Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The TT agency reports that police also found a CD titled “My Necrophilia” as well as photographs in which a woman is seen kissing and hugging the skulls.The woman has denied the charges, claiming she collected the bones out of historical interest.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments Share STOCKHOLM (AP) – A woman in Sweden has been accused of necrophilia after investigators found some 100 skeleton parts in her apartment.The Swedish news agency TT cites prosecutor Kristina Ehrenborg-Staffas as saying that the 37-year-old woman is suspected of using the remains, which included six skulls and one backbone, in “sexual situations.”The woman from southwestern Sweden was charged “with violating the peace of the deceased” in Goteborg District Court on Tuesday. Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 5 ways to recognize low testosterone
In a bid to restore Egypt’s tourism image, Egypt’s minister of tourism said he has invited a number of Hollywood stars including Oprah Winfrey to hold shows at Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Minister Adbel Nour said during a press conference that he would not allow Egypt to turn into a cheap tourist destination with low cost programs following the political turmoil that troubled the country last month, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. Starting with Italian travellers, the Minister said other part of the campaign will require the recruitment of Facebook users to publicise Egypt as a tourism destination and invite international travellers to visit the country. Airlines will also play a role in the future of the country’s tourism, with EgyptAir increasing its 23 flights per week to Italy starting from 17 March this year. Mr Nour added that he and his ministry would follow up on its campaign and will attend tourism exhibitions and conferences to promote the glamour of the country’s pro-democracy revolution. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Tripoto has partnered with Morris Garages (MG) India, the iconic British Automaker for immersive video solutions endeavour, offering to boost awareness and sustain interest about the brand ahead of its India launch this year. Tripoto is creating a non-fiction travel web series, ‘World of MG: An Indian Abroad’, which will be shot in six different countries before concluding in India.Tripoto has collaborated with actor and model Amol Parashar for the 7-season web series, one season each for seven countries. Amol will be travelling to all seven countries, promoting and sustaining Morris Garages as the world’s foremost luxury car brand. The series will have Amol bring to life how Morris Garages has been a part of these countries through their culture, food, festivals and cars.Talking about ‘World of MG: An Indian Abroad’, Michael Pargal Lyngdoh, Co-founder, Tripoto said, “The digital renaissance in our country has triggered the youth to turn to the internet for alternative and shareable content. Web series has become an impactful way to present a brand and create lasting conversations. Through World of MG: An Indian Abroad, we aim to build a connection for Morris Garages (MG) India amongst our strong and active community of more than 25 million travellers.”Speaking on their association with Tripoto, Pallavi Singh, Marketing Head, Morris Garages (MG) India said, “Since the inception of the brand in 1924, storytelling has been an integral part of MG. In India, we have been following in the footsteps by focussing on powerful, emotive video content using new-age digital tools and formats. We’ve had a great association with Tripoto in the past with #RoadToMGLive! Through World of MG: An Indian Abroad series, we hope to take this association further ahead by giving a peek into MG’s global presence across the world and thereby letting communities experience the local cultural flavour.”The first season of the series with four episodes was shot in Thailand and was shown back-to-back each day from March 14 to March 17 on Tripoto’s social media channels and its website (www.tripoto.com).Apart from Thailand, ‘World of MG: An Indian Abroad’ has been shot in China and other countries in the travel map include Egypt, Australia, United Arab Emirates and South Africa, culminating in India.
Categories: Frederick News,News 07Sep Rep. Frederick joined at Sept. 11 ceremony by local first responders PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Ben Frederick, of Owosso, today was joined by Durand Police Chief Jason Hartz and Michigan Department of Corrections Officer Ray Sholtz of Marion Springs as his guests for the Michigan House’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The ceremony remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year.
