.“Distraction is one of the most important factors contributing to the increase in the likelihood of road traffic collisions,” the police said in an announcement.At European level, surveys show that 10-30 per cent of all road accidents is attributable to distractions, it added.You May LikeFashionWeeker.comThe Key Hair Trends for 2018FashionWeeker.comUndoEternalLifeStyleAncient Tomb Dating 3,400 Years Discovered As Ground CollapsesEternalLifeStyleUndoSUVs | Search AdsPeople in United States Are Searching for SUV Options HereSUVs | Search AdsUndo Property owners price themselves out of the marketUndoGreek Prime Minister in Cyprus for official visitUndoWidowers threaten legal action over pensionsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_img Categories: Featured news,Inman News,News The Michigan Department of Corrections today announced it will close Pugsley Correctional Facility in Kingsley as a cost-cutting measure. State Rep. Larry Inman, R-Traverse City, issued the following statement:“I am disappointed with the Department of Corrections’ decision to close the Pugsley Correctional Facility, which will cause over 230 employees to lose their jobs and leave the area to find other employment with the Department of Corrections. “The closure of the prison will have a substantial negative impact on Grand Traverse County’s economy. I am deeply concerned about the disruption to many families as they deal with possible relocation issues.  Although the state Department of Corrections is downsizing, I am still very concerned that we will lose critical jobs in Grand Traverse County. “The closure of the prison will hurt not only those who work at Pugsley, but will cause a chain reaction for all families who live, work and/or attend schools in our community.“The employees at the Pugsley Correctional Facility have done an outstanding job rehabilitating prisoners and keeping our community safe for the last six decades.  I will personally meet with the Department of Corrections to ensure that all employees, officers and families currently supported by the prison are given every connection for other employment locally or granted immediate transfers to nearest correctional facilities.”###### Tags: #SB, Grand Traverse County economy, Inman, Kingsley, Pugsley prison closure center_img 31May Rep. Inman issues statement on decision to close Pugsley prisonlast_img read more

first_img16Aug Rep. Noble’s bill limits tuition grants to legal residents only Legislator: No state taxes should aid illegal immigrants State Rep. Jeff Noble today introduced legislation to limit state-funded tuition grants to students legally residing in the United States.Noble, of Plymouth, said he introduced the bill as part of a sweeping legislative package to limit the use of taxpayer money to legal residents only.“Grant money for college tuition is limited as it is, and we want to ensure that the money entrusted to us by hard-working taxpayers is being used only to help people legally residing in the United States get a college education,” Noble said. “I encourage legal immigration and welcome people from other nations to Michigan, but we should not spend taxpayer money on people who are living here illegally.”Noble’s legislation is part of a multi-bill package that prevents illegal residents in Michigan from eligibility for scholarships involving state funds and housing assistance through a state agency.“It’s simple common sense that funds provided by Michigan families should be used to support legal citizens only,” Noble said.The bills were referred to the House Appropriations Committee.#####The bills is House Bill 4860center_img Categories: News,Noble Newslast_img read more

first_img State Representative Chris Afendoulis today announced that he will support Senate Bill 574 after the adoption of an important amendment to the legislation, which today passed the House Education Reform Committee.The committee, under the leadership of Chairman Tim Kelly, today adopted and passed a new version of Senate Bill 574 which includes an amendment to protect existing enhancement millages, such as the millage which was passed in the Kent Intermediate School District earlier this year.Senate Bill 574, which passed the Michigan Senate earlier this month, amends the Revised School Code to allow the payment of regional enhancement property tax revenue to public school academies (often referred to as charter academies or public charter schools).Rep. Afendoulis worked with Rep. Kelly to amend the bill in order to protect existing millages. “I am pleased that the Education Reform Committee has adopted these changes,” Afendoulis said. “It is important to me that we protect existing funding levels for public schools in Kent County. I wanted to make sure that we were not changing the rules in the middle of the game. This substitute ensures it.”Kent Intermediate School District is one of six intermediate school districts statewide which have passed enhancement millages. All six existing millages will be protected should this bill become law. 02Nov Rep. Afendoulis works to adopt important amendment to improve enhancement millage legislation Categories: Afendoulis Newslast_img read more

