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What To Do in Pasadena This Memorial Day Saturday (And the Rest of the Weekend)

first_img Community News Top of the News More Cool Stuff Make a comment Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy 0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Subscribe Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Here is our carefully culled top picks from dozens of Pasadena events – the very best things to taste, watch, listen to, and experience, all presented weekly in our e!Pasadena email newsletter: First Heatwave Expected Next Week HerbeautyNerdy Movie Kids Who Look Unrecognizable TodayHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyA Dark Side Of Beauty Salons Not Many People Know AboutHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyPretty Or Not: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About BeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyAmazing Sparks Of On-Screen Chemistry From The 90-sHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Trends To Look Like An Eye-Candy And 6 To Forget AboutHerbeautyHerbeautycenter_img Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. top box 1 What To Do in Pasadena This Memorial Day Saturday (And the Rest of the Weekend) Published on Thursday, May 26, 2016 | 3:57 pm Business News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Community News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

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Credit Where Credit is Due

first_img Previous: Aspen Grove Solutions Collaborates With Lift Strategic Partners Next: Aspen Grove Solutions Appoints Mike Jurkovic as VP Business Services The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Tagged with: Credit Scores FICO Joanne Gaskin VantageScore Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently released a Request for Input seeking feedback about the possibility of changing the credit scores the GSEs requires lenders to use to evaluate borrowers. According to the FHFA’s press release, “The Enterprises currently use Classic FICO for product eligibility, loan pricing, and financial disclosure purposes.” The Request for Input seeks public comment on the possibility of allowing the GSEs to also let lenders use FICO 9 (an updated version of FICO’s original scoring algorithm) or VantageScore 3.0 (a rival model developed by credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).Those critical of the GSEs’ current requirements claim that they bar millions of Americans from home ownership. According to a 2015 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study, 26 million Americans do not have any credit record, and another 19 million have credit records considered unscorable due to insufficient credit history or a lack of recent credit history.DS News spoke with Joanne Gaskin, Senior Director, Scores and Analytics at FICO, about FICO’s methods, VantageScore, and what opening up the Enterprises’ credit standards would mean for mortgage and housing.Speaking of the GSEs’ exclusive use of FICO scores, VantageScore released a public statement that said, “Monopolies never benefit markets or consumers and they create the opportunity for pricing power unchecked by competition.” Could you talk about why you don’t think that is a fair characterization of the situation?Absolutely. The first thing that’s important to note is that FICO is not responsible for the sale, distribution, or pricing of the FICO scores. We use our distribution partners, which are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. So we do not exert pricing power, as we don’t have the ability to price directly in the marketplace. So keep in mind where the pricing power resides is with the bureaus who own VantageScore.That it’s exacerbated in the mortgage market, when you have a tri-merge requirement, meaning that each and every one of the credit bureau files are required for mortgage origination, if you’re delivering to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They have unchecked pricing power associated with  both the credit report and credit scores. So we would say that the credit bureaus actually have a data monopoly. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owe no duty to FICO, we could be replaced at any time. But there’s not an opportunity to replace the data.Considering the proposed changes to change the GSEs’ credit reporting standards, do you think that there’s anything particularly unfair about those proposed changes, or is there a way that you can see to change those credit score requirements in an equitable way?FICO absolutely welcomes competition as you noted, but take a look at what the choices are. It’s one independent company and one company owned by the three credit bureaus. We would suggest that a fair competition is competition among other independent analytic firms. Because really, having a score that’s owned by the three bureaus isn’t adding to competition. Actually, it’s consolidating, or minimizing competition.Think for a moment, what might be the likelihood of another independent analytic firm gaining access to the credit bureau data to compete with VantageScore? I would suggest that FICO continues to exist as an independent firm because we’re trusted, and requested by the lenders.Has there been, as far as you know, any move to even consider doing something like that? Obviously they’re talking about opening and changing the credit score requirements, but has there been any discussion about actually bringing other independent organizations in, or has it just mainly been between FICO and VantageScore?The RFI itself just considers FICO and VantageScore as the two broad-based scores that have scores in each of the three repositories. What we’re hearing from folks is that the potential answer to creating more competition might reside in the question that was asked about the requirements for the tri-merge report.So, lenders are opining about the need to continue to purchase a tri-merge, as the data across the bureaus has become more similar. Years and years ago they were more regional in nature, and they’ve all moved to very broad, national scales. FICO doesn’t have a true opinion on this. We don’t have the data to say that the data looks the same across, but I think if you spoke to lenders that they might give you a perspective on that.Assuming that the GSEs did go forward and they allowed lenders to start using VantageScore 3.0, what do you think would be the impact on the housing and mortgage industries?We believe that there is a risk to the system because of their lack of minimum scoring criterion. The score will not have the same predictive strength as what we see for traditional FICO score. We likely would project poor performance on that population. We also think that there’s a risk to the system, which Director Watt has suggested, that if there are two scoring vendors in the marketplace allowing for choice among them, that there is this risk for what he refers to as “a race for the bottom.” The question is whether or not we will reward the most predicative score or the score that will qualify the most borrowers.We maintain our minimum scoring criterion, because it’s time-tested over the last 27 years, lenders trust us, and we’re used in 90 percent of lending decisions.What do you think are the biggest challenges of your job, and what do you wish more people understood about your job and about how FICO operates?That’s a great question. We would be thrilled if everyone understood one thing. That weaker credit scores do not expand access to credit. In fact, if a weaker score is adopted, it creates uncertainty. Uncertainty in the marketplace always leads to further credit tightening, and increased cost to the system. So, we say a weaker criterion negatively impacts consumers. Credit Scores FICO Joanne Gaskin VantageScore 2018-02-01 David Wharton February 1, 2018 2,486 Views Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: David Wharton Related Articles in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, Journal, News Credit Where Credit is Due The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago  Print This Post Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save Home / Daily Dose / Credit Where Credit is Due Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more

