June 12

Letter to chancellor of Austria, new holder of the EU presidency, about violations of free expression in Turkey

first_img Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit Follow the news on Turkey April 2, 2021 Find out more TurkeyEurope – Central Asia News Receive email alerts News TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Organisation April 2, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law April 28, 2021 Find out more News to go further January 5, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Letter to chancellor of Austria, new holder of the EU presidency, about violations of free expression in Turkey Sincerely,Robert Ménard, Secretary General In a letter to Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel of Austria, which has held the European Union presidency since 1 January, Reporters Without Borders has voiced concern about recent attacks on press freedom in Turkey and has asked him to use his influence with the authorities in Ankara to convince them to amend articles 301 and 305 of the criminal code, under which journalists can be sent to prison for the views they express.Paris, 3 January 2006Dear Chancellor Schüssel,Reporters Without Borders, an organisation that defends press freedom worldwide, would like to share with you its concern about the threats to free expression in Turkey, a country which has started talks on possible joining the European Union. We are worried about the arbitrary use of Turkish criminal code, especially article 301 on “humiliation of the Turkish identity, the republic and state bodies and institutions,” to censor dissent.More than twenty journalists, writers and editors are currently being prosecuted in Turkey, most of them under this article. The cases of Hrant Dink and Orhan Pamuk are representative of the persistent threats from the authorities and nationalistic lawyers to those who refer to certain episodes in Turkish history.On 24 December, the prosecutor’s office in Sisli (Istanbul) initiated new proceedings against Mr. Dink, the editor of the Armenian-language weekly Agos, for allegedly trying to influence the course of justice in an article published after his first trial in October, in which he was given a suspended sentence of six months in prison under article 301. He will be tried in February and faces four to five years in prison.Mr. Pamuk, a leading writer, is accused under article 301 of “insulting Turkish identity” by telling a Swiss weekly that “one million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in this country but no one dares to say so except me.” His trial, originally set for 16 December, has been postponed until 7 February. He faces up to three years in prison. Meanwhile, the authorities decided on 29 December to take no action on a complaint that was brought against him by a group of nationalistic lawyers accusing him of “openly attacking the army’s image.” Sinan Kara of the fortnightly Datça Haber was sentenced on 19 October to nine months in prison for “insulting by means of the press” under article 125 of the criminal code.Reporters Without Borders has had occasion in the past to stress the ubiquity of certain taboos that constitute a constant impediment to free expression in Turkey. We have also often had occasion to be alarmed by vaguely-worded articles in the criminal code. Anyone, whether the government, the army, can make arbitrary use of these articles to attack journalists who refer to certain painful or controversial events in Turkish history such as the Armenian genocide, the withdrawal of Turkish forces from Cyprus, the relations between the army and the government, or the Kurdish question.On 26 December, 169 intellectuals and performing artists called on the government to repeal articles 301 and 305 of the criminal code on the grounds that they are incompatible with the right to free expression and are obstructing democratisation in Turkey.Responding to the criticism, Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gül recognised on 28 December that the charges brought against Mr. Pamuk had harmed Turkey’s image and said the laws restricting free expression could be modified.The hopes pinned on the new criminal code that took effect in June have in part been dashed. Your role, as leader of the government that currently holds the European Union presidency, will therefore be decisive in establishing real freedom of expression in Turkey.We are aware of your commitment to press freedom and we therefore urge you to intercede with the authorities in Ankara, especially at meetings about the membership process, in order to stop the criminalization of dissident views. In the light of recent events, we believe that progress in the talks on Turkey’s membership should be conditioned on amendments to certain provisions of the Turkish criminal code, especially articles 301 and 305, in order to ensure that journalists and intellectuals enjoy the kind of freedom of speech that is worthy of a democracy, and in order to make Turkey’s laws conform to European and international standards.We trust you will give this matter your careful consideration.last_img read more

