Alex Brightman & the School of Rock Kids Pledge Allegiance to the Band

first_img Alex Brightman After thrilling us in 360, the School of Rock—The Musical kids stopped by The Today Show on October 16 to prove just why they’re ready to stick it to the man. Along with Alex Brightman, they gave a rocking performance of “You’re in the Band.” Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber later spoke with host Willie Geist about why the tuner is close to his heart. “It’s so wonderful to be working on it because it’s all about how music empowers kids,” he said. The cast subsequently took the stage once more for a rousing rendition of “Teacher’s Pet.” Check out the videos below and then the show, which will begin performances at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre on November 9. School of Rock – The Musical View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 20, 2019 Star Files Related Showslast_img read more

Biggest Texas solar facility to be linked with electricity storage unit

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Most of the renewable energy news we hear coming from Texas is that it has built the nation’s largest fleet of wind power – which is in large part by socializing the cost of power lines to bring that power to the state’s population centers. And as a result of this, the economic viability of the state’s coal fleet is being stressed and shut down. Sometime soon–perhaps in 2018–Texas may see more electricity generated from wind than coal.But that is not all. The state is finally getting some Texas-sized energy storage – and it is being added to Texas’ largest solar power plant. In a PowerPoint delivered by Vista Energy on investor day, they referenced the upcoming energy storage project.The facility will be a 10 MW / 42 MWh lithium ion battery. In its documentation, Vista Energy notes that the solar power plant has a peak output of ‘nearly 200 MW,’ even though its interconnection application is only 180 MW.Thus, the energy storage plant will be used to capture the power that is being clipped. The PowerPoint also states that the batteries can be charged during lower priced periods overnight, and discharged in the morning, to arbitrage the difference in prices.The presentation suggests the energy storage facility will be used to firm up the capacity being delivered by the solar power plant. In the above image, they present a case for ‘wider shoulders’ during peak solar power production, along with more consistent, predictable and slightly extended ramp-up and ramp-down periods.More: Texas to get its largest battery, coupled with its largest solar power plant Biggest Texas solar facility to be linked with electricity storage unitlast_img read more

