Cocky? Perhaps. Confident? Absolutely. And that’s a good thing.Cornerbacks have it tough, as today’s rules are meant to make it more difficult to stop receivers. If Peterson can live up to his potential then he, along with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes can form one of the better secondaries in the NFL. He has the size, the tools and the swagger. However, only time will tell if stardom is really in his future. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Well, Peterson has his sights set on a bigger piece of real estate, as he told USA Today.“I don’t want an island,” the fifth overall selection in the second prime-time draft said. “I want a universe.” Expectations are high for Patrick Peterson, and there is hope his addition will give the Cardinals one of the better secondaries in the NFL.On his own, though, people are talking about Peterson in the same way they do New York Jets corner Darrelle Revis, who is so good that he is left to cover receivers without any help. The scenario has been dubbed “Revis Island”, as the only inhabitants are the corner and whatever wideout he is matched up against. Legend has it once you arrive you are rarely, if ever, heard from again. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Comments Share What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Top Stories
• Junior Galette says he’s still ‘top-tier’ rusher, wants more chances (ESPN NFL Nation)Galette missed the past two seasons after hurting both Achilles. The fact that he has recovered from that to help has been impressive. But Galette feels he’s capable of more. On Twitter, he has used the hashtag #Free58 when discussing his chances.Friday, December 15• Now dead last in points allowed, Redskins try to fix a faltering defense (Washington Post)The problem for the Redskins’ defense has come during games, when breakdowns in assignments or confusion over responsibilities has led to back-breaking plays by opponents.• Five story lines to follow in Sunday’s Redskins-Cardinals game (Washington Post)With their playoff hopes scuttled, the Redskins can finish no better than 8-8 in Coach Jay Gruden’s fourth season. Sunday’s game against the Cardinals will serve as a test of the squad’s character. Will players show up prepared? • Josh Norman sits out practice; Redskins hope Montae Nicholson can return (ESPN NFL Nation)Norman rested because of a sore knee, coach Jay Gruden told reporters. He did not think it was serious, but they wanted to give Norman a day of rest just to be sure. The Redskins want Norman available for Sunday’s game vs. Arizona to help covering receiver Larry Fitzgerald.Wednesday, December 13• Su’a Cravens cleared to return to football. Will he do so with the Redskins? (Washington Post)Washington Redskins safety Su’a Cravens plans to play football next season.In a statement released Tuesday, Cravens’s agent, Fadde Mikhail, said his client “has received medical clearance to resume all football activities.”The question now is: Will he be suiting up for the Redskins in 2018?• Jordan Reed’s season is over after Redskins place tight end on injured reserve (Washington Post)The oft-injured Reed last played in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys and has missed the Redskins’ last six games with a hamstring injury. He finishes the season with just 27 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns.• Reed’s ‘incomplete’ season fails to pay dividends (Washington Times) The Arizona Cardinals make their first trip to the nation’s capital since 2011 when they visit the Washington Redskins Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field.It’s been even longer since the Cardinals won in Washington. Jake Plummer ran for three touchdowns and threw for two others in a 45-42 win over the Redskins in 1998. Since then, Arizona has lost seven straight to the Redskins in D.C.Washington comes into this game at 5-8 and has lost four of its last five contests, including ugly back-to-back losses to Dallas and the Los Angeles Chargers. Like most teams in December, the ‘Skins are banged up and currently have 14 players on injured reserve, including four offensive linemen and three running backs. Asked last week to give an assessment of Jordan Reed’s season, Redskins coach Jay Gruden shrugged and threw his hands up to the side. It was the human version of this emoji: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯• Here are the reasons why the Redskins won’t be moving on from Jordan Reed this offseason (NBC Sports Washington)His injury history and his 2018 salary cap number of $10.3 million has many wondering if the Redskins will choose to move on from him during the offseason.• Need to Know: Redskins’ offense is having third-down issues (NBC Sports Washington)Last year, the Redskins converted 45.2% of their third-downs. This year, that is down to 34.9%, 27th in the league.• Kirk Cousins And The Offense Trying To Find A Rhythm (Redskins.com)Quarterback Kirk Cousins, who continued to lead his team under center despite the bleak postseason outlook, struggled against the Los Angeles defense, throwing for 151 yards, one touchdown and one interception.• Is it time for the Redskins to test out Colt McCoy? (247Sports.com)With Kirk Cousins and the front office still seemingly at an impasse over his contract, USA Today reporter Lake Lewis makes the case that it could be time to hand over the keys to McCoy to better gauge Cousins’ worth. Fans have been clamoring to see McCoy at various times throughout Cousins’ reign as the Redskins starter, and getting a closer look at him could effectively set the price that the team would be willing to pay for their current starter. • Norman: I’m just trying to get this franchise back to glory days (Washington Times)“I’m just trying to get this franchise back to its glory days,” Norman said. “There’s so many great people that come through here, so many legacies. … Man, they’re so proud, they’re so proud. To let these guys down, it’s gut wrenching to me. It’s hard to take and swallow a pill [of not making the playoffs] because you kind of feel their pain.”• Redskins have home-dirt advantage on Sunday (Washington Times)The ugly condition of the field became a topic of conversation in an otherwise dreadful 20-10 win over the New York Giants — the big brown stain in the middle of the field looking particularly bad in the aerial shots on the national television broadcast.The Redskins, in an email response to questions from the Washington Post, said the condition of the field was a “non-issue.”• Josh Doctson shows glimpses of talent, still must prove he can be top target (ESPN NFL Nation)Doctson’s numbers aren’t gaudy, but some of that stems from opportunities. In his eight games as the starting X receiver, he’s received only 5.1 targets per game. Some of that is on him; some of that is on quarterback Kirk Cousins. • RG III still wants to play, denies narrative of days in Washington (ESPN NFL Nation)Griffin was on several ESPN shows on Wednesday, including First Take and NFL Live. During his appearances he stressed again what he told 106.7 The Fan earlier this fall: that he did not tell then-coach Mike Shanahan before the 2013 season that he wanted only to be a dropback passer and didn’t want to run the zone-read option anymore (multiple sources have said the opposite).• Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing (NBC Sports Washington)Brown is leading the league in combined tackles and, probably, in injuries.The team’s injury report says that he is dealing with four of them—toe, Achilles, and ankle with an illness piled on top of those.• Need to Know: Looking ahead at the Redskins’ 2018 depth chart on offense (NBC Washington)Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 15, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.Thursday, December 14• Jay Gruden wants struggling Redskins to focus on the future instead of the past (Washington Post)“We cannot — cannot — dwell on the past of the last two games. We can’t,” he stressed after Wednesday’s practice. “You’re going to wallow in it and you’re going to continue to suffer. We’ve got to move on and we will.” “And if we don’t practice better, we’re going to get the same results. Period.”• Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation (NBC Sports Washington)It’s been the conventional wisdom that the jobs of Jay Gruden and his staff are safe, barring a complete collapse at the end of the year. Well, after two ugly losses we are 40 percent of the way to a complete collapse.• Wanting increased playing time, Junior Galette intends to pursue free agency, per source (NBC Sports Washington)Galette’s contract will expire once the 2017 regular season ends, and while the 29-year-old pass rush specialist appreciates the Redskins organization and fans, he wants to play.• Redskins deny name change to ‘Redhawks’ after internet hoax (ESPN.com)“This morning, the Redskins organization was made aware of fraudulent websites about our team name,” the statement said. “The name of the team is the Washington Redskins and will remain that for the future.”• James Taylor, candy and a stand-up desk: How Redskins coaches combat the grind (ESPN NFL Nation)Redskins coach Jay Gruden’s day starts around 4:45 a.m. and lasts until nearly 9 p.m. He does his film work early because as the day wears on, many visitors enter his office: players, president Bruce Allen, vice president of football operations Doug Williams. But in those quiet moments later in the day, sometimes staying awake becomes difficult — for Gruden and others. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories 0 Comments Share • Kirk Cousins and other NFL players say they’d want to take CTE tests while active (Washington Post)Researchers are working on methods to diagnose CTE in living patients, but it currently can only be confirmed through posthumous examinations of brains. However, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins recently said that if a test did exist, he would take it.• It doesn’t matter how poorly the Redskins play. Bruce Allen isn’t going anywhere. (Washington Post)It doesn’t matter that the Redskins are 5-8 this season and 50-74-1 since 2010, Allen’s first full season presiding over the front office. He should have been let go long ago for poor performance that he once tried to counter with the embarrassing assertion that the team was “winning off the field.”• Reed could need toe surgery, Norman misses practice (Washington Times)Reed was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after missing the last six games with a hamstring strain, but the tight end has been dealing with a fractured left toe since the offseason.• D.J. Swearinger stands by comments: ‘It’s not frustration, it’s facts’ (Washington Times)“It’s not frustration,” Swearinger said. “It’s facts. … A lot of stuff has been said about what I’ve been saying, [but] it’s not going to change what I’ve been saying. That’s the facts of it — guys on this team have to practice better. • Gruden was supposed to be steady hand on the wheel (Washington Times)Welcome to the noncompetitive portion of another season gone off the rails. The franchise has suffered back-to-back blowouts and four losses in their last five games. Injuries or not, the team’s effort and preparation have come under fire, raising the temperature under coach Jay Gruden’s seat.• As the Redskins fall, Jay Gruden’s job security comes into question (Washington Times)At various points this season, the Washington Redskins‘ preparation has been called into question. It began as early as training camp when the Redskins offense was out-of-sync to start the preseason.• Gruden seeks to move on, get Redskins prepared for Cardinals (WTOP.com)Gruden fielded several questions on his conference call Monday about preparation, answering that it’s on him, his staff and players to make sure everyone’s “fully ready to play.” The coach says injuries and a revolving roster have presented a challenge for Washington this season.• Jay Gruden sends a mixed message by waving the white flag (NBC Sports Washington)Sometimes a coaching decision is just a coaching decision. Other times, a coaching decision is a message to the team. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling • Redskins make roster moves (Redskins Wire)The team placed Pro Bowl and often-injured tight end Jordan Reed on their Reserve/Injured list along with running back Byron Marshall (hamstring) and linebacker Chris Carter (fractured fibula).Tuesday, December 12• As losses mount, Redskins players question direction of team (Washington Post)Jay Gruden remains focused on the here and now, the next step in the process, the next game at hand. While frustration continues to emanate from his locker room, the Washington Redskins coach merely is trying to hold everything together for a few more weeks.• Jay Gruden taking all the blame for Redskins’ woes sounds familiar (Washington Post)“We have not been competitive, and we weren’t ready to play . . . today,” Gruden said. “And that’s on me and the staff. We have to do a better job of getting these guys ready to play.”• Kirk Cousins thinks his relationship with his receivers is fine, despite Dan Patrick report (Washington Post)After just about every D.C. sports-radio program chewed over this declaration, Patrick later said more: that he was told “some of the receivers have a problem with [Cousins] because he throws them into positions where they could get hurt,” and that he was told this by somebody who attended the Redskins-Cowboys Thursday night game who is not affiliated with the Redskins. Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland said the only receiver that made him feel like a rookie during his first year in the NFL is when he went up against Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald. That day — Oct. 12, 2014 — Fitzgerald had six catches for 98 yards in a 30-20 win.Breeland said Fitzgerald used all sorts of veteran techniques that he wasn’t sure how to counter at the time. All week long, we’ll take you to Washington to give a little insight into the Redskins’ preparation for a Week 15 matchup against the Cardinals.It’s Behind Enemy Lines.Saturday, December 16• Redskins activate kicker Dustin Hopkins from injured reserve, waive Nick Rose (Washington Post)Hopkins, 27, a fourth-year player out of Florida State, was signed by the Redskins in September 2015. He was placed on injured reserve following the Oct. 15 victory over San Francisco with a right hip injury.