first_img Categories: Cox News,News The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Laura Cox designed to reduce the number of child injuries in vehicle accidents by updating the guidelines for child booster seats and car seats.Cox, of Livonia, said her bill will help protect Michigan’s most vulnerable residents. The legislation updates Michigan’s child passenger safety laws based on the most recent recommendations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups dedicated to child safety.“As technology advances and introduces better child car safety devices, the child safety standards also must be updated,” Cox said. “This legislation helps parents and law enforcement become better educated on updated recommendations to keep our children safe during travel.“The current criteria is outdated, and suggests a type of child safety seat based solely on a child’s age,” Cox said. “New standards also take into account a child’s weight, a factor which has been proven to be of the utmost importance in selecting a car seat.”Changes to the current law include:Children under 2 or who weigh less than 30 pounds must be in a rear-facing seat;Children ages 2 to 5, or who weigh 30 pounds to 50 pounds, may be in a front-facing car safety seat;Children between ages 5 and 8, or who weigh 50 pounds or over or are 57 inches tall may use a booster seat.From age 8 and up, children must be restrained by a seat belt.The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.#####The bill is House Bill 4951. 17Jan Senate committee approves Rep. Cox’s child safety billcenter_img Legislation helps keep kids safe while travelinglast_img read more

first_imgShare15TweetShare11Email26 Shares July 9, 2015; National Council of Nonprofits and Florida Philanthropic NetworkGive credit to the National Council of Nonprofits for playing a crucial role in both promoting the adoption of new uniform guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and educating the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors about what the new rules mean. The Council has been touring the nation, appearing at state nonprofit association convenings and other venues explaining what happened to the old circulars—A-122, A-133, and A-110 (and others)—that have been replaced by OMB’s new reforms for establishing the parameters of what government will and will not require of nonprofits that work on federally-funded contracts.We’d like to take a moment here to acknowledge not simply Tim Delaney, the president and CEO of the Council, and David Thompson, the Council’s VP for public policy who undoubtedly did much of the detailed negotiations with federal regulators, but also Beth Bowsky, a public policy specialist at the Council who has been widely credited by sources we respect with generating excellent training materials on the OMB changes.As NPQ has noted in covering the emerging parameters of the OMB Uniform Guidance, a key change applicable to nonprofit contractors is the requirement of federal agencies directly contracting with nonprofits and subgrantors with federal funds contracting with nonprofits (actually all written agreements, whether contracts or grants) to compensate nonprofits for their indirect costs. Nonprofits that had already negotiated federally approved indirect cost rates have to stay at those rates, but nonprofits without approved indirect cost rates can opt for either a de minimus 10 percent indirect rate or to try to negotiate a higher amount with the contracting agency or pass-through agency.The importance of the Council’s training slides and other explanatory materials is to make sure that nonprofits become educated about the new guidelines and prepared for potential federal agency administrators trying to skip out from under the requirements—for example, asking nonprofits to waive their entitlement to indirects entirely or pass-through entities contending that their grant or contract funds aren’t really federal.There is some debate within the sector about just how momentous—or not—the OMB “Super Circular” is for nonprofits. Our suspicion is that for many nonprofit contractors already doing a lot of business with the federal government, the new regulations may not be hugely different, but for new organizations entering the federal contracting or grant process, they establish ground rules that are the platform for what nonprofits can and should expect from their government partners. Over time, however, like A-110, A-122, and A-133, the OMB Super Circular will gravitate into many realms of nonprofit-government interaction, setting parameters for legitimate partnerships through grants and contracts, and even seeping into the thinking of state and local government players.—Rick CohenShare15TweetShare11Email26 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare57TweetShare1Email58 SharesSeptember 10, 2015; San Francisco Bay ViewThe San Francisco Bay View features a provocative article on the efforts of the California Apartment Association (CAA) to block a rent control ordinance in Richmond, California, a town of about 100,000 people just north of San Francisco. Richmond officials passed the rent control ordinance to reduce displacement pressure on low-income tenants. According to Bay View, rents in Richmond have risen 24 percent over the last few years, reflecting high demand in the Bay Area and a short supply of rental housing. Property owners object to the rent caps on approximately 9,000 units in Richmond and the new fees on landlords.In reaction to the enactment of “the first rent control ordinance in California in more than 30 years,” the CAA launched a petition drive and filed over 7000 signatures to block the ordinance from taking effect. Landlords do not typically use this kind of grassroots politics, but in this case, the imminent impact of the ordinance, which had been scheduled to go into effect on September 4th, forced the petition strategy.Officials at the County Elections Office are checking to see if they have met the threshold of 4100 valid signatures. If the signatures hold up, the ordinance will be delayed more than a year or killed