Chicago fight continues for justice for Laquan McDonald and Ronald Johnson

first_imgDec. 7 — Demonstrations against the police murder of Laquan McDonald continued all week in light of more and more evidence that officer Jason Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times on Oct. 20, 2014, with no provocation. Another dash-cam video revealed clear contradictions in the official report, which was also released following the filing of a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The report includes hundreds of pages of police incident reports and police witness statements. Three lies in the reports were clear from the video. First, the 17-year-old McDonald never advanced toward the officer. Second, after he was initially shot, he did not try to get up. He was incapacitated. One document even stated that Van Dyke was injured by McDonald, which was a complete fabrication. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder last week, 13 months after McDonald was killed. The cop’s family easily made bail, which was set at a $1.5 million bond, and he is now free on the street. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in an attempt to save his own job, withdrew his official support of the police commissioner and then fired him. Pressure remains for both the mayor and the state’s attorney to resign.On Dec. 4, protesters marched around Chicago City Hall 16 times, representing the number of shots fired at McDonald. They demand the firing of all cops complicit in the shooting and cover up. The next day, demonstrations took place again on the “Magnificent Mile” to bring economic pressure on the city. Stores claimed 25- to 50-percent fewer sales for so-called Black Friday last week, after thousands of youth and supporters blocked entrances to stores shouting, “Sixteen times! 13 months!” referring to the number of times McDonald was shot and the number of months the city authorities covered up the murder. More demonstrations are called for this week.No justice for Ronald JohnsonThe mass actions’ impact can be seen and not only in the backpedaling of the politicians, who are clearly on the defensive. Pressure on them mounts as the culture of rampant police terror and cover-up is exposed. This week, again after months of refusal by the authorities to release a dash-cam video that would expose another murder, the mayor agreed to release the video at the requests of attorneys for Ronald Johnson’s family. Johnson, 25, was shot and killed by a white cop eight days prior to McDonald’s shooting. The officer remains on desk duty. Johnson’s mother filed a federal lawsuit against Chicago police shortly after the shooting of her son. This release is clearly a result of the mass actions that are unraveling the power of the police to act with impunity to kill Black youth. The Johnson family’s attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, told CNN on Dec. 2: “The dash-cam video, which I’m not allowed to show you today, clearly shows that he was not carrying a weapon, nor did he ever turn and point anything. The police department planted that gun because there’s no way anything would have stayed in Ronald Johnson’s hand after he was shot.” Johnson was the father of five small children.Today, however, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced she would not press charges against the cop who killed Johnson.As more outrages continue to occur, only the constant mobilization of youth and supporters will expose and challenge the racist nature of this system. These actions show who are the real terrorists and mass murderers in a city like Chicago, where there have been over 300 police shootings of civilians since 2010. More young Black men have been shot and killed by police in Chicago than any other U.S. city. McDonald’s case is the first time any police officer has been charged with murder for a shooting while on the job. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Micro-branches – A hot topic, but are they right for your organization?

first_img continue reading » As the total number of retail branches in the U.S. has declined in recent years and the role of the branch itself continues to evolve, financial institutions are taking a hard look at their branching strategies to determine the optimal delivery model. One of the more popular topics of discussion around branching these days is the concept of small footprint retail branches, often called “micro-branches” or “mini-branches”. We have also seen large banks such as Capital One and Wells Fargo pilot micro-branch prototypes, which has garnered a significant amount of attention within the industry. According to a survey by Bankography, the average branch footprint has dropped nearly a quarter since 2006. So, what is a “micro-branch” and is it right for your organization?First, let’s put some definition around the term micro-branch. Regardless of the name one chooses, we are generally referring to a space that involves a much smaller footprint, equipped with smart technology and that is heavily branded. There are many variations of this concept, which sometimes might involve the use of a shipping container or modular unit that is customized for retail banking needs. In other cases, it might be a 1,200 square foot freestanding branch that is outfitted with ITM’s, VTM’s or a small number of universal bankers.Next, let’s address the question of why financial institutions are evaluating this model. There are three primary factors that typically drive the interest in a micro-branching strategy: ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Sign of the Times? Politics Gets Ugly in Little Silver

