Tags: New Tours, Rocky Mountaineer VANCOUVER — All four of Rocky Mountaineer’s just-announced new packages qualify for the company’s Peaks & Perks deal.With Peaks & Perks clients can receive up to $800 per couple in added value credit valid for anything from hotels, to sightseeing, to cruises.The four new packages include destinations like Canmore, Kananaskis, Sunshine Village in Banff National Park and the Cariboo Mountains. “For the first time ever, guests can do things like hiking and exploring caves, horseback riding, and relaxing at the Nordic Spa” as part of a Rocky Mountaineer trip, says the company.Here’s a quick look at the new packages:First Passage to the West Canmore Self-DriveThe mountain town of Canmore, about 20 minutes from Banff, offers stunning views and a laid back atmosphere where visitors can hike, explore caves, or discover restaurants and boutiques. The new seven-day Canmore Self-Drive package includes lodging at the newly-constructed Malcolm Hotel in Canmore, four days with a rental car to explore the region, and two days onboard Rocky Mountaineer.More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoFirst Passage to the West Kananaskis Self-DriveKananaskis is an ideal place to hike, mountain bike, ride horses, play golf, or relax in the Nordic Spa, plus it’s about a 45-minute drive from Banff. The seven-day Kananaskis Self-Drive package includes two nights at Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, four days exploring the area by rental car, and two days onboard Rocky Mountaineer.First Passage to the West Sunshine Village Self-DriveLocated within Banff National Park, Sunshine Village sits at an elevation of 7,200 feet with great views of the mountain terrain. Known as a top hiking areas in Canada, Sunshine Village offers opportunities for nature walks, gondola rides, biking, and swimming in hot springs. The seven-day Sunshine Village Self-Drive package features two nights at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, four days with a rental car to explore the region, and two days onboard Rocky Mountaineer.Journey through the Clouds Mountain AdventuresThe 10-day Journey through the Clouds Mountain Adventures package features three nights at the CMH Cariboos Lodge, where guests arrive and depart via helicopter, two and a half days of guided heli-hiking, and two days onboard Rocky Mountaineer. Rocky Mountaineer’s new self-drive combos come with savings Thursday, September 6, 2018 Posted by Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
<< Previous PostNext Post >> CIE Tours launches ‘Those Who Serve’ promotion Posted by Travelweek Group MORRISTOWN, NJ — CIE Tours is offering $200 air credit per couple as well as up to 15% off select tours in Ireland, Scotland and Italy “to all the firefighters, first responders, military members, nurses, police officers, and teachers of all heritages who make our world a better and safer place to live and travel.”The deal is immediately bookable and will remain available through May 17. The deal applies in Canada, says CIE. The air and land promotions can be booked separately or together. The land offer is valid on selected tours and dates throughout May, June, July and August and available to book by phone only; agents are asked to call 1-800-243-8687.Full offer details and restrictions are online at cietours.com/those-who-serve/.Among the eight tours on offer with the deal are:Scottish Dream: 8 days, from $2,580 per person (based on July 24 discounted departure), where clients can immerse themselves in Scotland with castle tours, a trip to picturesque Isle of Skye and the bustling cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.Taste of Italy: 7 days from C$2,515 per person (based on July 14 discounted departure), for the wonders of Venice, Florence and Rome.Irish & Scottish Sampler: 8 days, from $2,965 per person (based on Aug. 5 departure), to Dublin, the Giant’s Causeway, Scotland’s Highlands, Edinburgh and more.Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way: 13 days from $4,000 per person (based on Aug. 19 departure), starting in Shannon and ending in Dublin.Irish Pub Tour: 8 or 9 days from C$2450 (based on June 26 discounted departure), including an exploration of cozy pubs around the country, with story-telling at Dublin’s Oldest Pub, the Brazen Head, and dinner and music at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Other highlights include a visit to Teeling Whiskey Distillery and Guinness Storehouse and stays in Kilkenny, Killarney and Westport, all known for their pubs. Tuesday, April 30, 2019 Tags: CIE Tours Share
Citing Malaysia’s Langkawi, Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas of Indonesia’s Banyuwangi regional administration in East Java, told a meeting of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) in Jakarta on Monday that booming tourism in the region can stay in line with Islamic values (to respect the majority Muslim population in the region) while catering to tourists.Like Langkawi, the Regent believes that Bunyuwangi can work with an eco-tourism concept, encouraging visitors to explore the region’s natural beauty, food and festivals while eschewing bars and discos, like those of Bali, that his administration has banned.“We see a good example on Langkawi, Malaysia. The island attracts a lot of tourists without offering indecent stuff,” he said.Also prohibited are hotels with a rating of under 3 Stars. Anwar said such ‘cheap hotels’ encourage ‘sex transactions’ and suggests, instead, that tourists on a budget book into home stay facilities on the island.