outright by a City Council that is already split over the issue. The Bay View explains, “According to the city attorney, if 10 percent of registered voters sign the petition and the signatures are validated, the ordinance is suspended. Then, the City Council could repeal the ordinance or put it on the ballot at the next regular municipal election, scheduled for November 16th, 2016.” At the same time, the Contra Costa Times reports that rent control proponents may ask the county district attorney to investigate whether petition circulators committed fraud by misrepresentation.More typical forms of landlord advocacy come through the state legislature or by bringing litigation, two venues where money speaks louder than votes. Tenant advocate Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival based in Los Angeles, told me that the landlords still have enormous influence in Sacramento and most cities in California:It’s all about money and the ability to line the coffers of campaign war chests. That money buys influence. They have also, for the most part, not been successful at the ballot box. Best recent example is was in 2008 with Proposition 98, which they placed on the statewide ballot as an anti-eminent domain measure, but which would, in fact, have wiped out all rent control and tenants’ rights laws in California. They spent millions on it and we crushed it with a 2-to-1 vote victory.Richmond City Council member (and former mayor) Gayle McLaughlin expressed a similar conclusion when telling the Contra Costa Times, “The real power in Richmond is still the large corporations, developers and real estate interests with more than enough money to pollute our politics as we have seen with the petition (to rescind rent control).”The Bay View article suggests that the Richmond City Council majority might enact the “just cause” portion of the original ordinance and extend that coverage to all renters in Richmond. “Just cause” would require landlords to renew existing leases unless the tenant is in violation of the lease—no more termination at will. But the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (a non-commercial, democratic collective) reports that CAA may have used misleading tactics in its fight against a “just cause” ordinance in the nearby city of San Mateo, California.Stay tuned for developments; the battle between tenant advocates and the CAA in the Bay area seems likely to continue.—Spencer WellsShare57TweetShare1Email58 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesBy [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsOctober 29, 2015; New York TimesA nonbinding resolution to recognize Edward J. Snowden as a “whistleblower and international human rights defender” and therefore protect him from prosecution was passed by the European Parliament yesterday. Although the resolution carries no legal force for the 28 countries in the EU, it is nonetheless a significant statement.The close vote—285 to 281—may be more a reflection of countries being unwilling to get into a confrontation the United States, where Snowden is a “wanted” fugitive, than it is a lack of support for the resolution, which calls on European Union members to “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties.” The White House immediately condemned the resolution—hardly a surprise, as it has discouraged even symbolic resolutions of support for Mr. Snowden.“Our position has not changed,” said Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council in Washington. “Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States. As such, he should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process.”Katie Collins, writing for CNET, points out that “any European country that did offer Snowden asylum would be breaking its extradition treaty with the U.S. Not honoring such treaties is practically unheard of and could result in major tensions. That doesn’t make asylum in a European country impossible, though, and rights organization Access Group and Snowden’s lawyers are calling on EU countries to take the resolution seriously.”Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German lawmaker with the Greens political bloc, said the resolution “is asking or demanding the member states’ governments to end all the charges and to prevent any extradition to a third party. That’s a very clear call and that can’t be just ignored by the governments.”Mr. Albrecht also said the closeness of the vote reflected the divide between a progressive, pro-civil-liberties wing of the Parliament and a centrist, conservative wing.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare22TweetShare25Email47 Shares“Gender Wage Gap Warning.” Credit: Mike LichtMay 22, 2017; Boston GlobeA recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that the median income of American men between the ages of 18 and 34 is falling, but that of women is rising.According to the Boston Globe, “The share of young men making between $30,000 and $100,000 a year shrank significantly over the past four decades, despite the fact that they are better educated and working full time at the same rate.”During the same period of time (1975–2015), the number of young women in higher income brackets has grown. In 1975, less than two percent of women made more than $60,000 per year, in 2015 dollars; in 2015, 13.1 percent of them did. That’s still less than the proportion of men in the highest income bracket (23.5 percent of men make $60,000 per year or more), but the gap has shrunk significantly. Source: Census Bureau, 1975 and 2016 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic SupplementWomen’s wages have risen slightly since 