Hiking reservations pitched for parks in danger of being loved to death

first_imgVANCOUVER – With its turquoise glacial lakes and proximity to Metro Vancouver, it was only a matter of time before Joffre Lakes provincial park became a social media darling.But once the secret was out, it was out in a big way.The main trail of the once tranquil natural paradise now hosts a procession line of hikers, whose cars overflow from the designated parking lot and line dozens of metres of highway.Local politicians and conservationists say the park, like many ecological destinations before it, could be in danger of being “loved to death.”It’s prompting them to push for new ways — including a proposed hiking reservation system — to balance ecological protection with the benefits of tourism and encouraging people to get outside.“The word is out that this is the best place in the world,” said Jack Crompton, chairman of the Squamish-Lillouet Regional District.Crompton grew up in the area and has witnessed its quick transformation first hand. The first time he hiked up to Joffre Lakes, he camped there for four days and saw no one.Last year, the park attracted 120,000 visitors, he said, adding information travels fast.“Five to seven years ago, very few people knew about Joffre Lakes. A couple of cover photos and some social media has meant that it has become a major destination for tourists.”Both the regional district and village of Pemberton are calling for increased management of the region’s backcountry destinations through resolutions at the Union of B.C. Municipalities, an annual gathering of municipal politicians from across the province.In addition to Joffre Lakes, the regional district also named Strawberry Point recreation area along Lillouet Lake and Porteau Cove between Vancouver and Squamish as areas of concern.While both the local governments are calling for provincial park management funding to match the money that goes into marketing, the regional district is also asking the province to create more recreation destinations so that visitors can be spread over a larger area. Pemberton is asking the province to investigate a trail booking and reservation system fee structure.Pemberton Mayor Mike Richman said one of the big concerns is that people aren’t educated about safety, including obeying fire bans and keeping campsites clean.He pointed to Keyhole Falls as a casualty, which had to be shut down last year for the season because food and garbage attracted too many bears.Richman said the municipality doesn’t want to discourage adventure or backcountry tourism.“We welcome it, we thrive on it, it’s a big part of our local economy,” he said.Instead, it wants to see the province invest more in managing the parks, now that marketing has proven successful.Provincial data shows day use of its parks has increased to 21.5 million in 2017 from 17.5 million in 2009. It’s more acute in the south coast region, which includes Metro Vancouver. In 2017, there were 8.3 million day-visits to parks on the south coast, compared with 6.6 million in 2009.“Balancing increased visitation with our conservation mandate is a delicate balance,” BC Parks said in a statement.The province committed to create 1,900 more campsites in the 2018-19 budget. So far, 431 new campsites are open to the public this year.More visitors than ever are coming to parks during the period between the high and low times of the tourism seasons, when parks are on reduced service levels or even closed, it said.BC Parks has taken measures to address the over-capacity issues in the Sea-to-Sky corridor north of Vancouver, including developing and redesigning parking lots, campgrounds and trails and employing the reservation system for popular campgrounds, it said.It introduced a year-round reservation system at Garibaldi provincial park and has hired new full-time senior park rangers to carry out backcountry patrols. It also added an auxiliary ranger at Joffre for summer patrols.BC Parks will be developing a long-term strategic plan to manage public use of parks in the corridor, it said.The problem isn’t specific to British Columbia.An international study published in the journal Science in May looked at 50,000 protected areas worldwide. It found one-third of the area is under intense pressure from activities like road building, logging and urbanization.While most of the degradation was in Asia, Europe and Africa, it’s also occurring in Canada.One of the study’s authors, Oscar Venter, associate professor of forestry at the University of Northern British Columbia, said at the time that Banff and Jasper are examples of iconic parks in Canada where a high number of visitors pose a challenge to maintaining healthy populations of some endangered species.Tori Ball, terrestrial campaigner for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, said places like Joffre Lakes show that parks systems in Canada are underfunded. The organization is advocating for the creation of new recreation areas and trail upgrades so that traffic can be spread out.“The overcrowding of that park, part of it has to do with there not being similar examples (nearby),” she said.But staffing also needs to increase, so that parks can be monitored and people can be educated not to leave garbage or food out, to pick up after their dogs and to be prepared for interactions with wildlife, she said.“It’s definitely not unique to B.C. I think it’s something other park systems are struggling with. That’s why it’s an opportunity for B.C. to be a leader.”last_img read more

