By Paul A. ThomasUniversity of GeorgiaLike glowing beams of sunshine, Chartreuse Joseph’s Coat(Alternanthera ficoidea ‘Chartreuse’) is a dazzling,trouble-free addition to any landscape.It’s prized for its eye-catching yellow-green foliage, compactgrowth habit, durability and ability to provide nonstop colorfrom early spring until fall frost.Joseph’s Coat is an heirloom plant that was popular in theVictorian era when formal gardens were in vogue. Today there isnew interest in it, thanks to exciting new cultivars from Mexicoand South America, like Chartreuse.Easy to growIt’s a choice plant for today’s part-time gardener because itprovides season-long color with little routine care. It hassmall, greenish-white flowers in leaf axils. But they’re usuallymasked by the foliage and are indistinct.The plants grow in a compact, mounded shape 6 to 12 inches talland 12 to 24 inches wide. The leaves are opposite and linear, ahalf-inch to 1 inch long. Both stems and leaves are brightyellow-green.Chartreuse Joseph’s Coat is brightest when planted in full sun.It will perform well, though, in morning sun and afternoon shade.Moist, well-drained soils are essential. Like other annualplants, it requires scheduled irrigation to keep looking its best.Light pinching of the terminal shoot throughout the season willkeep it compact. In formal landscapes, plants are sometimessheared to provide a uniform shape.By any other nameChartreuse Joseph’s Coat is sometimes confused because it hasmany common names: Golden Parrot Leaf, Golden Alternanthera,Chartreuse Calico Plant. A yellow-green form of Summer Poinsettia(Amaranthus) is called Joseph’s Coat, too. Landscapers call itChartreuse Alternanthera.The plant has many landscape uses. It’s a favorite in formal knotgardens or as edging to define plant beds. Theme parks, likeDisney World in Orlando, Fla., use it to create intricate,eye-catching designs in the landscape.Landscapers call Chartreuse Joseph’s Coat an “echo plant” becauseit tends to enhance or echo other colors. It makes them look morevibrant. That’s particularly true with magenta, purple or blue.There’s moreIt’s a favorite in container gardens, too, and in baskets whereit spills over the side like froth from a bubbling stream. In formal beds where plants will be sheared as one unit for masseffect, set plants 12 inches apart. In beds where the plants willbe seen as individuals, space them 18 to 24 inches apart.Fertilize Chartreuse Joseph’s Coat with a complete, slow-releasefertilizer such as Osmocote 18-6-12 at planting time. Follow thelabel directions. You shouldn’t need to fertilize again.Adding 2 to 3 inches of a fine-textured mulch, such as pine strawor pine-bark mininuggets, at planting will help keep the soilmore uniformly moist. Don’t be tempted to water every other day.The plant can handle dry periods and even long-term drought withinfrequent watering.(Paul Thomas is an Extension Service horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.) Volume XXIXNumber 1Page 12
Foveon X3(R) direct image sensor in the Sigma SD10 digital SLR can capture all RGB colors at each and every pixel. The revolutionary design of Foveon X3(R) direct image sensor features three layers of pixel sensors Using three silicon-embedded layers of pixel sensors, stacked to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green, and blue light at different respective depths, the Foveon X3(R) direct image sensor can thereby directly capture full color and detail at each and every pixel location, without interpolation.With the RAW data recording system of the SIGMA SD10, it is possible to obtain high picture definition and compact file size. The lossless compression system of RAW data, eliminates image deterioration, provides superior pictures, without sacrificing original image quality and retains full image capture details.Depending on the intention of the photographer, the SIGMA SD10 allows photographers to select the resolution of RAW data images in one of three resolutions. HI mode (2268x1512x3 layers) delivers highest resolution image performance. MED mode (1512x1008x3 layers) has high definition and recording capacity. LOW mode (1134x756x3 layers) for capturing the most images per given memory capacity.The SD10 comes with SIGMA Photo Pro 2.0 software for modifying recorded RAW data image files. It is easy to make adjustments (white balance, exposure, color balance, and contrast for example) in three modes. The X3F mode stores the original settings of the image at point of capture. In the auto adjustment mode the software analyzes and automatically makes adjustments of RAW data. The custom -mode allows the photographer to make individual adjustments to exposure, contrast, shadow, highlight, sharpness, and saturation. The latest addition to Sigma Photo Pro 2.0 software is X3 Fill Light. This easy to use facility corrects tones on images of high contrast exposure or backlit pictures.In Default or normal mode the ISO sensitivity of SD10 can be set to 100, 200, 400 and 800. If Extended Mode is selected, it is possible to use ISO 1600 sensitivity. In any ISO sensitivity setting, it is possible to select a high shutter speed from 1/6000 sec. to a slow shutter speed of 30secs.SIGMA SD10 is equipped with a “sport finder” which offers a view that extends outside of the frame. The area that is out of the image sensor coverage range is marked by transparent light gray, to distinguish it from the active picture taking area.The Sigma SD10 records on reliable, high capacity Type I and Type II CF (CompactFlash) cards or a Microdrive to hold larger volumes of data.The SIGMA SD10 is equipped with a large 1.8″ appr.130,000 dot low temperature polysilicon TFT-LCD mo nitor with white LED on the back panel, which displays images, menus and histogram. The coverage area of the LCD monitor is 100%, of that seen from the viewfinder .