Categories: LaSata News,News State Reps. Klint Kesto and Kim LaSata today sent a letter to Michigan State University seeking information related to the school’s inquiries into sexual assault allegations against former MSU physician Larry Nassar.The letter requested all information be received by 5 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2018.“Nassar’s victims continued to come forward in open court over six days to detail how they were violated and now it’s time for Michigan State to come clean,” said Kesto, chair of the House Law and Justice Committee. “MSU’s response to this case has been beyond disappointing, especially with the incredible responsibility they have to their students. We must see with our own eyes what failures may have taken place in order to come up with the policy solutions to prevent these heinous acts from ever happening again.”Rep. LaSata, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education, said: “One of our state’s flagship universities has failed to protect its students in the most basic way from sexual assault and it is incumbent upon us to find out why. We must demand more transparency and accountability from our institutions. This state’s residents, the tens of thousands of students and especially the victims deserve better.”Specifically, the letter requested reports “initiated, completed or issued” by MSU pertaining to allegations made in 2014-2017 against Nassar.The request comes a day after Lou Anna K. Simon submitted her resignation as MSU president, the state House passed a resolution calling for Simon’s resignation or removal as president, and Nassar was sentenced to up 175 years in prison for his crimes against more than 150 victims.“Ms. Simon’s resignation was the necessary first step in what will be a long healing process. Yet more must be done to achieve the transparency and long-term reforms the victims deserve,” LaSata said. “This review will look at how the university addressed the accusations against Larry Nassar and what can done to make it better.”The letter, signed by LaSata and Kesto, states “it is our sincere hope that the University will cooperate with our request and inquiries without the need to employ means of compulsion.”“We don’t want to issue a subpoena, but House Speaker Tom Leonard has tasked us to use every available option to gather this information,” Kesto said. “The silence from Michigan State University on this case has been insulting to the victims, their families and the people of the state of Michigan. They deserve to know the truth.”##### 25Jan Reps. Kesto, LaSata launch inquiry into MSU
05Oct Want a Michigan fall travel guide? Contact Rep. Leutheuser Categories: Leutheuser News,News State Rep. Eric Leutheuser is offering area residents a taste of Pure Michigan – just in time for the autumn color tour.The Pure Michigan 2018 Fall Travel guide is available by emailing email@example.com or calling the legislator’s office at (517) 373-1794. Leave your mailing address and the free 80-plus page guide will be on its way.“The peak time for fall color this year in southern Michigan is expected to begin around Oct. 14. But colors already are peaking in the Upper Peninsula and our county fairs have concluded, so the season has officially begun,” Leutheuser said. “Some of the best ways to enjoy our state’s scenic beauty are to hit the highway, find a bike path or take a nature hike and see the fantastic fall foliage.”The Pure Michigan guide features articles and attractions from all over the state. The guide includes information on scenic color tours, hiking and bike trails, outdoor dining and more.“The autumn color show lasts only a few weeks, but it’s a magical time,” Leutheuser said. “Get out there and enjoy Pure Michigan.”Leutheuser represents Branch and Hillsdale counties in the Michigan House of Representatives.###
03May Fixing Michigan’s roadways will take innovation Categories: Annette Glenn News,Glenn News By state Rep. Annette Glenn of Williams TownshipGovernor Whitmer’s proposed 45-cent per gallon gas tax ran her 2019-20 state budget off the road in Lansing and nothing – including her threat to shut down state government unless lawmakers agree – will pull it out of the ditch. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy calculates Whitmer’s tax increase will severely damage our economy, eliminating 22,500 private sector jobs. It will hit those who can least afford it the hardest: seniors and other citizens living on fixed incomes, working families, college students and our ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population. An April poll by Marketing Resource Group found 75 percent of Michigan voters oppose Whitmer’s tax hike—89 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Independents and even 58 percent of her fellow Democrats. In the fall of 2015, the Legislature approved a sweeping plan intended to provide a long-lasting solution to Michigan’s road funding crisis. The initiative will not be fully phased in until 2021, adding $1.2 billion per year to road repairs through new and existing revenue. In addition to the increased funding from 2015, the Legislature in recent years – through responsible budgeting – has committed even more resources to accelerate road repairs. All combined, Michigan is making record-high investments in road repairs and is expected to spend $4 billion in 2019. It’s evident if we are to truly repair our state’s roadways, it’s going to take more than just throwing