June 4

Oxfam Limerick may be closed but you can still shop Oxfam…

first_imgOXFAM Limerick may be closed, but you can still shop Oxfam this Friday with Fashion Relief TV – Broadcaster Lorraine Keane ‘s sustainable fashion fundraiser with Oxfam Ireland.The Fashion Relief team are springing back after a short break with rails packed full of pre-loved, brand-new and designer clothing, bags, shoes and accessories. Broadcaster Lorraine Keane said: “As the lockdown continues, which means Oxfam Limerick remains closed to play its part in Ireland’s response, we are delighted to be able to offer you a Covid-safe way to still shop Oxfam.“As expected, we’ll be showcasing beautiful pre-loved and brand-new pieces from the wardrobes of some of Ireland’s most fashionable women as well as from designers and boutiques from all over Ireland. People who tune in can click on the items they love and buy them then and there on Fashion Relief TV!“Thanks to the generosity of donors we have created our very own little Fashion Relief circular economy – as long as people continue to donate fabulous items, we will continue to have fabulous bargains up for grabs.Along with Oxfam Limerick, Fashion Relief is part of Oxfam’s solution to ‘throwaway fashion’, encouraging people to donate pre-loved items and reduce the amount of clothes that end up in landfill as well as shopping second-hand to give pre-loved clothes a longer life.  So, by bagging a bargain from Fashion Relief you’ll be shopping more sustainably and doing your bit for people and planet. What’s not to love?Keane continued: “I’ve seen first-hand how the profits raised by Fashion Relief and Oxfam’s network of shops help some of the poorest and most at risk people across the world. Even though things may have slowed down or come to a stop here, humanitarian crises continue – and are worsening since the pandemic was declared.“Just three weeks ago, a massive fire swept through the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. The fires left 10,000 families displaced and in urgent need of basics like food and water. Hundreds more were injured. This was yet another devastating blow to the Rohingya people who fled shocking violence and persecution in Myanmar. Oxfam continues to be able to support and respond to events like this because of the generous support of Limerick people.”The show will be packed full of brand-new and pre-loved donated clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as a host of designer labels like Preen, Celine, Ganni and Alexander McQueen, pieces donated by Laura Whitmore, Caroline Downey and Lorraine Keane, and much-loved Irish labels like Aideen Bodkin, Louise Kennedy and Fee G – at bargain prices.To celebrate the re-launch Keane also has an incredible giveaway via Instagram.Keane said: “Who doesn’t love a little competition, and with a Loulerie necklace up for grabs, we hope the competition will be fierce! All people have to do to enter is RSVP for Fashion Relief TV via www.oxfamireland.org/fashionrelief, take a screen shot and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #FashionReliefTV to be in with a chance to win. People have until Friday at 6pm to enter.” Email WhatsApp WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Fashion Relief TV will air from Lorraine Keane’s home at 7pm on Friday 9th April on www.fashionrelief.ie.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous article65 Roses Day Goes Virtual… Limerick People Urged to support 65 Roses Day on FridayNext articleCJ Stander and Tadhg Beirne named in Six Nations Team of the Tournament Meghann Scully Twitter TAGSKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick PostOxfam center_img Advertisement LimerickNewsOxfam Limerick may be closed but you can still shop Oxfam this FridayBy Meghann Scully – April 8, 2021 282 Print Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Linkedin Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener Roisin Upton excited by “hockey talent coming through” in Limericklast_img read more