Most people don’t associate the outdoors with politics and government policy. Around Washington, D.C., and state capitals, many take to the woods with the explicit goal of forgetting about politics for a while.Yet the outdoor environment and recreation there is inextricably linked to what happens in the halls of Congress and other political arenas. Whether it’s ownership of public lands or the quality of our environment, funding for land management agencies or the trade and tax policies affecting gear manufacturers, what happens in the outdoors is dramatically affected by elected lawmakers.With America more politically polarized than any time in the last 50 years, November’s congressional midterm elections carry higher-than-usual stakes. Beyond the issues that vary by district and state, voters will decide who controls both the Senate and House of Representatives. That will, in turn, determine the broader shape of politics in the country, including its wildlands.Although outdoors issues aren’t considered as divisive as cultural wedges such as guns and abortion, they have their constituencies. The League of Conservation Voters and the Outdoor Industry Association both issue lawmaker scorecards rating representatives on their votes on legislation affecting the environment and outdoors.Advocacy groups don’t limit their involvement to scoring lawmakers. The Sierra Club, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, has contributed $60,516 in the 2018 cycle so far. The Outdoor Industry has contributed $28,296. And the League of Conservation Voters already has spent $2.4 million, mostly on candidates.Some of this activity is a matter of course for Washington politics. Yet there’s also no doubt that Donald Trump’s 2016 election, Republicans winning majorities in both congressional chambers, and the decisive shift in policy and lawmaking since then has energized conservation and public lands advocates.In April 2017, Trump ordered a review of all 27 national monuments created since 1996. In December, he signed an executive order to shrink Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent. Political maneuvering in Utah around public lands, including calls to sell federal lands to the state, led the Outdoor Industry Association to move its Outdoor Retailer show from Salt Lake City, where it had run for two decades, to Denver, Colorado.The same dynamic played into the OIA’s decision to release and publicize its congressional scorecard.“The monuments review galvanized this industry and made it operate in an entirely different way,” said Alex Boian, the OIA’s political director. “Some of the brands got more vocal about the policies and their disappointment with what was happening. During the comment period on the monument review, more than 3 million Americans registered comments, and the majority said to leave the monuments intact. We really saw the American people stand up for public lands.”The OIA started planning its 2018 theme #VoteTheOutdoors last fall. The organization’s goals are different than some other groups in that it prioritizes not just conservation and public lands measures but also tax and trade policy, which matter to its members who manufacture outdoor gear. Boian said the organization is endorsing roughly 20 candidates and ballot measures, mostly in western states, but it is publicizing its congressional scorecard for a national audience to build momentum for the 2020 elections.“We really think the outdoor industry, the outdoor recreation economy, and protection of public land will be voting issues in the election this fall,” Boian said. “If we can prove that and help foster that in these races, then going into 2020 it’s going to be even stronger.”Most observers see an easier path for Democrats to win a majority in the House than in the Senate this fall. To win a House majority, Democrats need to net 23 seats—the same number of Republicans that hold seats representing districts won in 2016 by Hillary Clinton. Instead of focusing just on those districts, however, Democrats have broadened the field to target other congressional seats, even in areas where Trump won decisively.In the Senate, Republicans hold 51 seats to the Democrats’ 47, with two independents caucusing with Democrats. The path to a Senate majority is narrower but demographically harder, with fewer paths to victory.With both chambers potentially up for grabs, here are six key races to watch in Blue Ridge Outdoors country this fall.U.S. Senate:West VirginiaThe Mountain State has tilted increasingly Republican since 2000, when four of five of its seats on Capitol Hill were held by Democrats. That may have culminated last year, when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 42 points, the most in state history and second only in the country to Wyoming. That’s put all eyes on Joe Manchin, the only Democrat still standing in West Virginia’s congressional delegation.Attorney General Patrick Morrisey emerged victorious from a tough primary fight in which he defeated 3rd District Congressman Evan Jenkins (more on that district below) and former Massey Energy coal baron Don Blankenship, who somehow won nearly 20 percent of the vote despite decades of environmental atrocities, miners’ deaths, and a criminal conviction for conspiring to skirt mine safety rules.Morrisey is running as a Trump Republican, but he may have trouble painting Manchin as a Clinton Democrat. Manchin has long branded himself as a centrist. His first campaign for the Senate included an ad in which Manchin used a gun to shoot a bill to reduce air pollution by instituting a cap-and-trade