Go back to the e-newsletterThe world’s globetrotters are invited to explore their creativity amidst the Maldivian paradise of Baa Atoll and create a masterpiece to take home. In collaboration with internationally acclaimed visual artist, Julie Simpson, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas welcomes guests to tap into their inner talents and express the beauty of its magnificent surrounds in a personal masterpiece.Guests can indulge in artistic revelry on this private island in Baa Atoll, surrounded by dazzling blue ocean. Julie will be offering classes six days a week, both at the resort’s poolside Manzaru restaurant and also private In-Villa tutorials. Guests of all ages will benefit from the expertise of the artist-in-residence and receive guidance on creating their work. All materials will be provided and each piece can be brought home as a spectacular holiday souvenir.Looking out to the ocean, the poolside setting at Manzaru creates an ideal open air studio and Julie encourages visitors to drop by for painting demonstrations or an informal chat. Julie will paint during the evenings to “demystify the artistic process” and guests can also buy her work to adorn their walls at home, a splendid way to relive memories of their Maldivian escape.Hailing from Australia, Julie has brought her expertise to destinations such as Russia, Morocco, Italy and France. Known internationally for her abstract sand, sea and sky artworks she will draw from the emotion and colour of the environment’s beautiful natural canvas to create a mural for the resort’s children’s club. In her first visit to the Maldives she expects the Maldivian blues surrounding Anantara Kihavah to inspire new work.“I draw extraordinary inspiration from the environment surrounding me,” Julie commented. “I love helping others to express their passion through art, and Anantara’s island is an amazing backdrop to unlock hidden talents. Immersed in serenity with nature literally painting the horizon in a flowing colourscape – what setting could be more perfect?”Along with this unique artistic experience, guests can enjoy snorkelling in UNESCO World Biosphere reefs, delighting in an underwater dining event at Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky or soothing sun-kissed skin with a massage with island-sourced essences in the resort’s luxurious sanctuary.Julie will be in residence at Anantara Kihavah Villas until 27 May 2016 and offering her insights to guests of all ages. Adult classes cost USD 95++ per two-hour session whilst classes for children (four – 11 years) can be reserved for USD 55++. Classes will run from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm six days a week.Go back to the e-newsletter
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Musician and singer Stevie Wonder will perform a series of shows in Las Vegas in August.Casino giant MGM Resorts International and entertainment company Live Nation Las Vegas announced Tuesday that Wonder will play five shows at the Park Theater starting Aug. 3.The 5,300-seat venue is located at the Park MGM casino-resort, formerly known as the Monte Carlo. It hosted the residencies of Cher and Ricky Martin.Tickets start at $69 and go on sale May 21.The 68-year-old musician announced last week he’d be playing a series of shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere in the coming months that celebrate life, love and music and push back against troubled times. by The Associated Press Posted May 15, 2018 9:08 pm PDT Last Updated May 15, 2018 at 9:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Stevie Wonder to perform 5 shows at Las Vegas strip resort FILE – In this May 6, 2017 file photo, Stevie Wonder performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans. Musician and singer Wonder will perform a series of shows in Las Vegas in Aug. 2018. Casino giant MGM Resorts International and entertainment company Live Nation Las Vegas announced Tuesday, May 15, 2018, that Wonder will play five shows at the Park Theater starting Aug. 3. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)
The Louis Group said it recorded a €2.9 million net profit in the first nine months of the year, boosted by its cruise operations, which chalked a 6 per cent rise.The last time the company announced profits was in 2010.The overall improvement, compared with the respective period last year, which saw a net loss of €8.5 million, came from a relatively small increase – 4.5 per cent — in the group’s turnover.“The net profit attributable to shareholders recorded a total increase of €11.4 million,” the company said. “Reversing last year’s results and recording a net profit of €2.9 million this year confirms that the company is on the right path,” Louis said.The rise was mainly recorded by its cruise arm — through an increase in charters and sales of cruises departing from the port of Piraeus, Greece.Louis Hotels managed a smaller increase of 3 per cent because four of its hotels were closed for renovation in the first months of the year, the company said.It warned however that due to the seasonal nature of tourism, its fourth quarter results were expected to have a negative impact on its bottom line at the end of the year.Louis said its operating profit in the first nine months of the year rose to €51.2 million or 40.3 per cent, compared with €36.5 million in 2012.The company’s turnover reached €172.7 million from €165.4 million last year.“At a time when both the Cypriot and Greek economies are faced with serious problems due to the protracted economic crisis, tourism … constitutes the driving force since it is one of the few remaining activities that can reverse the current negative climate and contribute decisively in restarting the economy,” the company said.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
