Two mayors

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Burbank One is enough Re “Two L.A. mayors?” (Dec. 12): It seems we can barely keep track of one globe-trotting mayor – now two? Perhaps the supervisors could elect one of them to act as mayor. Or perhaps the addition of a position with staff for half a million dollars or so, is planned to be financed by each county supervisor’s allocating one-fifth of his or her budget? Or perhaps the excess of funds in the county coffers must be spent on something. (There is excess, isn’t there?) Maybe there should be talk of reducing expenditures. I thing the supervisors are doing an excellent job in running the county, and the need for one central person to complain to is unnecessary. Re “Two L.A. mayors?” (Dec. 12): Zev Yaroslavsky’s proposal to create a county mayor is frightening. If this becomes a reality, it means that the voters of the city of Los Angeles, with a vastly greater population than the balance of the county, would effectively choose that mayor. Excuse me, but haven’t the voters of L.A. packed their own City Hall with inept, indifferent and corrupt political hacks? Didn’t they just finish letting these hacks scam them into extending their terms? If there is a county mayor, it means that the concept of the inmates running the asylum will extend into Santa Clarita, Torrance, Glendale and every other community that has worked so hard not to be a part of this madness. Zev, thanks but no thanks. – John S. Soet – Ron Spindler Encino Tokofsky bows out Re “Tokofsky departs” (Our Opinions, Dec. 12): Not all will miss David Tokofsky from the Los Angeles Unified School District board, as your article suggests. While touting his support of the LAUSD inspector general, the article ignores that reports from the inspector general are routinely covered up and concealed from the public. A glaring example is Tokofsky’s speech to a class of hundreds of graduating district intern teachers touting what great service LAUSD had done for them while the board was, at the same time, covering up an inspector general report on how the district had cheated those very same teachers, reneging on pay promises made to them and hoping they wouldn’t find out. – Phil Pearson Agoura Hills Voting for David Re “Tokofsky departs” (Our Opinions, Dec. 12): While most members of the Los Angeles Unified School District community will look back fondly on David Tokofsky’s years on the school board, I would like to point out some omissions in your editorial. David was elected three times, not two. He represented portions of the east San Fernando Valley, generally not too far from San Fernando Road, from 1995 until the latest round of gerrymandering created current school board districts. In 1995, as well as in 1999 and 2003, he was supported by United Teachers Los Angeles. As a UTLA activist in 1995, I remember knocking on doors in the Sun Valley community of my youth, asking my neighbors – not to mention my mother, then 78 years old – to vote for David. – Ed Kaz Chapter chairman, Reseda High School Voting travesty Re “End state travesty of a rigged system” (Their Opinions, Dec. 12): One hundred percent of the vote? Not in Xavier Becerra’s district. I didn’t vote for him. Yes, he had no opposition, but 100 percent of the district voters did not vote for him. A better statistic would be the percentage of the total district vote that was cast for the unopposed candidate. This would more accurately determine the quality of the politician’s mandate. – Gary D. Barry Los Angeles Alarcón’s competition Re “Uncompetitive edge” (Our Opinions, Dec. 13): Regarding your editorial on Richard Alarcón, I am dismayed that you would accept only one candidate for the 7th District council office, someone whose only interest in running for the council is to secure his pension with the city of Los Angeles. His track record shows that he is not willing to complete anything. Candidate Monica Rodriguez, who did not cut a deal to leave the race, will be competitive, engage the residents of the 7th District and address the issues confronting the 7th District. – Juan J. Rodriguez Arleta Boyle’s curmudgeon Re “Peter Boyle of `Raymond,’`Frankenstein’ dies at age 71” (Dec. 13): Needless to say that we all will miss Peter Boyle, since he was a superb actor who was different from the “Nancy boys” he loved to describe in the Raymond series. Playing the part of a conservative curmudgeon, he warmed my heart every time he ridiculed his less-than-manly sons on the TV show. In real life, the media and their supporters are packed with “Nancy boys” who like to take aim at conservatives without any real reason, except that they think differently. Now we have the real Nancy (Pelosi) who brings the gay-Bay philosophy to Congress. I predict that she will fail in a big way. Rest in peace, Peter. You made many of us old conservatives happy. – Sion Colvin Woodland Hills U.N. policy Re “U.N. ambassador” (Your Opinions, Dec. 13): Unfortunately, “America bashers” at the United Nations are growing in leaps and bounds, but Bolton was courageous enough to stand against them. The U.S. pours millions of dollars into the U.N. each year; yet, the U.N. stonewalls the U.S. all the time and never decides on a request in a timely manner. Corruption is rampant in the U.N., but nobody is convicted or admonished. The only thing the U.N. has going for it is it’s good for New York City’s economy. – Pamela Franklin Granada Hills Slo-mo Bush So, Bush is going to release his “new direction” for Iraq, but not until after New Year’s Day? I wonder how many young Americans and innocent Iraqis will be killed or injured while he decides on a method to support his madness. I see the reports every day. These are not sports scores. These are not just numbers. They are living, breathing souls whose lives are being snuffed out. Their blood is now and will forever be on the hands of this incompetent president and those who allowed it to happen. How much longer must we suffer this boorish bully? Congress, please wake up. Stop Bush. Now. – Eddie Johnson Panorama City Still exists It’s hard to believe that anti-Semitism still exists in the 21st century, but it does. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is guilty of this. Rather than put up one menorah, airport officials chose to take down the Christmas trees. Their reason: They did not want to be exclusive. But they were. And when the rabbi said he would not sue, the airport promptly put the Christmas trees back. And so they still are exclusive. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport owes its Jewish travelers an apology for its racist behavior. And it better get a menorah in the airport before Friday at sundown, the first night of Hanukkah. – Pauline Roth Santa Clarita Good all around Re “Helping others: Finding meaning through volunteerism” (Dec. 13): It’s uplifting to see an article (no matter how small) reminding us that people still care about one another. The article reported a 34 percent increase in volunteering since 1974. With the endless bombardment of hatred, killing and crime reported in the news we often forget that there is good in the world. Generous acts by kind people often are minimized or completely left out of the news and public sight. We have to be extremely vigilant to see them, nevertheless good things and people are all around us. – Andres Estrada Woodland Hills160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