The Garbage Marathoner

first_imgThe idea began after Otazo spent time exploring a nature preserve near his home in Key Biscayne, Florida. The high tide flow of the water there tends to leave garbage tangled in the roots of the mangrove trees. Otazo and his partner began cleaning up parts of the preserve, removing an estimated 6,500 pounds of garbage. The marathon was part of a fundraiser for Miami Waterkeeper. Otazo raised over $4,600, which will help clean beaches and mangrove forests and aid in advocating for the reduction of single-use plastic items. Andrew Otazo participating in the Miami Marathon with 70lbs of trash on his back. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Otazo.) BRO: Was it a smelly experience? Initially, my partner, Loly Sosa, and I were inspired to clean up a mangrove preserve in Miami called Bear Cut. While she was dealing with the rigors of Harvard Law School, Loly and I would frequent the swamps of Bear Cut, often to enjoy nature or meditate. We quickly found that this absolutely gorgeous area was completely covered in trash, and began clean-up efforts. Eventually, I committed to systematically clearing every square foot of Bear Cut. Man completes marathon carrying 30 pounds of garbage on his back OTAZO: The final six miles were terrible. I was in a lot of pain. I trained for months by marching with 30 lbs of dumbbells in a hiking bag, and averaged a 17 minute/mile pace on my 18-milers. However, the weight in the trash bag was distributed much differently, putting a lot of pressure on my hips and shoulders, and seriously slowing down my pace. By mile 23, I was pausing every quarter mile. By mile 25, I was completely numb, and just wanted to finish, so I sped up until I crossed the line (which had been torn down at that point). I was very nervous before the race, but once I got started, never doubted I would finish. It was just a matter of how much it would hurt. OTAZO:The first 10 or so miles were great. I must’ve had 50 or so people ask me to take selfies with them. Everyone was very encouraging. At mile 11, the crowd thinned out and the aid stations closed. At 13, I was completely alone, and remained so until mile 19, when I met up with my amazing partner and a bunch of friends. Thank God for them, because there’s no way I would’ve finished otherwise. They gave me an insane amount of food and Gatorade (I drank at least three gallons throughout the race). OTAZO: Professionally, I serve as the Executive Director of the Cuba Study Group, an organization composed of 40 prominent Cuban American civic and business leaders. Previously, I worked as a Researcher at the Harvard Business School, assistant to former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, and intern at the U.S. State Department. I’m a Miami native, but have also lived in upstate New York, North Carolina, Boston, Washington D.C. (twice), Argentina, and Brazil. I speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Over the span of a year, I removed over 6,500 pounds of trash. This brought some attention to the issue of marine pollution, but I wanted to quite literally bring it out of the mangrove swamps and show it to all of South Florida. So, I asked an architect/designer named Daniel Alonso (from OA Architecture) to help me build a 30 lb bag of trash that I could carry throughout the length of the Miami Marathon. I then partnered with Miami Waterkeeper, a fantastic local non-profit that protects our coastal ecosystems, to turn my endeavor into a fundraiser for their efforts. I’ve completed five full and two half marathons to date, having run my first full when I was 20. I really love the physically challenging aspect of the race. Unless you’re a very elite runner, you’re going to hit the wall, and the last few miles are all willpower. BRO: Tell us about yourself and your journey with marathons. The problem is that we do not have good data on how much trash currently exists in our waterways or its origin. That makes it impossible to implement effective mitigating solutions. I therefore want to partner with local scientists to conduct a comprehensive survey of South Florida’s largest sources of trash, whether they be the canals, storm drain outflows, boaters, etc. “I wanted to produce a very blunt metaphor where I wanted to take the trash out of the swamp, build it into a bag, put it on my back, and then walk it the length of the marathon so people could see it,”Otazo told Runners World. Andrew Otazo stumbled across the finish line of the Miami Marathon roughly 10 hours after he began. There was a reason for his last place finish: Otazowas carrying 30 pounds of garbage on his back. (Photo courtesty of Andrew Otazo.) OTAZO: First, I want to finish cleaning up Bear Cut. I still have about 40% of the area to clear, so there’s a lot of work left to do. However, I know that unless we do something to shut off the upstream sources, the trash I remove will only be replaced with every incoming tide. BRO: What inspired the idea? BRO: What were your thoughts and feelings while trucking that much trash? (Photo courtesty of Andrew Otazo.) OTAZO: Ha! I really have no idea. I was far more concentrated on the pain than the smells. BRO: What are your current goals and plans for the future? OTAZO:I just wanted to complete the race, so yes. I honestly did not care how long it took me as long as I crossed the finish line. I also surpassed my fundraising goal (we raised over $5,000), so I couldn’t be happier. BRO: Did you achieve the goals your set that day? OTAZO: The idea for the march was born out of a love for nature. Once we know where most of the pollution originates and how much is circulating offshore, we can place a price tag on cost of doing nothing (i.e. South Florida dumps X amount of trash into the ocean every year, causing $Y million in damage to our local economy). Quantifying the damage will allow local politicians to invest in targeted mitigation options, such as trash traps on storm drain outflows. Otherwise, I’ll be stuck cleaning the same patch of mangroves the rest of my life without making a meaningful impact.last_img read more

Venezuela: Neighbors Help Each Other To Mitigate Hunger

first_imgBy Voice of America / Edited by Diálogo Staff November 27, 2019 The ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela has led some families to share their food with neighbors to ensure access to proteins.In various parts of Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, people who live in the same community gather occasionally to prepare a full meal they cannot afford individually.Evelyn Salazar, who lives in a western part of Caracas, tells Voice of America that in 2018 neighbors began to feel they would no longer be able to afford all the food groups, and decided to join efforts.“I had flour for arepas, and she had cheese […] but she didn’t have flour. So chatting, we met every night, [and we realized that] one would have dinner, but not the other, so we agreed that we would meet and bring something to share.”Salazar says that they do this at least three times a week to also bring some variety to the meals the give their children.According to the latest study from the National Survey for Living Conditions of the Venezuelan Population (ENCOVI, in Spanish), which several Venezuelan universities carry out, in the last 3 years, the purchase of products like chicken and beef dropped between 34 and 45 percent, due to hyperinflation in the South American nation. Inflation in August 2019 was 65.2 percent, and the cumulative inflation for the year was 2,674 percent, according to data from the opposition-led National Assembly.Eliana Santaella, another neighbor, explained to VOA that her main concern is her daughter’s weight loss, and that this sharing is a way to mitigate hunger. The Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela said it made available to citizens 3,000 food warehouses to make protein accessible to poor communities.According to ENCOVI, the diet of Venezuelans with fewer resources causes anemia, and is marked by excessive flour and rice consumption and a shortage of iron. The study also reveals that 9 out of 10 Venezuelans say that the money they earn is not enough to pay for food.In September, Venezuela became one of 41 countries in the world in need of external food assistance, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.last_img read more