• ‘It’s just one big ‘if”: What exactly will the 2018 Redskins look like? (Washington Post)With their playoff hopes scuttled, the Redskins can finish no better than 8-8 in Coach Jay Gruden’s fourth season. Sunday’s game against the Cardinals will serve as a test of the squad’s character. Will players show up prepared?• Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up (NBC Sports Washington)Gruden spoke this week that his team cannot “wallow” in the past two losses. If the Redskins are looking back at their lost season, instead of looking squarely at Arizona, another blowout loss is likely to come.• Redskins looking to ‘get out of the doldrums’ against Cardinals (Washington Times) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires A decision made by Redskins coach Jay Gruden late in their game against the Chargers sent a message, a very wrong one, to his players. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Cyprus and Israel “have been writing a new chapter in their relations in recent years”, President Nicos Anastasiades told members of the American Jewish Committee yesterday in Chicago.“The exchange of high level meetings, most recently in June by myself in Israel and in July by Prime Minister Netanyahu in Cyprus, is merely the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “We are two countries in a turbulent yet important neighbourhood that faces many common challenges. For Israel, Cyprus is a stable, predictable and reliable partner and vice-versa”.He said the discovery of hydrocarbons had created impetus in bilateral relations which had opened new horizons in regional cooperation.“This translates into much needed energy security, diversification, and exports for both countries,” Anastasiades said.He also said that the strategic importance of energy cooperation between Cyprus and Israel was of particular importance to the United States and Europe, mainly in offering an alternative energy corridor route for the EU.“At the same time we believe that the huge recent discovery of the Zohr natural gas field in the exclusive economic zone of Egypt enhances the prospects for further synergies in the region,” the president added.“Energy can serve as a catalyst for stability and co-operation in our volatile region.”Referring to the Middle East Peace Process, Anastasiades said: “We hope that the ultimate goal of peace, through a mutually agreed two state solution, will be the basis for a more stable and secure future”.Cyprus, he added, enjoyed the trust of both sides, and was ready to facilitate their efforts in every possible way. He referred to his proposal to the President of the European Council to invite separately the two sides to a summit of the European Council to present their own point of view and vision.“Following my personal initiative and a series of coordinated actions so as to gain the support of a number of EU member states that share the view that the EU should undertake a more proactive role in the region, the President of the European Council, Mr. Donald Tusk, visited Israel and Palestine”. (CNA)You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Electricity bills will decrease by at least 3.6 per cent in February compared to December, the electricity authority (EAC) announced on Monday.According to the EAC spokeswoman, Christina Papadopoulou, the price change is due to the Cyprus Electricity Regulatory Authority’s (Cera) fuel adjustment which is done every six months, meaning the decrease is valid until June.The adjustment is related to the cost of the fuel mix of heavy fuel oil, diesel and renewable energy sources.In addition to the 3.6 per cent, February prices will likely fall further, due to changing fuel costs which are adjusted on a monthly basis.“The exact amount of the reduction will be known by the end of the month, in two to three days,” Papadopoulou explained.The decrease is a welcome change after electricity prices kept increasing in 2018 due to a rise in international oil prices.In November it was reported that within one year, electricity prices rose 27.7 per cent. At the beginning of October the EAC announced that the average household should expect an almost 7 per cent hike on upcoming October bills, compared to those paid in August. You May LikeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityEarthquake insurance that fits your future plansCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Will Take Your Breath Away. Research 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsSUVs | Search AdsUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
State Rep. Rodney Wakeman of Saginaw Township will host district office hours on Saturday, April 27 and Monday, April 29 to meet with local residents of the 94th District.“I look forward to every opportunity to talk with you and hear your thoughts,” Rep. Wakeman said. “Office hours allow me to have one-on-one conversations about the issues you care about most.”Office hours are scheduled for the following times and locations:Saturday, April 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. at Wickson Memorial Library, 359 S. Franklin St. in Frankenmuth; andMonday, April 29 from 1 to 2 p.m. at St. Charles District Library, 104 W. Spruce St. in St. Charles.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend may contact Rep. Wakeman’s office by calling (517) 373-0837 or by email at RodneyWakeman@house.mi.gov. Categories: Wakeman News 18Apr Rep. Wakeman schedules local office hours
18Apr House approves Rep. Lilly plan to help licensed medical marijuana facilities succeed Solution establishes clear closure deadline for unlicensed facilitiesState Rep. Jim Lilly’s plan to create fairness and consistency for licensed medical marijuana facilities in Michigan was approved today by the Michigan House with overwhelming bipartisan support.Lilly, of Park Township, said the licensing process for medical marijuana businesses was established in 2016 to protect patients by providing access to safe and reliable sources of medical marijuana. However, the deadline by which non-licensed operators must close has been extended multiple times, allowing unregulated facilities to continue selling untested marijuana in Michigan.