record amounts of money at the problem. It’s going to take innovation. Americans have managed to build a rover that lasted 15 years on Mars, yet we can’t construct roads that hold up longer than a few years before needing to be repaired in Michigan? We all understand the impact freeze-thaw cycles and the punishing winters have on our roadways. It gives us all the more reason to explore new options on types of asphalt mixtures and to find longer-lasting solutions. If you look at other states, you will find Dow Chemical is currently creating a new use for post-consumer recycled plastic to pave roads. While deeming the project a success and will take more years of evaluations, the preliminary results look promising. Drivers rolling atop an asphalt mixture composed of discarded shopping bags could be mainstream. If Michigan were to follow suit on this, we wouldn’t just be finding a cheaper remedy for our roadways – we would be finding a use for the millions of pounds of plastic that would otherwise be clogging our communities’ landfills. Another innovative asphalt mixture even uses old tires! We can be proactive in finding common-sense and fiscally responsible solutions to improve our roads. That begins by using existing tax dollars entrusted to us in the most efficient and effective methods possible, so we don’t further burden Michigan drivers and their families with even more taxes. As your state representative, I encourage people to reach out with ideas. You can also watch the House Transportation Committee at http://www.house.mi.gov/htv.asp to follow the progress of this discussion. If you have suggestions on road funding or any other state-related issue, please contact my office at (517)-373-1791 or AnnetteGlenn@house.mi.gov.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 6, 2014; San Diego Union TribuneAs a powerful symbol of our increasingly interconnected world, a current Indiegogo campaign indicates that for $1,000 (the “philanthropist” level) three prototype sensors will be sent to Mongolia to begin “crowdsourcing a freshwater map” and one sensor will be sent to the donor him or herself “with the invitation to be one of the first citizen censors here at home.”According to the site, Distributed Health Labs, the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, aims with OASIS to train nomadic people to use cellular phones to share information about water pollution hotspots that have a connection to human health problems. This is undeniably an edgy and important scientific concept, which makes the Union Tribune’s observation that “UCSD is faring poorly at crowdfunding” worth exploring.UC San Diego’s pilot crowdfunding policy specifies Indiegogo as the institution’s designated vendor and notes that for “specific, academic research projects needing one-time funding,” crowdfunding sites can “offer an economical means for researchers to effectively market information about their innovative projects, and communicate them broadly via social media in a cost-effective and streamlined manner.” Although the OASIS campaign had raised only about 9.2 percent of its stated $50,000 goal as of Tuesday, with most gifts at the $50 “promoter” level, the institution wisely structured the campaign to have “flexible funding,” meaning that it will still receive the funds raised even if it doesn’t meet its goal, minus either a 4 percent “platform fee” if the goal is met or a 9 percent fee if it isn’t.The Union Tribune attributes UC San Diego’s “stumble” with this initiative as primarily a messaging issue. As a gentle way into this scientific world for the non-science person, UC San Diego uses a short promotional video, complete with lots of graphics and some of the actual UC researchers working on OASIS, all of whom do a good job of relaying a level of urgency about the work they are doing. Still, as the Union Tribune points out, the “video also refers to the project by several names, including ‘global tricorder,’” a term that in no way can be considered user-friendly.In his own assessment of the challenges of the OASIS campaign, Albert Lin, UCSD engineering professor and co-lead on OASIS, attributed the limited response to date to a lack of donor cultivation and poor timing. In a phrase that will likely ring familiar to nonprofit employees even outside of research labs, he told the Union Tribune in an email, “These campaigns live or die by the support from a local community, and we are just getting started in activating ours.” He added, “Our launch timing coincided with the holidays, a time when most people are not in front of their computers.”—Anne EigemanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares August 7, 2014;OpEd NewsNPQ would love to hear what readers think about Lily Chamberlain’s argument with herself in “Should All Activists be Anonymous?” In it, the author certainly hedges her bets on the effectiveness of anonymity in advocacy movements. Chamberlain floats the theory that for activist groups, anonymity can promote candor and avoid distractions from the core missions of the group, as occurred with the purported sex scandal that engulfed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange almost immediately after his organization released one of its most powerful treasure troves of classified documents exposing classified U.S. State Department Cables in late 2010. Ultimately, as Chamberlain acknowledges, Wikileaks survived this kerfuffle but, she posits, in a weakened, suspect state: “The