first_imgView comments Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title MOST READ BanKo Perlas Spikers capture bronze in Vietnam tilt Terrence Watson played through food poisoning in debut for the Painters and still came away with a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds. Watson, who played for San Miguel Beer, in last year’s Governors’ Cup, replaced J’Nathan Bullock after Rain or Shine started the conference at 0-2.Beau Belga led ROS with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PBA IMAGESAlaska went on a blistering 16-0 run in the fourth quarter to steamroll Rain or Shine, 106-89, in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Mike Harris dominated with 39 points and 25 rebounds while guards Chris Banchero and Simon Enciso and forward Vic Manuel had 16 points apiece for the Aces, who tied the Blackwater Elite in second place at 4-1.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIEScenter_img Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal “I thought we were a little bit rusty but we just kept going,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton, whose squad had a 32-day layoff since its previous game.“Mike (Harris) was great. Biggest thing was we have the best player on the floor today. He just asserted himself today,” Compton added.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissHarris unleashed 22 points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter, where the Aces turned a four-point deficit to a 91-75 advantage with 5:22 left.“We got stops and we made shots that’s what usually happens [during a run]. We just pulled away,” Compton said. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more

first_imgSimply Thinking ThoughtsIn my thinking thoughts last night, I reflected on President Sirleaf’s 2015 Annual Message and the declaration that Education would now be TOP PRIORITY. Immediately the speech, pundits and critics began to raise concerns over why so late in her leadership since it is commonplace that the development and existence of all nations depend on educational systems. Howbeit, whatever reasons these critics propound to quench their thirst for answers, in my opinion, declaring education top priority is similar to declaring war on Trojan Horses which have been the conduits for infiltration into our noble profession; hence we should rather embrace the President’s declaration with much zeal and resolve.Infiltration Via the Trojan HorseMy 11thgrade History teacher Bona Deng at the W. V. S. Tubman High School was the first to introduce the story of the Trojan Horse. It is a tale from the Trojan War about the ploy that the Greeks used to enter the City of Troyafter numerous attempts, and won the war (1200 B.C.).According to the canonic version, after a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse as a truce and gift to the people of Troy, and hid a select force of men inside. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek forces crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had not actually gone away. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war.This anecdote is simply to denote how all kinds of people who do not possess the qualifications and capacity have infiltrated the education sector through several means specifically concealed in Trojan Horses.Presently, the education sector is bridled by the foibles and idiosyncrasies of under-achievers and people who do not know anything about education but are in the driver seats.  You find these people comfortably situated, without any remorse of their ineptitude, at every level of the education sector ranging from school secretariats, NGO education projects, classrooms and almost everywhere you cough “education”.There are therefore uncountable number of ways or “Trojan Horses” through which these infiltrators entered the sector and have brought shame and disgrace to it.Via Compromised and Misplaced Education Workers“Since I cannot find anything in my area, I will just go teach”.  “Uncle, if I can’t fit anywhere, just send me to Education let me be doing something there”.  These statements and people who comply or compromise with them are simply grossly unpatriotic, wicked and possessing no intention to improve education in Liberia and the livelihood of this nation state.Some education leaders are simply deliberately misplaced. These infiltrated the sector when the disciplines they chose did not reap anticipated results. Either they did not read well, or they squeezed their ways through college. For example, some people obtained degrees in Management, Political Science or Sociology just to find out later that employment in those areas could not come by easily.  