first_imgIn celebration of National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 25, The Voter Participation Center joins with Balcony Films for a release of a new music video and original song, “L.O.V.E. (Let One Voice Emerge),” urging women and other unregistered voters to head to the ballot box on November 6.Video: L.O.V.E. Let One Voice Emerge: The Music Video“Let one voice emerge, let your voice be heard” at the voting booth, the song reminds voters. Unmarried women, persons of color and young people – the Rising American Electorate – comprise 53 percent of the voting eligible population, and yet represent 63 percent of all unregistered citizens.“We felt a music video with incredible star power in recognition of National Voter Registration Day would be an attention-getting way to encourage all eligible Americans to participate in our great democracy,” says Page Gardner, President of the Voter Participation Center. “The message is simple: Get registered and get to the polls on November 6. Let the voice of one join the voices of millions and be heard.”“L.O.V.E. (Let One Voice Emerge)” was co-written by Grammy-winning artist Patti Austin, Grammy-winner and twice Oscar-nominated singer/songwriter Siedah Garrett, five-time Grammy-winning producer/composer Mervyn Warren, and Grammy and Tony-nominated songwriter/artist Brenda Russell. The song was produced and arranged by Mervyn Warren. The new music video features hit artists Fergie (Black Eyed Peas), Keke Palmer (actress/recording artist), Patti Austin (entertainer/song writer), Siedah Garrett (song writer and performer), Sheila E (musician/actress), Brenda Russell (songwriter), Judith Hill (singer/songwriter), Lalah Hathaway (R&B artist), and Jenna Ushkowitz (“Glee”).Renowned producer Julie Bergman Sender and Oscar-nominated director Stuart Sender, through their production company Balcony Films, developed the L.O.VE. project and music video with director David Galvez, Jr. The L.O.V.E. music video and additional PSAs feature an array of committed celebrities, including Fergie, Kate Walsh (“Private Practice”), Alexa Vega (“Spy Kids”), Joe Johnson (Brooklyn Nets), Regina King (actress), Seth Green (actor), Quinton Aaron (“The Blind Side”), Reborn (Christian rap artist), Cody Horn (actress), Sophia Bush (actress), Amy Brenneman (actress), Amy Smart (actress) among others.In developing the project, producer Julie Bergman Sender explained, “We wanted to create an anthem – to show this group of American women how valuable their voices are to the health of our democracy and the power that one voice – each and every voice – really has. L.O.V.E. (Let One Voice Emerge) is our answer to the question ‘Why does my voice matter?’”The music video directs viewers to a new website, www.LOVEVoting.org, where visitors can view a special message from Dr. Maya Angelou, download the song for free, view outtakes from the recording and alternative versions, and register to vote through the Voter Participation website www.voterparticipation.org. Visitors to the LoveVoting.org site may choose to support the effort by donating to the Voter Participation Center and the song will be available on iTunes, Amazon.com music and other major online music distributors.“This is our L.O.V.E. song to America,” says L.O.V.E. co-writer and acclaimed vocalist and performer Patti Austin. “When I discovered that nearly 20 million unmarried women don’t vote, I had to do something. So I went to three of the most talented people I know to work with on this. We have never collaborated together before and I couldn’t think of a more auspicious reason to come together.”Also participating in the campaign are Rachel Leigh Cook (actress), Josh Hopkins (“Cougar Town”), Michael B. Jordan (“The Wire”), Sharon Lawrence (actress), Alyssa Milano (actress), Patrick Muldoon (actor/singer), Chris Olsen (actor), Danielle Panabaker (actress), Harold Perrineau (“Lost”), Reborn (Christian rap artist), Jessica Szohr (“CSI: Miami”) and many others.last_img read more

Rabat – The Interior ministry and Qatar’s embassy in Morocco signed, on Tuesday in Rabat, an agreement of a special grant worth 23.5 million dirhams given by HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani to Morocco’s electricity and drinking water facility (ONEE) to carry out a project of supplying the Guelmim province with drinking water.The agreement was signed by ONEE head Ali Fassi Fihri, wali director general of local authorities at the Interior ministry Abdellatif Benchrifa, and Qatar’s ambassador to Morocco Abdullah Bin Falah Bin Abdullah Adussari.The grant will supply 11 villages of the “Plage Blanche” commune with drinking water. It consists of building a pumping station, the installation of water conveyance along 25 km, the construction of a 100 m3 semi-underground tank, the building of a 75 km distribution network and the installation of 300 individual connections.   The project will contribute to improving inhabitants’ living conditions and health and promoting the socio-economic development of the villages of Sidi Aissa Ou Ali, Maitour, Chaaibate, Ain Rahma and Joui Manasse, Agoujgal, Ajoui Azkara, Lafouija Charkia and Gharbia, Rass Tari Charkia, Ras Tait Gharbia, Kheing Soltan and douar Fouijate Sidi Ahmed Alkehal. read more

TORONTO — Trading of shares in Sears Canada (TSX:SCC) has been halted ahead of the Toronto Stock Exchange’s open at 9:30 a.m.The agency that regulates Canada’s stock trading says the halt is pending news from the department store operator.Halts are routinely issued when key developments could affect a company’s share price.Sears Canada’s stock has already fallen dramatically amid questions about its future.Last week, the company announced “significant doubt” about its ability to operate in its current form.Sears Canada has said it could be sold or restructured but hasn’t commented on a report it might seek court protection from creditors.Shareholders rank after lenders and creditors in bankruptcy proceeding, so company shares could plunge if it does go the court route.