By Staff ReporterTHE consolidated accounts of the central government recorded a surplus in April 2014, covering the previous month’s 0.12 per cent deficit that corresponds to €18.95 million.According to finance ministry data, a 0.86 per cent surplus, or €135.7m, was recorded in the first quarter of 2014.By comparison, the surplus in the corresponding period of 2013 was 0.11 per cent or €18.23m.The primary surplus for the first quarter stood at €280.8m, compared with €204.6m in the same period last year.State revenues increased in the first quarter of the year reaching €2.12 billion, from €2.1b in 2013, while public expenditure dropped to €2b, from €2.09b in the same period last year.Tax revenue reached €1.72b, from €1.66b, with direct taxes reaching to €651.74m, from €620.97m.Indirect taxes rose to €763.24m, compared with €726.05mn.VAT revenues also grew by 4.32 per cent to €451.02m, while income tax revenue declined by 13.06 per cent to €239.08m.Expenditures from wages and salaries dropped between January and April 2014 by 4.69 per cent to €529.4m, compared with €555.46m in the first quarter of 2013.Social security payments reached €482.33m, up from €458.88m, while payments for pensions fell from €209.01m to €191.34m.Finally, interest payments fell by 22.13 per cent to €145.09m in the first quarter of 2014, compared with €186.33m in 2013.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoTruthfinderEnter Any Name, Wait These Seconds, See Instant ResultsTruthfinderUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
16May Rep Hoitenga testifies in support of ‘right to carry’ legislation State Rep. Michele Hoitenga speaks before the House Judiciary Committee in support of her legislation to enable upstanding citizens to carry concealed pistols without obtaining a government-issued permit.State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, today testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of her legislation to enable law-abiding citizens to carry concealed pistols without obtaining a government-issued permit.Hoitenga said the legislation is a step toward reforming Michigan firearm laws to stop Michigan residents from being punished for exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms.“It is legal in the state of Michigan for people to openly carry firearms without any training, classes, fees or state bureaucracy. It only becomes illegal when a person puts on a coat because the gun then becomes concealed,” Hoitenga said. “One millimeter of clothing makes a difference between a criminal act and a legal act.“My question is: Why are upstanding citizens paying expensive fees for courses and permits to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms? We know criminals are not paying fees, taking classes and waiting for approval to come in the mail.”The four-bill package is sponsored by Hoitenga and Reps. Triston Cole of Mancelona, Sue Allor of Wolverine and Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield Township.Hoitenga said people would still have to pass a background check when purchasing a handgun, and anyone currently prohibited from carrying a firearm will not legally be able to carry a concealed firearm if these bills are enacted.In addition, the state would continue issuing concealed carry permits; this legislation simply eliminates the requirement to obtain a license to carry in Michigan. The current permitting structure will remain in place to allow Michigan CPL holders to continue to carry in states that recognize Michigan’s permit. A CPL will also continue to allow people to carry openly in certain restricted zones.“I am an advocate for education, and this legislation does not eliminate background checks, gun-free zones or CPL classes for those who choose to take the course,” Hoitenga said. “It simply gives law-abiding citizens a choice.”House Bills 4416-19 remain under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee.### Categories: Hoitenga News