system. Since Trump’s election, Manchin has played the role of swing voter, occasionally breaking with Democrats to support the president’s cabinet appointments but sticking with his party on healthcare and other issues.TennesseeIncumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Corker was among those to receive an F on the Outdoor Industry Association’s scorecard, but he is retiring. With his seat open, former governor Phil Bredesen won the Democratic nomination and will face Republican nominee Marsha Blackburn, a 16-year congresswoman.Tennessee leans Republican as a matter of course. The GOP holds seven of the state’s 9 House seats, and Democrats haven’t held either of its U.S. Senate seats since the mid-’90s. Trump won it by 26 points, so Democrats have a difficult slog ahead. However, pre-primary polling showed Bredesen with a lead over Blackburn, which gives Democrats some hope. The winner will represent a state with a thriving tourism industry that includes its share of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which drew 11 million visitors in 2017, making it America’s most popular national park.House of Representatives:Kentucky’s 6th District KY-6 includes parts of Appalachian Kentucky but also the metro area around Lexington. It’s flipped back and forth between parties since the late ’70s, and since 2013 has been represented by Republican Andy Barr. He blew out his 2016 opponent, but this year faces a very different political atmosphere and opponent. Amy McGrath, a charismatic former fighter pilot, defeated Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in a May primary, largely by building a national fundraising network on the strength of her campaign ads. McGrath functions as the ideal 2018 Democratic candidate, both as a veteran and as one of a record-breaking number of women to run for office.Pennsylvania’s 17th DistrictEarlier this year, federal courts rejected Pennsylvania’s congressional districts and drew their own, with the result that incumbents Keith Rothfus, a Republican, and Conor Lamb, a Democrat, now live in the same western Pennsylvania district. Rothfus won election in 2012, narrowly defeating a Democratic incumbent after narrowly losing in 2010 to a different Democratic incumbent. Now he faces Conor Lamb, a Marine and former federal prosecutor who won a special election to Congress earlier this year. Lamb represents one model for success among several that Democrats are pursuing this fall: a scrappy, pro-labor veteran with enough independence from the national party that voters feel confident he or she will fight for them.Virginia’s 5th DistrictThe 5th once was a rural Southside Virginia seat dominated by tobacco and textile manufacturing, but economic decline and gerrymandering have stretched it north to the point that Charlottesville has become its center. Until this spring, it appeared that it would be defended by freshman Congressman Tom Garrett, a Republican. In May, however, Politico published a story in which former aides alleged he verbally abused them, and later that week, Garrett announced he was an alcoholic and would retire. Republicans subsequently nominated distillery owner Denver Riggleman, who faces journalist and filmmaker Leslie Cockburn. Republicans have accused Cockburn of anti-Semitism in a 1991 book she wrote; Democrats have accused Riggleman of an interest in, um, Bigfoot erotica. Buckle up, this is going to be a weird one.West Virginia’s 3rd DistrictTrump won this southern West Virginia district by 50 points in 2016, but WV-3 was actually held by Democrats up until 2014, when former Democrat Evan Jenkins switched parties to defeat longtime incumbent Nick Rahall. With Jenkins leaving to unsuccessfully run for the Senate, the 2018 campaign for his open seat has become one of the most closely watched House races in America. That’s due almost entirely to Richard Ojeda, a charismatic Democratic state senator who advocates for legalized marijuana, openly supported Trump in 2016, was brutally assaulted days before he defeated an entrenched incumbent in a primary that year, and became a hero of the 2018 teacher’s strike. He’s running against Carol Miller, a state delegate whose father represented an Ohio district in Congress.State governors:Georgia The race for governor in Georgia will be closely watched around the country. After years of mostly centrist white male governors, this year’s candidates, Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp, represent radically different views of America that in many ways echo national political and cultural clashes. Kemp is a populist in the Trump mold, proudly politically incorrect with ads that showed him brandishing a shotgun and offering to use his own truck to take immigrants back. Abrams, who could become the country’s first African American woman governor, built her primary campaign on an unabashedly progressive platform that includes affordable childcare, economic fairness, and clean energy jobs. Demographically, Georgia has been growing more diverse, and in November its voters will choose between two bright-line candidates who represent very different directions.TennesseeThe Volunteer State has seen Democrats and Republicans trade stints as governor in roughly equal measure since 1970. The outgoing governor is Republican Bill Haslam, whose net worth of more than $2 billion makes him the richest governor in America, including West Virginia resort and coal magnate Jim Justice. The state is home to much of the Smokies and Cherokee National Forest, with numerous state parks. Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is running as the Democratic nominee and will face businessman and political newcomer Bill Lee, who won a four-way primary that broke campaign spending records. Ballot measures:GeorgiaThe “green space” amendment would change the Georgia state constitution to set aside up to 0.75 percent of sales and use taxes on outdoor recreation equipment to maintain, restore, or buy land, waterways, or parks for conservation and outdoor activities. The amendment, paired with action by state lawmakers, could funnel tens of millions of dollars into conservation and outdoor recreation in the state. Although the Outdoor Industry Association is focusing mostly on western races, it heavily supports this ballot measure.
