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

first_imgShare17TweetShareEmail17 SharesFight for $15 on 4/15/2015 by The All-Nite ImagesAugust 27, 2015; New York TimesThe Fight for $15 movement began in 2012, as airport workers with wages of $20 an hour plus benefits tried to form a union. Instead, their jobs were reconfigured into minimum wage opportunities literally overnight. Since that time, the national minimum wage has remained at $7.25, and union membership has continued to decline, reaching 11.1 percent of workers in 2014. But on the local level, Fight for $15 has successfully advocated for minimum wage increases in twenty-nine states plus many large municipalities. Additionally, in the last two weeks, two court decisions were published expanding workers right to organize and increasing the jurisdiction of a regulation designed to require employers to pay workers more of a living wage.Last week, The National Labor Relations Board announced a ruling in favor of unions negotiating on behalf of low-wage workers. The much-anticipated decision will allow workers at franchises (such as McDonald’s) or employed at subcontractors connected to larger employers to negotiate together with workers of other franchises or directly with the large employer. By creating an opportunity for low-wage workers to bargain collectively, the worker gains power and unions can coalesce.The ruling stems from a dispute between a garbage disposal and recycling company, California-based Browning-Ferris, and its subcontractor, which employed workers to staff the recycling center. Browning-Ferris maintained the right to set criteria for hiring and firing as well as dictating the amount workers would be compensated. At the time of the dispute, workers were voting on whether to unionize. The NLRB panel ruled that since Browning-Ferris “maintained control of the workplace,” the workers were joint employees of the subcontractor and Browning-Ferris. Therefore, Browning-Ferris could not insulate itself from the legal responsibilities it had to the workers by creating a subcontractor employer. By acknowledging this relationship, the Board allows workers to sue the corporation, which has more resources, rather than a subcontractor that often has less.Through this decision, the Board modified the employer-employee relationship developed in the Reagan era of the 1980s. In the past, a company had a relationship with a worker only if it had “direct and immediate” control over the working environment. Now, the parent company has a responsibility to the worker even it if only requires the subcontractor to use certain software that limits the number of hours or length of a workers’ shift, or maintains the right to control such workplace conditions but does not exercise them. An appeal is expected, but although a win might only apply to a particular franchisee or division, it would increase the leverage of workers at other locations.The ruling follows a decision by the Washington State Supreme Court the week before in favor of workers at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, located in the small community of SeaTac. In 2013, unions and nonprofits fought successfully for Proposition #1, making SeaTac the first city in America to require employers to pay workers a minimum of $15 an hour. Airlines and their contractors argued the proposition does not apply to the international airport, since it is under the jurisdiction of the Port of Seattle rather than the city. The Court majority ruled that the Port of Seattle only maintains control of airport operation, and as long as Proposition #1 does not “interfere” with operations, it is enforceable.The Fight for $15 began during the Great Recession and quickly expanded through a series of strikes by fast-food workers frustrated by the growth in low-wage employment and the increase in the cost of living in many cities. Many outside of the movement often incorrectly stereotype the minimum wage worker. Currently, 56 percent of workers earning the minimum wage are women and 53 percent are white. Additionally, 53 percent of these workers have their high school diploma and only 33 percent are under the age of 25. With the latest court decisions, union membership may grow, further expanding the movement’s power.—Gayle NelsonShare17TweetShareEmail17 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare234Tweet5Share76Email315 SharesHyde Park Co-op / Quinn DombrowskiMarch 26, 2016; Waco Tribune and NPRIn the United States, 2.3 million people live in food deserts—places without access to grocery stores offering fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices. Across the country, grocery stores serving rural and low-income areas are struggling and many are dying. As the large chains leave, residents are banding together to explore new methods of maintaining their neighborhood stores, including membership, connecting to other nonprofit or business services, and crowdfunding.In Waco, Texas, Mission Waco has raised thirty-eight percent of the funds it needs to convert a vacant 6,500 square-foot building into a vibrant “Jubilee Food Market.” Its goal is to raise $488,000 to transform the eyesore into a community asset. Many years ago, the building was home to a Safeway, but the grocery store has long abandoned the community. Now, the nonprofit is looking to donors from as far away as Maine to rebuild this essential resource.Jubilee Food Market supporters purchase shares of stock for as little as $25, although larger investment options are welcome. Mission Waco’s project budget consists of 4000 $25 stock shares for remodeling, 10,000 shares to operate the store for the first year, and 5525 shares for the ECSIA Hydroponics Greenhouse. Shareholders receive quarterly reports on the store’s status and the opportunity to participate in the shareholders’ meeting. All donors and residents of the 76707 ZIP code receive an Oasis Club Card entitling them to discounts on store purchases. The store is scheduled to open in September 2016.Mission Waco chose to open a grocery store after surveying residents and learning the overwhelming majority wanted a supermarket. The organization’s mission is to provide Christian-based holistic programs that empower the community’s low income. The organization also operates a World Cup Café and Fair Trade Market, Jubilee Theatre, and Urban Edibles food trailer.In Bowdon, North Dakota, residents are also at work. They came together to continue the operation of their grocery store after the store’s owner died and no other owners came forward. The next closest grocery store is eighteen miles away.Run as a membership store similar to