first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week But much of what’s lacking in resources, students and faculty have made up for with resourcefulness. The most recent result of that resourcefulness is lights for the football field. During the summer, Vasquez athletic director Tim Jorgensen took out a personal loan to purchase used lighting equipment from Georgia Tech University through an online auction. Jorgensen rented a truck and drove the equipment back from Georgia in early July. Football players, their parents and volunteers from the community were up until midnight several nights digging ditches on the field so the lights would be ready for the Mustangs’ Sept. 3 home opener. The extraordinary measures the team’s players and coach took to make “Friday Night Lights” part of the Vasquez experience propelled the team to the best regular-season record in school history. ACTON – Amid the million-dollar ranch homes that dot the hills between the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita, the sight of what appears to be a trailer park and an undersized plastic airplane hangar seems oddly out of place. Architectural incongruity is the most obvious hint that something isn’t quite right at Vasquez High School. Visit the small campus, and the clues pop out one after another. Looking for the cafeteria? The library? A usable gym? Even an activities room? Keep looking. At Vasquez, you’ll find none of those amenities that are fixtures in the American high school experience. Freelance Vasquez (7-2) will face Santa Fe League champion Salesian of Los Angeles in the first round of the Division XII playoffs. “When you walk out onto that field, something about it gives you another level of energy,” senior receiver/defensive back Casey Schlock said. “That’s what we worked for, that’s what so many people went to bat for us for. When you walk onto that field it sets you off and gets you ready to play football.” With about 600 students, 12-year-old Vasquez is about one-sixth the size of Highland High School or Palmdale High School. Vasquez is operated by a school district that has been in and out of financial trouble, the subject of a recall and other controversy since 1992, when citizens voted to secede from the Antelope Valley Union High School District so that Acton and Agua Dulce teens didn’t have to travel to Palmdale for high school. Vasquez High started classes in 1993 on the campus of High Desert School, and got its own campus of portable buildings in 1999. Three bond measures that would have brought funds to build permanent structures were defeated by voters. Vasquez is currently seeking the type of financial hardship assistance from the state that’s typically given to schools in low-income inner-city communities, not towns such as Acton. As a nonvoting student representative on the school board that’s been blamed for many of Vasquez’s woes, senior two-way lineman Mansur Ivie knows more than most of his peers about how local government works. Or to hear him tell it, doesn’t work. Opponents of the bond measures cited school board incompetence as the deciding factor in the board’s reluctance to fund future construction. Bond opponents said it’s not fair to blame the voters, rather than district officials, for Vasquez’s plight. “It’s easy to convince kids we’re the big bad wolves,” said resident Tana Lampton, who said Vasquez’s athletic director was wrong in arranging for the stadium lights on his own rather than going through the elected school board. Among the most glaring examples of officials’ failures is the vinyl-roof building that was supposed to serve as the school’s temporary gym. The school is four years into a 10-year lease agreement, which costs $60,000 annually for a facility shuttered last year because of liability concerns. The gym hasn’t been approved by the state’s architectural board. It remains padlocked during school hours, but is used now by the YMCA. “If they tried to screw things up, they couldn’t have made it any worse than it is,” said former Vasquez volleyball player Chris Evans, a 2002 graduate. The failed bond measures would have qualified the district for state matching funds for construction. Jorgensen believes opponents of the bond measures are typically older retirees who don’t have children in local schools. “It’s tough because when you go (to school board meetings) listening to those guys talk,” Ivie said, “they make it sound like the high school is the biggest problem they’ve ever had in Acton, like this school is the worst thing that’s ever happened here.” Ivie finds it difficult to understand after spending part of his childhood in football-mad Texas. “I grew up hearing about Odessa (Texas) and small towns like that, that just love their football teams and surround their football teams,” Ivie said. “I really never expected this.” Gideon Rubin, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img12 August 2011 As South Africa gears up to start rolling out its National Health Insurance, the government is going all out to ensure that the country’s public hospitals and clinics comply with the exacting standards of the new health care system. The National Health Insurance (NHI) is due to start rolling in April 2012 as a pilot for the first five years. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, briefing journalists in Pretoria on Thursday, said the NHI was seen as a 14-year project, with the first five years involving building and preparation. The Cabinet has approved the NHI Green Paper, which was released on Friday for public comment. “The cornerstone of the proposed system of NHI is universal coverage,” Motsoaledi said. “It is a financing system that will ensure the provision of essential healthcare to all citizens of South Africa, regardless of their employment status and ability to make a direct monetary contribution to the NHI fund.” Motsoaledi said the NHI was important for the total restructuring and overhauling of South Africa’s health system. For the NHI to function and become affordable for everyone, drastic changes were needed. Department of Health was currently conducting an audit of all 4 200 public health facilities in the country, with 800 facilities having been audited by July. The audit was expected to be completed by May 2012. In order to qualify for NHI, facilities will have to meet exacting standards on availability of medicine, cleanliness, patient safety, infection control, attitudes of staff, and patient waiting times. Motsoaledi said that if all the toilets in a facility were found to be clean except for one, that facility would fail the test, as cleanliness was one of the vital areas for compliance. According to the preliminary results, some facilities were doing well, even though they had not yet reached 100 percent compliance. Audited facilities so far include the Free State University Hospital, which achieved 93 percent for availability of medicines and 71 percent for cleanliness. Dr George Mukhari Hospital in Pretoria scored 54 percent for cleanliness, 76 percent for availability of medicines, and 89 percent for patient waiting times. Motsoaledi said that teams would be sent to each facility to help it reach full compliance. He said the first five years of NHI would include pilot studies and strengthening of the health system in areas including management, quality improvement, infrastructure development, equipment, human resources and information management. He said the NHI would not mean the end of private medical schemes or private health care providers. Rather, the government would work in cooperation with them, for example in cases where hospitals were too far from people. If there was a private doctor operating in the area, the department would sign a contract with the practitioner to administer NHI so that primary health care could be provided to those in need. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

first_imgTest matches The Proteas will also play six test matches in the six-month period between July 2014 and January 2015, which includes fulfilling the two-match series against Sri Lanka which was postponed last year. The revised schedule sees a further 13 ODI matches added to the programme in the current Future Tours Programme schedule. 26 February 2014 Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday announced a packed programme of 23 one-day internationals involving five countries to help the Proteas build up to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. There could, in fact, be a 24th match if the Proteas Castle Lager ODI squad qualifies for the Final of the Triangular tournament against Zimbabwe and Australia in Harare in August and September. 2015 Cricket World Cup “Once we have completed our challenge for the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next month, we will turn much of our attention to next year’s World Cup,” CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement. “Building quality experience is a vital part of preparing our ODI squad for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The series of ODI matches we will be playing in these two countries will provide valuable experience for the players as they prepare for the conditions expected during the World Cup. “At the same time, we would want to respect the primacy of test match cricket,” he added. “The Sunfoil Test Series against the West Indies will be the highlight of our home summer. With the traditional New Year Test match at Sahara Park Newlands and a Boxing Day encounter at Axxess St. George’s, fans will be in for a treat as we continue to defend our number one status. The relevant boards will soon announce the detailed itinerary with venues and dates for the Proteas’ away tours. The Proteas’ preparation for the ICC World Cup will conclude with the West Indies visiting the Rainbow Nation for a full series comprising three tests, five ODIs and two T20 Internationals.‘I’m excited’ “I’m excited about the upcoming international fixtures for the next year,” Proteas coach Russell Domingo stated. “With it being a World Cup year, we have placed a lot of emphasis on the 50-over format and have tried to maximise our preparation by playing as many matches as possible in conditions that will be similar to those in New Zealand and Australia. “There were encouraging signs of good support for test match cricket at Axxess St George’s, and we hope to see even greater attendances over the holiday period. That’s why we want to announce our international fixtures early, so that fans have plenty of time to make their holiday plans and come out in large numbers to support the Proteas.”Sri Lankan and Zimbabwean tours The Proteas will travel to Sri Lanka in July to play two tests and three ODIs. This will be followed by a trip to Zimbabwe in August/September for a single test, three ODIs and a triangular series involving Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia. The Castle Lager Proteas ODI squad then travels to New Zealand in late October for a three-match ODI series against the Black Caps. Thereafter, they remain in the Antipodes to take on Australia in three T20 Internationals and five ODIs during November 2014. “I’m particularly pleased that we have managed fit in a tour to New Zealand ahead of our two limited-overs series against Australia, and hopefully playing at the prospective World Cup venues will play to our advantage during the tournament.” World Cup squad Reflecting on the selection of the South African World Cup squad, he continued: “This bumper ODI schedule will allow us to finalise our group as quickly as possible and to start playing around with strategies and game plans. “We will be facing strong opposition in the form of Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies, so I have no doubt that we will be adequately prepared