Fasttrack probe trial of sexual crimes against minors Shah

first_imgPanaji: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday asked state chief secretaries to device a mechanism to ensure that investigation and trial in sexual offences like rape against girls under the age of 12 are completed within two months of the crime.Shah was speaking at the 24th meeting of Western Zonal Council which was attended by chief ministers of Gujarat (Vijay Rupani), Maharashtra (Devendra Fadnavis), Goa (Pramod Sawant) and representatives from the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He said a detailed monitoring mechanism should be put in place to ensure investigation and trial in sexual offences/ rape against girls below 12 years of age are completed within two months. The chief secretary of each state must personally monitor adherence to legal provisions of completing investigation and trial in such cases, Shah said. During the meeting, the coverage of villages without any banking facilities within 5km radial distance of a bank/ India Post Payments Service was also discussed. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”The data derived from the GIS (Geographic Information System) platform of NIC (National Informatics Centre) will be further corroborated by the states using road distance on the ground, Shah said. “Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs) should also be done through IPPBs (Indian Post Payments Bank) everywhere as these are covered by core banking solution, he said, underlining the need for systemic reforms instead of merely chasing statistics. Enhancement of DBT Portal to include scheme/village- wise details by collecting real-time information from respective portals of beneficiary-oriented schemes, innovative solutions of encrypted QR code on Aadhaar card for verifying antecedents of fishermen were also discussed at the meet. During the meeting, state governments were directed to get the printouts or cards made within a month at government initiative so that everyone has Aadhaar card with latest QR code and foreign nationals dont illegally enter Indian territory through fishing boats. “The sole purpose of the meeting is to pace up the developmental works in the Western states. Upgradation and strengthening law and order in the states will remain our priority. The Department of Prosecution and Anti-Narcotics Bureau will be also reinforced. For better Governance, we all must work with a pro-active approach, welcome constructive opinion and use modern technology, Shah said.last_img read more

Edmonton woman says airline humiliated her because of noncontagious rash

first_imgHALIFAX – An Edmonton woman says she was publicly humiliated and booted off an Air Canada flight after a rash was mistakenly labelled as contagious.Jeanne Lehman, a community activist and officer with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, said she is seeing a psychologist for mental trauma she endured boarding a plane at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.“How they treated me, I didn’t feel like someone who is an important client,” she said in a phone interview. “I feel, like, rejected and (given a) lack of consideration, you know. This is a shame for me.”Lehman is a black, French-speaking woman who calls the treatment systemic racism.Her trouble began when a rash appeared on the right side of her face during a trip to Halifax last week. Over the course of two days, the rash got worse and left her eye swollen.“At first I thought it was because I ate a lot of seafood [and thought] it was an allergy.”She went to an emergency room on Friday where the doctor told her she had a non-contagious rash and was OK to travel.Upon boarding, she said she asked a flight attendant for a window seat because she felt self-conscious about her raised, rough skin. Her eyelid was nearly swollen shut.She said she told the attendant that she wasn’t contagious and she was given a window seat. But before take-off, Lehman said she saw a woman wearing gloves and a face mask walk towards her.“She said ‘Take all your belongings and follow me.’ I said, ‘for what?’”Lehman said what happened next keeps her up at night.“She said to me ‘You are contagious, I cannot leave you on the plane.’ I said ‘Ma’am, not only am I not contagious, even if I was this isn’t the way you should say it, loudly, telling everyone I am contagious.’”Lehman said passengers were taken off the plane while attendants disinfected her seat.She said the pilot announced on a PA system that a passenger was contagious and had to be removed for the safety of other passengers.“I started crying because everyone was looking at me. I was very embarrassed. I never know that this thing could happen to me.”Lehman said she was escorted to Halifax’s QEII hospital by Air Canada staff to get a doctor’s diagnosis. She said she was told she wouldn’t be able to board unless she provided a doctor’s note.Lehman said the emergency room doctor diagnosed her with shingles and gave her a note confirming she is safe to travel.Air Canada staff gave her a hotel room and food vouchers to accommodate her overnight stay, and she was sitting first class on a plane to Toronto the next day.At Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, she said she was asked again to provide her doctor’s note before boarding another plane to Edmonton.“I wasn’t treated like a first-class person,” she said.Lehman said Air Canada would have treated her differently had she been white, and added that the airline should have been more accommodating by offering services in French.Air Canada responded to a request for comment via email.“We cannot provide details about individual customers for privacy reasons,” the email said. “We acted out of an abundance of caution. Regrettably, the situation resulted in inconvenience for some customers.”Lehman said one Air Canada employee informally apologized to her, but the airline has not formally apologized.last_img read more

Starring North Carolina

first_imgFirestarter (R)Friday, Feb. 13Featured speaker: Jennifer Bunch, photo double for Drew Barrymore Ricky Bobby’s No. 26 Wonder Bread race car from the 2006 movie Talladega Nights: TheBallad of Ricky Bobby. The 2006 Chevrolet, currently on view in the museum lobby, is on loan from International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala., and from Shell Oil.In August 2012, North Carolina Museum of History curator and film buff Katie Edwards had an idea. She knew that major movies and TV shows are often filmed in the Tar Heel State. “We’d all heard about Bull Durham, The Hunger Games, Dawson’s Creek, and others,” she says. But she knew there were many, many more, and suspected that the history of filmmaking here could make for an interesting exhibit.The film clips, stories, history, and memorabilia she and her team uncovered amazed them all. Covering 3,000 films over the last 100 years, their work took two and a half years to complete and resulted in Starring North Carolina!, which opened Nov. 15 and runs until Sept. 6.The show charts the state’s emergence as one of the nation’s top film and television production locations – from silent pictures shot in western North Carolina in the early 1900s, to the birth of Wilimington as a movie-making hub in the ’80s, and on to recent blockbusters like Iron Man 3 and the successful Sleepy Hollow series.There are three main reasons why moviemakers flock here, Edwards and her colleague Camille Hunt say. The first is geography. With mountains, beaches, and everything in between, there’s no terrain we don’t have. The second is talent. As in any other industry, good work attracts it, and North Carolina is now home to thousands of professional crew members who make these productions happen. One of the many places they ply their trade is Wilmington’s EUE/Screen Gems Studios, the largest film studio outside California. The third is economics. North Carolina remains a far less expensive place to make movies than the West coast or many other places.Movie lovers won’t be surprised to see Bull Durham featured in the show – Kevin Costner’s bomber jacket is on display. But you might not know that 1986 cult classic Blue Velvet was primarily shot in Wilmington. The museum has not only Isabella Rossellini’s blue velvet robe but also the “severed ear” that figured prominently in the film. Other highlights include Ricky Bobby’s No. 26 Wonder Bread race car from 2006’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby;  a costume worn by Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games; several items from Dawson’s Creek; and Daniel Day-Lewis’s fringed suede get-up from Last of the Mohicans.The exhibit will play host to the inaugural Longleaf Film Festival, which will feature narrative and documentary movies, on May 2, 2015. The museum will also run a monthly film series on the second Friday of each month in coordination with the exhibit. (See box below.)Starring North Carolina! Film SeriesIron Man 3 (PG-13)Friday, Dec. 12Featured speaker: Bryan Simmons, memorabilia collector. Dirty Dancing (PG-13)Friday, March 13Featured speaker: Dr. Marsha Gordon, associate professor, film studies, N.C. State Brainstorm (PG)Friday, Jan. 9, 2015Featured speaker: Ira David Wood III, actor, author, singer, director, playwright(see story, following page.) All films begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in the museum’s shop. For a complete list of films through Sept. 2015, go to NCMOH-starring.com.last_img read more

