Diversity panel wants to expand opportunities

first_img January 15, 2017 Regular News Diversity panel wants to expand opportunities The Bar’s Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion is pursuing a variety of initiatives as it seeks to expand opportunities for all Florida lawyers. “We want to ensure the Bar will reflect the demographics of the state, that we develop opportunities for community involvement, and to make leadership roles in the profession and The Florida Bar accessible to all attorneys,” Chair Brittany Maxey told the Board of Governors in December. The Bar’s broad definition of diversity includes race, citizenship, gender orientation, gender, geographic location, and many other factors, she said, and the committee has 130 members, plus liaisons to Bar sections and divisions to work on its goals. The panel currently has five initiatives. Law Schools One is to work with legal education. “We want to be very visible at the Florida law schools,” Maxey said. Alumni from each school who practice nearby have been assigned to work with the schools, disseminate information about the committee and the Bar’s diversity efforts, and report on diversity and inclusion at each school. “We are also working on implementing a sustainable pipeline initiative for students who may have an interest in our profession and may need a little more guidance. . . than others,” she said. Diversity Grants The second undertaking is the annual $50,000 grant program to local bars to hold diversity and inclusion programs. For 2016-17, the committee approved 27 of 28 grant applications and each program must be completed before June 30, 2017, with a report submitted to the committee, Maxey said. Multicultural Development In the wake of the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, the committee set up its Multicultural Program Development Subcommittee, she said, to coordinate responses to bias-related incidents. “What happened in Orlando showed us we as attorneys are in key positions. . . to help when help is needed,” Maxey said, noting lawyers pitched in to provide legal help for victims and family members. “A second initiative is called ‘Know Your Bar.’ It’s being modeled after the United Nations’ HeForShe campaign, which is a campaign to understand gender equality is not a women’s issues, it’s a human rights issue, and to encourage men and boys to be change agents.” Leadership The fourth initiative is a subcommittee “to help diverse people who seek leadership positions, including on judicial nominating commissions and on Bar committees,” she said. “We’re also working very closely with the Judicial Nominating Commission Procedures Committee to ensure that diverse Bar members continue to apply for appointments to the JNCs and the judiciary.” Finally, the committee is working to set up a diversity and inclusion summit for November. The committee has submitted a proposal for review by the board’s Program Evaluation Committee, and the tentative date has been set for November 9-10 in Orlando. Maxey said the summit will look at implicit and explicit bias, gender bias under the federal Title IX laws (which were passed 45 years ago), and challenges in multiculturalism. Diversity panel wants to expand opportunitieslast_img read more

CA confirms appointments of 13 DFA officials

first_imgSIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTERCLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP The Commission on Appointments (CA) today confirmed the appointments of 13 officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) — six ambassadors, a Chief of Mission Class 1, and six foreign service officers (FSOs).The bicameral body also confirmed the appointments of Jose Eriel M. Niembra as major general and Noel T. Baluyan, Audrey L. Pasia, Nolasco A. Mempin, and Alex S. Rillera as brigadier generals.Also confirmed were the appointments of 10 colonels and captains.The CA human settlements and urban development panel chaired by Sen. Francis ‘’Toll’’ N. Tolentino suspended its investigation into the fitness of Eduardo Drueco del Rosario as Secretary of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (HSUD) to allow senators and congressmen more time to field their questions.As head of the Task Force Bangon Marawi. Del Rosario vowed to complete all its Marawi siege-related projects by December 2021.The confirmation process was complete after Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, concurrent CA chairman, banged the gavel at 2:30 p.m. to close of the CA plenary session.The CA is composed of 12 senators and 12 House of Representatives. The 25th member is the Senate President.The CA public hearing and plenary session started at 9:30 this morning.After a public hearing, the 13 DFA officials were recommended for confirmation by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the CA foreign affairs committee.The six top DFA officials are:Maria Amelita Cunanan Aquino, Chief of Mission Class 1, as ambassador to Cambodia.Frank Revil Cimafranca, Chief of Mission Class 1, as ambassador to Hungary with concurrent jurisdiction over Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegrro, Serbia, and Moldova.Meynardo Los Banos Montealegre, Chief of Mission Class 1, as ambassador to Vietnam.Giovanni Endencia Palec, Chief of Mission Class 2, as ambassador to the Hellinic Republic with concurrent jurisdiction over the Republic of Cyprus.Macairog Sabiniano Alberto, ambassador to Israel with the salary and emoluments of a Chief of Mission Class 1.Mohd. Noordin Pendosina Noor Lomondot, Ambassador to Kuwait, with the salary and emoluments as Chief of Mission, Class 1.Millicent Cruz-Paredes was also confirmed as Chief of Mission Class 1.The appointments of the 15 AFP officers were recommended by Rep. Luis ‘’Jon Jon’’ A. Ferrer IV, chairman of the CA national defense committee.Niembra is the current chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.last_img read more