ahead of the tournament. “The Christmas test is a premier fixture on our cricketing calendar and I hope the fans in Port Elizabeth will come out in their numbers to support the Proteas. This is always a fixture that the players look forward to and I’m sure the PE fans will make it a special and jovial occasion when it returns this summer against the West Indies.” WEST INDIES TOUR TO SOUTH AFRICA10-12 Dec: WI v SA Invitation XI, Willowmoore Park17-21 Dec: 1st Sunfoil test match, SuperSport Park26-30 Dec: 2nd Sunfoil test match, St. George’s2-6 Jan: 3rd Sunfoil test match, Newlands9 Jan: 1st KFC T20 International (D/N), Newlands11 Jan: 2nd T20 International (D/N), Wanderers 16 Jan: 1st Momentum ODI (D/N), Kingsmead 18 Jan: 2nd ODI (Day), Wanderers 21 Jan: 3rd ODI (D/N), Buffalo Park 25 Jan: 4th ODI (Day), St. George’s 28 Jan: 5th ODI (D/N), SuperSport Park SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Andy White was named the 2016 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion in mid-June. White hails from Ashland, Ohio.OCJ: What does it mean in the auctioneer community for such an honor — to be named champion of the world?Andy: As far as what it means in the auction community, the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship is just such an honor for any auctioneer and to just be able to compete against guys that are considered to be some of the best of the best was an honor for me and you know, it also comes with a lot of responsibility because I will be traveling representing the Livestock Marketing Association. I’m grateful to be able to do that — share my story and share my passion for agriculture and also my passion for auction.OCJ: Now this wasn’t your first time at an auction at all. Tell us about your background in auctioneering.Andy: Fifteen years ago I went to the Missouri Auction School. Came back from that and apprenticed under a gentleman by the name of Steve Andrews who’s very well known in Ohio and the agriculture community. And from there my career went multiple different directions. It went towards real estate but also veered towards the livestock industry and the auctions within the livestock industry. And so over 15 years it’s just evolved to be a very diverse career and that’s probably one of the biggest benefits. One of the things I enjoy most about this industry is one day I might be selling a farm and the next day I might be selling cattle and so it’s just a very unique industry that I’m just blessed to be a part of.OCJ: Sounds like you’re always on the road, but when you are home, where do you call home?Andy: Ashland. Ashland, Ohio is where I was born and raised. I actually grew up on a hog farm there and continue to live there on the home farm. I’m blessed to be able to farm with my parents to this day. We’ve got a beef feedlot that my father and I run and we also do some row crops — farm a few acres there, just a nice hobby for us.OCJ: It’s quite an in-depth competition from what I understand. Could you tell us about that from your perspective?Andy: The World Livestock Auctioneer Championship — in order to get there you must qualify to be there. So throughout the year they have three qualifiers — they have the eastern, the Midwest, and then the western qualifiers. You have to place within the top 10 at one of those qualifiers in order to move on to the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship. From there, it’s held in conjunction with the Livestock Marketing Association Annual Convention. This year it was held in Lexington, Kentucky. The first day of the competition includes the interview process where you are put on stage in front of a live audience there at the convention. You’re asked three questions that you don’t know the questions ahead of time so everybody has a fair shot at it that way as far as the competitors go. You get up and answer the three questions. And they are industry-related to the livestock auction method of marketing. The following day is the actual live competition where we went to the Paris Stockyards — a beautiful facility there — and all 31 of the contestants got up and sold eight drafts of cattle. There are five judges in attendance. They call back the 10 finalists and then the 10 finalists all do another round. They sell 10 drafts and then the scores are tabulated on the live portion and interview portion. They’re combined at that point. That’s how they determine the champion.OCJ: Were you nervous at all throughout any part of the competition?Andy: The better question would be was I never nervous. I tell you what, I enjoy the nerve aspect of these competitions. You know I think competition is an extremely important thing in any industry, but what it does is it forces us all to be better. You need to harness those butterflies and make sure you’ve got them in the formation you want them in, and elevate your game to be the best person that you can be and leave it all on that auction block where when you walk off so there are no regrets. That’s why I think competitions are so very important to just help raise the tide of our industry.OCJ: Now Andy as champion, what does the next year hold in store for you?Andy: I’m really excited about the next year because the Livestock Marketing Association does look to me as the ambassador for them for the next year. And so I’ll have the opportunity to travel to markets across this country and not only deliver the message of the Livestock Marketing Association, but remind producers as to why it’s so important to market through the auction method, through competitive bidding. You need to make sure that you are getting a true market value for your livestock. So over the next year I’ll get to do quite a bit of traveling, but along with that comes meeting some great folks — getting to see a large part of the country. That will be neat for me to see and as well as see some great livestock and some great