case against Mr. Assange is still a major distraction, and, depressingly, has actually tainted WikiLeaks’ reputation as far as a number of people are concerned.”But Chamberlain never plumbs the depth of her proposition too deeply, serving mainly to describe the current landscape in which some activist organizations can and do benefit from anonymity of their leaders and/or minions (like the hacker collective Anonymous) and some profit from the cachet and outsized influence of prominent leaders, which one could argue is the case with Wikileaks. Assange quickly grew as a celebrity (his props as a great intellectual force cemented with his 2010 TED Talk), becoming vilified, martyred, and lionized in the press and inspiring untold number of individuals and groups to pursue open government and freedom of information as never before.Chamberlain posits that anonymity has the positive features of safeguarding leaders and their movements by “defining a sharp dichotomy between the personal and the political” and averting the “self-promotion” emanating from notoriety and celebrity which, she argues, steers leaders and groups away from “logic and morality,” as if personal ambition and collective benefit were mutually exclusive. She cites psychologists Robert Kraut and Paul Resnick in support of the proposition that “identity-based commitment” thrives and is a positive phenomenon when a movement’s focus shies away from the personalities of influential individuals and remains with its principles. Finally, Chamberlain trots out Marxism for the questionable superiority of headless collectivist communities, though ironically Karl Marx himself may have as many groupies worldwide as Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney.Chamberlain undercuts her theory by dutifully pointing out the dark side of anonymity—recklessness from lack of accountability, citing Philip Tetlock’s theory of “cognitive laziness” and the reduced efficiencies “in problem solving and completing simple tasks.” How motivating would it be for men and women, as social animals seeking meaning and comfort in numbers, to follow religions without titular founders, or for boys and girls to glom onto role models in sports teams or civil rights leaders without knowing whom to adulate and imitate? A nameless Joan of Arc would be just another teenager executed for heresy in the Middle Ages, rather than a beacon for heroic devotion that she is to this day.The same holds true for activism and advocacy. People want heroes to follow. At its worst, as in the regime of Nazi Germany, the herd mentality can lead to unspeakable tragedy; at its best, strength in numbers leads to positive and transformational change, such as the various civil rights movements of the second half of the 20th Century.Chamberlain concludes by saying, well, anonymity works here but doesn’t work there: “It can be concluded that the decision whether or not to be completely anonymous is one that will be different for every organization, with pros and cons that will vary in size and importance depending on what kind of group/movement is involved.” It’s hard to say that Chamberlain has advanced the dialogue on the benefits of anonymity in any way; she’s merely described the status quo.But has she framed the issues right? We’d love to hear from readers on her points.—Louis AltmanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share64TweetShare5Email69 SharesNovember 2, 2015; Washington Post, “WonkBlog”On the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, there’s new evidence that social safety net programs are working better than most people believed. The new understanding comes from looking at experiential data.The Washington Post explains what’s behind a series of stories that have appeared over the past several months. In the Post story, Dr. Bruce D. Meyer, a professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, describes how he and a colleague matched data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey against actual service data from the State of New York:“We’re talking about a huge gap,” said Meyer, whose findings are in a recently published National Bureau of Economic Research paper. “When the numbers are corrected, we see that government programs have about twice the effect that we think they do.”Dr. Meyer’s paper is also the basis for a CityLab story, “The Benefits of Housing Vouchers Have Been Grossly Understated.” Earlier this year, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities had a similar story that found that Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) were “the most effective tool to help homeless families with children find and keep stable housing.” The article by Douglas Rice, “Major Study: Housing Vouchers Most Effective Tool to End Family Homelessness,” was based on a HUD study of a range of HUD funded efforts to prevent homelessness. Then, this past week, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities issued a new report designed to urge Congress to expand the HCV program in the 2016 budget. “New Research Reinforces Case for Restoring Lost Housing Vouchers” builds on another study by Harvard’s Raj Chetty, who analyzed HUD’s Move to Opportunity (MTO) data. Douglas Rice of CBPP writes:Children whose families moved to low-poverty neighborhoods when they were young were more likely to attend college and less likely to become single parents as adults than control group families that did not receive an MTO voucher; they