State Rep. Gary Eisen today supported a resolution blocking a power grab by Michigan’s new governor that overstepped the fundamental division of powers between the governor’s office and Legislature.Eisen, of St. Clair Township, said a recent executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is an after-the-fact veto of a law passed by the legislature last year and constitutes an abuse of her power.“I believe this is just a political move to test the waters on what she can get away with in her role as Governor,” Eisen said. “It is not up to that office to cherry-pick which laws to follow.”The governor may issue an executive order to organize a state department in any way she sees fit. However, when the executive order contains language with the force of law, the legislature has the duty to review the order as proposed legislation. The Legislature has the constitutional authority to reject it.Executive Order 2019-02 abolished three review committees that provided important oversight of the Department of Environmental Quality and gave citizens long-overdue access to the rule-making process.Eisen said, “The governor’s executive order would eliminate oversight, public input and transparency. We can’t allow this to happen and strip our constituent’s voices.” Categories: Eisen News,News 07Feb Rep. Eisen: Governor must respect division of powers
15Mar Rep. Markkanen discusses state resources with local county road commissioners Categories: Markkanen News,News State Rep. Greg Markkanen recently met with local county road commissioners in the Western U.P. to discuss state resources that can help fix Michigan roads.Markkanen met with Kevin Harju of the Houghton County Road Commission and Gregg Patrick of the Keweenaw County Road Commission. The first-term legislator said both meetings were related to the state’s efforts to secure road repair funding after the Father’s Day floods of last summer.Storms destroyed several roads in the Houghton and Hancock areas, and created multiple sinkholes across the Keweenaw Peninsula.“Securing road funding for our local roads is imperative and I will continue to work together with my U.P. colleagues to try find new ways to fix our roads,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “We are a strong community and I look forward to continue discussing how we can enhance our infrastructure.”Residents can contact Rep. Markkanen at his Lansing office at (517) 373-0850 or GregMarkkanen@house.mi.gov.###
Categories: Schroeder News 30Apr Justice is coming for Michigan children By state Rep. Andrea Schroeder of Independence TownshipNothing will ever be more important than ensuring the children of our great state are growing up in safe environments with responsible, loving guardians.There is also no downplaying the vital role Children’s Protective Services (CPS) contributes to the protection of Michigan’s most vulnerable population.However, the Office of the Auditor General’s release of the CPS investigations performance audit in September 2018 raised too many red flags. It revealed a troubling trend that our children are being abused and neglected each and every day – while not receiving help from a system that exists to ensure their safety.Simply put, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and its CPS division have failed our children.The department did not abide by CPS investigation protocols, courts and prosecuting attorneys across Michigan were not notified of severe situations, and perpetrators of child abuse and neglect were not placed on the Central Registry – the state’s public database of individuals found abusive or neglectful toward children.My Republican and Democratic colleagues and I, as members of the House Oversight Committee, are stepping in to correct these deficiencies by assisting the department in fixing its woes, correcting its course, and making sure children trapped in dangerous situations receive the justice they so desperately need and deserve.As a committee, we conducted multiple hearings on the audit, listening to testimony from the office of the Auditor General, CPS, and DHHS to collaborate on solutions aimed at protecting children from abuse and neglect. Through those hearings, we crafted a list of legislative recommendations amending Michigan’s Child Protection Law.Our committee concluded it was necessary for CPS to verify the well-being of all children in a home where suspected child abuse or neglect has occurred within 24 hours of it being reported.We also believe centralized state oversight would verify each county is properly developing and implementing the required investigation protocols. The department has recently updated their technology which will help to more accurately access appropriate oversight authorities and assess the department’s progress on areas with deficiencies.Finally, to improve child and CPS worker safety, we have proposed new workgroups and Central Registry improvements. The workgroups will ensure perpetrators of abuse and neglect are included on the Central Registry.As a state, we must do a better job protecting our children. CPS has a duty to protect them from abusive environments and the Legislature has a duty to provide necessary oversight in ensuring the department fulfills its role efficiently.Our report has been referred to the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee where the recommendations will be drafted into legislation. A lot of collaborative work went into this report, and I am pleased with the final product. The House Oversight Committee demonstrated that bipartisanship still exists in Lansing and I look forward to voting on these measures in the near future.State Rep. Andrea Schroeder is a first-term lawmaker serving the 43rd House District, which encompasses part of Oakland County – including part of Waterford Township, the city of Lake Angelus, the city of the Village of Clarkston, and Independence Township.