Rotary: Scenes From Naturalization Ceremony

first_imgRotary at work from left, Steve Ciddio (in profile), Kerry and Mary Burns, Laura Gonzales, Vice President Linda Hull, Lesley Harelson and Brian Newnam. Not pictured are President Phil Dabney and Paul Frederickson. Courtesy/Rotary New American citizens from Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom and Germany taking the oath during the Naturalization Ceremony Saturday at Fuller Lodge. Countries represented at the event include Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Russia and the United Kingdom. Courtesy/Rotary New American citizens from Russia, Canada and Mexico taking the oath. Courtesy/Rotarycenter_img Floral arrangement of aspen provided by Rotarian Jim O’Donnell and wife Kate O’Donnell. Courtesy/Rotarylast_img read more

ÖBB and Stadler form joint venture to maintain Westbahn fleet

first_imgAUSTRIA: ÖBB-Technische Services and Stadler signed an agreement on March 2 to establish ÖBB Stadler Service GmbH as a 60:40 joint venture which will maintain Westbahn’s fleet of Stadler Kiss double-deck electric multiple-units from mid-2017.Stadler has maintained the Wien – Salzburg open access operator’s fleet of seven EMUs in Linz for the past five years, and is supplying 10 more units. The joint venture will be based in Wien and is expected to have 40 staff by the end of 2018. It would benefit from Stadler’s experience with the current fleet, while increasing the amount of work undertaken for external customers at ÖBB’s Wien West site. Several million euros are to be invested in upgrading the site to enable maintenance to be undertaken overnight to minimise the number of vehicles out of service during the day.ÖBB and Westbahn compete in the long-distance passenger market, but the open access operator told Railway Gazette it did not believe there was a conflict of interest in having an ÖBB subsidiary maintaining its fleet. Westbahn pointed out that ÖBB-TS has maintained vehicles for competing operators in the freight sector for the past 15 years, and said ‘we are very much in favour of competition and co-operation wherever it makes sense’. read more

Punching through – Amateur boxer Janathan Hanson’s Olympic dream delayed by COVID-19 pandemic

first_imgJanathan ‘Mufasa’ Hanson had big plans geared at him being an Olympian this summer. However, they were delayed for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The middleweight amateur boxer was preparing for qualifiers before the start of the pandemic, which forced a lockdown of Jamaica’s ports. Having lost the London-based Damon O’Neil in the final of the National Championships in January, Hanson did not get an automatic spot in Jamaica’s team to the regional qualifiers which were to be held in Argentina at the end of March. He could only have entered if O’Neil chose not to compete. But Hanson made plans to go to Paris, France, this month to compete in the worldwide qualifiers for a spot in Tokyo. This would have been the final route into the Games.Hanson says the cancellation of events because of COVID-19 was at first disappointing, but then he started to see positives in the situation, with the Tokyo Games now pushed back to July 2021.“The Olympic cycle is four years,” he said. “A lot of sportsmen, not only myself, have been preparing for this Olympics from four years ago, so to come up and build up to this point and having it postponed another year is devastating because you’ve sacrificed and done so much to this point, only to have to sacrifice and put in more for another year.“But looking at it with 20-20 vision, it does give me a longer time to prepare and to make sure that I’m ready. Funny enough, leading up to this Championships, I got a new strength trainer, I got a new coach and been sponsored by Spartan Gym, and my personal training has only got better. With this [extra] year, I can cement my preparation for the Olympics.” HELL AND HIGH WATER Although Hanson now has more time to prepare, government restrictions on mass gatherings mean he cannot go to the gym to spar with other boxers for sharpness.“It’s hell and high water,” he said. “Ah boxing yuh do. It’s not track and field where mi coulda go pon di road and do two sprints. Ah boxing, and there’s nobody around me that does boxing, but I still get up and do my skipping and stuff. I try to keep myself as fit as possible and maintain a level of skill. Every day I would try to sharpen on the basics I already know. I know when things open up again, opportunities are gonna come up and I want to take advantage of them.”Being stuck at home not only takes a toll on athletes physically, but also mentally. But Hanson also conditions himself mentally by doing exercise with his wife, Andrea, a yoga instructor.“The yoga kinda strong still, yuh nuh,” he said with a laugh. “A lot of people think yoga is just stretching but you’d be surprised at how much physicality it takes. It’s kinda demanding on the body, holding certain positions for a while, if you don’t have that range of flexibility. But in terms of mental strength, my coach has kept me going.”At 31 years old, Hanson says if he qualifies, this will be his only Olympics as he is planning on going professional right after.“This will be my third attempt at the Olympics and I should’ve turned pro already, because of my record and my skills.”Hanson says he’s not concerned about what social distancing may mean for boxing when he is allowed to compete again. For him, not achieving success is a bigger scare than possibly contracting COVID-19 from an opponent. However, when he steps back into the ring is still unsure, based on decisions still to be made by the International Olympic Committee and the International Boxing Association on when international tournaments will resume. [email protected]last_img read more