Police investigators actions under the spotlight at Dennis Oland murder trial

first_imgSAINT JOHN, N.B. — The activities of police officers at the Richard Oland murder scene will be under close scrutiny as his son’s retrial moves into its second week, resuming Tuesday.Dennis Oland’s defence lawyers describe the conduct of the murder investigation by the Saint John Police Force as “inadequate” and they have made it clear police activities will be a focal point of the defence strategy.Failure to properly preserve the crime scene and a rush to judgement in deciding Dennis Oland, a financial planner, was the one and only suspect in the killing are among the chief issues.“In this case, an issue will be the manner in which the Saint John police force handled the investigation of the homicide and their conduct in performing that crucial police function,” defence lawyer Alan Gold told the court last week.“Dennis was the last known person to see Richard Oland alive but to the police, that word ‘known’ evaporated very quickly.”Within hours of Richard Oland’s body being discovered on July 7, 2011, Dennis was identified by police as their prime suspect.Already two police officers have told the court about the numerous officers who visited the murder scene. About 20 police officers made their way to Oland’s uptown Saint John office on the day his beaten body was discovered on the floor by his desk.Gold suggested during cross examination of Const. Duane Squires it was like a sightseeing tour. In addition to the steady stream of police officers, there were also paramedics, the coroner and funeral home workers who assisted with removal of the body.The defence is raising questions about objects that may have been moved at the crime scene, the lack of attention paid to a possible back door escape route and the failure to protect the scene from contamination.Gold named a number of the officers who visited the bloody scene that day, noting their various ranks. They included Deputy Chief Glen McCloskey, whose attendance at the crime scene raised questions during Oland’s first trial.Another officer said McCloskey suggested he not tell the court about McCloskey’s visits to the murder scene.This was supposed to be the subject of a hearing before the New Brunswick Police Commission, but McCloskey retired before it could be held. The commission only investigates officers on active duty.In the coming days, there will be questions about police use of a bathroom at the crime scene before it was forensically tested.Squires said he was relatively new to police work and homicide investigations in 2011. He said he would do things differently today in terms of protecting such a scene.Oland, 50, was charged in 2013 with the second-degree murder of his father, a multi-millionaire businessman and member of the prominent Maritime beer-brewing family. Oland was found guilty after a 2015 jury trial, but the conviction was set aside on appeal and a new trial ordered.Even before testimony began at the retrial, the conduct of the Saint John police was called into question after it was learned an officer accessed an internal police database to search the background of prospective jurors. This was in violation of a 2012 directive from the Supreme Court of Canada and resulted in a mistrial and dismissal of the jury.The Oland trial now is being heard before judge alone.The New Brunswick Police Commission says it will investigate police involvement in the mistrial, but not until the current trial is over.Chris Morris, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

SOCAN Confirms Recordsetting Royalty Collections and Distributions to Music Creators and Publishers

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement 2 SOCAN is one of very few music rights organizations worldwide that returns 100% of royalties collected from international sources to its members, with no administration percentage applied. “We are delighted to deliver to our members a record overall amount of royalties in 2017, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that Canada’s music creators and publishers receive what they rightfully have earned and deserve a larger piece of the pie for their extraordinary work,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “Today, SOCAN is accessing, creating and harnessing technology so that we can even more fully and completely identify, license, track, match and distribute more for our members. SOCAN continues to fight for the rights of our members to receive a fair portion from businesses that use music to help their bottom line.”An example of SOCAN’s increasing use of technology is the company’s work with the University of Toronto’s Department of Computer Science & Innovation Lab. At the annual general meeting, SOCAN Vice President of Information Technology Janice Scott led a special session with Adjunct Professor of Music Technology & Digital Media Catherine Moore. The technology leaders discussed the two organizations’ exclusive work together, including in artificial intelligence and machine learning, providing a snapshot of technology-driven projects designed to find and match more music performances with even better volume and accuracy.At the meeting, SOCAN also announced that it surpassed the 150,000-members milestone when songwriter Ariel Goldof Toronto joined Canada’s largest organization in the Canadian music ecosystem. This summer, Ariel is planning to release her next single, “Weather,” from her upcoming album of the same name.The company also introduced its board of directors for the 2018-’21 term. The new 18-member SOCAN board now counts eight women, improving gender balance, reflecting the balance and diversity long enjoyed in the organization’s management team and overall staff.For full financial statements and an overview of 2017, please visit www.socanannualreport.ca.About SOCANSOCAN connects more than four-million music creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. More than 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers are its direct members, and more than 100,000 organizations are Licensed To Play music across Canada. With a concerted use of progressive technology and unique data as well as a commitment to lead the global transformation of music rights, with wholly-owned companies Audiam and MediaNet, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music has value and music creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information: www.socan.com ______________________ 1 As always, SOCAN’s revenue information is subject to pending decisions of the Copyright Board and the courts and such potential changes are discussed in SOCAN’s audited financial statements in accordance with applicable accounting standards.  Advertisement Twitter Highlighted by a 44 percent increase in revenue from Internet sources to just less than $49-million, and a 13 percent surge of $76-million in royalties from countries outside of Canada, a record $295-million was distributed to music creators and publishers.SOCAN 2017 Financial Highlights:Record total revenue – approximately $352-million in overall revenue in 2017, an 8% year-over-year increase.$49-million from Internet collections – while growing with the popularity of music from digital sources, the reality is that because of the dynamics of digital services and the relatively poor discoverability of Canadian content, the average SOCAN creator-member who earned royalties from digital sources collected only a few pennies more than $37 in 2017.Nearly $300-million sent to members – SOCAN’s administration rate is one of the smallest of the world’s top-10 performing rights organizations.A 48% increase in foreign royalties2 since 2013 – royalties identified, collected and distributed to SOCAN members from international radio, television, online, on-stage and other public performance uses came to $76-million, an all-time high and SOCAN members’ #1 royalty source. TORONTO, June 19, 2018 – SOCAN confirmed today at its annual general meeting in Toronto that a record $352-million1 in total royalties from the use of music by its songwriter, composer, and music publisher members were collected in fiscal year 2017, continuing a seven-year trend, surpassing the previous record set in 2016 by eight percent. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Floyd Mayweather Goes to Prison Today a Sign of