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Kelvin Chan And Joanna Chiu, The Associated Press Posted Oct 3, 2014 6:41 pm MDT Hong Kong protesters stage massive, defiant rally despite attacks, warnings to clear streets HONG KONG – Pro-democracy protesters were defiant in the face of attacks by opponents and warnings by the Hong Kong government to clear the streets, staging a massive rally Saturday evening in the downtown business district they’ve occupied for a week.“Democracy now! Democracy in Hong Kong!” thousands chanted as speakers from the movement seeking wider political reforms for this former British colony urged them to persist in their campaign. The rally lasted hours, with participants at times clapping and cheering as a stream of speakers and singers addressed them and performed popular songs.“We are not seeking revolution. We just want democracy!” said Joshua Wong, a 17-year-old student leader. “We hope there will be no violence,” he said. “It would be unfortunate if this movement ended with bloodshed and violence.”Standoffs between the protesters and their antagonists grew uglier during the day, as the two sides traded insults and at times taunted police. The city’s leader said streets occupied by the protest must be cleared by Monday.Although the mostly student-led protesters stuck to their pledges of non-violence, holding up their arms to show peaceful resistance, some shouted abuse at people who gathered to challenge their occupation of a major street in the gritty, blue-collar Mong Kok district, which is home to many migrants from the Chinese mainland.“Go back to the mainland,” some shouted, cursing them in Cantonese.Minor skirmishes broke out constantly, broken up by police or bystanders. Adding to the disorder, some residents dumped water from their apartments onto the people below.The students accused police of failing to protect them from attacks Friday by mobs intent on driving them away, shouting “Black Police!” — a reference to their claim that the police had allied with “black societies,” or criminal gangs, to clear out the protesters. The claim was vehemently denied by the government.The city’s top leader, Chief Secretary Leung Chun-ying, appeared on television Saturday evening to once again urge everyone to go home, saying things needed to get back to normal by Monday.“There are many problems to be resolved in society, but the right way is through rational communication to seek common ground while holding back differences,” he said. “Not fighting on the streets, which makes things worse.”On Friday night and early Saturday, police arrested 19 people during a night of running brawls in which at least 12 people and six officers were injured. Eight men were believed to have backgrounds linked to triads, or organized crime, said Senior Superintendent Patrick Kwok Pak-chung. Those arrested were facing charges of unlawful assembly, fighting in public and assault, Kwok said.Officials vehemently denied rumours they might have co-ordinated with the gangs to clear the streets.“Such rumours linking us to ‘black societies,’ are utterly unfair,” Hong Kong’s visibly agitated security chief, Lai Tung-kwok, told reporters.Cheung Tak-keung, the deputy police superintendent, said the police were trying their best to maintain “buffer zones” between people of opposing views.“The situation was not easy to handle. There were thousands of people,” Cheung said, noting that many of those gathered were just onlookers who could get caught up in a “very high risk activity.”“We strongly condemn all violent acts,” he said, cautioning people to avoid such areas because “unsettled people’s emotions may cause more confrontations.”The confrontations led protest leaders to call off planned talks with the government. Students and other activists object to China’s decision to require a committee of mostly pro-Beijing figures screen candidates for the city’s first-ever election of its top leader in 2017. They are also demanding Leung’s resignation.With the talks suspended, the next steps were uncertain. Police have repeatedly urged everyone to clear the streets but have shown tolerance after the use of pepper spray and tear gas to disperse protesters last weekend just drew larger crowds.The standoff in Mong Kok, across Victoria Harbor from the activists’ main protest encampment, was tense with opponents at times chanting “Pack Up!” at the mostly youthful protesters. At least some of the opponents are residents fed up with blocked streets and related inconveniences.The opponents of the demonstrations are using blue ribbons to signal their support for the mainland Chinese government, while the pro-democracy protesters are wearing yellow ribbons.Some people on the “blue ribbon” side rallied in Kowloon’s waterfront Tsim Sha Tsui. “Love Hong Kong” and “Support Police” they chanted, holding up flags and heart-shaped signs with the slogan, “Alliance in support of our police force.”“Now the students are trying to control the government,” complained a man who gave only his first name, Jackie. “If there was a riot on Wall Street in America they wouldn’t tolerate such troublemaking.”The Hong Kong Federation of Students, one of the groups leading the protests that drew a peak crowd of tens of thousands of people earlier, said they saw no choice but to rescind their agreement to the talks Leung proposed. They demanded the government hold someone responsible for the scuffles Friday.The allegations that organized crime members were involved fueled jitters at the movement’s main camp, outside government headquarters.“Many people are gathering here and they are very determined to unite against the triad members,” said Amy Ho, 21, who was studying translation at university.___Associated Press writers Wendy Tang and Elaine Kurtenbach contributed to this report. read more

first_imgThe violence we are witnessing has had devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of already vulnerable children, women and men. The danger is that the impact on internally displaced people will increase over the coming weeks.He also announced that €75,000 is to be allocated to Christian Aid Ireland which will be used to procure food and essential non food items for internally displaced persons affected by the violence.Costello said he must again call upon all those involved in the current conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law to ensure that civilians are protected.Read: Elton John wants to visit with Putin to talk about gay rights>Opinion: An opponent like ISIS cannot be defeated through standard military action> IRELAND IS TO dispatch urgently needed supplies to those that have been displaced by violence in Iraq.Supplies such as blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans and shelter supplies are being sent to the country from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai.The airlift, worth €220,000, will be distributed by Goal who received the funds from the Irish Government to provide the emergency relief.The supplies will go to those most in need in areas such as Ninewa Governorate in Northern Iraq.Speaking about the airlift of supplies, the Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello said:last_img read more