also earned significantly more as adults.What ties all these stories together is that the studies are based on real experience,, not opinion or ideology.So why does the Washington Post describe the discovery of program effectiveness as having “serious implications for the poor”? After all, these new analyses make the case that some social welfare programs are doing better than policymakers thought at reducing or preventing poverty. The danger, the Post article suggests, is that decision-makers might conclude that things are not so bad and they can relax efforts to remediate the poor. Citing Dr. Meyer, the Washington Post writer Roberto A. Ferdman observes:The official poverty rate now is higher it was three decades ago, but by almost any measure the poor are better off than they were then. Meyer believes that a more accurate gauge would show that things are better or, at the very least, not worse.However, if the message is that some programs are working, Congress seems not to be getting it—at least, not yet. Just this summer, Representative Jeb Hensarling, chair of the Housing Financial Services Committee, which oversees HUD authorizations, invited Americans to offer alternatives to the 50 years of failure of HUD programs. “For whatever good HUD does, it clearly has not won the War on Poverty. Only economic growth and equal opportunity can do that.” What if the data now show clearly that the some programs do reduce or prevent poverty? What if the limiting factor is, as Center for Budget and Policy Priorities argues, that the programs deserve more funding in order to achieve more success?There’s another interesting angle to the Washington Post’s story. Dr. Meyer’s explanation of “the growing problem” has an eerie resonance in the context of the repeated political polling failures of the past year:The truth is that surveys in general are becoming problematic. They are widely used in social science, and regularly relied upon in public policy, but they are fickle things. When people tell the truth and eagerly take part, as Americans did for many years, they tend to be wonderfully accurate. When people grow tired of answering questions, when they shy away from sharing truthful information about themselves, the gap between what surveys suggest and what is actually true begins to grow.This hypothesis seems to be relevant to the recent failures of political polling in the Israel, United Kingdom, and Canadian parliamentary elections, and, most recently, the statewide races in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio. Pollsters are struggling to explain to the media this pattern of failure on all sorts of technical breakdowns. Pollsters’ credibility and livelihoods could be on the line, but the idea that respondents are lying to pollsters has the ring of common sense.While the hidden impact of social programs seems like good news, social service progressives may want to step lightly for now. Overpromotion of some preliminary findings has a way of backfiring as academic researchers sift through more and more experiential data. Also, it’s important to understand that using data based on experience, some HUD programs did not show great success. Still, there’s a strong argument that some social programs can’t be simply dismissed as being ineffective boondoggles. Can you imagine if Congresspersons were required to distinguish between social initiatives based on real data, not opinion or ideology?—Spencer WellsShare64TweetShare5Email69 Shares
Share31Tweet7Share2Email40 SharesPhotos by Rick Barry of Broken Shade Photo.April 28, 2017; The HillRemember the blissful days of 2015? Back then, the Federal Communications Commission declared that broadband Internet service was a telecom service under Title II of the Communications Act and enacted measures to ensure an open Internet not throttled or manipulated based on content or provider. At that time, Ajit Pai was one of the members of the Commission and dead-set against such moves, which fall under the common moniker of “net neutrality.” Now, Pai heads up the FCC under the Trump Administration, and he’s moving to undo all that was done under Tom Wheeler’s reign and supported through several appellate decisions in the years that followed.At the next FCC meeting on May 18th, Pai wants to take action. He’s issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that lays out the following measures:Propose to reinstate the information service classification of broadband Internet access service and return to the light-touch regulatory framework first established on a bipartisan basis during the Clinton Administration.Propose to reinstate the determination that mobile broadband Internet access service is not a commercial mobile service and in conjunction revisit the elements of the Title II Order that modified or reinterpreted key terms in section 332 of the Communications Act and our implementing rules.Propose to return authority to the Federal Trade Commission to police the privacy practices of Internet service providers.Propose to eliminate the vague Internet conduct standard.Seek comment on whether to keep, modify, or eliminate the bright-line rules set forth in the Title II Order.Propose to re-evaluate the Commission’s enforcement regime to analyze whether ex ante regulatory intervention in the market is necessary.Propose to conduct a cost-benefit analysis as part of this proceeding.The FCC plans to release an official proposal on Thursday. If approved, that would