MFDP, Development Partners Hold SOPM Validation Workshop

first_imgA three-day aid policies and standard operational procedures manual (SOPM) validation workshop, organized by the Aid Management and Coordination Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, with support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP), was climaxed on Friday, April 26, 2019 in Kakata, Margibi County.The event brought stakeholders together, among them were development partners, representatives of local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who discussed issues within the aid management and coordination sector.Specifically, the validation process was in line with the ‘manual’ and will serve as a guide for all actors within the aid management and coordination sector, including the NGOs, specifying their respective roles and responsibilities in the management and coordination of external assistance.It streamlined processes and procedures to reduce ambiguities and over-complications in the business process by simplifying the aid cycle and the NGO accreditation process.It also enhanced the MFDP’s (AMCU/NGOCU) ability in providing effective and efficient leadership, coordination and management of aid in support of Liberia’s development goals of the Poor-pro Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), as well as reduce administrative bottlenecks for development partners.Mrs. Alice E. Williams, director for Aid Management and Coordination Unit, said the exercise helped reduced delay in the planning and implementation of development activities by increasing information flow, while at the same time, reduced government, NGO and development partners tax processing time.She said the process increased alignment of development partners and NGO’s activities to government development priorities through robust donor (development assistance) coordination by outlining procedures toward, sustaining development.At the end of the exercise, participants were able to contribute towards adapting the practical steps and procedures as outlined in the SOPM.“This will be the giants step towards making transparent, the mobilization and coordination of external assistance,’. says Mrs. Williams, noting that the SOPM is aligned with the PAPD, because it commits external assistance to the country’s system.“There is a direct link to development priorities channelled through various national budget sectors, she added.According to Mrs. Williams, the national development priorities are identified based on the practical steps and procedures, included in the SOPM. These are supported by development partners based on national budget sectors via country systems.Representatives from the local and international NGOs called on MFDP to set up a standardized template, and to give line ministries a set of procedures for sectoral clearance, proof of participation in county level coordination meeting, and annual audited financial statement for expenditure in Liberia.It can be recalled that between September 26-29, 2018, the MFDP, development partners/donors, project managers, international NGOs and their local counterparts conducted the final validation workshop of the Liberia National Aid and NGO policy in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County.The rationale was for the government to derive its development objectives, and to achieve its Pro- poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, (PAPD), and for the formulation of the Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) manual, which is vital and paramount in ensuring effective and efficient delivery and coordination of Official Development Assistance (ODA).The SOP clearly articulates and guides Liberia’s engagement with development partners providing assistance to the country in a more organized and comprehensive way that guided all other actors in the aid architecture.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Federer says Novak man to beat in Melbourne

first_img0Shares0000Roger Federer — who beat German challenger Alexander Zverev in Peth — said he was just one of 10 favourites going into the Australian Open later this month © AFP / TONY ASHBYPERTH, Australia, Jan 5 – Swiss champion Roger Federer kept up his impressive early season form after another flawless week of singles performances at the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth — as he declared Novak Djokovic the man to beat at the Australian Open.Federer will be aiming for a third successive Australian Open and looked in impressive touch in claiming a second Hopman Cup, winning all four of his singles matches as he prepared for the year’s first Grand Slam in Melbourne later this month. The 37-year-old used the Hopman Cup as his launching pad for winning the past two Australian Opens, the first of which in 2017 ended an almost five-year Grand Slam drought for Federer.Speaking after he easily accounted for world number four Alexander Zverev, the last player to beat him in singles in Perth back in 2017, Federer played down his chances of a third successive Australian Open title.Although the 6-4, 6-2 win over Zverev in the Hopman final reversed a loss to the German in London in November, Federer said he was just one of many challengers in Melbourne.“I’m one of the top 10 favourites and so are many others,” he said.“I don’t know the draw yet, I don’t know who my first round opponent is, I don’t know if I play on Monday or day or night.“In terms of who is going to win it, we know who the usual suspects are and I am part of that bunch.”Federer declared Djokovic as the man to beat, with the Serb having won the most recent two Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open.He played down the world number one losing to Roberto Bautista Agut in Doha this week.“No doubt about it, Novak is the favourite,” he said.“Regardless of what happened in Doha, the game had a super, super strong last five or six months of the year.“With his class once he gets his groove back he is hard to beat.”Currently ranked third in the world, Federer can draw confidence from his recent record in Australia.Last year he won his first 21 matches of the season, including the Australian Open title, as he became the oldest player to ever hold the number one ranking.“I have had such a great time in Australia the last couple of years and always enjoyed playing here,” he said.Federer’s win over Zverev was a step up following earlier victories over rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas, Britain’s Cameron Norrie and American Frances Tiafoe.“It is good to finish on a singles performance like this,” he said.“You adjust your game and Sasha (Zverev) is a totally different player than what I’ve had this week.“I am happy I was able to maintain the good, high quality tennis I showed all week.”He dismissed suggestions his form tapered in the second half of 2018, saying he simply failed to capitalise on some crucial opportunities.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Antelope Valley Calendar

