From news services Tim Thomas hit a tiebreaking 16-foot jumper with 12.9 seconds left to help the Clippers beat the Sacramento Kings, 92-90, Wednesday night in an exhibition game at Staples Center. Thomas was back in the lineup after missing two games because of a family emergency in New Jersey, but Corey Maggette sat this one out due to a bruised tailbone and Aaron Williams was sidelined by a right calf strain. Chris Kaman led the Clippers with 19 points and nine rebounds. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Mike Bibby had 28 points for the Kings, but committed a costly turnover with less than a minute to play. Heat deal Walker Antoine Walker’s turbulent time with the Miami Heat is over. Miami traded the three-time All-Star forward to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a five-player deal that came one day after Miami completed a winless preseason. Walker, backup center Michael Doleac, oft-injured forward Wayne Simien and a conditional first-round draft pick were sent to Minnesota for former Miami swingman Ricky Davis and center Mark Blount. The deal gives Miami the third scoring option it wanted in Davis. The Heat will try to fit him in alongside Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade – who’ll miss a few more weeks while recovering from knee and shoulder surgeries. Walker helped the Heat win the 2006 NBA title but his weight bothered Coach Pat Riley. Around the league Mavericks: Forward Josh Howard is out with a sprained left wrist and will be re-evaluated next week. Howard will miss the first two games of the regular season anyway because of his suspension for an altercation with Sacramento center Brad Miller. Pistons: Rookie Rodney Stuckey broke his left hand in the Pistons’ game with Washington. Nets: New Jersey waived guard Mateen Cleaves.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts Tags:#Location#social networks#web guest author 1 The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos With interest in location-based social networks (LBSN) hitting an all-time high with Foursquare’s recent funding announcement valuing the company at $115 million, a new type of social networking has emerged that borrows some of the mechanics and incentives from location-based services: event-based social networks (EBSNs).While LBSN users notify their personal networks where they are physically located by checking in to the service (and earning virtual badges in the process), EBSN users earn their virtual rewards by also using check-in mechanics, but without actually being physically present at a location.Alex Calic (@alexcalic) is currently working on an undisclosed start-up having spent the past 10 years at several tech companies. After starting at Assal and Coremetrics, Alex was most recently VP of [insert title of whatever needed to get done that quarter] at Clearspring Technologies. Prior to that he was VP of Corp. Dev. at InPhonic where he helped take the company public, launch Wirefly and acquire a dozen mobile and e-commerce companies.The network effect caused by the interest of the most engaged fans is bringing indifferent audiences that are connected to these fans off of the sidelines and into the viewing experience.We see from studies and personal experiences that recommendations from social networks do influence our television viewing habits. Combined with the abundant, on-demand nature of information available on the Internet, it’s easy to understand how the changing content consumption habits – from the day after to the day of – have affected the media industry.While much of the demise of print news media can be attributed to these changing habits (and explained nowhere better than on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), it has actually had the opposite effect on live television event broadcasts. Here is audience data from some of the most widely-known live-broadcast sports and entertainment events from this year.Golden Globes (January): This year’s television audience was 17 million, 14% higher than in 2009.Grammy Awards (January): Almost 27 million viewers tuned in, a 35% increase over last year’s broadcast and the highest TV ratings for the event since 2004.Super Bowl XLIV (February): This became the most-watched television program in U.S. history, beating the finale of the TV show “M*A*S*H” with a total audience of over 150 million and an average of over 106 million viewers.Academy Awards (March): The Awards had over 41 million viewers, up 14% over the 2009 Oscars.NBA Finals Game 7 (June): The deciding game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics pulled in a viewership of over 28 million, the largest basketball audience since 12 years ago, when Michael Jordan won his last of six NBA championshipsWorld Cup Final (July): The finals between Spain and Netherlands became the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history with over 24 million viewers, topping the previous record of 19 million viewers during the United States’ match against Ghana in the elimination round only weeks earlier.Some might argue that there are better explanations for this renewed interest in live television programming. The economy, for instance, means people stay home more often for entertainment purposes. Or it’s due to a wide range of content quality: the offensive-minded Super Bowl