Illustrated interview with Marvin Malecha

first_imgAfter 21 years as Dean of the College of Design at N.C. State University, Marvin Malecha retires this month and will become president and chief academic officer at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego, Calif. It seemed fitting in this interview with Walter to have the design visionary sketch his responses.What do you look like?A flash of white hairAgainst a black imageDefined by the geometry of eyewearFueled by an open spirit?But what does it matter?Do you have an alter ego?Yes and no. It is a circus.FriendsMentorsRole modelsComposed into an idealized aspiration.My alter ego has wings.Which building in Raleigh do you most admire?A building is a marker of life. It is architecture by its relationship to life. The vanishing tobacco barns are genuine. The Fadum House has a simple reality. The memory of the Catalano House haunts us. Dorton Arena reminds us of our better spirit, and the Hunt Library transforms our understanding.What’s your favorite thing to eat?In my personal quiet spaceA rich Italian red – Brunello and a bold cheeseWith my joyA soft black licorice with my granddaughterSo it depends …What are you afraid of?FEARTo restrict my curiosityTo cup my wingsThe authority of those who would seize my independenceCYNICISMTo drain me of my energyDriving color from my mindWhat’s on your feet?A message, a dialogue of Van Gogh,Heidegger, and Charlie Chaplin …Cole Hahn high tops todayMephisto for comfort yesterdayAsics from my son for exerciseMy identity!What is your favorite season?The season I am alive in! I am moved by the quiet of a snowfall and the crackle of the first steps in it. Who cannot be astounded by the brilliance of the color of a youthful spring? The lustiness of summer speaks for itself. But the beautiful subtlety of fall … the mature spectrum of color … the instigation … the demand for reflection – makes it my favorite.What’s on your mind?The past near and farToday … NOW!The transition to the future.Satisfaction for what has beenImpatience to be betterPossibilitiesColor!last_img read more

Clark Hipolito Art in motion

first_imgby Tracy Davisphotographs by Nick PironioRaleigh artist Clark Hipolito is a man in constant motion, a quality he shares with much of the art he makes. His reputation was built with murals and commercial interior design – art that stays where you put it – but his interests have led him to fill a unique niche on canvases that move: surfboards, skateboards, and guitars.“His artwork is absolutely amazing,” says master luthier Jay Lichty, who won Garden & Gun magazine’s 2010 top “Made in the South” award for his handcrafted guitars and ukuleles. One of Lichty’s ukuleles, painted by Hipolito, hangs on the wall of his dining room. “I treat this one more like art. It’s just too pretty to keep in a case. And honestly,” he pauses midsentence, examining the instrument, “I’m still not sure how he pulls them off. Is this gold leaf? It’s gorgeous.”A Connecticut native, Hipolito, 45, first found his inspiration in the Atlantic Ocean. During a 2003 trip to Charleston, where he was creating custom interiors and murals, Hipolito headed out to Folly Beach, noticed that the waves were great, and decided to rent a surfboard. He ended up with a decrepit old board and bought it on impulse. “If a board could have rust, this one would have.” He cleaned it up, painted it with a faux wood finish, “put art on it, and then rode it.” The board got attention. Soon Hipolito was painting boards for other surfers, and next thing he knew, he had a 15-board show in downtown Wilmington. Surfboards eventually led to instruments.Serendipity also played a role early on. After graduating from Seton Hall with degrees in business and design, Hipolito worked as an on-air graphics designer at MTV Networks in New York. He saw murals being painted and thought, “I want that. So, I started being an artist.” In 1994, he founded The Art Company, Inc., which he still runs, to create custom art. At about the same time, Hipolito moved South. Stints in Atlanta (“meh”) and Charleston (“liked but didn’t love”) failed to win him over, so a friend suggested he check out the Raleigh-Durham area. His introduction to the Triangle was a walk down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Everything clicked. “I loved it. Lots to do, pretty people, everyone’s friendly, good cost of living. All the basics. I thought, give it a year.”Hipolito decided on Raleigh, setting up in a warehouse on Yonkers Road where, surrounded by purveyors of lumber, lighting, and plumbing, he figured he could draw on the area’s innate grit and build-it vibe to turn the place into a SoHo artist’s loft. “Nope,” he says. “Completely didn’t work.” But a mural he painted there caught the eye of a couple shopping for tile and led to his first real job in Raleigh: a mural in their Italian restaurant, Casalinga Ristorante, at the time a popular spot on Capital Boulevard. The mural job snowballed into a collaboration to revamp the entire restaurant, and ultimately paved the way for fruitful connections with area builders.That ability to spark connection is another of Hipolito’s talents. Quick to smile, quick to make friends, quick to say yes, he’s not a “mull it over” kind of guy. That translates to an aptitude for “connecting the dots,” as he puts it, with the dots being people, ideas, and projects.From the start, both his clients and his art have been diverse. Early mixed-media commissions came from the Carolina Hurricanes and Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, and his paintings have appeared in TV series like Dawson’s Creek and Sex and the City. His art reflects influences as diverse as Roy Lichtenstein’s blending of text and image and the classical forms of Michelangelo. His work is also as likely to be on the ceiling or floor as it is to adorn a wall.So it was only natural that Hipolito – and his art – would go off-road.Things That Go When he first started painting surfboards, “I had no idea how to price them,” Hipolito says. For lack of a better plan, he created a silent auction with bid sheets at his first show. It created buzz from the start – it didn’t hurt that there were film crews in town – and prices shot up.  The boards sold out the first night. “I thought, ‘I need to stick to this!’ It was killer.”Surfboards led to skateboards, and then came the leap to guitars. That’s no surprise to anyone who knows Hipolito, an avid music fan. Guitars are “an intimate canvas,” he says. “You can focus.” He paints them on commission and in live settings, including at the Bonnaroo music festival and at Raleigh nonprofit Band Together’s annual Main Event.The 2010 Band Together show, with headliner Michael Franti, made for an especially serendipitous connection. “I’m painting live while Franti does his thing,” he says, “and after the show Franti tells me that he loves it. Then he says, ‘Got a minute?’” Franti showed Hipolito his favorite acoustic guitar and asked him to paint it, but there was a catch: It was the only acoustic Franti had with him on tour, and he needed it in Asheville, ready to play, less than 48 hours later.  “If you can do it,” said Franti, “take it.”“I went back to my house and got to work that night.” says Hipolito. Several hours later, his girlfriend drove Hipolito – borderline delirious from lack of sleep and a head full of lacquer fumes – to Asheville. He delivered it to a delighted Franti, and more projects came his way, all via word of mouth, including two guitars for members of Journey and an electric bass for the bassist of the rock band Umphrey’s McGee. “I have huge gratitude,” says Hipolito. “I get to see someone amazing playing my guitar on stage. And when those artists say good things about my art? It’s the ultimate gratification.”That appreciation for the talents of other artists – “the makers,” he says – fostered his collaboration with guitar maker Lichty, and with East Coast Surfing Hall of Famer and renowned surfboard shaper Will Allison, who approaches boards as functional sculpture. Their 2011 Birds of a Feather show, featuring Hipolito’s art on Lichty’s instruments and Allison’s surfboards, was held at Deluxe in Wilmington. It brought together everything Hipolito loves.“Those guys are masters,” says Hipolito. “There was a symbiosis, as well as a generational thing – these three compatible arts coming together.”For his part, Lichty met Hipolito when his client Mike Gossin of the band Gloriana commissioned a Lichty guitar, and wanted Hipolito’s art on it. Lichty wasn’t sure that was such a good idea. “The top of a guitar is the main tone producing part of it,” he explains, “so any art has to be absolutely thin, with no depth. Put too much paint on there, it’ll mess up the sound.”But he was willing to try. After Lichty built Gossin’s instrument, Hipolito came to his Tryon workshop to paint it. “He got there about 7 p.m.,” Lichty says. “I eventually went to bed, and when I got up at seven or eight the next morning, he was just finishing up,” recalls Lichty. “Then he heads back to Raleigh. He’s got some energy.” The two later met in Wilmington to deliver the instrument to Gossin, who loved how it looked and how it sounded. Says Lichty, “The consensus was, this was such a cool thing. Let’s do a project together.” The result includes the ukelele he now admires on his dining room wall.How he does itHipolito works in all mediums, but acrylics are his favorite. “You can do anything with them. They dry fast; they’re compatible with any surface.” And they take well to being sealed, which is especially important for art that has a job to do. Surfboards need resin; guitars need lacquer. “I’ve seen oils dissolve under a clear coat,” he says. “Not cool.”Because much of his art is made in public or commercial spaces, he doesn’t get many stretches of alone time with room for his thoughts to wander. So the solo all-nighter has become his favorite time to paint and create. “I’ll start something at maybe 11 or 12, and stay with it till 4 or 5,” he says. “Then sleep! And then head out for on-site stuff.”He works in his studio and at his home, both in Five Points, and also in a space above Wine On Main in Clayton, which he co-owns with Temple Phipps. He likes that the wine shop has become a meeting house of sorts for diverse groups in the community, and he has immersed himself in the city, chairing veterans’ memorial and public sculpture trail projects there. “Clayton. I love it. That main street is Glenwood South twenty years ago,” he says. “Just you watch!”Over on present-day Glenwood South, Hipolito’s newest work is at Devolve, a motorcycle and outdoor lifestyle shop. His surfboards are for sale, his murals are on the walls, and his passions are represented: art, travel, and bikes. Hipolito got his first motorcycle as a kid. He and his father chanced upon a bike in a random shop, and decided it was meant to be. “It fit in the trunk,” he says with a grin. “I can still see it. A Suzuki JR50.”If there’s a downside to living in-the-moment as emphatically as Hipolito does, it’s that there aren’t as many chances as he’d like to savor the moments as they come. There’s too much he wants to do.The top of that list: work with the band Widespread Panic. And, he adds, “I’d kind of like to do a hotel. Something in downtown Raleigh. A cool hotel.” Unlike Hipolito, a hotel just might hold still.last_img read more