To survive, they disguised as teachers, in spite of their gross ignorance and limitations, and entered the gates of this noble profession, destroyed it and exposed it to ridicule. These very people are still dishing out poison to our children, and mismanaging education, while genuine and proven education technicians are berated, overlooked, and shamed.Via Private Schools and NGO Recruitment ProcessesAnother means by which Trojan Horses grant entry to unqualified people into the profession is the way private schools, as well as local and international non-governmental organizations (NGO) recruit staff for education ventures without Ministry of Education’s (MOE) involvement.MOE usually never participates in the scrutiny of credentials of private school teachers, neither those of local and international education managers to determine if they possess the requisite pedagogical orientation, professional savvy, instructional delivery tenacity, and relevant experience before they are unleashed into the Liberian educational sector. Before I am remiss, some private sector staff are exceptionally savvy in education project leadership and possess rich experiences; I just happen to carry this hunch that at least their suitability should be archived by the MOE to ascertain they are not contents of Trojan Horses.Via Substandard Teacher Training ProgramsA common entry into the profession is via substandard teacher training programs. Immediately the cessation of hostilities during the 1990 war, all and sundry organizations launched education programs resulting to high demands for teachers.Consequently, people were trained in substandard training programs, pre-maturely certified and dumped into classrooms. These people still hold their sub-standard certificates and creating havoc in classrooms because nowhere in the world can genuine teacher training take place in 6 weeks.Conclusion: Attack the Trojan HorsesThe crux of the matter is that the education sector is faced with so many challenges due to infiltration by people who do not have the passion, requisite capacity and qualifications. In the Trojan Horse story, Education Sector represents the formidable City of Troy which failed to fall to the Greeks.Back in the day, like Troy, although teaching did not make much money, it was a noble and revered profession that turned applicants away because they were not qualified to be educators. All of the unqualified, unfit, mediocre people you find operating education today are the forces that hid in Trojan Horses pretending as if it was a gift, and at nightfall, came out and destroyed Troy.I am sure you have heard the assertion, “If you want to die poor, be a teacher”.  Unfortunately, those who make these assertions are the ones who are hiding in Trojan Horses and entering education, sitting in the decision-making saddles, serving as drum majors, or at the helm of education policy management; these people can be found at all levels from teachers to consultants.Now, since President Sirleaf has declared that Education is top priority, I believe the first thing to do is to attack the Trojan Horses and destroy their abilities to serve as conduits and make war.  To these ends, all conscientious Liberians and professional educators must get off the fence and wage war and wage it with all their bodies, minds and souls, on Trojan Horses wherever they are found.No more should we stand by and allow our profession to be derailed while we are ridiculed. WE MUST POSSESS THIS TOP PRIORITY; WE MUST BATTLE WITH TROJAN HORSES and improve the quality of education in Liberia.I am simply thinking thoughts.About the authorThe Rivercess Village man, Moses Blonkanjay Jackson is a triple Ivy League product, and a Jesuit protégé; Mr.  Jackson is a Yale University Mathematics Curriculum Fellow, and a University of Pennsylvania Physics Curriculum Fellow. Mr. Jackson holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and a Master of Education with Secondary Mathematics concentration from Saint Joseph’s University. Blonkanjay is currently serving as Assistant Minister for Teacher Education.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe City is also encouraging the group to become a ‘true farmer’s market’. Councilor Bruce Christensen attended a related-seminar at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. [asset|aid=2066|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=c6a546f4f9042278e4eac663d3395775-Christensen 1_4_Pub.mp3] Council approved staff’s recommendation to renew a three-year lease agreement, that allows the farmer’s market to use the North Peace Arena Lobby until December 31st, 2011. North Peace residents can count on the Farmer’s Market to operate in the North Peace Arena lobby for the next few years. The fate of the popular market’s location was uncertain earlier this year, when the Fort St. John Fire Department expressed its concerns about the market’s location. Fire officials said the packed lobby poses a fire hazard, as the lobby is a fire exit for both the gymnastics club and the North Peace Leisure Pool. – Advertisement -So, Director of Legislative & Administrative Services Janet Prestly says the City began discussions with the market’s stakeholders in the Spring. [asset|aid=2065|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=c6a546f4f9042278e4eac663d3395775-Janet 1_1_Pub.mp3] Market organizers have agreed to pay $110 a year, so that the group can use the lobby at the North Peace arena. In previous years, the group had been paying just $10 per year.Advertisementlast_img read more