Islamic Center of Long Island to Unveil Interfaith Institute

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When the doors to the Islamic Center of Long Island opened for the first time two decades ago, there were only three people inside the basement praying toward Mecca and welcoming the solitude it offered.The unimpressive turnout prompted Dr. Faroque Khan, a co-founder of the mosque, to ask himself, “What are we doing here?” Little did he know what would become of the then-three bedroom house sitting atop a sizable plot on bustling Brush Hollow Road, which was purchased for $149,000 in 1984.Now hundreds attend Friday prayers, and as word of the mosque continues to spread, more and more worshippers decide to make the spiritual journey to Westbury. The ICLI underwent its first expansion in the early 1990s, which cost about $2 million. A second renovation is nearing its end, and the price tag has ballooned to $4 million.These are good times for the Islamic Center of Long Island, a vibrant, respected religious space that has earnestly focused on community outreach. The ICLI also showed itself to be a progressive religious center when in January it appointed Dr. Isma Chaudhry as its president, making her the first female president of the mosque in its history.If members of the community are looking for a moderate voice of Islam, they need look no further than the ICLI. But in the minds of the mosque’s leaders, much work remains.This weekend, the ICLI will yet again embrace its community-first attitude when it launches the Interfaith Institute of Islamic Center of Long Island, which will endeavor to educate the community about all faiths, not just Islam. Its goal is to foster a better understanding of the dozen different faiths being practiced on this Island. The institute includes an impressive board of trustees made up of men and women from different backgrounds and faiths, including representation from the Diocese of Rockville Centre and leaders in higher education. The interfaith institute is perhaps the only such organization in the region, if not the country, operated under the auspices of an Islamic Center, says Khan.“I need to understand better the tenets of other faiths,” he says. “Similarly the other faiths need to understand and learn about who we are, particularly in the present environment where the loudest voices are the most crazy voices. We need to bring that voice of reason, sanity into the conversation.”One of the institute’s main goals is to reach out to educators and their students—in local school districts and universities—to better educate them on Islam, a religion that most people learn about through uninformed talking heads on television and cable news. The religion, local leaders say, has been hijacked by extremists to justify bloodletting and territorial acquisitions. Such high-profile slaughters perpetrated by terror groups often prompt condemnation by the ICLI, but their voice isn’t always heard because mainstream media fail to report the institute’s denunciations, says Khan, the former chair of medicine at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.The group already has plans to work with school districts in Westbury, Hicksville, Herricks and Jericho to promote interfaith initiatives through conferences, seminars, essay contests and student visits, he says.Sitting inside the Jericho home he and his wife purchased in 1971, Khan recalls how Islam was thrust into the public conscience on Sept. 11, 2001—a horrible introduction.He’s not surprised that 14 years after the terror attacks that many Americans don’t have a better understanding of his religion. It takes time, he says. He’s patient. And despite increased Islamophobia in the media and public spaces, he has unbridled confidence that Muslims will one day no longer be looked upon as the “others.”“It’s been a slow, evolutionary process,” Khan tells the Press.With the introduction of its interfaith institute, the ICLI is essentially coming full circle. The idea of the mosque began when Khan and other newcomers to LI realized that not only did their children’s schools lack the basic understanding of Islam, but so did their children, who were minorities in their respective classrooms.That became clear three decades ago when Khan’s then-10-year-old daughter asked: “Dad, why can’t I have a Christmas tree?”The Khans and about 10 other families, made up of mostly physicians, got together and began contemplating how a suburban mosque would serve a burgeoning Muslim community. In the meantime, meetings were held in a nursery school in Hempstead. The Quaker Foundation-operated Advent Church in Westbury provided a comfortable place for children to learn from other parents about the teachings of Islam. Eventually the ICLI’s founders discovered the property on Brush Hollow Road, but they instantly hit a roadblock.The families were operating on a shoestring budget—with about $14,000 in the bank. The high-price tag notwithstanding, the families pooled their resources together and raised enough money to purchase the property. Its growth has been dramatic. Its latest remodel has been a massive undertaking. The installation of Chaudhry as president was a watershed moment. It’s evolution continues.DialogueOn Sunday, religious leaders and interfaith activists will gather at the Islamic Center of Long Island for the official launch of the Interfaith Institute. They’ll discuss plans to interact with schools and to lobby local universities to develop a formal course on interfaith dialogue.The backdrop will be a massively expanding mosque. Construction crews first broke ground in August 2013. The renovated mosque will include more classrooms to support the growing number of Muslim families moving into the Long Island community, as well as a recreation area and interfaith center.The Interfaith Institute has already received letters of support from such elected officials as Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) and New York State Comptroller Tom D’Napoli.Prominent religious leaders are also throwing their support behind the Interfaith Institute.