start a 90-day period of public comment and response that would lead to a final order that the Commission could vote on. The release of the initial proposal is a move toward transparency, but senior FCC officials have emphasized that this isn’t a public opinion poll.Pai has said he supports the basic tenets of net neutrality, but not the means of implementation. However, as Politico writes, there’s no clear path to maintaining that ethos once this decision is undone.It’s unclear how Pai will be able to preserve the FCC’s net neutrality role without grounding its rules in the regulatory structure, approved two years ago, that treats ISPs like telephone-style utilities, subjecting them to tighter oversight. The FCC lost a court battle over a previous version of the rules that did not employ that structure, but the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2015 order last June in a 2-1 decision.Pai initially floated an idea to seek voluntary commitments from internet providers to adhere to net neutrality principles, under the purview of the FTC, but that concept appears to have fallen by the wayside amid a backlash from net neutrality activists. Even Pai’s fellow GOP commissioner, Michael O’Rielly, who’s no fan of the current rules, expressed some skepticism about obtaining voluntary commitments from private companies.At this early stage, those who wish to step up and fight for net neutrality can make their public comments known at the FCC page and contribute to organizations like Fight for the Future. There’s even a crowdfunding effort set up to wage the second battle in this ongoing conflict—although this time, the tidal waves of funding seem to have slowed to a trickle.—Jason SchneidermanShare31Tweet7Share2Email40 Shares
Share47Tweet7ShareEmail54 SharesBy This media: JCarriker (talk) (Uploads) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsApril 10, 2018; Washington Post (Associated Press)“The vision of an inclusive and thriving South is still elusive,” laments MDC in its newest State of the South report, “[as] we have substituted a culture of withdrawal for a culture of investment.” This 2018 report, “Recovering our Courage,” looks back over fifty years of progress and change in this swath of 13 states from Virginia to Texas while noting with dismay the region’s growing inequities and increasing disinvestment in the education and training essential to grow homegrown talent.MDC was founded in 1968, the same year that Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated, to help North Carolina move from an agricultural to an industrial economy and from a segregated to an integrated workforce. Today, this nonprofit think tank gives us three lenses through which to assess the South’s progress and chart its future directions: belonging, thriving, and contributing:Belonging: The black/white narrative is no longer sufficient to describe the South with its “growing racial diversity, immigration-driven population growth, increasing metropolitanization, and a stark political divide.” What’s needed is a new narrative about racial, economic, and geographic inclusion.Thriving: Across the South, black and Latinx populations have poverty rates as much as 20 percentage points higher than that of whites in the region. Higher-paying jobs are most often filled by newcomers with college degrees rather than by long-term residents. Deliberate institutional and community policies and practices could erase the region’s structural barriers to equity.Contributing: A decade of budgetary austerity means that almost all states in the South are investing relatively less in public schools and higher education than they were before the Recession. Substantial investments in education, employment, infrastructure and health—from both the public and philanthropic sides—are required.The report ends with this plea: “We call on Southerners to reaffirm the values that have supported our progress, to weave again what has unraveled, and commit to realizing—together—a South where we all belong, where we all thrive, and where we all contribute to the place we call home.”So where does philanthropy stand in helping to build a belonging, thriving, and contributing South? As NPQ has reported, big philanthropy is not investing in the deep South, particularly in on-the-ground work to promote systemic change. But there are an increasing number of bright spots where smaller Southern place-based funders are investing in strategic and collaborative systems change to promote more inclusive and equitable communities. Here are some examples:The Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) envisions “a Mississippi where all people can secure the training and education beyond high school that will allow them to enhance their quality of life, strengthen their communities and contribute to a vibrant and prosperous future for our state.” This grantmaker recently made a $900,000 grant to two of Mississippi’s 15 community colleges to build their capacity to respond to a systemwide problem with student retention and completion, particularly for first-generation and minority students. (Less than one-third of residents have attained an associate degree or higher, and less than a quarter have attained a bachelor’s degree or more.) Like other states in the region, Mississippi’s budget for higher education continues to be hacked—the community colleges got $28 million less this year than the last, and more cuts are anticipated next year when the