Saint Mary’s closes 2014-15 Justice Friday series

first_imgCaitlyn Jordan Senior Meredith Mersits and director of the Justice Education Program Adrienne Lyles-Chockley presented the final Justice Friday installment and reflected on the series as a whole.The Saint Mary’s Justice Education Program closed this year’s Justice Friday Series by reflecting and assessing progress made this year and the challenges ahead.Professor of philosophy and director of the justice education program Adrienne Lyles-Chockley led the open discussion with the help of her student assistant, Saint Mary’s senior Meredith Mersits.Lyles-Chockley and Mersits tried to focus on letting the audience carry the discussion because part of the purpose of the discussion was to gain feedback from students on how Justice Friday presentations have been and how they can be improved in the fall“I aim for the program to be student centered and focused,” Lyles-Chockley said.The overall goal of the discussion was to reflect on how progress has been made on the Saint Mary’s campus to bring awareness and advocate for different social issues. The discussion also focused on prospective ideas on social justice issues to be discussed in next year’s series of Justice Fridays.One of the initial points brought up by an audience member was that one of the major improvements that should be made overall is the presence of Justice Fridays on campus.The Justice Friday series is meant to be an opportunity for students to talk with other students and faculty about justice issues that are commonly faced in the Holy Cross community. It is an opportunity for students to voice their opinions, solve problems and initiate changes necessary to bring justice to the community, Lyles-Chockley said.However, some students suggested a greater awareness of Justice Fridays is necessary throughout the campus.Mersits said her experience with the Justice Friday series had broadened her horizons.“It’s been great to hear about issues that I didn’t even know about,” Mersits said. “It’s helped to grow my scope of the Saint Mary’s community and the world.”Many suggestions for expanding the presence on campus were mentioned such as possibly creating a forum for students, a Justice Friday series Twitter page or possibly videotaping each section of the series so that those who are not able to make the meeting can be a part of the discussion and remain up-to-date on the issues.Lyles-Chockley pointed out that the more people experience Justice Fridays, they will see the value in them, and the presence will grow.“If people see the value of Justice Fridays, it will continue to grow,” Lyles-Chockley said. “It’s a snowball effect.”Many justice issues were suggested and taken into consideration for next year as well.Students said they wanted to focus on the more controversial issues on campus that generally are ignored or bypassed by the College.Lyles-Chockley said she agreed and added the more students are willing to participate and share their view on such controversial issues in the community, the more they will be able to confront such issues themselves and as a community.“There’s a lot of value in discomfort during discussions,” Lyles-Chockley said.Lyles-Chockley said that this is why she wants to keep Justice Fridays student centered. She said students need an opportunity to come together and have discomforting discussions about social issues because it brings awareness. Once there is awareness, students are prepared and able to be advocates of justice in the community, she said.Tags: Justice Education Program, Justice Fridays wrap, saint mary’slast_img read more

Community Gardens

first_imgBy April SorrowUniversity of GeorgiaWhether their motivation is feeding their families or beefing up their wallets, more than ever Atlantans are coming together to plant community gardens, says a University of Georgia garden expert.“There has been a significant increase in interest in community gardening this year alone,” said Bobby Wilson, who coordinates the Atlanta Urban Gardening Program. “There is always an increase in the spring, usually only 60 to 75 percent of the new gardens survive. We think this year many more will survive because of food prices and because people are concerned about what is going on their food in terms of chemicals.” The program currently includes more than 225 gardens in Dekalb and Fulton counties, said Wilson, who is the UGA Cooperative Extension agent in Fulton County. But interest is growing. Attendance at a recent garden leadership meeting was double what it typically is.“We try to provide assistance,” he said. “What we are finding is a lot of people don’t know anything about what they are doing. All they know is they want to grow their own fresh vegetables.”Many gardeners in Wilson’s service area want to become certified to sell their extra produce to participants in the federal Woman, Infant and Child (WIC) Nutrition Program. Some gardening groups set up stands at local family and children services buildings to provide WIC recipients with fresh produce. They also go to farmers markets to sell their wares. Community gardening not only nourishes the body, he said, it nourishes the mind and soul, too. It gives a sense of belonging, is a source of exercise and provides a venue for social networking.“Gardening is more than growing fresh vegetables, it’s therapeutic,” he said. “We have found that a lot of people have participated not for what they do in the garden, but because they wanted to be a part of the internal structure. It makes them feel like they are a part of something important.”Food from gardens in the program helps feed 300 homeless people at the Peachtree and Pine Shelter every month. Many gardeners also donate food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank through the Plant a Row for the Hungry program. This year’s goal is 30,000 pounds.For more information, call your local UGA Extension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1. (April Sorrow is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Over $209,000 awarded to preserve local agricultural buildings