May 31

FHFA Examines the Appraisals Process

first_img  Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / FHFA Examines the Appraisals Process The FHFA has released a new paper, authored by Jessica Shui and Shriya Murthy, that examines how appraisals conducted by appraisal management companies compare to those conducted by lenders themselves. What’s the verdict? According to the FHFA paper, “the results indicate no clear evidence of any systematic quality differences between appraisals associated and unassociated with AMCs.” In other words, the FHFA data suggests that the appraisal results provided by AMCs are statistically very similar to those provided by lenders working without a middleman.According to the FHFA paper, the theoretical advantages of lenders employing an AMC include providing extra quality assurance to the appraisal process, providing a firewall to prevent lenders from pressuring appraisers, and providing both reduced credit risk and management time for lenders. Critics of AMCs, however, argue that AMCs “offer no quality assurance contribution,” set unrealistic deadlines for appraisers, and contribute to an overall shortage of appraisers in the market. The FHFA paper argues that the latter factor occurs due to the AMCs taking a cut of the payments to appraisers, resulting in lower appraiser compensation that attracts fewer workers to the field. This, in turn, can “lead to delayed closings and rush fees that increase costs to homebuyers,” according to the report.“Our analysis indicates that, when compared to non-AMC appraisals, AMC appraisals generally demonstrate a similar degree of overvaluation,” states the FHFA report. “At the same time, AMC appraisals are seen to be more prone to contract price confirmation and super-overvaluation. Beyond valuation statistics, AMC and non-AMC appraisals seem to share a similar propensity for mistakes, a somewhat-unexpected finding given that the former tend to use a greater number of comparable properties.”The FHFA study involved a dataset drawn from GSE data and stretching from Q4 2012 to Q1 2016. The dataset includes over 5 million appraisals conducted within that period, with 3.7 million done by AMCs and 1.6 million done by non-AMC appraisers.The study came away with four main conclusions. First, both AMC and non-AMC appraisals “share a similar average degree of overvaluation, as captured by the percentage gap between the appraised value and the contract price.” Second, a similar ratio of mistakes was found within each category. Third, AMC appraisals were “more prone to contract price confirmation and ‘super-overvaluation,’” in spite of, fourth, “employing a significantly greater number of comparable properties on average.”A 2017 white paper released by HouseCanary highlighted both the importance of accurate appraisals and the increasing role technology will play in the sector going forward. “The future of appraisals is already signaling a sea change for nearly every segment of the real estate industry, and the signal is only growing louder,” the study noted. “We are not far from a time when investors can see the potential aggregated rental yield of a nationwide portfolio in a matter of minutes—or get a value estimate for a property they see on their morning commute using nothing more than a mobile phone app.”You can read the full FHFA working paper by clicking here. Tagged with: AMCs Appraisal Management Companies Appraisals Federal Housing Finance Agency FHFA real estate appraisals Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save AMCs Appraisal Management Companies Appraisals Federal Housing Finance Agency FHFA real estate appraisals 2018-03-26 David Wharton Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: David Wharton Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Related Articles FHFA Examines the Appraisals Processcenter_img Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Previous: Millennials Spend Nearly $100,000 on Rent by Age 30 Next: Why Is Morale Declining in Homebuying Market? David Wharton, Managing Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 16 years’ experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at [email protected] in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Journal, Market Studies, News, REO, Servicing The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago March 26, 2018 5,755 Views Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

May 27

Dungloe and Glenties residents to meet council on sewage scheme delay

first_img Twitter Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Twitter Facebook Google+ WhatsApp LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Facebook Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad also Pinterest News Google+center_img Pinterest Dungloe and Glenties residents to meet council on sewage scheme delay RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleSeanad Referendum defeated as Donegal and the rest of the country says noNext articleHSE West launching Flu Vaccination campaign News Highland Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH WhatsApp By News Highland – October 7, 2013 Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margey Cllr Marie Therese GallagherResidents in Dungloe and Glenties who are concerned at the delay in starting their long awaited sewage scheme are to meet with Donegal County Officials this week to ask that work start immediately.The meeting is being facilitated by local Councillor Marie Therese Gallagher, who says tender documents were received last November, a contractor was chosen, but contract documents have yet to be signed.She’s hopeful this meeting will help focus attention on the issue and resolve any delays…….[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/mtgal1pm.mp3[/podcast]last_img read more

