O’Brien unleashes bumper duo

first_imgAidan O’Brien saddles his first National Hunt runners in well over eight years as Egyptian Warrior and Shield make their racecourse debuts at Punchestown on Wednesday. The master of Ballydoyle is no stranger to the jumping game, having trained the mighty Istabraq to win many Grade One prizes for owner JP McManus, including three successive victories in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. However, the stable’s last runner under National Hunt rules was The Alamo, ridden by Coolmore supremo John Magnier’s son MV, in a bumper at Tipperary in October 2004. Easily the most fascinating of O’Brien’s two runners in the AES Family Saturday At The Festival INH Flat Race is Egyptian Warrior, who will be ridden by his daughter, Sarah. The four-year-old is a full-brother to last season’s Racing Post Trophy scorer and this year’s Derby favourite Kingsbarns. Joseph O’Brien, last season’s Irish champion Flat jockey, revealed Egyptian Warrior has been far more backward than his sibling, but he is looking forward to seeing how he fares on the track. He said: “He’s a fine big horse who has just taken a bit of time to come to himself. I would imagine he’ll be very green as he’s not been away from home before, and it will be interesting to see how he gets on. It’s a good starting point for him and if he runs a nice race we’ll be delighted.” Given his stout breeding, it is no surprise to see some bookmakers quoting Egyptian Warrior in their ante-post betting for next month’s Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, with Stan James offering just 12-1. Were he to impress, Joseph would theoretically be able to take the mount at Prestbury Park, but the level-headed young jockey, who won last year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby aboard Camelot, is refusing to look that far ahead. “Although Cheltenham is only three weeks away, it’s a long way off when you’ve never run before. We’ll just have to see how he goes,” said the jockey. The stable’s second runner Shield, a four-year-old son of Dylan Thomas, will be ridden by Kate Harrington, the daughter of one of Ireland’s leading dual-purpose handlers, Jessica Harrington. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Archer ready to play but Stokes might not bowl, says Root

first_imgMANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – England captain Joe Root is confident that Jofra Archer will be ready to play in the third Test against the West Indies but said there was a question mark over Ben Stokes’ ability to bowl.Root said that Archer, who was dropped from the second Test after he breached the bio-secure bubble, had been fired up in the nets and in good spirits as England prepared for the decisive test at Old Trafford, which starts today.Yet Stokes was struggling with stiffness after his heroic exertions in helping England win the second test.Root said that while Stokes would play, he might not be able to contribute much with the ball. oot also hit out at the racist abuse that Archer has faced on social media, telling a news conference on Thursday he had seen some of it and it was “disgusting”.Stokes has been struggling with a quadriceps injury and will be assessed before Friday’s start of play.There was no chance of him missing the match, insisted Root, but any doubt about his ability to bowl would influence team selection. “He spent much of the last test on the field, but it does take a lot to keep him down and out of the action,” Root said.“We’ll see how he is in the morning but if you look at our squad we’ve got a lot of brilliant options to choose from. Whatever combination we go with is obviously capable of taking 20 wickets.”England have used six bowlers over the first two tests and are expected to rotate again as they seek to keep them fresh with three more Tests against Pakistan to come in quick succession.That means a possible return for Archer after he sat out the second test.His participation in the third Test had been in doubt as he admitted that he was struggling mentally after being racially abused on social media for having to spend five days in isolation as a result of stepping out of the bio-secure environment. Yet Root said Archer had looked sharp in training.“He’s got his smile back and bowled speed and line in some spicy nets over the last two days, which wasn’t much fun for our batters.“But it was disgusting, actually, to see some of the abuse he’s had to put up with over the last week.“As a squad we’ve tried to get around him and make sure he knows we are all there for him because no one should have to deal with that. It’s deeply disappointing and … there’s no other word than disgusting.”last_img read more

