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Yahoo! and Google asked to respect free expression in shareholder resolution filed by New York City Pension Fund

first_img Receive email alerts News December 14, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Yahoo! and Google asked to respect free expression in shareholder resolution filed by New York City Pension Fund Organisation News RSF_en News WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists to go further June 3, 2021 Find out more April 28, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders voiced support today for a shareholder resolution about freedom of expression that has been filed with Yahoo! and Google by the New York City Pension Fund, which owns nearly 400 million dollars of stock in the two companies. Reporters Without Borders voiced support today for a shareholder resolution about freedom of expression that has been filed with Yahoo! and Google by the New York City Pension Fund, which owns nearly 400 million dollars of stock in the two companies.“More and more initiatives are being taken by individual shareholders and investment funds to force Internet companies to respect certain ethical principles when operating in repressive countries,” the press freedom organisation said. “The New York City Pension Fund’s involvement is excellent news because it is an investor with both financial and symbolic weight.”Reporters Without Borders added: “We call on all shareholders in Yahoo! and Google, both individuals and management companies, to vote in support of this resolution at these companies’ next annual shareholders meetings.”The shareholder resolution (full text below) was announced today by New York city comptroller William C. Thompson. The city’s pension fund, which mainly handles the retirement funds of city employees, owns 687,244 shares in Google worth 276 million dollars and 4,372,277 shares in Yahoo! worth 110 million dollars.The resolution sets out a series of principles to be respected by Internet companies, especially when operating in the “13 countries that restrict and monitor information.” The resolution names the same countries that appear in the list of 13 “Internet enemies” which Reporters Without Borders published in November.The resolution affirms that: “Technology companies in the United States that operate in countries controlled by authoritarian governments have an obligation to comply with the principles of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.”Reporters Without Borders has for several years been urging investment funds to take action in support of online free expression. At the organisation’s initiative, 30 investors signed a statement in 2005 about the moral responsibilities of Internet sector companies Similar initiatives:A resolution calling on Cisco Systems to produce a report on his activities in repressive countries was backed by 29 per cent of shareholders in a vote at the company’s annual shareholders meeting on 15 November: .Individual shareholders have filed a shareholder resolution on freedom of expression with Yahoo! Like the one filed by the New York City Pension Fund, it will be put up for vote at the company’s next annual shareholders meeting.The complete text of the shareholder resolution filed with Yahoo! and Google:INTERNET CENSORSHIPWhereas, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are fundamental human rights, and free use of the Internet is protected in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom to “receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”, andWhereas, the rapid provision of full and uncensored information through the Internet has become a major industry in the United States, and one of its major exports, andWhereas, political censorship of the Internet degrades the quality of that service and ultimately threatens the integrity and viability of the industry itself, both in the United States and abroad, andWhereas, some authoritarian foreign governments such as the Governments of Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam block, restrict, and monitor the information their citizens attempt to obtain, andWhereas, technology companies in the United States such as Google, that operate in countries controlled by authoritarian governments have an obligation to comply with the principles of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, andWhereas, technology companies in the United States have failed to develop adequate standards by which they can conduct business with authoritarian governments while protecting human rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression,Therefore, be it resolved, that shareholders request that management institute policies to help protect freedom of access to the Internet which would include the following minimum standards:1) Data that can identify individual users should not be hosted in Internet restricting countries, where political speech can be treated as a crime by the legal system.2) The company will not engage in pro-active censorship.3) The company will use all legal means to resist demands for censorship. The company will only comply with such demands if required to do so through legally binding procedures.4) Users will be clearly informed when the company has acceded to legally binding government requests to filter or otherwise censor content that the user is trying to access.5) Users should be informed about the company’s data retention practices, and the ways in which their data is shared with third parties.6) The company will document all cases where legally-binding censorship requests have been complied with, and that information will be publicly available.————-Create your blog with Reporters without borders: www.rsfblog.org United StatesAmericas June 7, 2021 Find out more NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say United StatesAmericas Follow the news on United States Help by sharing this information News Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF sayslast_img read more

