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Teenage theater troupe wins grant

first_img“It’s terrific anytime you can get grant money,” he said. “It helps with your programming. It helps cover all sorts of costs. It will benefit not only the teens of La Mirada, but all the areas they will be touring.” mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562)698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA MIRADA – The shows will go on. Nonprofit, teen-related Phantom Projects recently received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the agency’s largest gift ever to a nonprofit organization. “We were notified last fall, but we have held off announcing it until the money was in the bank,” said Steve Cisneros, the group’s producing artistic director and founder. “Now we are accelerating the growth that began in 2006, thanks to a near-doubling of support from the city of La Mirada,” he added. This year, Phantom Projects received a $38,300 grant from La Mirada. The federal money will help buy new equipment, pay for salaries and the rehiring of the group’s grant writer, he said. “We have all new sound equipment, lighting that makes the show look better. It was held together with duct tape all these years,” he said. The grant is part of Health and Human Services’ annual Human and Health Services Compassion Capital Fund grants program, which awarded a total of $58million to hundreds of nonprofits around the country. Jeff Brown, director of the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, said the grant gives Phantom Projects even more legitimacy. last_img read more

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SHIELS WINS ST JOHNSTON/CARRIGANS 5K: ALL THE RESULTS

first_imgKeith Sheils romps to victoryThe annual St. Johnston 5K was held this evening in warm and humid conditions along the pictureseque Foyle River.Spectators were treated to a great race at the front which was won by Keith Shiels from Foyle Valley with only a second to spare over his nearest rival, Letterkenny AC’s Chris Johnston.Shiels ran a time of 15.33 ahead of Johnston’s 15.34, with City of Derry’s James Brown in third (16.07). Winner of the womens race was Lifford AC’s Natasha Adams in 17.41, ahead of City of Derry’s Catherine Whoriskey (18.52) and Inishowen AC’s Sara Marie Doherty in third (20.15).   SHIELS WINS ST JOHNSTON/CARRIGANS 5K: ALL THE RESULTS was last modified: July 10th, 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) Tags:SHIELS WINS ST JOHNSTON/CARRIGANS 5K: ALL THE RESULTSlast_img read more

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VICTORY OVER KERRY: McFADDEN HAILS RORY AND KARL FOR SEALING WIN

first_imgTV3 Man of the Match Colm McFadden may have bagged 1-05 in today’s cracking Croker clash with Kerry.But he recognised superb work at the end by his teammates helped seal victory.Karl Lacey’s point to take Donegal back into a two-point lead at the end followed great work in midfield by Rory Kavanagh. “With us being six points up we thought we were safe but Kerry showed us all how good a team they are to bring it back to a point,” said Colm“We are just delighted that Rory Kavanagh won the final midfield ball and got it off to Karl Lacey to give us that two-point cushion.”The star forward warned however that Donegal are only back in a semi-final.“It is so good to beat Kerry but we are just back where we were last year,” said McFadden. “Cork are next and it will be a big big test – Cork are the form team at the minute and it is something to look forward to,” he said.The St Michael’s player admitted his goal was jammy.“The goal now was a fortunate one. I just wanted to put into the back post to Murphy and just fortunately he went to compete for it and it went straight into the net.“It doesn’t matter whose goal it is, as long as it went it. It was a great lift that early in the game,” said McFadden.He added: “It’s fantastic to be back where we were last year again. There’s going to be big work done in the next three weeks to try and go one step further and get to an All-Ireland final.” VICTORY OVER KERRY: McFADDEN HAILS RORY AND KARL FOR SEALING WIN was last modified: August 6th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:VICTORY OVER KERRY: McFADDEN HAILS RORY AND KARL FOR SEALING WINlast_img read more