NAFCU lobbyists will be monitoring several hearings on Capitol Hill this week, including a House Financial Services Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing Thursday that is likely to touch on several regulatory relief issues affecting credit unions.NAFCU will be closely monitoring this hearing as it continues to press for budget transparency at NCUA, fairness in examinations, needed fixes for CFPB’s qualified mortgage definition and more.Thursday’s subcommittee hearing is titled “Examining Legislative Proposals to Preserve Consumer Choice and Financial Independence.”The full House Financial Services Committee will also hold a hearing Thursday on “The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” NAFCU is monitoring this hearing and other discussions related to housing finance reform, both on Capitol Hill and at the regulatory agencies, to ensure fairness for small lenders. continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
CCPA-defined consumers have the right to:Know what personal information is being collected on themKnow if that information is being sold and to whomOpt out of that information being soldObtain a copy of their personal information Receive equal service and price regardless of whether they exert the above rightsSue for damages if their personal information is breachedThe CCPA’s very broad view of personal information includes the following:Demographic information (i.e., name, address, email)A unique identifier, such as an IP addressAccount or Social Security numberDriver’s license or passportPersonal property recordsOnline activityBiometric, geolocation, employment and education dataAny inferences that an entity draws from the above informationIn addition, Privacy Law Blog points out that the CCPA’s definition of personal information “includes information that is identifiable to a household, not necessarily a consumer.” The CCPA does grant an exemption for GLBA-regulated firms, but financial institutions need to understand the exact nature of that exemption. It only extends to data that is covered under GLBA. Other CCPA-defined personal information that an entity collects is covered under this law. For example, information collected through webpage tracking—something not covered under GLBA— would be subject to the CCPA.Importantly, the right to sue for damages in the event of a data breach is not part of the exemption and applies to GLBA-regulated firms and their GLBA-covered data. Map Consumer Data If you are covered under CCPA, start by mapping all of the personal information under your control. Chronicle of Data Protection recommends asking the following questions in order to do this:What personal information do you collect or possess?How do you collect it?Where and how do you store it?Do you share it with other entities?Is such shared data part of a sale, a provision of service, or used for some other purpose?As of Jan. 1, 2020, CCPA-defined consumers will have the right to request their information. Even though enforcement of the law will not begin until at least July 1, 2020, covered entities will still need to comply with such consumer requests at the start of next year. Personal information that is held by a third party on your behalf will likely pose the biggest risk. So, in addition to conducting your own data-mapping exercise, make sure all of your third-party vendors do the same and share the results with you. Update Privacy DisclosuresThe CCPA gives consumers the right to know exactly what personal information is being collected about them. In order to comply with that, businesses must provide a disclosure “at or before the point of collection.” It must “inform consumers as to the categories of personal information to be collected and the purposes for which the categories of personal information shall be used.” Covered entities must also disclose where that personal information is gathered from, the categories of third parties with whom it is shared and any specific pieces of personal information collected.These disclosures will need to be ready by Jan. 1, 2020, and New Jersey Law Journal warns that they “will be a large part of compliance.” They should be available “through a publicly posted privacy notice, and specifically upon request by a consumer.” They must also be updated annually. Create a Homepage Privacy Link The law also calls for a privacy link on the homepage of any covered entity’s business website. It must be “clear and conspicuous,” titled “Do Not Sell My Information,” and linked to a page that allows consumers to opt out of having their personal information sold. As soon as possible, covered entities should begin the IT change management process for adding this link to their homepage because it must be visible as of Jan. 1, 2020. Develop a Process for Handling Consumer RequestsStarting on Jan. 1, 2020, covered entities must be ready to respond to consumer requests