Clippers’ Austin Rivers has improved his defensive game

first_img“Austin seems like he’s playing with a lot more confidence, being a leader, too,” Paul said. “And that comes with maturity, years of experience and stuff like that.”The endeavor, the younger Rivers said, is to become the best overall player possible.“So that’s my goal this year, is to be a two-way player to help this team any way I can,” he said.CP3 likes what he seesIt’s been said time and again about how Paul has never made it to the conference finals during his 10-year career. Paul didn’t touch on that Tuesday, but he did talk about how terrific and fierce this camp has been.“Probably haven’t been in a more intense, but also efficient, camp,” he said.Paul also gave his gut feeling about the team, which includes a grip of new and key players.“I’m excited about our team,” he said. “Just like every other team who was excited yesterday on media day, thinking about the possibilities and the chance of going 82-0, you know what I mean? So right now, optimistic and excited about what we have.”Serious travelThe Clippers will open their six-game exhibition season Friday when they play host to the Denver Nuggets at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center. Then they travel for a Sunday game against Toronto in Canada before embarking on a trip to China, where they will play the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 10 and Oct. 14.It’s good for bonding, Doc Rivers said, especially for a team with so many new faces.“The China travel is a little much, but if we’re going to go, I guess this year would probably be the right year to go because we have so many guys,” he said. “It will give us a chance to get to know each other a little bit better.”The Clippers’ final two exhibition games will be Oct. 20 against Golden State and Oct. 22 against Portland — both at Staples Center. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Absolutely, I’ve gotten a lot stronger,” said Austin Rivers, who is just 23.That’s because he’s been pumping iron.“I’ve gained 10 pounds, which is a lot,” he said. “I didn’t plan on gaining that much, but I was just lifting a lot in the summer, so my upper body is a lot stronger, which has actually gotten me quicker. I’m a lot quicker than I was.“I’ve always had a quick first step, but my strength has gotten me, you know, to guard these athletic guards. It’s really helped me. … Being in shape and feeling strong, it just makes you want go guard anybody.”Austin Rivers also said he’s been working on his mid-range jumper, and that he now feels very sure about shooting it. Starting point guard Chris Paul has noticed that Rivers is doing everything with more certainty.center_img IRVINE >> Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday was talking about how well his team is doing defensively during training camp, when he touched on his son, reserve guard Austin Rivers.“I think probably Austin has made the biggest improvement defensively,” the elder Rivers said after the fourth and final day of camp at UC Irvine.The Clippers were just fine offensively last season. They averaged 106.7 points, second only to the 110.0 of NBA champion Golden State. But the Clippers allowed 100.1 points, which was 16th out of 30 teams.Entering camp, Doc Rivers stressed that defense is where his team needed to improve most. Austin Rivers is taking that challenge seriously, so he did not hold back when asked if his father is right by declaring him better in that regard.last_img read more