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Speech: ‘Enthusiasm’ for the UK-Mexico partnership

first_imgGood morning.It’s a pleasure to be here at Mexico Day – the country’s flagship London business seminar.I would like to thank The Mexican Embassy, Ambassador Ventura, and the Chamber of Commerce for the kind invitation, and for all you have done to promote and strengthen the Mexico-UK commercial relationship.In my role as a Minister at the Department for International Trade, I am lucky enough to engage with a vast number of UK businesses, including some of our foremost exporters and investors in Latin America.Time and again, what shines through in these conversations is their eagerness to deepen our engagement with Mexico, and a strong awareness of the vast opportunities that the country holds.Mexico is rightly seen by the British business community as a modern country with a dynamic economy boasting, among other assets, a young and growing population with an extremely high talent base.Mexico is already the UK’s second-largest trading partner in the region, after Brazil, but there is wide recognition that more can be done to tap into Mexico’s resource base and markets, and to help Mexican firms explore opportunities in this country.I am pleased to say that this open enthusiasm for the UK-Mexico commercial partnership is shared by both Governments.Fundamentally, our 2 nations have a very similar global outlook. So much so, that we have hardly ever disagreed on the world stage.Time and again, at the UN, the G20, and the WTO, the UK and Mexico have shown a united front, working together to address global issues.This closeness has been underlined by the personal ties that continue to link our 2 countries, as increasing numbers of people move between Mexico and the UK to travel, work, and study.But there is more to do. The level of trade and commerce between 2 large economies can, and should, be far greater.Recently, we have seen a flurry of high-level intra-governmental activity, working to make this ambition a reality.In July last year, DIT’s own Secretary of State, Dr Liam Fox, led a visit to Mexico, and enjoyed a bilateral dialogue with Minister for the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo.This stood them in good stead to represent our countries’ mutual interests at the WTO’s Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires just before Christmas.Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray also met our Secretary of State during his official visit to the UK in October, with discussions ranging from NAFTA to the global tech industry.And of course, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Mexico, Baroness Bonham Carter, has only just returned from her 10th trip to Mexico as Trade Envoy, helping UK firms to identify and capitalise on all the opportunities the country has to offer.The desire for British firms to enter the Mexican market or expand their operations there has gathered pace in recent years.It is clear to any observer that Mexico’s star is in the ascendancy.Buoyed by a far-reaching package of economic reforms, including opening up the energy and telecoms sectors, and reforming the financial and education system, the Mexican economy has maintained steady growth throughout the global slowdown.The country has also kept itself at the cutting edge of global commercial developments.Just a couple of days ago, Mexico passed a trailblazing new Fintech law, making it the first country in the world to boast such comprehensive legislation.I am pleased to say that the law reflects extensive UK input, made possible by our Prosperity Fund programme.The law will not only provide certainty to Fintech businesses investing in Mexico but will increase competition and innovation in a rapidly growing sector.This legislative devotion to supporting commercial opportunities is just one of the reasons that British businesses believe in Mexico and are matching that faith with investment.Petrofac and Premier Oil have long been involved in the energy sector. I was delighted to hear of the discovery of 1 billion plus barrels of light oil in the Zama-1 field, a resource which British companies will have a key role in extracting.Mexico City’s new international airport has been designed by Norman Foster, in a collaboration with distinguished Mexican architect Fernando Romero.Hamley’s, a British institution, has opened a store in the City, and, soon, state-of-the-art British double-decker buses will be a regular sight on Reforma.To top it off, BP recently became the first foreign oil company to open petrol stations in Mexico, and Shell followed shortly after. The belief that UK businesses have in Mexico is palpable.But the ties between our 2 nations also extend beyond the purely commercial.The UK, for example, boasts more Mexican masters’ students studying in our universities than anywhere else in Europe. Last year, Mexican and British scientists became the first in the world to develop a vaccine against Chikungunya, a tropical disease spread by mosquitos.And of course, creativity is a bridge that links our 2 countries.DH Lawrence lived and wrote in Mexico, while Carlos Fuentes lived and worked in England.Leonora Carrington chose to create in Mexico, while Alfonso Cuaron is based in the UK.Today’s event is as much a celebration of all that the UK and Mexico already share, as it is an exposition of future opportunities.The Department for International Trade is taking extensive steps to ensure that all UK and Mexican companies have the means to realise their ambitions.UK Export Finance has doubled its country limit to Mexico, to some £5 billion, and can now provide guarantees in the Mexican Peso. Mexican buyers can therefore use obtain finance in their own currently when purchasing goods and services from the UK.And on a multilateral level, the Department for International Trade is leading the UK Government’s support for the ongoing negations between Mexico and the European Union to modernise the EU-Mexico Global Agreement.We remain committed to this existing framework. But we are also taking steps to develop our bilateral relationship following our departure from the UK.That is why we have launched an informal Trade Dialogue, aiming at discussing how to ensure that the preferential arrangements that the UK currently enjoys with Mexico remain in place as we leave the EU.At the same time, we reiterated our support for an ambitious and speedy outcome to the modernisation of the EU-Mexico FTA.We want to be clear; there are no conceivable circumstances in which the UK would not want to have a Free Trade Agreement in place with Mexico.We are unwaveringly committed to expanding our trading relationship, building upon the personal, cultural and business links that already unite the UK and Mexico to create a more prosperous future for both our nations.Thank you.last_img read more