Spotlight Larkspur loveliness

first_imgNick Donaldsonby Liza RobertsHundreds of art and garden lovers came from all over the Triangle to Frances Alvarino Norwood’s lush North Raleigh gardens for her 21st and final Larkspur Party June 4 and 5. Garden lovers will still have a chance to see her flowery showplace, she says, on Aug. 7 and Sept. 4, but without the art that has drawn huge crowds to her residential neighborhood.The Larkspur party was created by Alvarino Norwoood to showcase the work of fellow artists to the public. It began  as a free, three-artist show in her front yard in 1995; this year featured 38 artists across her expanded three acres of flower and vegetable beds. The blooming sanctuary is itself a work of art, and a reflection of her other profession: gardener. “At some point,” she says, “we had to decide if we wanted more artists or more garden beds, and the garden beds won.” Still, she says, it’s been a good run, “an opportunity to share my mother’s love of gardening, and has allowed me to get to know some incredible artists and meet many other enthusiast gardeners.” Longtime fans thronged for one last hurrah. Tucked between Alvarino Norwood’s massive hydrangea, delicate poppies, and airy Queen Anne’s Lace were paintings, pots, wind chimes, and sculptures. Botanical illustrations by Preston Montague and silver jewelry by Dan Dye were standouts. In the larkspur itself stood Alvarino Norwood’s own elegant, elongated figurative ceramic sculptures, which sold out within the first hour. The Alvarino Norwood family will open their garden to the public without charge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 7 and Sept. 24.last_img read more

Spotlight Preservation Minded the Dixie Deer Classic

first_imgJill Knight, The News & Observerby Jessie AmmonsIt’s hard to miss the Dixie Deer Classic: One of the State Fairgrounds’ largest annual events brings more than 20,000 folks to town the first weekend of March. This year’s show March 3 – 5 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wake County Wildlife Club, the local conservation nonprofit behind the event. “It’s a phenomenon that’s built on itself,” says club member Jim Hudson.The Dixie Deer Classic is the 100-member Wildlife Club’s only fundraiser. Begun 37 years ago to showcase local deer hunting in a time when hunters often left the state to seek prizewinning bucks, Hudson says just a few hundred people attended that first show. Those numbers have since multiplied by 100, and the scope now encompasses environmental stewardship education and kids’ outdoor activities, too. These include biennial “wildlife careers days” led by outdoors writers, park rangers, and environmental scientists that middle and high-schoolers can attend for academic credit. There’s a family-friendly scavenger hunt and exhibitors galore – and there’s also still an area for hunters to bring buck mounts and racks to be scored.While the Classic’s roots are local, word has spread. “People come in from all over creation,” Hudson says, to reconvene annually. The atmosphere is familiar and convivial, much like a family reunion. “It’s very festive.”General admission for the weekend is $12, and kids ages 12 and under are free; on Friday, youth, seniors, military, and women can buy a day pass for $6; dixiedeerclassic.orglast_img read more