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Getting needy kids hooked on books

first_imgThe project provides hand-madebookshelves to each centre. The goalis to ensure that every book collectioncontains a variety of books, includingencyclopaedias, dictionaries, studyguides, reference books, story booksand picture books.(Image: Chris Dykes) The Bookshelf Project was established inresponse to the desperate need forreading material in many impoverishedcommunities in South Africa. Through theproject, Chris Dykes hopes to facilitatea love for reading in children.(Image: Chris Dykes) MEDIA CONTACTS • Chris DykesInfinity Learning+27 82 363 1958Wilma den HartighFormer US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy once said that a love of books is the best way to enlarge a child’s world. But for many children in South Africa, this is not the reality.Access to books is limited for many of the country’s children, depriving them of the opportunity to develop a love for reading. It also puts children at a major disadvantage when it comes to literacy and educational opportunities.Chris Dykes from Infinity Learning, an organisation that equips children with study skills through various programmes, decided to establish the Bookshelf Project in response to the desperate need for reading material in many impoverished communities in South Africa.The project provides books and bookshelves to any organisation that works with children in such a capacity, mainly in Gauteng province.The project has already set up the infrastructure that will impact the lives of 2 000 to 3 000 children through the eight centres, which have already received bookshelves stocked with books.Stimulating a love for readingDykes says the need for books became apparent in his conversations with staff at children’s centres and schools in underprivileged areas.“It became clear to us that limited access to books was one of the main barriers to literacy improvement,” he says.South Africa has a major literacy challenge. According to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, coordinated by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, 80% of South African pupils do not develop basic reading skills by the time they reach grade five.“Our vision for the project is to facilitate a love for reading. I realised that kids need books to read. Many children don’t read because they don’t have access to books, not because they don’t want to,” Dykes says.Building bookshelves and collecting booksHe believes it isn’t enough to just teach a child to read. What children need is something worthwhile reading.“Children have to read books that are interesting, fun and that will help them to dream,” he says. This will help children improve their literacy skills, build their confidence and imagination, and ultimately improve their academic performance.The project has partnered with aftercare centres and schools that have a need for books and are keen run reading groups and homework sessions for the children they work with.“The initiative needs existing infrastructure to provide kids with a safe place to read,” he says.Instead of just distributing books, Dykes and his team also provide hand-made bookshelves to each centre. “Each bookshelf is built at our homes in our free time and no fees are charged for this time,” he says.But he says the project is growing so quickly that he is running out of time to build bookshelves. Soon he will have to outsource the construction to a carpenter.“Doing this is a great job creation opportunity that can also come from the project,” he says.Each bookshelf costs about R900 (US$122) to build and he is negotiating with a local hardware store to get a discounted price on the material needed for each shelf.The bookshelves are 1.8-meters wide and 1.5-meters high and can house 500 to 600 books. The goal is to ensure that every book collection contains a variety of books, including encyclopaedias, dictionaries, study guides, reference books, story books and picture books.All the books are donated by second-hand bookshops, schools and individuals who support the programme.“The response to the project has been phenomenal,” Dykes says. Just recently, a UK-based organisation, Book-Cycle, donated 3 000 to 5 000 books for the project.To date, the Bookshelf Project has collected books to the value of approximately R175 000 ($24 000). Some of the books are not suitable for children and are donated to other charities such as Friends of Rescued Animals and Forest Farm, which supports people with cerebral palsy.Future plansThe Bookshelf Project has a goal to reach at least 10 000 children in the next three years, but Dykes says this is a conservative estimate.He says that the main goal is to collect as many books as possible. In the next few months, he wants to set up a book-collection system involving schools in Johannesburg.To start out, he wants to approach 10 schools to organise book collection days, once a year. In doing this, the project will receive 500 to 600 books every month. He also wants to ensure that each bookshelf is stocked with new books every year so that the children won’t run out of reading material.The Bookshelf Project is a labour of love for Dykes and he is encouraged by the positive response to it. He says that he is also amazed at how well the children have responded to the project.“I met a 16-year-old girl who had never owned a book in her life because her parents are too poor to buy her any books. It was heartbreaking,” he says.Through the project, she can experience the benefits of reading. Children are also taking ownership of the bookshelves by keeping them neat and tidy.“The kids at the centres are just incredible,” says Dykes.last_img read more