The face of boxing steps into prison today, an 87-day stint that defines the sport as much as it defines the times and the man.That is not a compliment.It, in fact, is an indictment—on boxing, the world we live in and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.With an opportunity to represent himself and his sport in an upstanding fashion, Mayweather, instead, has failed boxing and himself. And there does not seem to be any outrage about it.The best boxer in the world gets locked up on a domestic violence charge stemming from a September 2010 incident during which he pled guilty to pulling the hair and twisting the arm of the mother of three of his children. His sons, 10 and 8 at the time, were there when he also threatened and hit ex-girlfriend Josie Harris. The older boy ran out a back door to fetch a security guard in the gated community.Sadly, boxing did nothing. No admonishment. No suspension. Nothing. So it’s no wonder that after all that, when he leaves the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas near the end of summer, he will have actually augmented his stature, his “street cred,” among many who deem it some warped mark of proud distinction to have been locked up.In one of his many and sometimes mindless rants about one thing or another during his remarkable boxing career, Mayweather, 35, has more than once invoked the name Muhammad Ali in relation to himself, a juxtaposition that is ludicrous, but interesting on this day in one way.Ali once went to jail, too. And that’s where the comparisons should end, for Ali stood for something, whether you agreed with his position or not.With the travesty of the Vietnam War getting even worse in 1967, Ali was called up for induction into the armed forces. Back then, men were drafted and had to serve or face jail time. Ali still refused because of religious beliefs. He also said: “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong. Ain’t no Vietcong ever called me (the N word).”Ali’s refusal got him some jail time. Bigger was the national uproar it caused. His boxing license was cancelled by most states. He was stripped of his title, had his passport confiscated and did not fight for 2 ½ years. Instead of pouting, Ali lectured at colleges and Muslim gatherings around the nation, gaining support as antiwar sentiment increased. In June 1971, the Supreme Court reversed his conviction, ruling that he was entitled to an exemption as a conscientious objector.That little history lesson should show how Ali and Mayweather are comparable only that they starred in the same sport. That’s it.Here’s what Mayweather said on HBO: “I’m in the same shoes as Ali. They hate me when I’m at the top, but once my career is over, they’re going to miss me.”On his domestic violence case, he said: “I took the plea. Sometimes they put us in a no-win situation. I had no choice, but I don’t worry about going to jail. Better men than me have been there. I’m pretty sure Martin Luther King’s been there, and Malcolm X. I have taken the good with the good so I’ll accept the bad with the bad.”Sign of the times: Mayweather was sentenced on December 22, 2011, but judge Melissa Saragosa agreed at the last minute to let him remain free long enough to fight Miguel Cotto on May 5 in Las Vegas, which he did last month and earned more than $32 million—and injected millions more into Sargosa’s city’s economy.Well, the money cannot help Mayweather now. He likely will not be able to train while in prison. For the first week or so, Mayweather will be segregated for his protection from the other 3,200 inmates. He’ll get one hour of exercise time a day outside his cell.It could be worse for Mayweather. He could be a convicted rapist like Mike Tyson. Or maybe a miracle could happen: He could exit a new man of character and community ambition.Don’t bet on it, though.Curtis Bunn is a best-selling novelist and national award-winning sports journalist who has worked at The Washington Times, NY Newsday, The New York Daily News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. read more