Costco and Sam’s Club, the effort is working but the margin is tight. They recently opened a thrift store and bakery nearby to increase business. The tiny town surrounded by fields of soybeans, wheat, and corn lost its community school years ago. Without the grocery store, the town would disappear from the map.The loss of community grocery stores and its effects on rural America led to six federal agencies creating an $800,000 Obama administration initiative, “Local Foods, Local Places,” to support programs to create community owned grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Twenty-seven communities were selected from over 300 applications. Each community will work with a team of experts to recognize local asset and opportunities, set revitalization goals, and develop an implementation plan using these resources.Throughout the United States mega-grocery stores are abandoning their rural and low-income urban communities for wealthy city edges and suburbs. Without these businesses, residents lose access to fruits and vegetables and gain more processed fast food outlets and convenience stores full of fat, cholesterol, and sugar. This phenomenon is contributing to the obesity epidemic and leading to an increase in heart disease and other diseases associated with this condition.Food is Power, a California nonprofit “seeking to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices,” found that wealthy areas have three times as many supermarkets as poor ones. And the disparity is even more pronounced when comparing racial makeup: White neighborhoods have four times as many grocery stores as African American communities, and the stores in African American communities are smaller with a more limited selection. Overall, according to the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture, 2.2 percent of all households do not own a car and live more than a mile from a supermarket.Although creating and running a community-owned grocery store is a challenge, Willow Lake, South Dakota’s Lake Grocery has been a beacon for the community for over five years. Operated by Willow Lake Area Advancement, the store employs a full-time manager and two part-time employees in addition to volunteers. Although the organization described the project as a leap of faith, it has worked out well for the community and the nonprofit.—Gayle NelsonShare234Tweet5Share76Email315 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare9TweetShareEmail9 SharesDecember 6, 2016; Minnesota Public Radio Enforcement of the regulation popularly called the “Mexico City Policy” has vacillated since President Ronald Reagan instated it in 1984. The rule specifically prohibits international charities from promoting abortion as a method of family planning even if that “promotion” simply entails a physician engaging in a conversation about the option of abortion with a patient. Subsequent presidents have gone back and forth on the policy’s status, but with the impending inauguration of President-elect Trump, reproductive rights activists are gearing up for an attack on domestic and international abortion care, including the potential for the restoration—once again—of this global regulation on reproductive rights.A common misconception of the policy is that depending on the president’s political leaning at the time, it either bans or allows foreign aid to fund abortions in developing countries. That particular rule, known as the Helms Amendment, was adopted by Congress in 1973 and has been in effect ever since. It does not play a part in the Mexico City Policy. What the Mexico City policy does factor in, however, is the expectation, first implemented in 1984 and last rescinded in 2009, that groups overseas in receipt of federal funds “agree as a condition [of their funding to] neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” even if they do so with their own funds or non-U.S. funds. Its critics have dubbed this expectation, the “Global Gag Rule.”The consequence of restricting the discussion of abortion between providers and patients is significant. In the foreign nations where the rule will likely yet again be imposed during a Trump administration, family planning is a critical component of the range of health services offered. While the rule does allow for exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother, it dismisses the physical and mental health conditions of any woman who may want to consider abortion in her menu of family planning choices. According to abortion rights leaders, it is nothing short of a threat against women’s health and reproductive freedom across the globe.The Mexico City Policy, a decision historically left solely to the Executive Branch rather than a vote in Congress, has endured a game of political Ping-Pong for more than 30 years now, causing disruptions in the long-range operational planning and provision of care to clients for the international organizations that are severely impacted by the seesawing decisions of the U.S. government. The Global Gag Rule is “un-American in the most basic way,” as Wendy Turnbull, Senior Advisor for International Advocacy at PAI, explains. “[It] interferes with free speech, democracy, and access to services.”President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominations, policy stances, and overall demeanor as he makes his way to the White House have increasingly invoked a call for civil action. The executive decisions he will inevitably make with regard to reproductive rights in particular, including the Mexico City Policy, do not beg the question of “will he or won’t he” but rather how we, as a people and sector, will respond when he does.—Lindsay WalkerShare9TweetShareEmail9 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgSatellite operator Eutelsat has categorically denied reports that it is interfering with its own satellite transmissions in order to prevent reception in Iran of international Farsi-language channels.Eutelsat said the reports, suggesting the operator was acceding to Iranian pressure, were in total contradiction with reality and inconsistent with a statement from the BBC in September associating Eutelsat with its appeal for action by regulatory authorities to combat the problem.The company said it had located the source of the jamming – which affects channels including BBC Persian, Voice of America and Deutsche Welle – from within Iran and had, for the last two years, filed multiple complaints with the relevant French and international regulatory authorities to denounce hostile jamming operations and to  prompt the ITU to address this illegal practice as a priority  issue.last_img read more