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Antonio’s gang plan: Phase one

first_imgThe LAPD also has created a Most Wanted list that publicly identifies gangs and their members – a change in the department’s long-standing reluctance about giving the gangsters notoriety. Additionally, at least one Los Angeles gang member will be included among the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives – a list that currently includes Osama bin Laden. The LAPD also is expected to detail its plan for dealing with the 204th Street Gang, which has been blamed for a number of high-profile homicides in the Harbor-Gateway area. And a separate gang homicide unit will also be created in the South Bureau, which patrols the area of the city hardest hit by gang violence. “This effort is a comprehensive, multifaceted approach that navigates the entire criminal-justice continuum,” Police Chief William Bratton said. “(The steps) are designed to reduce the incidence of gang crime.” There was no price tag for the LAPD campaign, details of which are to be released today. The LAPD would get a gang czar and the city its own Most Wanted list under a highly anticipated plan being released today by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for quelling a surge in gang violence. The first step in what Villaraigosa has pledged will be a comprehensive citywide gang intervention and prevention campaign will be unveiled at an afternoon news conference in the San Fernando Valley, where gang-related homicides soared 30 percent last year. “Suppression of violence is the first goal of the mayor,” Deputy Mayor Arif Alikhan said Wednesday in a briefing for reporters. “He also knows that intervention and prevention are important, and those will be the next phases of his coordinated approach in dealing with gangs.” The initial phase focuses on nearly a dozen crime-suppression efforts by the Los Angeles Police Department, including the naming today of a gang coordinator to oversee the agency’s various programs. Some of the initiatives are already in place, such as increasing collaboration with the FBI, county Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Unified School District and other agencies. Other proposals – such as identifying gangs and their leaders by name – bucks traditional thinking. Police have worried in the past that identifying gangs increases their notoriety and influence rather than deterring their activities. The suspects on the LAPD’s initial 10 Most Wanted list are all wanted on murder charges, including two from the San Fers gang that operates in the Valley’s Foothill Division. The Valley’s Canoga Park Alabama gang also was named among the 10 worst in L.A. “This new strategy abandons the early posture and challenges these menaces by exposing their corrosive behavior to the scrutiny of a more informed and confident community,” a briefing paper said. Los Angeles is home to an estimated 40,000 gang members, whom officials blame for half of the city’s crime. Bratton has targeted gang violence as his top priority since he was hired five years ago, and Villaraigosa has homed in on the crisis, as well. He hired noted civil-rights attorney Connie Rice to conduct a $500,000 study on the city’s gangs. Her report questioned the effectiveness of the city’s current anti-gang programs and called for the appointment of a powerful gang czar who could coordinate intervention and prevention services among myriad agencies. There was no indication Wednesday whether the mayor would seek to name a citywide gang coordinator, apart from the LAPD position, to oversee the dozens of anti-gang programs now operated by public and private agencies. While officials were preparing for the release of the mayor’s plan, relatives and friends were mourning 17-year-old Daniel Martinez, who became the Valley’s fifth gang-related homicide victim this year when he was gunned down Jan. 31 as he walked home from Einstein High School in North Hills. “It’s been getting worse,” mourner Jesus Reyes said of the recent gang activity. “The violence, everything that happens; the kids don’t want to say anything to the cops.” And experts said the crisis is severe and requires a multifaceted approach. “You don’t eradicate gangs; they are built into the community, they are spawned,” said Malcolm Klein, an expert on L.A. street gangs at the University of Southern California. Still, some said recent efforts to combat gangs could already be paying off. Law enforcement officials from around the world are attending a three-day summit in Los Angeles, discussing the migration of gang violence and terror from Southern California to their own countries. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo has announced plans to increase the use of injunctions against gangs and stay-away orders to keep gang members out of certain neighborhoods. Earlier this year, Villaraigosa and county officials announced a program in which county probation officers are assigned to police stations to work with gang members. “The mayor and the police chief speaking out about it, and all the community members involved, it is filtering down,” said Commander Valentino Paniccia of the Valley Bureau. “If this is going to work, it should be coordinated at the city level by someone with authority to make decisions, someone coordinating all the city agencies in how we deal with gang problems, violent gangs and family problem and the issues that breed these problems,” said Paniccia, a 30-plus-year veteran of the department. The City Council’s ad hoc Committee on Youth and Gang Violence estimated Wednesday that it would cost Los Angeles at least $2 billion a year to combat gang crime by putting gang-prevention and outreach workers at each school in the city. Councilman Tony Cardenas, who chairs the panel, said that would be just the start of the costs when the LAPD and other agencies’ expenses are included. “That is just an example of the scope of the problem,” Cardenas said. “We are not going to find $2 billion between now and the start of the city budget cycle this year. “Yet that’s what we need to deal with this problem. ” Staff Writer Rachel Uranga contributed to this report. [email protected] (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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TOM GILMARTIN LAID TO REST IN INISHOWEN AS SON SAYS HE NEVER GOT APOLOGY