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares “Rams on offense at St. Louis at SF 11-16-08 05” by BrokenSphere – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. December 1, 2014;Washington PostThe decision of five players of the St. Louis Rams to stand in a “hands up, don’t shoot” pose before their game on November 30th engendered outsized controversy, pro and con. The Rams then went on to beat the Oakland Raiders 52-0, suggesting that the brief stance of solidarity between the players and people concerned about the events in Ferguson didn’t have an adverse effect on the team’s football prowess.Rams coach Jeff Fisher said he had been unaware of the plan to protest but chose not to discipline the players (remember, First Amendment free speech rights do not extend into private business, and the Rams are a business, not a governmental entity). Even the National Football League declined to discipline or criticize the players.That wasn’t the stance of the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA), a 501(c)(8) fraternal organization (actually, a chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, the police officers’ labor union). Because the SLPOA website appears to be down, the official statement of the union’s reaction to the players’ protest was not visible, but KDSK in St. Louis reported that the union issued a statement that, given the grand jury’s decision not to indict former police officer Darren Wilson for killing teenager Michael Brown, “it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over and over again.”SPLOA business manager Jeff Roorda went a little further in his criticism of the players, voicing an unusual and inaccurate interpretation of the meaning of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and adding a very obvious threat:“I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Well I’ve got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products. It’s cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it’s not the NFL and the Rams, then it’ll be cops and their supporters.”Writing for the Washington Post, sports columnist Sally Jenkins notes that Roorda is not only a police officer and a representative of the police union, but also a member of the Missouri House of Representatives. His misunderstanding of the First Amendment and his obvious threat of police perhaps choosing not to do their jobs to protect the NFL, the Rams, and the players are, to put it mildly, noteworthy given his position. Jenkins notes that the threat to the First Amendment is Roorda’s threat that as representatives of government, he and other police offers might be willing to withhold their services in order to punish the Rams players, who merely expressed an opinion.What was the crime of these Rams players that made Roorda and the SLPOA demand that the players be disciplined and the team and NFL to publicly apologize? The statements of the players speak for themselves:“I just think there has to be a change,” said Rams tight end Jared Cook after the game. “There has to be a change that starts with the people that are most influential around the world…No matter what happened on that day, no matter how the whole situation went down, there has to be a change.”“I don’t want the people in the community to feel like we turned a blind eye to it,” wide receiver Kenny Britt added. “What would I like to see happen? Change in America.”If someone needs to be disciplined after the Rams game against the Raiders, it might be Roorda, a government official, for having demonstrated ignorance, if not contempt, for the First Amendment guarantee of protection against government interference with freedom of speech.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share10TweetShare2Email12 SharesPixabay. Public domain.June 9, 2017; Washington PostThe Washington Post recently analyzed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s mortality data and found that death rates have increased among people between 25 and 44 across all racial groups. “After a century of decreases, the overall death rate for American’s in these prime years rose eight percent between 2010 and 2015.”The Post found that much of this is driven by drug overdoes, mostly from opioids. “[A] phenomenon most pronounced among whites in small cities and rural areas appears to be spreading to the nation’s suburbs and biggest cities.” For this age group, death rates have risen not only in almost every racial and ethnic group, but in all the states except for Hawaii and Washington, D.C. Alcohol-related deaths are also on the rise across racial and ethnic groups and homicide is the leading cause among young black people.The death rate among African Americans is up 4 percent, Latin@s 7 percent, whites 12 percent, and Native Americans 18 percent. For Asian Americans, the rise is statistically insignificant.The Post found that “before 2010, death rates had been declining for whites, blacks and Hispanics in metropolitan areas of at least 1 million people. Since 2010, the rates are up everywhere…American mortality appears to have reached an inflection point around 2010, in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession.”Further, according