“Since my arrival on Long Island in 2001, I have been inspired by the willingness of the Muslim community, among others, to work together,” Bishop William Murphy wrote in a letter to Chaudhry, which has been included in a 35-page handbook detailing the institute’s goals and wishes. “This institute is certainly the fruit of those sentiments, and I applaud its inception and wish its Board of Trustees every success.”Among the members of the board is Rev. Tom Goodhue, executive director of Long Island Council of Churches. He’s been involved in inter-religious activities with the ICLI for more than a decade.“They’ve always been great at a sort of dialogue at a kind of a street level,” he tells the Press.“It’s great the Muslims are tackling this,” Goodhue adds, “because they still face a lot of misunderstanding and suspicion, and they need to do things somewhat differently to come up with a way to interact with other faith communities.”Goodhue hopes the institute will “further inter-religious dialogue and understanding” on Long Island.Chaudhry, the ICLI’s new president, has been at the forefront of interfaith efforts. Her relationship with the ICLI began as a volunteer. Like Khan, the realization that education is necessary to foster understanding came when she realized her children were among only six Muslims kids enrolled in the private school. She created a curriculum and proceeded to educate the school’s staff on Muslim traditions and culture. Soon, other schools inquired about her services.While combating Islamophobia and anti-semitism is one of her stated goals for the institute, Chaudhry hopes to simply unite communities and “build a healthy society.”“People are afraid of what Islam is,” she adds.The ICLI has a long history of coordinating initiatives with other faiths.More than 20 year ago, it partnered with Catholics to produce 20 half-hour segments on Telecare called “Our Muslim Neighbors.”In 2001, the ICLI and Temple Beth El in Great Neck collaborated on an event dubbed “American Muslims and Jews in Dialogue,” which the ICLI credits with spurring illuminating conversations about the two prominent religions.And more than once the mosque has worked alongside the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Glen Cove to promote interfaith harmony. One such event at HMTC highlighted the bravery of Muslims in Albania during World War II.Albania, according to Steven Markowitz, chairman of HMTC, was allied with Germany during the war [following its invasion and occupation by Italy and Germany, respectively], but became the only European country to boast that it had more Jews after the war than it had prior to the conflict.The Albanian people “protected their Jews and welcomed Jews from other countries,” says Markowitz. “These people were all Muslims who did this.”Markowitz is not on the board of the Interfaith Institute but he wrote a letter of support.HMTC promotes people they call “upstanders”—the brave souls who stood up for the marginalized, especially during the Holocaust. Inside HMTC is a photo of a young Muslim man rescuing Jewish boys at a subway in New York City.“If there was ever a more perfect example of how people can stand up for each other and truly be ‘upstanders,’ that was it,” he says.On Sunday, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, intellectuals, educators and a bevy of other supporters will stand united as they launch the ICLI’s latest—and perhaps most ambitious—project yet.Their announcement comes amid continued turmoil in the Middle East. The so-called Islamic State continues to wreak havoc in Syria and Iraq; Libya is essentially a fallen state; Egypt’s fledgling democracy continues to crumble; proxy wars between US and Russia and Iran and Saudi Arabia are pushing the region into further chaos; and the Syrian refugee crisis has only underscored how the West is unfit, or simply unwilling, to welcome people fleeing war zones.But despite the turmoil there’s hope here.Just last month, Pope Francis stood at Ground Zero and held an interfaith prayer with dozens of religious leaders. Khan was in attendance. He left impressed.Francis’ message of “love your neighbor,” says Khan, is one the ICLI and other faiths on LI have preached for years.Yet pleas for solidarity are often muffled by the bloodshed, making it difficult for voices like Khan’s to reach the mainstream.“Violence,” Khan laments, “gets more attention than peace-building and outreach.”He says the tide is changing. Leafing through “Story of a Mosque in America,” a book he wrote and published in 1991, Khan recalls a time not tool long ago when Jews were marginalized in America. He finds hope in how they eventually found acceptance and prominence in society.Khan understands that the fight for prosperity will perhaps never end, but future generations will be better off if organizations like the Interfaith Institute succeed in its mission.“The hope is that these young people, down the road, will understand the community better and will be better neighbors,” Khan says. “I want to make it a better place for my children and grandkids, simple as that.”last_img read more