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6 Great Tools for LSAT, SAT and GMAT Test Prep

first_imgRelated Posts 2. Grockit: Grockit prepares students for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT and GRE. This service emphasizes the group learning experience and students invite friends from Yahoo, Gmail and Plaxo to join in the site’s games. This is particularly useful for the SATs when large groups of peers are likely to be studying together. The service offers a point system for tests and games, and displays student scoring in terms of community testing percentiles. Additional features include real time chat and the ability to find online tutors. Tutorial rates range from zero to $20 per hour. Grockit is free for the first 35 questions or $40 per year for unlimited access to questions, diagnostic tests and scheduled group games. 3. Brightstorm: Brightstorm focuses on preparing teens for the SAT, ACT and AP-level high school courses. This tool is particularly useful for visual learners because programs offer hours of video courses, strategies and practice exams. What’s interesting about this preparation tool is that while it provides knowledge-based tests and quizzes, it also teaches students strategies to make educated guesses. For example, in one video the instructor says, “On the ACT English, the shortest answer is correct a third of the time.” Brightstorm packages are priced at $99 per test and a 1-800 line is available for questions. 4. EPrep: EPrep also prepares students for the SAT, ACT, PSAT and high school subjects using video instructions. Students complete practice tests in a timed environment, receive grades and review test answers via video tutorials. EPrep offers a free 7 day trial period and packages generally range in price between $69-$249. This service takes a more conventional classroom-style approach to teaching so it’s better for those that excel in this type of environment. For those that prefer a more interactive experience, Watermelon Express and Grockit might be a better fit. 5. Prep Me: Prep Me is a learning environment for students interested in taking the PSAT, ACT and SAT. This service offers an initial diagnostic test and then builds a personalized study schedule for students. Similar to other programs, students can chat with tutors, take practice quizzes and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. The service is currently expanding to offer GMAT, MCAT and LSAT testing and is priced between $300-$700. That being said, the company boasts an average 305 point increase on the SAT for grade 11 students. The company is currently offering premium services for free to students in the state of Maine.6. Knewton: Knewton is another program that adapts a study plan for students. The company specializes in GMAT, GRE, SAT and LSAT testing and matches videos and lessons to a students “learning arc”. Students can interact via a live on-demand video classroom and the company offers results or a money back guarantee. Courses are priced at $890 for 15 teaching sessions and more than 45 classroom hours. While this is a particularly high price tag for testing services, if a couple hundred dollars is the cost of qualifying for a scholarship, perhaps the service is worth it. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Thousands of intelligent students seize up during standardized test season. They’re the ones in the back of the gymnasium, frantically writing to the last minute and choking under the pressure of an egg timer. I am that student. Perhaps test anxiety doesn’t come from the actual questions sitting in front of us, but rather the fact that these standardized test scores can be life altering. These scores affect our admittance to the right schools, our ability to gain scholarships and our ability to qualify for certain types of aid. The weight of these tests had many of us prematurely self-destructing, and honestly, it doesn’t get any easier as we get older. Want to do an MBA or law degree? Your qualifying test scores could mean the difference between a great life transition and a mediocre one. Below is a list of test prep resources. If you’re spending your summer prepping, these might just help you gain the confidence you need to come out on top. 1. Watermelon Express: NYC-based Watermelon Express is a learning company that claims to have helped 10,000 members with its mobile, desktop and web applications. The company provides students with detailed performance analysis, projected scores, online forums and customized review pages. Mobile applications are currently available on the iPhone, Blackberry and Android and separate study sets for the GRE, LSAT, SAT, GMAT, MCAT are priced reasonably at $20 each. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market dana oshiro Tags:#Lists#web last_img read more

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Helping Owners of Green Buildings Get a Fair Appraisal