match-up; the popularity of Lady Gaga for the Grammys and Avatar for the Golden Globes and Oscars; the deciding game of a classic NBA finals match-up; the final of the World Cup, the most-followed sporting event in the world. But the fact is most of these events are leveraging social media hubs like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube more and more as part of their tune-in marketing campaigns to engage with fans and would-be viewers.And it’s working. The network effect caused by the interest of the most engaged fans is bringing indifferent audiences that are connected to these fans off of the sidelines and into the viewing experience. The real-time nature of information flow on the Web, along with the ability to extend social connections through Facebook and Twitter, has made it increasingly difficult for people to avoid watching or hearing about live television event broadcasts – or even attempt to try to watch them in a non-linear, time-shifted manner without having the outcome spoiled by social media channels. Combined with the social pressures around participation, additional audiences are being influenced to engage in these events via social networks.Some recent engagement figures from Facebook and Twitter seem to confirm this. Facebook has shared that about 30% of all status updates on the site during the U.S. versus England match included a World Cup-related term. More impressively, Twitter saw the number of Tweets per second (TPS) it handles top 3,000 as a result of the Lakers beating the Celtics in the NBA Finals. This record was broken a week later on the heels of two World Cup matches that generated almost 3,300 TPS. To put this into context, Twitter’s normal activity is 750 TPS, which is a big reason why the service has experienced over six hours of downtime since the beginning of the World Cup.With live television event broadcasting benefiting greatly from social networking, can EBSNs become the next big opportunity in social media?More Than Virtual Badges and Threaded Conversations Even though the most well-known companies in this segment of social networking have positioned themselves in a slightly different manner from one another. At the most basic level, services like Fanvibe (formerly Fanpulse) sporting sporting events, GetGlue by AdaptiveBlue (home entertainment like movies, books and music), Hot Potato (general events), Miso by Bazaar Labs (TV shows and movies) and Tunerfish from Comcast (online video and TV shows) all address some type of live event participation through their services.As ReadWriteWeb points out in its recent coverage of some of these apps, their current lack of users adversely affects the social value of their respective networks. With Facebook and Twitter already driving the lion’s share of social media status updates and check-in functionality becoming a commodity, these EBSNs will need more than virtual badges and threaded conversation capabilities around events to drive adoption.The solution is partnering with the leagues and organizations behind these events, as well as the television networks with the broadcast rights. Being promoted by the events or built into the digital experiences of the broadcasts is the ideal way to drive mindshare and user growth. For this reason Tunerfish is best positioned of the group to succeed, since it comes out of Comcast, which has the largest television subscriber base and is in the process of acquiring one of the biggest network TV broadcasters in the U.S.Being part of Comcast helped Tunerfish land its first promotional partnership with HBO when the service went live last month. Owning NBC could bring a lot more of these types of opportunities to Tunerfish. With an iPad app also in the works from Comcast, adding Tunerfish’s functionality to the application could automate the check-in process for millions of TV viewers across every television show and network available in the U.S., creating an enviable interest graph.There is hope for some of the other services as well. AdaptiveBlue, which has been around the longest, probably has the most robust underlying platform. The company leverages semantic technologies to generate social recommendations for its users based on their check-ins and ratings. By covering a broader range of interests than just TV shows and movies, and with strong platform usage resulting from its recently launched GetGlue iPhone app, AdaptiveBlue can create a much deeper interest graph than some of its competitors.Hot Potato could find early success among sports leagues, as its founding team comes from MLBAM, the digital media arm of Major League Baseball. That being said, MLB, which is the most tech savvy of all the major sports leagues, did announce it has integrated its own check-in functionality into its iPhone app just last week.Miso’s best opportunity for success is tied to the investment it took from Google Ventures last month. With the announcement of GoogleTV earlier this year, Miso should have the inside track in doing for GoogleTV what Tunerfish could do for Comcast – integrating directly into the television guide and discovery experience for set-top boxes.Over $400 billion in television advertising and on-demand video revenues exist worldwide, according to a recent report published by media researcher Futurescape. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts and tweets, live TV event programming – such as sports championships and entertainment award shows – will only increase in value to broadcasters as produced series-based programming becomes more accessible on demand in a non-linear viewing experience.For EBSNs to succeed, they will need to leverage Facebook and Twitter’s platforms as distribution channels – much like Foursquare did initially – in order to drive utility for its users and interest for their own services.Live television represents the best opportunity for advertisers to find and connect with an engaged audience in the present. Combined with real-time status updates, event producers and advertisers can receive immediate feedback from users on their TV viewing experience. This social feedback loop will be critical in delivering better television programming and advertising in the future.With nearly half of Facebook users simultaneously watching television while on the site, and Twitter showing its impact during the recently concluded NBA Finals and World Cup, it’s those companies’ game to lose at the moment as each brings a respective interest and sentiment data set that can add tangible value to traditional TV audience metrics.For EBSNs to succeed, they will need to leverage Facebook and Twitter’s platforms as distribution channels – much like Foursquare did initially – in order to drive utility for its users and interest for their own services. By becoming the interface between users and their Facebook and Twitter accounts, ESBNs have an opportunity to get users to build subnetworks within their respective platforms that are unique and more valuable to those on Facebook and Twitter – something Foursquare is also starting to do with its own LBSN.The ultimate benefit in evolving a platform in this manner is that an event-based social network can become the audience- and data-provider to event creators and distributors, as well as advertisers, while delivering better programming recommendations and socially targeting advertising to its users in the process.Whatever the eventual outcome, it will unfold live.Photo by gerard79.
Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:00PH military destroys thousands of illegal guns, ammo01:00Duterte to fly to Japan for Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Jeron Teng. PBA IMAGESIt may have been a tough pill to swallow, but Jeron Teng acknowledged Centro Escolar University came out the better team against Flying V in their semifinals series.“I think they hit big shots in the late game. We also had open shots, but we just didn’t make it. It happens,” he said after the Thunder’s stunning exit in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup with a 72-67 Game 3 defeat to the Scorpions on Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT But more than the numbers, what the 23-year-old cherishes the most were the learnings he had from coach Eric Altamirano.“I’ve really learned a lot from this Flying V team. I’m very thankful for the management, to our bosses, and to coach Eric — especially coach Eric because I learned a lot from his system. He really helped me a lot to be prepared for the PBA,” he said.As he braces for bigger challenges ahead, Teng shared that he’s taking this time to hone his craft as he raises the possibility of making the leap and joining the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft.“The time I have right now, I’ll work with my individual skills. I consistently work on my outside shooting and continue improving my basic skills. I need to do that so that I’ll be more prepared when I come to the PBA,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Teng, the leading contender for the Conference MVP award, rued what could have been a dream run for Flying V as it already reached great heights after being only the fourth team to sweep the eliminations.“It’s unfortunate. We knew we could’ve achieved more. But we just don’t know what happened. But that’s basketball and those things happen and we just have to learn from it,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe failed championship campaign, though, does not diminish what Teng has achieved with the Thunder.Averaging a league-best 22.15 points, 6.85 rebounds, and 5.77 assists, Teng had a blast in one conference stay with Flying, recording the most triple-doubles in league history with three. JRU gets first streak, clobbers St. Benilde by 28 Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR View comments
Primera División Superb Suarez shows Madrid the power of an on-form forward Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 06:13 1/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(95) Getty Primera División Luis Suárez Real Sociedad v Barcelona Real Sociedad Barcelona Opinion The Uruguayan showed Barcelona’s big rivals what they are missing as he struck twice on Sunday in a superb comeback win for the Catalans at Anoeta It’s official: Luis Suarez is back on song.The former Liverpool striker struggled for form and fitness earlier on in the season, but his double against Real Sociedad on Sunday showed he is again among the world’s most-feared forwards. And Barcelona are all the better off because of it.The Blaugrana broke their Anoeta hoodoo and it was in large part thanks to the Uruguayan. Barca had failed to win in La Liga away to the San Sebastian side since 2007 and again found life difficult this time as they went 2-0 down to the Basques in the first half. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But Paulinho pulled one back before the break and Suarez scored twice in the second half to turn the game on its head – the first with a wonderful curled lob and the second a more opportune finish after a mistake by goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.That was an 11th goal in as many matches for Suarez and an eighth in his last six appearances, having netted in all of those games. And it is now 14 goals in 25 fixtures for the Uruguayan in 2017-18 – much more like his usual ratio.He has taken time to get back to his best after picking up an injury in the opening game of the season against Betis and rushing back to help his country in the World Cup qualifiers.In the meantime, Suarez has also had to adjust to a new system with coach Ernesto Valverde preferring 4-4-2, while he was also the player most affected by the summer sale of Neymar and the subsequent injury to Ousmane Dembele.Strikers thrive on confidence too and there were times when the 30-year-old was reduced to a pale shadow of his brilliant best version. With his fitness improved, however, and the goals flying in once more, he now looks like the world’s finest again.His return to form is timely as Barca approach the business end of the season in the hunt for three trophies. The Blaugrana are among the favourites in the Champions League, while they face Espanyol in the last eight of the Copa del Rey and are in a commanding position in La Liga.Sunday’s win means Barca are nine clear of second-placed Atletico at the halfway stage, with Real Madrid 19 adrift (albeit with a game in hand) after Los Blancos lost at home to Villarreal on Saturday.No Madrid player has netted more than four in the Primera Division this season and Suarez showed Barca’s rivals the power of an on-form forward on Sunday (along with Lionel Messi, who rounded off a memorable win with a stunning free-kick).Goals win games and that is why clubs pay such big money for players like Suarez. On this form, there is no better striker in the world and should he continue in the same vein, the sky is the limit for Barca this season. Madrid will be looking on with envy.
Local businesses are being encouraged to attain internationally accepted certification for their management systems right here in Jamaica, through the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ).The NCBJ, which was established in 2007, is accredited by the National Accreditation Board to offer internationally recognised certification to quality management system and environment management system standards.Manager of the NCBJ, Jacqueline Scott Brown, said the agency currently offers management system certification to ISO 9001 2008, which refers to the quality management system, and ISO 14001, which is the environmental management system.Mrs. Scott Brown explained that certification is important, as it not only improves a company’s image, but it also tells customers that their goods and services are of a particular standard.She said gaining certification through the NCBJ is a sign that customers can expect consistency in the delivery of quality products.“What we have seen is that, globally, companies are now going for certification, because it is an attestation that they have a system in place that deals with consistency. And, once they have a recognised system, it can assist with market penetration, because having certification, which is accepted internationally, means that your goods or services will be accepted,” she said. Furthermore, Chairman of the Standards Council at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Professor Winston Davidson, explains that management certification, especially to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards, is seen as the minimum that a company must demonstrate in order to gain market acceptance.“It opens the door for trade negotiations and other opportunities,” he said. However, Professor Davidson notes that “certification to these international standards does not, on its own, guarantee any business. But without it, you may have a hard time convincing customers that you can, in fact, deliver products of suitable quality.”Two local companies which have recently been added to the growing list of ISO certified entities are National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC) and Corpak Jamaica Limited.Managing Director of Corpak Jamaica Limited, Shelly Sterling, told JIS News that the benefits of becoming ISO certified through the NCBJ are far reaching.“One of the reasons we went for the ISO certificate is that we were at a point where we were growing very quickly, and we felt that it will help us to develop systems and structures that will give us a solid foundation to grow on. And that has in fact proven to be so,” she said.Management representative for Corpak Jamaica, Howard Walters, noted that there are countless benefits that can be attained, once a company becomes ISO certified through the NCBJ.He outlined that since certification, his company’s profile has been raised to a much higher level, and pointed out that structurally, there has been significant improvements.