Making summer camp possible

first_img Oscar White offers the young chicken some grass and leaves as a snack. — Kyra Steck Camp Kindness instructors lead campers in an outdoor yoga activity. — Kyra Steck From left, 6-year-old Oscar White, Elin Angelina, 9, and Dylan White, 8, at the FARM Institute. — Kyra Steck We’ve all followed arrows through the aisles of Stop & Shop, or fiddled with the mask that just won’t sit comfortably on our nose. These precautions are slowly becoming second nature to us, but for Island summer camps, COVID-19 practices and guidelines are new territory.This is what I learned from the YMCA’s summer camp and afterschool director, Tara Dinke,l and Kelly Neadow, senior program director of youth and staff development. This year’s camp is unlike any that came before it — so much so that’s taken on a new name.“Usually our camp is called Camp Terra Mare, but we changed it to Camp Kindness this year, because more than anything we need kindness right now,” Dinkel said. Neadow explained that Camp Kindness staff try to keep camper masks on, and give outdoor “mask breaks” if a camper becomes uncomfortable. “We explain social distancing and masks the best that we can, and we strongly encourage children to participate in that. We don’t discipline here at all, but for lack of a better term, we’d never be upset with a child for not wanting to wear one,” Neadow said.Campers check in each morning with the same counselor. They report to their family’s designated outdoor area, where they leave their belongings in individual baskets that are cleaned nightly. “All the Y staff have come together to build what we have here. Our housekeeping department is obviously a huge player,” Neadow said. “They’re here as many hours as our camp staff is here, because they’re right behind everyone, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.”As the camp days unfold, each family participates in a separate activity. Many are outdoor, but while inside the YMCA building, each family uses their own classroom space. While one group has arts and crafts time (using only their individual materials), another enjoys an outdoor fitness class with YMCA health and wellness director Asil Cash. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival has provided some of their resources, allowing campers to watch movies or participate in film-based activities. Campers even have scheduled blocks of ice-skating time at the M.V. Ice Arena, and swimming at the YMCA pool.Only a handful of events take place at the same time for all campers, including lunchtime and “Camper Connection,” which acts as a check-in for campers. Even these events take place within the individual families, rather than as a group.“For a lot of us, the camp magic comes from those big gatherings, but that’s not for everybody. For some of these kids, this could work out better than a typical camp model,” Neadow said.Dinkel noted optimistically that having fewer campers has allowed for a more personal experience. “We’re able to engage with them. We actually get to sit down and have conversations with them,” Dinkel said. “We know all 50 kids by heart.”As parents themselves, Dinkel and Neadow have been thrilled to receive a great deal of support from both campers and their guardians. “We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback,” Neadow said, recalling one young camper’s mother claiming her son’s first day at Camp Kindness was “the best day of his life.”“This is the first time the kids have been out of quarantine, so they’re just loving being around other kids and not being stuck at home,” Dinkel said.According to Dinkel and Neadow, setting up a YMCA camp for this summer proved challenging at first. “Early June, you know, everything was still a little scary when we had to be making these decisions,” Neadow said. “The biggest question was, ‘Can we do it and keep our staff safe?’ We knew kids would need it and families would need it, and little by little it grew until we could say yes.”“Now it’s turned into this beautiful thing,” Dinkel said.Neadow agreed. “It wouldn’t feel right if we weren’t doing this. We’re just really happy it all worked out the way it did,” Neadow said. Brandon Barua and Finley Slavine make containers to drop from the upper level of the barn with an egg inside, with hopes their egg doesn’t crack. — Kyra Steck Each camper at Camp Kindness gets their own camper supplies box. — Kyra Steck YMCA Camp Kindness is following all social distancing and health guidelines to make sure campers can have a fun and safe summer. — Kyra Steck Camp drop-off was just finishing up when I arrived at the YMCA Monday morning. A single car rolled up along the building’s right side, and a young, masked camper clambered out. Two staff members greeted him from beneath a tent, sheltering themselves from the 10 am sun. The duo wore matching tie-dyed tank tops, and in front of them, a foldable table displayed items of importance: a basket of surgical and fabric masks, a squirt bottle of hand sanitizer, and a sign that read, “Welcome to Camp Kindness Week Three.” Camp Kindness started its third week of programming August 3, with a pirate theme and a bounty of pandemic protocols. Only 50 campers are permitted at this year’s camp, as opposed to the usual 100-plus. For YMCA members, a week at Camp Kindness costs $270, with a $15 registration fee. The weekly price rises to $325 for nonmembers. Across the board, additional siblings can tag along for $15 each.Each camper is screened upon arrival with a series of questions, including whether they’ve experienced symptoms of COVID-19 or spent time with someone who has tested positive. Before starting the day, campers wash or sanitize their hands at one of the many sinks or hand-sanitizing stations. Campers are only permitted to interact with their group, or “family,” at this year’s camp. These are five families total, grouped based on camper age.As we spoke under the check-in tent, Camp Kindness’ eldest family of campers walked through the YMCA campus. Most campers wore masks, though two or three had pulled them down around their neck or chin. Some campers walked side by side, while others stayed at a distance.center_img Campers from a previous week built a wooden structure for the goats to play on. — Kyra Steck Tara Dinkel with arts and crafts supplies and some of the work done by campers. — Kyra Steck Campers finishing up after an outdoor fitness activity. — Kyra Steck Finley Slavine and Brandon Barua give some pats and scratches to their respective goat pals. — Kyra Steck New way of FARM lifeThe FARM Institute in Katama is another Island camp up and running this year. If you’ve ever been, you know this local spot is characterized by wide-open spaces and fresh air. This makes the farm a somewhat unique camp location, and in the age of COVID-19, perhaps an ideal one.The FARM Institute has been holding two new programs this season in place of their summer camp. “Mornings on the Farm at TFI” is a COVID-compliant alternative to the traditional camp experience, running Monday through Friday, 9 am to noon. Additionally, “Farmer for a Day” allows families to visit the institute and enjoy the farm experience, Monday through Friday, 1 pm to 3 pm.I arrived at The FARM Institute on a foggy Tuesday morning, and was struck by how empty the farm seemed. The main building was posted with signs, some reading, “Sorry, we’re closed,” and others displaying cartoon pigs in masks. On the porch, a staff member