first_imgThe current plan is to spread the derby over two weekends, from September 14–16 and the following weekend on September 21–23. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-second-annual-silver-salmon-derby.mp3VmJennifer-on-second-annual-silver-salmon-derby.mp300:00RPd According to Johnna Beech the President of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce they were able to extend this years to more days after how successful last year was. Last year took place for five days from September 13-17. This years proceeds will go to the Kenai Community Foundation, a non-profit based in Kenai. The Kenai Community Foundation intends to utilize the funds for management and protection of river banks and other riparian zones in the City of Kenai, including improved wetland access and educational signage and development, development and improvement of bird-viewing platforms in riparian areas, and improvements to Cunningham Park. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The city of Kenai and the Kenai Chamber of Commerce is partnering once again to put on the city’s second annual Silver Salmon Derby. The rules for this years derby will be listed on the Kenai Chamber of Commerce website closer to the time of the event. Beech gave the final numbers for last seasons wrap up: “It was success! We had 266 fish brought into to be weighed, we had at least 10 kids participating, and I think adults we had 135.”last_img read more

first_imgThe other top editorial award, Top Editor of 2017, went to AARP’s editor-in-chief, Bob Love. The two other top awards of the day, Top Designer and Design Team of the Year, went to Ink Global’s Jamie Trendall and Time Out North America, respectively. The Eddie & Ozzie Awards has become the most comprehensive magazine media award programs, with hundreds of highly-competitive entries each year. And while magazine media continues to evolve and reinvent its core product, the awards program follows that lead by celebrating outstanding editorial and design content in both print and digital platforms. To see the complete list of finalists and winners, click HERE. New York—More than 200 magazine media professionals gathered to recognize and celebrate the industry’s best achievements in editorial and design, in both print and digital, at Folio:’s 2017 Eddie & Ozzie Awards Luncheon.More than 250 awards were handed out to consumer, B2B, regional and association magazines. And changes in the industry were reflected by a more comprehensive focus given to apps and digital editions.Several titles were honored with multiple awards this year. Multiple winners included AARP, Harvard Business Review, The Red Bulletin and Baltimore Magazine, among others. Baltimore Magazine had a particularly successful afternoon and took home the coveted Top Editorial Team of 2017.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 things to do in Wilmington on Friday, March 15, 2019:#1) Wilmington Youth Center Preview NightAttention all 5th graders living in Wilmington!  Have you heard about the Wilmington Youth Center?  Are you curious as to what the 6th, 7th and 8th graders are doing?  Are you waiting anxiously until you become a member?The Youth Center Board invites you to a Preview Night on Friday, March 15, 2019, from 7pm to 9pm, to give you the opportunity to come by and check out the Center!  The Center is located in Villanova Hall (126 Middlesex Avenue), behind St. Thomas Church.The Youth Center offers a variety of activities, including:Board GamesJuke BoxFoosballPing PongBilliardsVideo Games for: PlayStation 3 / PlayStation II / WII / X-Box KinectVideo Arcade Room and Arcade-Style BasketballThrough the season, the Center sponsors craft nights, whiffle ball, and DJ dancesPizza, soda and candy are also available for purchase each weekThe Wilmington Youth Center has responsible adult supervision on duty from the time the Center opens until after the children have been picked-up. There is no registration fee for this “Preview Night.” Parents are asked to accompany their children in on this evening to leave a contact number with the Center.#2) Registration For Children’s Theatre Workshop OpensThe Wilmington-based Children’s Theatre Workshop recently announced details of its 2019 summer season on its Facebook page:“Junie B. Jones The Musical JR” is the elementary main stage production. The session will run from June 24 to July 5, Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm. (No camp on July 4.) Performance dates are July 5 and July 6.“Frozen JR” is the Middle School production. The session will run from July 8 to July 19, Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm. Performance dates are July 19 and July 20.A high school production session will run from July 22 to August 2, Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm. Performance dates are August 2 and August 3. The title will be announced shortly.Registration for all summer sessions will open on Friday, March 15, 2019. Learn more information about each summer session HERE.#3) Drop-In Preschool Storytime At LibraryThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is holding a drop-in preschool storytime at 10am. Drop in for stories, songs, rhymes and a fun craft!  Space is limited. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Ages 2-5 and one or more adults.#4) St. Patrick’s Day Celebration For SeniorsTo celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the Buzzell Senior Center will be having a delicious homemade corned beef and cabbage luncheon at the Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall at 1pm. Come relax and enjoy an excellent afternoon with good food and friends. We will also have live entertainment by Joe Leary—back by popular demand! This lunch is sponsored by Peter MacLellan. We are so fortunate for Peter’s continued generosity. We are also very lucky to have this meal prepared by our specialty chef Lou Cimaglia. We will have a THANK YOU card at front desk for everyone to sign.#5) Karaoke At Pacific GrovePacific Grove (211 Lowell Street) is hosting karaoke from Winnell Entertainment beginning at 8pm.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Youth Center To Hold Preview Night For 5th Graders On March 15In “Community”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Friday, September 6In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Friday, June 7, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”last_img read more