first_img0Shares0000Part of the chaos during the GOr Mahia v AFC Leopards Mashemeji Derby on August 25, 2018. PHOTO/CourtesyNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC) will convene on Friday for a hearing over the chaos that marred Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards’ Mashemeji Derby last Saturday.The game was stopped for nine minutes after a section of AFC Leopards supporters started pelting objects, unplucking stadium seats and throwing them into the pitch causing some considerable damage. “We have received the match report from the officials and will be in the process of looking at the contents and issuing out charges. The IDCC has already been notified of a seating on Friday and we expect them to expedite the process because it is a matter of national interest,” KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda told Capital Sport.While Gor Mahia was the home team and thus responsible for all security arrangements of the game, AFC fans were recorded doing the damage while photos have also emerged of some Gor fans throwing seats.This comes even as Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on Tuesday said they were dismayed with the action from the fans and said in any event the IDCC will fail to act, they will swing in themselves.“Here we are, crying that we don’t have facilities while some people are destroying the only stadium we have. It is so frustrating and we want to ask KPL and the IDCC to act, failure to which, we will act ourselves,” Mwendwa said.An AFC Leopards fan prepares to throw a seat into the pitch during the mashemeji Derby on August 25, 2018. PHOTO/Courtesy“We cannot continue watching as individuals continue to destroy what we have built at a time when we are asking fans to come out to the stadium and support us,” added the enraged federation chief.He has gone on to ask police to also reign in on the individuals who were caught on tape causing destruction, adding that it is a criminal offence and should be dealt with at that stage.Among the sanctions that might await AFC or Gor, whoever is found culpable include docking of points as it happened in 2016 when K’Ogalo were deducted three points due to the same in their match against Tusker FC with the latter going on to win the title.“Of course, that is one of the sanctions that is available, but we cannot pre-empt on what the IDCC will say. Ours is to wait and see the kind of action that will be taken. There might be fines, there might be arrests, we don’t know,” Mwendwa noted.He added; “It is difficult for us to go into the details of that because the Sports Tribunal was clear with us that we cannot get into matters of the KPL and we leave that to them. But on this, if they don’t act, we will.”Football Kenya Federation chief Nick Mwendwa addresses a press conference at the federation’s headquarters on August 28, 2018. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAMeanwhile, the sore relations between KPL and FKF do not seem like they will end soon with Mwendwa admitting that it is ‘difficult’ working with KPL with the current Memorandum of Understanding.Other than the issue surrounding the derby, Mwendwa also said it was difficult to convince KPL to shelve fixtures for Gor over this month to allow them participate better in continental football.“The Tribunal was very clear in its ruling that FKF cannot interfere with the running of the league. So we cannot do anything. Gor came to us and told us to help them shelve some fixtures, but our hands are tied. With this contract as it is, we cannot do anything. We will have to live with it until 2020 when it ends then we constitute a new one,” added the Federation chief.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

first_imgManuel Neuer has signed a new five-year contract with Bayern Munich, the club have confirmed.The announcement ends speculation linking the World Cup-winning Germany goalkeeper with a move to Manchester City.Currenty Bayern boss Pep Guardiola is leaving to take charge of City in the summer and had reportedly earmarked Neuer as his number one transfer target.But the 30-year-old has always made it clear he is happy at Bayern and has now committed his future to the Bundesliga champions until 2021.Neuer is approaching 250 appearances for the German giants having moved to the Allianz Arena from Schalke in 2011.He has helped the club win a host of major honours during his time with the club, including the Bundesliga [three times], the Champions League and the Club World Cup.Bayern remain on course for the treble this year, holding a seven-point lead at the top of the table, through to the final of the cup, courtesy of Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Werder Bremen, and in the last four of the Champions League, where they will face Atletico Madrid. 1 Manuel Neuer in action for Bayern Munich last_img read more

first_imgInstead, she opted for senior Courtney Baughman, who had been dependable but had pitched just once in 19 days preceding the final; Taylor, a sophomore, entered with a streak of 51 consecutive scoreless innings and had established herself as perhaps California’s top underclassman. Baughman lasted about five minutes, surrendering a two-run lead on two singles and a sacrifice combined with a two-base error. Taylor then took over and pitched seven scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts but Valencia never rallied. After the game, Lee broke down. She’s had nearly a year to gain some perspective on the loss and swears she has no regrets. “I’ve received a lot of support from other coaches,” she said. Nevertheless, it was a long summer. Valencia is back, apparently as strong as ever, and the countdown has begun because Royal is undefeated and is ranked No. 1 in the state – with Valencia No. 7. “Everyone always second-guesses when you lose and wonders what would happen if we did this or we did that,” Taylor said. “But coach Lee made the right decision. You can second-guess all you want but that loss was really hard for her. Will we get back? That’s a goal and something to focus on.” The real truth is Lee, who’s also a health teacher, has always been more concerned with developing her team as people than as players. Through her 18-year