accompanied a group of three children as they pulled what one called, “very cold pizza” from their lunchboxes.The FARM Institute education manager, Lily Robbins, gave me a tour of the farm, explaining that the small number of people at TFI is simply part of new protocol. “All the kids are only part of their own pod, or their own quarantine group,” Robbins said. “We figured that’s the safest way to have kids here with our staff. We don’t have to worry about them interacting with each other if they’re going home and eating dinner together,” Robbins said.Each pod is made up of at least two participants, ages 6 and up. Pods sign up together, meaning participants come from the same household or shared space. When on the farm, they interact only with staff, and the other members of their pod.For FARM Institute members, the base price for two participants is $600, plus $300 for each additional child. For nonmembers, these prices increase to a base of $800 for two participants, and an additional $400 for each child after that.Robbins was quick to acknowledge that not every family may be able to easily pay these prices, and that the Institute tries to increase accessibility whenever possible. Their Island discount offers a 20 percent price drop to any Island family or child who attends an Island school. A scholarship program is also offered to anyone who wishes to apply. “They don’t have to prove taxes, they don’t have to turn any paperwork in, we just ask for a statement of need, and we will work with them,” Robbins said.Like the YMCA’s Camp Kindness, each participant is screened with a series of symptom-related questions. “Even before they sign up, the parents have to fill out a pretty rigorous online form with all their child’s medical information. We also have them do a 14-day prescreening form,” Robbins said.Mornings on the Farm participants get to experience a variety of creative, educational, and farm-centric activities. Each one is responsible for a daily morning chore; Robbins gave examples such as collecting eggs, feeding the chickens, or pulling weeds.Throughout the day, participants move throughout the FARM Institute space. While the main building remains closed, the barn is open on both ends, creating a spacious and well-ventilated indoor area. Each pod occupies its own room in the barn, where they can carry out activities and lessons in each other’s company. On this particular day, a pod of two siblings crafted cases for an egg drop. Between the pair’s concoctions of cardboard, construction paper, and tape, I’ll bet the egg stayed safe on its way down.Mornings on the Farm participants are permitted to interact with the farm animals, an opportunity that general public visitors do not have at this time. These animals are often incorporated into program activities. Robbins motioned to a boxlike wooden structure within the goat pen, built by a pod from the previous week. “They put all the pallets together, they learned how to use tools, they worked together and designed the whole thing,” Robbins said. With one open side, the goats can use the structure to avoid rain, find shade, or simply jump and play on.The FARM Institute enforces a rigid protocol for interacting with the farm animals. The goat pen is roped off and enclosed by a gate, which only staff are permitted to touch. If a pod wishes to enter the pen, each participant must sanitize their hands, then put on disposable gloves. Upon exiting the pen, participants must immediately remove their gloves and drop them into a trash bag beside the gate, then sanitize again. Participants must repeat this process if they are interacting with the goats for more than 15 minutes at a time.According to Robbins, the programs from previous years have been largely based around education. “We’ve called our counselors ‘educators,’ because they really are doing lessons with the kids,” Robbins said. While education remains an integral part of this year’s program, Mornings on the Farm brings an enhanced focus to each participant’s general well-being.“These kids have been going through so much. We just want them to be out in nature, interacting with people other than their parents, and feeling somewhat normal — being able to get their minds off of things,” Robbins said. Another camp, similar taleThere’s a similar story to be shared at the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club. Their summer program, Camp MV, opened to Island youth on July 6. Since then, the camp has been operating carefully, and with the kids in mind.This year’s program is limited to only 66 campers, compared to their usual group of 120 to 130. Drop-off is staggered, starting around 7:45 am. Campers are separated into “pods” of eight, with two additional group leaders. Everyone, campers and staff alike, stays only with their pod throughout the day.Jessie Damroth, chief executive officer of the M.V. Boys & Girls Club, outlined Camp MV’s extensive sanitization schedule. Separate cleaning crews come in every 90 minutes to sanitize surfaces, and at the end of the day, the Boys & Girls Club building is deep-cleaned through electrostatic fogging. Thirteen new hand-sanitizing stations are spaced throughout the building, as well as an additional six outdoors.According to Damroth, Camp MV spends as much time in the outdoors as possible. “We obviously will have days where the heat or humidity are too high, and on those selected days we do fire up the HVAC system,” Damroth said. On these occasions, the Boys & Girls Club building is ventilated by fans and open windows.Masks are a requirement at Camp MV. According to Damroth, there has been little issue with enforcing this rule during camp hours. “They wear them inside and outside. We wanted the kids to get used to it, but also the staff. In this environment, it’s just a safer practice,” Damroth said.Mask breaks are permitted for campers, as long as they follow a set of guidelines. “Every pod has a different entrance and exit door in our facility, so there’s an area they can step out into and still be monitored if they need to take a break,” Damroth said.During outdoor activities, campers can remove their masks only after stepping six feet away from their group. Damroth explained that teaching campers to visualize six feet of distance has been key. “If we have a 12-year-old, we might say, ‘This is your favorite basketball player, this is how tall they are.’ Putting it into relatable terms has made all the difference in the world,” Damroth said.Due to these extensive protocols, Camp MV is unable to take the field trips that the Boys & Girls Club is known to take. In their place, the Camp MV team has found new ways to provide their campers with an Island experience. Educational components from the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, The Trustees of Reservations, and the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival have all been incorporated into the Camp MV curriculum.Damroth admits that holding Camp MV has taken great effort. “COVID regulations are challenging, more than ever before. They’re exhausting,” Damroth said. Regardless, the Boys & Girls Club team knew from the start that Camp MV would be a necessity this year.“If you don’t have safe childcare, especially ‘COVID-safe,’ then you’re going to have issues with unsafe childcare. That’s why we knew we needed to move forward,” Damroth said. Kelly Neadow and Tara Dinkel finish up camper drop-off for the day. — Kyra Steck 1 of 11last_img read more