first_imgSuriya’s NGK has done well at TN box office.PR HandoutSuriya’s much-awaited NGK has ended its first weekend on a positive note despite opening to a mixed talk. The actor’s star power was the major factor for its good performance at the Tamil Nadu box office.The Kollywood film, which was released in over 450 screens in Tamil Nadu, is estimated to have grossed around Rs 9 crore on the first day in Tamil Nadu. Suriya’s good fan following and a pre-release talk helped the film to register above average opening.The following day NGK witnessed a normal dip as the Suriya-starrer earned around Rs 6 crore to take it two-day total tally to around Rs 15 crore. The film earned over Rs 5 crore on Sunday to end its first weekend collection at around Rs 20 crore in Tamil Nadu.In Chennai, NGK registered Suriya’s best-ever opening as it minted Rs 1.03 crore on the first day. It came out with flying colors on its second day by raking in Rs 1.07 crore to take its two-day total to Rs 2.10 crore. On Sunday, the Selvaraghavan-directorial has made a collection of Rs 97 lakh.The three-day total collection of NGK is Chennai is said to be Rs 3.07 crore.The estimated value of Tamil Nadu theatrical rights of NGK is about Rs 35 crore and the film should gross over Rs 65 crore to be considered a profitable venture, as per the trade trackers. With a decent word-of-mouth and Eid holiday this week, the Tamil flick is expected to do well in the days to come.NGK is a political thriller in which Rakul Preet Singh and Sai Pallavi play the female lead. Suriya’s performance is the major highlight of the flick, which has been criticised for the slow narration and logical loop holes in the second half.last_img read more

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi.IANSOn the 75th day of his second innings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his exclusive interview with the news agency IANS spoke extensively about Kashmir and the last 75 eventful days where he has hit the ground running.After successfully piloting the revocation of the contentious Article 370 and Article 35A in a systematic and seamless manner which has not only blindsighted Pakistan but also flummoxed them in an unequivocal manner, the Prime Minister compressed his report card to 75 days, instead of the initial 100 days benchmark.IANS began by asking him what makes Modi 2.0 different. Straight off the bat, the PM spoke in clear-cut terms: “We have set an unprecedented pace within just the first few days of our government. What we have been able to achieve is the result of ‘Spasht Neeti, Sahi Disha (clear policy, right intentions)’. In just the first 75 days of our government, a lot has happened. From children’s safety to Chandrayaan-II, from action against corruption to freeing Muslim women from the scourge of Triple Talaq, from Kashmir to Kisan, we have shown what a resolute government with a strong mandate of the people can achieve. We have taken a head-start in tackling the most pressing issue of our times with the formation of Jal Shakti Ministry for a mission mode and integrated approach to improve water supply and augment water conservation.”Did the return to power with an even stronger mandate than the first time have something to do with a catalogue of expeditious measures? Was he conscious of the fact that the people who voted for him needed to be given a snapshot of what is coming in the next five years? The PM accepted this axiom saying, “In a way, it is also the result of the government coming back with a stronger mandate. What we were able to achieve in the first 75 days was the outcome of the robust base we were able to build in the last 5 years. Hundreds of reforms in the last 5 years have ensured the country is now ready to take off, powered by the aspirations of the people. The push has come not just from the executive but from the muscle in Parliament….” PM Modi addressing a rally in Kurukshetra, Haryana.Twitter/ANIThe PM said the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha has been a record-creating one — it was the most productive session since 1952. “This is not a minor achievement but, in my view, a historic turn for the better and one which will make our Parliament much more responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people. Many momentous initiatives have been taken such as pension schemes for farmers and traders, reform of the medical sector, important amendments in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code, beginning of labour reforms…I could go on and on. But the gist of the matter is that when the intentions are right, there is clarity of purpose and implementation, and there is people’s support, then there’s no limit to what we can do. There has been no time wasting, no mulling over things for too long, instead a calibrated plan to execute, implement and take bold decisions, none bigger than the one on Kashmir.There have been controversies too and the government has dealt with those too. For instance, medical reforms which have not gone down well with common folk. There has been some noise on the medical reforms front from various quarters.Do you think the changes you have brought in are well thought through? He countered without batting an eyelid, “When we formed the government in 2014, there were many concerns about the existing system of medical education. Earlier, courts have used strong words for the institution overseeing medical education in India, calling it a ‘den of corruption’. A parliamentary committee did rigorous study and took a very dull view of the state of affairs in medical education. It pointed out mismanagement, lack of transparency and arbitrariness. Earlier governments, too, had given a thought to reforming this sector but could not go through with it. We decided to go through with it because this is not a matter that can be taken lightly, as it concerns the health of our people and future of our youth. So, we set up an expert group to look into what is plaguing it. The expert group studied the system carefully and brought out the problems and improvement areas. It is based on the suggestions from experts that we came to the current bill.”Explaining the granularity of his standpoint, the PM said, “The National Medical Commission is a far-reaching reform in this space and seeks to correct the prevalent problems. It contains multiple reforms that curb avenues of corruption and boost transparency. At a time when nations are looking at India to power the next wave of growth in the world, we realise that this can happen only with a healthy populace. Freeing the poor from the vicious cycle of poverty that lack of health perpetuates is very important. The NMC serves this purpose well too. It will ensure transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education in the country. It aims to lessen the burden on students, increase the number of medical seats and reduce cost of medical education. This means more talented youth can take up medicine as a profession and this will help us increase the number of medical professionals. Ayushman Bharat is bringing about a revolution in the healthcare sector. It is increasing awareness as well as affordability of quality healthcare, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 towns.”We are also working to ensure that there is at least one medical college between every 3 districts. With rising awareness about healthcare, rising incomes and greater focus on aspirational goals among people, we will need thousands and thousands of doctors to fulfil the demand, especially in rural and urban areas. The NMC seeks to address these issues for a better outcome for all stakeholders. You must have also read that the academic year 2019-20 will see the biggest addition of medical seats in government colleges in a single year with the creation of around 2 dozen new government medical colleges. Our road map is clear — a transparent, accessible and affordable medical education system leading to better healthcare outcomes”.last_img read more