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Fat Girl Running: Mirna Valerio is Out With a New Book

first_img“Tikki Tikki Tembo” recounts a folktale in which a boy falls into a well and is rescued by an old man with a ladder who “step over step, step over step” goes into the well, retrieves the boy, and then “step over step, step over step” carries him back out.It turns out that “step over step, step over step” also makes a great mantra for distance runners, according to trailblazing ultramarathoner Mirna Valerio.“It gets me through a lot,” Valerio says. “I don’t necessarily think of that folktale when I’m saying it, but it helps. One foot in front of the other. Step over step.”The mantra accounts for Valerio’s relentless pace on runs and in life. She’s not the fastest, as she’s the first to admit, but the refusal to give up has powered her rise as an athlete, a social media phenomenon, and as of this fall, the author of a much-anticipated memoir.Valerio is a teacher at north Georgia high school. A decade ago, a medical scare inspired her to start running. She signed up for a bunch of races, and in 2012, she ran her first trail marathon. Since then, she’s gone on to run in a series of increasingly longer races, documenting her experiences as “an active larger girl in a thinner world” on her blog, Fat Girl Running.Media outlets started paying attention, and over the last few years Valerio’s profile has grown to the point that, although she shrugs off that term, she’s become something of a trail-running celebrity.“Things have been kind of crazy, in a really really good way,” Valerio says. “My son is over it, though. He’s 14 years old. I’m like, hey, CNN’s going to be here, and he’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool.”These days, she’s training for August’s TransRockies Run, a 6-day trek that covers 120 miles and 20,000 feet of climbing between Buena Vista and Beaver Creek, Colorado.She’s picked up a few sponsors, including Skirtsports, Swiftwick, and Merrell. As a brand ambassador for Merrell, she has also participated in a string of Tough Mudder events in which she charged through 10 miles of obstacles, including crawling through live electric wires.Getting shocked three times in one race “makes you realize how awesome electricity is and makes you wonder how it has the capacity to blow a 245 pound human being over like a dried-out, dead flower,” Valerio wrote on her blog about the experience.Valerio’s appeal—to both sponsors and the more than 12,000 people who follow her on Instagram and other social media—is not surprising: she has refused to let stereotypes about her race or body shape dissuade her from getting out and taking to the trails, and her unwaveringly positive attitude encourages the idea that, hey, anyone can do this with the right frame of mind.“This is really an extension of what I do as a teacher, which is demonstrating and being a role model,” Valerio says. “I talk about diversity, about implicit bias and sexism and racism. All of that is implicit in what I do in my public life.”Although her story speaks to anyone who’s ever felt discouraged from running (every runner ever, really), it also speaks to a more specific group—African Americans who have felt uncomfortable and even fearful entering the woods, especially in a former state of the Confederacy like Georgia, where Valerio lives.“Historically, African Americans weren’t always welcomed, and in some respects still aren’t welcomed, in hiking and backpacking,” Valerio says. “When I see someone on the trail who’s black or Latino, I’m like, ‘Hey! How are you? Good to see you!’ We both know what I mean by that ‘good to see you,’ because there’s not enough other people.“It’s still not as welcoming a place as others—not just the woods in themselves, but the whole outdoor culture is not necessarily welcoming. I also get comments from black people: ‘Well, you know we don’t run in the woods. Because the last time we ran in the woods, we got hung.’ Stuff like that, from close friends! That is so collectively in the memory of African Americans. That’s sad and hurtful that people are carrying this baggage with them.”Organizations like Outdoor Afro actively work to change that conversation and experience, and Valerio has made it a part of her mission too. And while she didn’t consciously consider the rich heritage of African American memoirs as she wrote her own, it nonetheless informed the process. It’s not a coincidence, for example, that Valerio signed with Dystel & Goderich Literary Management—the New York City firm that represented Barack Obama on his first book.Valerio’s memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress, is set to be published by Grand Harbor Press on October 1. With it, she hopes to take her message to an entirely new audience.“I wanted to frame my own narrative,” Valerio says. “My goal in writing it is to show rather than tell people that somebody in my body can do something like this. I wanted to show people that if you want to run in whatever body you have, you can do it. It might be slow, it might be painful, but you can do it. And you are entitled to exercise out in public as you are.”last_img read more