Pittsburgh Allderdice wins City League Track and Field Championship

first_imgTRINITY JOHNSON of Pittsburgh Allderdice won the 100 meter hurdles. KYLER HURT of Pittsburgh Allderdice wins the 110 meter hurdles. ASHANTI RICHARDSON of Pittsburgh Westinghouse wins the Long Jump event. TAYLOR THOMPSON of Pittsburgh Obama wins the 400 meters. THE TROPHY IS THEIRS—The Pittsburgh Allderdice Boys and Girls teams claim the City League Track and Field Championship, held May 11 and May 13 at Pittsburgh Oliver. (Photos by Will McBride)The Pittsburgh Allderdice Boys and Girls teams claim the City League Track and Field Championship, held May 11 and May 13 at Pittsburgh Oliver.PITTSBURGH OBAMA BOYS pose after winning the 400 meter relay. REISE BROOKS of Pittsburgh Allderdice wins the 400 meters.center_img DORIAN JACKSON of Pittsburgh Obama won the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Pittsburgh Allderdice girls track team members show off their gold medals after winning the 400 meter relay. (Photos by Will McBride) MALIK TOWNSEND of Pittsburgh Perry won Shot Put for the fourth straight year. Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierlast_img read more

Pochettino urges fans’ patience over new stadium as it will be ‘best in Europe’

first_imgMAURICIO POCHETTINO has told impatient fans that Tottenham’s new stadium will be the “best in Europe.”Spurs supporters have been waiting for what feels like an eternity as the club’s multi-million pound arena prepares to open early next year.4 Mauricio Pochettino reckons the new stadium will be the best in EuropeCredit: ReutersTottenham have been playing matches at Wembley for the last 18 months after moving out of White Hart Lane.But fans are running out of patience after initially being told they were going to be playing in the new stadium at the start of this season.The switch to the new venue saw Spurs hold back on their transfers in the summer, with Pochettino landing not one single player.But the Argentine, who signed a new contract at the end of last season, insists the wait will be worth it.4 Spurs fans had been hoping to move into the new stadium last summerCredit: PA:Press AssociationLatest Spurs newsRacing TipsHOT OFF THE PRESSDon’t miss The Sun’s each-way thief and NAPs for today right hereDEIDRE’S CLASSIC PHOTO CASEBOOKSingle mum Penny avoids telling her date about baby PoppyMYSTIC MEGJuly 27: Passion is full-on and might ask a lot of you - but is worth the effortMIXED DOUBLESTennis legends Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg set sail with partners in IbizaHIT & RUN ‘MURDER’Woman, 38, ‘killed in hit & run’ after getting into van as man arrestedBLADE SHUNNERSAshley Banjo reveals Dancing On Ice could ditch studio audience in 2021Speaking after Saturday’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, Pochettino said: “I would like to be 20-years-old and be a player that Tottenham offer a contract to, because [the stadium] will be amazing.“Again I say to our fans ‘patience’, because it’s going to be the best stadium in Europe.”However, Pochettino will be hoping the club upgrade his jacket after having a tricky time zipping it up at Selhurst Park.The Spurs boss reached for his coat after the heavens opened but struggled to close it properly… and ended up cutting his own fans with the zipper.Mauricio Pochettino is next manager to have trouble with his coat on the sidelines as he appears to cut his face open 4 Tottenham are set to start playing there in 2019Credit: Splash News4 Pochettino has told fans it will be worth the waitCredit: ReutersMost Read In SportFeatureNAKED TRUTHThe most embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions in sport, including Venus WilliamsBRO MESSAGEBobby Charlton’s touching tribute to Jack revealed as he misses funeral serviceFRESH OUTFITMicah Richards pokes fun at Roy Keane backstage at Sky Sports studiosLEADING BY EXAMPLEBrian O’Driscoll feels ‘too guilty’ not to wear face mask when shoppingFOND FAREWELLShane Lowry shares moving snap as he says goodbye to daughter Iris at airportVideoMAC IN ATTACKMcGregor shows off football skills as UFC star proves he’s no one-trick ponyCrystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham: Juan Foyth scores the winner as Spurs grab tight win at Selhurst Parklast_img read more