Treehouses

first_imgA Charlotte artist designed and built this hexagonal shaped house with a wrap around deck. The treehouse and the cypress tree it resided in were dismantled, loaded onto a flat-bed trailer and moved to the Corkum’s home in Raleigh as the land it stood on was planned for development.Happiness Among the Treesby Rebecca Guenardphotographs by Juli LeonardPerched out of reach, a treehouse evokes mystery, seclusion, a place apart where a child can dream up an adventure. It’s a castle on the hill, the Shire, an Ewok village. It’s Swiss Family Robinson.Before the ink was dry on the mortgage papers of our North Raleigh home, my family was discussing which tree on our two-acre property would support a treehouse. After six months of planning, drawing, and calculating, my husband looked up from the kitchen table, surrounded by graph paper covered in schematics, and said: “This is going to be a big project.” Everyone went quiet and my son gently pointed out the reality of his undertaking. “You are building a house,” he said. “Up in a tree.”Feeling apprehensive, I set out to find camaraderie with Raleigh’s treehouse people. It, too, was a bigger challenge than I expected. Despite its Oak City label, Raleigh’s building ordinances hinder the construction of treehouses. “Accessory structures” are limited to a certain height and distance from property lines, making treehouses unlikely to qualify, given the standard lot size. Even if you head out to where lots are more spacious, homeowners associations can crush your treehouse dreams.Eventually, I was able to find several examples of what is possible when grown-ups with power tools remember what it was like to be a kid. Occupying only a couple-hundred square feet of space, these houses in the trees are cozy enough to let you roll out just a few sleeping bags, and big enough to let your childhood imagination run wild.The Proud Pavilion Though the Vassallo-Soto family built their treehouse for their four kids, they admit adults love it too. Tara and her husband Vinney wanted to give their kids a place for sleepovers, where they could chill device-free. “We wanted to give the kids a house outside of the house,” says Tara Vassallo-Soto.Tara Vassallo-Soto hashed out a design with RB Landscaping in under an hour. The treehouse sits proud and inviting at the top of a rise in the backyard, tucked up into the lower limbs of a tall oak tree. The design is reminiscent of a pavilion, with only one full back wall and two knee-height side walls. The absence of a fourth wall provides a spacious feeling and unobstructed views across the neighborhood.Kids can lounge lazily in the colorful beanbag chairs dolloped throughout the space, or in the neon hammocks draped underneath. The colors pop off the natural wood structure, like stained-glass windows in a childhood sanctuary.A prominent feature inside the tree house is the oak tree which greets you immediately as you enter the space. Here, Matt Robinson’s daughter, Sydney Robinson, 12, greets him from the loft built around the tree.The Tree Hugger “We bought this house because of that tree,” says Matt Robinson. He is referring to a mammoth pin oak at the back of his property. Its trunk punctures the foundation and then exits through the roof of a treehouse-in-the-works that sits 14 feet off the ground.For as long as he can remember, Robinson wanted to build a treehouse. His apprenticeship came when he helped a friend clear the trees on a 40-acre property. They cut the logs into lumber and built a timber-framed home on the land. Robinson applied the skills he learned building that house to construct the treehouse for his family, a massive undertaking that required him to borrow scaffolding to build so high. “I never want to get up on that roof again,” Robinson says. “It was terrifying.” He calls the treehouse his “labor of love.”Robinson has worked on it for two years. He is happy to take his time; being among the trees, he says, relaxes him. Preferring a rustic look, he has used reclaimed wood and incorporated creative touches like a window across the back wall that is actually a French door on its side. A prominent feature inside the house is the oak tree itself, which greets a visitor immediately upon entering. Robinson is still working to finish details like a backlit rusted tin ceiling and a rolling ladder to access the house’s loft. He also plans to put in a writing desk, ostensibly so his girls can do their homework, but his wife imagines Robinson himself will claim it most of the time. “He is looking forward to having a spot where he can look out through the trees and write some poetry,” she says.The Woodlands Home With a heavy heart, Sherry Corkum accepted that twin 100-year old oak trees on her property, formerly the Lassiter Mill Farm, had to be cut down. One tree still had weather-greyed wooden slats nailed to the trunk that the Lassiter children had used decades earlier as a ladder to a long-gone treehouse. But the trees were rotted and posed a safety hazard. Corkum was expecting a baby, and the Corkums couldn’t risk an accident, so the trees were removed.Corkum didn’t have to mourn their absence for long. Two weeks later, her husband called from Charlotte where he was developing a property. A treehouse on the land where he was working had to be removed or destroyed before building could begin. The Corkums decided to make it their own. Months later, a flatbed trailer arrived at the Corkums’ home in Raleigh with their treehouse and what remained of the cypress tree it once lived in.The house is a special one. A Charlotte artist designed and built the hexagonal shaped house with a wraparound deck. The Corkums used the cypress tree it once hung in as pilings to support its substantial load-bearing beams, which also accommodate an exit slide on one side and a couple of hammocks on the other. Tree bark shingles on the roof and siding camouflage the whole house, while tiny birds’ nests hang in several corners. A lack of doors or windows encourage the scent of magnolias from a neighboring grove to fill a cozy interior decorated with furniture from a craftsman in Boone, North Carolina who fashions child-sized tables and chairs out of old twigs. There is a chalkboard on one wall and drums hang throughout. The Corkums hide small treasures here and there for young guests to discover.Sherry Corkum says her family has gotten hours of enjoyment out of the treehouse. It has been the centerpiece for her son’s birthday parties and the hangout spot for her teenaged niece. “We lost two oaks,” says Corkum. “But we gained so much more.”Brain Lowery built a live-in doll house among the trees in his Zebulon backyard for his daughters, Logan and Austyn Lowery. The tiny two-story structure is fairytale perfect, with green siding, white trim and a inviting front porch.The Doll HouseBrian Lowery intended to build a swing set. Instead he built a live-in dollhouse among his backyard trees. “We figured they would quickly outgrow a swing set,” says Lowery, since his daughters were eight and eleven when he embarked on the project. He wanted to give them a place that they could use well into their teen years.Lowery constructed the house himself, on a modest budget, with materials he purchased at the local home improvement store. He supplied the house with electricity so nightfall would not discourage the girls from playing outside. The tiny two-story structure has green siding, white trim, and an inviting front porch. The interior features tranquil purple walls, reading nooks, and a sleeping loft. It’s the ideal spot to foster some girl power.A year has passed and Lowery’s house is fairytale-perfect, but he isn’t shy about expressing his disappointment. He imagined his girls would be anxious to spend their private time in the house sharing giggles and secrets, but they haven’t shown much interest in it. He recently hung a television on one wall. “If no one is going to use it, I’ll turn it into a man-cave,” Lowery says, with a laugh.A wooden wheel is one of several details on the McCalls’ treehouse boat.The Fantasy-bound BoatIn a cluster of trees beside a European-style North Raleigh home sits a treehouse shaped like a boat. Its bow, supported by three loblolly pines, points through a sea of trees to be navigated on the way to adventure. Make-believe grandeur is easy to conjure in this simple setting. Perhaps Peter Pan is faring the Darling children home from Neverland, a peg-legged Ahab is manning a whaling ship, or SpongeBob is practicing his driving lessons.The homeowners, Roger and Terri McCall, considered taking down the treehouse when they bought their home. Their kids are grown and they didn’t imagine anyone using it. But they love the ocean, and decided to leave the treehouse in place as a seaside-style decoration.They underestimated the boat’s magnetism. It turns out the treehouse is beloved by all their pint-sized visitors – grandnieces and nephews and friends with kids. The original owner’s brother, a carpenter, built the precious port-dweller. Children enter from a trap door in the floor of the boat, leaving the boat’s structure uninterrupted when the door is closed. As you look out from the small, enclosed bridge, it’s easy to imagine you are sailing through the sky.“Sometimes it’s a pirate ship. Sometimes it’s a fishing boat,” says Roger McCall. “Mostly, it’s a pirate ship.”The McCalls now have a box of accessories to accompany the treehouse. They keep plenty of flags, swords, hooks, and dolls on hand to foster the popular pirate theme and delight in the hours of laughter and “Ahoy, matey!” that emanate from their trees.last_img read more