first_imgShaffery added that,though no criminal charges have been filed by authorities, the Garcias werereferred to contact private legal counsel regarding the complaint. On Friday afternoon,while her husband Will investigated engine troubles under the hood of a Dodgepickup truck, Ingrid sat beside her two young children behind the front desk ofExpert Detail and Auto Repair, the couple’s auto body shop situated insideLittle Silver’s Sycamore Avenue Shell Station, across from the train station. Brandt was challenging sitting mayor Robert Neff, who the Monmouth County Republican Party endorsed earlier this year. “It’s not right.Regardless of who we support, we shouldn’t have to answer for it like this.This is supposed to be a democracy. There’s supposed to be freedom of choice.And they’re both Republican candidates. It just makes no sense,” Garcia said. The Garcia’s 9-year-oldson Evan, who competes with his school’s debate team, said, despite theincident, he hopes to enter the politic arena someday and make a difference. Since the video wasreleased and the backlash has come, Ingrid said others have reached out insupport, including residents from neighboring towns who have come to thestation for gas, stopped by the shop for work or those simply driven in toshare a few kind words. “I don’t like to saythings like this in front of my children, especially my 9-year-old son, becausehe really understands what’s going on. But they’re talking about boycotting us.They’re talking about ruining our livelihood. If they do that, we’ll lose itall. How would we live? Nobody thinks about those things,” Ingrid said. “The PoliceDepartment unequivocally respects the First Amendment rights of all citizens,and asks all residents and business owners, regardless of political ideology,to respect the First Amendment rights of their neighbors,” he added. A week prior, theGarcias claim they were harassed by two leaders of the Little Silver RepublicanParty, former council member David Gilmour and GOP chairman Stuart Van Winkle. According to astatement emailed to The Two River Times by Chief Daniel Shaffery, “the LittleSilver Police Deparmtent has received and investigated the Garcias’ complaints,but those complaints do not meet the threshold for probable cause to sign criminalcomplaints for harassment.” “I want to use mywords to change the world and be fair to everyone. My mom and dad feel likethey’re being bullied. You shouldn’t have to bully people to get your messageheard. You should tell people what you think and let them decide,” he said. This article was first published in the June 6-13, 2019 print edition of The Two River Times. Despite the visits,the police report, the video and Ingrid’s claims of social media harassment andadditional negative feedback on consumer review sites like Yelp, the LittleSilver Police Department said it will not move to issue criminal complaints.center_img Ingrid said an hourlater Van Winkle entered the shop posing a similar question to her husband in asimilarly aggressive manner, prompting her to pull out her cell phone andrecord a video that was uploaded to YouTube with the title “Political Extortionand Harassment,” and later circulated to area media outlets by the Brandtcampaign. “We love making our living in this town. For the most part I believe people here are good. But some have tried to bully us for voicing an opinion. We’re not going to be bullied. I’ll do what I have to do to protect my family,” Ingrid said. “When I asked thatquestion, I think there was a lot more going on with them in the day than Iknew about it, because the degree of anger they displayed just didn’t fit,” VanWinkle said, calling the back-to-back visits by him and Gilmour a coincidence.“Looking at the situation now, I can understand their reaction.” Ingirid quicklyphoned the Little Silver authorities for assistance and filed a police reportalleging harassment against both Gilmour and Van Winkle. “If the owners feltharassed by my question to her husband, I am truly sorry for that. It was notmy intent. If they feel threatened in any way, I’m sorry,” Van Winkle added.“Having said that, to keep it all in perspective, we’ve had signs go up oncommercial properties around town without permission. I simply asked if theyhad given the Brandt campaign permission.” In the video, VanWinkle is heard asking Ingrid, “Do you have permission to put your signs up?”adding, “We have had complaints in town about signs being put up withoutpermission.” In a June 3 interview with The Two River Times, Van Winkle said his intent was not to make the Garcias feel uncomfortable, but rather to combat what he referred to as a “campaign sign circus” in the borough, referring to the copious lawn signage littering properties throughout Little Silver. Will Garcia said hebelieves the visits were coordinated. “The business owneradditionally reported a negative online review of the business due to politicalsupport of a specific candidate. The review in question falls under theregulations set forth by the Congress in the Consumer Review Fairness Act,which protects people’s ability to share in any forum their honest opinionsabout a business’ products, services, or conduct,” Shaffery wrote. According to Ingrid,Gilmour entered the shop first, “screaming and yelling and demanding to know” whoauthorized the Garcias to place a large campaign sign for Republican mayoralcandidate Rick Brandt on shop property. LITTLE SILVER –As the primary election approached, borough business owner Ingrid Garcia saidshe felt a growing fear of the future.last_img read more