“The structures are better, the systems are way better, the production is better, our controls and our traceability are also clearly better. If we have a problem, we know what happened, and we know how to fix it,” he said.This is part of the reason why Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, is encouraging organisations which have attained certification in other domains, to transfer that certification from foreign based providers to the NCBJ.“There is no reason any longer for persons to be using precious and hard earned foreign exchange to be bringing in foreign certification…whilst we have competent organisations here. Indeed, that is one way of keeping some of the well-needed foreign exchange in Jamaica and above all, ensuring that Jamaican standards are international standards and the best practice globally,” the Minister said.The NCBJ has become the first certification body in the Caribbean region to be accredited to offer certification of management systems to both manufacturing and service industries, in the private and public sectors.The agency is an independent certification unit of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ). Companies wishing to become certified through the NCBJ can contact them at 619-1131, 632-4275 or visit: www.bsj.org.jm/NCBJBy Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter
The total number of certified early childhood institutions islandwide will shortly increase to 113, up from 17 a year ago.This, according to Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, reinforces the Government’s solid commitment to the early childhood sector’s development.He was speaking at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s (JTA) 54th Annual Conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James, on Wednesday (August 22).Senator Reid said the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) has been crafting a strategy for the sector’s full transformation, which is slated to be rolled out when the 2018/19 academic year begins in September.He said the Ministry has been working to streamline and align the education system, noting that “our focus is to support the birth to three years old group through the early stimulation programme, (thereby) allowing our babies to be developmentally ready (by age) three.”Emphasising that the first 1,000 days are the most critical of a child’s development, Senator Reid said his Ministry will be partnering with the Ministries of Health, and Labour and Social Security, to undertake supporting engagements to be implemented by the ECC.These, he indicated, include developmental assessments to understand competencies in order to create the learning environment that fosters early stage learners’ development, while assuring that “we are fully committed to improving the quality of our early childhood institutions as we firmly believe in providing a good start at this level.”Meanwhile, Senator Reid advised that the 2018/19 Age Four Assessment will, for the second time, “allow us to identify, from very early, any development deficiencies to be corrected in our children.”He said the Ministry also continues to make significant strides in advancing its K-13 Strategy.Notable among its initiatives, the Minister pointed out, is the recently launched 0-3 Brain Builders Programme, which will benefit over 126 institutions. The programme is expected to be rolled out in the first 17 schools in September.In the meantime, Senator Reid said primary level student preparations for transition to secondary education continues to trend in the right direction.He noted that the outcome of the Grade Six Achievement Test’s (GSAT) final sitting earlier this year showed improvements in four of the five subject areas – Science, Social Studies, Communication Task and Language Arts.This, he added, resulted in “100 per cent of our students (being) placed in seven-year high schools.”“The Ministry was able to achieve this as a result of the provision of additional classrooms to a number of our schools and the upgrade to full seven-year high schools of Nain, New Forrest, Aberdeen and Perth Town Academy,” Senator Reid further pointed out.He also said candidates who entered for 35 subjects in the 2017/18 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) came out with satisfactory results.“There was an overall increase by 0.2 percentage point over the previous year with a 91.2 per cent receiving acceptable grades. As was the case last year, there was improved performance in 23 subject areas,” the Minister stated.Additionally, he said 30,343 or 88.9 per cent of the 34,139 students who sat the 2017/18 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination obtained acceptable grades.Senator Reid noted that Mathematics and English Language recorded passes of 57.8 and 75.4 per cent, respectively.This, he pointed out, is a 7.6 and 4.6 per cent increase, respectively. This, according to Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, reinforces the Government’s solid commitment to the early childhood sector’s development. Story Highlights The total number of certified early childhood institutions islandwide will shortly increase to 113, up from 17 a year ago. He was speaking at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s (JTA) 54th Annual Conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James, on Wednesday (August 22).