“Allowing unlicensed facilities to continue to conduct business in our state puts those who choose to participate in a regulated market at a disadvantage,” Lilly said. “It’s not fair to force legitimate businesses to compete against unlicensed operators who do not have to pay taxes and regulatory fees or undergo safety inspections.”Lilly’s legislation, House Bill 4440, seeks to codify in statue the existing executive rule that all unlicensed medical marijuana facilities in Michigan must cease as of a certain date. The legislation would establish a clear date by which all facilities in Michigan must have a license to operate. Under the plan, nearly all medical marijuana facilities operating without a valid license after June 1, 2019, will be ineligible to receive a license for one year. The legislation provides exceptions for those applicants currently in the appeals process, and any licensee in the appeals process would be required to adhere to the same regulatory standards as already-licensed facilities.“This solution will ensure all medical marijuana facilities operating in Michigan are properly licensed, and that any facility operating without a license is held accountable,” Lilly said. “It paves the way for legitimate medical marijuana facilities to continue to invest in our state, employ residents, pay taxes and provide safe and regulated products to patients.”The plan requires the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board to issue a license or a notice of denial before June 1 for any applicant currently operating under the extension, unless they are in the process of an investigative hearing. Applicants who have requested a public investigative hearing would not be forced to stop operating, as long as they pay an amount equal to the annual regulatory assessment and comply with all other regulations. Any applicant denied a license after the public investigative hearing will be required to cease operations at that time.House Bill 4440 now moves to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Lilly News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares October 8, 2014; Daily TelegraphQuestions are being asked about the wisdom shown by the University of Cambridge in accepting a £3.7 million donation to fund a chair in Chinese development studies. Although the university claims that due diligence was followed, investigations by the Daily Telegraph question the credibility of this claim. It is now apparent that the gift was made by Wen Ruchun, the daughter of China’s former prime minister, Wen Jiabao. Magnifying the concerns of many in the Cambridge and wider academic communities is the fact that the inaugural chair has been awarded to a close friend and associate of the donor.Professor Thomas Cushman, a social sciences professor at Wellesley College in Boston, spoke out against the British university’s gift at an UK House of Parliament event organized by Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall. “We need to guard the integrity of these establishments.”“If you leave [scrutinizing gifts] to the academics, then it won’t happen,” he added. “I’m not surprised that they take the cash when it is offered. And a chancellor would be a fool to say no—in these times of austerity, it’d probably cost him his job.”The Telegraph began its investigations in early 2012 when Cambridge initially announced the acceptance a substantial gift from the Chong Hua Education Foundation. The announcement came hard on the heels of an official government enquiry into to a donation of £1.5 million to the London School of Economics (LSE) by a foundation that was ultimately shown to be controlled by the son of the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. That error of judgement led to the resignation of the director of the LSE.Further investigation discovered the Chong Hua Foundation to be registered in Bermuda, where there is no requirement for disclosure of the identity of trustees. The Telegraph was told by Cambridge University that the trust had been established by “two wealthy individuals who wish to remain private.” They also reported that they had been told by a Beijing entrepreneur, Vivien Wang, that the Chong Hua Foundation was indeed Ms. Wen’s charity. Miss Wang later denied making that statement. All stories related to the donation were subsequently censored by the Chinese government from all websites.Ms. Wen is no novice when it comes to opaque identity. The New York Times reported last year that JPMorgan Chase, through its Hong Kong office, engaged a consulting firm called Fullmark to assist develop relationships in mainland China. As they understood it, they were dealing with a Ms. Lily Chang. However, Ms. Chang turned out to be Ms. Wen—“Lily Chang” is apparently the identity that Ms. Wen adopted whilst a graduate student at the University of Delaware and later as an employee with Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse First Boston. (The New York Times explains that the children of China’s ruling elite use government-approved aliases to protect their privacy while studying or traveling abroad.)The children of China’s ruling elite, often termed “princelings,” are said to have amassed huge wealth. The family of Wen Jiabao is no exception. A lengthy 2012 article on the wealth of Ms. Wen’s family in the New York Times led to the newspaper’s website being closed down in China that year.Ms. Wen and her husband studied at Cambridge. There, it appears they were students of Professor Peter Nolan, the inaugural appointee of the Chong Hua professorship. Ms. Wen’s husband, Liu Chunhang, also appears as co-author with Prof. Nolan of a book, The Global Business Revolution and the Cascade Effect.Further examples of apparent disingenuity by Cambridge authorities emerge from the Telegraph’s investigation. It appears that the former vice chancellor, Dame Alison Richards, met with Ms. Wen in 2006. There is no verification that the donation was discussed. (It was, after all, six years in advance of the gift.) However, the current vice chancellor, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, met with Ms. Wen on a trip to Beijing in 2011. Additionally, he hosted an event in Beijing for the Cambridge China Development Trust, of which Prof. Nolan is joint director and Ms. Wen’s husband is a Senior Research Associate. Again, there is no verification that the donation was discussed.However, for anyone familiar with the process of cultivating wealthy donors, these events appear like precursors to asking for a substantial gift. The gift was announced approximately one year after Sir Leszek’s visit.The Telegraph also claims, via a former government official with ties to the Wen family, that Cambridge representatives had other meetings with Ms. Wen in Beijing during the period from 2009 to 2011 to discuss the donation.Dame Alison, who was at Yale before becoming vice chancellor at Cambridge, is credited with bringing “American-style fundraising” to Cambridge. Dame Alison declined to discuss with the Telegraph specifics of the Chong Hua Foundation donation. However, she did not contradict the newspaper’s assertions that she had met with Ms. Wen.Dame Alison has said in the past that whether money comes from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, or China, it often has government connections. Such gifts, she says, often occupy a “grey area” and require “philosophical judgments” to ensure that universities did not suffer reputational damage for accepting them.