42nd Annual City of Arcadia Mayor’s Community Breakfast Friday, April 1, 2016, FrontRunner Restaurant at Santa Anita Park

first_imgThis year’s event features the 2009 California Teacher of the Year, Alex Kajitani. Creator of the “Rappin’ Mathematician,” Alex offers techniques to teachers nationwide in ways to engage students and make math cool! This same skill set extends to the business world, where Alex delivers fresh strategies that give positive results among business leaders. To purchase tickets please call the Mayor’s Office at 626-574-5403, or email [email protected] Tickets are $20 each. Breakfast buffet included. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Foothill Unity Center, Arcadia Educational Foundation, Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation, and the Assistance League of Arcadia.center_img About the City of ArcadiaNestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, Arcadia is an 11.38 square mile community with a population of just over 56,000. Located approximately 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Arcadia is known for combining small-town charm with the conveniences and amenities of a mid-size city. Arcadia is a full-service charter city governed by a five-member City Council, elected at large. Recognized for exceptional education and recreation opportunities and beautiful neighborhoods, Arcadia is also defined as the “Community of Homes” and has twice been designated the “Best City in California in which to Raise Kids” by Business Week Magazine.last_img read more

Latest: QPR 1 West Brom 2 – Austin scores after nightmare start for Rangers

first_imgCharlie Austin’s penalty – his ninth goal of the season – hauled QPR back into the game after they made a diabolical start at Loftus Road.Rangers fell behind when Joleon Lescott headed home after Sebastien Pocognoli’s right-wing corner had been flicked on at the near post by Stephane Seesegnon.And Silvestre Varela doubled West Brom’s lead when he waltzed through the QPR defence and applied the finish after exchanging passes with Sessegnon.But Rangers were given a much needed boost when James Morrison was adjudged to have impeded Leroy Fer following Joey Barton’s corner and Austin smashed in the resulting penalty.Albion caused Rangers problems on the right-hand side in the early stages.In the second minute, Sessegnon pulled the ball back for Craig Gardner, whose shot was pushed out by keeper Rob Green.There was another anxious moment for the home side when Sessegnon took on Yun Suk-Young – who later went off injured – and found Baggies forward Brown Ideye, who fired wastefully over.Lescott made no mistake, however, nodding in his first goal since joining Albion in the summer.Sessegnon was also involved in the second goal 10 minutes later and Albion looked in complete control before Austin, back from suspension, netted for the fifth consecutive home game. QPR: Green, Onuoha, Dunne, Caulker, Yun (Hill 29), Vargas, Henry, Barton, Fer, Austin, Zamora.Subs: McCarthy, Ferdinand, Phillips. Mutch, Kranjcar, Hoilett. West Brom: Foster, Wisdom, Lescott, McAuley, Pocognoli, Gardner, Dorrans, Morrison, Varela, Sessegnon, Ideye.Subs: Myhill, Baird, Dawson, Gamboa, Yacob, Mulumbu, Berahino.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