first_img Green-Building Appraisal and Financing Issues A Step Toward Fairer Green Home ValuationsGreen Home Appraisal WoesPutting Value on Green Enhancements Other steps the Appraisal Institute is takingThe Appraisal Institute says its recent collaboration with the Institute for Market Transformation, a Washington-based nonprofit, is one of several steps it has taken to make appraisals of green properties more accurate. Since 2008, the Institute says, it has offered more than 380 programs on valuation that have attracted more than 5,100 attendees.In February 2013, the Institute added a segment on solar power to its professional development program on valuation of sustainable buildings. And in March of last year, the institute updated an optional addendum that appraisers can use on the a common appraisal form for green features.The institute says it will release a new book on the topic this year, Residential Green Valuation Tools, by Sandra Adomatis. An article in National Mortgage Professional magazine lists other steps the Appraisal Institute has taken. A better understanding of the appraisal process means higher returnsThe report suggests that understanding how appraisers set property values may help building owners get a better return on their investment. Appraisals, for example, “must be well-supported by market data and information,” the report says, and appraisers typically look at capital improvements, engineering reports, tenant retention rates and comparable sales data, among other things.Comparable sales and leases, incomes and expenses, tenant demands, and cost data all are important, it says. Building owners in small markets may have more of an uphill fight in getting a healthy return on their green investments.“The value of green buildings is better recognized by tenants and buyers in major metros,” the report says, “while emerging markets may require a value narrative matched to local conditions. Emphasize your marketability and enhanced operational cost savings and place your building in contest of other green buildings and opposite conventional peers.” RELATED ARTICLES center_img Where green buildings beat the rest of the packThe report points to four key advantages that energy-efficient and green buildings have over the rest of the market — data that building owners can use to their advantage:Revenue. Tenants are increasingly willing to pay extra to rent space in green buildings. “For these tenants,” the report says, “leasing green space is an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, attract the best employees, and improve productivity.” The report cites studies which have consistently found that Energy Star and LEED-certified buildings get rental premiums, more than 25% in one 2009 study.Occupancy. If building owners can show that green features mean higher occupancy rates, “a significant argument can be built for increases in value.” When tenants stick around, there are fewer lost rents and lower retrofit costs.Operating expenses. Lower utility bills are “the most straightforward value proposition of owning a green building,” the study says. Higher energy efficiency reduce operating expenses while increasing net operating income. When building owners pay the utility bills, even small savings become important when building values are established.Risk. High-performance buildings are less likely to be affected by changing consumer preferences, higher energy prices, and new legislation. “Best-in-class market position can future-proof assets,” according to the study.The report also makes recommendations on how to use internal valuations, how to deal with appraisers and lenders, and how to evaluate the possible downsides of investments in green features and energy efficiency. Building owners and developers who want to get the most market value from the investments they make in green building features are the intended targets of new recommendations published jointly by the Institute for Market Transformation and the Appraisal Institute. Green Building and Property Value is directed at those about to retrofit an existing building as well as those planning to construct new buildings with high-performance energy features.Property appraisals have been a hot button in the past for some homeowners who have fought with lenders and appraisers over setting market values for building features like solar panels and extra insulation. Appraised values on buildings affect bank loans, refinancing terms and, of course, resale values.The report and its recommendations are directed toward large commercial properties, not individual homeowners. But some of the fundamentals may spill over into how residential market values are set.“Because these buildings are different,” the primer says, “owners have had to change not only how they design, build and market, but also how they approach financing and construction processes. Otherwise, you may pay for green — with certifications, capital improvements, and marketing — and not fully realize the expected market benefits.”last_img read more

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Cong. MLA defies whip, quits party

first_imgThe beleaguered Congress in Goa on Thursday faced a major embarrassment on the floor of the House during the vote of confidence motion on the Manohar Parrikar government when its legislator Vishwajit Rane remained absent during the voting, reducing the Congress’ strength to 16.Mr. Rane, who defied the party whip, later resigned from the Congress as well as the Assembly. His resignation was promptly accepted by protem speaker Sidharth Kuncolienkar. Mr. Rane said he would contest again from Valpoi and support the Parrikar government.Later in the evening, while speaking to reporters, Mr. Rane blamed Central leaders of the Congress party for failing to act swiftly to form the government by getting the small parties and independents on board.The Congress Legislature Party, which included leader Babu Kavlekar and former chief minister and Vishvajit’s father, Pratapsingh Rane, held a prolonged meeting immediately after the Assembly session was adjourned. Mr. Kavlekar later told reporters the party was unaware of Mr Vishvajit Rane’s absence and said he will be asked to explain his absence and action would be taken accordingly, as he had signed the party Whip.He said party leaders had tried to contact him during the confidence motion and also after the proceedings of the House, but he was not contactable.“His father(senior Rane) also did not know why he was absent and about his whereabouts,” said Mr. Kavlekar.Earlier in the House, when protem speaker Sidharth Kuncolienkar called out to members opposed to the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to stand up, the Congress could muster only 16 votes as against its 17.Mr. Rane, who had earlier taken oath as member of the House was absent from his seat during the motion of confidence.Mr. Rane was in public glare for the last few days as he attacked AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh and the Delhi emissaries of the party, without naming them, holding them responsible for the failure of the party to form government despite emerging as single largest party.Mr. Singh had retaliated on Wednesday by asking him to explain what he was doing with Mr. Parrikar in a city hotel on Tuesday.Later in the evening, former union law minister and Chief of the Congress’ media cell Ramakant Khalap criticised Mr. Rane for not only insulting the electorate, sullying his own image but also bringing disrepute for the Congress by his unacceptable action.Mr. Khalap said the party rank and file was sad as well as angry over this development, but promised that the party will overcome the recent blows and emerge stronger.last_img read more