state’s corporate and inventory tax cuts kick in.Greenville, South Carolina has been described as “one of the most difficult places in the country to climb out of poverty” despite being the fourth-fastest growing city in the US. The Hollingsworth Funds, a local foundation with assets of $356 million, is now a key supporter of the city’s Network for Southern Economic Mobility (NSEM), a long-term effort to change “the leadership, systems, and culture of the Greenville community as it relates to helping all members of our community climb the economic ladder and achieve their fullest potential.”The Benwood Foundation in Chattanooga ($102 million in assets) also focuses on eliminating barriers to opportunity and is investing in Chattanooga 2.0, “a cross-generational reimagination of public education” with the goal of ensuring that 75 percent of all Hamilton County high school graduates successfully obtain a college degree or technical certification by 2025.Last example: The Danville Regional Foundation ($218 million in assets) has taken the unusual step of regularly producing a “regional report card” that tracks key root cause indicators for education, health, socioeconomic status, and demographics, and compares the region to a comparable region (Wilson, N.C.), a model region (Owensboro, Kentucky), and to the State of Virginia as a whole. Upward and downward trends are visually displayed. As Karl Stauber, the Foundation’s president, explains, “We want to help spark a different and more significant conversation within our community—a conversation that is honest about our successes and our challenges across the region that leads to cooperation and collaboration building a healthier and prosperous Dan River Region.” This is clearly a powerful tool for conversation and accountability, particularly around opportunity. One can only wonder why the report card does not disaggregate the data by race. (The city of Danville is 56 percent people of color.)MDC’s new State of the South report is sobering but crystal clear in its call to action, if the region is truly to be a place of opportunity for all. We can only hope that the points of light represented by the courageous and thoughtful investments by some Southern foundations are noted and emulated by other, bigger public and private players. Fifty years should be a time to celebrate, not lament.—Deborah WarrenShare47Tweet7ShareEmail54 Shares
Satellite operator SES has announced the certification of what it claims to be the world’s first SAT-IP converter by Inverto Digital Labs, a developer of consumer and professional broadcast reception products.SAT-IP is a new standard and trademark developed and supported by SES. With SAT-IP, satellite-delivered programmes are converted into the IP standard at the point of reception in the home. Households can therefore receive, via their wired or wireless in-home internet distribution system, the full satellite line-up on TVs and various IP-devices including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, with different programmes on different devices at the same time.“SAT-IP is a quantum leap in satellite reception and will make it even more competitive with other reception modes,” said Thomas Wrede, vice-president reception systems at SES. “With SAT-IP, we can fulfill the consumer need to serve a multitude of platforms at home with an excellent satellite signal quality and a variety of content. Satellite TV anywhere in the home, on tablet devices, smartphones, PCs or smart TVs: that is the revolution of SAT-IP.”
The downloading of illicit content from the internet in France is decreasing, while the consumption of legal content is growing, according to the latest survey by the Hadopi, the authority charged with implementing France’s antipiracy law.According to the survey, 78% of users now download legal content exclusively, , up from 71% in December 2011, while 15% use illegitimate sites, a lower proportion than previously. In total, 87% use legitimate sites. However, while the illicit consumption of music, images, video games and books has been decreasing, the consumption of TV shows and films is still giving cause for concern, with 21% admitting to accessing TV series from illicit sites and 24% accessing films and videos illicitly.
Chellomedia has restructured its channels distribution unit at its CEE division. The company, the content and channels division of pay TV firm Liberty Global, said it had “restructured its sales operations to achieve an even more streamlined and efficient workflow.”The rejig sees Alena Blahovcova, VP affiliate sales, leave the company and Balázs Hajós being upped to director of affiliate sales at Chello Central Europe.In his new role Hajós will oversee carriage agreements for Chello’s in-house channels in the region as well as the third party channels it represents. He has been upped from regional sales director. Prior to joining Chello, Hajós was at Canal+.Chello said Blahovcova has decided not to continue in the VP role and to leave the company.Levente B. Málnay, CEO Chello Central Europe said: “We thank Alena for her dedicated work and wish her all the best in pursuing new challenges! We are extremely pleased with the appointment of Balázs. His track record of regional sales makes him the ideal candidate to manage our expanding business objectives.”The changes come as Liberty pursues a sale of Chello. Sources said the process is going well with interest shown from several, unnamed, companies.