producers. It really over the next year is just going to be an honor for me to able to do this.OCJ: You got quite the vehicle now out of the deal, is that right?Andy: That is correct. So the LMA as part of the prize package, you get a truck for a year. I’ve got a 2016 Dodge Ram completely wrapped. If you see me coming, you’ll definitely know it is me. We’ve got it wrapped with a couple of our different supporters and our sponsors through the LMA and also the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship so I’ll get that for a year and at the end of that year, I have the option to buy it out or turn it back in. I’ll never get the opportunity to do this again so I can tell you I will be buying that truck.OCJ: Looking at the livestock markets, any trends that you’ve been seeing recently that have maybe changed in the past year whether it be through Ohio or the rest of the country?Andy: As far as the trends go, obviously the market has definitely changed and changed across all aspects of agriculture. The margins are not there like they were two years ago like they were two years ago. But it’s easy to get down in the dumps about that and say you know we’re losing money right now where things aren’t just near as good as what they used to be. In my mind, our United States producers produce the safest food chain in the world, bar none. So right now, yes we’re going through some volatile times, but you know what, the horizon is bright just for that factor. Because our producers are always going to have that safest and healthiest food chain and our producers are always going to be in demand, so you know the upside potential is there. And I think as long as we keep that in mind and keep our heads, there’s going to be way more peaks than valleys.last_img read more

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair Two new reports released from Forrester explore the state of video in the enterprise. “Information Workers Are Not Quite Ready For Desktop Videoconferencing” tells us that most workers polled do not want to use desktop video conferencing. Meanwhile, the “TechRadar For Content & Collaboration Professionals: Enterprise Video, Q1 2011” report looks at video in general across the enterprise.“Although video hasn’t yet taken hold as the way we communicate or work, it will play an important role in connecting the increasingly distributed workforce,” says the Radar report. The reports authors cite research showing that 46% of information workers are expected to be telecommuters by 1016. Forrester’s workforce employee survey found that 72% of the 5,519 respondents don’t want desktop videoconferencing at work. The research finds that upper management is driving videoconferencing adoption in the workplace. Those workers that do want video conferencing at work say they want it for routine internal communications such as meetings, but also envision it being used for distance learning and brainstorming.The Tech Radar report focuses on nine video and video-related technologies. Each technology has business uses and has enterprise-grade products available. The report classifies the nine technologies into three phases: creation, survival and growth. None of the technologies has yet reached the “equilibrium” or “decline” phases of the Tech Radar model.Creation PhaseMobile videoconferencing: Desktop videoconferencing has yet to catch-on, but mobile videoconferencing is already emerging. It’s not companies like Qik and Skype – established companies like Polycom and Tango are getting in on mobile as well. The report notes “Although cell phones with cameras and video calling plans have been around since 2003, mobile videoconferencing is less mature than other technologies in this report and remains unproven in the market.”SurvivalDesktop videoconferencing: Despite having been around for years, desktop videoconferencing remains stuck in the “survival” phase.Enterprise video platforms (EVPs): These are the sorts of technologies that can be used to create in-house “enterprise YouTubes.” Vendors include Accordent and Qumu, and are not to be confused with online video platforms (discussed below).HD room-based videoconferencing: An cheaper, HD-based alternative to telepresence systems. Vendors include Hewlett-Packard and Logitech.GrowthDigital asset management (DAM): Products for organizing and managing digital content, such as OpenText’s Media Management.Global content delivery networks (CDNs): Services such as those from Akamai and Limelight that accelerate the deliver of video and other content.Online video platforms (OVPs): Hosted “enterprise YouTubes. Examples include 23 Video, Brightcove and Ooyala.Telepresence: Forrester calls this the “corporate jet of videoconferencing.” Cisco’s the biggest name here.Webcasting: Live or on-demand streaming of presentations. Accordent Technologies, Onstream Media and Sonic Foundry are some of the key vendors.Obstacles Video FacesThe “Information Workers Are Not Quite Ready For Desktop Videoconferencing” report cites the following challenges for video in the enterprise:The ability of the network infrastructure to handle videoThe compatibility of video with the business’s cultureThe willingness of management to push the use of the toolsThe applicability of use cases to the businessForrester’s RecommendationForrester recommends organizations find workers that are interested in video and run pilot programs with those workers and document the success (or failure) of these pilot programs. It also suggests preparing network infrastructure for video’s impact. Small pilot programs may not put too much strain on the network, and if successful could convince workers and management of a need for widespread use. Projects can be scaled out as the network infrastructure improves. On the other hand, if the pilots fail then enterprise will be saved from spending huge amounts of money on new hardware and software. klint finley Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#Communications#enterprise Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