Poker Face Girls

first_img“No one is good at poker, but they have a wonderful time.”—Anne Underwood, charter member, The Poker Face Girls ClubMeet the group of women raising the stakes on charitable giving in Raleigh: the Poker Face Girls Club. These fun-loving ladies gather throughout the year to play poker benefitting charitable organizations in our community. The club was founded in 2014 on a gamble, but charter member Anne Underwood says she knew it would pay off. “I served for many years on various boards and love nonprofit work, but I wanted to create something for women where we give to the community, but really have fun.” Underwood settled on poker as the money making method, a game she had long wanted to learn. It was not to be all fun and games, however. She set up the club as a 501(c)(3) public charity and signed on friends Annette Anderson, Winnie Stephens, and Jane Jordan. They formed a governing board, and from there, the group has since grown to 35 members.The club rules are simple: Poker Face Girls meet nine times a year to play poker at the home of Annette Anderson. No experience is required—Anderson’s daughter and son-in-law serve as in-house tutors. Every game night has a $35 ante, collected in a lump sum at the beginning of playing season. The money is divided equally into ‘pots’ of $1,200 for each of the nine meetings. The women gather for dinner and drinks, a brief meeting, and then break into groups of 6-8 to play rounds of Texas hold ‘em. At the end of the evening, whoever has the most chips wins, and that winner selects an accredited charity of her choice to receive that night’s pot. The list of recipients include: Backpack Buddies, Boys & Girls Club, Dress for Success, Green Chair Project, Interact, Transitions Life Care, and the YMCA. To date, the club has donated over $19,000.Underwood says her vision for the club was to multiply in numbers, which seemed logistically impractical, until her friend Virginia Parker asked if she could start a Poker Face Girls Club in North Raleigh. Parker’s club, the Queens, became a DBA sister organization. Today, there are at least three clubs in the works as the Poker Face Girls Club continues betting on our community. Underwood says that the group’s motto is what drives the group. “We like to have fun and give back. —Katherine PooleInterested in starting your own club?Contact Anne Underwood at pokerfacegirlsclub.comlast_img read more

Urgent need to reform how social housing is delivered in Northern Ireland

first_imgProfessor Peter Roberts, Chair of the Housing Executive, shares the successes of the strategic housing authority over the last year and outlines its aspirations for the future.The Housing Executive has a very proud history as a housing organisation and a public sector body in Northern Ireland.Our core obligations to the citizens of Northern Ireland are to provide good quality homes, excellent housing services, tailored support and sustainable neighbourhoods.We remain one of the largest social housing landlords in the UK, managing around 85,900 homes. We continue to match and outperform many other providers in terms of rent collection, tenant involvement and customer feedback.Much of our work supports tenants beyond their front doors through our provision of financial advice, tackling antisocial behaviour, encouraging community involvement and cohesion, promoting social enterprise and enabling neighbourhood development.We continue to administer over £600 million in Housing Benefit to tenants in the social and private sectors, as well as assisting tenants affected by the Social Sector Size Criteria and those who are now claiming Universal Credit.In our role as the housing authority for Northern Ireland we deliver a wide range of functions alongside the Department for Communities, housing associations, the voluntary sector and other organisations.These functions have a positive impact on many households and communities. During the last year some 20,000 vulnerable people were assisted through Supporting People funding.Last year, we oversaw the new build programme complete 1,682 new social homes, meaning we have now enabled 15,000 homes to be built over the last 10 years. We offered support and guidance to tenants, as well as providing a range of housing options to an increasing number of households who are homeless or in housing stress.Through our Regional Services, the strategic enabling and delivery side of the business, we provide a range of services including assessing housing need, helping those who find themselves homeless, managing the Social Housing Development Programme for new social homes with our Housing Association partners, Supporting People Services and the provision of Private Sector Grants.Alongside this we undertake an extensive research programme to produce a comprehensive body of housing market intelligence to help us identify and determine how best to shape our services and the places where people want to live in Northern Ireland. In addition, we are the Home Energy Conservation Authority for Northern Ireland.The Housing Executive has also engaged with all of the councils regarding our Housing Investment Plans. These plans are an important element of community planning, involving consultation from a range of stakeholders in the sector.Housing Investment Plans are an important component of each of the Community Plans. We have aligned the plans to each Community Plan to show how our work supports the work of the council and we look forward to contributing to shaping the future of housing in each council area with our Community Planning partners.There are a number of key issues which the Housing Executive and the housing sector face immediately and I believe we are well placed to deal with the majority of them.However, there are other wider, crucial issues for housing in Northern Ireland which need to be addressed as soon as possible. Decisions need to be made to ensure that we are equipped to provide decent housing and sustainable communities for future generations, and this long-term strategic objective is central to our work.We will continue to work alongside the Department for Communities to make progress with the implementation of the Social Housing Reform Programme. The most immediate requirement is to lever-in £7 billion of funds over the next 30 years to ensure that the Housing Executive’s homesremain fit to live in.The alternative would be that the Housing Executive would have to begin to disinvest in its homes and, therefore, some of our stock would become uninhabitable.It is our view that reform will help to unlock investment that will benefit our existing and future tenants. With power to build homes again, the Housing Executive can be even more ambitious than it is now in shaping and managing the places and communities that we serve.Aligned to this, is the need to make urgent decisions on the future of our tower blocks. The position of the Housing Executive Board is that many of the blocks should be decommissioned over a period of time and that a comprehensive programme to re-provision homes alongside a wider regeneration plan for each neighbourhood should be put in place.These plans should be prepared in a way that allows the local community to help to shape its future. We are now seeing the highest levels of homeless households and those in housing stress in Northern Ireland since the formation of the Housing Executive in 1971.Our specialist teams together with colleagues across the housing sector, local representatives and community groups, are dealing with an increasing number of people in poverty, who are not only struggling to pay housing costs. But also to provide other essentials. We are also dealing with increasing numbers of individuals with mental health problems and those with addictions who require long term housing and associated support.The need for a strong, strategic housing authority is as great as ever. We are reaching a point when many of the successes in housing, provided not only by the Housing Executive, but also our colleagues in housing associations and the wider housing community, could end or be lost.There is an urgent need to reform how housing is delivered in Northern Ireland. This will allow us to build on the success of the past five decades and to ensure that our communities are sustainable, now and in the future.The Housing Executive’s annual report can be found online here:www.nihe.gov.uk/About-Us/Our-Mission-Vision/Our-annual-reportslast_img read more

AHF Partners with Legend Debbie Allen to Present Keeping the Promise 1000000

first_imgIn commemoration of World AIDS Day, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest, non-profit HIV/AIDS service organization has partnered with the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA), to host “Keeping the Promise – 1,000,000 Lives in Care: Celebrating Icons of Dance,” a free, star-studded event taking place at the historic Apollo Theater on Friday, November 30th.“As AHF continues its global mission to provide cutting-edge medical care to those living with HIV and AIDS regardless of their ability to pay, the World AIDS Day event at the Apollo will recognize a momentous milestone for AHF: as of a few weeks ago, we now have over one million lives in care!,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AHF. “As part of the evening, we are also honored to recognize and celebrate the exemplary work of icon, Debbie Allen, who throughout her career has been a strong and steadfast voice in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Ms. Allen will be presented AHF’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, which the organization has only previously presented only once – to the legendary artist, humanitarian and activist, Harry Belafonte.”Once again utilizing the arts to commemorate World AIDS Day, AHF has partnered with the Los-Angeles-based Debbie Allen Dance Academy, to present a powerful evening of dance and pay tribute to the icons of dance. The evening will include presentations by an array of cultural icons, including Maurice Hines, George Faison, Phylicia Rashad and prima ballerina, Misty Copeland. The line-up of performances is a who’s-who in dance, including Philadanco, The Syncopated Ladies, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Ailey II, Jason Samuels Smith and The Dance Theatre of Harlem.Previously a music-focused event, prior ‘Keep the Promise’ World AIDS Day events have included an array of award-winning artists including Mariah Carey, Patti LaBelle, Common and Sheila E.The powerful evening celebrating the icons of dance will also include tributes to dance legends that have died due to AIDS related complications, including Ulysses Dove, Michael Peters, Gene Anthony Ray, Michael Bennett, Rudolph Nuryev and Alvin Ailey. A special tribute will also be given to legendary dancer/choreographer and co-founder of The Dance Theater of Harlem, Arthur Mitchell, for his leadership in civil rights, through the genre of dance.This annual World AIDS Day event, being presented in New York for the first time, will not only be an amazing evening of cultural experiences, but will also serve as an opportunity to recognize the advancements that have been achieved in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the work that is still to be done in continuing to eradicate this devastating epidemic. Free, rapid, 1-minute HIV testing will also be provided during the event. For more event information, please visit www.ahf.org/WAD.last_img read more