1975, but their educational attainment levels have risen significantly in that time. Seventy percent of women have a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree, compared to 36.6 percent in 1975, meaning that women’s rate of higher education has nearly doubled, compared to about a 20 percent increase for men, who now make up less than half of graduates from universities. (According to the Washington Post, “starting with people born in the 1960s, women have…graduated at higher rates than men.”) NPQ has reported on this dichotic gap between education and income, noting that it is particularly significant in the nonprofit field.The upshot: both men and women have made significant gains in education, but only women have gained in earnings, and they haven’t gained enough to catch up with the average wage for men, whether measured today or 40 years ago. Among other concerns, that’s a problem for women’s equality and for the general financial welfare of American households.Dozens of economic and social realities play into these wage trends, from family leave policies to the failure of wages to grow apace with inflation. The “Fight for $15,” which NPQ has closely followed, is not just a fight to recognize that the wealth gap has created great inequality; it’s a fight to recognize that real wealth has been lost in many households. Nonprofits are a part of this landscape, fighting the consequences of poverty while sometimes paying insufficient wages to their own staffs.Part of what’s caused the disparity between men’s and women’s wage trends, according to the Boston Globe, is that “women are benefiting from the fact that many of the fastest-growing jobs that pay stable middle-class wages are in industries that employ a lot of women, such as health care and professional services.”That also might help account for the fact that women’s wages have failed to catch up to men’s: Women’s increased presence in caregiving, teaching, and other human services professions has correlated with a decline in the wages of those jobs. According to the New York Times, when women begin to dominate a professional field, wages in that field fall as much as 57 percentage points. Researchers at Cornell concluded “pure discrimination may account for 38 percent of the gender pay gap.” Healthcare and other direct service nonprofits have struggled to pay a living wage, creating “wage ghettos” that disproportionately affect women and women of color. These wage trends affect the entire economy, not just women; last year, NPQ noted that “the United States could add $4.3 trillion to its economy in 2025 if women were to attain full gender equality.”The decline in men’s wages and the failure of women’s wages to rise proportionately affects more than just their buying power in the market. The Census Bureau study reported that more young men and women live with their parents than with a spouse, and one in four are idle, meaning not working or in school.As has been exhaustively noted, the much-touted recovery of the economy since 2008 is insufficient, and the recent wage study shows this in stark numbers. For millions of people, wages are not improving, and the need for public service increases even as social programs come onto the federal chopping block. Nonprofits may consider their own roles in this trend, and rethink what might be the most efficient way to provide a decent living for American households.— Erin RubinShare22TweetShare25Email47 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare20Tweet4Share1Email25 SharesBy Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia CommonsDecember 26, 2017; Next CityPhiladelphia, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, has a lot of old buildings. According to local public radio station WHYY, Philadelphia has more buildings erected before 1945 than any other US city except for New York.Nonetheless, historic preservation has lagged. WHYY observes that, “2.2 percent are locally designated as historic, compared to the 50-city average of 4.3 percent, while 4.2 percent of Philly’s buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, compared to a 6.8 percent average.” (The first designation refers to stronger local protections, the second to eligibility for federal tax credits.)The reason why fewer structures are protected in Philadelphia is not so mysterious, however. As Jared Brey points out in Next City, “in a city that for decades has been desperate for development of any kind,” the perceived need to protect existing structures was low.Now that is changing, even if the context is complicated. On the one hand, after a half-century of decline—the city’s population fell by more than half a million between 1950 and 2000—Philadelphia is now growing, adding 79,000 residents in the past decade. Development is booming. and buildings that everyone assumed were sacrosanct (but lacked formal protection) are now at risk. On the other hand, Philadelphia still has, at 25.7 percent, the highest poverty rate of the nation’s ten most populous cities by far. (Houston, at 20.8 percent, is a distant second.)These trends help set the stage for a conflict between the values of historic preservation and equity. According to Brey, a developer’s proposal to demolish six buildings on “Jewelers’ Row, a block of 18th- and 19th-century buildings, six blocks east of City Hall, that make up the oldest diamond district in the United States,” led Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kinney to appoint a Historic Preservation Task Force. In a city where people of color constitute roughly 65 percent of residents, creating a city task force where 24 of 29 members were