first_imgThe remains of the late Tom Gilmartin ar carried to the grave by family members as his wheelchair bound wife Vera looks on.The son of Mahon Tribunal whistleblower Tom Gilmartin said his father never got the apology he was owed by the Irish state.Thomas Gilmartin Jnr received a huge applause at St Michael’s Church in Urris earlier today as he remembered the life and times of his late father. Almost 200 mourners gathered at the picturesque church on the rugged Inishowen Peninsula overlooking Tullagh Bay.Family and friends gathered with locals as Tom, 78, whose wife Vera is a native of the area, was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.Tom’s son Thomas Jnr broke with the normal tradition to read his eulogy in memory of his father at the start of mass.During his touching tribute to his father, he occasionally looked towards the coffin containing his father. On top of the coffin lay two pictures of a young Mr Gilmartin alone and one with his beloved wife Vera.Thomas Jnr told how his father was touched by corruption from an early age – even before he started his career.“Unfortunately as is very common in the Ireland of the 1940s and 1950s, opportunities to make the most of his God given talents were few and far between.“Nonetheless he managed to get a place in Agricultural college and did so well in his exams that he was told to get ready to com to Dublin to take up a job in the Civil Service.“A short time later he was told that his place had been taken by someone else that had not done nearly as well – but someone that had a relative well-placed.”When he returned from England to work in England he found it was a  similar place that he had left all those years ago. “Unfortunately my father was let down by people for whom moral scruples or the type my father lived by was seen as a weakness.“Later he never wavered his commitment to the truth even when subjected to extraordinary pressure.“He would never perjure himself even when it was disadvantageous for him to tell the truth such was his honestly and his religious faith.“Dad loved his country and was a proud Irishman. It truly grieved him as the son of a man who fought for the independence of his country to see the sacrifices of his father’s generation disregarded by lesser men. “It is a source of great sadness to us his family that dad was never truly given the credit he deserved for what he did or the apology he was owed for what was done to him. He deserved better.“But that era was only a drop in the ocean compared to his life as a whole,” he said.A native of Lislary, Co Sligo, Mr Gilmartin spent much of his working life in Luton, Bedfordshire, before acquiring land in west Dublin for a planned shopping centre.His name will forever be linked to a shopping centre, originally planned for Quarryvale, which subsequently became the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, after Mr Gilmartin was squeezed out of the project.His payments to Fianna Fáil politicians and his allegations of bribery demands from others led to his becoming a key witness in the Quarryvale module of the Mahon Tribunal.Mr Gilmartin latterly lived in Cork with his family.He died peacefully at Cork University Hospital last Friday morning.Thomas Jnr also remember the lighter moments of his father’s life and how he loved only very strong tea – with a “teabag or four.”He revealed how Tom had returned to his native Sligo a year ago for the last time.“Dad always remained a proud Sligo man and took time to tell stories there about his adventures as a young man. And 40 odd years in England did not even leave the slightest trace on his accent.“Going back there last year on what would be his final visit home was a great privilege for my wife and myself. As we walked along the shoreline beside his birthplace it was if as if he was reliving his boyhood and it was very moving to see a mixture of joy and sadness in him as he did.”As he fought back tears, Thomas Jnr added he genuinely thought his father was a one-off.“It is sometimes an exaggeration to say that we will not see someone’s like again. But in my father’s case it is true. He was a one off,” he said.He added that his own life with be a lot quieter and a lot less colourful place without his dad to talk to.“I was blessed to have him as my beloved father”As Tom Gilmartin was lowered to his final resting place, his family including his four children and wheelchair-bound wife Vera dropped yellow and red roses on top of his coffin.The bright floral tributes contrasted starkly to the grey skyline of the Inishowen Peninsula under which Tom Gilmartin was laid to rest forever.TOM GILMARTIN LAID TO REST IN INISHOWEN AS SON SAYS HE NEVER GOT APOLOGY was last modified: November 26th, 2013 by StephenShare 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)last_img read more

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CHOCTAW INDIAN TO LEAD OFF DONEGAL FAMINE WALK

first_imgChoctaw Indian Waylon Gary White DeerA unique famine commemoration walk will take place in Co Donegal this Sunday.Action from Ireland (Afri) announces the first Ballyshannon Famine Walk, in conjunction with the Ballyshannon Regeneration Group, is to be held as part of National Heritage Week. Beginning at 2:15 pm.The walk will proceed from the Famine workhouse in Ballyshannon to the Famine graveyard behind St Annes Church, where a lecture by well known historian Anthony Begley will highlight the afternoon’s activities. “The walk is to honour the memory of Ireland’s Famine dead, and in remembering, to help heal” said Choctaw Indian Waylon Gary White Deer, an Afri organiser.In 1847, the Choctaw donated monies from “meagre resources” to feed Irish Famine victims.“We will also be walking to show solidarity with those who still hunger in a world of plenty” Maire Nic Fhearraigh, another organiser added.“And we are very pleased to be working with the Ballyshannon Regeneration Group, who are hosting this important event” There are no fees for the walk or the lecture, and the public is cordially invited to participate.CHOCTAW INDIAN TO LEAD OFF DONEGAL FAMINE WALK was last modified: August 25th, 2015 by StephenShare 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)last_img read more

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How PacMan and Rod Stewart might just breathe new life into Arranmore Island