SA ‘must speed up housing delivery’

first_imgMore than 12-million South Africans are in dire need of proper homes, with more than 60% of this number living in urban areas. Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has acknowledged that the demand for housing in South Africa remains very high, and that the government will need to speed up its plans to address a backlog estimated at over two-million. “You must remember that there are thousands of others out there who are not as lucky as you, so if you don’t want the house just give it back to us, please don’t sell it because you say it’s yours, government has given it to you,” she said. The Lufhereng forms part of the western extension of Soweto, and is said to be the largest low-cost housing development to take place in the area. The first phase of the project has delivered about 2 433 freehold stands of which 1 192 have been earmarked for subsidised housing while close to 1 000 units have been turned into RDP houses. Sexwale said the government’s new human settlements approach, and the Breaking New Ground policy adopted by Cabinet, would aim at lowering the backlog in “the shortest possible time”. RDP, bonded housing “It is going to take us time, but we will get there, it’s going to take one step at a time,” he said during the launch. that also coincided with a symbolic hand-over of house keys to six new beneficiaries.center_img Speaking at the launch of Lufhereng Housing Project, a new housing development initiative situated in Soweto, on Tuesday, Sexwale agreed that the R18-billion set aside by National Treasury for housing would not be enough to meet the current housing challenges. Source: BuaNews Sexwale said the project would offer families a range of options depending on income levels. These include fully subsidised 40 square metre homes, credit-linked 45 and 50 square metre units, and those that will give owners an option of a bond. Earlier, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane urged the beneficiaries of the new houses to resist the temptation of selling their properties through profit-making schemes. 18 August 2010 “We are now discussing in order to have the money increased, because if we want to move at a speed that is needed … we will need more money,” he said.last_img read more