first_imgBNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan residence. File PhotoAuthorities on Wednesday withdrew police protection from the Gulshan residence of imprisoned former prime minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia, claims her press wing officer Shamsuddin Didar.Didar said the policemen were withdrawn around 3:30pm.“Three constables, led by assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Md Jafar, had been ensuring securities to Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan residence, Firoza, for a long time. Today [Wednesday] they were withdrawn,” he said.Gulshan police station officer-in-charge Abu Bakar Siddik told Prothom Alo that he knew nothing about the withdrawal of police protection from Khaleda Zia’s residence.He further said Gulshan’s diplomatic zone police look after the matter.Rebutting the OC’s words, a high official at Gulshan’s diplomatic zone police said their duty is to ensure securities to all the diplomats in the diplomatic zone.”We [Gulshan’s diplomatic zone police] do not look after the security of Khaleda Zia’s residence,” he added.On 8 February, a special court in Dhaka convicted Khaleda Zia and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the much-talked-about Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.She was then sent to the dilapidated old central jail on Nazimuddin Road in the capital.last_img read more

first_imgChris Cander/InstagramDeath Valley plays a role in Chris Cander’s novel, The Weight of a Piano. So, the writer has taken pictures of a miniature one there and elsewhere, which she posts to Instagram. Maybe there’s an object in your life that carries a lot of emotional or sentimental weight. Maybe it was given to you by a loved one that’s since passed away — or it’s something that’s been handed down that takes up space, and you’re not exactly sure what you should do with it. So it gets carted around each time you move.Well, the latest novel by Houston writer Chris Cander touches on that experience. It’s called The Weight of a Piano. And, yes, the object with both literal and figurative weight is indeed a piano. In this case it’s a type of German-made upright piano called a Blüthner.Northwest PianosAn example of a German-made Blüthner piano.The piano is essentially a character in the story, along with two women – one for whom the instrument is a burden and another for whom it’s a prized possession. It changes hands and wanders around Europe as the story unfolds.Cander got the idea for the story from something she overheard a woman say at one of her book-signing events.“She said to a friend of hers that she had finally found someone to take this piano that she had had for 50 years off her hands,” Cander said. “And the way she said it — the kind of emotional freight in her voice — was like a magnet.”Cander asked for permission to eavesdrop on the woman’s conversation, and — with some details and the woman’s permission — she had the seed for a story.Michael Hagerty/Houston Public MediaHouston’s Chris Cander is the author of several novels, including The Weight of a Piano.Objects As CharactersCander says writing with an object as a central figure is basically the same as focusing on a person.“In my imagination, this Blüthner is like a person,” she said. “Obviously, it’s an object, but the way I thought of it was as a her with a very rich history, with emotion, with a journey. And so to write about that was like writing about a human character.”Making The Character SpeakSince the book is about a musical instrument, there’s plenty of music referenced in it – including an original piece called Die Reise, which means “the journey” in German.So, instead of just describing it, Cander teamed up with Atlanta-based composer Konner Scott to actually create and record the piece.MORE: The Weight of a Piano – Spotify PlaylistScott says it was a unique challenge.“I can safely say I’ve never written a piece to accompany a book before,” he said. “That was a new one.”Emotional ApproachBut Cander sent him some early chapters of the novel and walked him through the emotions she wanted the piece to convey — melancholy, loss, and acceptance.Scott says when he’s commissioned to create a work, he is often told how to go about his work using technical terms — tempo, specific styles, etc. But he prefers approaching from an emotional standpoint, like he did with Cander.Konner Scott/InstagramAtlanta-based musician and composer Konner Scott wrote original music based on Chris Cander’s novel, The Weight of a Piano.“She was looking for something that reflected the mood of the piece,” Scott said. “And, for me, that’s really fun because that opens up the boundaries of it and kind of lets me do what I want — but to still fit within the emotional framework of whatever the person is going for. And that’s a unique challenge.”Coming To Life OnstageFor Cander’s book launch event with Brazos Bookstore, actors will interpret key scenes from the novel along with original music performed by Scott. The event is Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. at Houston’s Christ Church Cathedral.“The whole experience of creating this novel over a few years it felt like such a multi-sensory experience,” Cander said.She says that’s because she spent so much time listening to music, talking to musicians, and even visiting locations featured in the story like Death Valley National Park.“So, it felt very rich, and it lived in my imagination in a much more 3D way than some of my other books have,” Cander said. “And so I thought when I present it to people for the first time rather than just expose them to the book I want to share with them that experience of what it was like to create the book.”In the audio above, Cander and Scott talk with Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about the book and their collaboration.– / 8 00:00 /10:17 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:center_img Listen X Sharelast_img read more

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Once released by the New York Jets, Antonio Cromartie was a free agent able to sign with whatever team he wanted. After less than two weeks on the open market, he signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.“I think the biggest part I was just surprised by not having, once I got released, the activity,” Cromartie admitted to Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Monday. “That wasn’t there.” Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img Your browser does not support the audio element. LISTEN: Antonio Cromartie, Cardinals cornerback The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Except from Cardinals.“Once I got a call from Arizona and a few other teams started calling in, but Arizona just made me feel at home.”In Cromartie, the Cardinals have a player who has been to three Pro Bowls — including the last two — and who has 28 career interceptions over eight seasons with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets.But he battled through a hip injury last season, which he says affected his performance on the field and likely led to the lack of interest in his services. He knows last season wasn’t a great one for him, as he failed to live up to expectations in the Big Apple.Now healthy, the 29-year-old (who will be 30 by Week 1) expects to bounce back and have a big season in the desert.“Right now I’m feeling 100 percent, and I’m just getting ready to go.”last_img read more