first_img Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or check www.todayna.com or www.sava-na.org. SUNDAY Nicotine Anonymous will meet, 8-9 p.m. at Seventh-day Adventist Church, 43824 30th St. W., Lancaster. Call (661) 946-7606. Buklod ng Pagkakaisa (Bond of Unity) Seniors’ Social Hour, 4-7 p.m. the first Sunday of each month at the Antelope Valley Senior Center, 777 W. Jackman St., Lancaster. Meetings feature films, talks, singalongs, talent shows and dancing. Call (661) 723-7876 or (661) 726-5309. Costume Figure Sessions, 2:30-5:30 p.m. the fourth Sunday of each month at Cedar Centre Hall, 44857 Cedar Ave. Cost: $5; students with identification are admitted free. 40 and Up Singles dance, 6:30 p.m. Sunday at 240 E. Ave. K, Lancaster. Admission: $7. Club membership: $20. Call (661) 718-8997. Life Figure Sessions, 2:30-5:30 p.m. the second Sunday of each month at Cedar Centre Hall, 44857 Cedar Ave. Cost: $5; students with ID are admitted free. Teen Care and Support Group, for teens who have lost a family member or friend, will meet, 6:30 p.m. at Desert Vineyard Christian School, 1011 E. Ave. I, Room 302, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-2777. Palmdale Moose Lodge, 3101 E. Ave. Q, Palmdale, will host bingo games beginning at 1 p.m. Call (661) 947-6777. Revealing Truth, a meditation and spiritual discussion, 4:45-6:15 p.m. Call (661) 723-9967. Antelope Valley Chess Club will meet, 1-5 p.m. at American Legion Post 771, 39463 10th St. E., Palmdale. Call (661) 726-1323. Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or check www.sava-na.org. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 5-6 p.m. at 44960 Cedar Ave., Lancaster. Call (661) 789-5806. MONDAY Beyond the Light, a socialization and support group for young adults, ages 17 to 25, with mental health issues, will meet, noon-1 p.m. at Transitional Youth Services, 104 E. Ave. K-4, Lancaster. Call Bill Slocum at (661) 947-1595. Jazzercise classes, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at George Lane Park, 5520 W. Ave. L-8, Quartz Hill. Call (661) 722-7780. Snyders Dance Groove will give ballroom, Latin, country and swing dance lessons, 6-8:30 p.m. at the Antelope Valley Senior Center, 777 W. Jackman St., Lancaster. For ages 40 and up. Cost: $3 per person. Call (661) 609-6510. Take Off Pounds Sensibly will meet, 9-10:30 a.m. Call (661) 272-0207 or (661) 947-7672. Co-Dependents Anonymous Step Study will meet, 6-7 p.m. at Antelope Valley Hospital, multipurpose meeting room, second floor, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 944-4927. 12 Step Recovery Groups for alcohol and drug addiction, co-dependency, relationship addiction, overeating, fear and anxiety issues, meets, 7 p.m. at Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 1011 E. Ave. I, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-2777. Recovery Inc., a self-help group for people with panic attacks, anxiety or depression, will meet, 2 p.m. at Antelope Valley Hospital, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster, third floor. Call (661) 943-3956. The Palmdale Elks Lodge, 2705 E. Ave. Q, Palmdale will host bingo at 5:30 p.m. The grill will be open. Call (661) 947-2027. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 6-7 p.m. at Lancaster United Methodist Church, 918 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 722-0393. Co-Dependents Anonymous will host a 12-step recovery program, 7:30-9 p.m., at Antelope Valley Hospital, multipurpose meeting room, second floor, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 944-4927 or (661) 946-5846. Grief Recovery Outreach Group will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700 or visit www.frf.av.org. Adult Anger Management Group will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700. The Highs and Lows, a support group for those diagnosed with manic depression or related disorders, will meet, 7-9 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Master, 725 E. Ave. J, Lancaster. Al-Anon will have a discussion, 7 p.m. at 51st Street West and Avenue K, Lancaster. Child care provided. Call (661) 274-9353 or (800) 344-2666. Take Off Pounds Sensibly Chapter 572 will meet, 9-11 a.m. at the Mayflower Gardens chapel, 6570 W. Ave. L-12, Quartz Hill. Call (661) 943-3089. Early bird bingo games will begin at 6 p.m. with regular games beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Elks Lodge, 2705 E. Ave. Q, Palmdale. Call (661) 947-2027. Early bird bingo games will begin at 6:30 p.m. with regular games beginning at 7 p.m. at Paraclete High School, 42145 30th St. W., Lancaster. Call (661) 943-3255, Monday evenings: (661) 943-1017. Billiard Gang for seniors will meet, 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Flex and stretch, a workout for seniors, 8-9 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Bring a floor mat and hand weights. Call (661) 267-5551. Parent support group will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 1529 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite 203, Palmdale. The facilitated group is for parents who need help coping with family issues. Call (661) 266-8700. Compulsive Eaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 6 p.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38530 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 273-1016. Expectant parents can tour the Antelope Valley Hospital obstetrics department, 1600 W. Ave. J in Lancaster, and get information on what to expect during hospitalization, at sessions starting at 6 p.m. Visitors meet in the main lobby. Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or check www.sava-na.org. TUESDAY Prostate Cancer Support Group meets, 12:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at Lutheran Church of the Master, 725 E. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call Susan Baker at (661) 273-2200. Toddler story time for children ages 2-6, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble, 39228 10th St. W., Palmdale. Call (661) 272-9134. Celebrate Discovery, a Christian-based 12-step program, will meet, 6:30 p.m. at Palmdale United Methodist Church, 39055 10th St. W., Palmdale. Call (661) 947-3103. Jazzercise classes, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at George Lane Park, 5520 W. Ave. L-8 in Quartz Hill. Call (661) 722-7780. Lupus International Support Group meets, 6:30-8 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in Palmdale. Call Danielle Duffey at (888) 532-2322, Ext. 4. Successful Anger Management course, 7-9 p.m. in Lancaster. Call (661) 538-1846. Sand Creek Orators, Toastmaster International meets, 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at Hummel Hall, 2200 20th St. W., Rosamond. Call Miik Miller at (661) 256-0328. Caregiver Support Group will meet, 5:30-7 p.m. in Conference Room 1 at Lancaster Community Hospital in Lancaster. Sponsored by ProCare Hospice. Call (661) 951-1146. Tears in My Heart Support Group will meet, 10:30 a.m.-noon and 5:30-7 p.m. at ProCare Hospice, 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. Rocketeers Toastmasters meets, 1:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Call Pam Raneri at (661) 275-5287. Pancho Barnes Composite Squadron 49, Civil Air Patrol, will meet, 6-8:30 p.m. at Rosamond Sky Park, 4171 Knox Ave., Rosamond. Call (760) 373-5771. Antelope Valley Archaeology Club will meet, 9:30-11 a.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5656. Grief Support Group will meet, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Hoffmann Hospice, 1832 W. Ave. K, Suite D-1. Call (661) 948-8801. Toastmasters Sand Creek Orators Club meets, 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 2500 Orange St., Rosamond. Call Miik Miller at (661) 256-0328. Take Off Pounds Sensibly will meet, 9-10:30 a.m. Call (661) 272-0207 or (661) 947-7672. Snyders Dance Groove meets, 6-8:30 p.m. the first and second Tuesdays of each month at the Antelope Valley Senior Center, 777 W. Jackman St., Lancaster. Cost: $2. Call (661) 609-6510. Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meets, 9-11:30 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month for brunch, speakers and crafts at Central Christian Church, 3131 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Cost: $6 per meeting, plus $2 per child for child care. Scholarships are available. Call (661) 945-7902. 12 Step Recovery Group for alcohol and drug addiction will meet, 7 p.m. at Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 1011 E. Ave. I, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-2777. American Indian Little League will meet, 7 p.m. at HomeTown Buffet, 422 W. Ave. P. Call Harry Richard at (661) 267-2259. High Desert Woodworkers Club meets, 6:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at Denny’s restaurant, 2005 W. Ave. K, Lancaster. Call (760) 240-4705. Grief/Bereavement Group will meet, 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at ProCare Hospice, 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. Youth Anger Management Group for ages 8-11 will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700 or (800) 479-CARE, or visit the Web site: www.frf.av.org. Plane Talk Toastmasters will meet, noon-1 p.m. at the Lockheed Federal Credit Union, 1011 Lockheed Way, Palmdale. Call (661) 572-4123. Harmony Showcase Chorus of Sweet Adelines International rehearses, 7:30 p.m. at 44857 Cedar Ave., Lancaster. The group is part of an international organization of women who sing four-part harmony. Call (661) 273-0995, (661) 285-1797 or (661) 940-3109. Al-Anon will hold a discussion, noon at 1737 E. Ave. R, Room 104, Palmdale, and at 7 p.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, Room 704, Palmdale. Call (661) 274-9353 or (800) 344-2666. Cardio Knockout Blast, a workout for seniors, 8-9 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Bring a floor mat. Call (661) 267-5551. Billiards Gang for seniors, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program representative will be available, 1-3 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551 for an appointment. Tumbleweed Card Club for seniors will play canasta, pinochle and other games, 1-4:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Line dancing, 6-7 p.m. for beginners and 7-8:30 p.m. for intermediate dancers at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Palmdale Youth Council will meet, 5:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Parks and Recreation office, 38260 10th St. E., Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5611. Sierra Club will offer one- to two-hour conditioning hikes leaving at 6 p.m. from the Palmdale Park and Ride lot, Avenue S at the Antelope Valley Freeway. Moderately conditioned beginning hikers are welcome. Call (661) 273-2761. Expectant parent tours of the Antelope Valley Hospital obstetrics department will start at 6 p.m. from the hospital lobby, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 7-9 p.m. at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1821 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster. Beginners will meet at 7 p.m. Call (661) 948-2571. Hotline: (661) 789-5806. Compulsive Eaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 10:30 a.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38530 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 274-4178. Also in Lancaster, 6:30 p.m. at Sunnydale School, 1233 W. Ave. J-8. Call Karen at (661) 723-9331. Overeaters Anonymous – HOW Concept! will meet, 7:15 p.m. at Robin’s Law Office, 203 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 949-9192. Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or check www.sava-na.com. WEDNESDAY Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3000 will serve specialty meals, or hamburger baskets, 5:30-8 p.m. at the post, 4342 W. Ave. L, Quartz Hill. Proceeds will benefit community affairs. Members, guests and public welcome. Call (661) 943-2225. Kids Managing Anger Together for ages 13-17 will meet, 4:30-6 p.m. at 38345 30th St. E., Suite. B-1, Palmdale. Court approved. Call (661) 266-8700. Low-cost Facilitated Women’s Group will deal with the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of relationship, infertility and other issues, noon-1:30 p.m. Call (661) 266-8700. Fobi-Lyte Support Group meets, 7-8:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month to address the medical, nutritional and social ramifications of weight-loss surgery in fourth-floor Conference Room 16 at Antelope Valley Outpatient Imaging Center, 44105 15th St. W., Lancaster. Call (661) 723-5123. Caregivers Support Group meets, 7-8:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month at Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center, 44421 10th St. W., Suite I, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-4852. Take Off Pounds Sensibly will meet, 9-10:30 a.m. Call (661) 272-0207 or (661) 947-7672. Eye Opener Toastmasters Club will meet, 7-8:30 a.m. at Denny’s Restaurant, 2005 W. Ave. K, Lancaster. Call Al Moore at (661) 726-3627. Talents Unlimited Toastmasters will meet, 7-8:30 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente. Call Alan Strech at (661) 940-4640. Scrapbookers Club will meet, 5-7 p.m. at Peldyns, 27021 Twenty Mule Team Road, Boron. Free tools for use. Bring book and photos. Call (760) 608-1422. Antelope Valley Intertribal Council meeting, 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 435-0423. AIDS-related death support group meets, 5:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. Sudden-death support group meets, 5:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. Dual Recovery Anonymous, an informal 12-step group for mental health consumers with a history of substance abuse, will meet, 3 p.m. at the Antelope Valley Discovery Center, 1609 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite G. Call (661) 947-1595. Antelope Valley Interfaith Choir will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. For adults and mature teenagers. Call Kathe Walters at (661) 285-8306. Hi-Desert Woodworkers Club meets, 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at Don’s Restaurant, Victorville. Call (760) 240-4705. Schizophrenics Anonymous will meet, 2 p.m. at the Discovery Center, 1609 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite G, Palmdale. Call Bill Slocum at (661) 947-1595 or (661) 319-5101. Belly dancing classes, 7-9 p.m. at the Alpine Grange, 8650 E. Ave. T-8, Littlerock. Lessons: $2. Call (661) 944-1747. Desert Noon Lions Club meets, noon-1 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month at the California Pantry, 120 E. Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale. Call Barbara at (661) 947-4079. Successful Marriage and Parenting course, 7-9 p.m. in Lancaster. Free. For information and location, call (661) 538-1846. Emotions Anonymous will meet, 7-8:30 p.m. in the multipurpose meeting room on the second floor at Antelope Valley Hospital, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. The organization is a 12-step, self-help group. Call (661) 943-5466. Little Angels, a support group for families with young children with Down syndrome, meets, 6:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at the North Los Angeles County Regional Center, 43210 Gingham Ave., Lancaster. Call Cyndee Moore at (661) 945-6761 or e-mail cyndeem@nlacrc.com, or visit the Web site at www.geocities.com/littleangels_angelitos. Al-Anon discussion group will meet, 7 p.m. at 39055 10th St. W., Palmdale; Alateen at 7 p.m. at 39055 10th St. W., Palmdale, and a women’s discussion group at 7:30 p.m. at 32142 Crown Valley Road, Acton. Call (661) 274-9353 or (800) 344-2666. A Course in Miracles discussion, 7-9 p.m. Call (661) 723-9967. Palmdale Moose Lodge, 3101 E. Ave. Q, Palmdale, will host bingo games beginning at 10 a.m. Call (661) 947-6777. Bridge Club for seniors will meet, noon-3 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Beginner and intermediate players welcome. Call (661) 267-5551. Blood pressure testing for seniors, 10-11:15 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Billiard Gang for seniors, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Flex and stretch, a workout for seniors, 8-9 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Bring a floor mat and hand weights. Call (661) 267-5551. Knitting and crocheting for seniors, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 704 E. Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale. Bring your own supplies. Call (661) 267-5551. Compulsive Eaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 6:30 p.m. at Palmdale Children’s Youth Library, 38510 Sierra Highway. Call Kathy at (661) 265-1839. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Multipurpose Room 2 at Antelope Valley Hospital, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 256-7064. Hotline: (661) 789-5806. Women’s Eating Disorder Group will meet, 6-7:30 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 1529 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite 203, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700. Bingo for seniors, 12:15-2:15 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Cost: 25 cents per card. Call (661) 267-5551. Talents Unlimited Toastmasters will meet, 7 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Center, 44444 20th St. W., Lancaster. Call (661) 949-7423. Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or check www.todayna.org THURSDAY High Desert Modular Model Railroad Club meets, 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month in the Experimental Test Pilots Association boardroom, 44814 Elm Ave., Lancaster. Call Bob Drury at (661) 400-4479. Cedar Open Reading meets weekly, 7-9 p.m. in Cedar Hall, 44851 Cedar Ave., Lancaster, except on the second Thursday of the month when the meeting is in the gallery, 44857 Cedar Ave., Lancaster. Call (661) 943-4314. The Overcomers, an emotional and educational support group for mental health consumers, will meet, 6:30 p.m. at the Antelope Valley Discovery Center, 1609 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite G. Call Bill Slocum or Mary Rogers at (661) 947-1595 or (661) 319-5101. Aces & Deuces Square Dance Club will meet, 7-8:15 p.m. for beginners and 8:15-9:30 p.m. for plus at Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale, for ages 10 and up. Cost: $3. Call (661) 256-7650. Grief/Bereavement Group will meet, 10 a.m. at ProCare Hospice, 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. The Ups and Downs, a support group for people with bipolar disorder or depression, will meet, 2 p.m. at the Antelope Valley Discovery Center, 1609 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite G, Palmdale. Call Bill Slocum at (661) 947-1595 or (661) 319-5101. Facilitated Anger Management Group for teens will meet, 4:30-6 p.m., and adults will meet, 6:30-8 p.m., at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700 or (800) 479-CARE or visit the Web site: www.frf.av.org. Al-Anon will host a discussion, 1 p.m. at 1737 E. Ave. R, Palmdale; a step study at 7 p.m. at 1827 E. Ave. Q-10, Palmdale; and a meeting on Steps, Traditions, Concepts at 7:30 p.m. at 44815 Fig Ave., Suite 101, Lancaster. Call (661) 274-9353 or (800) 344-2666. Emotions Anonymous will meet, 7-8:30 p.m. Information and location: (661) 723-9967. Desert Aire Women’s Golf Association will meet at Desert Aire Golf Course at Avenue P and 40th Street East in Palmdale. Call (661) 269-5982. Cardio Knockout Blast, a workout for seniors, 8-9 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Bring a floor mat. Call (661) 267-5551. Billiard Gang for seniors, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Take Off Pounds Sensibly will meet, 9-10:30 a.m. Call (661) 272-0207 or (661) 947-7672. Sierra Club will offer one- to two-hour conditioning hikes leaving at 6 p.m. from the Palmdale Park and Ride lot, Avenue S at Antelope Valley Freeway. Moderately conditioned beginning hikers are welcome. Call (661) 273-2761. High Desert Toastmasters will meet, 7 p.m. at Crazy Otto’s Diner, 120 E. Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale. Call Catherine Tedeski at (661) 273-7296. Country line dance lessons for seniors, 1-2 p.m. for beginners and 2:15 p.m. for intermediate dancers at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Donation requested. Call (661) 267-5551. Soroptimist International of Antelope Valley will meet, noon at the Holiday Inn of Palmdale-Lancaster, 38630 5th St. W., Palmdale. Business and professional women are invited. Call (661) 946-1609. Compulsive Eaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 5:30 p.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38530 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 274-4178. Take Off Pounds Sensibly, Chapter 569 will meet, 6:30 p.m. at Grecian Isles Mobile Home Park, 4444 E. Ave. R, Palmdale. Call (661) 947-7672 or (661) 285-5003. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 7:30-9 p.m. Step Workbook reading and writing. Call (661) 947-7935. Hotline: (661) 789-5806. Support group for women in abusive or battering situations will meet, 1-3:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. A Spanish-language group also will meet, 10 a.m.-noon. Call (661) 945-6736 or (661) 945-5509. Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or check www.sava-na.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Women and Self-esteem support group meets in the Acton area. Call (661) 947-0839. Healing Heart support group will meet, 4-5:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army store, 45001 Beech Ave. in Lancaster. Call (661) 943-5830. Compulsive Eaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 9 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 1737 E. Ave. R, Palmdale. Call Jane at (661) 945-4798. Women Midlife Transition Support Group for women over age 40 is facilitated by a professional psychotherapist. Call (661) 947-0839. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 10-11:30 a.m. in Room 13 at Lancaster United Methodist Church, 918 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 724-1820. Hotline: (661) 789-5806. TODAY Seniors Lunch-Bingo Hour, noon-5 p.m. the fourth Saturday of each month at the Antelope Valley Senior Center, 777 W. Jackman St., Lancaster. Sponsored by Buklod ng Pagkakaisa (Bond of Unity). Call Emerita Ross at (661) 723-7876 or Marie Cabrera at (661) 726-5309. Al-Anon will have a Spanish-speaking discussion meeting, 9 a.m. at 38345 30th St. E., Suite C-3, Palmdale. Call (661) 274-9353. Facilitated Anger Management Group for ages 8-11 will meet, 2:30-4 p.m.; teens, 4:30-6 p.m., and adults, 10:30-noon or 12:30-2 p.m. at the Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700 or (800) 479-CARE or visit the Web site: www.frf.av.org. Beginning yoga, 9-10 a.m. at Unity Church of Antelope Valley, 39149 8th St. E., Palmdale. Call (661) 273-3341. last_img read more

Sharks’ NYC visits stir emotional 9/11 experiences

first_imgNEW YORK — Seventeen years later, it still hits hard whenever the Sharks come to New York City.Jamie Baker lost two of his college teammates here on Sept. 11, 2001. Dan Rusanowsky, the Sharks radio voice, lost a childhood friend and a college classmate. Kevin Labanc lost a next-door neighbor. Joakim Ryan lost a close family friend.“It’s impossible to not think about 9-11 when you’re in New York City,” Rusanowsky said Tuesday. “It’s something I’ll never forget, a sober reminder that makes you …last_img read more

Overview: the Gauteng Stakeholder Workshop