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Blue Ridge Marathon Celebrates 10 Years of More than Just Running

first_imgShowcase a Region: The race course shows that there is something special about the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and lifestyle of the Roanoke Region. The course features three separate mountain-top vistas, historic homes, an eclectic downtown, and finishes in the open-air amphitheater at Elmwood Park. The race has drawn attention from national media including The Weather Channel, ESPN, USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Delta Sky Magazine, and Runner’s World.Engage a Healthy, Active Community: The community is involved in every aspect of the race. More than 600 volunteers work to pull off this monster event and race options such as the Carilion Children’s Family 1 Miler and walking options, make America’s Toughest more accessible. There are also tailgating parties in the front yards of spectators along the course; many runners cite these homemade aid stations as what makes the race special. Give Back in a Big Way: The Blue Ridge Marathon, which is put on by the Roanoke Outside Foundation, is a 100 percent nonprofit race. Every dollar earned goes toward dozens of nonprofits throughout the region. To date, the Blue Ridge Marathon has donated $185,000 to community organizations. Benefiting charities run the gambit from groups with a mission to empower girls through running to sexual assault awareness organizations to the preservation of historic buildings to developing trail networks. Economic Impact: In addition to supporting nonprofits, the race has had a significant impact on the entire Roanoke Region. Since the inception of the Blue Ridge Marathon, the race has contributed $4.5 million to the regional economy. That’s money that comes into the region from travelers attending the event, hotel stays, eating at restaurants, shopping at local businesses, and visiting regional attractions. The activity supports new jobs (6.9 jobs in 2017) each year. The 10th anniversary of America’s Toughest Road Race is a milestone for charitable giving and regional economic impact.The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon is known as one of the toughest races in the world. (The Weather Channel and Runner’s World  have both noted its challenging mountain route and scenic beauty.)On April 13, Blue Ridge celebrates its 10th anniversary in Roanoke, Virginia.  Even if you aren’t a runner, this event makes room for you to participate in a weekend that’s more than “just a race.” In addition to race distances including a double marathon, marathon, half marathon, 10K, relay, and 1-mile fun run, Roanoke hosts a weekend-long music festival. Known as America’s Toughest Road Marathon, the race has earned kudos from runners from all over the country and leverages that to benefit the entire region in several ways: Whether you are from the Roanoke Region of Virginia or just visiting, being part of the Blue Ridge Marathon is something special. The race is known for a friendly atmosphere, great swag, and an amazing sense of accomplishment when you tackle these mountains. Let’s celebrate 10 years of making a difference in the world and being the healthiest versions of ourselves at America’s Toughest Road Races.last_img read more

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Long Island Hosting Prescription Drug Take Back Day

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The sixth biannual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday with up to 50 participating drop-off locations across Long Island that will accept unused prescription medication—no questions asked.Law enforcement officials said the goal is to empty medicine cabinets of unwanted painkillers before they’re stolen by substance abusers. Environmentalists said that the event ensures the drugs are incinerated instead of thrown in the garbage or flushed down the drain, eventually leaching into drinking and surface water supplies.“I urge all New Yorkers to check their medicine cabinets and visit one of the many drug take back sites this Saturday to discard their unused medications and eliminate the potential dangers associated with these drugs,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.More than 2 million pounds of drugs—over 1,000 tons—have been incinerated since the Drug Enforcement Administration launched the national program two years ago. Upward of 6 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Locations can be found on the event website. There are about 250 drop-off locations across New York State. The drugs will then be disposed of at the Covanta Energy-from-Waste facilities.“Dispersing oxycotin, antibiotics, and valium should be left to doctors, not to the water company,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment. More information about how drug pollute the environment can be found at www.dontflushyourdrugs.net.Those who miss the event can still anonymously drop off drugs in designated bins installed in Nassau and Suffolk county police precinct station houses.Those who need help can call OASAS toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day a week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY, which is staffed by trained clinicians who can answer questions, help refer individuals to treatment services and provide other vital resources to facilitate recovery. All calls are anonymous and confidential.last_img read more

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MPA delays decision on high school sports season