career, the victories, however triumphant, are an afterthought, as are the losses, however disappointing. “The reason I first got involved with coaching is because I want to be a role model,” she said. “There needs to be more female role models for these kids, especially coaches. Have you ever counted how many more male coaches there are than female coaches? The things I teach the kids I hope will last forever _ even though it may take them 10 years to realize it.” Most former players have liked Lee. Some haven’t, but few hard-driven coaches exist in today’s world without detractors. “Girls are different than boys. They need to feel good to play good,” Lee said. “That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years. If your best player just broke up with her boyfriend, you’re not going to get much out of her that day. I’ve tried to keep things as positive as possible, and maybe that’s one reason we’ve been so successful.” Longtime assistant Joe Robinson retired two years ago after undergoing hip-replacement surgery. He’s hobbled back for one final season this year to be with Lee during her swan song. “I love her. That’s why I came back to help again,” Robinson said. “She needed an extra hand, and I support her 100 percent. We enjoy working together.” And if Lee is a bit shy about making a Joe Namath-style prediction, Robinson isn’t. “Things were kind of set up last year, so I’m sure it’s the goal to get to the final – and win it,” he said. “Does a winner have to be a little lucky? Of course. But you also make your own luck, and we’ve got a lot going for us.” A teacher, a coach and a member of the Southern Section advisory committee, Lee’s day starts at 5:30 a.m. and lasts well into the darkness of night. It’s been that way for a long time, and Lee is firm in her decision to step down while her husband and children, Austin, 11, and Mason, 7, need her the most. She nearly retired last year but changed her mind after losing in the final. Lee needed one last season to go for the gold, and here it is. “When it’s over, I think I’ll kind of wonder, `What am I going to do now?’ I just haven’t given that much thought,” she said. For sure, Lee finally will be able to breath easy. Will there be a smile reflecting on a massive championship trophy? That remains to be seen.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VALENCIA – Among the Foothill League’s most successful coaches in any sport, Donna Lee still has much to accomplish, but not much time to do so. The Valencia High softball coach has announced her pending retirement, yet there’s a massive dose of unfinished business: The 43-year-old’s streak of five consecutive league titles has yet to lead to Southern Section championship. Valencia came closest last season, losing 2-0 to Royal of Simi Valley in the Div. I championship game in Irvine. With dominant pitcher Jordan Taylor returning, Valencia figures to be an odds-on favorite to return to the final – the Vikings are No. 1 in the Southern Section rankings – and there’s no question the ultracompetitive Lee wants to go out a winner. Oh, she’ll continue to say all the right things about taking it one game at a time, and she’ll continue to remind all who will listen of the odd twists of fortune always associated with the down-to-the-wire circumstances of high school softball. But don’t believe for a second Lee doesn’t have June 3 circled on her calendar – the date of this year’s title game. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventFour weeks remain in the regular season, but that’s pretty much a technicality, as Valencia (14-2) has little to prove after outscoring opponents 77-9 while playing an extremely challenging schedule. And with Taylor, who posts a 0.19 ERA and is on pace for 400strikeouts, expected to start every game from here on in, the chances of Valencia losing another game – at least through the end of the regular season and first few rounds of the playoffs – are considerably slim. Since the beginning of last season, Valencia has advanced to the final of five of six tournaments (including the Southern Section playoffs), so there’s nothing unfair about expecting greatness. And there’s not a more vociferous hater of a lost game than Lee, so the drama already is in place for a grand finale. “We would like to be there & but I don’t want to second-guess myself,” Lee said. “A lot of things have to come together and it takes a lot of support. No matter what, you have to play as a team, and if the team cracks &” Eleven months ago, Lee unwittingly became the story in the loss to Royal when she decided not to start Taylor in the championship. last_img

first_imgANAHEIM — Paul Byrd never thought his home in Alpharetta, Ga., just outside of Atlanta, would become a bed and breakfast of sorts. Because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Angels pitcher and his wife, Kym, have opened up their home to dozens of Kym’s relatives who live in the New Orleans area. Byrd’s $5 million salary this season has allowed him to help out more than most can afford to. Considering baseball’s warped financial structure, however, Byrd actually is a bargain for the Angels. Byrd figures to get a start in the Angels’ American League Division Series after having the type of season the Angels hoped he would when they signed him to a one-year contract this past winter. Byrd, 34, went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA in 31 regular-season starts. He threw 22 quality starts (at least six innings pitched, three