Tvinci will exhibit at IBC on stand 3.C46 Pay-OTT Platform provider Tvinci will showcase its fully-deployed social and personal OTT 2.0 platform at IBC.Tvinci said it will demo the platform in a bid to show how pay TV operators, telecoms operators and media companies can create personalised, social pay-TV experiences for consumers across a range of connected devices.“We are the first platform provider to give media companies and operators the ability to manage each end user within the household. This enables consumers to enjoy a personal TV service with favourites, social newsfeeds, notifications and many other features which can only be deployed once we have an understanding of each individual’s preferences, social interactions and viewing history,” said Ido Wiesenberg, co-founder and VP business development, Tvinci.Tvinci’s OTT 2.0 platform is currently being deployed by telecoms and TV operators including Eutelsat, who will be rolling out a wholesale deployment for 300 affiliate companies, Chellomedia with their Film1 Go offering in the Netherlands and MediaCorp, which uses Tvinci to power its cross-device lifestyle service, Toggle.
Jersey ShoreThe MTV channel has relaunched in Russia.Viacom International Media Networks announced it would be launching fully-owned MTV Russia earlier this year and it has now rolled out in the territory in the basic tier packages of Rostelecom, NTV Plus and Megafon reaching 2.3 million homes at launch.It is programmed with MTV’s global programming hits dubbed into Russian including Catfish, Awkward, Jersey Shore and Pimp My Ride.MTV said live music and music videos will make up a third of the schedule.MTV was previously run under license in the country but VIMN ended its relationship with ProfMedia late last year and the deal expired this May meaning MTV Russia was off air. The Russian company had held the local license since 2007.VIMN now operates 11 channels in Russia with Nickelodeon a notably strong performer and the number one pay TV channel in the country.“Russia is a high growth market and key investment priority for VIMN, and the launch of our first-ever owned and operated MTV main channel, together with the success of Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy, not only demonstrates our commitment to the market, but is also testament to our Moscow and London-based team’s vision and dedication,” said David Lynn, executive VP and managing director, VIMN UK.
Swedish commercial broadcaster TV4 is due to launch a third channel, TV12, in spring 2014 focused on lifestyle and sports. The broadcaster said the new channel will broadcast the best of TV4’s existing sports output, but as part of a dedicated sports network.The news comes as TV4 today rolled out a new sports package, called TV4 Play Premium Sports, which will give viewers access to TV4’s existing sports output and C More Sports – a group of Scandinavian sports channels – via tablet, mobile and computer.TV4 said that in the coming years it plans to integrate its digital operations into its core business and to take a “leading position in the pay- TV segment on the net with a powerful enhanced consumer offering.”“We have a successful history of reinventing ourselves – and now it’s time again . By integrating the digital in our core business and continue to streamline our operations, we create power and room for growth,” said TV4 Group CEO Casten Almqvist.
Samsung released five new software development kits at its developers conference in San Francisco this week, including one for its 2014 lines of smart TV and one focused on multiscreen connections.The new version of the TV development kit, which allows developers and content partners to make apps for Samsung Smart TVs, includes WebEngine 2014 for support of next year’s smart TVs and multiscreen support through Samsung Connect.The updated Samsung Smart TV SDK also supports closed captioning so that subtitles can appear in video apps, and offers improved content filtering and search, Samsung said.At the conference, Samsung also introduced the new Samsung Multiscreen SDK. Based on a cloud publishing system, this allows content sharing across devices, including one-touch discovery and pairing that can be used to link up smartphones and smart TVs.In addition, Samsung announced the Samsung Multiscreen Gaming SDK that will allow games developers to create “immersive multiscreen gaming experiences that people play on any big screen TV using a Samsung smartphone or tablet as a console.”“There are close to half a billion connected devices in the world today, yet a very limited portion are actually connected to each other. Samsung is creating one of the largest connected platforms spanning a broad range of devices that people love and use every day, including smartphones, tablets, TVs and much more,” said Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, president and head of the Samsung Electronics Media Solution Center.“We are clearing a path for creative developers who want to participate in this multiscreen future, and the SDKs we are releasing today give them a way to start creating for multiscreen, and take advantage of our leadership across so many screens.”The other SDK announcements were a “streamlined” version of the Samsung Mobile SDK and the Samsung Knox SDK, which was designed so that companies can allow employees to use their own mobiles without compromising corporate security or employee privacy.
Russian social media leader Vkontakte has tapped local interactive TV technology specialist SPB TV to provide an app for the smart TV portals of LG and Samsung in the country, according to local reports.SPB TV’s Vkontakte app will allow users of the platform to view personal media, including photos, video and audio clips on the main TV screen.