first_imgThe Arizona Cardinals have the second-best record in the NFL at 13-3.Most years, that would be enough to earn the top playoff seed in the conference, but this is not most years.It just so happens that the Carolina Panthers finished the season with a 15-1 record, and because they reside with the Cardinals in the NFC, it is they who are sitting in the conference’s top spot.But according to Cardinals fans, likely league MVP Cam Newton and his team are not who worry them most as Arizona pursues a berth in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires – / 39 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Our Sanderson Ford Poll Question of the Day asked who the biggest threat to Arizona is, and by a wide margin the vote went to the Seattle Seahawks.A total of 1,895 votes were cast, and 69 percent went to the team that blasted the Cardinals 36-6 in the regular season finale this past Sunday.After the game, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman was asked about there being a growing concern among Cardinals fans that they could play the Seahawks in the playoffs.“They should be concerned,” he responded.So there you go.After Seattle, the only team to warrant enough votes to make anyone believe there is genuine concern is the Panthers, at 26 percent.The Packers, Vikings and Redskins combined for just five percent of the vote. Comments   Share   Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Nelson’s place in the Cardinals’ receiver pecking order is probably fluid, depending on injuries and other factors. What is certain, however, is that his speed — he ran a 4.28 40 at the NFL Draft Combine — is a weapon, and as he continues to refine his craft, he’ll be even more dangerous.And, given that Floyd is set to become a free agent after this season and Fitzgerald is nearing the end of his career, a bigger role for Nelson could be on the horizon. J.J. Nelson has done a solid job for the Cardinals since being drafted in the 5th round out of UAB last season.Known more for his speed than anything else, as a rookie he averaged 27.2 yards on 11 receptions, while scoring two touchdowns.Over the offseason, there was talk about how much he had progressed, and there was talk that a breakout season was in store. It took a little while, but a few weeks ago in Carolina Nelson had ascended to the No. 2 receiver role, and it seemed like the season of J.J. had formally arrived. 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals wide receiver J.J. Nelson (14) runs for a first down after the catch as Seattle Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead (35) makes the tackle during the second half of a football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)center_img But then, two weeks later against the 49ers, Nelson lost a fumble and then later a drop led to an interception. He ultimately played on just 62 percent of the offensive snaps, behind receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd but ahead of John Brown.So, where does Nelson stand these days? That’s hard to say, though with 17 catches for 243 yards and two touchdowns on the season, he does seem to be trending up. And that, among other reasons, is why ESPN’s Rivers McCown, in an Insider piece listing “The NFL’s next breakout stars,” has the Arizona wideout 17th.Nelson has validated our faith in him by elevating to the No. 2 receiver job over John Brown and Michael Floyd. As we noted in the latest version of this piece, Nelson can fly. This year, he’s the only Arizona receiver with a positive DVOA (7.7 percent through Week 10), though that’s more an issue with Carson Palmer’s decline than the quality of Arizona’s receivers.Nelson isn’t physically imposing, and he doesn’t break many tackles. He wins by running by or around you. Although that sort of receiver isn’t normally going to be a dominant player, Nelson has thrived early in his career and looked better than the rest of his peers. Right now, the arrow is pointing strongly toward his being an effective version of Tavon Austin — you know, the one only Jeff Fisher sees on the field every Sunday.Sounds about right. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