SA’s burgeoning berry industry

first_imgSouth African producers are becoming known for their ability to deliver blueberries of a more consistent quality. (Image: Trevor McKenzie) Lead time to the market is critical for raspberries, and South Africa is ideally located to supply the international demand. (Image: Wikimedia) MEDIA CONTACTS • Trevor McKenzie  SABPA Chairperson   +27 21 808 6641RELATED ARTICLES • Quality inputs for Kenya’s farmers • New centre to enhance food security • SAB first with UV purification • Paying it forward with goat farming • SA’s women farmers root out hungerWilma den HartighSouth Africa’s berry farmers, recognised internationally for producing some of the best quality berries in the world, have joined forces to establish a new organisation that will represent their interests.The South African Berry Producers Association (SABPA) is the berry sector’s first successful attempt to coordinate the various activities of the industry. “The industry decided to work together to achieve more and solve its common challenges,” says Trevor McKenzie, chairperson of the SABPA.McKenzie says that the association can play a major role in growing the local berry industry, promoting South Africa’s reputation as a top berry producer and increasing the sale and consumption of this high-end fruit.The South African berry industry is considered one of the smaller fruit sectors in the country, yet it is very successful. Berries are considered to be high-value crops, and since the many health benefits of berries have become more widely publicised, worldwide the demand for berries is growing.The new association is inviting membership to growers of perennial berries such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. McKenzie explains that although strawberries and gooseberries are also classified as berries, they are annual crops.The Industrial Development Corporation, which has been a driving force in developing the berry sector in recent years by funding various projects across the country, encouraged the establishment of the new industry association.Industry representation in the form of the SABPA will ensure that the industry remains sustainable and economically viable and establishes uniform grading regulations for berries produced in South Africa.The association will also facilitate research, exchange industry information between local and international berry groups, look at ways to promote sales and consumption of berries locally and internationally, and liaise with government about issues affecting the industry.Industry challenges“From a grower point of view, the registration of chemicals is a big challenge because the industry is small,” McKenzie says. Many chemical companies are reluctant to register certain chemicals as it is not economically viable.With the help of the South African Pesticide Initiative Programme (SAPIP), some of the major berry companies such as Eurafruit and Haygrove have been leading various initiatives to register chemicals for the industry.Advertising and marketing of berries are also a major focus of the industry. “We are doing a lot of work in the form of in-store promotions and tastings to increase the number of people who eat berries, and so far the industry’s efforts are proving successful,” he says.The marketing of berries’ health benefits is also helping increase local consumption.Berries are big businessSouth Africa has the advantage of counter-cyclical seasonality to the northern hemisphere markets. Local berries are in demand, particularly during the northern hemisphere winter when the market has a gap for southern hemisphere fruit.There are approximately 40 to 50 berry growers across the country, of which 12 to 15 are responsible for 98% of fresh production. The majority of South Africa’s blueberries and raspberries are exported to Europe and the UK, and the industry is also looking to increase its exports to new markets.The industry has also noted an increase in annual exports. A few years ago, only a few hundred tons of blueberries and raspberries were harvested, but McKenzie says that in 2011 about 1 000 tons of both berry types will be exported.Blackberries are produced mainly for local consumption. He explains that the reason for this is that South Africa does not grow blackberry varieties that can withstand the export process. However, this is changing. “Blackberry growers are in the process of planting new varieties which will hopefully make it possible to export blackberries in the future,” he adds.South Africa’s main competitor for blueberries is Argentina, but McKenzie says that South African producers are becoming known for their ability to deliver berries of a more consistent quality. This is strengthening South Africa’s reputation as a top blueberry producer, which is helping increase the country’s market share, particularly in the UK.Sean Tager, managing director of Haygrove Heaven, a berry production company, says South Africa produces a good quality raspberry that is in demand in high-end retailers overseas. “South Africa has been building a good reputation for its raspberries,” Tager says.South Africa’s main competitors in the raspberry market are Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Mexico.Lead time to the market is critical for a highly perishable product such as raspberries, and South Africa is ideally located to supply the international demand. Other competitor countries rely on overland trucking to transport berries, but the South African product is transported directly to the market on overnight flights.Membership of the association would be limited to producers and both annual membership fees and a levy will be charged based on the area under production to fund various projects identified as high priorities for the berry industry.last_img read more

Millennials may find their dream job on the farm

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The number of young people pursuing farming as an occupation is decreasing, but if they give it a second look, they will find that ag careers match a lot of their goals and values. Millennials thrive on innovation and the use of technologies to increase profitability, reduce environmental impacts, improve quality, and foster a better work-life balance than their parents and grandparents had. They also value the collaborative management style, which increasingly dominates modern farming and ranching, especially on larger farms.Colleges and universities are also adapting to appeal to millennial “foodie” interests. In a modern take on the old combination of production agriculture and “home economics” offerings, higher education is adapting with the addition of new interdisciplinary courses bringing together farming, natural resource conservation, food science, social science and culinary arts.Millennials embrace technology, and agriculture is at the forefront, with opportunities in plant and animal genetics, drones, advanced computerization and satellite integration. Improved Internet access is also reducing isolation and increasing attractiveness in rural areas. Also appealing are careers paths tied to agriculture on a broader scale, like water resource management, habitat reclamation and conservation, renewable fuels and farm policy.The renewed interest in ag careers is also fueling FFA membership. With a shift in direction to focus on leadership development, and redefining ag careers to encompass some 300 options, FFA has grown by some 50,000 in the last four years, to nearly 630,000 members. For many years, schools reduced or eliminated its traditional “vocational agriculture programs,” but now, a shortage of qualified agriculture teachers is one of the biggest challenges facing FFA and ag education.There is a lot of momentum, but it is still not enough. At a time when food production needs to increase dramatically to feed a growing population, the need for educated, highly-skilled workers is greater than ever. Leaders from all facets of agriculture need to showcase ag career opportunities and demonstrate relevance to millennials.last_img read more