Story Highlights Community Relations Officer at the NWA’s Western Office, Janel Ricketts, told JIS News that most of the work on the 14-kilometre roadway should be completed by May. The National Works Agency (NWA) says construction of the US$24.9-million Ferris to Mackfield road in Westmoreland is approximately 85 per cent complete.Community Relations Officer at the NWA’s Western Office, Janel Ricketts, told JIS News that most of the work on the 14-kilometre roadway should be completed by May.This, she said, places the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited-executed project on track to meet the 18-month completion date, adding that “it should be substantially completed in terms of all areas being asphalted”.“So far, we have completed 10.5 kilometres of base and sub-base work… and of that amount, we have now asphalted approximately seven kilometres. So we have asphalted 3.4 kilometres from Ferris Cross to Whithorn; we have also done the 3.5 kilometre stretch from Mackfield to Haddo,” Ms. Ricketts said.She further advised that work remains to be completed on the middle section of the roadway, which, she added, is expected to be significantly advanced in the region of the community of Galloway by the end of the week.“So once we have pressure tested it, we will be able to asphalt it. The contractor uses a paver, so the process goes by quickly,” the Community Relations Officer added.Ms. Ricketts also advised that new water lines are installed along a section of the roadway, which “we are now in the process of pressure testing”.Additionally, she said drainage infrastructure installation is far advanced as “all the side drains along the asphalted sections have been completed and we have installed the necessary culverts at other sections of the roadway”.“There were [also] quite a number of retaining structures that were built [and] those are now complete.” Ms. Ricketts further indicated.The Ferris to Mackfield road project, which is being managed by the NWA, is intended to improve the north-south roads linking Savanna-la-Mar and Black River to Montego Bay.The project is being executed under the Government’s Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).Meanwhile, Ms. Ricketts advised that the NWA has commenced compensating residents who were inconvenienced consequent on the removal of structures to facilitate the project.She indicated that the compensation exercise got under way last week.“Quite a number of residents would have received payment, or are in the process of receiving payment. It is an ongoing process, which we are now working on. By the end of this week, another set of payments should be processed,” she told JIS News.Ms. Ricketts, in noting several residents’ concerns about the pace of the payments, pointed out that the NWA is “actively” undertaking the process and assured that “all persons who we have engaged will be paid”.She further indicated that the NWA is in the process of doing the final relocation to make way for the new alignment, adding that “we have removed most of the fences, houses and other structures”. This, she said, places the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited-executed project on track to meet the 18-month completion date, adding that “it should be substantially completed in terms of all areas being asphalted”. The National Works Agency (NWA) says construction of the US$24.9-million Ferris to Mackfield road in Westmoreland is approximately 85 per cent complete.
Robin Williams’ family has launched an auction last week featuring a vast collection of bicycles owned and ridden by the late actor to benefit two nonprofits dedicated to serving individuals living with physical disabilities: the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.The auction is being hosted on Paddle8.com, the premier online collecting destination, from Oct. 13-25.An avid cyclist, Williams was beloved by the cycling community and collected a number of high-end and custom bicycles. A selection of 87 bicycles from his personal collection are being sold in support of CAF and the Reeve Foundation, including a Dario Pegoretti Responsorium and Love #3, Serotta Ottrott, Trek Madone 7 Diamonds and a Zipp racing bike. The auction can be viewed at paddle8.com/robinwilliams.As well-known for his philanthropy as he was for his acting, Williams was devoted to a number of charitable causes and served as an ambassador to CAF and the Reeve Foundation to raise awareness for the millions of Americans living with disabilities. As a result of his fierce dedication, both organizations have advanced their shared mission of helping individuals living with physical challenges achieve improved health and quality of life, while promoting greater inclusion and