May 24

Growing faith

first_img Growing faith Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Sponsored Content Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Several members of the church sat scattered on the pews as they talked about their desire to see Hale’s Chapel grow and become a source of inspiration and a place of spiritual renewal for the community.Confident at times, uncertain at others. They spoke of how it used to be at Hale’s Chapel, how it is and how it could be.Their voices didn’t fill the sanctuary. So, there was a quietness as they talked in reverence of their church home and with, Cliff Matthews, the pastor who has been chosen to lead the way back to where it used to be. Joe Floyd, a longtime member of Hale’s Chapel, pointed down the road to where the church was first situated on a settlement road and called Starkville Church.The church was known to be “active” as early as 1887. A year later the church had 32 members. Around 1908, another church was built and was used as both a church and school.“On October 25, 1925, a ‘cyclone’ destroyed the school/church and all records were lost,” Floyd said. “That left the community without a church building.”Some members of Starkville Church then went to other churches and some met in homes for Sunday school. When weather was nice, Sunday school was held outside in a grove across the street from the old church site. During this time of great struggle for the declining membership of Starkville Church, two Troy women, Irene Philley Freeman, a Methodist, and Ida P. Hale, a Baptist, became interested in providing aid, including financial assistance, to the church. Freeman donated the land on Highway 29 as the site for a new church and Hale remained a steadfast friend of the congregation.In 1933, a new wooden frame church building was dedicated and named Hale’s Chapel in honor of Hale.In 1979, the wooden church building was replaced as the church sanctuary with a new, modern brick building.“Hale’s Chapel, like most all country churches, has struggled but it has remained active and involved in the community,” Floyd said. “But now, we’ve got a different kind of struggle. We’re back to growing a church.”Floyd remembered how the people of the community came together to build a new church a reality and how these strong Christian families volunteered time and labor and made donations to the project.He remembered their passion for building a House for the Lord. He remembered revivals when 20 people were saved.Floyd looked around the sanctuary.“We can seat 210 people on these pews,” he said. “Last Sunday, we had about 15 people.”Fifteen is about half number of members that began what is now Hale’s Chapel, a church that has struggled and weather storms for more than 120 years. Matthews pastored Hale’s Chapel when it was housed in the wooden building and, when there were very few empty places on the pews. He is confident that Hale’s Chapel will not just survive as an “old country church,” it will grow.“Hale’s Chapel is located in a small, close-knit community and we are dedicated and committed to meeting the spiritual needs of the people of this community,” Matthews said.“Hale’s Chapel is a country church with traditional values and one that cares deeply about people. Now is a time of great opportunity for us to reach out and touch lives and that is our mission.”Matthews said the church members are not standing back and waiting for people to walk through the doors.“We have formed teams and we are going out in the community and talking to people about the Lord and inviting them to join us at Hale’s Chapel,” he said.“We believe that there are those who want to come to church and feel the great need but are not coming because they are not invited. We are extending invitations to all who are looking for a church home to come and worship with us and be a part of growing Hale’s Chapel, a church that welcomes everyone as a Child of God.”Sunday worship services at Hale’s Chapel are at 10:30 a.m. A special Easter service is planned and everyone is invited to come and celebrate the promise of Easter morning. The Rev. Cliff Matthews has returned to pastor Hale’s Chapel Baptist Church. (Photo/Jaine Treadwell)Hale’s Chapel members seek to revitalize churchPlanting a church is one thing. Growing a church is another.The members of Hale’s Chapel Baptist Church are growing in their faith as they grow their church. Skip Print Article Published 11:00 pm Thursday, April 5, 2012 Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson By The Penny Hoarder Book Nook to reopen You Might Like Maundy Thursday begins Triduum The Easter Triduum begins today with Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. In observance of Maundy Thursday, several churches throughout the… read more Latest Stories Email the author The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… By Jaine Treadwell Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthMost 10 Rarest Skins for FortniteTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

May 18

Two Big Bear bald eagle chicks hatch on livestream

first_img(KGrif/iStock) Eagle’s nest FILE photo.(BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif.) — After weeks of patiently waiting and nesting, a pair of bald eagles welcomed their first chick on Sunday and their second on Monday — in front of the eyes of many excited livestream viewers.Eagle couple Jackie and Shadow of Big Bear Lake, Calif., painstakingly cared for their two eggs over the past five weeks, switching off duties like good parents. The typical gestation period for an eagle egg is 35 days and the pair’s eagle nest is being livestreamed by Friends of Big Bear Valley, which initially installed a camera in 2015.Friends of Big Bear Valley began suspecting one of the eggs had a “pip” — meaning a chick was beginning to break through — on Friday, the nonprofit’s Facebook updates show.By Sunday morning, it was clear a chick was on its way. On duty, Shadow, the dad, was “very antsy” and couldn’t “seem to relax,” Friends of Big Bear Valley wrote on Facebook. “Nervous first time dad!” the group added.With Shadow still on watch, the chick was born Sunday and in clear view of the camera, much to viewers’ delight.But the excitement wasn’t over yet for the young parents or their human fans. While Shadow and Jackie fed their newborn, who is already getting stronger, viewers spied a pip on the second egg.By Monday afternoon, the second chick had emerged.Friends of Big Bear Valley reported on Facebook the first chick was “less of a bobblehead” Monday night, meaning it was getting stronger, while the second chick was “still a rollypolly,” getting used to existing outside of an egg.Of course, where there are newborns, there are need for names, and so Friends of Big Bear Valley announced a contest to name them. Fans can submit suggestions on the group’s website until April 21. From there, 25 names will be randomly drawn and third grade classes in Big Bear Valley will get to vote.Parents Jackie and Shadow are both 5 years old, per Friends of Big Bear Valley, and Jackie has laid eggs before. Two of her chicks were born in 2018, but only one, named Stormy by a group of third graders, survived to live outside of the nest.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