The Mayday Foundation Announces Partnership with Parenting Coach, Emily McMason

first_imgFacebook96Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Mayday FoundationWhen a family’s life is turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis, there are many pieces to pick up. In Thurston and Grays Harbor Counties, families are able to turn to The Mayday Foundation for immediate, practical financial support.  Now, this assistance extends beyond getting help with paying household expenses and into the emotional side of being a parent while coping with cancer.“My time with The Mayday Foundation families is an important way to be a part of our community response to caring for those affected by cancer,” said Emily McMason. Photo courtesy: The Mayday Foundation“Along with financial assistance, The Mayday Foundation now includes a complimentary session with parenting coach, Emily McMason,” explained founder and executive director, Amy Rowley.  “We are able to expand our support of the family past paying rent and mortgages and delivering gas and grocery cards and allow each family to access Emily’s vast knowledge of parenting techniques. Parenting advice and coaching is critical since most families have not coped with a health care crisis of this magnitude.”Emily McMason, who holds a masters degree in education from Harvard University, is also a mother of two children being raised in Olympia. “A healthy community is one in which we reach out and care for one another. It matters to me to give back to the community in which I live, work and raise my children. My time with The Mayday Foundation families is an important way to be a part of our community response to caring for those affected by cancer,” said McMason. “My passion for parents and children makes working with The Mayday Foundation a natural connection.”“Emily’s generous donation of time means local families can gain the emotional support they need to cope with cancer and still be the parent they want to be to their children,” added Rowley.  “The first concern, when a parent is diagnosed with cancer, is ‘will my kids be ok, will they be able to recover from this upheaval?’ Providing access to a trained, professional parenting coach rounds out The Mayday Foundation’s support.”For example, parents may choose to talk with Emily about processing the news, adjusting to new normals, redefining family balance and boundaries, help with understanding the reactions of those you love or imagining the family with a post-cancer perspective.“A cancer diagnosis isn’t simply about our health—it is about our whole life,” added McMason in summary. “Our parenting role doesn’t stop when cancer becomes a part of a family’s life—instead it gets more complex. Spending time with families as they navigate these new spaces is an incredibly meaningful way for me to give back to my community. It’s an honor to work with The Mayday Foundation families and provide emotional support as well as practical tools for parenting as they cope with cancer.”To connect with Emily McMason, visit the Evolving Parents website or call 360-951-0563. Coaching is available to individuals, couples or whole families.To keep up with how The Mayday Foundation is making an impact in Thurston and Grays Harbor counties, visit www.maydayfoundation.org or follow the non-profit organization on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.last_img read more