independence.Williams’ children, Zak, Zelda and Cody, are continuing their father’s philanthropic legacy through their ongoing commitment to CAF and the Reeve Foundation. The auction on Paddle8 will raise critical funds for both organizations and further support the communities they serve.From Robin’s children“Though bright, skin-tight spandex still remains one of the more embarrassing outfits to regularly witness your Dad wearing growing up, the sport of biking and the people Dad helped through his love of it will always hold a special place in the hearts of our family. Causes like the Reeve Foundation, championed by his longtime friends Chris and Dana Reeve, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, in whose triathlons he often biked, were both deeply important to him and we’re honored to be able to continue to support them both in Dad’s name.“We hope these bikes will bring their new owners as much joy as riding them, and helping these causes, always brought him. And though not required, may we suggest wearing the loudest, most vibrant and brightly-patterned, skintight biking gear possible when riding them?“Keep the tradition alive.”Robin’s Relationship with the Challenged Athletes FoundationRobin Williams was instrumental in the growth of CAF’s mission to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.Williams and his family were fixtures at CAF events, including the San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC). Robin was an 11-time participant in the SDTC, where able-bodied individuals and challenged athletes compete side-by-side to display the power of the human spirit. At the triathlon, Robin participated as the cyclist on Team Braveheart. His teammates included Scott Tinley, two-time Ironman World Champion and Hall of Fame inductee, and Rudy Garcia-Tolson, a double amputee and two-time Paralympic gold medalist swimmer. In addition, Robin was an enthusiastic participant in the CAF 3-day NorCal Back to Back Cycling Challenge and came out annually to share words of encouragement with riders at CAF’s Million Dollar Challenge, a week-long 620-mile bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego.In March 2015, the organization hosted A Celebration of Will, a CAF gala to honor the legacy of Robin Williams that raised over $2 million dollars for the Challenged Athletes Foundation Endowment in Memory of Robin Williams.“When Robin participated at events for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, he would always say, ’It’s like coming back to family,’” said Jeffrey Essakow, Chairman of the Board, Challenged Athletes Foundation. “Robin was family and served as a beacon of hope for athletes with physical challenges. He showed the world that the power of humor and kindness can make a tangible difference. We are honored to join the Reeve Foundation and recognize Robin through this auction.”Robin’s Relationship with the Christopher & Dana Reeve FoundationRobin Williams was equally as influential in advancing the Reeve Foundation mission to cure spinal cord injury and improve the quality of life for all individuals living with paralysis. With the Williams family’s steadfast support, the Reeve Foundation has invested over $122 million to speed the development of treatments for spinal cord injury and realize Christopher Reeve’s dream of a world of empty wheelchairs. Williams also championed Dana Reeve’s vision to enhance quality of life through the Reeve Foundation’s Paralysis Resource Center, a constellation of services to serve families impacted by paralysis.Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams met in 1973 as roommates at the Julliard School and became lifelong friends. After Reeve sustained a spinal cord injury, Robin joined the Reeve Foundation Board of Directors and continued to support the organization following Reeve’s passing in 2004.The Reeve Foundation honored Williams in 1998 with the inaugural “Human Spirit Award” and recognized him again in 2007 for his tremendous impact. His family continues to remain active and involved by participating in events, including the Foundation’s gala, A Magical Evening.“Like Christopher Reeve, Robin Williams was an unmovable force. To have them in the same room, let alone fighting for the same cause, was extraordinary,” said Peter Wilderotter, President and CEO, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “Robin provided unending support without fanfare or question, and became a powerful voice for the 5.6 million Americans living with paralysis. Thanks to his efforts and the generous contributions of his family, cures for spinal cord injury are now within reach. Being part of this auction with Challenged Athletes Foundation is a beautiful way to honor his legacy of giving.”