white did not go over well. Last July, WURD radio talk show host Charles Ellison wrote:The Task Force presents us with yet another white-male heavy cookie cutter approach to urban planning. In a city that’s nearly half black (and 15 percent [Latinx]), it defies logic that the city didn’t think to increase African American participation on the panel beyond a measly 6 percent. It can’t be that the city is 35 percent white and yet the latest effort leading Philly’s new urban renaissance is about 83 percent white.The task force did respond, notes Brey, “by adding several people of color, some of whom were listed as ‘community representatives.’” The challenge, of course, is not just about committee composition, but also, critically, whose communities are preserved and who pays the bill.Harris Steinberg, a Drexel University urban planning professor who chairs the Task Force, acknowledges that “preservation up until now has been seen by many as an elitist, educated, largely Caucasian profession.” Steinberg says he hopes that out of the Task Force, Philadelphia can begin to develop a “broader definition of preservation.”Brey highlights Christian Street Baptist Church in South Philadelphia as a microcosm of the issues at play. The Church, originally a “Protestant Episcopal mission for Italian immigrants…has been a landmark in the Bella Vista neighborhood since the 1890s. African-American Baptist congregations mainly have been the occupants since the early part of the 20th century.” The Church is a relevant example, as a Pew report this fall identified 839 historic churches in the city.With Christian Street Baptist, the largely Black congregation had lost members, while the neighborhood had gentrified. The Church also had “structural issues and a mold problem.” The congregation decided to sell. “In a matter of hours,” Brey writes, “a Philadelphia developer who planned to tear down the church and build townhomes offered just below the asking price of around $1.5 million, and the congregation accepted.” At that point, a city historic preservation advocate intervened, nominated the church for historic protection, and disrupted the sale.Brey underscores that,It’s not just churches that are under threat. The rejuvenation of Philadelphia’s real estate market has been accompanied by the destruction of iconic theaters, beloved diners, public schools, landmark hospitals and hundreds of run-of-the-mill rowhomes that, taken together, make up the essential urban fabric of the city.Last-minute applications filed for preservation as a wrecking ball swings toward a building, however, aren’t a sustainable long-term plan. Neither are methods that end up pitting advocates…against a church congregation struggling to maintain a property.The task force aims to issue a white paper on the state of preservation by the end of January. Brey adds, “The task force will then spend six months developing recommendations for how the city can update its regulations, or create incentives, for how to complete a survey of historic properties and improve education about historic properties.”—Steve DubbShare20Tweet4Share1Email25 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgOver the past eight years the IPTV World Forum has been the key global platform leading the debate, development and deployment of IP delivered TV. The show started as small conference for an elite group of visionary industry pioneers, but over time the show has gained momentum, delivering sustained  year on year growth. As the industry expanded and diversified, it has come to represent an even more vibrant and dynamic market than could have ever have been imagined at that founding event.The industry has become more diverse in a number of ways. It has diversified in the number and type of companies that offer a TV service delivered or enhanced though IP. It is no longer the sole domain of telcos: cablecos, satellite and terrestrial broadcasters are all seeking to add compelling enhancements to their services through internet connectivity.So whilst “managed end-to-end telco IPTV” will always be at the core of our coverage, our industry is now about so much more. The business and technical challenges that our community is now wrestling with involve using the flexibility and addressability of IP to deliver a wide array of personalised services. These range from smart TVs and TV apps, to OTT and multiplatform TV services, advanced content discovery and UI, new generations of advertising, the connected home, and the CDNs that underpin all of these.For the last two years this event has carried a slightly evolved brand to reflect this change, with an ampersand inserted between “IP” and “TV”. For the first year this was somewhat subliminally inserted in our logo, and for 2012 far more clearly highlighted in a modernised logo.  We believe this has more accurately reflected the scope of the event, and the focus of our customers, in a market where no clear consensus on new terminology existed.However we have been clear for some years that in time the brand would need to more fully evolve. IPTV as a terminology is now becoming part of our industry heritage, and – to some parts of our market at least  – is associated with their competitors or alternatives.As we transition our brand we believe it is important not to align ourselves with one particular interest group. Our market is awash with alternative terminologies, each with their particular nuanced meanings and specific advocates. We believe our future – and that of the industry – is to bring together those different strands, and more, as we develop a world of connected entertainment. It is important to not only capture