first_imgThe Gauteng Stakeholder Workshop featured vibrant discussion about the existence of a country’s brand, the pros and cons of having one, and the best way to build a nation brand. It was widely agreed that all provinces should align with the overall nation brand message. From left to right, Sipho Mhlongo, from the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, Brand South Africa chief executive Kingsley Makhubela, and Joburg Mayor Parks Tau address stakeholders at the Gauteng Stakeholder Workshop on 19 August 2015. (Image: CD Anderson)• Brand South Africa salutes Cowen High School for winning the Umhlobo Wenene FM debate competition • Brand South Africa invites stakeholders to contribute to insights on the South African Nation Brand • Young South Africans plan to stay at home • People and complexity: the missing ingredients in celebrity activism for Africa • Brilliant young minds at the CSIR Priya PitamberSouth Africans should concentrate on the positive: “We should be defined by what we are doing.” This was the message from newly appointed chief executive Kingsley Makhubela at Brand South Africa’s Gauteng Stakeholder Workshop, held in Sandton on 19 August.Sipho Mhlongo, group executive for trade, investment and regulatory enablement at the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency welcomed everyone to the discussion, held at the Gauteng Investment Centre. He said there are many great things happening in South Africa.One strong message about positivityMakhubela spoke about the importance of the provinces and the country aligning the overall brand message. “It’s important that provinces align [brand] messages and in the process of aligning it, not shoot ourselves in the foot.”He brought up instances in which South Africa had performed well – surviving the 2008 economic downturn and not having to bail out any banks; the rapid growth of the corporate sector since the mid-90s; and the good performance of the country’s academic institutions. He pointed out that six South African universities featured in the Top 10 list of the Times Higher Education (THE) Africa University Ranking.Makhubela recounted an anecdote: he got an opportunity to study overseas but one of his lecturers at a South African university advised him it was important to study in Africa, because that way the knowledge was able to remain on the continent.But South Africa also faced huge problems, he admitted, bringing up the issue of the local drug cocktail, nyaope. “We are going to lose a generation [to drugs],” he warned. “These sorts of social issues need to be addressed.” And one way to do this was to grow the economy.Big city lifeJoburg Mayor Parks Tau noted the importance of cities in identifying problems and finding solutions. The South African Cities Network, which represents most of the country’s main cities, acknowledges the large role big cities played in a country.It publishes a State of the City report about the work done. “Cities have become important pointers of development,” Tau stressed. “Cities have a role to play in finding solutions and resolving complex issues.”Joburg, the largest city not close to a river or sea, was a city of migrants and their ability to make it grow resulted in its success. “Forty percent of the people in Joburg now, are born outside of Joburg.”While it had made strides in investing in infrastructure, problems still existed, such as traffic congestion. The solution did not exist in building more roads, the mayor said. “We have to create alternatives because we cannot build our way out of problems… It’s about changing our mind-set.”He encouraged the audience to take advantage of the upcoming #EcoMobility campaign in October, aimed at getting people out of cars and using other modes of transport.South African Competitiveness Forum Dr Petrus de Kock, Brand South Africa’s general manager for research, spoke about the need to find a way to position the brand of the country. (Image: Priya Pitamber)The first session of the day, by Dr Petrus de Kock, the general manager for research at Brand South Africa, was about the South African Competitiveness Forum (SACF). The inaugural SACF took place back in 2013, born of a need to identify the work of positioning the brand of the country.In his presentation, De Kock described the SACF as a call “on all South Africans to play their part and engage in collaborative efforts to build a strong national reputation based on a globally competitive economy”.“As Brand South Africa, we have to understand the range and strengths of the nation to market it to the world and locally. Getting input from provinces can help with the messaging sent out,” he added.There was also opportunity to learn from where the country had succeeded and apply those lessons to challenges.A few discussion points emerged from the session, too, including the recent xenophobic incidents in the country and the response to them. De Kock said there was a lot of messaging in that period from the government and officials. Brand South Africa also studied the social response. “It doesn’t matter how small a group is, damage can be caused to the reputation,” De Kock observed.Other topics of discussion were whether it was possible to tackle negative perceptions of the country; whether it was a risk to build a nation brand; how the media could help in building a positive image of the country; the funding of small and medium enterprises; and how South Africa’s sense of pride was defined.“National pride is linked to inner emotions; it’s more than tourism and sport,” a speaker said.Nation Brand Master Class Brand South Africa acting chief marketing officer Sithembile Ntombela gave a Master Class on the Nation Brand. (Image: Priya Pitamber)Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s acting chief marketing officer, conducted the Nation Brand Master Class. She said it was important build the nation, to find a nice narrative of South Africa. “We are selling our country,” she said.“The master class is about building a nation brand that at its core is unified through its diversity,” she noted in her presentation. “Building anything requires taking many pieces that work and fit together to make the bigger picture complete.”Provinces should align their messages with that of the country, Ntombela added, which would require a lot of planning. “We must relay true and relevant messages,” she said. “And promote a common sense of identity and pride.”A puzzle approach would work best because it could be used to “educate and guide key stakeholders in the intricacies of handling a nation brand, we created work that literally shows that everyone has a part to play in making our country a complete and competing nation”.Brazil, she said by way of example, was automatically associated with flair, the samba, and carnival; history was attached to Egypt, India and Peru; so too could South Africa create its unique stamp to sell to the rest of the world.Feedback on researchDe Kock shared the outcomes from the extensive research conducted by Brand South Africa, and it showed good news.