Laughter Helps Comedy Benefit Features Sarah Silverman To Support Children Affected By

first_imgComedian and Hollywood Star Sarah Silverman along with an all-star group of hilarious friends today announce they are teaming up for Good for a Laugh, a comedy fundraiser to help support two organizations helping children whose lives have been devastated by war: War Child USA and INARA.This exclusive, one-night only benefit will take place at the historic Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles on March 1. Sarah Silverman, a two-time Emmy Award winner and one of the most versatile talents in entertainment, will be joined by Emmy Award nominated comedian Tig Notaro, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Chelsea Peretti and Broad City writer Naomi Ekperigin. The evening will be hosted by Veep and Life in Pieces star Dan Bakkedahl.“I know I speak for all us knuckleheads when I say we are so grateful to get to be a part of this. If we can lure you in with a show and get you to learn about War Child and INARA on the way, everybody wins. These are massively needed programs led by wildly compassionate, effective experts in their fields,” said Silverman.This event has been made possible thanks to the support of event co-chairs, actors and humanitarians Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski.“War and conflict are almost always discussed in statistical and political terms in our culture, and people typically don’t take the time to think about the real cost on the most vulnerable: innocent children whose lives are devastated,” said Seyfried and Sadoski. “We are passionate about elevating their voices to the hearts of those who will listen. And we think the best way to get the hearts and minds of more people is to simply start by getting them to laugh.”Good for a Laugh’s Host Committee – featuring actors and producers among others – also includes:Patrick J Adams & Troian BellisarioBeth Behrs & Michael GladisBetsy BrandtAngelique CabralElan Gale & Molly QuinnErica GrayColin & Samantha HanksMary KitchenKeltie KnightChantal KreviazukCara Santa MariaNatalie MoralesOlivia MunnChristina OchoaAlison Pill & Joshua LeonardSarah RaffertyGood for a Laugh will benefit two organizations supporting children whose lives have been devastated by war. The first, War Child USA, protects children from the brutal impact of war by getting them back in school, lifting their families out of poverty and ensuring their rights are respected.“We are thrilled to be a part of this outstanding event with such compelling and hilarious talent,” said Dr. Samantha Nutt, War Child USA Founder. “Learn a little, laugh a lot is what we hope the audience will take away from the evening. Even if the work we do with children around the world is deeply serious, raising money to help doesn’t have to be.”The second organization, INARA, provides life-altering medical treatment for war-wounded refugee children from Syria to help them build happier and healthier futures.“INARA is a niche organization that helps war wounded refugee children when no one else will or can, and the work we do is completely unique,” said Arwa Damon, Founder and President of INARA and CNN International Foreign Correspondent. “This fundraiser – in combination from our base of incredible supporters – will help us raise awareness and vital funds so we can continue to do this important work.”Tickets can be purchased here.The event is sponsored by CNN, CBS and Lyft. Hitch a ride to the show with Lyft and use the event code Goodforalaugh to receive a special discounted fare.last_img read more

UN launches 129 million appeal to educate Iraqi children who have fled

27 July 2007Warning that a generation of Iraqis could grow up uneducated and alienated, the United Nations today launched a $129 million appeal to ensure that tens of thousands of uprooted children who have fled their homeland can resume their education. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) jointly presented the plan to support host governments such as Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon in providing schooling for an additional 155,000 young Iraqi refugees during the 2007-2008 school year. “These host countries have borne an enormous burden caring for millions of Iraqis,” UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations Judy Cheng-Hopkins told news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, noting that of the more than 2 million Iraqis have fled the continuing violence in their homeland, some 500,000 are of school age and most currently have limited or no access to education. “The sheer number of uprooted Iraqis has outstripped the capacity of their infrastructure to cope, particularly in the area of education. So we are now asking for international support specifically aimed at assisting these generous host governments in getting Iraqi children back into school.” The praise for the host countries was echoed by Deputy Director of UNICEF’s Office of Emergency Programmes Pierrette Vu. “UNICEF believes schooling is a primary concern in all emergency situations because it can help restore a sense of normalcy to the lives of children and can help them overcome psychological and other forms of distress,” she said. “The Jordanian and Syrian governments have done a tremendous job so far of welcoming Iraqis as guests. The children of Iraq have waited long enough. Action must be taken now so that children are ready to go to school when classes begin.” Activities envisaged in the appeal include providing pre-fabricated classrooms and buildings as soon as possible; identifying existing buildings that can be used as temporary schools; upgrading water and sanitation in schools; building new schools or additional classrooms; and rehabilitating existing schools. Double-shifting in existing schools will be an option.Buses will be rented or purchased to transport children to school. The appeal estimates more than 4,000 new teachers will be required for the 155,000 additional children. The programme will cover salaries, other entitlements and training costs for the additional teachers.Many children have already missed have already missed up to three years of schooling and remedial programmes and psycho-social support will be established for them and their families in hopes of reintegrating them in the school system. Training will be provided to school counsellors and teachers to deal with the special needs of Iraqi children, many of whom suffered traumatic experiences.The appeal notes that of an estimated 300,000 Iraqi school-age children in Syria, only about 33,000 are currently enrolled, although the Government has given them full access to schools. In Jordan, the Government estimates 19,000 Iraqi girls and boys are in school, while at least 50,000 do not attend. In a related development, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is convening a meeting of officials from the Health Ministries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria in Damascus, Syria, starting Sunday, to discuss how to ensure delivery of health care to the Iraqis who have fled their homeland to neighbouring countries. “We need to work with all partners to address the key health needs of Iraqis,” WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Hussein A. Gezairy said, noting that the host countries’ national health systems are being overwhelmed by the growing demand with thousands of people leaving Iraq every month. read more

Security Council extends UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon for another year

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body condemned “in the strongest terms” all terrorist attacks against the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and reiterated its calls for the rapid finalization of the investigation by the Government into three attacks on the mission carried out in 2011. Established in 1978, UNIFIL is tasked with ensuring that the area between the so-called Blue Line – separating Israel and Lebanon – and the Litani River is free of unauthorized weapons, personnel and assets. It also cooperates with the Lebanese Armed Forces so they can fulfil their security responsibilities. In today’s resolution, the Council also strongly called on all parties concerned to respect the cessation of hostilities, prevent any violation of the Blue Line and cooperate fully with UNIFIL, the Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to make tangible progress towards a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution, as envisioned in resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah. In addition, the Council urged Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from the northern part of the village of Ghajar without further delay, in coordination with UNIFIL. read more