Tamara Pimentel APTN NewsOn the Blood Tribe reserve in Alberta, witnessing an overdose has become a daily occurrence for Dr. Esther Tailfeathers who works at the community’s department of health.“There was one case where one pill of fentanyl was split in four, and four different people shared the one bean of fentanyl,” says Tailfeathers. “All of them overdosed and required more than six vials of naloxone to revive them.“It was horrific for everybody here.”The Blood Tribe continues to deal with an opioid crisis that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.In November alone, the health department reported nearly 60 overdoses.Getting her family backLori Eagle Plume visits the Blood Tribe department of health regularly for her suboxone treatment.She has been clean from a fentanyl addiction for almost four years. Her motivation? The thought of her children being released into the foster care system.“Them almost getting taken away from me, it was hard knowing that – either you get help today or if you don’t, we’re going to go take your kids.” she said. “I thought about my kids and I was like, no. Okay I’m going to get help, I’ll do it for them.”Eagle Plume got help in time, but Tailfeathers says parents losing their kids because of drug use is an all too common story in the community.“There’s not a huge safety net for them. We’re so busy concentrating on saving the lives of people who are addicted that we’re not watching the fallout around them and the youth are absorbing a lot of the grief,” Tailfeathers says.“We’re seeing more youth becoming addicted. We had a 13 year old that overdoes in front of our tribal office a week ago.”Eagle Plume says a lot has changed in the community over a short period of time.“It feels like we’re living in the city with the sirens,” said Eagle Plume, “We never used to be like that. When you hear the sirens, you just know what it is.”Tailfeathers says the community has taken major steps to save people from overdoses.Emergency Health Services has increased the amount of ambulances and team members and the Blood Trobe police has more officers.But while lives are being saved, Tailfeather says families have lost their housing to addictions, children are becoming homeless, they’re hungry because they aren’t getting the nutrition they need and many are not attending school.Tailfeathers says 39 per cent of babies from the Blood Tribe are born into neonatal abstinence – a term used when an infant goes through the withdrawl after exposure to narcotics in the womb.“Usually those babies are not released to the mother, they’re released to either to a family member who becomes a temporary guardian or they’re released into the foster care system,” she says.“That’s one part of our populations that we haven’t been paying attention to and we really do need to be concerned.”A possible solution?(Dr. Esther Tailfeathers)Tailfeathers says the root causes of addiction need to be treated – including a faulty health policy.“The prescribing of prescription opioids is part of people getting hooked on opioids – it’s a slippery slope,” says Tailfeathers.“The issue of opioid addictions is basically treating the pain that we have and the trauma that we’ve had over the last century and a half from colonialism, racism.”Tailfeathers says having physicians prescribe a low opioid prescription like Tylenol 3s could be a start to building tolerance.“When they reach a level where it’s not working for them anymore, they seek higher, more potent stuff like fentanyl and heroin from the streets,” she says.Tailfeathers says there’s an option.CBD (cannabidiol), along with THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is an active incredient in cannabis. But unlike THC, CBD does not produce a “high” feeling.According to Tailfeathers, CBD can be an alternative to pain management but there’s a problem – it’s not eligible for coverage under the Non-Insured Health Benefits of Indigenous Services Canada.“It’s what people are thinking may be helpful because cannabis works on a different pain receptor than opioids do and we don’t see people overdosing on cannabis,” she says.But Indigenous Services says it is not approved by Health Canada.“In order to be considered for listing on the NIHB Program Drug Benefit List, a product must be approved by Health Canada under the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR), have a notice of compliance,” the statement from Indigenous Services says.According to the Canadian Health Food Association, the government needs to sit down and seriously consider offering Canadians a chance to obtain CBD products.“Many Canadians see recreational cannabis as their non-prescription way to access CBD for health purposes and since CBD is a natural substance, we believe it should be regulated and sold as a Natural Health Product,” explained the associations President Helen Long in a statement released in November.Tailfeathers says healing doesn’t stop at the drugs doctors are prescribing, or what the government will or will not license.Overdoses have impacted the economy of the Blood Tribe as well.“It would be so nice if we could be spending all that money that we’re spending on saving lives, if we could spend that on the other end and make this a really nice place to be and actually dealing with the trauma issues that we need to deal with, but we’re not getting there,” Tailfeather said.As Eagle Plume makes another visit to the department of health, she says she encourages others struggling with addictions to seek help.“Coming off drugs was one of the best things because I got my family back. I got my home, It was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”[email protected]@tamara_aptn