The Diamond Awards from the eyes of a winner

first_imgIt’s a moment most credit union leaders aspire to. The moment of standing on stage and having your hardest work acknowledged, praised, celebrated – and awarded. Making it to this point means you thought big, put in the hard work, created an end product you’re proud of and showed your credit union peers that you’re willing to take the reins and drive the movement forward. It means you earned it.But how does one go from an empty trophy shelf to a spot on that stage? If you haven’t been up there receiving that shiny award, you might not know where to start, what to work toward or what an award-winning campaign even looks like. Until now.Take for instance the series of commercials, Don’t Feed the Goat, No Dead Leaves and Terms and Conditions produced by First Entertainment CU in California. The series stole the show at the 2013 Diamond Awards, taking home titles in Best of Show, Best Use of Humor and Best for Brand Awareness.Roy MacKinnon, VP of Marketing for First Entertainment CU is the creative mind behind the winning commercials. By connecting with the audience through humor and honesty, MacKinnon was able to captivate not only his target audience, but also the 2013 Diamond Award judges.The BeginningMacKinnon’s idea for a set of commercials produced exclusively for First Entertainment’s target audience first came about ten years prior to their first airing. “Warner Bros.(They never spell out brothers)(WB), our founding SEG company, does employee screenings, where WB staffers can watch new films on the WB lot,” MacKinnon explained. “I thought, ‘What if we produced a commercial for the credit union to air at these screenings? We’ve got a captive audience and can speak directly to them.’ Unfortunately, at that time, I had neither the budget nor the connection to an agency to produce a top quality production. So it went on the back burner and I got busy with other things.”Ten years later, MacKinnon found himself working with an agency that had done some commercials. He resurrected the idea, and it quickly became a labor of love on his part. While his team handled other projects, he focused on working with the agency, settling on a theme and producing the commercials.A Simple Message and Some Solid Jokes Don’t Feed the Goat, No Dead Leaves and Terms and Conditions comprises three commercials featuring actor Curtis Armstrong, dressed in a comfortable shirt and jeans, speaking candidly with the audience. The commercials involve a goat, a potted plant and a mime – each humorously representing the various shortcomings of commercial banks.First Entertainment CU’s commercials connect with the audience through humor, a quirky, offbeat mood and perhaps most importantly, an honesty about the audience they serve. The commercials effectively get a simple message across: Here’s a credit union that’s serving the entertainment industry. Sometimes that message – and some solid jokes – is all you need.The Victory Effect“My Diamond Awards are proudly displayed above my desk. It’s been a great ride and a truly humbling experience. I’ve been very honored and humbled in my career, by these two awards”The biggest difference the awards have made for MacKinnon has been to inspire creativity and generate new ideas. “One of the things I enjoy most of all when I go to conferences is walking through the aisles of winners because the award winning work inspires me to do more, whatever that ‘more’ might be. The entries that grab the reader’s attention…. that demand to be read and digested and thought about. Over the years, those are the works that have inspired me to create larger and be bigger.”Parting Words on Originality and IdentityMacKinnon sums up his thoughts on originality, messaging and award entries in one final piece of advice: “You need an original statement first, and then to build your brand around that. And maybe you need to start simple. Who are we? What is our brand? How do we see ourselves, and how do we want to be seen? Do a little soul searching about what you want to be. Then, tell your story.”The Diamond Awards, hosted by CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council, recognize the creative excellence and outstanding results of credit union projects, campaigns and events across 29 categories. Entries are currently being accepted for the 2015 Diamond Awards at award categories. Entries are currently being accepted for the 2015 Diamond Awards at categories. Entries are currently being accepted for the 2015 Diamond Awards at 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Roy MacKinnon Roy MacKinnon began his financial services career in 1990 as a Senior Manager with First Entertainment Credit Union after 11 years as a co-owner of three successful retail businesses in … Web: Detailslast_img read more