Toot! Toot! New riverboat to ride Mississippi in New Orleans

first_img This Nov. 29, 2018, photo shows stairs that lead to the second deck on the “City of New Orleans” riverboat, as it is being restored, in New Orleans. A century ago, countless paddlewheel riverboats plied the Mississippi and its tributaries. Today, New Orleans has two: the Natchez and the Creole Queen, which is operated by New Orleans Paddlewheels. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) This Nov. 29, 2018, photo shows a railing with a pineapple finial, which they say is considered to be a symbol of hospitality, inside the “City of New Orleans” riverboat, as it is being restored in New Orleans. For years the City of New Orleans operated as a casino boat in Rock Island, Ill., until the mid-1990s. But after that state legalized onshore casinos, the boat became obsolete, said Matthew Dow, project manager heading the vessel’s renovation. The then-named “Casino Rock Island” sat unused for years until it was purchased by the New Orleans Steamboat Company in 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) In this Nov. 29, 2018, photo, workers install a ceiling during the restoration of the “City of New Orleans” riverboat in New Orleans. For years the City of New Orleans operated as a casino boat in Rock Island, Ill., until the mid-1990s. But after that state legalized onshore casinos, the boat became obsolete, said Matthew Dow, project manager heading the vessel’s renovation. The then-named “Casino Rock Island” sat unused for years until it was purchased by the New Orleans Steamboat Company in 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) In this Nov. 29, 2018, photo, employees work next to the paddlewheel during the restoration of the “City of New Orleans” riverboat in New Orleans. For years the City of New Orleans operated as a casino boat in Rock Island, Ill., until the mid-1990s. But after that state legalized onshore casinos, the boat became obsolete, said Matthew Dow, project manager heading the vessel’s renovation. The then-named “Casino Rock Island” sat unused for years until it was purchased by the New Orleans Steamboat Company in 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) In this Nov. 29, 2018, photo, Matt Dow, project manager for the restoration of the “City of New Orleans” riverboat, plays the calliope on the vessel in New Orleans. The new paddlewheel riverboat is ready to ride the Mississippi, set to begin taking tourists on excursions around New Orleans starting in late January. The City of New Orleans will be the third paddlewheeler to call this Southern city of Mardi Gras fame its home. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) This Nov. 29, 2018, photo shows a chandelier inside the “City of New Orleans” riverboat, as it is being restored in New Orleans. For years the City of New Orleans operated as a casino boat in Rock Island, Ill., until the mid-1990s. But after that state legalized onshore casinos, the boat became obsolete, said Matthew Dow, project manager heading the vessel’s renovation. The then-named “Casino Rock Island” sat unused for years until it was purchased by the New Orleans Steamboat Company in 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) In this Nov. 29, 2018, photo, Matt Dow, project manager for the restoration of the “City of New Orleans” riverboat, walks on the vessel in New Orleans. The new paddlewheel riverboat is ready to ride the Mississippi, set to begin taking tourists on excursions around New Orleans starting in late January. The City of New Orleans will be the third paddlewheeler to call this Southern city of Mardi Gras fame its home. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) NEW ORLEANS | Few experiences capture old New Orleans and the Mississippi River quite like a paddlewheel riverboat coming round the muddy bend with its tooting whistle horn, towering smoke stacks and water-churning propeller.This month the first new riverboat in more than a decade is set to launch in this Louisiana port city. A plunge in tourism after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 forced the New Orleans Steamboat Company to sell off one of its two boats, but the arrival of the City of New Orleans is a sign of the steadily rising tide of tourists each year to this Southern city of Mardi Gras fame.“People come from all over the world. It is astonishing. They really want to see the river,” said Adrienne Thomas, marketing director for the company, which also owns another riverboat, the Natchez.A century ago, countless paddlewheel riverboats plied the Mississippi and its tributaries. Today, New Orleans has two: the Natchez and the Creole Queen, which is operated by New Orleans Paddlewheels.Now the City of New Orleans is coming full circle, back to the state where it was built in 1991. For years it operated as a casino boat in Rock Island, Illinois, until the mid-1990s. But after that state legalized onshore casinos, the boat became obsolete, said Matthew Dow, project manager heading the vessel’s renovation. The then-named “Casino Rock Island” sat unused for years until it was purchased by the New Orleans Steamboat Company in 2016.“We instantly fell in love with the boat,” Dow said. “We saw the potential in her and knew that we could do her justice and bring her back not only to her former glory but well beyond that.”Dow said the vessel already looked the part of a New Orleans riverboat, with its curved decks, plentiful windows, decorative fleurs de lis and giant paddlewheel.Initially it was brought to a dry dock for hull repairs, then towed to New Orleans for a makeover.“We had to rip all of the walls out, all the ceilings, a lot of the insulation,” Dow said. “Basically, we had to strip this boat down to the superstructure, to bare bones, and everything had to go back new.”There were additions, too. A dumb waiter was added to connect the galley to all three decks for food transport, along with passenger elevators and handicapped-accessible restrooms. The Associated Press was given the first look at the new riverboat recently.Dow says the company is aiming to have the boat ready for tours by Jan. 21, when the Natchez goes into its annual service and maintenance layup. After that, both boats will operate simultaneously.The two riverboats look similar, both painted red and white with giant red paddlewheels and exterior deck space for close-up views by passengers of the giant propeller. But the new boat has more indoor space.The Natchez was built in the 1970s for sightseeing with a lot of open deck space, and its main deck is occupied mostly by the boat’s vintage 1925 steam engines, an attraction for passengers. The Natchez is one of only six commercially-operated steamboats left in the U.S.The new boat is run with a modern diesel-electric system. It takes up less room, allowing for more indoor space for dinner seating, jazz brunches and special events.“Even though we don’t have the steam engines, we do have the working paddlewheel, and we want to show that off,” Dow said.As with the Natchez, cruises on the City of New Orleans will include narration about the city and shoreline sights such as the port, historic Jackson Square and the Chalmette battlefield, a significant Civil War landmark downriver. And there will be plenty of live band music as the boat plies the Mississippi.Cyndi Gruenberg of Houston, Texas, rode the Natchez with her husband and two daughters recently and said they learned much about the city.“It was a great trip, a little bit of history along the river and just a fun ride,” said Gruenberg. “It’s pretty cool. It brings nostalgia back.”Tourism officials say they don’t expect a shortage of passengers, as the number of visitors to New Orleans has surpassed pre-Katrina levels in recent years.Stephen Perry, head of New Orleans & Co., which promotes tourism, says the city is “back in every way” with increased hotel and restaurant bookings. Riding a paddlewheel is part of the New Orleans experience, he noted.“This is one of the most eclectic, authentic places left in America,” Perry said. “People don’t come here only for food and music. What they like is other experiences.“A paddlewheeler is just one of the great added attractions of imagining yourself in a time gone by.” 1 of 7last_img read more