Global Affairs launches International Policy Ideas Challenge

If you’re a graduate student or post-doctoral fellows concerned about how climate change, technological disruption, artificial intelligence, labour and other issues pose challenges in the areas of foreign policy, trade and international development, Global Affairs Canada wants to hear from you.Working on collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Global Affairs Canada is looking for proposals for its International Policy Ideas Challenge 2018.Ideas should be linked to the priority themes below. However, proposals related to other emerging issues and trends affecting Canada’s international policy will also be considered.Promoting democracy in the digital age: challenges and opportunities.Preserving and strengthening multilateral diplomacy, including the promotion of human rights, in a multipolar world order.Strengthening Canada’s role in promoting inclusive and accountable uses of artificial intelligence.Applying a feminist approach and Gender-Based Analysis Plus to Canadian foreign policy, trade, and/or international development, with a focus on the intersection of gender and other social factors.Implications of climate change for Canadian trade and investment, foreign policy, and/or international development.Technological disruption (e.g. mass deployment of AI, additive manufacturing, Internet of Things) will inevitably progress at a different pace in different countries. Largely biased in favour of skilled labour, it is likely to generate equally varied economic, social, and political impacts and responses. What are the cross-border implications (trade, migration, security) for Canada of the transformative technological change underway?Applicants are invited to submit brief proposals that are a maximum of 750 words. The authors of 10 winning proposals will be given several months to further develop their ideas into policy briefs, which will then be presented to Government of Canada officials in a day-long symposium hosted by Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa in the fall.If you are interested in submitting a proposal, contact orsadmin@brocku.ca  by Friday, April 20.The program is also open to researchers affiliated with a Canadian non-profit organization, such as a non-governmental organization or a think tank, who are within six years of graduation from a graduate program at Brock or another post-secondary institution.For more information, contact: Rachel Hirsch, Research Officer, rhirsch@brocku.ca or Cathy Majtenyi, Research Communications Officer, cmajtenyi@brocku.ca read more

Its Time For Drew Brees And The Saints To Break Up

201311-511-56-10 Broncos1984-90Elway (30)1.1 Vikings1968-78Tarkenton (38)9.0 Rams1999-04Bulger (27)10.8+ 201011-58-86-10 If there’s still a good NFL team lurking in Louisiana, it’s hiding. Since a gritty win in Philadelphia in the divisional playoffs on Jan. 4, 2014, the New Orleans Saints have gone 7-12, despite playing one of the NFL’s easiest schedules. According to our Elo ratings, they’ve suffered the sharpest decline of any NFL franchise since the start of the 2014 regular season. And after an 0-2 start this year, they have just a 15 percent chance of making the playoffs.Once upon a time, this would have been no big deal: The Saints have had a mostly miserable history, and they still rank 28th out of the 32 active NFL franchises in lifetime winning percentage. But we’d grown used to something different. Under quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints won a Super Bowl and were consistently in the championship conversation. Despite the occasional hiccup, they maintained a league average Elo rating (1500) or higher for more than six consecutive seasons, from Nov. 24, 2008, through Dec. 7, 2014.What happens when a franchise declines suddenly after such a sustained period of success? Can it sometimes be a false alarm? Can it replace a few parts and return to contention? Or is it doomed to years in the wilderness?The short answer: yes, yes and yes. It depends. It depends mostly on the quarterback situation and how the franchise manages it.I searched our all-time Elo ratings database for cases similar to the Saints’: teams that were very good for at least five consecutive seasons but then declined fairly quickly. (See the official criteria in the footnotes.1Specifically, I looked for cases since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 in which a team:Had a streak of five or more years in which its Elo rating was always league average (1500) or higher,Had an average Elo rating of 1600 or higher during the streak, andDeclined to an Elo rating of 1450 or lower within a year of the streak breaking. 20077-97-96-10 Dolphins1980-87Marino (26)3.0 Bears1984-89Harbaugh (26), Tomczak (27)0.9 Saints2008-14Brees (35)?? SAINTS’ RECORD WITH … Chiefs1965-74Dawson (39, injured)7.0 20088-88-87-9 Steelers2004-13Roethlisberger (31)1.3 Colts2002-11Manning (35, injured)3.1 YEARDREW BREESAVERAGE QB (PROJECTED)REPLACEMENT QB (PROJECTED) 20127-95-113-13 200913-311-510-6 ) There have been 14 of them since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, including some of the fabled dynasties of the modern NFL.In the table below, I’ve also named the team’s incumbent quarterback — or quarterbacks, in the event of a controversy — at the time the 1500-plus Elo streak was broken.2If the incumbent was knocked out because of an injury, I still list his name rather than his understudy’s. Finally, I’ve listed how long it took the team to recover to contender status, which I define as having an Elo of 1600 or higher. Total87-5975-7159-87 Cowboys1966-86White (34, injured)5.0 Raiders1982-87Wilson (30), Hilger (25)3.2 200610-610-68-8 TEAMHIGH-ELO STREAKQB AT END OF STREAK (AGE)YEARS TO RECOVER TO CONTENDER STATUS Colts1963-72Domres (25), Unitas (39)3.1 20150-20-20-2 201113-310-69-7 At first glance, this list doesn’t look all that bad for the Saints. The median team took 3.1 years to recover to contender status; the average team3The St. Louis Rams have yet to achieve a 1600-plus Elo rating since the Kurt Warner years ended. For purposes of calculating this average, I’m using their current time of 10.8 years since their high-Elo streak was broken — but the Rams could take longer still to recover. took 4.1 years.But the average looks better than it otherwise would be because of a series of teams that had a stud quarterback in the prime of his career. Dan Marino’s Dolphins, John Elway’s Broncos, Donovan McNabb’s Eagles and Ben Roethlisberger’s Steelers each endured a rough patch. But those QBs were between 26 and 31 when the slump began, leaving their teams with plenty of time to adjust around them.Brees, by contrast, was 35 when the Saints’ Elo streak was broken last season. Past teams like the 1974 Chiefs, 1978 Vikings and 1986 Cowboys that held on to their aging QBs a year or so too long (sometimes through intermittent injuries) took longer to recover — and it was only once a new quarterback replaced the veteran that they did.The 2011 Colts, with Peyton Manning, and the 1999 49ers, with Steve Young, appear to be exceptions — both franchises rebounded pretty quickly after miserable seasons. But Young and Manning were injured so severely that their teams were forced to contemplate life without them — or at least had a convenient excuse to move on. Both had already played their last games for their clubs4And Young, forced into retirement, had played his last in the NFL. at the time their Elo streaks ended, it turned out.Brees is in the all-time inner circle of franchise quarterbacks: Only five others (Manning, Brett Favre, Marino, Elway and Tom Brady) have accumulated more passing yards with a single club. The problem is that a quarterback who’s been good for as long as Brees can obscure deterioration in the team around him. ESPN’s QBR includes a calculation of how much a quarterback is worth to his team in each game, relative to an average or replacement-level QB. This allows us to estimate how often a replacement QB would swing a game from a win to a loss, or vice versa. For instance, if the Saints win by 7 points and QBR estimates that Brees was worth 8.2 points, that’s a game where the quarterback made the difference. 20147-95-114-12 Eagles2000-05McNabb (29)3.0 49ers1981-99Young (38, injured)2.1 Basically, we’re looking for cases in which a quarterback plays really well in a close win.5Or plays poorly in a close loss. Brees has had a lot of those clutch wins.6The Saints don’t have an especially good record in close games under Brees, but he’s played extremely well in close games, win or lose, according to QBR. He’s salvaged a lot of wins from the jaws of defeat and kept the Saints competitive in games in which they’d otherwise have been blown out. Since 2006, his first year with the Saints, the team is 87-59 in the regular season.But with a replacement-level QB, they’d be 59-87 instead, according to this method. And the last few years would have been especially awful: The Saints would have gone 3-13 in 2012, 6-10 in 2013 and 4-12 in 2014 with Mark Sanchez or Brandon Weeden or some other replacement-level QB at the helm.Or … maybe not, since the Saints would have had a lot more money to invest elsewhere in the roster. Brees’s contract counts for $26.4 million against the salary cap this year, making it the biggest cap hit in the league. Because the top NFL quarterbacks are probably underpaid relative to the disproportionate value they can provide to their clubs, that’s not even all that terrible a contract so long as Brees is among the top half-dozen quarterbacks in the league — as he was until this season. But the minute Brees gets hurt, or reverts to league average (or worse) because of age, the Saints are left with a rotting carcass of a roster and a salary cap crisis.In fact, for all their irrationality in other areas, NFL teams have usually been able to anticipate these problems and have been remarkably unsentimental in parting ways with aging franchise quarterbacks in the salary-cap era. The first signs were in 1993, when Joe Montana was traded.7The salary cap would not officially be implemented until 1994, but NFL teams were aware of its impending impact at the time of Montana’s trade in April 1993. Then came Phil Simms — who, after a somewhat miraculous comeback season in 1993, was unceremoniously released the next spring. Troy Aikman might have retired anyway because of injuries, but he was ushered out the door. The same goes for Young, who was not welcome back in San Francisco. Warren Moon was passed around like a joint at a Phish concert toward the end of his career. Kurt Warner was benched. McNabb endured a fate worse than being benched: He was dealt to Washington. Favre had a reality-TV-style mess of a divorce from the Packers. Manning was let go once the Colts knew they had an opportunity to draft Andrew Luck.These NFL teams have generally recognized that it’s better to break up with an aging quarterback a year too early than a year too late. And almost none of those decisions look bad in retrospect.8The Colts releasing Manning without much of a fight might be the closest call, given Manning’s record-setting years in Denver, but they can’t exactly be unhappy with Luck. Brees may still have something left — quite possibly enough to lead another franchise somewhere to a deep playoff run — but it’s probably time for he and the Saints to move on from each other.Check out our NFL predictions for odds on every Week 3 game. read more