first_imgA former amusement arcade has become Ireland’s first island digital hub.Islanders on Arranmore Island five kilometres off the coast of Donegal hope MODAM will breathe new life into an ageing population and encourage those who have left the island to return.Today saw the unveiling of the building which boasts 13 digital desks and an average speed of 100 megabites. Arranmore’s Community Council now hope the state-of-the-art building along with the high-speed broadband will encourage islanders who have long left its shore to return.Seamus Bonner, an islander born and bred, is a member of the island’s community council.He’s old enough to recall when the latest chart hits blasted from a jukebox in the corner and a line of arcade games swallowed 10p coins as if they were going out of fashion.Two pool tables separated the boys from the girls with common ground being found at the sweet vending machines. Seamus has seen many changes on the island but the common thread has been a gradual decline in population which sees a community of just 469 people left from more than 700 some years back.He hopes the arrival of the digital hub which will revitalise the fortunes of the island and its people.by Stephen Maguire on Arranmore Island“So many people have come together to make this happen but it needed to happen. It’s no secret that the numbers of people in the island has been in serious decline.“Somebody compared this to the electrification of the island and I think that’s a fair comparison. The arrival of this digital hub along with such high broadband speeds will make this as a place people can come and stay connected. cof“People from Arranmore are dotted all around the world and with this development, they will be able to come back and work from here for a week, a month or for good,” he said.One of those people is Nicola Greene who works for insurance company Optum in Letterkenny.She may not be halfway across the globe but the opening of MODAM (named in a competition by local secondary school pupil Aiden Doherty) means she can catch the fast ferry at Burtonport and be out here in fifteen minutes to visit her mum and stay a few days.“To be honest it has reignited my relationship with Arranmore. I come back a good bit but the opening of the hub means I can work and stay here for as long as I like and my company is okay with that. “I would have to download a lot of large files with my work but with the broadband here that is now possible,” she said.Her sentiments are echoed by her schoolfriends Eimer Gallagher and Lisa Rodgers who now plan to return from their homes in London where they have lived for a number of years.Lisa is in business consultancy and Eimer is in fashion.Both have children and while their ability to return to the place of their childhood will be dictated by school holidays, the improved connectivity means they can extend their visits and work from the island.In what used to be the ferry’s ticket office in a room off the main digital hub, exiled islander Neil Gallagher, CEO and Founder of educational tech company Caped Koala is on a video call from London.The quality of both the sound and the picture is perfect.The view form inside MODAM. Pic Donegal Daily.“I was on the island last week and the connection there is twice as fast as I have in London. I was there in 2007 and tried to work from the island but I wasn’t able to because the connectivity was not there.“It is there and I can see myself returning in future and perhaps even setting up a remote base for my company.“Like many other islanders, I’ve always wanted to add value to my community and this connectivity by Three will allow me to create opportunities and bring employment, by training people on the island to test software and take active roles in EU research projects. Beyond this, I hope to set up time-specific project teams on the island taking advantage of both the facilities, island life and the cost benefits.”On a commercial level, islanders hope the opening of MODAM will bring plenty of financial spin-offs for the locality and for various local businesses.John McCafferty, manager of one of the island’s co-ops, Ionad an Chros Bhealaigh, is convinced the new connectivity will attract so many new visitors.And that’s good news as the co-op, which employs seven people on the island, offers a range of services including sailing, bike rental, kayaking and children’s clubs.“People know their children will be safe and have plenty to do on the island when they come to use the hub,” he said.Increased broadband speeds have also been installed in a number of local business and community facilities, including in Scoil Athphoirt where students can now use interactive whiteboards, research online and participate in online learning.The broadband solution has also been installed in the medical centre which will facilitate telemedicinal applications including video consultations with consultants on the mainland, saving patients a four-hour round trip to Letterkenny or overnight trip to Dublin.Pictured today were Seamus Bonner (Arranmore Business Council), Elaine Carey (Chief Commercial officer, Three), Adrian Begley (Arranmore Business Council), and Eoin MacManus (Business Director, Three).And for a population whom half are aged over 65 years, that it is a vital link.When the people of Arranmore flagged up a need for better connectivity to breath new life into the island, both Donegal County Council and the Department of Rural and Community Development back the plan.But so too did Three Ireland who have supported the project at a grassroots level and help to make the island community’s dream a reality.Eóin MacManus, Business and Enterprise Director at Three Ireland said “Last year we became aware of the great work being done by the Arranmore Business Council to improve connectivity on the island and, looking at the portfolio of services that we provide to thousands of businesses in Ireland, we identified a number of ways that we could help. We approached the island as we would any enterprise customer and worked in partnership with them to identify the best solution.“As Ireland’s leading data network, we know how connectivity can transform lives and businesses, and we are delighted to bring this connectivity to Arranmore. Today’s launch marks the start of a long-term partnership as we work with the people of Arranmore to help deliver their ambitious plans for the island which will enable them to sustain and develop their community.”cofDonegal TD Joe McHugh says funding of Arranmore digital hub is important.“We allocated €100,000 from the Town and Village Renewal Scheme because we knew it could be a game-changer for the island,” said the Education Minister.“There is a massive potential now for remote working and bringing jobs to the island. I saw the hub two weeks ago and I welcome the partnership between the local community and businesses to take the project forward.”How PacMan and Rod Stewart might just breathe new life into Arranmore Island was last modified: April 17th, 2019 by StephenShare 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:Arranmore Islandbroadbanddigital hubdonegalThree Irelandlast_img read more

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Ohio Crop Progress — April 16, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Saturated fields had begun to dry out toward the end of last week only to have rain arrive by the weekend for most of Ohio. There were 1.7 day suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending April 15, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fertilizer applications and spring herbicide applications occurred when high winds did not curtail applications. Oats were finally going in the ground and Winter Wheat was jointing this week, but both crops were behind 5 year average progress. Some Winter Wheat fields were under water by the weekend. Vegetables were reportedly being planted and those that have been planted for weeks now are emerging despite the cool, wet weather.Click here to read the full reportlast_img read more