first_imgDonal Power How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Related Posts Tags:#Dubai#Huawei#Internet of Things#IoT#Navigant#smart grid#SmartCities How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi…center_img A new study has ranked Dubai as the top smart city in the Persian Gulf region, thanks to its strategic vision and practical approach.An article by Computer News Middle East reported on the recent study by research firm Navigant Consulting. The report was commissioned by Chinese tech telecoms equipment maker Huawei.In the report, Navigant examined how ready cities in the Gulf region were to ascend to the next level of smart city deployment and adoption.“Dubai stands out in this Navigant Research ranking as a Leader among cities for its strategic vision and ambitious implementation program,” said Navigant research director Eric Woods. “Overall, cities in the region are expanding their digital infrastructures, developing new services, and investing in large-scale building programs.”Navigant determined that Dubai’s leadership and its Smart Dubai Office laid a strong smart city foundation upon which a range of innovations were being instituted to improve city quality of life and operations.Data key to Dubai evolutionAnd as it continues to grow its smart city capabilities, data is becoming key to Dubai’s continued evolution. A key program that facilitates this focus is the Dubai Data Initiative for data sharing and analytics.“The emerging focus on open data and data analytics programs is an important next step,” said Woods. “This will be one of the most important developments in the next stage of smart city evolution in the Gulf region.”Instrumental in the city’s success is the Smart Dubai roadmap. As part of this plan, Dubai aims to deliver 1,000 services via 100 initiatives by 2017.As of September 2016, 150 services and initiatives have been completed, with Dubai documenting 500 current or future initiatives in the works.Some smart city highlights from Gulf city include: a smart mobility initiative for traffic control; improved power and water consumption through a smart grid program; smart health services; and mobile-enabled e-Government services. Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

first_imgCombing operations are still on to nab the three undertrials who escaped from police custody after gunning down two constables using their service refiles in a police van in Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh, on July17 afternoon. “We have rounded up seven suspects who might have helped the undertrials. We are also ascertaining the facts from other constables who were present in the van. The borders of Sambhal have been sealed and four police parties are carrying out combing operations. We are confident that they will be nabbed soon,” Yamuna Prasad, SP Sambhal, told The Hindu over phone.The incident took place near Dewakheda village under Baniyather police station area when five constables were returning to Moradabad jail in a police van with 24 undertrials after a hearing at a court in Chandausi, police said.“The three prisoners were carrying spice powder and used it against fellow inmates and policemen. It appears that they shot two constables using their weapons,” Mr. Prasad said. The constables have been identified as Harendra and Brijapal Singh.The three undertrials have been identified as Kamal Singh, Shakeel and Dharam Pal Singh, all residents of Behjoi village in Bijnor district. They were lodged in Moradabad jail and are facing murder charges.Khoob Singh, one of the constables who survived the attack, said that the criminals were carrying a country-made pistol which could have been provided to them by their relatives at the court. He said the bike-borne accomplices of undertrials fired from outside the van. Mr. Prasad didn’t deny the possibility of a police personnel helping the culprits. “It is a matter of investigation. All aspects will be covered in the probe.”last_img read more

first_img Tuesday, May 15, 2018 Share Travelweek Group Posted by MONACO – Silversea Cruises has placed an order with Fincantieri for another ultra-luxe cruise ship, scheduled for delivery in Q4 2021.Valued at over €320 million, the contract for the new Silver Dawn comes just months after the cruise line signed another contract with the shipbuilding company for the construction of Silver Moon, to be delivered in 2020.Both Silver Moon and the new Silver Dawn will be sister ships of Silversea’s flagship, Silver Muse, which was launched in April 2017.Silver Dawn will benefit from the same sense of intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodation options that characterize all Silversea vessels.“Following the extraordinary success of Silver Muse, we are delighted to announce Silver Dawn as the eleventh ship to join the Silversea fleet,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s Chairman. “Silver Dawn will bear the same hallmarks of quality that guests currently enjoy on our 6-starships. We look forward to welcoming guests aboard in November 2021. It was my father’s dream to grow Silversea to at least a 12-ship fleet. Today, we are one step closer to fulfilling his vision.”More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, added: “It is a great satisfaction for our Group to see an ambitious project likeSilver Muse establish itself on the market and get the highest appreciation from an exclusive and demanding customer like Silversea, that today confirms his trust in us. Thanks to this partnership, based on the quality of the product, our leadership position in the cruise sector is further strengthened, not only from a technological point of view but also for the commercial ability to find the best agreement with the shipowner”.last_img read more