first_imgFrench pay TV operator Canal Plus is to close its 3D channel. The service, which carried movies, sports and event programming, launched in mid-2010, but only reached an estimated 12,000 homes.The pay TV operator told local press that it intends to resurrect its 3D service when there is sufficient consumer demand and is evaluating different programming options and formats.
The current channel will close on January 24.Even viewers with 3D sets are only watching 3D for a few minutes before switching to a 2D broadcast, explained René Saal, Canal Plus managing director. The pay TV company will focus efforts on its HD offering until there is wider interest in 3D.last_img

first_imgModern Times Group has acquired the television rights to the English Premier League in Sweden and Denmark. The pan-regional European broadcaster has acquired the rights from the English football body starting from the 2013/14 season. 
All of the rights are exclusive on all platforms in Sweden. The rights to approximately 280 of the matches are exclusive on all platforms in Denmark, while the rights to approximately 100 matches are non-exclusive. The games will be shown in Sweden on the Viasat premium pay TV sports channels, while in Denmark, the games will be available via free-to-air channel TV3.Modern Times Group already holds the broadcasting rights to the English Premier League in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria.Hans-Holger Albrecht, president and CEO of MTG, said: “The Barclays Premier League is the most popular domestic club football competition in the world and has a huge fan base in Scandinavia. We are therefore delighted to have both prolonged our exclusive TV rights in Sweden and now secured an enhanced rights package in Denmark. We will continue to provide viewers with premium coverage of matches for the next three years in SD, HD and 3D, and on as many platforms and devices as possible. High quality delivery of the best entertainment content on an ‘anytime anywhere’ basis is what Viasat is all about.”last_img read more

first_imgFrench broadcasters TF1 and M6 have filed an appeal against the competition authority’s approval of Canal Plus’s acquisition of free-to-air channels Direct 8 and Direct Star with the country’s Conseil d’État.According to a report by Le Point, the two commercial broadcasters are arguing that the competition regulator did not place sufficiently strong conditions on Canal Plus ahead of granting approval of the deal.last_img