first_imgOver $209,000 awarded to preserve local agricultural buildingsGovernor Douglas will award 23 barns $209,000 in Historic Preservation Barn grants to preserve their facilities and land. The grant program was orchestrated by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and offers up to $10,000 in matching funding to owners of agricultural buildings for roof, foundation, walls, and sills repairs and maintenance. Over the past 20 years the program has provided more than 200 historic agricultural buildings with $1.3 million. Some locations to receive the funding are historic Von Trapp Dairy Farm, the Grand Isle Harman Noble Barn, and Bettys Barn in Chittenden.last_img

India Scraps Import Duty on Solar Modules

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:India has scrapped a duty on solar modules, making it easier to import the products after a sudden change in customs policy last year led to a logjam of shipments at Indian ports.Several consignments of solar modules, worth more than $150 million in total, were held up for more than three months at ports after Indian customs’ officials in August demanded that some of them be classified as “electric motors and generators” carrying a 7.5 percent import duty. Previously they were subject to no duty.The finance ministry reversed the policy last month, stating in a notice seen by Reuters that most solar modules should revert to their original classification and that no tax should be levied on them.Indian component makers have struggled to compete with Chinese companies such as Trina Solar and Yingli and have sought anti-dumping duties as well as long-term safeguards.But the logjam of shipments at ports posed a headache for solar power producers and threatened to delay Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan of nearly tripling the country’s total renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatt (GW) by 2022.The plan has spurred foreign investment in the sector, with Japan’s SoftBank and Goldman Sachs among others investing in solar projects in India.More: Relief For Indian Solar Producers As Government Reneges On Import Duty India Scraps Import Duty on Solar Moduleslast_img read more

Will your debit heat up this summer?

first_imgDebit drives PFI relationships. It represents a large and consistent source of activity and revenue. But could you describe it as a hot item at your credit union? Using portfolio analytics and a targeted marketing campaign, you could spark a significant rise in debit usage this summer – one that will continue well into the future.How do you personally heat up your debit program? Taking an active role is the key. While there’s no question that members want and use debit, there is also considerable competition for wallet share. At the same time, credit unions don’t have unlimited resources to encourage low spenders and members who are slow to activate their cards. Targeting and efficiency are a must.Credit unions that work with CO-OP for debit processing have access to its Preferred program, which combines the data insight of CO-OP Revelation portfolio analytics with turnkey marketing to create smart incentives for increased card usage and activation. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Value volunteers’ expertise

first_imgEvery director brings a unique perspective to the board. Alejandra “Ale” Spray is no different.As marketing director for a construction firm, Spray offers the Bellco Credit Union board 20 years of expertise in marketing and business development—welcome qualities in any organization seeking growth.This expertise allows her to bring strategic ideas—and a different perspective—to the board of the $4.7 billion asset credit union in Greenwood Village, Colo.“I’m able to offer fresh approaches that perhaps haven’t been tried in the credit union world,” Spray says. “I appreciate the fact that the Bellco board is open to exploring new strategies and tactics when it comes to marketing and business development.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Harnessing your data to build a better marketing strategy

first_img continue reading » There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” That couldn’t be more true than in the case of data-driven marketing.A few years ago, companies that were considered innovative and ahead of the curve began using consumer data generated by years of digital activity to redefine marketing as we knew it. Now, those companies are the ones that are on track for continued success. That leaves the rest playing catchup in order to create a solid marketing foundation for the future.Much of the financial industry is behind the data curve. For the past two years, incorporating AI, big data, and advanced analytics into marketing strategies has been ranked as the most important area of focus for financial institutions in the coming year.1,2  Despite this general consensus, many financial institutions are missing out on the opportunities data provides. And the financial industry as a whole is falling behind. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