Greek community pays tribute to Hazel Hawke

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Greek Australian community have paid homage to Australia’s former first lady Hazel Hawke, who lost her battle with dementia. Hazel Hawke died peacefully after succumbing to complications of dementia, her family announced.Greek Australian politician Jenny Mikakos tweeted “Our thoughts are with Hazel Hawke’s children and respective families”.Mrs Hawke died surrounded by family, who had been with her in her last days.One of her closest friends, Wendy McCarthy, said Mrs Hawke’s health had been deteriorating for about a week.She said Mrs Hawke had the ability to bring out the good in people, and could talk with anybody and make them feel comfortable.“I know she’s loved, and since the news tonight my phone’s practically worn out with people sending me messages and emails,” Ms McCarthy told ABC TV on Thursday.“I think it’s that sense that Hazel was always there for all of us.”The family said in a statement that they appreciated the great affection many had for Hazel, 83, but asked for privacy at this stage.They said there would be a private funeral for family and close friends.A memorial celebration of her life will be held later at a time and place to be advised. Australian Prime Minsiter Julia Gillard said she was “sad to learn this evening that Hazel Hawke has died”. “Ordinary Australians saw the best of themselves in Hazel – many women of her generation will feel they have lost a friend. Hazel was one of those rare people who are liked and respected in equal measure.“Her warmth and generosity of spirit in success were only matched by her courage and dignity in adversity. Bob Hawke’s public achievements in the union movement and in Government are unthinkable without Hazel’s steadfast support. We have lost a wonderful Australian”. Source: Brisbane Timeslast_img read more

Javi Martinez Great things will happen at Bayern Munich with Niko

first_imgBayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez feels that new coach Niko Kovac has made a good start to life at the club and he is convinced that they going to achieve “good things” under him this seasonThe Bavarians enter the new season looking to continue with their dominance of German football by winning the Bundesliga title for a seventh successive campaign.But they will have to do so with their manager Jupp Heynckes, who has retired for the second time, and has been replaced by Kovac, who led Eintracht Frankfurt to the DFB cup last season and in the process thrashed Bayern 4-1 in the final.It will be the first time the 46-year-old has managed a major European club in his coaching career, but Martinez is already seeing similarities between Kovac and his predecessors Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti.“All the trainers have their own look on different tactics, different concepts. So, yeah, with Niko I think we are going to continue on the same line with Jupp or with Carlo [Ancelotti],” the Spaniard told ESPN.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“We’re going to try to keep the ball, to not concede opportunities to the opposing team. Yeah, I think we are going to play very well with this coach because we are training very well, we are good things. I can’t wait to start the competition.”Martinez is hoping to recover from his injury in time to face his former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola on Saturday with the Bundesliga giants set to take on Manchester City in the International Champions Cup.“I got hit in the back. It hurts a little bit, but I think the progress is going good,” he said.“I hope on Saturday I can play — these kinds of games are perfect for us. All the best teams in Europe, their prestige, to play against them is good. We feel at home here.”last_img read more

Alan Brazil United should sell arrogant Pogba

first_imgAlan Brazil has told Manchester United to sell ‘arrogant’ Paul Pogba to Barcelona in the summer transfer window.Paul Pogba has been linked with a move to Barcelona over the past few weeks. The Frenchman impressed at the World Cup to help his country win the coveted trophy.Reportedly, the midfielder had a strained relationship with Jose Mourinho last season due to his inconsistent performances.Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola offered the 25-year-old midfielder to a number of Europe’s top clubs.Former Man United player Alan Brazil seems fed up with the situation and has urged his former club to cut their losses and sell Pogba to La Liga Champions before the end of this month.“I’m not happy with Pogba, I think he’s arrogant, he’s aloof,” Brazil told talkSPORT.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“The way he struts about, if he was playing eight-out-of-ten every week then I’d say, ‘well he’s got a point’, but he doesn’t!”“You look at Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva – week-in, week-out they are brilliant for City – but this guy comes along, and there’s no doubting his ability, but something is just not right.”“I think Jose is right to say, ‘look, you’re annoying the dressing room, you’re annoying me, if you don’t like it, see you later”“It’s best to get rid and I think that may strengthen Man United.“Every day I’m reading it in the papers, Pogba this, Pogba that – I’m sick of it to be honest.”last_img read more

NASSCO launched largest containership ever built in San Diego

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – General Dynamics NASSCO held an event today to christen and launch the containership Lurline, the largest of its kind ever built in San Diego.The vessel, which is designed to transport containers, automobiles and rolling stock, is 870 feet long and can hold 3,500 cargo containers. It was constructed for Matson, inc., a Honolulu-based shipping company.Lurline is designed for energy efficiency and is the lead ship of a two-vessel contract being built for Matson. NASSCO launched largest containership ever built in San Diego June 15, 2019 Posted: June 15, 2019 KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more