School to empower Malawian girls

first_imgStudioMDA’s artist aerial impression of the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. Some of the girls to enroll at the academy have been orphaned by the aids epidemic. Madonna unveiling the site of the academy in 2009. (Images: Raising Malawi) MEDIA CONTACTS • StudioMDA Academy designers +1 212 343 3330 mail@studiomda.com RELATED ARTICLES • Malawi: Africa’s warm heart • SA comics team up for charity • Celebrities on sale for charity • Epic run to put smiles on facesBongani NkosiThe words “dare to dream” signified the beginning of an inspiring journey as Madonna, the acclaimed US pop star, laid the first brick, inscribed with the adage, for the construction of Raising Malawi Academy for Girls – a school she’s building in Malawi.Madonna attended the ceremony on 6 March to mark the start of construction of the academy, located in a village on the outskirts of the country’s capital Lilongwe. The US$15-million (R108.9-million) academy is part of Raising Malawi, an NGO the singer co-founded with Kabbalah rabbi Michael Berg in 2006.It will accommodate about 450 girls from across Malawi’s 28 districts, and hopefully will enrol those from some of the Southern African country’s most impoverished families. “Our academy will educate, protect, and empower … young girls who are Malawi‘s hope for the future,” Madonna said in a statement.The academy, designed by New York-based architect company StudioMDA, will sit on a 46ha plot, according to design blog Inhabitat.This land was secured from 200 villagers who were compensated with about $115 000 (R844 000) in total to be relocated. While they were reluctant to vacate the village, the government convinced them that the academy would benefit the country, and also offered them land to build new houses.The vision for the academy is that it will fulfil a much bigger role than just that of a school, as it will also serve as a “family and support centre for many orphaned girls who have been left to raise their brothers and sisters”, said Raising Malawi. “It will also be a source of protection and access to medical care and regular meals.”Inhabitat reports that the school will offer a library, an administration building, a dining hall, a gymnasium, a wellness centre, a sports field, 30 classrooms, 12 dormitories and 18 staff houses.“… Most importantly it will be an outstanding school,” said Raising Malawi. “Never before will so many Malawian children have access to a school library, or be able to hold a textbook of their own.”Developers are building the school using Hydraform bricks, a form of non-burnt bricks which cuts down on deforestation in Malawi, Inhabitat said. The academy will also generate much of its own energy, as its “entire gymnasium roof will be covered in photovoltaic panels to help supply the school with power”.Curbing the brain drainMadonna hopes the school, to be headed by local academic Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, will produce top professionals such as scientists, lawyers and doctors, who will serve their country. She said part of its aim is to curb the prevalent trend of locals being drawn to Western countries.“We will stop the brain drain happening in so many African nations… our students will receive an internationally competitive education while incorporating local values.”The inclusion of Malawian cultural values will help build national pride in the students, and in turn inspire them to give back to their nation. The local culture will be preserved and passed on, with the incorporation of music, art and dance in the academy’s curriculum.“As an artist, I know the transformative power of art,” Madonna said. “Once instilled with pride in their homeland, young women will understand the importance of remaining in Malawi and investing in their own communities.”Children are the futureThe pop star, who shot to fame in the 1980s, said she was touched when she visited Malawi in 2006. She was devastated by the impact of HIV/Aids in the country, she said, having met scores of children who had been orphaned by the epidemic.She came across children heading their homes and raising other children, and, returning home knowing that the future of the country rested on those young shoulders, was inspired to act.She stated that the education of girls was key to rebuilding communities and raising the nation, and was encouraged by the determination shown by the orphans. “I know they have the strength to save Malawi; they just need to be given the tools.”Madonna has adopted two Malawian children, David Banda and Chifundo ‘Mercy’ James, who accompanied her biological offspring Rocco and Lourdes to this week’s charity tour. The star is also funding a number of charities in the country.“It is with hope for a bright future that I am here. The brick I [laid] is not just the bedrock to a school; it is the foundation for our shared future,” she said.last_img read more