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Round Table: Scream Queens on What Every Horror Director Needs to Know

first_imgFor this interview, we sat down with a diverse group of horror actors to find out everything we didn’t know about horror film production.Cover image via Ilkin Zeferli.Horror is a genre that is terrific for new filmmakers, as it’s typically not star-driven, often needs limited locations, and comes with a huge audience.It’s easy for the director to focus on the thrills and chills, but given that many of these films involve uncomfortable circumstances (stalking, assault, murder, torture, and sexual situations), it’s important to know the right way to keep your film set safe and professional, as well as how to respect your female talent.Image courtesy of Debbie Rochon.We were fortunate to gather a diverse and prolific group of actors, who have all worn, by shriek or slash, the horror honey badge of honor. Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead), Kelli Maroney (Chopping Mall), Elizabeth Lambert (Brain Dead), Brinke Stevens (The Slumber Party Massacre) and Debbie Rochon (Model Hunger) gave us all the gory details on what goes down and how it could be better.PremiumBeat: Since you have all worked with many different directors, what can you say you appreciate or don’t appreciate about how sets are run, how you’re treated, or how safety concerns are handled?Brinke Stevens: Safety must come first, and it’s astounding to me when young filmmakers forget about that. I shot a movie in rural Illinois that I was certain would kill me for real. We had several 20-hour shooting days in a row, with barely any food or sleep. I was a total wreck by the end of that awful week.Debbie Rochon: Even if you are not shooting a union film, and even if you’re just shooting with friends, you must get some kind of insurance. It’s really not very expensive, and many different accidents can happen on a set. Lights fall, props malfunction — literally the unknown can and does occur.I was on a set that I assumed had insurance. It was a non-union set. The props master switched out a fake machete for a real one because the fake one didn’t look good on camera. I wasn’t told it was real or “hot.” So seeing we had shot the scene a number of times already we just did another take right away. Well, a machete has no hitch to stop the hand from sliding from the handle to the blade and that’s exactly what happened. I severed my four fingers on my right hand almost completely off — except for the bone.Kelli Maroney: I actually never thought of a set being run mostly by a director. There are so many other variables — the A.D. mostly. My work with the director is centered mainly on performance. I have never had a concern about safety on a set that wasn’t immediately addressed to my satisfaction. I am sensing here that might not be a typical answer.Image via Artisan Entertainment.Elizabeth Lambert: Probably the best experience I had was working on Witchboard III in Montreal, Canada. The whole thing was a dream job, pretty much from start to finish. I had never done a film in Canada before and didn’t realize how being over-the-top nice was one of the things Canadians Are famous for. The director Peter Svatek, was just venturing into horror from TV — he was so articulate and prepared and respectful. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous because [it] being an R-rated film, I knew that there would be a few nude scenes, which are never fun for me, and even though it wasn’t my first rodeo, I still dreaded them.I think it’s always a little harder for the woman because usually it’s a male director with the male DP and most of the crew is male! You’re lucky if you have maybe one or two females around. They decided to shoot the love scenes the first week I guess in case anyone balked, they would be able to replace us without wasting any footage. Pretty much after I met my leading man, I would soon be hopping into bed with him. Woohoo! Of course, they made it a closed set, very few people — only the essentials that was necessary: either holding a light or a boom but no stragglers. And believe me, I always make sure there are no creepers hanging around just to watch! Cuz they do!Image via Urban Classics.Linnea Quigley: David DeCoteau was worried about his actors and took good care of me. I got a little bruised up in Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowlarama only because the girl wasn’t trained. Then on the same movie, I told someone I knew while she was gone from location for a few days that this other girl was sleeping with him after her and they had a fight scene that night and the girl dislocated her knee. Good rule — no location romances.When I first started, I was doing some short, and it was crazy. We were in a helicopter way up with doors open and the camera man was out the window strapped in, and they wanted to land between the mountains let me out, and I’d be running. Well the pilot almost hit a power line, yikes, and couldn’t land, so they decided to go to the private side of Burbank airport where important people come in. He wanted me to run nude by getting over the fence as he handed me an assault rifle. I said “Are you wanting me shot?” and luckily wouldn’t do it. Then I had to chase my money from him, but they have you do stunt stuff, and it’s not always fun.PB: When you are working on films that have a very fast shooting schedule, how can the production set you up to succeed?Kelli: Clear expectations of when I’ll be needed and which scenes are being shot and what, if anything has changed as the day progresses. There are so many variables with time, but strong communication as to what is going on really helps the actors.Debbie: The most important elements are making sure you are prepared properly for a quick shoot. This means you know exactly what you want, you have all the shots worked out ahead of time, and you keep a sense of creative calm. If you have done all your homework, you shouldn’t be running around the set like a chicken with its head cut off. Seeing this just stresses out the cast and crew. If you are confident, the rest of us will be. Don’t leave the close-ups to the end. I know a lot of actors like to do them last because by then they really have a handle on what they want to do for the close-up, but if you are pushing through a tough schedule then the make-up (especially if you’re dealing with SFX!) is freshest earlier on. So just think of it like a glistening apple, you want to shoot the apple as flattering as possible for the scene and move out from there.Practical SFX don’t last many hours, and the more you touch them up, the rougher the edges look, so you really want to get good close-ups of them right away. This stands for a long or short shooting schedule but especially for the filmmaker who can’t redo the scenes another day because the shots didn’t work. He or she can’t afford to do that. Remember everything comes from the top, and if you are taking all of these elements into consideration, all the departments will be appreciative of your efforts.Like I said, pre-production can be where you spend as much time as you want, so really analyze what will be best for the movie, which in turn is best for everyone working on it. No one, paid or not, wants to be in a project that could have been so much better if the little things were thought of and taken care of.Image courtesy of Debbie Rochon.Brinke: Sometimes actors have to run full-tilt and chase people, or else blindly flee for our lives.  