S.Korea scrambles to add hospital beds as COVID-19 resurgence strains system

first_imgSouth Korea, scrambling to control a second wave of COVID-19, vowed on Thursday to double its critical-care hospital beds amid a severe shortage, highlighting the strain of the pandemic on even well-equipped countries.The spike in serious cases, as older people make up an increasing proportion of patients amid a broader resurgence, marks a sharp turn for a country that was seen as successful in crushing one of the worst early outbreaks of the new coronavirus outside China.Fewer than 10 intensive-care beds were available in the greater Seoul area, a metropolis of 26 million people, as of Tuesday, health authorities said. Officials do not give daily numbers, which can fluctuate widely. The Health Ministry said it will spend 100 billion won ($84 million) to acquire 500 beds for severely ill patients nationwide by the middle of next year, aiming to secure at least 110 by the end of the month.”We are also exerting our full efforts to enable stable treatment for the patients,” the ministry’s director-general for public health policy, Yoon Tae-ho, told a news briefing.South Korea has 511 critical-care beds, mostly at public hospitals in Seoul and surrounding regions, but many of those are being used by less serious cases or patients suffering from other ailments.As of Thursday, 154 COVID-19 patients were in serious or critical condition, up from 123 on a day before. The country had just 12 such cases before the second-wave began to intensify two weeks ago, stemming from an outbreak among members of a church who attended a political rally. South Korea was caught unprepared for the resurgence despite its relatively successful response to the initial epidemic, said Choi Jae-wook, a senior member of the Korean Medical Association.”The government appears to have grown complacent after the daily rate of infections fell to the low double digits,” said Choi, who teaches preventive medicine at Korea University. “They didn’t take proper steps to address bed shortages even after they struggled with it early this year.”The crisis is growing more acute as more than 40% of the country’s new coronavirus victims are 60 or older, up from 20% a month ago, health authorities said.A coalition of South Korean doctors and pharmacists groups has warned that more intensive-care beds and trained nurses were needed in the Seoul area.”Now our deepest concerns are coming true,” the coalition said in a statement last week.Woo Seoc-kyun, who steers the coalition, said the government plan to arrange more beds in public hospitals would help address long-term needs but would fall short of curbing the current spread.The government managed to hospitalize all the new cases after some institutes provided beds, while some patients were transferred to general wards and others died, said Lee Chang-joon, a ministry official in charge of hospital bed management.Less-sick patients are being transferred from 13 dorm-like “life treatment centers”, which can accommodate 3,200 people. Three more facilities are planned, adding capacity for 1,000 more people.South Korea has among the most hospital beds per person among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, while it is near the OECD average for intensive-care beds.The country has been gripped in recent weeks by ongoing strikes by thousands of doctors and medical students over government healthcare reform plans, although officials said this has had little effect on the shortage of critical-care beds because it was idling few beds and military medics and volunteer nurses were staffing the facilities.South Korea’s daily reported infections dropped below 200 for the first time in more than two weeks on Thursday, even as more serious cases continued to rise. The country has reported a total of 20,644 cases with 329 COVID-19 deaths.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Gov. Wolf Encourages Pennsylvanians to Donate to Their Local Food Bank