Maponya: We must collectively say no to xenophobia

first_imgBrand South Africa’s chairperson, Chichi Maponya, says our African neighbours helped us during apartheid and says it is time for South Africa to play her part for the continent. Brand South Africa’s chairperson, Chi Chi Maponya, urges each South African to show our Ubuntu now when it matters most. (Image: Shamin Chibba)South Africans will commemorate 21 years of democracy in a few days. Our struggle for freedom and liberation became a collective struggle as the people of the continent and the wider international community joined us. When we attained our long yearned for freedom, we knew our success was due to the efforts of the citizens of our continent and the world.Citizens of Africa – at all levels – spared no effort to fight for our liberation. Heads of countries took up our struggle at international fora, they joined the broader international community in calling for international sanctions against the apartheid government; they hosted South Africans who were escaping the horrors of our country; they provided our people, inside and outside the country with food and clothing.  Citizens of the continent accepted and integrated our people into their communities.  And some even lost their lives for supporting our struggle when they were targeted by the then South African Defence Force.  Some countries even provided travel documents to our people so that they could garner more international support for our fight for liberation.The words, “South Africa’s freedom was not free,” is more than just a slogan.  Efforts and lives that contributed to our freedom cannot actually be quantified.South Africa has always been cognisant of our debt to the continent and its people.  We have since 1994 actively pursued a foreign policy that put Africa at the centre of our developmental agenda.  It is for this reason that South Africa worked with other leaders on the continent to spearhead developmental policies like NEPAD while advocating on the global stage that Africa should no longer remain on the periphery of international relations.  We took this position to the United Nations Security Council during both sittings as non-permanent members, we have taken this position to the G-20, BRICS and other such fora.South Africa also provides material support to the continent in that we are amongst the largest investors on the continent and we actively support peace and security initiatives through dialogue, mediation, humanitarian and security contributions.South Africa acts in this way cognisant that our fortunes are intrinsically linked to that of the continent.  We are also committed to the vision of an Africa Rising – an Africa that is no longer on the periphery but a continent that can take its rightful place in the community of nations.And driving this commitment to the growth and development of our continent is the need for us, as leaders in our respective spheres, to deliver a better quality of life for all the citizens of Africa.  To us, as leaders, the citizens of the continent are not just a market for goods.  Our people are at the heart of the spirit, the culture, the richness, the heritage of our continent.  Our people make our continent amazing.  Our people will carry the history of our continent in their bloodlines and pass it on to future generations.  Our people will attest to our struggles to emerge as a dark and forgotten continent to a place of glory.It is against this background that South Africa also believes that the free movement of people throughout the continent must be facilitated.  South Africa’s rich culture and heritage is undoubtedly a result of the various waves of immigration that swept through our country.  Such is the multi-hued collage of our citizens that many cannot even relate to the countries from which they have migrated.And now we find ourselves, in the midst of Freedom Month and a few days away from Africa Month, where we are turning against each other – brother against brother, sister against sister.  We cannot allow this to continue.  And it is up to each of us that play our part to stop this.  We must have respect and consideration for each other.  We must appreciate that where the continent once hosted our citizens, it is time for South Africa to play her part for the continent.  And this is what drives our views and policies with regard to foreign relations, trade and investment and immigration.I urge each citizen of our country to not forget where we come from, to play our part in accepting all citizens to our country, to show our Ubuntu – now when it matters most.  Where there are legitimate grievances, bring them to your elected officials, to your community leaders.  Let us solve our problems in our time honoured way – through dialogue.One of the founders of our premier liberation movement, Pixley ka Seme called for an end to racism, tribalism and other divisive tendencies in 1911 when he said: “The demon of racialism, the aberrations of the Xhosa-Fingo feud, the animosity that exists between the Zulus and the Tongas, between the Basuthos and every other Native must be buried and forgotten; it has shed among us sufficient blood! We are one people.”Let us not forget.  Let us celebrate each other as citizens of one continent, as citizens with a common past and future.  Let us stop the hatred and anger.  We are African citizens!Follow Ms Maponya on @ChichiMaponya and contribute to the conversation on #WeAreAfrica.last_img read more