May 8

SUU Football Names Matt Wade As New Offensive Coordinator

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailCEDAR CITY, Utah-Friday, Southern Utah University head football coach Demario Warren named Matt Wade as the Thunderbirds’ new offensive coordinator.He had spent the past seven seasons as the offensive coordinator at NCAA Division III at Pacific University of Forest Grove, Ore.Wade most recently served as the Boxers’ offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator.In 2019, the Boxers set school records in yards per game (454.5 yards per contest), points per game (34.7 points per outing), rushing yards per game (187.2 rushing yards per game) and passing yards per game (267.3 passing yards per game).The Boxers ranked fifth nationally in third down conversion percentage (53.3 percent) and signal-caller Kenyon Harris completed 74.3 percent of his passes (179-241), leading the nation.Wade has previously spent time at the Division I level as he filled various roles for UC Davis from 2007-2012.Prior to joining the Pacific program, Wade was the Aggies’ tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Written by January 17, 2020 /Sports News – Local SUU Football Names Matt Wade As New Offensive Coordinator Brad James Tags: Demario Warren/Matt Wade/SUU Footballlast_img read more

March 1

Innovation award seeks programs creating economic opportunity

first_imgThe Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School today announced its call for nominations for the 2019 Innovations in American Government Award. This year the Innovations in American Government Awards Program is specifically seeking nominees focused on creating economic opportunity for all.To be eligible to apply, programs must be designed to achieve at least one of the following goals:Create opportunities that generate income and contribute to upward mobility, particularly in underserved populationsProvide tools to allow individuals to break down barriers to wealth creation, entrepreneurship, and social mobility, e.g. by expanding access to public or social safety net servicesDevelop a workforce to meet the needs of the 21st-century economyAddress systematic inequalities that create or preserve stratification, particularly in education, housing/homeownership, and access to financeDemonstrate proven outcomes on employment rates, median wages, intra-generational wealth growth, educational completion, standard of living, productivity, poverty rates, etc.For over thirty years, the Innovations in American Government Award, heralded as the premier public-sector honor in the nation, has been given to programs that serve as examples of creative and effective government at its best. The application is open to programs at all levels of government — federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial — from within the United States.Applicants will be judged on the Innovations in American Government Awards’ criteria of novelty, effectiveness, significance, and transferability, as well as their impact on issues of economic and social mobility, inequity, and stratification. The Ash Center will utilize resources and expertise from across the Harvard University community, as well as preeminent authorities in the field, to select the top finalists and ultimate winner of the Innovations in American Government Award.The nomination form and additional information are available on the Innovations in American Government Award website.Nominations for the 2019 Innovations in American Government Award are due by Friday, June 14, 2019. Read Full Storylast_img read more