About Town

first_imgLITTLE SILVERThe Seniors of Little Silver will have their last meeting of the season at noon Tuesday, June 25, at the Club House, Church Street.A luncheon, prepared by Sickles Market with special treats from members, will be served at noon and the regular meeting will begin at 1 p.m. Members who would like to prepare their favorite dish to share should call Linda Rizzo, the hospitality chairwoman, at 732-741-5339.Those attending should RSVP by June 20. The cost is $10 for members, $12 for nonmembers. Checks, made payable to Seniors of Little Silver, should be mailed to Diane Tresente, treasurer, at 61 Seven Bridges Road, Little Silver.Following the board meeting, board-assembled baskets will be raffled off.Informal gatherings will be held, beginning in July, at 1 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month at The Turning Point on Prospect Street. All are welcomed.Regular meetings will resume in the fall on Sept. 24 – the fourth Tuesday of the month. Conservation Foundation Holds Kids Photo/Art Contest ATLANTIC HIGHLANDSThe 5th Annual Atlantic Highlands Car Show will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday June 15, with June 22 as the rain date.The event, which will run along First Avenue, usually features more than 160 cars and trucks and brings out thousands of spectators.Handcrafters and automotive-related vendors will be set up in the park and the borough’s shops and eateries will be open.There will be two areas of entertainment: one stage in the center of the show and another in the park. This year’s entertainment will include D.J. Riff Raff, The Battery Electric, Michael Melore & The Winjen Band, Plato Zorba, Christina Alessi, The Brigantines, Poppa John “Bug” with Gary Wright performing acoustic and Nine Below Zero.For information about registering a vehicle or inquiring about vending, visit www.atlantichighlands.org/events/car-show or call or email Meredith at 347-528-5372 or [email protected] * * * * *Daylily Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29 at Deep Cut Gardens.Area residents are invited to visit Deep Cut Gardens, Red Hill Road, Middletown, and enjoy an assortment of daylilies. In addition to colorful displays, expert daylily growers will be on hand to discuss this hardy flower and give horticultural advice.The event is presented by the Monmouth County Park System and the Garden State Daylily Growers.Deep Cut Gardens is the Monmouth County Park System’s site dedicated to the home gardener. The 54 acres of gardens and greenhouses are planned as a living catalog of cultivated and native plant materials to be observed through the seasons. For more information on Deep Cut Gardens or the Mon­mouth County Park System, visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com or call the Park System at 732-842-4000.The TTY/TDD number for people with hearing impairment is 711. MONMOUTH COUNTY – Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF) announces its Fall 2013 Kids Capturing Conservation Photo/Art Contest for preschools located in Monmouth County. The purpose of this contest is to increase awareness of the importance of nature and land conservation in Monmouth County.There are two ways to win: the winning school will be awarded a grant of $1,500, the three top winning student entrants will each be awarded an exciting birthday party at Huber Woods Environmental Center in Locust (Middletown Township) and the second three winning students will each win a digital camera.The contest invites students enrolled at registered preschools to photograph or draw a special moment in nature that is then posted by an adult family member on Monmouth Conservation Foundation’s Facebook Contest Page. The winning school will be determined by the highest percentage of entrants based on school enrollment. The student winners will be based on receiving the most social media votes.Preschools must register on the MCF website contest registration page by June 21 for the opportunity to win the grant. The actual contest takes place in the fall, and student photo/art entries may be submitted from October 1 through October 15. Student entries must be from a preregistered preschool. Please visit our contest page for more details. To register online: MonmouthConservationFoundation.org/Capturing-Conservation. For more information, contact Lisa McKean at 732-671-7000.Monmouth Conservation Foundation is Monmouth County’s only countywide land trust whose overarching mission is to create a permanent legacy of open space, parks, and protected natural resources for our generation, our children’s generation and future generations. Established as a 501(c) 3 in 1977, the foundation has preserved over 6,500 acres of open space, farmland, wetlands and parks throughout Monmouth County. The conservation and preservation of land creates a better quality of life – protecting the character and integrity of Monmouth County for all to appreciate and benefit from. With continued support, MCF will continue to preserve the beauty of Monmouth’s County for future generations. * * * * *The American Association of University Women (AAUW) will be holding a book sale 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Old First Church, 60 King’s Highway.Shoppers can fill bags with as many books that fit for $5 per bag. Treasures include complete sets, classics, children’s and young-adult books plus current fiction, mysteries, history titles, hardcovers and paperbacks.Proceeds provide scholarships for local women. MIDDLETOWNYouth from the Middletown United Methodist Church, 924 Middletown-Lincroft Rd., will host a dinner and live band on Saturday, June 15, on church grounds to raise funds for a service mission trip to upstate New York.Area families with youth and small children are invited to join in this fun summer evening of dinner and live music in a mix of music styles.Every year 15 youth and six adults from the church travel to upstate New York to help fix up the homes of those in need.Projects can include painting, roofing and building ramps, stairs or porches. The youths volunteer a week of their summer to sleep on air mattresses in schools or churches and do manual labor.The experience goes a long way in molding character, learning new skills and building lasting friendships and relationships among themselves and the families and communities they serve.It also moves youth forward in their academic pursuits and their service to their communities and those in need.Additional information is available by calling 732-671-0707 or visiting the website at www.middletownumcnj.org. * * * * *The Monmouth County Park System is hosting a pottery open house from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at the Thompson Park Creative Arts Center, Newman Springs Road.Visitors can sample hand-building techniques and try the potter’s wheel.Additional information is available by visiting www.monmouthcountyparks.com or calling 732-842-4000.  For people with hearing impairment, the TDD/TTY number is 711. LINCROFTThe monthly social-action film screening will be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Unitarian meetinghouse, 1475 W. Front St.The film, Living Downstream, follows scientist, professor, author and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer, its environmental links and the urgent human rights issue therein. Both personal journey and scientific-social exploration, the film is a powerful reminder of the intimate connection between the health of our bodies and the health of our air, land, and water.Additional information is available by calling Dan Ciaglia at 732-284-6312 or emailing [email protected]last_img read more