What Happens If Alabama Loses What If Every Favorite Wins We Have

At the core of the College Football Playoff is the assumption that four reasonably well-differentiated teams will be left standing at the end of the regular season and conference championship games, ready to be neatly penciled into a bracket.Unfortunately, such a tidy setup seldom actually happens in real life.This season is a good example. If you break things down into tiers of teams, at the top are three Tier 1 teams — undefeated major-conference squads plus independent Notre Dame1Because they are Notre Dame. — in Alabama, Clemson and the aforementioned Irish (two of which could potentially be conference champions as well). But there are also four Tier 2 teams — one-loss major-conference teams and undefeated minor-conference ones — in Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia and Central Florida. Even if you grant that poor UCF is likely to get little consideration (particularly with starting QB McKenzie Milton out with a leg injury), and that UGA would drop below Tier 2 with an SEC title-game loss to Bama, the math doesn’t quite work out to shield the selection committee from criticism. It still leaves too many deserving teams for too few slots.So with the help of our playoff odds algorithm, let’s run down the various permutations of what could happen on Championship Saturday to see who the model thinks would make the playoff in each.2Including every set of results that has at least a 2 percent probability of actually happening — with one special exception. Based on how the selection committee (and, before that, the BCS) has behaved in the past, we’ll break down how our system expects it to react this year. And we’ll go in order, from the least controversial to the most…(Note: These chances reflect the results from Week 13 but not the latest playoff committee rankings, which are released Tuesday night. Instead, they use our model’s expectation of how those rankings will change.)Alabama and Clemson win; Oklahoma OR Ohio State loses.Chances of happening: 23 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (greater than 99 percent), Clemson (>99), OU or OSU winner (98), Notre Dame (94)Others: UCF (3 percent), Texas (2)This is one of the dream scenarios for the committee, as it would give them three top-tier teams and only two Tier 2 teams to choose from, one of which is non-Power 5 UCF with an injured QB. From there, picking the four playoff teams would be relatively straightforward.Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma win; Clemson loses.Chances of happening: 2 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (>99 percent), Ohio State (94), Notre Dame (93), Oklahoma (92)Others: Clemson (11 percent)According to our model, this result would also benefit the selection committee. If Clemson were to lose the ACC title game to Pitt when favored by more than three touchdowns, the Tigers would suddenly be a Tier 2 team battling with a couple of fellow candidates (the Buckeyes and Sooners) who would each boast conference championships in this scenario.Clemson wins; Alabama and either Oklahoma OR Ohio State loses.Chances of happening: 14 percentLikely playoff field: Clemson (>99 percent), Georgia (99), Notre Dame (88), OU or OSU winner (83)Others: Alabama (24 percent)This is a variation of the first scenario listed above, where everything goes more or less to form except Georgia beats Alabama for the SEC title. I suspect our algorithm might be undercounting the chances that the committee stamps a playoff ticket for the Crimson Tide — who’ve had one of the most dominant seasons in college history — even with the loss. But taken on face value, a pair of conference champs (Oklahoma/Ohio State and UGA) might have a better case than a one-loss non-champ (Bama) within Tier 2.Clemson wins; Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State lose.Chances of happening: 3 percentLikely playoff field: Clemson (>99 percent), Georgia (>99), Notre Dame (98), Alabama (65)Others: Texas (16 percent), UCF (12), Washington (7)Despite the scary-sounding prospect of dealing with a one-loss, non-conference-champ Crimson Tide team, this sequence of events gets the committee off the hook to some extent. Clemson, Notre Dame and UGA would be easy calls, and it’s not hard to see Alabama rising over any of the other candidates for the No. 4 slot in the playoff field.Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma AND Ohio State win.Chances of happening: 31 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (>99 percent), Clemson (>99), Ohio State (69), Oklahoma (69)Others: Notre Dame (62 percent)Under this very plausible situation — the most likely on this list, in fact — the committee would have to make a tough choice among Ohio State, Oklahoma and Notre Dame for the third and fourth playoff seeds. Lacking any kind of special Notre Dame adjustment, the model thinks OSU and OU would come out ahead. Realistically speaking, however, it’s difficult to imagine that the committee would exclude an undefeated Irish squad, right or wrong. So that means it would come down to splitting hairs between the Buckeyes and Sooners. Good luck with that.Alabama and Clemson win; Oklahoma and Ohio State lose.Chances of happening: 4 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (>99 percent), Clemson (>99), Notre Dame (98) and … ???Others: Texas (31 percent), Georgia (29), UCF (23), Washington (12), Ohio State (5)Most of the scenarios on this list involve too many good teams for too few slots. But in this particular case, there wouldn’t be enough. The committee would be staring at three clear-cut deserving squads, plus a whole bunch of flawed lower-tier teams in the mix for the fourth and final bid. Our model actually thinks three-loss (!) Texas would be the most likely candidate, though this is also one of UCF’s best, most viable paths to that elusive playoff berth.Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State win; Alabama loses.Chances of happening: 19 percentLikely playoff field: Clemson (>99 percent), Georgia (98), Ohio State (66), Oklahoma (62)Others: Notre Dame (60 percent), Alabama (13)This is the combination the selection committee has to be fearing the most, in part because it could happen so easily. It would simply require the Tigers, Sooners and Buckeyes winning a trio of games as favorites, and Georgia pulling off a not-unthinkable upset against the Tide for the SEC crown. Remember, the Bulldogs were in great shape for about a half in last year’s national championship game — before Bama stormed back to force overtime and eventually win. If UGA avenges that loss on Saturday, the committee would have a very tricky choice on its hands.Alabama wins; Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State lose.Chances of happening: 0.2 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (>99 percent), Notre Dame (>99), Clemson (64) and … ???Others: Texas (44 percent), Georgia (36), UCF (31), Washington (16), Ohio State (4), Oklahoma (4)This chaotic option isn’t as immediately apparent as the obvious “Georgia beats Bama” doomsday scenario above, but it might end up wreaking just as much havoc. Our model thinks Clemson would still have a reasonable 2-in-3 chance of making the playoff even after losing to Pitt, provided the Sooners and Buckeyes also lose. But the model is doing an algorithmic shruggie at the idea of having to pick the fourth team, which could be any of six schools with at least a 4 percent chance according to the model. The odds of this happening are very low (about 1 in 444), but if it does, it could be the most challenging decision the committee has faced in its five seasons of existence.Check out our latest college football predictions. read more