first_imgBy Mike LowePortland Press HeraldELLSWORTH — The Maine Principals’ Association on Tuesday delayed its decision on whether high school sports will be played this fall as the group awaits further guidance from state officials.MPA officials are trying to get clarification from the state on the differences between return-to-school safety guidelines from the Maine Department of Education and the community sports return-to-play guidelines established by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textMPA Executive Director Mike Burnham said it would be difficult to offer a fall season under the DOE guidelines, which emphasize strict mask wearing and social distancing, but that the MPA could offer sports by following the community sports guidelines.Burnham had hoped to have a final recommendation on the fall season Tuesday but said the MPA needs to get more guidance. He said that it is possible that not all sports will be offered this fall.“At this point, we do not have a formal recommendation to make for the committee as we continue to work with those government agencies to determine what school-based sports should look like,” said Burnham. “I think I would be remiss if I didn’t say if we continue to follow the Department of Education and really centering on the use of masks as well as the physical distancing. Just two weeks ago, it was released for outdoor PE classes they recommend 14 feet for physical distancing. Our sports committees did not feel that was possible for us to adhere to with any of our athletic offerings.“I know that there have been some rumors out there that we have already made up our mind, that it was a foregone conclusion that today would be the formal vote to eliminate fall sports. … I don’t have that formal recommendation. We continue to do everything we can to try save all — if not all, at least a portion — of some of our fall programs.”Burnham said he realizes time is of the essence. Phase 4 of the MPA’s voluntary summer conditioning programming is to begin on Monday with fall tryouts scheduled for Sept. 8. Games are scheduled to begin Sept. 18.The MPA traditionally offers football, field hockey, golf, volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross-country and boys’ and girls’ soccer in the fall season. Burnham said it is possible that some fall sports could be moved to later in the year.“We had actually kind of circled today on the calendar as the date we would make the recommendation,” said Burnham, “and I think we certainly could make a recommendation that if we’re following the guidelines that schools and superintendents are following for the return to school that our recommendation would be that we’re not able to offer those activities.“But if the recommendation from the Governor and CDC is that we follow closer to the community guidelines, then we feel that we can start putting that framework together. … I think we’re good to go, we just need to know what the expectations are for school-based sports and activities. We know that time is of the essence. We also know that Sept. 8 was not a hard line in the sand, that Sept. 8 was arrived at to give the superintendents an opportunity to get the kids back into school and figure out their plans.”last_img read more

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Prophet’s Predicament: Where does the Indian bowling attack stand after Jasprit Bumrah’s injury?

first_imgImage Courtesy: SportskeedaAdvertisement bxfNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs8qunjWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E5a3l( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) x073Would you ever consider trying this?😱tlyCan your students do this? 🌚14e7bRoller skating! Powered by Firework Jasprit Bumrah has become a vital cog in this Indian bowling set-up and his absence leaves the team in a state of momentary crisis. The bowler, who was in red-hot form will miss the upcoming test series against the Proteas due to a stress fracture in his back.Advertisement Image Courtesy: SportskeedaThe Men In Blue, who are often known for their batting prowess over the course of their journey in the sport, have lamented over the lack of impeccable world-class pacers until the arrival of Bumrah. Possessing an unorthodox action, Bumrah has grabbed all the eyeballs with his versatility.While the impact brought by the bowler has been undisputable, the progress of the other bowlers, especially in the limited-over formats brings debate on the table. The bowler from Gujarat has acquired the subtle knack of picking up wickets and restricting the run-rate at the same time, something which the others have failed to do so.Advertisement India’s obsession over a left-arm bowler saw the inclusion of Khaleel Ahmed, while the rest of the bowling attack comprising of Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar with Ishant Sharma in the longer formats have successfully aided Bumrah, but their ability to lead an attack remains a huge probing question.While the talk revolves around the pool of pacers, India have plenty to dip in with promising talents such as Navdeep Saini, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Deepak Chahar but their inexperience comes into the picture. In terms of impact, the stone-cold truth is that there is no one close to Bumrah when it comes to each of these formats.Advertisement The numbers prove the facts with Bumrah claiming over a hundred wickets since his debut, a feat which only Mohammad Shami has attained. To tilt the scale in the favour of Bumrah, he has done it with better conviction by having a better strike rate and average.The Mumbai Indians’ pacer’s high dot ball percentage also allows us to understand how Bumrah helps create pressure. This other bowlers exploit this pressure and get wickets to their name with ultimately the team benefitting from this. These are a few things that the lanky pacer brings onto the table which often goes unnoticed and evades the statistics.Despite the presence of experienced pacers, the bowling attack without the World Cup’s bowling star lacks the X-factor which is needed to determine the fate of the game. Just taking the recent T20 series against South Africa, the absence of a leader in the bowling attack was clearly evident which curtails the importance of the 25-year-old’s presence in the squad.India have been gifted with a rare gem that is Jasprit Bumrah, it is the responsibility of the management to keep it polished and devoid of any cracks. Not only is his on-field play crucial, the other factors that make him such an indispensable member is also worth noting.Read Also:Slipping Crease: South Australia bowler evades injury after an awkward landing in Marsh CupWatch: That time when Sourav Ganguly yelled at Dinesh Karthik on the field!  Advertisementlast_img read more