first_img February 15, 2019 Human Services,  National Issues,  Press Release,  PSA,  Public Health Harrisburg, PA – Even though the federal government is back to business as usual, millions of Pennsylvanians continue to feel the ramifications of the 35-day shutdown, and likely will for weeks to come. Food banks and pantries across the country also are feeling the effects of the shutdown and Governor Tom Wolf is encouraging Pennsylvanians who can to donate to their local charitable food organization.“Food banks and pantries across Pennsylvania felt the effects of the federal government shutdown during the time of year when resources are already strained due to weather,” Gov. Wolf said. “If you already donated to your food bank, thank you. If you haven’t or can give more, I encourage you to do so. It can go a long way to restock shelves and make sure our community members in need do not have to go without a necessity of life – food.”Food banks say that cash donations and volunteer support are most needed, but residents should check with their local food bank to find out about any specific needs.The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program that helps more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians fight chronic hunger and feed themselves and their families.Because of the partial federal government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture directed states to issue February SNAP benefits by January 20. In Pennsylvania, February benefits were issued January 16 and 17.This unprecedented change created significant confusion for SNAP recipients, and unfortunately, the consequences of this change still pose a significant challenge. This, in turn, put a strain on local food banks and pantries, working to help SNAP recipients extend their benefits during a time of uncertainty over these federal benefits.Combined with the needs of furloughed federal workers and unpaid federal contractors, Pennsylvania’s food banks and pantries are feeling the strain.“Our charitable food organizations do selfless and tireless work to help people meet one of their most basic needs – keeping food on the table,” Gov Wolf said. “If you can help out with a donation of food, cash or your time, I know it will be greatly appreciated.”Find a list of all Pennsylvania food banks here. Gov. Wolf Encourages Pennsylvanians to Donate to Their Local Food Bankcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Extravagant Brisbane acreage estate breaks suburb record

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:30Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:30 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenDream Home: Chandler01:30Craig and Christine Spencer have sold their amazing Chandler property. Picture: Jono Searle.ONE of Brisbane’s most extravagant estates has sold for just shy of $4 million to a wealthy Sydney entrepreneur — setting a new benchmark for luxury acreage in the city’s southern greenbelt.Selling agent Sarah Hackett of Place Estate Agents would not reveal the exact sale price of the Georgian-inspired seven-bedroom, six-bathroom mansion in Chandler, but said it marked a new record for the area.But it’s a far cry from the original asking price for the property at 652 London Road, which was last listed for offers over $5 million in 2017.This home at 652 London Rd, Chandler, has sold for a record price.Some of the unique pieces inside the home at 652 London Rd, Chandler.Mrs Hackett said it was a “last minute sprint to the finish line”, with the home attracting three written offers, but a three-week settlement and unconditional offer sealed the deal.She said the buyer had sold his home in Sydney and was relocating to Brisbane.“I’m probably dealing with at least two families a week from Sydney or Melbourne and the expat market this time of year is really strong too,” Mrs Hackett said.The previous record for a home sale in Chandler was $3.75 million, and in Gumdale, it is $3.1 million.Owner, Christine Spencer, said the buyer of 652 London Road was from Sydney and would be relocating to Brisbane to live in the home permanently.Mrs Spencer said the sale was “wonderful news” after having the home on the market since January last year.“Finally, someone has bought the home!” Mrs Spencer said.“It’s a unique property; it just needed the right person and someone who had the finances.”The pool at the property at 652 London Rd, Chandler.One of the seven bedrooms in the home at 652 London Rd, Chandler.Mrs Spencer said there had been plenty of interest in the property, but a number of contracts had fallen through because the potential buyers could not secure finance.She and her husband, Craig, built the home 20 years ago, drawing on inspiration from their global travels.Records show they bought the 1ha block of land for just $257,000 in 1996.The couple is behind the Carter and Spencer Group — a family-owned fresh fruit and vegetable company.“It was, and still is, one of the most outstanding homes for that area, and it’s certainly stood the test of time,” Mrs Spencer said.“It will be very sad to move.”Inside the home at 652 London Rd, Chandler.The kitchen in the home at 652 London Rd, Chandler, is more minimalistic.The Spencers are downsizing to Kangaroo Point, where they bought a smaller, Georgian-style heritage home.Chandler, about 18km south of the CBD, is now Brisbane’s third most expensive suburb, with a median house price of $1.59 million.The property’s former listing agent, Tyson Clarke of Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty, said the home was widely known as one of the most prestigious properties in the Chandler area.“There’s maybe half a dozen top end homes that stand out as what you might call the best of the best in the area,” Mr Clarke said.“This is kind of the first one of those to come to the market.”Inside the home at 652 London Rd, Chandler.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoA grand staircase leads to the upper level of the home at 652 London Rd, Chandler.Mr Clarke said he received interest from all over Australia and internationally when he was marketing the property.He said interstate and international buyers were increasingly joining with local families to live in Brisbane’s acreage estates just 20 minutes from the city, given the value for money the big blocks represented.With a 901sq m interior — four and a half times larger than the average new home — the home is filled with ornate and luxurious touches, including marble staircases, wrought-iron banisters and chandeliers.Entry to the property at 652 London Road is via a long, hedge-lined driveway.The inside of the home is dripping with luxury trimmings.Entry to the sprawling estate is via a manicured, hedge-lined driveway with a tiered fountain and baroque statues that lead to a grand porte-cochere.Stepping inside a gallery, there’s an open plan lounge and formal dining space, with a grand staircase leading to the upper floor.The western wing of the ground level has a family room, casual dining area and kitchen with European appliances, a walk-in pantry, cold room and custom built wine cellar.Some of the opulent interiors inside the home at 652 London Rd, Chandler.The statue at the entrance to the home at 652 London Rd, Chandler.A six-seat home theatre, dance room, home office, games room, laundry, guest room and gymnasium complete the lower level, which leads out on to the terraces, courtyards, patios and alfresco entertaining areas.Upstairs, there is a family retreat, four bedrooms, a guest room, two bathrooms and a master suite featuring an enormous walk-through robe, ensuite with bath and dual basin vanity, and access to two separate Juliet balconies.Outside, there is a 20m lap pool flanked by manicured lawns and paved sunbathing areas and a large pond.The outdoor area of the home at 652 London Rd, Chandler.This home at 652 London Rd, Chandler, has sold.Mrs Spencer personally chose many of the key features, flying to Prague to pick out the chandeliers and visiting Bangkok to select the fountain and statues to line the driveway.Italian marble has been used throughout the home, with many of the walls treated by hand. The stunning claw foot bath is also a favourite piece, and is overlooked by two Venetian mirrors.The claw foot bath at the property in Chandler.last_img read more