Gift that keeps on giving

first_imgTo teach a child to read is to equip her with the tools for success in life.(Image: help2read)Lorraine KearneyLiteracy is key: if you can read, you can make something of yourself.“Literacy can break the cycle of poverty,” stresses Marco Andolfi, the business development manager of Cape Town-based non-profit Section 21 company help2read.The flipside is that if you cannot read, you are trapped – unemployed and unemployable, or stuck in a low-paid, unskilled job.With this in mind, help2read has designed a model that targets primary school children in under-resourced schools.“help2read is an organisation set up to promote child literacy across South Africa,” Andolfi explains. “We recruit and train local volunteers to help children in primary schools – mostly in grade three – to learn to read.”There are approximately five-million illiterate people in South Africa. And schools are not necessarily helping to lower this number: according to the 2006 Pirls report, South African schoolchildren are three to five years behind their international counterparts.Pirls, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, is run by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, an independent, international cooperative of national research institutions and governmental research agencies. First conducted in 2001, Pirls reports every five years on the reading achievement of fourth grade children worldwide.“The problem is that most South African children come from a culture of non-reading,” says Andolfi, “and this is added to poorly resourced schools.”There are no books at home; children don’t see or listen to their parents reading; they are seldom, if ever, taken to a library; their schools frequently do not have libraries.How it workshelp2read places volunteers, each armed with a well-stocked book box, into participating schools. There are coordinator teachers at these schools who identify the pupils most in need. The volunteers then work one-on-one with these children, 30 minutes a week, for a year.In total, each volunteer spends two hours a week at their school. The long-term nature of the intervention helps to build strong relationships of trust between the child and the volunteer, as well as build the child’s self-confidence.“We have 686 volunteers working in our schools in Western Cape and Gauteng. It is unpaid work, and many of them are unemployed. It’s also a skills development project. We hold regular workshops for our volunteers, and they learn skills that will help them in finding work.”Some volunteers are employed and come in before work; others are retired people. Each volunteer is strictly vetted, with proper police clearances carried out, before they are trained. Only once this is done are they placed in schools.Of the volunteers, 52% are unemployed and live in disadvantaged areas. They often volunteer as a means of participating in meaningful activities that enhance their own skills and self-esteem. Women make up 93% of the volunteers.It seems to be working. “In 2011 we had assessments that found that after six months on our programme, learning improved by 14 months.” This brings the children up to speed.Although this school outreach is the core of help2read’s work, it also has other projects to promote literacy, such as Reading Adventures, which run at local libraries.“We use puppet shows and other activities to spread the love for reading. We are also now undertaking a youth librarian training project together with Equal Education.”Such partnerships are an engine of growth, Andolfi says, emphasising that there is room for more, particularly with the education ministry. It has also recently expanded into Namibia, teaming up with the Michelle McLean Children Trust. Numbers are growinghelp2Read started as a pilot project in 2005 at Muizenberg Primary School, on the Cape Peninsula. It now works in about 90 schools in the Western Cape, with about 1 250 children. It also expanded into Gauteng in 2011, where it works in 15 schools and helps 250 pupils.“In the long run, our major goal is to be in rural areas, especially in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape [where the need is greatest],” says Andolfi. “We must create skills in the areas where people live so that they can make a life there, and are not forced to migrate.”The mission, according to the group, is to “motivate the literate adult population in South Africa to pass on their skills to the next generation, helping children to become confident readers. The key to the future of help2read is the recruitment and development of volunteers from underprivileged communities”.Andolfi explains: “We try to train people to help themselves.” He points out that help2read is not a charity but is a developmental organisation. It’s the old story of teaching a person to fish rather than giving him a fish.Of course, the need is great. Volunteers and cash are constantly in demand. Corporates can help through donations, and individuals can also make donations – for just R100 a month, for example, you can sponsor a child to learn to read for a year. For R25 000, a company can sponsor an entire school.Donations and sponsorships are also used to get books. They come from publishing houses, which donate or give an NGO discount; through the US group Books for Africa; and from individuals.Books used in the programme are age-appropriate and in line with school requirements. Donated books that don’t fit this profile are sold back to the public. The cash raised through these book sales and other fundraising activities is poured right back into the literacy programme.The organisation is holding its annual fundraising dinner in Cape Town on 20 November.Description: Help2read works in schoolsMetatags: help2read, read, education, literacy, illiterate, volunteer, school, library, learner, book, MediaClub, Play Your Part, Brand South Africa, Brand SA, official siteGift that