“There is an argument, which is that universities take, perhaps, funds that have been raised in the grey area and put it to extremely good purposes. You can say that the universities are providing salvation for, you know, gifts raised in this grey area,” Dame Alison has said.The Telegraph says that there is no suggestion that Dame Alison, Sir Leszec Borysiewicz, or Professor Nolan were aware of or involved in anything improper in respect to the Chong Hua donation.A spokesman for Cambridge has said, “The philanthropic donation from the Chong Hua Education Foundation was fully verified and approved by the University of Cambridge Advisory Committee on Benefactions. No more details will be released as the donors, as is common practice, have requested complete anonymity.”—John GodfreyShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share8TweetShare1Email9 SharesJuly 21, 2015; WLS-AM (Chicago, IL)In Chicago, Growing Power will employ an out-of-service transit bus to bring a mobile market complete with affordable fresh fruits and vegetables to food desert communities on the South and West sides.This is not the first repurposing of the bus, which apparently used to be a bookmobile. And it is not the first time Mayor Rahm Emanuel has attempted to make a go of it with this idea.The Chicago Tribune described the history of the effort this way:“In June 2012, the mayor stood with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in front of a shiny red bus to announce a federal grant for two produce buses operating under the ‘Fresh Moves’ moniker while promising to secure funds for four more of the vehicles. Instead, a year and a half later the two Fresh Moves buses were permanently parked with the foundation that ran them, Food Desert Action, reporting a loss of $51,502 on produce sales in 2011 and a loss of $185,520 in 2012.”But the project is now under new management with Growing Power, a year-round urban garden in the city. Erika Allen, GP’s director, says that what will be different between the previous failed attempt and this one will be that the food that will be sold will be locally grown. Fuel and maintenance for the bus will be provided by the city during the first year of the program.—Ruth McCambridgeShare8TweetShare1Email9 Shares
Share6TweetShareEmail6 SharesSeptember 10, 2015; The RootThe Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) reports that a recent survey of 37 sites showed a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the newsrooms of this nation’s mostly liberal or progressive alternative news media. These “continue to be predominantly white, and if anything, are getting whiter.”(Maybe the first indication that diversity might not be such a high priority for the association’s members was in the fact that only 37 of 113 member groups responded to the query.)The survey results were compiled and analyzed by Jimmy Boegle, editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent, head of AAN’s Diversity Advisory Committee. The report, released last Tuesday, reveals that “AAN members continue to do well with diversity when it comes to having women and members of the LGBT community in the fold”—in fact increasing those numbers proportionately—but “respondents reported that just 12.6 percent of employees are people of color. That’s down from 14 percent in 2011-2012.”This pattern, showing a lack of progress in racial diversity, mirrors that found in environmental organizations in July of 2014. That report stated:The biggest barriers to hiring minorities, the organizations said, were the few job openings and the lack of minority applicants. Of the 493 staff hired by conservation/preservation organizations in the last three years, only 63 (or 12.8 percent) were ethnic minorities, and of the 35 staff hired in environmental grantmaking foundations in the last three years, only six (17.1 percent) were ethnic minorities.Similar answers were found here in answer to the question, “Do you make an effort to reach out to people of color when hiring new staff? If so, how?” Only a narrow majority of the 35 who responded did, and a number “made comments to the effect that they either ‘reach out to everyone’ or that they ‘look to the best candidates regardless of race.’” A handful of respondents bemoaned the fact that all they get are white applicants. At least a couple respondents said they wanted to look to other AAN members on how to do better on this.“Respondents rated the importance of diversifying their staffs an average of 7.6 on a 10-point scale, and rated the importance of diversifying readership as 8 on a 10-point scale,” Boegle said, but “eight of the 37 responding papers reported no people of color on staff.” And in terms of management positions, there were a total of 194 positions among the 36 respondents to the question, and only 25 were filled by people of color. Twenty-three, or almost 2/3 of the 36 respondents, reported no people of color in management.We appreciated the recommendations made last year in the environmental report and will repeat them here in case they may be of use to the alternative press and, indeed, all nonprofits.The dominant culture of these organizations is alienating to ethnic minorities, the poor, the LGBTQ community, and others outside the mainstream.Diversity, equity, and inclusion should be core values that are included in the mission statements of environmental organizations.Ethnic minorities are grossly underrepresented in the leadership of environmental organizations. Increasing racial diversity in the organizations should be a high priority.A significant number of talented ethnic minorities are willing and able to work in environmental organizations, but discriminatory hiring practices prevent them from obtaining jobs in such organizations.The environmental discourse has to be broadened to include a wider range of people and the issues they are concerned with.Greater effort should be made to facilitate the emergence of the next generation of leaders. This group should be more multicultural than the current cadre of senior environmental leaders.Diversity data should be collected and tracked in environmental organizations. This is particularly true of nongovernmental organizations.Again, these were recommendations by and for the environmental field.—Ruth McCambridgeShare6TweetShareEmail6 Shares