Calibishie man freed

first_img Sharing is caring! Tweet Share LocalNews Calibishie man freed by: – July 16, 2012 Sharecenter_img Share 31 Views   3 comments Garvin GeorgeA young man of Calibishie walked out of the High Court of Justice a free man on Monday, after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gene Pestaina, informed the court that a notice of discontinuance had been filed in respect to his matter.Garvin George was charged for murdering Julien Junior Joseph of Vieille Case on February 5th, 2010 at Calibishie.It was the prosecutor’s contention that George fatally stabbed Joseph with a scissors after a heated argument about a villager’s daughter.George was found guilty of that offence in November of 2011 and was sentenced to serve an imprisonment term of fourteen (14) years by Justice Birnie Stephenson-Brooks.However, that sentence was appealed by his attorneys, Wayne Norde and Bernadette Lambert, and it was upheld by the justices of the Court of Appeal who ordered a re-trial as a result of “several mis-directions to the jury” by the trial judge. That re-trial was held in June, and after four days of hearing evidence and almost five hours of deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.Therefore a mistrial was declared and George was sent back to the state’s prison as he was never granted bail.State attorney in the DPP’s office Clement Joseph, expressed disappointment with the jury’s verdict, but said that they have to “respect it”.He also explained that it is within the DPP’s discretion to either reduce the charge to manslaughter, try him again for murder, or just withdraw the charge altogether.The decision was made to withdraw the matter instead of putting George through trial for a third time.Justice Stephenson Brooks told George; “this is good news for you today. I am discharging you; you’re a free man leaving this court”.George told Dominica Vibes News outside the court that “it’s wonderful to be free again to re-group with my family”.He also expressed remorse to Joseph’s family. “To the family of the deceased, what happen on that day was not willful, I did not have any intentions, I am sorry for the son they have lost”.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more