keeps on givingTeaching a child to read is a priceless gift. The world opens when you can read, and your prospects improve – a better job, a better life. The help2read organisation gives this gift to South African children.Lorraine KearneyLiteracy is key: if you can read, you can make something of yourself. “Literacy can break the cycle of poverty,” stresses Marco Andolfi, the business development manager of Cape Town-based non-profit Section 21 company help2read. The flipside is that if you cannot read, you are trapped – unemployed and unemployable, or stuck in a low-paid, unskilled job.With this in mind, help2read has designed a model that targets primary school children in under-resourced schools. “help2read is an organisation set up to promote child literacy across South Africa,” Andolfi explains. “We recruit and train local volunteers to help children in primary schools – mostly in grade three – to learn to read.”There are approximately five-million illiterate people in South Africa. And schools are not necessarily helping to lower these rates: according to the 2006 Pirls report, South African schoolchildren are three to five years behind their international counterparts. Pirls, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, is run by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, an independent, international cooperative of national research institutions and governmental research agencies. First conducted in 2001, Pirls reports every five years on the reading achievement of fourth grade children worldwide.“The problem is that most South African children come from a culture of non-reading,” says Andolfi, “and this is added to poorly resourced schools.” There are no books at home; they don’t see or listen to their parents reading; they are not often, if ever, taken to a library; their schools frequently do not have libraries.How it workshelp2read places volunteers, each armed with a well-stocked book box, into participating schools. There are coordinator teachers at these schools who identify the pupils most in need. The volunteers then work one-on-one with these children, 30 minutes a week, for a year. In total, each volunteer spends two hours a week at their school. The long-term nature of the intervention helps to build strong relationships of trust between the child and the volunteer, as well as build the child’s self-confidence.“We have 686 volunteers working in our schools in Western Cape and Gauteng. It is unpaid work, and many of them are unemployed. It’s also a skills development project. We hold regular workshops for our volunteers, and they learn skills that will help them in finding work.”Some volunteers are employed and come in before work; others are retired people. Each volunteer is strictly vetted, with proper police clearances carried out, before they are trained. Only once this is done are they placed in schools. Of the volunteers, 52% are unemployed and live in disadvantaged areas. They often volunteer as a means of participating in meaningful activities that enhance their own skills and self-esteem. Women make up 93% of the volunteers.It seems to be working. “In 2011 we had assessments that found that after six months on our programme, learning improved by 14 months.” This brings the children up to speed.Although this school outreach is the core of help2read’s work, it also has other projects to promote literacy, such as Reading Adventures, which run at local libraries. “We use puppet shows and other activities to spread the love for reading. We are also now undertaking a youth librarian training project together with Equal Education.” Such partnerships are an engine of growth, Andolfi says, emphasising that there is room for more, particularly with the education ministry. It has also recently expanded into Namibia, teaming up with the Michelle McLean Children Trust.Numbers are growinghelp2Read started as a pilot project in 2005 at Muizenberg Primary School, on the Cape Peninsula. It now works in about 90 schools in the Western Cape, with about 1 250 children. It also expanded into Gauteng in 2011, where it works in 15 schools and helps 250 pupils. “In the long run, our major goal is to be in rural areas, especially in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape [where the need is greatest],” says Andolfi. “We must create skills in the areas where people live so that they can make a life there, and are not forced to migrate.”The mission, according to the group, is to “motivate the literate adult population in South Africa to pass on their skills to the next generation, helping children to become confident readers. The key to the future of help2read is the recruitment and development of volunteers from underprivileged communities”.Andolfi explains: “We try to train people to help themselves.” He points out that help2read is not a charity but is a developmental organisation. It’s the old story of teaching a person to fish rather than giving him a fish.Of course, the need is great. Volunteers and cash are constantly in demand. Corporates can help through donations, and individuals can also make donations – for just R100 a month, for example, you can sponsor a child to learn to read for a year. For R25 000, a company can sponsor an entire school. Donations and sponsorships are also used to get books. They come from publishing houses, which donate or give an NGO discount; through the US group Books for Africa; and from individuals. Books used in the programme are age-appropriate and in line with school requirements. Donated books that don’t fit this profile are sold back to the public. The cash raised through these book sales and other fundraising activities is poured right back into the literacy programme.The organisation is holding its annual fundraising dinner in Cape Town on 20 November.Contact:Marco Andolfi, business development managerTel: +27 (0)21 685 8085Fax: +27 (0)86 511 2399last_img read more