We often have vicious fight scenes and use a variety of deadly weapons.Last week, I got this pre-production memo: “FYI:  We don’t have a ‘fake’ meat hook for your death. We will work very carefully and safely with the real meat hook – camera tricks and creative editing. You will be safe. I have worked with this actor twice before, so we trust each other with real or fake tools. If you have concerns, please let me know.”  At least they let me know in advance so I can be fully aware and take my own precautions on set.Whenever I’m using a gun, I insist that the prop-man opens it up to convince me it’s unloaded. Just yesterday, in fact, they did this for me on a film set, since I was pointing a real gun (without bullets) at another actor.Image courtesy of Debbie Rochon.PB: What relationships beyond the director are important to you? Costume designer? Effects? Craft services (do you need that coffee or protein bar to get you through a night shoot?)Brinke: I often provide my own wardrobe and do my own makeup on movies these days. It’s a study in being self-sufficient. In the 1980s and ‘90s, when independent Hollywood studios made their own films, we actually had caterers, private trailers, and a full staff — but those days are long gone. I shop at thrift stores for my film wardrobe, since it will almost always get bloody and be totally ruined.Last year, I did a project in Dayton, Ohio where the makeup artist was really only there for SFX work and completely unable to do glamor makeup. It was one of the rare times that I’d neglected to bring my own makeup kit (since I’d packed a light carry-on bag). So I tried to make due with whatever materials I could find on the set that day, but it was very difficult to do a decent job.Kelli: As I mentioned, the A.D. is a crucial relationship. I’ve had some incredible assistant directors. They are organized, efficient, and have great senses of humor and are personable. Costume designer: yes, before actors ever get on set, meaning creating the role together rather than throwing some clothing at the actor and being irritated if the actor wants to try other things. It all goes better if we share our vision with each other. If there is a reason for that shirt, say so. If the art department or director wants hair or wardrobe a certain way, tell the performer. Hair and makeup — caring and fun people excel on set.Almost all of us on set depend heavily on Crafty to keep us going with coffee, water, snacks, etc. And camera, sound, lighting — everyone affects the actor and can affect performance. As rules for all people on set: be professional, do your job, be ready, be kind, be friendly, be considerate, be compassionate and forgiving, and have fun! These qualities make all the difference in production.Image via Atlantic Releasing Corporation. Kelli Maroney/Night of the CometDebbie: Coffee will always be my personal number one important relationship! I call it my acting juice. The costume and makeup departments are vital. Again, if you have these departments on your set, and the actor isn’t doing that for themselves, it’s a collaborative effort to put the character together. Same can be said for lighting and camera work. If you give a knock-out performance but it wasn’t captured properly, then it has failed. If you are lit incorrectly, then it’s a failure. The costume and makeup departments for actors are not just there for the convenience of the actor.I made a movie where I was playing a barfly/bad mother to the lead character. I had worked on the part for about a month before I arrived in Texas to shoot. The hair and makeup artist did the worst job and didn’t listen to what I was explaining to her, and I ended up looking like a frumpy librarian drinking at a bar. She also did this to a number of the other actresses too, I later found out. So having a team that’s on the same page to make the creation come to life is imperative.Image via Urban Classics.Linnea:  I like to play pranks depending on the people or set. Well, we were doing Creepozoids, and my love interest was getting up at five in the morning to work out and watching what he ate. We did this shower scene, and they had rigged a water jug above us. We were on boxes, trying not to fall off, and they were blowing smoke, and we got it done. He had been so nervous. Well, two days later, he is eating a lot and no gym, so I said to him “Damn, I cant believe we have to reshoot the shower scene again.” He looked horrified. A bit later, I peek around the corner to see him doing push-ups and all to get into shape since he had slacked off.Image courtesy of Brinke Stevens.PB: Have you ever worked with a female director?Brinke: The only female director I ever worked with was Amy Jones on my very first film, The Slumber Party Massacre. Since the script was written by famed author Rita Mae Brown, it was quickly labeled a “feminist horror film.” Nonetheless, I think it was just as gory — though perhaps with more humor — than any male slasher film of that eraDebbie: I have worked with only a couple of female directors. The most recent was Brinke Stevens who was exceptional. Why? Because she had everything prepared perfectly. She has acted in the business for a long time and knew how to speak to an actor. She was calm, focused, and knew exactly what she wanted. When we were finished, it just felt like a breeze. She had the experience and knowledge of working in the industry long enough to know all of the large and small details that make a shoot run smooth.My first female director was Roberta Findlay in 1989 and she was a riot. A very eccentric NY personality. She would be laughing with everyone one minute then yelling the next. But she came out of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s film scene where you had better be tough, especially as a woman, or your crew will not move when you need them to move.The difference I have experienced is minimal really; I have had very kind male directors and yelling, frantic male directors. I like both for different reasons. Male directors can fall into traps that include falling for one of the actresses, which messes up the film because the other actresses have to push through all of that BS to just get their roles across. That doesn’t always happen, but it happens more than you would think.Image via Motion Picture Marketing.PB:  I assume that violent scenes are heavily choreographed, but have you ever felt uncomfortable during filming? What made it that way? Can you share a difficult scene that was made better by either the director or crew or talent you were working with, and what was it that made it better?Linnea: Well, now some scenes aren’t choreographed at all. I had a scene in Savage Streets where I’m being thrown around, and I felt one of their pins go in the skin, and I was so scared he was going to throw me before I could get my arm out of harm’s way.  