MTN, Visa launch mobile money offering

first_img25 November 2011 “Mobile technology has become the single most important driver of financial inclusion that is enabling financial institutions, mobile network operators and Visa to connect unbanked consumers to each other and the global economy.” “Reaching consumers who have previously lacked access to formal financial services with secure and reliable electronic payments is finally a reality,” Visa head of products Jim McCarthy said in a statement this week. Developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America are among the first target markets for the mobile-based prepaid product. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material In the last ten years, 100-million people have been newly banked through mobile services that offer consumers basic financial services that are limited in geographic reach. Visa’s acquisition of Fundamo, a leading mobile money platform in developing countries, and its integration into Visa, has created a mobile payment platform that can connect existing mobile money services via the VisaNet global payment network. In markets with Visa acceptance locations, consumers may also have the option to receive a Visa prepaid companion card that can be used at ATMs and merchants where Visa is accepted. From international remittances to e-commerce transactions, Visa’s new product will offer consumers a new payment account that enhances the payment functionality of their existing mobile money service. Regardless of transaction size or where consumers make purchases, Visa and the account issuer will be able to authenticate the account holder at the point of transaction by requesting a PIN or password.center_img As part of the launch, the new product will initially be available to customers in Nigeria and Uganda. The product was developed by a South African company called Fundamo, which was acquired by Visa in June this year for $110-million. MTN chief commercial officer Christian de Faria said the launch of the new product represented a “crucial milestone” in the company’s effort to bring value-added services to its mobile phone users. As of the end of September, MTN had some 5.7-million registered mobile money customers in 12 countries. Pan-African mobile operator MTN has teamed up with financial services group Visa to offer its Mobile Money customers a prepaid account that can be accessed through mobile devices, giving consumers in developing countries a secure, reliable, globally interoperable electronic payment account. Connecting existing services “And as the appetite for mobile technology grows, MTN is excited to be at the forefront of providing millions of our customers with such important product innovations,” he said. The result is a product that allows financial service providers and mobile network operators to offer consumers a payment account that provides Visa’s high standards of security, reliability and global interoperability. Reliable electronic paymentslast_img read more

Govt calls for unity to move South Africa forward

first_imgThe government has thanked South Africans for making the country’s fifth democratic elections a success, and called for unity in moving the country forward.“The sight of millions of South Africans queuing to vote demonstrated a vibrant and maturing democracy,” acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) CEO Phumla Williams said on Sunday, a day after the African National Congress (ANC) was officially announced the winner of last Wednesday’s elections.“The elections have served to renew and strengthen our democracy,” Williams said in a statement. “We are pleased by the great turnout, in particular first-time voters. Statistics from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) show that more people than ever before have chosen to exercise their right to vote.”The strong turnout of young voters also boded well for the South African democracy, Williams added.“We are inspired by the overwhelming number of young people who came out to vote across the country. This is a clear indication that the future of South Africa is in good hands.”Williams applauded all the political parties for the spirit of national unity that prevailed during the elections, adding: “The future is now in our hands and we must all do our best to build a winning nation.“As we move forward, we need to inculcate the culture of activism and tolerance displayed during the election period into the daily life of our country.“The elections were hard fought and contested with remarkable political maturity and tolerance, and now that the divisive political battles have come to an end, government calls on all South Africans to unite behind a common goal of moving the country forward in line with the Vision 2030, as mapped out in the National Development Plan.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — October 26, 2017

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Another chilly start, but we have sun on the way today! And, we should see winds start to shift around to the south tonight, allowing temps to moderate more as we finish the week.Sunshine will be here for tomorrow as well, and clouds wait to increase until late. Our next front is accelerating some, but we still look for our rain to be here through the day Saturday. Now, last weekend, the front we were expecting slowed, and we told you that was not a good thing for us. The opposite is true here. An accelerating front means that we have chances of seeing our rain totals diminish somewhat. We are dropping the top end of rain totals range so now we look for .1 -.6” over about 80% of the state.Dry behind the front for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We continue to look for a chance of frost Monday morning, but temps don’t look to be quite as impressive. Our feeling here is that clouds likely do not break up as much .Without the clearing, we likely are only going to be dropping into the 32-36 degree range in many places, meaning we are not categorizing it as a “hard” frost at this point. There can be pockets of colder air, but the clouds may hold just enough to keep us from truly bottoming out there. In fact, we think there will be decent clouds hanging around Monday and Tuesday as well.We keep a trough in the forecast for midweek next week. Moisture does not look to be as impressive on this most recent model run, but in this pattern, where we see a trough or front sweeping through every few days, and where the pattern looks most active over the Great Lakes, we find ourselves hesitant to talk the wave down at this point. So, we will keep scattered showers in for midweek with a potential for .05”-.6” to about 80% of the state. This should be a fairly fast moving little wave. And, the risk here is that it speeds up, and we actually see moisture trend more toward Tuesday afternoon. We are keeping our eyes on it.Dry for the balance of next week, but cool, and we have additional threats of frost. The next front moves into the region around the 4th with minor rain chances up to half an inch. A stronger front moves in for the extended period, right now looking at the 8th and 9th. The system could bring up to .75” to the state. No significant changes this morning. The most suspect part of the upcoming 10 day forecast is midweek next week…if there is a period ripe for changes…it will be there.last_img read more