the mood of the market, but also to provide a wide enough frame of reference to make the event inclusive of all sectors who might wish to participate in this exciting marketplace.At the same time, we are also seeking to harness the increasingly universal recognition of certain key industry terms. In recent months there has been a mounting media consensus around the term of connected TV, consolidating an increasing wave of interest. It seems that hardly a day passes when you can’t pick up a broadsheet newspaper – or click on a mainstream news website – without seeing feature on connected TV. It would be perverse of us to ignore this trend.The TV Connect brand will more clearly reflect the incredibly rich meeting place that the show has now become. It is an inclusive brand that recognises the diversity of those now participating in the event.  These participants come not only from telcos, cable providers, broadcasters and ISPs, but also from consumer electronics and smart TV companies, content providers, application developers, or other connected entertainment providers such as gaming and music.  A simple glance at the keynotes for the 2012 show evidences this range – from Twitter to MTV, from Sony to NBC and the BBC – and connected entertainment experiences are central to the discussion.The new brand also echoes an industry that has come of age, moving away from an emphasis on technology to one on services and experiences. Whilst at its core our coverage is about IP-enabled TV, it is a testament to the work of the past few years that many of those now speaking at the show are “blind” to technology, in the sense that they take the connectivity platform as a given. The focus is now on service innovation, and building compelling connected entertainment experiences – blending platforms and media to enrich, to personalise,  to differentiate, and ultimately to monetize.As this industry comes of age, we move forward with a brand that more fully reflects the diversity of this dynamic market. We look forward to welcoming you to TV Connect, here are Olympia, on 19th-21st March 2013.Gavin WhitechurchExecutive DirectorInforma Telecoms & Medialast_img read more

first_imgUkrainian cable operator Volia has received permission from the country’s competition regulator to acquire pay TV operator Odek.When Volia purchases Odek, it will be able to offer its services to 3.5 million homes in 29 cities in total. The operator plans to modernise Odek’s network so it can offer high-speed broadband and digital TV services. The deal is expected to complete by mid-October.last_img

first_imgLiberty Global-backed Belgian cable operator Telenet has pledged €1 million in investment in entrepreneurial talent over two years in a bid to stimulate digital innovation.Telenet said it will “invest heavily in young Flemish digital entrepreneurial talent,” initially in partnership with start-up community and accelerator Idealabs, which will now be called Telenet Idealabs.Telenet will also work together with Flanders’ digital research centre iMinds on a programme called iStart.“Flanders has a high-quality education system, a unique knowledge of languages, and a great broadband Internet infrastructure. All the building blocks are available to create a dynamic climate of innovation. Nevertheless, extra support is needed to keep innovative industries here, which is key to creating long-term economic prosperity. Since innovation is very important to us, we want to lend a helping hand,” said Telenet CEO John Porter.last_img read more

first_imgGoogle has added Android mirroring to its Chromecast smart TV devices, enabling user to see their phone and tablets on their TV, enabling them to navigate apps and content on their devices on the big screen. The move, trailed at last month’s Google I/O conference, means that Chromecast now has the same feature for Android phones that Apple’s rival AirPlay offering has for iOS devices.Chromecast users can now select the CastScreen feature on their navigation menu in the Chromecast app and select their Chromecast device. On Nexus devices, the feature is also available through the quick settings menu.The feature is currently in beta and will roll out on popular Android phones from Samsung, HTC, LG and other over the next few days as part of the Chromecast app version 1.7 update.last_img read more

first_imgTele Columbus’s Hanover HQGerman cable operator Tele Columbus has acquired Mönchengladbach fibre access provider Big Medienversorgung, adding about 12,700 connected households in North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Berlin to its subscriber base.Tele Columbus said it would offer its own internet and telephony packages over Big Medienversorgung’s network. The latter’s network is expected to grow to 16,400 connected households by the end of the year.The acquisition followed Tele Columbus’ announcement that it had become a stock corporation and that Tele Columbus Holdikng GmbH would be known as Tele Columbus AG going forwards.The change will lead to the creation of a new supervisory board. CEO Ronny Verhelst said the change would give the company more flexibility to achieve growth.Verhelst and chief financial officer Frank Posnanski will form the executive board, with chief commercial officer Stefan Beberweil and chief technology officer Reinhard Sauer making up the senior management team.KBC Bank and Insurance supervisory board member and former Telenet chairman Frank Donck will head the supervisory board, which will also include Pamplona Capital Management partner Carsten Boekhorst and former Belgian prime minister and OECD vice-president Yves Leterme.last_img read more