Share34TweetShare13Email47 SharesAugust 17, 2016; Business InsiderAs you read this, two U.S. congressional committees prepare to review the uses of the endowments of the 56 largest private colleges and universities. In the run-up to it, the critical press has not let up on those mega-nonprofits with deep, deep pockets. NPQ’s nonprofit news coverage addressed stories only recently about George Washington University and Georgetown and about the unwillingness of the universities to accede to reasonable requests from the City of Boston for PILOT payments.We already know that Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of books like The Tipping Point, Blink, and David and Goliath, believes that giving gifts to an already well-heeled university like Princeton or Stanford is a “moral injustice.” It’s become something of a campaign for him. It started last summer when he responded to John Paulson’s $400 million dollar gift to Harvard with tweets such as “If billionaires don’t step up, Harvard will soon be down to its last $30 billion.”It came down to helping the poor or giving the world’s richest university $400 mil it doesn’t need. Wise choice John! http://t.co/2bFmuTy397— Malcolm Gladwell (@Gladwell) June 3, 2015Readers may remember that at the time, Rick Cohen suggested a number of alternative uses for that gift, and Vox columnist Dylan Matthews wrote, “There is a special plaque in philanthropist hell for John Paulson.”Now, Gladwell has produced a podcast in his Revisionist History series reemphasizing his point that large gifts to wealthy schools only increase the gap between elite institutions and colleges who might actually find a good immediate use for it by educating people. He challenges the reasoning behind such gifts: “You know, John Paulson thought deeply and brilliantly about the mortgage meltdown of 2007/2008,” Gladwell said to Business Insider in a recent interview. “If he devoted even a fraction of the time, energy, and thought to this philanthropy as he did to that, the world would be such a better place.”Paulson, of course, made a fortune betting on the collapse of the real estate market.Last summer, when Gladwell first raised this issue via Twitter, Business Insider rustled up a bunch of power-player investors, including T. Boone Pickens, Bill Ackman, and Marc Andreessen, to tell him why he was wrong. Many of these responses contained the thought, “Well, it’s his money, after all!”Gladwell’s response?That was hilarious…round up all these incredibly, really smart and sophisticated investors who have made billions of dollars and get them talking about a relatively complex social issue, and they sound like idiots!They give money to Harvard or Stanford because all their friends pat them on the back, they get their name on a prestigious building, and they get associated with all of the incredible brand value of those institutions, but they haven’t thought, clearly, about the social justice implications of what they’re doing. And they get uncomfortable when someone says, “Well, wait a minute, you have not thought as seriously about your philanthropy as you have about your investment decisions, and maybe you ought to take it as seriously.”Take Princeton, for example—it has more money on a per capita basis than any educational institution in the history of educational institutions. There is no scenario where it can spend all the money its endowment generates every year. If there is anyone who gives a single dollar to Princeton, they have completely lost their mind. I will say that without reservation.Meanwhile, the concept of big schools as good local citizens is taking a beating after another analysis of the unwillingness of “big eds” to help out their localities with some small portion of what they would pay if they were taxed for their property. Bloomberg reports that of 28 private universities with endowments valued at more than $2 billion, only 11 reported giving unrestricted money to their municipalities last year—and this includes Dartmouth College, which is required by state law to pay property tax on all its buildings, including dormitories and dining halls. Some of the others make contributions for specific programs, but this is not our definition of the tax-like revenue that municipalities need.—Ruth McCambridgeShare34TweetShare13Email47 Shares
Share114Tweet50Share3Email167 SharesOctober 19, 2017; Common DreamsIn June 2017, Antar Lumumba was elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. He promptly pledged to make Jackson “the most radical city on the planet,” according to a Jackson Clarion-Ledger article. According to the Huffington Post, Lumumba’s platform included a pledge to invest “more in education, reinstating a 1 percent sales tax to rebuild the city’s aging infrastructure, and reducing crime through community engagement.” The Huffington Post also notes that “he is a founder of Cooperation Jackson, an organization that’s trying to create a network of worker-owned cooperatives throughout the city” and that “as mayor, he plans to start an incubator for local businesses that includes such cooperatives.”So how did a sleepy state capital in the Deep South become the home of a new model of community organizing and community economic development? This is the story outlined in a new book. Titled Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi and edited by Ajamu Nangwaya and Kali Akuno, it details a highly provocative experiment in “radical social transformation.”As the book makes clear, neither the mayoral victory of Antar Lumumba in 2017 nor the victory of his father, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, in 2013—whose term was tragically cut short when he suffered a heart attack less than eight months after assuming office—were mere electoral campaigns. Rather, these electoral achievements were the product of decades of economic and community organizing work.This comprehensive undertaking involved the development of a series of institutions. At the national level, there was the New Afrikan People’s Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. At the local level, this included the Jackson Human Rights Institute, the Jackson People’s Assembly (by which community decisions were made), and Cooperation Jackson (an entity that has been developing cooperative and community-owned businesses).These new institutions take their cue from another iconic African American institution. During the last six days in December and the first in January, many African American communities celebrate Kwanzaa. Emerging at the height of the Black Power movement, it is the only holiday created by African Americans. At the core is Nguzo Saba, seven days of seven principles: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani.Residents in Jackson are seeking to make the fourth principle, Ujamaa, or cooperative economics, a reality. Cooperation Jackson is the vehicle for this transformation. According to the founders, “Our roots lay deep within the struggle for democratic rights, economic justice, self-determination, particularly for Afrikan people in the Deep South, and dignity for all workers.”Specifically, the group is laying the foundation to establish a network of co-ops and initiatives, including housing, daycare, construction, Freedom Farms urban farming, and a community land trust. Energizing the Jackson community to “educate, motivate and organize,” the group’s goal is to draw from its founders’ knowledge and Mississippi’s history of cooperative farming to make the long-term project a success. The group has worked incrementally to secure and grow its power base within Jackson’s political, educational, and