China Is Splurging On BigName Soccer Talent

In the past few weeks, the Chinese Football Association Super League — the country’s premier professional soccer league — has been on a shopping spree. By the close of the January transfer window, the Chinese Super League had outspent England’s Premier League in the transfer market; the CSL made five of the six largest transfer signings in the 2015-16 window.The biggest splash came when the Jiangsu Suning shelled out $55 million to acquire Alex Teixeira, a star Brazilian midfielder playing in Ukraine, who was hotly pursued by Liverpool. Teixeira’s signing gives the CSL the 70th most valuable player in the world.By attracting big-name talent, CSL clubs are signaling the rise of Chinese soccer power — at least financially. (The value of the signings to club owners likely has as much to do with marketability of the players for product endorsement purposes as it does with improving the team.) This power has grown in lockstep with the league’s attendance and revenue. Since the league was founded in 2004, total CSL attendance has surged from 1.4 million to more than 5 million in 2015; per-game attendance has more than doubled as the league has grown from 12 to 16 teams.As Chinese soccer has grown domestically, the league has begun to throw around its financial weight in the international transfer market, thus boosting the total market value of CSL players. The league’s total value, according to Transfermarkt estimates of its players’ transfer market values (as opposed to aggregate transfer buys) has risen to about $380 million. Teixeira’s transfer fee alone accounts for 15 percent of that. That’s humongous. Gareth Bale’s record-breaking (unless you ask Ronaldo) transfer fee to Real Madrid in 2013 came in north of $100 million, yet represented a mere 3 percent of the more than $3.4 billion estimated market value of La Liga’s players in 2013.Although the CSL is making international news with a few big-ticket signings, as a whole, the league is still small. The league’s total estimated market value is still half as big as even Portugal’s national league, and it pales in comparison to England’s Premier League, which is valued at $4.7 billion. In fact, the total market value of all 16 CSL teams is still less than that of just Liverpool. Thus, a transfer fee comparable to the one between the CSL and Teixeira would be about $700 million (!).(As CSL teams make it rain, it’s worth noting that this cash isn’t being evenly distributed. Foreign players make far more than Chinese players. CSL teams must abide by a strict cap of no more than four overseas players, plus one from another country in the Asian Football Confederation. And according to 2012 data, these foreign players pulled in earnings more than five times larger than those of their Chinese teammates. The disparity has probably only grown as the CSL hunts for pricier international stars.)In some ways, the CSL has taken Major League Soccer’s model and supercharged it. MLS has tried — with debatable success — to gin up fan interest by splurging on a few big-name, often well-aged, international players. David Beckham joining the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007 on a (comically inaccurate) “$250 million” deal comes to mind. By the 2008 season, the entire MLS had an estimated market value of about $157 million; with more than $10 million of that being Beckham. Today, that number has crept up to $314 million — exponential growth, but well behind the pace being set in China. So the CSL is following the MLS script, to a degree, only with players in their primes instead of broken-down warhorses like Frank Lampard.Some macroeconomic context helps, too. Although there are signs that China’s economy is slowing, and its stock market has been a disaster over the past year, the appetite of Chinese sports fans doesn’t seem to be lagging. The slowdown within the Chinese economy seems to be focused on real estate, state-owned enterprises and the stock market. Although growing indebtedness is an issue, Chinese consumers are better positioned than other parts of the Chinese economy. So expect demand for — and spending from — Chinese Super League teams to keep growing. China has a very long way to go before it’s a top player in international club soccer, but if consumer interest grows at the pace it’s set, the CSL might just continue to draw stars anyway.CORRECTION (Feb. 19, 2 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the basis for determining the monetary valuation of players in soccer teams and leagues. That valuation is measured by a Transfermarkt calculation of overall player market values, not just salaries. Transfermarkt makes the calculation based on the estimated value of the player in the transfer market. References in the article to how much teams and leagues have spent on salaries have been changed to the market values of their players. read more