$1.9 billion pledged for global avian flu battle

first_imgJan 18, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Governments and organizations at a conference in Beijing have pledged $1.9 billion for a global fund to fight avian influenza, well above the $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion that organizers had hoped for, according to news services.The 2-day conference yielded pledges for almost $1 billion in grants, mainly for poor countries in Southeast Asia, and about $900 million in loans, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.”It was a conference of commitment and pledging that really showed solidarity,” said David Nabarro, the United Nations coordinator for avian and pandemic influenza, as quoted by AFP.The United States led the list of donors with a $334 million pledge, saying the money would be mainly in the form of grants and technical assistance, according to a Reuters report.The European Union promised about $260 million, including $138 million directly from member states and the rest from the European Commission, AFP reported. Japan signed on for $159 million, and smaller sums were promised by Russia, Australia, and China.China, which hosted the conference along with the World Bank and the European Commission, pledged $10 million, according to Reuters.”We’ve got a fantastic set of pledges from poor countries as well as rich countries,” AFP quoted Nabarro as saying. “Even countries that cannot put money into the funding are saying we are going to commit our people and our governments to get the results.”Jim Adams, vice president of the World Bank, said more than half of the $1.9 billion represents new commitments not included in previous aid programs, according to Reuters.Adams said that between $100 million and $200 million of the pledged funds would go into a trust fund to be managed by the World Bank. Some of the remaining money will be managed bilaterally between donors and recipients, he said.In a speech prepared for the conference today, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Lee Jong-wook said, “Money is not the answer to every question. But without it, little can be done.”Lee said the critical needs include reducing people’s exposure to the avian flu virus, strengthening early warning systems, enhancing “rapid containment operations,” building capacity to cope with a pandemic, and coordinating research and development.The AFP report said most of the pledged funds will be used to build public awareness, strengthen outbreak detection and response, slaughter and vaccinate poultry, and compensate farmers for poultry losses.In a video address today, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the conferees, “The amount asked for is small compared to the cost of a pandemic we are not ready for,” according to the Reuters report.The World Bank has estimated that a year-long pandemic could cost the global economy up to $800 billion, the story said.In another speech at the conference today, a UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official warned that the avian flu virus could become entrenched in the Black Sea, Caucasus and Near East regions and be spread further by migratory birds coming from Africa in the spring, according to the FAO.”FAO is concerned that with trade, the movement of people and animals and migratory birds, new countries could become infected,” said FAO Deputy Director-General David Harcharik, as quoted in an agency statement.”In Turkey, the virus has already reached the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, and there is a real risk of further spread,” he added. “If it were to become rooted in the African countryside, the consequences for a continent already devastated by hunger and poverty could be truly catastrophic.”Harcharik said fighting avian flu in animals is the best way to reduce the risk of a human flu pandemic. The FAO said several hundred million dollars is needed for this purpose, but the agency had received only about $28 million so far.See also:Speech by Lee Jong-wook of WHO report of Harcharik speech read more