“You can’t sell the brand of a country, without inside buy-in,” he reasoned. So the research started in the domestic arena, to find out what issues were on the minds of South Africans. It made use of a diverse national sample of 2 524 people.The Domestic Perceptions Research showed that while there were concerns among South Africans relating to crime, corruption and a lack of job opportunities, it also found that “citizens want to focus on solutions. And South Africans are willing to take action, rather than wait for someone else to do so.”Findings also showed that the majority of the population was under 35 and lived in urban areas; there was an increase in the middle class after 1994; 92% of the sample interviewed had a “good” or “strong” sense of pride; and many South Africans were aspirant that their children would live a better life than what they did.Country Messaging Framework Manusha Pillai, the Brand South Africa general manager of communications, talked about the Country Messaging Framework. (Image: Priya Pitamber)Brand South Africa’s Manusha Pillai, the general manager of communications, spoke about the National Development Plan (NDP) and how it could be tied into the country’s messaging framework.Pillars of the Country Messaging Framework mirrored the NDP and included tourism, culture and heritage, policy, people, brands, and investment and recruitment, all to be used to market South Africa.“Brand South Africa has been working with a various stakeholders from government, business and civil society to compile this Country Messaging Framework,” she said in her presentation, in which she described South Africans as having an energy and great problem-solving skills.last_img read more

Heating with a Minisplit Heat Pump

first_imgThirty-five years ago, when I first got involved with energy efficiency and renewable energy, the mere suggestion that one might heat with electricity would be scoffed at by those of us seeking alternatives to fossil fuels.Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, likened using electricity for heating to “cutting butter with a chainsaw.” Electricity is a high-grade form of energy; it doesn’t make sense to use it for a low-grade need like heating, he argued. It made much more sense, we all agreed, to produce that 75-degree warmth with solar collectors or passive-solar design.So, it’s a big surprise that I’m now arguing that electricity can be the smartest way to heat a house. And that’s what we’re doing in the farmhouse we’re rebuilding in Dummerston. I should note, here, that all of our electricity is being supplied by a solar array on our barn. Our Mitsubishi heat pumpWe installed a state-of-the-art Mitsubishi M-Series FE18NA heat pump that is rated at 21,600 Btu/hour for heating and 18,000 Btu/hour (1 1/2 tons) for cooling. Marc Rosenbaum, P.E. ran heat load calculations showing peak heating demand (assuming –5°F outside temperature) about 23,000 Btu/hour, assuming the air leakage we measured several months ago, before the house envelope was completed. If the air leakage ends up being cut in half from that measured level, the design heat load would drop to a little over 19,000 Btu/hour.We think the FE18NA model will work fine for nearly all conditions, but we are also installing a small wood stove — the smallest model made by Jøtul — for use on exceptionally cold nights.The indoor unit of our heat pump is about 43 inches long by 13 inches tall by 9 3/8 inches deep. It is installed high on a wall extending in from the west wall of the house, next to an open stairway to the second floor; it is controlled with a hand-held remote. The outdoor unit, installed just off a screen porch on the west side of the house, is 35 inches tall by 33 inches wide by 13 inches deep. It is located under an overhang and held off the ground by granite blocking.ARC Mechanical from Keene, New Hampshire, did a great job with installation, and the system has now been turned on. We won’t move in until December, but it’s nice to know we have heat. Point-source heating and coolingDuctless minisplit heat pumps are ideally suited for compact, highly energy-efficient homes. Our house has R-values greater than R-40 in the walls and R-50 in the roof, plus very tight construction. We also have a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) for fresh air. In tight, superinsulated homes, a single space heater (point-source heating system) can work very well, because with all the insulation fairly uniform temperatures are maintained throughout the house.With our 1,700 square-foot house, the two upstairs bedrooms may stay a little cooler than the downstairs, but we like a cooler bedroom. In a larger house or one that isn’t as well insulated, several ductless minisplit heat pumps or a ducted heat pump option might be required. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. Installing a Ductless Minisplit SystemHeating a Tight, Well-Insulated House Will Minisplits Replace Forced-Air Heating and Cooling Systems?Air-Source or Ground-Source Heat Pump?Product Guide: Mitsubishi Mr. Slim Ductless MinisplitGBA Encyclopedia: Ductless Minisplit Heat Pumps Heat pump basicsHeating with electricity makes sense if instead of using that electricity directly to produce heat — through electric-resistance strip heaters — we use a device called a heat pump. For every one unit of energy consumed (as electricity), two to three units of energy (as heat) are delivered. This makes heat pumps significantly less expensive to operate than oil or propane heating systems in terms of dollars per delivered unit of heat. RELATED ARTICLES Heat pumps use electricity in a seemingly magic way, to move heat from one place to another and upgrade the temperature of that heat in the process. Heat pumps seem like magic because they can extract heat from a place that’s cold — like Vermont’s outdoor air in January, or underground — and deliver it to a place that’s a lot warmer.Very significantly, heat pumps can be switched from heating mode to cooling mode with a flip of a switch. In the cooling mode, they work just like a standard air conditioner.Ground-source or geothermal heat pumps rely on the ground (or groundwater) as the heat source in the heating mode (and as the heat sink for cooling), while air-source heat pumps use the outside air as the heat source and heat sink. Because