H&R Block co-founder dies in native Kansas City

first_img(AP) — Henry Bloch, who helped found tax preparation giant H&R Block, died Tuesday at age 96, the company announced.Bloch died of natural causes at St. Luke’s Hospice in Kansas City. He founded H&R Block in 1955 in the city with his brother, Richard, to take advantage of the vacuum left as the Internal Revenue Service stopped providing free income tax returns service. Richard Bloch died in 2004.Henry Bloch retired as H&R Block’s chief executive officer in 1992 and as chairman of the board of directors in 2000.“Through his honesty and integrity, Henry embodied the best of American business, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. In so many ways, he was ahead of his time and a model for today’s entrepreneur,” said Jeff Jones, president and chief executive officer of H&R Block Inc. in a written statement. “His vision lives on through our H&R Block associates and the many philanthropic organizations that he supported.”Bloch, who flew 32 combat missions over Germany as a navigator in World War II, also was a philanthropist and a foundation he started along with his wife, Marion, that supported numerous charitable causes in Kansas City, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute at Saint Luke’s Hospital and the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Marion Bloch died in 2013.“This is an enormous loss to the community and to the Nelson-Atkins,” said Richard Green, chair of the museum’s Board of Trustees in a written statement. “Henry Bloch had an unfailing vision and enthusiasm that was borne of genuine gratitude.”Bloch is survived by four children, 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.last_img read more

An intriguing but impractical tip about what inspires giving

first_imgAs the so-called Snowquester flakes fall outside my window here in Washington, DC, I thought I’d share a timely piece of research about storms.The wonderful team at Influence at Work this week covers a study with surprising findings about inspiring disaster relief donations.Apparently, people are more likely to donate to storm relief efforts if their name sounds similar to the name of the storm. I am not making this up: “People were more likely to donate if the initial of their first name matched the name given to the hurricane. For example, those whose names began with the letter R, such as Robert or Rosemary, were 260% more likely to donate to the Hurricane Rita relief appeal than those whose name didn’t begin with the letter R. A similar effect was noted after Hurricane Katrina with folks whose name starts with a K significantly more motivated to donate.”*In addition, says Influence, Adam Alter, a Professor of Marketing at NYU’s Stern Business School, suggests, “If people are more likely to donate to hurricane relief programs that share their initials, then the World Meteorological Organization which is responsible for naming hurricanes has the power to increase charitable giving simply by giving hurricanes more commonly occurring names.”Anyone have contacts at the WMO?This research reminds me of studies I read that people choose professions close to their names. There are apparently many dentists named Dennis.So maybe it’s impractical to start naming hurricanes John Smith, but in all seriousness there is a lesson here. As Influence points out, we always pay more attention to anything involving our name. You’ve experienced this in a noisy room where you’re tuning out conversation – until you hear your name mentioned. I think it’s therefore useful to test using people’s real names in fundraising appeals (better than Dear Valued Supporter) or naming initiatives or campaigns after common names or initials. It’s easier to try out than naming storms!(By the way, I donated to Katrina but not Rita relief so there you go.*)last_img read more

Seeking Young Champion of Maternal Health in Mexico!

first_imgPosted on November 28, 2012November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Apply today! The Young Champions of Maternal Health program is now seeking a Young Champion of Maternal Health in Mexico! To reduce maternal mortality and morbidity over the long-term, emerging public health leaders need to be equipped with the skills, commitment, and vision to respond fully to multiple causes and consequences of maternal mortality and morbidity.The Maternal Health Young Champions Program, a partnership between The Institute of International Education and the Maternal Health Task Force at Harvard School of Public Health, offers a unique fellowship to young people who are passionate about improving maternal health in their home country. The application process was recently open to candidates from Ethiopia, India, and Nigeria. The program has now expanded, with the goal of also identifying a Young Champion of Maternal Health in Mexico.These Young Champions of Maternal Health program identifies students or young graduates in public health or a related field who are committed to improving maternal mortality and morbidity through either research or innovative field work in their home country.  Young Champions are matched with in-country mentors from selected organizations for a nine-month research or field project internship focusing on a particular area of maternal health.The fellowship includes leadership training and participation in the Global Maternal Health Conference 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania.Click here for more information about the Young Champions of Maternal Health program in Mexico, including eligibility criteria and directions for how to apply.Applications are due December 7th, 2012.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more