Virat Kohli nominated for ICC Cricketer of the Year award, Sachin for People’s Choice honour

first_imgThe in-form Indian batsman, Virat Kohli, was on Monday nominated for the Cricketer of the Year award, while fellow batsman Sachin Tendulkar was again nominated for the ICC People’s Choice award. Kohli was also nominated for the ODI Cricketer of the Year award. Kohli was the only Indian cricketer to have two nominations. Apart from Tendulkar, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and opener Gautam Gambhir were also nominated under different categories. The Delhi batsman was rewarded with double nominations for his consistency with the bat. As the leading run scorer in ODIs in 2012, he has been in a tremendous form. Considering Kolhi’s rise to the No. 2 spot in the ICC’s latest ODI rankings, his nomination has not surprised anyone. The ICC honour could be an apt reward in the wake of his consistency at the highest level. Ironically though, India failed to get any nomination for the Test Cricketer of the Year award. Dhoni and Gambhir have also been nominated for the ODI Cricketer of the Year award along with Kohli, while Tendulkar was nominated for the People’s Choice Award. Six players have been nominated in three different categories. It includes Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal, South Africa’s Hashim Amla, Australian captain Michael Clarke, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and England’s Alastair Cook. The awards would be announced on September 12 ahead of the ICC Twenty-20 championship in Colombo. All eyes would be on Kohli to come away with the big honours in Sri Lanka.last_img read more

New Zealand Upset Australian Women

first_imgThe New Zealand Women’s Open team have made an impressive start to the 2012 Trans Tasman Series, defeating Australian 4-3 in game one.Australia has dominated New Zealand in the Women’s grade with New Zealand only winning once before this match, in Hamilton in 2002. At last year’s World Cup the Kiwis caught up some ground but with a new coach and some new faces in the squad, they came into this match as an unknown quantity.They didn’t stay unknown for long though, scoring three touchdowns in quick succession to   make it their game to lose. Missy Buchanan was first on the scoreboard, diving over in the middle of the field with just 20 seconds gone. The New Zealand women produced good yards to get her in striking range and she just evaded the touch.Not long after Marama Davis found space on the left wing and streaked down the sideline to make it 2-0. The close-to-perfect start by New Zealand was completed when Tyla Nathan-Wong produced  the yards and Robyna Hokai the finish.The Australian team, however are not World Cup and Trans Tasman champions for nothing and accepted the challenge laid down by the Kiwis.  Their yards were slick and it gave them the opportunities they needed to fight their way back into the contest. The Aussies had repeat sets on the New Zealand line but the saves came at crucial moments and they couldn’t get over.Finally though, Charlotte Caslick managed to touch down and get Australia back into the match. The entire Aussie team’s intensity lifted but New Zealand was up to the task and their defence stayed strong to force Australia into errors.With 20 seconds left on the clock, two young guns for Australia then joined forces for a huge play; Emilee Cherry found space in the in-goal and then got the ball away to Jenna Hitch. It was a nice move from Cherry and it was anyone’s game at half-time with Australia seemingly with the momentum, but New Zealand holding onto a one touchdown lead, 3-2.The second half featured more intense defence from New Zealand and more relentless attack from Australia. It was a top match with both teams giving their all. Australia’s Louise Winchester used her experience to guide her team around the park but dropped balls at crucial times negated the Australian attack. Nathan-Wong dominated for New Zealand in the middle of the field and after a few near misses she was able to get into the in-goal and offload to Marama Davis to give New Zealand a bit of breathing space at 4-2The Aussie yards at this point were strong and the lead didn’t last long as Australia’s Leah Percy made an athletic dive soon after on debut, slipping through the defence.The Touch Blacks though, having defended so well throughout the match were not about to let this one slip. They held strong and calmly ticked down the clock for a 4-3 victory; only the second time in history that New Zealand has beaten Australia in Women’s Open Touch Football. Highlights of the match can be found at the TFA YouTube channel. Please click on the link below to view: Zealand – 4 (Marama Davis 2, Melissa Buchanan, Robyna Hokai) defeated Australia – 3 (Charlotte Caslick, Jenna Hitch, Leah Percy). Referees – Michael Winter, Luke McKenzie, Tony Arnellast_img read more