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Red Bank Merchants Circle Round, Looking for Way Out Of Parking…

first_imgMichael Simpson, a member of the Red Bank Business Alliance, addresses an audience last Thursday evening to discuss Red Bank’s parking situation.By John Burton |RED BANK — An evening of discussion concerning the borough’s parking situation once again pointed to the divide that apparently continues to exist between the business and residential community.The Red Bank Business Alliance conducted the public forum last Thursday evening at the borough Middle School, 101 Harding Road, where alliance members laid out their concerns about the parking situation and hopes for a solution to the residents.The alliance is a group of local business owners who are advocates for the enhancement of the downtown business district.“It is important for us to hear from you, the residents,” said Michael Simpson, a member of the S.O.M.E. Architects firm, 65 Monmouth St., and an alliance member, “to understand what’s best for Red Bank.”“I think it’s safe to say we’re all here tonight because we want the best for Red Bank,” contributed Kristina Bonatakis, who works for DoubleTake Luxury Consignment Boutique, 97 Broad St.That betterment, those representing the business community stressed, involves finding a fix for what has been the bane of the downtown commercial Special Improvement District for about 30 years: the chronic shortfall of available parking in the area.“We in the Red Bank Business Alliance believe there is a deficiency. Period,” Simpson told the audience in the school auditorium on that stormy night last Thursday.The Borough Council has taken on the historically thorny issue of parking and is again getting snagged on those thorns. In recent months, the council has advertised for requests for proposals for the municipal-owned White Street metered and permit parking lot, seeking private sector real estate developers to build a parking facility that could contain other uses like residential units and commercial space, as a way to entice the developers. The council received five responses; and there is a sixth being offered by John Bowers, a commercial property owner, who is offering his own idea of a garage-only facility that could be built and operated by the borough. That proposal, however, did not meet the request for proposal’s criteria and is not currently under consideration.While the three council Republicans were willing to consider and discuss the proposals, the three Democrats have come out opposing them, labeling them as “Jersey City-style” development—too large and out of character for the business district. The Democrats are recommending rejecting the five proposals, conducting a new assessment to determine the current need and then considering proposals.The Alliance displayed placards with the six proposals for the audience to review, but Simpson maintained, “What we’re not going to do tonight is pitch any of the proposals.”“We have some people, especially politicians, who want to hijack the whole process,” said Anthony Barbero, specifically aiming some of his slings and arrows of criticism at Democratic Councilman Edward Zipprich, who was not in attendance. Barbero is the chief operating officer for Industry magazine, a glossy lifestyle publication. His wife, Kimberly Lindau, owns and operates CoCo Pari, an upscale women’s fashion boutique.“The people who run this town should wake up and stop worrying about getting re-elected,” Barbero’s rant continued. “Why they want to get re-elected in a town that’ll be s— (if they don’t address the problem) is beyond me.”Marybeth Maida, a Branch Avenue homeowner, looked at the easels holding the project placards. “I hate every single one of those designs. I really do.” Maida voiced a common refrain about the size and scope of what is being proposed that is, in her opinion, so out of keeping with the character of the community. The projects suggest structures as tall as eight to 12 stories with parking garages that can hold between 700 and 1,100 vehicles in multi-story facilities, along with either apartment buildings and/or commercial space. “What I see here is just ugly,” she said. Maida suggested officials look at other options, such as building a garage on the town’s outskirts and using a trolley to transport visitors to and from the downtown.Liam Collins, a Wallace Street resident who was born and raised in Red Bank, challenged the garage proponents, telling them, “It’s not very obvious to all of us who live here,” that there is really a parking shortfall. Liam said he’s reviewed previous borough parking studies, albeit ones that go back more than 25 years, and he’s not won over. “Things like this have to be looked at very closely before we jump into a $17 million project.”That number reflects a general amount to construct a simple multi-tier garage capable of holding upward of 500 vehicles.Red Bank business owner Joel McFadden holds the microphone for Red Bank resident Marybeth Maida, who comments about the proposals to build a garage and other structures in the borough’s downtown.“Would you rather your business community leave?” asked Joel McFadden, who owns and operates Joel McFadden Jewelry Design, 64 White St. McFadden argued that could be the outcome, with business owners looking at other locations that would be more customer-amenable.Linda Cohen owns EyeDesign fashion eyewear, 90 Broad St., and has lived here for approximately 15 years. She likes the idea of a mixed-use development with parking and residential for White Street. “I’d like to see condos there,” she said. “I’d like to see people put down roots.”“I love having a downtown,” Maida added, hoping something can be done to accommodate both sides of the debate.“No small town stays alive without sufficient parking,” Simpson maintained.“I’ll tell you,” Barbero warned, “this will be the town time left behind.”“Respectfully, this meeting is depressing, because it’s all talk, talk, talk,” shot back Roger Mumford. Mumford is a Red Bank-based developer who submitted a proposal for consideration. Barely containing his frustration, Mumford said, “Red Bank is an underperforming town,” comparing it to  “a Ferrari going nine miles an hour,” because of its reluctance to take the necessary steps to move forward. “This is completely backwards,” he said, offering that he feared the debate will continue for another 30 years.This is a debate that has been going on for more than a generation, pointed out Simpson, an early member of Red Bank RiverCenter, the advocacy and management arm of the Special Improvement District (SID). Since the downtown’s redevelopment in the early 1990s, local business owners have complained that the parking shortfall has hobbled their ability to be successful, hearing complaints from customers about not finding parking or even giving up and going to a shopping center.Over the years, the downtown has evolved into more of a dining and entertainment destination, requiring more parking and making it even more difficult for businesses to compete, faced with the challenges from more recently redeveloped areas like Asbury Park and Pier Village, in Long Branch, the business owners say.This debate led, nearly 16 years ago, to the borough council looking to bond for about $12 million to build a garage on the White Street lot; a garage the borough would operate. That plan caused a contentious debate in the community. Residents became heated over the prospect of tax dollars being used to help the business community. They argued that if the business community wanted a garage, they should simply build it and not rely on residential property owners, who continue to shoulder the majority of the borough tax burden.Faced with an insufficient number of votes to approve the bond ordinance at that time, the ordinance was pulled and the prospect of a garage faded for then.It was revived last year, with Mayor Pasquale Menna and others insisting it should be done as a private/public partnership to insulate homeowners from the financial burden. But the current discussion has resulted in a political split, as well as a pending lawsuit brought by area business- and property owners, who challenge the size and scope of the five proposals.This article was first published in the July 20-27, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