to Robert Anderson, chief of mortality statistics for the CDC, “preliminary data from the first half of 2016 suggests that the trend is continuing.” Josh Sharfstein, director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at John Hopkins, said, “What it reflects is an out-of-control epidemic right now.”While drug overdose deaths are still more than double for whites compared to blacks, Thomas Gilson, a coroner in Cuyahoga County, which encompasses Cleveland, said, “With seemingly purposeful intent, cocaine is now being mixed with fentanyl and its analogues in an effort to introduce these drugs into the African American population.”According to Michael Botticelli, director of the new Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center, “Addicts want the strongest drugs available, even if they are potentially fatal. He said a dealer arrested in Massachusetts had sent a text message to a colleague: ‘We don’t want to kill them, we just want to bring them to that point.’”The one factor that affects the death rate is education level. The Post found that “the only 25–44 group whose death rate is not climbing is people with four-year college degrees.” Joan C. Williams, a law professor at University of California who focuses on work and class said a large segment of society “is seeing their grip on the American dream slipping away.”The death rate is also increasing in other age groups. A 2015 Princeton study by economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton found that whites 45–54 “have been dying at surprisingly high rates since the end of the 20th century.” They noted that these deaths from drug overdoses, alcohol abuse, and suicide appear to be related to the deteriorating labor market and have labeled them “deaths of despair.”The Post notes that “in modern times, increases in mortality have been rare.” Deaton, who is also a Nobel laureate, said a society where the death rate is going the wrong way signals a society where “there’s something very, very seriously wrong.”Botticelli notes that not only is treatment not available in certain parts of the country, but there is opposition to effective treatment, with people in favor of jailing people for drug crimes. NPQ wrote recently about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ new policy to reverse mandated minimum sentence protections for drug crimes. Botticelli warns that “a criminal, judgmental or moral approach will block effective solutions.”—Cyndi SuarezShare10TweetShare2Email12 Shares
Share6Tweet7ShareEmail13 Shares“UTLA Strike,” waltarrrJanuary 22, 2019; Los Angeles Times and New York TimesLos Angeles teachers ended their first strike in 30 years after union members and the Los Angeles Unified School District board both approved a contract agreement, report Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times. A copy of the three-year tentative agreement (now final) is available here.The deal reached includes a six-percent salary rise for teachers—three percent retroactive to last year and three percent this year. This is basically the district’s pre-strike offer.However, the union gained ground on issues that were more important to rank-and-file teachers, like class size. The agreement, write Blume and Kohli, “calls for a drop of one student per class next year in grades four through 12, one more the year after and two more the year after that.” Blume and Kohli, citing teachers’ union president Alex Caputo-Pearl, add that if maximum sizes are enforced, some extra-large classes could lose five to 10 students immediately. Blume and Kohli also report that, “Campuses targeted for special help—75 elementary schools and 15 middle schools—will see their class sizes drop by an additional two students. The district has 1,240 schools.”Additionally, in the New York Times, Jennifer Medina and Dana Goldstein add that, “The deal also includes hiring full-time nurses for every school, as well as enough librarians for every middle and high school in the district by the fall of 2020.” Medina and Goldstein also note that according to the union, “The agreement also includes a pledge that the elected school board for the district will vote on a resolution asking the state to ‘establish a charter school cap’ and create a governor’s committee on charter schools.” Medina and Goldstein also quote Caputo-Pearl as saying teachers won some restrictions on the use of standardized tests.Another contract change was an agreement to create 30 community schools, in which public schools serve as hubs to bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families, and communities. NPQ has covered community schools before. For instance, NPQ’s Martin Levine wrote about one such effort in Waco, Texas, a year ago. In contract negotiations in Los Angeles, Blume and Kohli report that Austin, Texas and Cincinnati, Ohio were seen as the cities that could serve as models for the Los Angeles effort. As Blume and Kohli portray the proposal, “These schools are supposed to provide social services to students and family, rich academic programs that include the arts and leadership roles for parents and teachers.”The stakes behind the strike were large. The agreement, it