earned runs or fewer), which rank second in the league to the Twins’ Johan Santana, who has 23. “We were looking for a steady, reliable, veteran pitcher who would hopefully pitch 200 innings,” Angels pitching coach Bud Black said. “And he did (204 1/3). And he did it with an ERA in the three’s. When you have an ERA under four in the American League and you throw 200 innings, you are pitching very consistent baseball.” Byrd’s style also has provided a nice complement to the Angels’ power arms. He rarely throws harder than 90 mph but uses a deceptive delivery and mixes his pitches effectively to keep hitters guessing. Byrd said it was the least he could do. He even considered leaving the team when one of Kym’s relatives was missing. Six days after the hurricane the missing relative was found safe and sound, but Byrd’s thoughts remain with the survivors — even as he helps the Angels prepare for Tuesday’s American League Division Series opener against the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium. “A lot of family has rotated in and out, and just recently some of them have gone back to see what happened to their homes,” Byrd said. “We’ve tried to bridge the gap financially for some people. It’s important to help out and alleviate some stress. It’s a very tough time emotionally for everybody.” center_img “I think it’s a nice change of pace for the rotation,” Byrd said. “I don’t think in any rotation you want too much of one thing. I believe we’ve got a rotation with a mixture. The best rotation I’ve ever seen was Atlanta’s when they had Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. They had a right-handed finesse guy, a left-handed finesse guy and a right-handed power guy.” Angels manager Mike Scioscia is more concerned about performance than the type of pitchers he puts on the mound. “He certainly brings another dimension that can be important,” Scioscia said, “but it’s not just the type of pitcher he is, it’s production. He’s pitched very well, he’s pitched deep into games and has given us a chance to win on a consistent basis.” Byrd missed all of the 2003 season and half of 2004 while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He says his arm feels as strong and fresh as an 18-year-old’s — “I’ve thrown 200 innings and I feel like I just started” — and his aggressiveness on the mound confirms it. “His style of pitcher is one where he’s a supreme strike thrower,” Black said. “His ball-strike ratio is outstanding. He attacks hitters from the very first pitch. He doesn’t pitch defensively. Guys with similar stuff usually try to miss bats and expand the zone. He’s the opposite; he goes after guys.” Byrd’s contract with the team will end as soon as the team’s season is complete, but he said he’d like to come back next season. Starters Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar are signed through next season and John Lackey and Ervin Santana also figure to be in the rotation. Jarrod Washburn is a free agent and probably won’t be back, but former first-round draft pick Jered Weaver might not be that far away and rookie Joe Saunders has been impressive. “I’d love to come back here,” he said. “It’s their decision. If not, I’ll move on with no hard feelings. They have a lot of young starters coming along. If they feel the young guys can do the job, they might want to spend money on hitting. We’ll see how it plays out.” Joe Haakenson can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239, or by e-mail at 160Want 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

first_img2 March 2007South Africa has identified the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces as key for development in the forestry, wood and paper sector, with reforestation a vital part of the strategy.Business Day reported this week that the government envisages between R20- and R30-billion of investment by the private sector, including the Industrial Development Corporation, over the next five years to develop the economies of the two provinces.Forestry is one of the sectors identified as a key growth area in terms of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA), which aims to reduce poverty and unemployment and help the country achieve an economic growth rate of 6% per annum.In addition, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has drafted a separate sector strategy to deal with challenges facing an industry that has been neglected over the past decade.According to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the sector employs about 170 000 people and contributes more than R16-billion annually to the South African economy.Speaking to journalists during the Eastern Cape Forestry and Timber Processing Summit in Mthatha on Monday, Water Affairs and Forestry Minister Lindiwe Hendricks said that developing the industry in the Eastern Cape had the potential to create about 26 000 direct jobs at plantation level and a further 1 700 jobs at processing level.Business Day reports that up to 15 400 such jobs could be created in KwaZulu-Natal.