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Kangna Ranaut not to endorse Paris Hilton fashion line

first_imgThe buzz has been doing the rounds that Kangna Ranaut has being approached by American socialite and business woman Paris Hilton to endorse her clothing line in Asia.However, Paris denied contacting Kangna and it is said the actress has allegedly been spreading this news to grab some limelight.Kangna, apparently, is very upset with this and her spokesperson claims she was indeed approached by Paris Hilton’s manager but things could not work out between them.Moreover, it is being said Kangna is planning to launch her own clothing line.last_img read more

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SBI Foundation to support 50 physically challenged children

first_imgKolkata, May 18 (PTI) The SBI Foundation will help 50 families having children with serious hearing problems.SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya today presented Rs 2.65 crore to the director of Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing Disabilities (AYJNISHD), Mumbai, Dr A K Sinha, for providing Cochlear implants to 50 children from West Bengal, a release said.Cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear.SBI Foundation provided the cost of Cochlear implants and post-operative rehabilitation under its CSR project.Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Government of India, had launched the Cochlear implant programme in 2015 by providing Rs 6 lakh as subsidy per child for parents having monthly income of less than Rs 15,000, the release said.AYJNISHD is the nodal Agency for implementation of the Cochlear implant programme across the country.Meanwhile, in an initiative to promote folk art, SBI Alipore Branch here has been redesigned to sport a new look with select folk art and painting.The display will give opportunities to the visitors at the branch to get familiar with the traditional art, a press release said. PTI SUS DKBlast_img read more

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Zaheer Abbas urges Pakistan to take revenge against India in ICC Champions Trophy final

first_imgLegendary batsman Zaheer Abbas has called on the Pakistan cricket team to take revenge against India for the humiliating defeat in their Champions Trophy campaign opener by defeating the arch-rivals in Sunday’s final.Pakistan suffered a humiliating 124-run defeat by India in the first match of their campaign at the ongoing Champions Trophy but staged a splendid comeback with consecutive victories over South Africa, Sri Lanka and hosts England to enter the final.”Now is the time for Pakistan to beat India in the same way they defeated us in the opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy,” Zaheer was quoted as saying by the Dawn on Friday.The former Pakistan captain asserted that the way the team made a comeback after the defeat in the opening match has given him hope that they will be able to overcome the poor record against India in ICC tournaments and win the title.”The way Pakistan team played against England gives us an impression that they are now in a position to do something special for the country in the all-important match,” Zaheer said on Thursday.”Now is the time for Pakistan to beat India in the same way they defeated us in the opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy,” he added.India have been dominant against Pakistan in ICC events, with the overall record being 13-2 in favour of India.But Zaheer asserted that the manner of Pakistan’s victory against pre-tournament favourites England bears proof that the final will be closely contested.advertisement”Pakistan outclassed England in all departments. They bowled well, their fielding was extra-ordinary while they also batted very well to pull off a comfortable victory against hot favourites England,” he said.Abbas also heavily criticised the English team for blaming the Cardiff pitch for their defeat to Pakistan in the semi-finals.England skipper Eoin Morgan had opined that Pakistan had an advantage as they had played their last game in Group B against Sri Lanka on the very same pitch just two days before meeting the hosts.”These are just lame excuses because English players play most of their county cricket on these pitches. Had any other captain made the remarks, it would have made a sense,” Zaheer remarked.The 69-year-old also praised the younger Pakistani players like Fakhar Zaman, Rumman Raees and Faheem Ashraf — all of whom made their debuts in the Champions Trophy — for their contribution to the team and urged them to continue their good performances.”The new faces have given Pakistan a new life with their energetic efforts. I would like to praise all new players including Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Rumman Raees, Faheem Ashraf for playing a positive role in rebuilding Pakistan team. Future of Pakistan cricket will be brighter if they press ahead with their efforts with the same zeal,” he said.last_img read more

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