may be said, has likely put a halt to the deterioration of conditions, but there is a long path of rebuilding that will need to follow. School superintendent Austin Beutner, who had been highly combative, sounded a conciliatory tone. “Public education is now the topic in every household in our community. Let’s capitalize on that. Let’s fix it.”As for the union, Caputo-Pearl said he was impressed by the “groundswell” of support that teachers had received during the strike. This is not just rhetoric. A poll conducted by Loyola Marymount University found that 53.1 percent of Los Angeles residents “strongly supported” the strike and 25.5 percent “somewhat supported” the strike, while only 21.4 percent expressed opposition. “We have seen over the last week something amazing happened,” Caputo-Pearl told the New York Times. “We took on the idea of bargaining for the common good. Public education desperately needs attention.”Hopefully, the new attention and energy will be put to good use to rebuild the city’s frayed public education system. One expected post-strike outcome is for the union and the school district to request more state funds to improve conditions. Because the state of California currently has a surplus of $14.8 billion (plus a “rainy day” fund of $14.5 billion), there is a reasonable chance that such efforts could bear some fruit for the nation’s second largest public school district and its workers.—Steve DubbShare6Tweet7ShareEmail13 Shares
Share11Tweet10ShareEmail21 Sharesdbking [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsApril 2, 2019; Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionIn the same way that regulators overseeing a nonprofit’s business should not have business relationships with that nonprofit, people who are subjects of scrutiny by the press should not be in charge of overseeing the press. It interferes with the integrity of reporting and limits the ability of journalists to tell stories about those in power.Some members of Georgia’s state legislature, however, seem to disagree. Last week, Representatives Andrew Welch, Ron Stephens, Mark Newton, Timothy Barr, Rick Jasperse, and Mike Cheokas introduced HB 734, or the “Ethics in Journalism Act.” The act creates a state Journalism Ethics Board that would enact several controls upon the freedom of the press. In brief, it would:“Promulgate canons of ethics for journalism”—that is, set ethical practiceDevelop a voluntary accreditation process for journalistsHandle Georgia residents’ complaints of ethics violations by journalists, including by sanctioning accredited journalists and organizationsAccording to the text of the bill, the commission would be housed at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and comprise nine members, including journalists, editors, and journalism professors.The bill would also provide that “Any individual who is interviewed by a member of the media shall have the right, upon request, to a copy of a full, unedited version of any audio or video recording of such interview as well as any photographs taken in connection with such interview,” and not only is the news organization or journalist that conducted the interview liable if they do not respond promptly, but each organization that runs the story containing that material is liable to a penalty of $100 a day.In a purely practical sense, one can only imagine the nightmare this would be, but the principles at stake are much more concerning. Some commentators viewed this proposed bill as a deliberate effort by lawmakers to hamper journalists’ inconvenient investigations.“It became clear it was an effort to rein in those who have been scrutinizing what’s been happening at the legislature,” wrote Richard T. Griffiths, a retired CNN vice president and former Grady College fellow who now heads the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. (One might note that under Georgia law, the state legislature is exempt from the Open Records Act—so journalists are under a heavier level of scrutiny than those upon whom they report.)Georgia University Professor Jonathan Peters has been featured in several news outlets commenting on the issue, but the full statement he posted on Twitter read: “This is a terrible idea.” He was more forthcoming in an email to Courthouse News, stating, “The bill strikes me as a publicity stunt with little chance of passing, but its provisions are nonetheless remarkable because of their offensiveness to basic First Amendment principles.”Other professors expressed similar sentiments. “Can someone send them a copy of the damned First Amendment?” tweeted Jeff Jarvis, the director of the City University of New York’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.Welch, the bill’s sponsor, said that he had been wondering whether there were official ethical standards for journalism, and learned that “there is a Society of Professional Journalists [SPJ], but whether you’re a member or not…is completely voluntary.” He apparently wondered this after, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he recently “expressed frustration with what he saw as bias from a TV reporter who asked him questions about legislation.”We return to the analogy we offered at