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Fresh from Cougar Classic title, LVR hosts Stanley Humphries

first_imgThe L.V. Rogers Bombers tuned up for the Kootenay High School Zone Rugby Championships by capturing the Cougar Classic tournament Saturday in Red Deer, Alta.The Bombers made it look easy, outscoring the Prairie opposition 95-6,LVR bounced Bishop O’ Bryne of Calgary 24-6 in the final. In the other games, the Bombers rocked Notre Dame, Saskatchewan 29-0 and Notre Dame Red Deer 42-0.The Bombers host Stanley Humphries Rockers Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at the Lakeside Pitch in the Kootenay High School Zone Rugby Championship.last_img read more

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INSÍONN BREANDÁN DE GALLAÍ DÚINN FAOIN CHÚLRA DO SEÓ NUA – NOĊTÚ -ATÁ AR SIÚL AG AN GHRIANÁN AN TSEACHTAIN SEO CHUGAINN

first_imgLE BREANDÁN DE GALLAÍ: Tar éis turas deacair agus sos beagnach cúig bliana, tá an seó ar an bhfód anois.Tháinig Noctú chugam sa bhliain 2004 nuair a bhí orm tionscadal eile de mo chuid, Balor, a chur ar an mhéar fhada mar gur imigh an maoiniú a bhí daingnithe againn (nó sin an rud a tugadh le fios dúinn cibé).Bhí Riverdance fágtha agam ó 2003 le Balor a chruthú le cara de mo chuid, Joe Csibi, a bhí i mbun scríobh an cheoil. Is cosúil go raibh an t-airgead ceangailte isteach le ciste ina raibh go leor gnéithe, an scair is mó den airgead le bheith caite sa Spáinn (trí chéad milliún ar réadmhaoin de réir cosúlachta).Ach mar gheall ar bhuamáil Mhaidrid thit an tóin as an gciste, agus bhí orm féin stop a chur le forbairt Bhalor.Ní hamháin go raibh costas millteanach pearsanta leis seo ach costas airgeadais chomh maith.D’fhoghlaim mé ceacht an lá sin a fuair muid an drochscéala go raibh an t-airgead imithe — is é sin go raibh seans maith ann nach mbeadh leithéid Riverdance ann arís… nach mbeadh an cineál maoinithe ná an tacaíocht ar fáil le seó damhsa Ghaelaigh ar an leibhéal sin a chur le chéile, agus dá mbeadh suim agam mo chuid cruthaitheachta a chur ar an ardán ar bhealach ar bith, chaithfeadh an tsamhail a bheith difriúil. Chuaigh traidhfil blianta thart sula raibh an fuinneamh agam a dhul síos an bóthar sin arís — agus cé gur scríobh mé script Noctú in 2004, bhí 2009 ann sula dtáinig sé isteach i mo chloigeann arís. Go díreach nuair a bhí mé ag cur isteach ar chéim úr dochtúireachta i gcleachtas ealaíon i nDámh Chruinne Éireann Ceol agus Damhsa in Ollscoil Luimnigh, bhuail sé mé go bhféadfaí, b’fhéidir, beatha nó saol a thabhairt do Noctú.Ardán foscailte tacúil í an Dámh, ina bhfuil daoine neamhchlaonta a bhfuil méin acu tacaíocht a thabhairt lena leithéid a dhéanamh. Shíl mé mar sin féin go mbeadh an taispeántas beag, agus go mbeinn ag brath ar gharanna ó chairde agus ó mhic léinn na hOllscoile atá dílis domhsa agus don damhsa leis an tionscadal a dhéanamh.Ach fuair RTÉ gaoth an fhocail go raibh mé i mbun oibre ar rud inteach úrnua, agus in éineacht leis an