economic institutions and the creation of institutions of its own. The founders are aware that this is a daunting task, but one they believe can come to fruition.The kernel of the idea was planted in 1971 when the first generation Lumumba arrived in Jackson with experience in multiracial organizing and the goal of achieving self-determination for African Americans through economic self-sufficiency. The city of Jackson, based on demographics, is well positioned to realize this ambitious design. The city’s current population is one percent white and 79 percent (some say 85 percent) African American, with the remaining people “of color.” This is not necessarily a guarantee—see Apartheid-era South Africa’s demographics—but the numbers indicate a fighting chance, and the community is fighting. The idea has already proved its longevity, if not sustainability, by existing over decades with founders understanding that change does not happen overnight. The Jackson Cooperative has researched the cooperative model and points to the success of the Mondragon Corporation, founded in 1956, and today a worldwide cooperative reaching almost every corner of the globe.The rationale for what many see as a radical idea was the contradictory state of affairs for African Americans in Mississippi. Mississippi has the highest number of African American homeowners of any state; at the same time, African American workers are paid only 69 percent of what white workers make. In terms of building and sustaining community wealth, of the billion dollars in regional annual public spending, only five percent of that goes to African American businesses. Consequently, in 2014, one of the last acts in office of the current mayor’s father before he died was to secure a $1 billion bond for infrastructure spending. Part of that money was earmarked for developing cooperatives, providing the initiative’s fighting chance. The city government in Jackson hopes to leverage that funding source to facilitate the creation of a cooperative bank, a training center, and a cooperative business incubator.The publication of Jackson Rising can only serve to further spotlight the groundbreaking work taking place within this city in the center of the old South. In January 2016, Jackson was one of five cities, along with New York, D.C., Chicago, and Baltimore, visited by the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner’s Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent during its US fact-finding tour. The group’s goal was to assess the status of African descendants in the worldwide diaspora. Each American city, as well as other world cities, will have distinct experiences, issues, and stories to share. But in the opinion of this author, no strategy to build sustainable wealth in African American communities will be as comprehensive as Jackson, Mississippi’s.—Mary Frances MitchnerShare114Tweet50Share3Email167 Shares
Telecom Italia has agreed to sell its 100% interest in its free-to-air station La7 to Cairo Communications.The firm, which is run by Urbano Cairo, a former associate of Italian media magnate and politician Silvio Berlusconi, agreed to pay a consideration of €1 million for the channel, in a complex deal that will see the channel then recapitalised so it has a financial position of at least €88 million.“The transaction will allow Telecom Italia Media to stop providing financial support to La7, while at the same time keeping the network operator Telecom Italia Media Broadcasting within the Group,” the firm said in a statement.It added that as part of the deal, Telecom Italia will waive financial receivables due from Telecom Italia Media for a total of €100 million.Cairo Communications emerged as the front-runner for La7 last month when it was reported that it was in exclusive negotiations to buy the channel.
TeliaSonera-backed Estonian service provider Elion grew its IPTV subscriber base by about 10% in the year to March, ending the quarter with 160,000 subscribers.Elion had 216,000 broadband customers at the end of March, up 6% year-on-year.Elion CEO Arti Ots said the company would focus on network investment over the coming year. The group invested €6.5 million in upgrading its network in the first quarter. Elion this month also introduced the first in a number of digital home management services.
Facebook is reportedly upping its TV credentials by starting to offer data from the social network to the four biggest TV networks in the US. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Facebook will this week begin sending weekly reports to the channels to indicate how much buzz their shows are generating on the site.This will include information on the number of comments, shares and ‘likes’ relating to specific shows, with the data to be shared with NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS and a small number of other selected partners, said the WSJ.The news comes a month after Facebook made steps to make it easier for TV channels to integrate Facebook conversations into their broadcasts or coverage, giving them access to public posts of real-time activity about any given topic through its Public Feed and Keyword Insights APIs.It is also the latest example of Facebook pitting itself against Twitter in the TV space. Its rival recently acquired social TV analytics firm Trendrr and in February bought another social analytics firm, called Bluefin Labs. In December last year Twitter also partnered with media measurement company Nielsen to create a ratings system based on the amount of Twitter conversation around TV shows.
Danny CohenThe BBC’s director of television has warned arts channel BBC Four could go the same way as younger-skewing BBC Three if budgets continue to tighten.Yesterday morning, the British pubcaster confirmed rumours it would shutter BBC Three in autumn 2015 following a series of cost-saving measures.Hours later, Danny Cohen admitted BBC Four was also under threat of closure when asked on BBC Radio 5 Live.“The honest answer is no, I can’t [guarantee its future],” he said. “We don’t know for certain what will happen with BBC Four in the future. The reason we made this change for BBC Three is because we face a series of financial cuts the like of which the BBC has not had to cope with before.”The result for BBC Four was that if “future funding for the BBC comes under more threat then the likelihood is we would have to take more services along the same route”.Cohen pointed to the fact BBC licence fee payers had been force to pick up the £245 million (US$410 million) bill for the BBC World Service radio platform as a direct reason for cuts elsewhere.The BBC’s licence fee was frozen until 2017 four years ago as part of a government renewal settlement, which lead to a wide ranging Delivery Quality Firm cost saving initiative that has resulted in cuts across the board. BBC director general Tony Hall linked the BBC Three closure in 18 months to the agreement.Both his and Cohen’s comments come ahead of the next charter renewal at the end of 2016.