Plus they didn’t break character, so when they would tear off my clothes, the fabric that was supposed to rip didn’t and ripped into my shoulder.Debbie: Yes I had to do a scene in a movie called Nowhere Man that was extremely intense. I am with my fiancé who found out something bad about my character and when he comes home drunk, he wants to have sex, and we start to, but then it becomes rape. Very nuanced and difficult to physically choreograph and emotionally choreograph. In that case, it was such a difficult scene. The actor, whom I trusted 100%, really didn’t want to do the scene when it was time to shoot. But we had to for the story to work. So he had to have a beer (he never drank otherwise during the shoot) and the director told us what he wanted — framing wise — and boom. Action. That’s it . . . we had to just jump in and go through it and figure it out. Luckily we did. That certainly was one of the many times I was thrilled to be with a great actor whom I could trust.Too often in low budget movies, when there is a scene that requires a fight of some sort, the director thinks it can just be worked out on the spot, or they come up with something that is not very compelling or believable, and you try to adjust it so it works. If there had been a proper choreographer then it would have looked so much better.Also learning choreography on set is hard enough, so I would highly suggest the director and instructor beak it down by the shot so the actors can go full-out with no worries that they will forget one of the steps if it’s a long battle. In a perfect world, this is something you would have time to practice. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t.Image via Tim McCann.Elizabeth: Some of the most common-sense gestures are the most appreciated — like once when filming a very violent scene in the dead of winter in freezing [. . .] Palmdale (don’t ask) with lots of sticky, gooey blood-lying on the stone floor, after my coverage was done, someone had the wonderful idea to a put a pad underneath me so i wasn’t lying on the cold hard surface forever. I also appreciate when make up/hair/FX artists help take all the crap out of your hair after the shoot. I even had one angel, who after removing all the junk, would give me a much needed, stress-relieving head massage . . . now that’s the ideal makeup person you won’t find every day!Brinke: A couple months ago, I worked on Super Special in Huntsville, AL. The script called for me to have a fight-to-the-death scene with the killer, who would then pick me up and throw me off a second-floor balcony. (This would be faked with a dummy.) When we arrived at the location, the director realized that the balcony railing was poorly attached, very wobbly, and likely to break if pressed against too hard in a fight scene. To his credit, he re-wrote the scene so that my adversary merely strangles me to death instead, and I sink to the floor at his feet. Perhaps not as dramatic a demise, but so much safer!I remember a scene in November Son, where I had to wade into a scummy swamp to tussle with a not-so-dead corpse. It took place late at night, and I was terrified to enter the water for fear of leeches or whatever. I insisted on wearing my shoes into the swamp, for one thing, so as not to step on any sharp debris. Seeing my hesitation, the director Jason Paul Collum went into the water before me and stayed there during the whole scene. I pulled it off despite my trepidations! Later, after I went inside our location-house to shower off, I shampooed thick green slime out of my hair and off my body. I started laughing hysterically, thinking about how we’ll do such horrible things for movies that we would never do in real life.Image via David DeCoteau.PB:  What about sex scenes? Most of the time, you hear that it’s pretty unsexy on set. Very technical, and you’ve got a huge crew around. How important is a closed set for you on those days? How important is it that the director and crew understand and take care to make it as professional as possible (i.e. wardrobe ready with a robe in filming breaks, only having the people absolutely needed on set, trusting the actors you are working with and feeling safe in their presence).Brinke: Early in my career, nudity was simply the rule . . . what was expected of us. We just went along with it because we wanted to work. (But later on, I had to cut those scenes out before showing the videos to my parents!) I’ve never been shy about nudity. Good thing, too — my willingness to undress landed me a lot of good roles and helped to get me better noticed by fans. However, I was never comfortable doing explicit “love scenes” with a guy, so I tended to turn down those kind of parts. In almost every case, the directors have been very good about asking non-essential personnel to leave the set and we were treated respectfully. But then, there you are totally naked up on the big screen being watched by hundreds of people! I’m quite relieved that I’ve reached such an age where I’m no longer asked to do this and it’s left up to the younger starletsLinnea: It’s so immature, but producers, grown men, would come on the nude day and I always shooed them away. I didn’t know when I started that I could ask to clear the set if I was doing a nude scene, but now I do. It’s not sexy. You have to keep yourself in light, and it’s awkward.Debbie: Every actor is different. I have witnessed female and male actors walk around a set naked. I imagine it’s because they are that comfortable or they are trying to get comfortable. I was never one of these actors. Nudity is in almost all of my favorite TV shows or movies — it’s a very common thing. I think the best balance is to close the set but not make a big deal out of it at the same time. I have been in nude scenes where everyone not needed was whisked away but they were banished in such a way that when I emerged from the set, they all turned around and looked at me strangely — no, that was not my imagination. If it’s handled professionally and not as though the set is suddenly becoming an X-rated set, I think that balance is best. For me, the “no big deal” vibe is really cool. I don’t do nude scenes anymore, but when I did, I always appreciated the robe between takes and a “thank you” after. I have no idea why, but a little acknowledgement of the discomfort from the director was nice.Elizabeth Lambert and director Kevin Tenny.PB:  What would you like directors to know about working with female talent that would yield better results?Brinke: Running in high heels is very difficult! For It Came From Trafalgar, I had to race across a field in high-heeled boots. Of course, one of my heels got stuck in the dirt, and I plummeted down face-first. Also, I’m frequently asked to scream bloody murder in my films. I refuse to do it anymore, because I now have a sideline career of voiceover work and recording audio books, so I have to protect my assets.Debbie: If you are new, don’t be afraid to talk to your female cast. Some directors are a little nervous about that, and it’s okay. Just realize actors thrive on feedback because they can’t “see” what they’re doing. The obvious advice would be don’t engage in sexual tension with your female cast — not only does it create a bad working dynamic with that actress, but it also alienates the other actresses, and trust me, the crew will lose a lot of respect for you. Even if they would never admit to it. The movie is the  “thing.” It must be treated as the artistic project that it is.It’s bigger than a flirtation or even if you find yourself in a “teacher’s pet” situation. That always alienates the other cast members. So best not to go there. Also important — have the male actor know how to act a love scene. This is cinema, not real life, and an actress feels very horrified if they have to be the