first_img1. Try river cruisingMillions of people sign up for cruises every year, but growing numbers are ditching the world’s oceans and opting for a river cruise, instead. And river cruisers getting younger too, thanks in part of a number of cruise lines going all out to target younger passengers. Take river cruising specialist U by Uniworld, which is targeting 21 to 45 year-olds with adrenaline-fueled onshore activities like rock climbing and rafting, while onboard, there’ll be DJs, rooftop lounges and yoga classes. Our tip? If you’re new to cruising, start with something short-haul rather than jumping in at the deep end with a Mekong river excursion. Cruises down the Rhine or Danube are just as spectacular and a great way for first timers to dip their toe into the world of river cruising. Related10 most awesome adventure activities in Australia and New ZealandBored of bungee? From swimming with sharks to walking in the sky, 10 of the most exciting, extreme activities in Aus & NZ.Solo travel for seniors – your optionsFrom walking holidays to yoga retreats and cruises, we take a look at the options available for seniors planning their first solo travel experience.The ultimate holiday bucket list for your trip to ChinaChina is home to ancient wonders and modern marvels, from the breathtaking Great Wall to the spiky futuristic skyline of Shanghai. If you’re planning a trip of a lifetime to the Middle Kingdom, make sure to tick off these 10 must-see destinations in China – all of which are easy… 5. Explore the Peruvian AmazonLast year, British Airways’ launched the UK’s first direct flights to Peru, and the number of visitors to landmarks like Machu Picchu went through the roof. This beginner’s guide to Peru is perfect if you haven’t been before. The better news? There are still plenty of ways to get off the beaten track. Some of the best rainforest lodges in Peru can be found in the Tambopata National Park. Although the area’s been protected from over-development, you’ll still find a range of accommodation options, ranging from luxurious lodges to rustic tree houses high above the treeline. If you’re feeling brave, opt to stay at one of the remote research stations – many take a small number of guests, who share their accommodation with the scientists working there. One of our favourites is the Tambopata Research Center, a two-day trip downriver from the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado. 2. Chill out on the Cambodian coastThe Thai islands are officially full, which is why people are looking for alternatives to Phuket, Phi Phi and Koh Samui. This is where Cambodia comes in. Set sail for the coastline of this beautiful country in 2018 and you’ll discover a spectacular world of lush rainforests, diverse wildlife and some of the friendliest people in the world. If you’re wondering where to stay in Cambodia, we recommend heading to Sihanoukville, which has some of the country’s largest (but still wonderfully cheap) beach resorts, or to Cambodia’s Koh Rong Islands, which are located in the Gulf of Thailand. We also love Kep. Originally known as Kep-sur-Mer, this was a glamorous beach resort for the first half of the twentieth century. It’s now one of Cambodia’s most popular destinations for backpackers, thanks to a growing number of beach hut resorts. Prices start at around £30 for a night in a two-person beach bungalow (find your own beach bungalow here). 3. Cycle your way around SingaporeNorwegian’s new Gatwick to Singapore flights mean it’s now possible to get to Asia’s garden city for around £400 (singles start from £150). And it’s the perfect time to discover this beautiful destination. The city-state’s contract with F1 has just been renewed, making 2018 the ideal time to watch the famous night time street circuit race, and it’s now even easier to explore Singapore’s green spaces, thanks to two new bike share schemes (OFO and O-bike). The fact that more and more people are exploring the city by bike has convinced the government to create a fantastic new cycling route. The Connector Trail winds between Singapore’s many parks. Our advice? Start by pedaling your way over to Windsor Park, a protected nature reserve where you’ll find monkeys, turtles, butterflies and lizards. Read our quick guide to Singapore before departing for the best street food and attractions too! 7. Get back to basics in St HelenaKeen to really get away from it all? Head to St Helena, the world’s most remote island. Luckily, getting there is now significantly easier. This year saw the launch of the first flights to St Helena, a volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean which is 4,000 kilometres east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 kilometres west of the African continent. In the past, anyone hoping to visit the island would have had to spend several weeks on the cargo ship which delivered the island’s post. The (admittedly few) travellers who visit St Helena are drawn by the wildlife and the spectacular, volcanic landscape. It’s also got a fascinating history – Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to the island in 1815, and he died there in 1821. Are you an adrenaline junkie searching for your next big adventure? Here’s where to to go to get your next fix!The 10 most awesome adventures in Australia and New ZealandHow to scare yourself silly in Australia and New Zealand.10 epic road trip adventuresProof that you can sign up for an adventure without leaving the comfort of your car.Top tips for solo adventurersOur essential guide to going it alone.Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Mapcenter_img 8. Go star-spotting in ChileChile is another place which has recently become more accessible, thanks to a new direct flight launched by British Airways. Top Chile attractions include the Torres Del Paine National Park, vibrant Santiago and the coastal haven of Valparaíso, but in recent years it’s become one of the world’s top stargazing destinations. Our favourite spot is the Atacama Desert, which is also one of the world’s darkest places, thanks to the lack of light pollution. There are a number of hotels (we love the Elqui Domos, which has telescopes in every bedroom) and more observatories are opening to the public, too. One of the most famous is the Alma observatory, which recently guided tours. 9. Learn how to be a cowboy (or girl) in TexasThis next adventure is another one brought to you courtesy of a new flight route – in this case, Norwegian’s UK-to-Austin route, which launches in early 2018. We love Austin for its sheer quirkiness (its logo is Keep Austin Weird, after all) but it’s the wide open spaces of Texas which are putting the Lone Star State on the map. Whether you dream of learning how to work a lasoe, or simply want to saddle up for a horseback exploration of this beautiful part of America, there are a wide range of ranches to choose from. Top picks include the Flying L Guest Ranch & Villas, which is ideal for families (amenities include a water park, tennis course and golf course) while wannabe Lone Rangers looking for something for authentic will love the Silver Spur Guest Ranch, where you can channel your inner cowboy with long-distance horseback rides or sign up for hayrides, campfires dinners and fossil digs. 6. Sign up for a vineyard tour in Sonoma (the new Napa Valley)Napa Valley is so last year. Head to Sonoma, which is a short drive from San Francisco, and you’ll find over 400 vineyards dotting a spectacular stretch of the Pacific Ocean, along with 50 state and regional parks. And no matter when you head to this beautiful part of the world, there’s sure to be an event taking place, whether it’s the Sonoma Country Harvest Fair or the region’s regular wine and food festivals. Our favourite wineries include BobDog Wines (Sonoma’s highest vineyard) and Roche Winery & Vineyards, famous for its Pinot Noir. 4. Visit the Florida Keys’ lesser-known islandsTop of your “to do” list for 2018 should be some Floridian island-hopping. Venture beyond tourist meccas such as Key West to islands like Marathon and Islamorada and you’ll discover cheaper prices, fewer tourists and deserted beaches straight out of a Bounty advert. The Lower Keys have some of the best wildlife, including the ridiculously cute Key deer. Although accommodation options on these islands are more limited than in other areas of the Florida Keys, there’s still something for everyone, including a handful of luxury resorts alongside campsites and independent hotels. 10. Swim with whale sharks in the SeychellesNew flights are certainly helping opening up the world in 2018, and it’s a great year for adventurers. British Airways are launching direct flights from Gatwick to the Seychelles in early 2018, and if you thought dolphin watching sounded rather tame, why not consider swimming with whale sharks? A number of tour operators offer this unique activity, although if you prefer something land-based, you’re also in luck. Top of the list would be an exhaustion-inducing hike through the UNESCO-listed Vallée de Mai on Praslin, a glass-bottomed boat tour and a paragliding excursion.last_img read more