Study to Evaluate Economic Impact of Troop Cuts at Ft Riley

first_imgMatrix Design Group held a kickoff meeting last week to launch a study of the economic impact of cutbacks in personnel at Fort Riley on the Flint Hills region in northeastern Kansas.The study, funded through a grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment, will assess the impact of:a recent reduction of 2,093 personnel; anda potential reduction of 1,000, 2,000 or 3,000 personnel in the future.The study will focus on the impact of potential reductions on the workforce, housing, schools and retail services.The cutbacks at Fort Riley have come as the Army sheds 120,000 soldiers from its active-duty end strength, an effort which began in fiscal 2013. It now is on course to reach a force of 450,000 by the end of FY 2018.The military population at Fort Riley peaked at almost 18,000 but now is in the process of coming down. The most recent round of Army restructuring eliminated 615 personnel at the post, bringing its current population to about 16,000, reported KSAL. Its population stood at about 9,000 in FY 2001.Matrix is scheduled to deliver a report of its findings by November. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Baltimore Area Church News

first_imgNew Bethlehem Baptist Church6665 Security BoulevardBaltimore, Maryland 21207Empowerment Encounter Conference 2018April 3-April 4, 7 p.m.Dr. Lisa Weah, Pastor Manifest Wonders Christian Center3600 Edmonson Ave.Baltimore, Maryland 21229Seven Cries from CalvaryMarch 30, 7 p.m.Elder Lee Michaels, Pastor Greater Harvest Baptist Church1617 Saratoga StreetBaltimore, Maryland 21223Seven Last Sayings ServiceMarch 30, 8:30 a.m.Rev. Brent Brown, Pastor Southern Baptist Church1701 N. Chester StreetBaltimore, Maryland 21213The Seven Last Words of ChristMarch 30, 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.Bishop-Designate Donte Hickman, Pastor New Shiloh Baptist Church2100 N. Monroe StreetBaltimore, Maryland 21217Seven Last Words of Jesus ChristMarch 30, 11:45 a.m.Dr. Harold Carter, Jr., Pastor Ark Church1263 E. North AveBaltimore, Maryland 21202Good Friday ServiceMarch 30, 7 p.m.Bishop J. L. Carter, Pastor Empowerment Temple AME Church4217 Primrose AveBaltimore, Maryland 21215Seven Last WordsMarch 30, 7:30 p.m.Dr. Jamal Bryant, Pastor Rising Zion Baptist Church2300 Llewelyn AveBaltimore, Maryland 2121340th Pastoral and Church AnniversaryApril 4-April 6, 7 p.m.April 8, 11 a.m.Rev. Theodore D. Addison, Sr., Pastorcenter_img Set the Captives Free Outreach Center7111 Windsor BlvdBaltimore, Maryland, 21244Seven Words of Encouragement ServiceMarch 30, noon- 2 p.m.Dr. Karen Bethea, Pastor Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries600 Radecke AveBaltimore, Maryland 21206Seven Sayings of JesusMarch 30, 10:45 a.m.Bishop Clifford Johnson, Pastor Morning Star Baptist Church1512 Woodlawn DriveBaltimore, Maryland 21207Good Friday WorshipMarch 30, 11 a.m.Bishop Dwayne C. Debnam, Pastor By Joi Thomas, Special to the AFROWe are in the midst of Holy Week, the most important time on the Christian calendar. It is the time when Christians all over the world remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This Friday, many churches all over the city will hold Good Friday services, remembering the death of Jesus on a cross. I encourage you to go to one of these services and remember the sacrifice Jesus made for you. There are several options listed below as well as a few more events going on in the city. I pray you and your family enjoy your Easter weekend. New Christian Memorial Church3525 West Caton Ave.Baltimore, Maryland 21229Seven Last Sayings ServiceMarch 30, 7 p.m.Rev. Dr. Walter Bronson, Pastor New Psalmist Baptist Church6020 Marian DriveBaltimore, Maryland 21215Good Friday ServiceMarch 30, noonBishop Walter S. Thomas, Pastorlast_img read more