Shake-up will make the world a more dangerous place

first_imgPompeo and Cotton have something else in common: like President Trump himself, they’re both supporters of torture.They take the position that the torture program under the Bush administration was a great success, and was not actually “torture” despite the fact that it employed techniques like waterboarding and stress positions (which are designed to produce excruciating pain).When the Senate voted to ban the use of torture techniques in 2015, Cotton was one of 21 Republicans who voted no.He also once introduced an amendment to punish the family members of people convicted of violating sanctions on Iran with up to 20 years in prison, saying that such punishment should apply not only to spouses but to “parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids.”The punishment he proposed would be automatic, without any need to show that the family members had done anything wrong.“There would be no investigation,” he said.After members of both parties express shock and disgust at such a profoundly un-American idea, Cotton withdrew it. Categories: Editorial, OpinionBecause the Trump administration is such a finely tuned machine, Thursday we learn that the national security and foreign policy team is set for an overhaul, a whole eight months into this presidency.The likely result is a more isolated position for the United States in the world and a more dangerous future.The Post’s Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, and Anne Gearan report:“The White House has readied a plan to oust embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has become one of the most personally loyal and politically savvy members of President Trump’s national security team, two administration officials confirmed Thursday. But it’s worth noting that Donald Trump once suggested murdering the families of suspected terrorists, so Cotton and his new boss will be on the same wavelength.In short, calling Tom Cotton a “hawk” does not begin to describe how terrifying his views are.If at any time in the last few years you had asked me, “Which future Republican president would be most likely to start World War III?,” my first answer would have been “Tom Cotton” without hesitation, and I’m sure I’m not alone.The larger meaning of this shakeup is that it leaves Trump’s national security team more likely to encourage the president’s most dangerous impulses, which will affect both immediate and longer-term policy choices, not to mention what could happen in a crisis.There are still a couple of sane voices around Trump, but their numbers are dwindling.Paul Waldman is a columnist with The Washington Post.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Indeed, Pompeo has come under severe criticism for politicizing the CIA.He has distorted the results of intelligence community analysis in order to support President Trump’s interpretation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election.At times he has given the impression that his first priority is protecting Trump politically, not giving him the most accurate information to help make life-or-death decisions.Perhaps most disturbingly, Pompeo’s move to State and Cotton’s elevation to the CIA make the end of the deal restraining Iran’s nuclear program, and possibly even another American war in the Middle East, much more likely.While most experts and even some of Trump’s own officials agree that the Iran deal has achieved exactly what it was intended to do — keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons — Pompeo has been an ardent opponent of the deal from the start and has made clear his eagerness to scrap it.He shares that opinion with Tom Cotton, who not only believes the deal should be abandoned but has also repeatedly suggested that a nice healthy bombing campaign would do the job of eliminating the risk of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.Their elevation makes it even more likely that the United States will completely withdraw from the deal, and if the deal implodes, that could mean Iran resuming its quest for nuclear weapons, which in turn would be used as justification for a war that some like Cotton seem so eager to begin. “The plan, hatched by White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, is expected to be set in motion over the next few weeks, and has broad support within Trump’s inner circle, the officials said.“Under the plan, Pompeo would likely be replaced at the CIA by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., one of Trump’s most steadfast defenders and a confidant to some leading members of the foreign policy team, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House has not publicly announced the moves.”It’s hard not to have mixed feelings about Tillerson’s departure.On one hand, he’ll doubtless go down as one of the worst secretaries of state in history, having set about to gut America’s diplomatic capacity and destroy morale within his department.On the other hand, he reportedly called President Donald Trump a “(expletive) moron,” so he obviously has a good head on his shoulders.As strained as Tillerson’s relationship with Trump was, if nothing else he made some attempts to rein in the president’s more dangerous ideas and leave open the possibility that diplomacy might be worth pursuing with regard to countries like Iran and North Korea.But there’s not much reason to believe that Mike Pompeo will be a force pushing in the same direction.last_img read more

Perfect pad for Keperra-based couple

first_imgThe townhouse at 14/976 Samford Rd, Keperra was architecturally designed.Brisbane engineer Michael Rodriguez has listed his townhouse for sale hoping to upsize to an acreage property towards Jimboomba.Having owned the property at 14/976 Samford Rd since 2010, Mr Rodriguez said his townhouse at Keperra was in a convenient location.“It’s very close to the train station, shopping centre, close to the CBD,” Mr Rodriguez said.The three-bedroom, two-bathroom architecturally designed property has high raked ceilings, a choice of three hardwood timber decks and a large modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The living area at 14/976 Samford Rd, Keperra.Mr Rodriguez said the property, which has a fully fenced backyard, would best suit a young or corporate couple, or a small family.He said even an elderly couple could live quite comfortably at the property. With private views across the landscaped back yard, and into the bushland behind the property, it’s an ideal place to relax and watch the birds, wallabies and other wildlife in the area. More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019The kitchen at 14/976 Samford Rd, Keperra.Mr Rodriguez said he did some renovations to the property, including a fair bit of landscaping.“There was a retaining wall with just granite boulders, so we put an extensive garden on top of that, and added another wall to neaten it up,” he said. “We added the rear deck which really opened up the entertainment area.”Mr Rodriguez also added awnings to the side deck and front landing near the entrance of the home, and installed air conditioning throughout.The double-height formal entry hallway opens into a spacious lounge room with bamboo timber floors and a separate dining area.The glass sliding doors open onto the private rear deck, while the large kitchen makes catering for the family a breeze. last_img read more