“In SA the backlog is bad, as we have not planned new trees over the past decade,” DTI deputy director-general Lionel October said during the summit. “There is the immediate potential for the forestation of more than 100 000 hectares [in the Eastern Cape].”October told Business Day that while an explosion in global industrial development and construction, led by China, had boosted demand for timber and wood products, South Africa had not taken advantage of this situation.He said the DTI would work with Water Affairs and Forestry and the private sector to ensure increased downstream processing opportunities for small businesses as well as black economic empowerment companies.The development of downstream industries will require massive investment, however, and it is hoped that foreign investors will come to the party. According to October, delegations from Finland and Indonesia have already visited South Africa and have shown an interest in investing in the reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgBusinessman Sean Shipalana of GoldRand Harley-Davidson participates inhis second ride.The big-hearted bikers set off for a weekof community service and upliftment.(Images: Emily van Rijswijck)Graça Machel was on hand to see thegroup off on their 2 200km journey.(Image: Mandela Foundation)The group will tackle a clean-up ofthe Mandela Capture Monument inHowick, where they’ll also plant a garden.(Image: Ossewa, Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello HatangNMF communications manager+27 11 547 5600• Sam ManclarkSpeaker’s Corner+27 11 327 1540Emily van RijswijckAn excited bunch of 25 motorcyclists, among them actors, singers, DJs and businesspeople, set off from Montecasino in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs on 11 July, as part of their contribution to the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s (NMF) Mandela Day activities for 2011.Collectively driving under the name Bikers for Mandela Day, the group will donate 67 minutes of their time at each of seven rural community projects across the country. The number 67 equals the years of the former statesman’s life spent in public service – including five years as South Africa’s first democratically elected president.The slogan for this year’s event is Take Action. Inspire Change. Make Every Day a Mandela Day. The main sponsors of Bikers for Mandela Day are Spar and Vodacom.The drive will take in more than 2 200 kilometres through some of South Africa’s more remote areas, and will keep the riders on the road for a week.This year’s route covers the provinces of Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, as well as a drive-through section of neighbouring Swaziland.The bikers return to Pretoria on Mandela’s birthday, 18 July.Second year This is the second year that celebrities and citizens alike participate in an initiative of this nature.In 2010 about 30 riders, among them American actor Morgan Freeman, set off from Johannesburg to Cape Town, engaging in various community projects along the way.Among the participants for this year are Afrikaans singer Bok van Blerk who is riding for the second time; Hykie Berg, Survivor SA: Maldives winner and actor in local television show Binnelanders; radio station 5FM’s DJ Fresh and Angie Khumalo; Darren Kelfkens of popular local soapies 7de Laan and Isidingo; and businessmen Brendon Neuper, Constant Visser and Motheo Sekgaphane, among others.Before setting off, Van Blerk said last year’s venture was “life-changing” to him and he hopes to make this year an even better experience. “What is important is to take the 67 minutes and make it go further.”Straight-talking DJ Fresh reminded everyone that life is not just about you and that nobody is simply entitled to anything. His aim during this drive is to see how he can amplify the 67 minutes.“I am a strong believer in random acts of kindness,” said Fresh. “Smile at your fellow motorists. Make a homeless person a sandwich. Do Mandela Day every day.”On hand to see the bikers off was Mrs Mandela, Graça Machel. Her usual sprightly and cheerful self, she wished the participants all the best on the cold winter’s morning.“Mandela Day gives us the chance to understand the deep goodness in all of us. Remember this makes us much better human beings,” said Machel, the former Mozambican first lady and now Mandela’s third wife.According to Sello Hatang, spokesperson for the NMF, the activities for the 2011 Bikers for Mandela Day were selected for their long-term impact on and direct benefit for the communities involved.Animal welfareThis year’s drive will also have a strong animal focus with the participation of veterinarian Dr Kobus van der Merwe, who will be educating pet owners and treating animals at the community stop-offs along the way.In addition, the Industrial Development Corporation will be using the ride to enhance its Nguni Cattle Project, which aims to reintroduce the indigenous and hardy Nguni species into rural communities.Nguni cattle have traditionally been part of Zulu and Xhosa culture for centuries. The magnificent beasts are considered a sign of wealth and importance.