40YearOld Mother Killed by FBI 10 Most Wanted Fugitive

first_imgBy Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, mgreen@afro.comPolice and family members alike are searching for answers, motive and more after Natina Kiah, a mother of four and security guard at a D.C. homeless shelter, was stabbed to death on March 5.After admitting to his crime when pursued hours later, officers believe that Kiah’s murderer is 43-year-old Lamont Stephenson, who spent years on the FBI 10 Most Wanted list, after killing his fiancée and her dog in 2014 in New Jersey.Natina Kiah, 40, was stabbed to death March 5. Lamont Stephenson, 43, who was on the FBI 10 Most Wanted list, admitted to killing Kiah when he was apprehended hours later in Lanham, MD. (Courtesy Photo)It is believed that Stephenson has been living in the Washington Metropolitan Area after fleeing New Jersey for his alleged crime five years ago.Stephenson met Kiah a few weeks ago at a D.C. homeless shelter where they both worked according to WUSA 9 News.  Kiah was a security guard and Stephenson was a handyman.Police found Kiah’s body after getting a call about a welfare check on March 6 on the 5000 block of D Street Southeast, according to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.  A little after 8:30 p.m., Kiah was found with a stab wound and when D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded they reported that the “victim displayed no signs consistent with life.”The mother of four, ages 12, 14, 16 and 21, leaves behind a family begging for answers as to how this could have happened, particularly by someone who had been on the FBI 10 Most Wanted List.Kiah’s cousin presumes that she had become skeptical of Stephenson’s past when the crime occurred, and wonder how the homeless shelter was unaware, according to WUSA9.  Her family contends that a poster of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted should be displayed at shelters.Kiah’s death is the 31st out of 32 murders that have happened in the District this year, according to D.C. Witness, which tracks local homicides.  The District of Columbia’s homicide rate is on the rise having increased about 88 percent since this time last year, when 17 people had been murdered.last_img read more

Gratitude is the Attitude to Promote Honesty in the Workplace

first_imgEmployee theft, whether from occasional cash-skimming or meticulously orchestrated embezzlement schemes, costs US businesses up to $50 billion annually. But cheating, like companies themselves, often starts small, and research in Psychological Science suggests that cultivating feelings of gratitude can encourage employees to be content with what they have. Past research has shown that feelings of gratitude mayenhance self-control, supporting the equal exchange of resources and improvingour ability to make financial decisions that involve delaying gratification toa later date. Reference In a follow-up study of 141 online participants, the researchersfound that recalling moments of gratitude from their past also reducedparticipant’s willingness to lie about a coin flip in exchange for extracompensation. Gratitude was once again found to boost ethical behavior in adose-dependent way, although rates of cheating were higher overall. This mayhave been because participants knew that lying about their compensation wouldnot directly harm another participant, the researchers write. These findings suggest that cultivating a culture of gratitudemay serve as an effective bottom-up “honesty nudge” in educational and officesettings by devaluing dishonest behaviors rather than requiring individuals toactively repress unethical impulses to avoid consequences, a more taxingtop-down process. In the gratitude condition, however, the computer appearedto crash and the participant was informed they would need to redo the task — thatis, until the confederate “messed with a few wires” and got their score toappear on screen, leaving the participant with the impression that they hadnarrowly escaped another brush with boredom. Gratitude may also function as a “parent virtue,” writes APSFellow David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, whodiscussed his research in the HarvardBusiness Review. “Gratitude may work rather effortlessly to alter people’sdecisions about the value of cheating and, thus, stem unethical behavior withless internal conflict,” the authors wrote. At this stage in the experiment, participants were told theywould need to flip a virtual coin in order to randomly assign themselves andanother (fictional) participant to each of two tasks after the researchers leftthe room: a 10-minute numbers game or 45 minutes of challenging math and logicproblems. What the participants didn’t know was that the coin was preprogrammedto assign them to the longer task. To complete the shorter task instead, theywould have to cheat and lie their way to 30 minutes of freedom.center_img In the first of two experiments on the subject, DeSteno andcolleagues had 156 students complete a test of general knowledge with a confederateteammate (who was actually a member of the research team). Then, they completedan intentionally tedious word recognition task on their own. As the computerappeared to be calculating their scores, the participants were exposed to anexperimental manipulation intended to induce a particular mood: DeSteno, D., Duong, F., Lim, D., & Kates, S. (2019). Thegrateful don’t cheat: Gratitude as a fount of virtue. Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619848351 In the happiness condition, the computer calculated the participants’scores as expected, and they spent the next several minutes watching anddiscussing funny clips of babies and animals. The neutral condition proceededsimilarly, with participants watched an excerpt from a slightly less excitinggeology documentary. “We believe that gratitude might enhance certain moralactions outside the realm of exchange — actions that are also characterized bythe need to resist a temptation to satisfy a selfish urge for immediategratification,” the study authors write. Gratitude was also found to decrease participants’likelihood of cheating in a dose-dependent manner, with those who ratedthemselves as low in gratitude cheating 50% of the time, and those who rated themselvesas very high in gratitude cheating in just 5% of trials. While 16% of those in the happiness or neutral conditionscheated on average, just 2% of people in the gratitude condition put their ownneeds above those of their supposed co-participant. The prevalence of cheating amonghappy participants further suggests that this effect is specific to feelings ofgratitude, rather than to positive affective states as a whole, the authorscontinued. “The gratitude that people feel directly impacts theirhonesty,” the authors write.last_img read more