Aussie investigators call for ICAO review of centerline runway lighting

first_imgThe tracks left by the Virgin aircraft during the runway excursion. Photo: ATSB The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has recommended an international review of runway lighting standards after a Virgin Australia plane drifted off a runway in Darwin.It has also renewed calls for the installation of centerline lighting at Darwin International Airport.The recommendations are included in an ATSB report into the Virgin runway excursion in December 2016.The ATSB found the Virgin Boeing 737-800 was landing on a wet runway at night in reduced visibility caused by heavy rain.It touched down more than 20m to the right of the centerline and continued to the side of the runway, where its right landing gear ran off the edge and destroyed six runway lights along a 400m path before returning to the runway.Investigators found there had been a relatively small increase in a crosswind in the critical few seconds before touchdown and the pilots were not aware of how far the plane had deviated.They said the lights alongside the 60m-wide runway 11/29 at Darwin were further apart than would be normally be seen by pilots and the lack of centerline lighting resulted in “very limited visual cues for maintaining runway alignment during night landings with limited visibility”.READ NTSB begins Alaska seaplane crash probeThis affected the crew’s ability to detect and correct the aircraft’s deviation.“A wide runway without centreline lighting, such as at Darwin, poses a particular challenge for aircraft making approaches in darkness and heavy rain,” said ATSB executive director transport safety Nat Nagy.“In these circumstances, centerline lighting greatly helps flight crews align the aircraft with the runway.”Investigators also found that a disproportionate number of runway side excursions in reduced visibility happened on wider runways but not on facilities with centerline lighting.They issued a safety recommendation that the International Civil Aviation Organization review lighting standards as a result of the finding.ICAO currently recommends, but does not mandate, centerline lighting on wider runways.Darwin — which is jointly run by the Department of Defence and the civilian airport operator — is the only one of two Australian runways wider than 50m without the center lighting.This is despite a previous ATSB recommendation that it be installed after a 2003 runway excursion and a renewal of its concerns — in this case without a recommendation — after a 2008 hard landing.Both operators have advised the ATSB that the installation of center lighting would be considered in future runway works.Meanwhile, Virgin and Darwin airport told investigators they had initiated safety action which included providing flight crews with information about the specific risks of approaches to the facility.last_img read more

CERN Officially Unveils Its Grid: 100,000 Processors, 15 Petabytes a Year

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… frederic lardinoiscenter_img Tags:#news#web CERN today officially unveiled the massive computer network that will crunch the enormous amount of data coming from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). CERN expects that the LHC will produce around 15 petabytes of data every year. While the LHC was in its planning stages, CERN’s IT department decided that the only realistic way to handle this amount of data would be by relying on the then still novel idea of grid computing. CERN’s grid consists of 100,000 processors at 140 scientific institutions in 33 countries.How to Crunch 15 Petabytes of Data?As Science reported last month (subscription required), CERN’s IT department quickly realized that no known data center could handle the amount of information the LHC would create. It was not even clear that Geneva’s power grid could supply the energy necessary to run this massive data center. In addition, most of the money for the LHC project was going toward the collider itself, so that very little funding was left for the actual computing resources. In order to distribute this data, CERN relies on dedicated 10Gbit/s fiber-optic lines that connect CERN with the 11 Tier-1 data centers on the grid. The Tier-1 data centers (pdf) will do some processing, but will also function as the main archives for the LHC data. These Tier-1 centers then farm out a large part of the actual data crunching to the Tier-2 data centers spread around the world. The Tier-2 centers are connected to the grid via regular, public Internet connections.Large Hadron Collider @ HomeWhile grid computing has been around for quite a while now and has been implemented successfully on the public Internet by projects like SETI@home or Folding@home, CERN’s grid is most likely the largest and most powerful grid established for scientific research so far.CERN has also set up a project similar to Folding@home called (somewhat unimaginatively) LHC@home, which, thanks to the current shut-down of the LHC does not have much to do right now, but will allow individuals to contribute to CERN’s efforts by donating computing time on their own computers.Image of CERN Computer Center used courtesy of CERN. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

India vs Zimbabwe: Ravi Shastri to skip tour

first_imgIndian team director Ravi Shastri will not be travelling to Zimbabwe with the Indian team next month. According to Cricbuzz, the veteran will be back with the squad for the Sri Lankan tour in August. Shastri, who had informed the board about his decision before the Bangladesh series, is likely to manage the team till the 2016 T20 World Cup. Meanwhile, Indian support staff Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar are likely to get two-year contracts ahead of the Zimbabwe tour.Will the regulars go to Zimbabwe? The question over the availability of key players MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ravi Ashwin will be answered when the national selectors meet in Delhi on Monday. The chances of a Dhoni-led side touring Zimbabwe are high as there is no limited over cricket in the schedule for the next four months after the African tour.last_img read more