January 17

BOYS

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity ofGeorgiaTre’ Ross, Bodhi Roberts and Noe Recendiz took the stage in front of several hundred University of Georgia faculty and staff. The middle school boys stared at their feet and glanced occasionally at the crowd before presenting their boldly colored painting, centered on the word “Involved,” to a group of UGA deans.Three years ago, they wouldn’t have had this opportunity. Three years ago, they were constantly getting into trouble, and BOYS (Building Our Youth’s Skills) didn’t exist.BOYS is a program designed specifically for struggling middle school boys, said Mary White, a UGA Cooperative Extension agent. Its aim is to make sure these boys are promoted to the next grade level on time and that they develop social, behavioral and independent living skills.”It’s very gratifying,” said Booker T. Hobbs, who leads the Candler County, Ga., BOYS program, along with Ken Dekle. “You see it in their eyes that you’re making a difference in their lives. It’s very satisfying.”Off the stage, Ross, Roberts and Recendiz opened up to questioning slowly. Recendiz, a sixth-grader, said his favorite thing about the BOYS program was “meeting new people — actually, everything about BOYS.”Ross, also a sixth-grader, loves the trips. Roberts, a seventh-grader, enjoys playing sports.Before they were introduced to the BOYS program, many of the students had never traveled outside Candler County. Now they’ve gone to Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Ga., a UGA basketball game, a Georgia Southern University football game, a Savannah Sand Gnats baseball game and an ice-skating rink.”We got to see the locker room at Sanford Stadium,” Ross said. “It’s nice.”It’s not all fun and trips. “We’re busy after school,” he said. “Mr. Booker stays on us about our homework.”The project started in Candler County in May 2003, when White received a $250,000 Children, Youth and Families-at-Risk grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. The grant continues through 2008.The program began with 34 fourth- and fifth-grade boys and now has 45 fifth- through seventh-graders.”Working closely with this group has given me a tough look at the challenges many young people have in their lives,” White said. “It’s going to take that whole village to help many of our kids succeed, and sometimes I’m not sure the ‘village’ cares enough.””The fourth- through seventh-grade kids are in limbo,” said Sharon Gibson, CYFAR coordinator for the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “They’re not little babies and not teens. They were falling through the cracks. If we didn’t grab hold of them while they were in middle school, we would lose them. Realizing this, we said, ‘we’ve got to do something.'”For some of these boys, the program is the first place they’ve had someone use the word college in a sentence connected to them, Gibson said. “When we hear ‘when I graduate from high school, this is what I want to do,’ we’re a success.”For a boy to be enrolled, families have to agree to be involved.”These parents are coming out to the family-night activities,” Gibson said. “They’re sharing food together, creating an art project together. All these pieces come together and encourage young males to stay in school.”The community, Gibson said, identified the need for the BOYS program. Then they started a separate program, GIRLS (Gaining Important Real-Life Skills).”We’re developing whole males and whole females,” Gibson said. “They’re expected to perform. These expectations are not out of reach. The final success is graduating from high school, not becoming fathers or mothers in their teens, giving them the opportunity to go on to college.”last_img read more

January 17

Drought distress

first_imgBased on the survey, Bauske and her colleagues project devastating losses in the coming year.“A calculated loss of $260 million per month can be contributed to the drought and water restrictions imposed on the industry,” she said. “If the current drought conditions continue, the results could grow to an annual loss of $3.15 billion and 30,000 employees.”In all, it is estimated that 35,000 employees working in the Georgia urban agriculture industry have lost their jobs since the drought started. Business owners appear to be keeping full-time employees and cutting part-time and seasonal workers, she said.For more detailed information on the survey and the economic impact of the drought, visit the publications section of the center’s Web site www.gaurbanag.org/industry. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia’s urban agriculture industry will continue to lose profits and employees if drought conditions remain over the state this year, according to a University of Georgia survey.UGA experts with the Center for Urban Agriculture conducted a survey in November and December last year to see how the current drought, which started in March 2006, has affected one of Georgia’s largest industries. Georgia’s Urban Agriculture Council helped develop and implement the survey.In all, 168 landscapers, turfgrass farmers and retail and wholesale garden business owners responded with a gloomy economic picture.“The business owners we surveyed reported substantial layoffs in 2007 resulting in the loss of 848 workers,” said Ellen Bauske, the center’s program coordinator. “If the drought continues, the businesses surveyed expect to lose an additional 708 employees.”The drought is withering profits, too, along with the plants and grasses the industry produces and sells. Survey results show a monthly average loss of $37,516 per company. “In an industry with a median income of $800,000 per company, many companies won’t be able to sustain losses of that magnitude,” Bauske said. “We can expect more news of bankruptcies, business failures and liquidation of company assets if the situation continues.”last_img read more