KMC cleans up Esplanade in less than an hour

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Saturday did a commendable job to clean up the road in and around Esplanade where lakhs of Trinamool Congress supporters from all parts of the state had assembled for the Martyrs’ Day programme. The elaborate arrangements by the civic body’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) department ensured that the road was restored to its normal condition in terms of cleanliness in less than an hour after the rally ended. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”We had pressed 4 mechanical sweepers and as many as 7 mobile compactor machines. The usual normal garbage carrying handcarts and some battery-operated cleaning vehicles were also deployed for the purpose along with a number of sweepers for physical cleaning,” Debabrata Majumder, Member Mayor-in-Council (SWM) said. It was noticed that immediately after the programme ended at around 2.20 pm, the civic body started cleaning up the stretch. Senior TMC leaders including Firhad Hakim and Subrata Bakshi appealed to the party supporters over the microphone to vacate the place quickly to ensure that the cleaning operations could begin immediately.last_img read more

Threeday Digha Folk Festival to be inaugurated on January 11

first_imgKolkata: The second edition of three-day Digha Folk Festival will be inaugurated at the premises of Biswa Bangla Centre on January 11.Patachitra of Chandipur and Madur artisans of East Midnapore will be present at the festival to showcase their products. There will be folk performances in the evening from 6pm to 8pm on all three days. Special attraction at the fair will be a musical trio — Oriental Mood from Denmark on January 11. East Midnapore is famous for traditional Madur weaving and the story telling tradition of the Patachitra artists. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalBoth Madur and Patachitra have received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Villages like Patashpur, Ramnagar, Bhagwanpur and Moyna are famous for Madur weaving. The artists who will come for the fair will take part in workshops that will be held during the festival. It may be mentioned that the department of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Textiles (MSME and T) has developed 10 rural craft hubs in association with the UNESCO and this has benefitted 3,000 handicraft artists. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe setting up of Rural Craft and Cultural Hubs (RCCH) has benefitted an additional 12,000 rural artists. After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to assist the folk artistes and artisans all over the state. There are over 2 lakh folk artistes who now get a monthly stipend and the state government has given them musical instruments. In the programmes organised by the state government departments, the folk artistes are invited to perform.last_img read more

Channel operator SPI International is due to launc

first_imgChannel operator SPI International is due to launch a new independent film network called FilmBox Arthouse in Europe and the US this summer. The channel will be available for DTH platforms, cable, IPTV, mobile, and connected TVs with related video-on-demand rights, said SPI. The firm is also working on a multi-screen app to make the channel available on web-connected devices.The launch will mark SPI’s sixth international channel launch after FightBox HD, FashionBox HD, DocuBox HD, Erox HD and Eroxxx HD. The FilmBox Arthouse network will feature auteur and independent films from around the world.SPI International has been supplying theatrical films and TV programmes to the international market for more than 20 years and currently operates 34 TV channels across four continents.last_img read more