Runyon parking plan at center of dispute

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champAfter reviewing Dodge’s appeal Wednesday, the city’s Bureau of Engineering said that only construction noise for the project could impact wildlife in the park. The department will rework its plans to build and will return before the City Council for approval. Plans to build a parking lot on the parcel inside the park – which stretches up to Mulholland Drive – have been in the works since 1986, when a master plan was created. Although the entrance off Mulholland Drive has 25 parking spots, no parking was ever built on the Hollywood side where most visitors start the trails through entrances on Vista Street and Fuller Avenue. And that has left visitors circling adjacent neighborhoods – many with restrictive parking rules – in search of scarce parking. With 134 acres to hike, room for dogs to roam and a grassy patch of land set aside for outdoor yoga, Runyon Canyon seems a peaceful break for thousands of city dwellers. But behind its “Kumbaya” exterior, a storm is brewing among residents and outdoor enthusiasts over plans to build an 80-space parking lot on a 0.6-acre parcel inside the popular park off Fuller and Franklin avenues that weekly sees more than 7,000 visitors. Opponents argue parking in the park will destroy its natural beauty, upset wildlife and bring unwanted noise to a place that provides quiet respite from Hollywood’s bustling streets. “It’s our only last spot where the car hasn’t been able to take over, invade and dominate the area,” said Randy Dodge, who with his group New Friends of Runyon Canyon, has hired an attorney and filed appeals with the city of Los Angeles to stop the construction. Some have terrorized homeowners who say park visitors have vandalized their cars and acted belligerently on the streets. Residents also talk of dogs – and dog owners – using their yards as bathrooms. Homeowners say that a parking lot inside the park is desperately needed to give visitors and residents much needed space and that the city must do more to secure the area by locking gates at dusk and providing a park ranger. Resident Vincent Brocato said one day a woman with two pit bulls on leashes lost control of her dogs, which then leaped over Brocato’s bushes and killed his small dog. “This has gone on way too long,” said Brocato, who lives near Runyon Canyon. “We have a right to some comfort. Hikers look at us like we’re selfish. We are not. This is happening 24/7.” Armed with $950,000 to widen the park’s entrance at 2000 Fuller Ave., build the lot on decomposed granite and construct a 24-hour park ranger station, city officials are eager to start the projects. Construction could start in April 2009. The best thing for the park is accessibility, said City Councilman Tom LaBonge. He said the city will not back down from plans to build a parking lot despite opposition from neighborhood groups. “Runyon Canyon is the great Los Angeles Stairmaster,” said LaBonge. “It’s so popular it has overwhelmed the neighborhoods, and there is no parking for the park.” [email protected] 818-713-3746160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more