first_img State Rep. Triston Cole will keep in touch with 105th House District residents during local monthly office hours served up as “Coffee with Cole.”“I’m excited to get to work for the people of the 105th District and Northern Michigan,” said Cole, R-Mancelona. “Listening to residents’ thoughts and concerns about state government will help me represent our area in Lansing.”On Friday, Feb. 13, Cole will be at Java Jones, 131 River St, in Elk Rapids, from 9 to 10 a.m.The Coffee with Cole office hours will have rotating locations and times scheduled throughout the year to provide residents of Antrim, Charlevoix, Otsego, Montmorency and Oscoda counties various opportunities to share ideas, concerns and issues regarding Michigan’s state agencies or legislation with Cole in person.Those unable to attend a Coffee with Cole office hours meeting can contact the representative by email at TristonCole@house.mi.gov or by calling 1-(855)-DIST-105. Categories: News Tags: #SB 06Feb ‘Coffee with Cole’ keeps residents informed #####last_img read more

first_img29Mar Rep. Sheppard’s potable water bill approved by committee Categories: Sheppard News The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure recently approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Jason Sheppard to exempt trucks that deliver potable water from seasonal weight restrictions on Michigan roads.“A number of residents in our district have water delivered to their homes due to high sulfur content in their wells, or because their wells have dried up,” said Rep. Sheppard, R-Temperance. “When seasonal weight restrictions are in place, residents have to pay for trucks to make multiple deliveries, leading to higher costs by requiring a fee for each delivery. In addition, more traffic on the roads causes more wear and tear.”If approved, House Bill 4695 will exempt bulk potable water deliveries from seasonal load restrictions, as long as the vehicle making the delivery does not exceed 35 mph on any seasonally restricted road.“This bill helps keep deliveries more affordable and helps to minimize the wear and tear on the roads, which, as we know, can be costly,” Rep. Sheppard said. “Constituents brought this issue to my attention, and I am pleased to be able to work on this common sense legislation.”HB 4695 now heads to the full House for consideration.###last_img read more

first_img State Rep. Jim Tedder of Clarkston invites residents to join him for local office hours during the month of January.“Monthly office hours are a great way to meet residents and discuss important issues,” Rep. Tedder said. “Listening to the concerns of people in our communities is one of my top priorities as a state representative.”Office hours take place at the following times and locations:• Friday, Jan. 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mr. B’s Roadhouse, 6761 Dixie Highway in Clarkston; and• Monday, Jan. 15 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Great Lakes Family Restaurant, 5834 Highland Road in Waterford.No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Tedder at 517-373-0615 or via email at JimTedder@house.mi.gov. 08Jan Rep. Tedder hosts January office hours Categories: Tedder Newslast_img read more

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 9, 2015; Al JazeeraThe new mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Ras Baraka, was elected as a political progressive, an ostensible advocate for the city’s poor after the administration of Cory Booker, who was seen as strongly oriented toward downtown development. As a progressive, Baraka now has to explain why he quadrupled the fee that the Newark Municipal Court charges low-income defendants for the assistance of a public defender.Essentially, Baraka is adopting an increasingly popular means of funding public services—charging the users of public services higher and higher “user fees.” The new fee for criminal defendants is going to be $200, up from $50. Office of the Public Defender attorney Anthony Cowell pointed out that most of the clients he represents don’t have $200 to pay as a fee. “It’s been said it’s a revenue-generator, but you’re charging people who absolutely can’t afford it,” Cowell said. “They’re homeless, they’re mentally ill, they’re in shelters…”This new policy, along with a host of new fees being charged in the New Jersey Superior Court system, puts Newark and the state of New Jersey into the company of Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas, which Al Jazeera’s E. Tammy Kim writes have been using “‘cash register’ courts more focused on padding local budgets than carrying out judicial functions.” As Kim correctly noted, this was the situation in St. Louis County, Missouri, where 40 percent of local government revenues come from fines for traffic tickets and petty crime.Baraka’s office emailed Al Jazeera that the fee wouldn’t be a problem because municipal court judges have the authority to reduce or even waive the fee. However, a municipal court staff person who declined to be identified said that “most judges do not bother making decisions about the application fee.” In practice, the municipal court user fee gets lost in the “bureaucratic shuffle,” but relying on bureaucratic incompetence as an out for people who would be otherwise be hit with the fee is haphazard and inadequate public policy making.Put this into a broader context. The law of the land regarding legal representation emanates from the Gideon v. Wainwright decision of 1963, in which states were required, per the U.S. Constitution, to provide legal representation to criminal defendants who couldn’t afford to hire lawyers for themselves. States like New Jersey found ways of limiting where and when it would provide public defenders and charged the initially small user fee despite the nomenclature that public defenders were “free.” Charging criminal defendants $200 makes the notion of “free” public defenders for indigent defendants sadly laughable. In some states, defendants face not only user fees for attorneys, but payments for fines, court costs, and even probation services.In 2012, Louisiana was charging $35 to indigent criminal defendants who were later convicted and was threatening to raise the fee levels. The Brennan Center for Justice concluded that the Louisiana fee structure “creates a system that undermines the Constitutional right to conflict-free counsel by forcing attorneys to rely on their clients’ convictions for much needed funding…[and] acts as an illogical tax on indigent defendants.”Louisiana is hardly alone; the Brennan Center found that “of the 15 states with the largest prison populations, 13 allow low-income defendants to be charged fees for exercising their right to counsel.” But Newark, on its own, under the guidance of its new, progressive mayor, is moving the “Brick City” into the unwanted echelon of governments that through user fees are taxing the poorest of the poor.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more