ILBF — a chuir formhór an airgid agus na tacaíochta ar fáil — chuir mé féin agus Stirling Productions togra le chéile le sraith cláracha a dhéanamh ag déileáil le cruthú Noctú.Le linn na 6 chlár theilifíse, lean Dance Off déanamh Noctú, ó na héisteachtaí go ‘boot camp’, an fhorbairt chruthaitheach agus na cleachtaí don seó úr.Tháinig an tsraith chun críche nuair a chuaigh 13 dhamhsóir ó Éirinn, Albain, Sasana, an Astráil, Ceanada agus an Ungáir ar an ardán sa Lagan Valley Island Centre, i Lios na gCearrbhach don chéad taibhiú de Noctú ar an 10ú lá de Mheán Fómhair 2010. Ar an chéad dul síos, bhí mé ag iarraidh go léireodh Noctú bealach eile chun an damhsa Gaelach a chur i láthair. Bhí mé ag feiceáil barraíocht saillte de mhacasamhail Riverdance agus Lord of the Dance.Is cuma cén seó a rachadh amach os comhair an phobail, bhí na téamaí céanna acu agus bhí a fhios agam go raibh an seánra damhsa ábalta níos mó a chur ar fáil.Bhí mé ag iarraidh dúshlán a chur faoi na damhsóirí agus iad a spreagadh chun ról seo acu mar thaibheoirí a cheistiú. Bhí mé ag iarraidh am a chaitheamh leofa ag déanamh iniúchadh ar ghothaí, ar choincheapa, ar shlite chun mothúcháin eile a spreagadh sa lucht féachana in ionad gliadair. Bhí mé ag iarraidh téacs a úsáid fosta.Chomh maith leis an chomhthéacs a athrú, bhí mé, le tamall anuas, ag fiosrú an damhsa é féin — ag ceistiú na gcanónacha agus na bprionsabal atá chomh feiceálach san aeistéitic féin: an cheartingearacht, an cheartseasmhacht, na cosa trasnaí, na ladhracha sínte, na glúine díreach. Bhí mé cinnte go bhféadfaí an seánra a chur i láthair ar bhealach difriúil ach é a bheith dílis don traidisiún. Glac mé leis chomh maith go raibh sé tábhachtach anáil úr a chur ann agus go raibh sé tábhachtach an traidisiún a bhogadh chun tosaigh.Is rud cumhachtach é an damhsa agus bhí mé ag iarraidh é a úsáid sa dóigh is go dtiocfadh liom rud inteach a rá fá dtaobh de domh féin mar dhuine cruthaitheach atá ina chónaí in Éirinn sa ré/aois seo.Nochtann an seó seo fíorscéal an damhsóra Ghaelaigh — ag insint an scéil ó dhearcadh seo acu féin — gan stiúrthóirí ná lucht an airgid ag stiúradh cad ba chóir a bheith mar ábhar an taispeántais.Bhain mé úsáid as gluaiseacht, scéalaíocht, scigaithris, greann agus tragóid. Amharcann sé ar imeallú agus cuireann sé an cheist — nár chóir go mbeadh spás sa domhan don ilghnéitheacht?Brúnn sé teorainn inghlactha agus aitheanta an damhsa Ghaelaigh agus fríd radhairc bheaga, nó fínéid, faigheann an lucht féachana deis dul faoi chraiceann iadsan atá gafa agus ag plé le saol an damhsa.Ar bhealach, tá Noctú dírbheathaisnéiseach. NOĊTÚ  – TUESDAY APRIL 26TH www.angrianan.comINSÍONN BREANDÁN DE GALLAÍ DÚINN FAOIN CHÚLRA DO SEÓ NUA – NOĊTÚ -ATÁ AR SIÚL AG AN GHRIANÁN AN TSEACHTAIN SEO CHUGAINN was last modified: April 20th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:An grianaBREANDÁN DE GALLAÍletterkennyNoctúlast_img read more

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