temperatures underground are much warmer than the outside air in winter, the efficiency of ground-source heat pumps is typically higher than that of air-source heat pumps.But ground-source heat pumps are really expensive. Friends in southern Vermont have spent $35,000 — or even more — to install residential-sized ground-source heat pumps. The cost is so high because of the cost of trenching or drilling wells.By contrast, air-source heat pumps are much simpler and far less expensive. The most common types today — and what we installed at Leonard Farm — are referred to as ductless minisplit heat pumps. There is an outdoor compressor (a box about 3 feet on a side and 1 foot deep), an indoor unit (evaporator with blower) that mounts on an interior wall, and copper tubing that carries refrigerant between the two.The typical installed cost of a ductless minisplit system is $3,000 to $5,000, though many variables affect the cost.These air-source heat pumps are viable today, even in cold climates, because of dramatic improvements in the past few decades. Much of this innovation has been driven by Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi, Daikin, Fujitsu, and Sanyo (now part of Panasonic).Several decades ago, air-source heat pumps only made sense in climates that rarely dropped below 30°F in the winter; today some of these systems, including ours, will function well at temperatures below zero degrees F.last_img read more

AFSPA will continue in Nagaland: Rijiju

first_imgMinister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said AFSPA, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, will continue in Nagaland as it is a “special case” and the “peace agreement” hasn’t been finalised there yet.Nagaland is the only State in the northeast, apart from eight police stations in Arunachal Pradesh, where ASFPA continues to be imposed by the Union Home Ministry.Nagaland, Manipur and Assam are the only three States in the northeast that continue to be under AFSPA.Last year, the Home Ministry gave up its power and asked the Assam government to take a decision on continuing AFSPA in the State. The Act gives powers to the Army and the Central forces deployed in “disturbed areas” to kill anyone acting in contravention of law, arrest and search any premises without a warrant and provide cover to forces from prosecution and legal suits without the Centre’s sanction.State to renew pleaNagaland’s Deputy Chief Minister Y. Patton said the State government would reiterate its request to the Centre to revoke AFSPA.“The discussion on the Naga political situation is on and we are expecting the Government of India to solve the problem at the earliest. We have requested to lift AFSPA but we have been asked to wait for some time. When the solution (Naga deal) comes, automatically AFSPA will go,” Mr. Patton said.NSCN-IM signed a framework agreement with the Government of India on August 3, 2015 to find a solution to the Naga issue.The NSCN-IM has been fighting for ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim — it wants to extend Nagaland’s borders by including Naga-dominated areas in neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, to unite 1.2 million Nagas.Mr. Rijiju told The Hindu, “Revocation of AFSPA in Meghalaya is definitely related to improvement of the security scenario in the northeast. AFSPA is imposed both by the State and the Centre. It was withdrawn by Tripura (in 2015).‘No politics’“It is a joint effort by the State government and the Centre. Security is a subject where both the Centre and the State should come together without any politics. In Assam also the situation has improved, that is why the Home Ministry withdrew it but it is imposed by the State government.”He said he was not sure if AFSPA would be lifted from Nagaland in future.‘Many factions involved’“Nagaland is a special case…the peace agreement has not come about yet. There are many underground factions as well. There are issues like rivalry among different factions…I cannot say about the future policy,” Mr. Rijiju said. On April 1, the Home Ministry revoked AFSPA in Meghalaya and restricted it to eight police stations instead of 16 in Arunachal Pradesh.Nagaland, Manipur and Assam are the only three States in the northeast that continue to be under AFSPA. Except Tripura and Manipur, the Centre was issuing such notifications for Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.Last year, the Home Ministry gave up its power and asked the Assam government to take a decision on continuing AFSPA in the State. In the case of Assam (excluding areas covered by the Guwahati municipality) and Manipur (except seven Assembly constituencies in Imphal) the respective State governments exercise the right.As per the Home Ministry’s data, in the northeast, there has been a reduction of 96 % in casualties among the security forces from 289 in 1997 to 12 in 2017. Civilian casualties also dropped by 96% from 907 in 2000 to 37 last year. The year 2017 recorded the lowest insurgency incidents.last_img read more

Two militants killed in Kashmir’s Kulgam

first_imgSecurity forces killed two Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a pre-dawn operation in Kulgam on Wednesday. The police said Irfan Manzoor Bhat from Poniwah in Kulgam and Zahid Ahmad Mantoo from Ferripora in Shopian were surrounded by a joint team of the Army, the police and the CRPF in the Gopalpora area of Kulgam. “The operation was launched on credible inputs. Both the militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site,” the police said.Mantoo, they said, was involved in planning and executing a series of attacks in the area. “He was involved in a case pertaining to the killing of three policemen at Batgund Shopian last year,” the police said.Bhat, who joined militancy recently, was “part of a militant group behind the killing of Abdul Majeed Dar from Shalipora in Kulgam”.In Poonch district in the Pir Panjal Valley, one solider was killed died and two others were injured in an “accidental” blast.An Army spokesman said the blast took place around 9.15 a.m. “during a training activity on a military post in the Mendhar sector”.“One soldier was critically injured in the incident and later succumbed to his injuries,” the Jammu-based Army spokesman said.last_img read more