the start of this article: If you put someone over the press, you make that person or body virtually immune from investigation, and therefore from public oversight. There exists an Ethical Journalism Network and other organizations like SPJ that offer guidance and principles for journalists, an international fact-checking network, and other voluntary organizations that encourage ethical behavior among journalists.Yet trust in the media continues to decline, according to a Gallup poll released in October 2018. The US Press Freedom Tracker reports that already in 2019, 10 journalists have been attacked and five arrested. In addition, journalists have been threatened, boxed out from press conferences and events, and prevented from publishing.Nora Benavidez, Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs at PEN America, wrote, “This proposal flies in the face of the most basic freedoms laid out in our Constitution, and pre-filing the bill right before the close of one legislative session and months ahead of the next is clearly intended to cast a threatening cloud over the press in Georgia.”—Erin RubinShare11Tweet10ShareEmail21 Shares
The board of satellite operator Eutelsat have nominated Jean-Martin Folz to be appointed as chairman.Eutelsat’s board of directors unanimously decided to propose to shareholders at the general assembly on November 8 to nominate Folz as a board member. If elected, he will be appointed as chairman to succeed Giuliano Berretta.Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, said: “The board is delighted to propose Jean-Martin Folz to join our board and believes he has all the qualities to assume the role of chairman, succeeding Giuliano Berretta whose mandate expires in November. Jean-Martin Folz’s extensive business experience on an international scale will add further strength to our board’s ability to oversee the expansion of our business for the long term, building on the outstanding achievements accomplished under the chairmanship of Giuliano Berretta over the last six years.”
Google has added new apps that allow US consumers to access a raft of new international channel on connected devices.In a posting on its official blog, Google said it has added new apps that allow users of various smart devices to watch seven new channels including Euronews and Al Jazeera. The TV service and channels, available via the Google Play Store, is pitched at expats living in the US and is not yet available internationally.
British pay TV broadcaster BSkyB is launching a movie channel dedicated to James Bond after striking a deal to acquire the rights to the films earlier this year.Sky struck a deal with MGM in April 2012 to show the entire library of 22 James Bond films from Dr No to Quantum of Solace. It will now launch Sky Movies 007 in October to showcase the films in both standard and high definition.Director of Sky Movies Ian Lewis, said: “The Bond movies are a very special franchise and we want to ensure that our customers will be able to experience it in a way they’ve never been able to before, and so we’re going to create a dedicated channel Sky Movies 007 HD devoted entirely to James Bond showing the entire catalogue of films and loads of extra material.”
Dutch cable operator Ziggo has named Deutsche Telekom chief executive René Obermann its next CEO, following the departure of current boss Bernard Dijkhuizen.René ObermannThe planned transition will take place on January 1, 2014, in line with Dijkhuizen’s previously announced retirement, Ziggo said.Obermann will join the cable provider after 15 years at Deutsche Telecom. He said the move fulfilled his “strong wish as an entrepreneur to move closer to operational activities and to be involved in a fast changing world of offering products and services in media and entertainment.”Andy Sukawaty, chairman of the Ziggo board, said Obermann’s “leadership skills and broad global experience in fixed and mobile telecoms will help to drive continued long term growth and service innovation at Ziggo.”Obermann joined Deutsche Telekom in 1998 as director of sales and a member of the management board. He has held the CEO role since 2006.Dijkhuizen became CEO of Ziggo in 2007, having previously served as CEO of Essent Kabelcom/@Home from October 2002. Prior to this, was managing director of Libertel Network (part of Vodafone).
Chello Central Europe has appointed CEE TV channel distribution specialist Tematic Cable to manage its Romanian operations. Chello Central Europe recently said that it would restructure its Romanian business and appoint a local agent to handle sales and marketing, as it plans to close its Bucharest office on September 30, 2013.Chello Central Europe’s business consists of its seven TV channels – including Minimax, FilmCafe, MGM and Sport1 – Chello Zone’s six wholly owned, partnership and managed channels, and a further 17 represented channels.Dr. Balázs Hajós, Director of Affiliate Sales Chello Central Europe said, “Our goal is to expand and further improve our business and services in Romania. I am sure that Tematic Cable will be an excellent partner to achieve this.”Chello Central Europe is a business unit of Chellomedia – the content division of Liberty Global.