“The need for care and awareness of animals was something we noticed in 2010,” confirmed Zelda la Grange of the NMF and organiser of the event, who is also participating in the ride.First stop Free StateThe first stop was the town of Harrismith in the Free State province, where the group restored playground equipment and repainted a jungle gym at a children’s home.On 12 July the group continues to Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, where they will clean the Mandela Monument and create a garden at the site where the former president was captured in 1962. The landscaping effort includes the planting of a Mandela’s Gold, a rare yellow form of the indigenous crane flower, Strelitzia reginae.On July 13 the bikers head for a school and orphanage in the market town of Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal, where they will install shelves in the school’s food storeroom, help staff in preparing food for the youngsters, and give the vegetable garden a makeover.The next day, the bikers will be in Jozini in the heart of the province’s Zulu kingdom. Here they’ll team up with various community organisations to work in a soup kitchen, and will also tackle the house of a child-headed household, making much-needed repairs and improvements.The group then makes their way through Swaziland to Mbombela, also known as Nelspruit, in Mpumalanga. While in the region they will lay a symbolic wreath at the late Mozambican president Samora Machel’s memorial site in the village of Mbuzini, on 15 July. This is where Machel and 34 other passengers, including other politicians, died in a plane crash in October 1986.The bikers remain another day in Mpumalanga, first working with the Nelspruit Community Forum to restore a care facility for orphans. Later they’ll hand out school uniforms and clothing at a house for homeless children, before continuing to a disability centre in the farming community of Hazyview, just 80km from the Kruger National Park, to revamp a playground.Final stretch to Pretoria On 17 July the group will visit an orphanage in scenic Graskop, Mpumalanga, to create a vegetable garden from bare soil.Before leaving the province the bikers will stop at a children’s home in the historic town of Belfast, now known as eMakhazeni. The home is desperately in need of upgrades to bedrooms and bathrooms, and this is the last project on the list.Reflecting on the activities for 2011, Sello Hatang of the NMF said: “We hope people along the route and those following the ride will take inspiration from this example and live the Mandela Day ethos before and beyond 18 July, thereby helping to make every day a Mandela Day.”Local municipalities, metro police and the South African Police Service will provide additional support at all stops along the route. The riders will be assisted by a support group of 15 staff members from the foundation.Supporters are invited to gather at Pretoria’s Royal Elephant Hotel on 18 July for lunch, where they can celebrate the arrival of the group. The nearby Fezorati Coffee Emporium will offer meals, braais and snacks as an alternative should the main lunch be fully booked. International eventIn 2009 the UN declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in recognition of the former South African president’s unwavering commitment to human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation.Since 2010, the occasion has been observed around the world as a day of taking action and giving back a small amount of time, doing a good deed for the sake of fellow human beings, the community or the environment.Charity concerts have been on the international calendar since 2008 when the first birthday concert was held in London in Mandela’s honour, with subsequent events taking place in New York in 2009 and in Madrid in 2010. No international concert is planned for this year.On the local front, various programmes and initiatives will be underway throughout the week. National carrier South African Airways is re-branding its entire fleet with the Mandela Day logo and will fly 93 underprivileged children from all nine provinces to the NMF, giving them their first experience on an airplane. The children will also receive special gifts and essential school items, including uniforms.The South African Parliament is initiating a week-long programme, and in New York, a week-long exhibition at the UN’s headquarters is underway. Make every day Mandela Day in 2011last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) CEO Kendal Frazier testified on Capitol Hill in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and warned Congress against using the treaty’s renegotiation to resurrect failed policies like mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL.)“Quite frankly, it is difficult to improve upon duty-free, unlimited access to Canada and Mexico, and we are pleased to see the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announce its support for continued reciprocal duty-free access,” Frazier told members of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. “Even still, our message remains the same: please do no harm and do not jeopardize our access.”Frazier pointed out that on average, Canada and Mexico have been two of America’s top five export markets for beef, with approximately $1 billion each in annual sales. While spotlighting the benefits that NAFTA has delivered for cattle and beef producers, Frazier also discussed the ways in which mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling hurt producers when it was tried previously.“COOL was U.S. law for over six years and failed to deliver on its promises to build consumer confidence and add value for our producers,” Frazier said. “Instead, COOL resulted in a long battle in the World Trade Organization — with the United States facing the promise of more than $1 billion dollars in retaliatory tariffs from Mexico and Canada unless COOL was repealed. Canada and Mexico still have the authority to retaliate against the United States if COOL is brought back into effect — and rest assured they will retaliate against us if necessary.”“We must learn from the mistakes of the past and not repeat them,” Frazier said. “We encourage you to build on the success that current NAFTA provisions have given U.S. beef producers.”last_img read more