one to say stop. It’s fine if they do because the director might not have caught it, but if you see that the actor is taking advantage in a sex scene by groping places or things that aren’t even in the frame then stop the scene. This is all about trust, respect, and with any luck, you’ll have your cast and crew walk away wanting to work with you again.Image courtesy of Brinke Stevens.PB:  What’s it like working with a seasoned director vs. someone who is new to the process? Any advice you’d have for filmmakers who are about to make their first horror/action or exploitation film?Debbie: A seasoned director can be great because they have a way of setting the pace with confidence and he or she has the respect of the team because of it. I don’t mean approaching it like paint-by-numbers but in a strategic way that lays down structure. I love working with first-time directors too. They often have ideas that “pro” directors don’t because they’re thinking out of the box. They can also be more excited about being there, and that’s very contagious. But when working with first-time directors has been a problem it’s because they didn’t have the basics down. They didn’t have a shooting schedule so that everybody knew the night before what they were facing. I personally don’t need the daily sides, just a basic shooting schedule. This also goes for their shot list for the D.P. All of these things come with experience, and some new directors are more together than others. At the end of the day though, I would rather be collaborating with an artistic creative director who may not have all of his or her ducks in a row perfectly than the dry, unimaginative product-only concerned veteran.Elizabeth: My main advice to new directors is to take an acting class — learn about the process. So many of them know their way around a camera and technical things but know absolutely nothing about how to direct an actor.Linnea: I worked once with a director that we started the day off with me coming in a door, so I’m waiting to hear direction and I’m hearing “Go.”  He didn’t even know the terminology. Also, new directors shoot too many master shots.Image courtesy of Debbie Rochon.PB:  You’ve all had incredible careers, and longevity in this business is not easy! From your perspective, what has been lost and what has been gained in the last decade or so in terms of women in the industry?Debbie: Women have really gained a lot. While I could pine over things like “I used to be able to keep my entire wardrobe” and meaningless things like that, I would rather highlight something like the great female viewership that has massively grown — and it’s wonderful. There are more women working on both sides of the camera now. There are more projects that either have no exploitation or it’s equally distributed between the sexes! Writers, authors, directors. I think every aspect of this industry has come light-years since the ’80s. I love the ’80s films, but indeed, if you were female, you had to take whatever role was available if you wanted to work. Now, there’s so many projects on so many budget levels, you would be hard pressed not to find a jobA paying job is another story! I don’t work for free, but back when I started, I did. I nabbed every NYU thesis film I could so I could practice my craft. The difficulty now is distribution for indie films. Where there was a huge void that had to be filled by new cable channels and rental video stores or chains, now all that is gone, and you have possible streaming outlets for your movie like Amazon, Netflix, and a possible shot at Walmart. Very hard to make your money back. If you’re lucky. and it becomes a slow-but-steady sell, you can break even around the 10-year mark. That’s if it didn’t become a breakout success like The Blair Witch Project.Linnea: It’s changed. Wow, it’s digital instead of film, which I miss, and things, because of that , move faster.  It’s great women are producing and directing now and are getting powerful, and the talent . . . well the new ones aren’t as prepared as the older ones. A lot of stuff is CGI, done on a green screen, you aren’t even sure what’s real. They can do so much it boggles my mind, so everyone’s job seems to be less, and with digital you can do a lot of takes. We had to get it right the first time using film.Image via Atlantic Releasing Corporation.PB:  Any final thoughts?Debbie: Another great thing to keep in mind if you are shooting a small-budget film is to remember where you are shooting! I was in Arkansas shooting a voodoo-themed movie a few years back, and the local Baptist Church got wind of it. They took it to the town council immediately and had all of our locations taken away from us! The church threatened all the local establishments that we were going to shoot in that they would “ruin” them. In reality, the church lost the location fee for the owners. We still shot the movie in different locations, but it really threw a curve ball into the shoot as it happened two days in. If you’re going to make a witchy movie in the bible belt, make sure you either go to town hall and tell them in advance or change the title of your film to Flowers Are Beautiful or something. Each area will have its own prejudices — so be aware!Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out:Interview: Behind the Scenes with Producer Bonnie CurtisInterview: Keeping Score with Film and Television Composer Nathan BarrInterview: The Film Collaborative on Filmmaking Rights and DistributionInterview: The Editor of “This is America” on Building the Iconic VideoSet Your Film Right: On Location with Robert Foulkeslast_img read more

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Exciting Opportunities with TFA!

first_imgTouch Football Australia have recently opened applications for three new and exciting roles that are integral to the growth and development of Touch Football across the country.We are looking for forward thinkers with energetic personalities to assist us in taking Touch Football to the next level nation-wide.Our current vacant roles are all based out of Rugby League Central in Sydney, giving you the opportunity to fully leverage the relationship TFA has with the NRL and achieve greater unity between the sports.To find out more about these roles, please click here.If you would like to discuss any of these roles in more detail, please call Grace Bryant on 02 6212 2800.last_img read more

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Chetwynd Hospital to experience temporary diversion over Labour Day weekend

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. – Northern Health has issued a notice in regards to the operation of the Chetwynd Hospital this Labour Day weekend.According to Northern Health, the Chetwynd Hospital must go on diversion for 12 hours this weekend.Northern Health says this temporary suspension of emergency room services will be from 7:00 p.m. Sunday, September 1 to 7:00 a.m. Monday, September 2, and is due to a lack of available registered nursing staff. During this time, community members requiring urgent medical care are asked to call 9-1-1 for ambulance assistance or to make their way to the nearest hospital of their choice.People who need non-emergency health advice and information can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, or visit healthlinkbc.ca.last_img read more

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