first_imgPolish pay TV platform Cyfrowy Polsat is to cross-promote its Ipla TV over-the-top sister service in an integrated campaign including two TV commercials on Polsat channels and online activities including tie-ins with the Ipla FilmWeb.pl service and other activities. The campaign follows an extension of the range of content offered by Ipla at the end of last year. the service now includes several dozen linear channels, live broadcasts and video-on-demand services.last_img

first_imgVivendi’s Brazilian subsidiary GVT has ended discussions with US DTH provider EchoStar about launching a joint pay TV venture in South America’s largest country.Vivendi said that it remains “firmly committed to accelerating the deployment of GVT’s pay TV business” and that  “GVT will be pursuing its active growth development in this field by its own”.The partnership between GVT and EchoStar was announced just over two months ago. The pair planned to create a pay TV platform ahead of next year’s World Cup that would be controlled by GVT and would have made use of the its IP network as well as EchoStar’s expertise in satellite technology and video. EchoStar would also have contributed its licences in the country to create a hybrid platform delivered over the internet and via satellite.last_img read more

first_imgDanish telco TDC Group has acquired the Danish rights to the Blockbuster name, in its latest push into the digital film rental market. TDC said that it will use the “familiarity of the Blockbuster name to encourage Danes to rent films online,” adding that it expects to implement the brand name in the first half of this year.“Blockbuster is a very powerful brand, which for many years has offered the biggest selection of the best and latest films to Danish consumers – and will continue to do so in future. We will, of course, also revamp the concept by utilising the wide range of possibilities that digital technology has to offer,” said TDC senior executive vice-president, Anders Jensen.Blockbuster Denmark announced last year that it will rebrand its physical shops and launch an online store under the name RecycleIT.dk. This will be a marketplace for pre-owned popular consumer electronics, films and games.The first of these stores opened in Copenhagen last year, with the rest of Blockbuster’s physical stores be rebranded over the next six months.“I am delighted that the Blockbuster name lives on in the digital world, but I also want to emphasise that RecycleIT.dk will continue to serve the part of the market that still wants to buy and rent physical films and games,” said Søren Heilmann, CEO of RecycleIT and Blockbuster Denmark.The TDC Group launched its first digital film rental service in 2006 and has since expanded to include all films released in Danish cinemas. The firm claims to be Denmark’s largest TVOD provider with a market share of more than 50%. The TDC Group also offers film rentals through its YouBio subscription service.last_img read more

first_imgRussian telecom operator Rostelecom is reportedly to begin beta-testing a new home-produced search engine, Sputnik.ru, that it plans to use to grow its business, complementing the launch with a range of content-rich services, including video.The Russian presidential administration has previously indicated its support for the creation of a ‘national search engine’ for Russia, notably during the 2008 war with Georgia when then-president Dmitry Medvedev called for it.Home-grown search engine Yandex is the current market leader in Russia, with a 62% market share against Google’s 27%.Yandex last week announced first quarter revenues of RUB10.9 billion (€220 million), up 36% year-on-year and adjusted EBITDA of RUB4 billion, up 15%.However, the search engine provider’s shares dipped significantly this week when Russian president Vladimir Putin criticised it for being registered in the Netherlands.In a speech at a conference in St Petersburg, Putin also reportedly described the internet as “a CIA project”.The Russian parliament passed a law this week requiring foreign social media sites operating in the country to base their servers in Russia and to store information on users for at least six months.last_img read more

first_imgSwiss service provider Sunrise increased its TV customer base by 53.5% year-on-year in the second quarter, with 89,200 people subscribing to its IPTV service as of June 30.This was up from 58,100 subscribers at the same point last year, with 6,000 net additions coming in Q2.Sunrise said that its blended TV and internet bundles were positively impacting blended ARPU, coming in at CHF46.8 (€38.65), up 14% year-on-year.“Sunrise TV, the latest generation in entertainment, is distinguished by the largest selection of HD broadcasters in the basic package, the ComeBack TV and Live Pause functions, and a unique variety of TV and radio channels,” the firm said.Overall, Sunrise reported total revenue of CHF996 million for the first half of 2014, an increase of 1.1% compared to the same period last year. EBITDA in the second quarter increased to CHF159 million, which is 5.7% higher year-on-year.last_img read more