Yoshio TamuraIndustry profits for 32-inch LCD panels are will decrease by 22% in the first quarter of 2016, after increasing by 24% year-on-year in Q1 2015, according to IHS.The research firm said that the steep decline in profit margins for 32-Inch LCD panels – a key display revenue generator – will likely mean manufacturers shift their 32-inch LCD production to larger sizes, thus reducing prices and increasing demand for displays larger than 48 inches.“Most LCD TV panel prices began to fall after the first quarter of this year, and prices will reach their lowest level in the second quarter of 2016. Since equipment depreciation cost is factored into 8th-generation fabs, the total LCD profit margin is expected to turn negative next year,” said Yoshio Tamura, senior director of research and analysis for IHS Technology.
Didier LupferCanal+ Group has renewed its deal with Disney Media Distribution for exclusive first run and SVoD rights to Disney movies.The deal will give Canal+ rights to air to Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Studios, Disney Pixar and Lucasfilm movies including Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.The deal will also see SVoD service Canalplay include ABC Studios programmes including Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Desperate Housewives and Castle in its offering, as well as Disney and Disney Pixar films including Robin Hood, Cars, Monsters Inc and Toy Story.“This agreement marks a new stage in our partnership with Canal+ Group. We are convinced that Canal+ subscribers will be able to fully benefit from an ever greater variety of the most compelling characters and captivating and moving stories from Disney where, when and how they want, across a unique catalogue of films and TV series,” said Astrid Barbot, CEO of Disney Media Distribution France.“We are particularly proud to to renew our agreement with Disney, both for Canal+ and Canalplay. We can therefore offer to our subscribers the greatest productions from the prestigious Dinsey studios, including the films of Marvel Studios, Disney Pixar and Lucasfilm, beginning with the highly anticipated Star wars: The Force Awakens,” said Didier Lupfer, head of cinema at Canal+ Group.
Netflix’s international streaming subscriber base will reach 140 million by 2025, according to a research note by L&F Capital Management.The US-based boutique equity investment group claims that by 2025 Netflix’s international subscriber count will include 55 million customers from Europe and almost 45 million from Asia.“In short, we think the international total addressable market (TAM) is just over 750 million households, and believe NFLX can net 140 million international streaming subs by 2025,” said L&F in a note published on finance site Seeking Alpha.In Europe the research identifies Germany, France, the UK and Italy as the biggest potential markets – where it claims Netflix has seen “mixed success thus far” – and says Europe’s addressable market by 2025 will be 225 million households.Asia, excluding China, will hold even more opportunity with an estimated addressable market of some 290 million homes. India and Japan, where Netflix has already announced original content plans, are the biggest addressable markets in this region, according to L&F.In the Americas, the research estimates that Netflix can target a total market of roughly 120 million households, with Brazil and Mexico the biggest potential markets.In Africa the market opportunity will be roughly 85 million homes and ”given urbanisation and population size, we think the Africa market is bigger than both the Middle East and Oceania,” said L&F.In its first quarter earnings announcement Netflix reported that it had 34.53 million total international streaming members, and 46.97 million in the US.Netflix said it expected to add 2.5 million members in the second quarter of 2016 – 2.0 million internationally and 500,000 in the US.
Arnaud de PuyfontaineAttempts to find a resolution to the battle between Vivendi and Mediaset have so far failed, according to the French media giant’s CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, speaking to the Financial Times.Despite press speculation in recent weeks that a new deal was in the offing, there has been no discussion between the pair since July last year, with the exception of a single meeting between De Puyfontaine and Pier Silvio Berlusconi in December, according to the FT, citing an unnamed source.Despite no deal currently being in sight, De Puyfontaine told the FT that Vivendi remained committed to expanding its presence in the Italian market and southern Europe generally. He said Vivendi did not intend to sell of its 24.9% stake in Telecom Italia, which Vivendi says is part of its core strategy of forging close partnerships with telecom operators.De Puyfontaine has previously said that Vivendi remains open to a deal with the Italian broadcaster amid reports that the media group would be willing to restart talks if Mediaset dropped its legal action against it. Speaking after Vivendi’s end of year results were published in February, he told analysts that the company was “still willing to build a strong industrial relationship with this company” which fitted with Vivendi’s southern European strategy.More recently, he told attendees at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that he was hopeful that a deal with Mediaset is still possible.“We are creating a new story for Telecom Italia and [we want to] build a southern European player with Mediaset. We will find a solution and make it work. I’m pretty sure about that,” De Puyfontaine said at MWC.De Puyfontaine told the FT that Mediaset provided “misleading” information to Vivendi during the pair’s negotiations over the future of the Italian broadcaster’s pay TV unit last year.He reiterated that Vivendi had pulled out of the April agreement that would have seen Vivendi take over Mediaset Premium and Vivendi and Mediaset take 3.5% stakes in each other because it was “not happy” about a gap between “the nature of the information provided to us” and the true financial situation of the pay TV unit.Vivendi’s account has been disputed by Mediaset, which said that the April deal followed a month of due diligence.
Qatar-based teleco Ooredoo has partnered with Starz Play for the launch of its mobile TV app Ooredoo TV Go.The recently released iOS and Android app gives users access to more than 6,000 hours of TV shows and movies, with Starz’s catalogue of on-demand content available alongside live TV channels.“Being able to watch your favourite movie or TV show any place, any time and on any device, live or on-demand is now a reality and soon will become a way of life,” said Ooredoo chief commercial officer, Johan Buse.“This is only the beginning for Ooredoo TV Go. We will have more content and channels added in the future and we also have ambitious plans to have it optimised for television.”Starz Play CEO, Maaz Sheikh, said that the Ooredoo TV GO deal is a “solid example of how to deliver the maximum value and convenience to customers.”“The combination of SVOD platforms and telecom operators now brings Arab consumers the premium content they want at an affordable price, and offers them greater control over what they watch, when they watch, and what device they watch it on.”