Livestock legalities around the nation affecting producers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Agricultural and Resource Law Program, Ohio State UniversityEvery year, we hear fascinating legal updates at the American Agricultural Law Association’s annual conference. Thanks to presentations by Todd Janzen and Brianna Schroeder of Janzen Ag Law in Indianapolis, we were inspired to learn a little more about trends in meat law. For readers with a livestock operation, these legal issues can present great challenges, and keeping up to date on legal trends helps farmers stay prepared. Veal, pork, and eggs: States battle each other on minimum confinement space regulationsCalifornia voters passed Proposition 12 in the November 2018 election, which will require producers to comply with minimum confinement space regulations in order to sell certain products in California. The Prevent Cruelty California Coalition placed the proposition on the ballot, expanding a previous regulation on in-state suppliers, but the new law would apply to any producer trying to sell veal, pork, or eggs in California. By 2020, veal calves must be housed with at least 43 square feet of usable floor space, breeding pigs must be housed with at least 24 square feet of usable floor space, and egg-laying hens must have at least 1 square foot of floor space. However, by 2022, egg-laying hens must be cage free. Proposition 12 strengthens requirements approved by California voters in 2008’s Proposition 2 by imposing the requirements on out-of-state producers who want to sell their products in California.In 2016, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure that would require eggs sold within the state to be cage free by 2022. Thirteen states, led by Indiana, have sued Massachusetts in the United States Supreme Court in an attempt to stop Massachusetts from enforcing the requirement. These states allege that the restriction is an attempt to regulate how farmers in other states operate, which violates the rights of other states to create their own regulations. This would be a constitutional question under what is known as the Dormant Commerce Clause, which prohibits states from unfairly regulating business activities that have impacts beyond a state’s border. Status updates on the lawsuit are available here.Trying a legislative solution to slow the trend of cage-free restrictions, Iowa passed a law earlier this year that requires grocers that sell cage-free eggs to also sell conventional eggs if they want to receive benefits from the USDA WIC program. Supporters of the law argued that cage-free eggs are often more expensive and excluded from the WIC program. They argue that as a result, when grocers make commitments to sell only cage-free eggs, they make it more difficult for low-income families to purchase eggs. Non-meat proteins continue to target beefThe “Impossible Burger” wants to convince consumers that a non-meat burger patty that tastes just like meat is just around the corner. Veggie burgers are not new to the grocery store shelves, but recent innovations that have allowed non-meat proteins to improve in taste and texture have raised concerns among meat producers that these products are becoming a serious threat. Given that many of these innovations have taken aim at the burger market, beef producers in particular have felt a target on their backs. As we reported in a previous edition of The Harvest, Missouri became the first state this year to regulate labeling of non-animal products as being derived from an animal, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has petitioned the USDA to consider regulating labels involving animal terms like “meat.” Other speakers at the AALA conference indicated that the USDA is currently debating how to regulate labels, but has yet to develop a comprehensive rule package. Dairy contracts: always know what you are signingThe market has been very tough for dairy producers. Having a long term supply contract in place is certainly preferable to no contract, but depending upon the terms of the contract, unfortunate surprises may be in store.Purchasers often write the contracts, and include terms that favor them. For example, many contracts contain termination provisions that allow either party to end the agreement for essentially any reason with prior notice, often 30 days. When producers invest in their operations under the expectation that the contract will stand throughout the term specified, these termination provisions can result in devastating surprises. As another example, many contracts contain confidentiality agreements that make it difficult for a producer to determine whether the deal they are offered is great, average, or actually bad. Equally concerning for producers are provisions that shift liability for problems with the milk to the producer, and away from the purchaser who sells the milk on the market. With modern technology, tracking where milk originated makes this possible. Courts are likely to enforce these agreements because the law of contracts favors enforcement of private agreements.Given the current market, many dairy producers felt that they are not in a position to negotiate better terms, for fear that another dairy close by will accept the terms as-is. This position is made worse by the inability of producers to talk about their contracts with one another because of confidentiality provisions.What a producer can do is to read the contract carefully and make sure that he or she understands the terms of the contract. It may be wise to speak with an attorney to verify that the producer’s understanding of the contract matches how the contract is likely to be read by a court.Even writes for the Ohio Agricultural Law Blog.last_img read more