about their personal information that are allowed under the CCPA. These requests must be processed free of charge and within 45 days. Therefore, covered entities need to develop appropriate procedures for processing the following types of consumer inquiries:Request a copy of their personal informationRequest that their personal information be deletedFind out what categories of their personal information are being soldRequest to opt out of the sale of personal information for those over 16 years oldRequest to opt in for the sale of personal information for those between the age of 13 and 16Obtain consent from a guardian to sell personal information from a consumer under 13 years oldIt is important that covered entities pay attention to the above age requirements, as the law indicates that, “a business that willfully disregards the consumer’s age shall be deemed to have had actual knowledge of the consumer’s age.” This could prove to be a risk area in complying with the CCPA. Identify and Implement System ChangesIn order to implement the above procedures, corresponding systems will need to be updated. Go ahead and make your IT team aware that changes are coming, so they can prioritize them within their change management process. Likewise, get started on writing the new procedures in order to give your IT team as much time as possible to incorporate them into your systems by Jan. 1, 2020. Train EmployeesOnce systems are updated, begin training employees on the key aspects of the CCPA, your corresponding procedures and system updates. This education should take place prior to Jan. 1, 2020, and the result should be that employees, especially those in customer-facing roles, understand the following:Their physical location or that of company headquarters does not determine CCPA coverageFor this law’s purposes, a consumer is a resident of CaliforniaWhere to direct or how to process consumer requests regarding their personal informationWhether your organization has decided to apply this law across its entire footprint for consistency sake or only to California consumers California is the first state to pass a comprehensive consumer privacy law with far-reaching implications. First, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) can affect organizations without a physical location in California. Second, it may push other states to accelerate passage of similar laws, as well as cause Congress to pass a national privacy law.Your organization needs to know if it is covered under the CCPA in order to begin preparing for its technical effective date of Jan. 1, 2020. Here is your eight-step process for doing that. Know Your Obligation to the CCPADorsey & Whitney explains that the CCPA “goes far beyond current U.S. privacy protections, and in many respects emulates elements contained in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).” And similar to GDPR, many U.S. firms are wondering if they are subject to the CCPA. Coverage starts with the consumer, which the CCPA defines as “a natural person who is a California resident.” Next, the CCPA applies to any for-profit legal entity that meets the following general criteria:Collects consumers’ personal informationDetermines how and why that information is processedConducts business in California, even if only onlineMeets one of the following annual criteria:Gross revenue of at least $25 millionCollects personal information for at least 50,000 consumers, households or devicesDerives half of its annual revenue from the sale of personal information 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Amber Goodrich Amber Goodrich, compliance strategist for CSI Regulatory Compliance, has more than 15 years of financial industry experience. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and a Certified Regulatory Compliance … Web: https://www.csiweb.com Details Strengthen Data SecurityThe CCPA allows consumers to seek damages for breached personal information if it is the “result of the business’ violation of the duty to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices.” This has the potential to significantly up the financial and reputational ante of a data breach. Therefore, covered entities should review and update their information security and privacy policies and actively monitor their data security defenses to ensure this risk is mitigated to the greatest extent possible.A Lot Might Happen in the Coming YearDebate in California about the CCPA has not stopped. Both its opponents and supporters are still advocating for additional changes, which could mean that the law will be amended again before 2020. In addition, the California Attorney General has until July 2, 2020, to publish the law’s corresponding regulations, which will provide further clarification about complying with it. Beyond California, other states may begin passing their own laws, although how similar is uncertain. If they do, Congress may step in with a national privacy law in order to provide some consistency for companies operating in multiple states. As of now, those are the unknowns. The current state of the CCPA is the only known, and that is what covered entities must start preparing for as soon as possible. The upside is such preparation, in particular the data mapping, will put you in a better position to comply with any subsequent privacy laws that are enacted.
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Timo Ritakallio, the pension provider’s new chief executive, noted that the shortfall would need to be addressed by investment returns in future, rather than increased contributions.While Ilmarinen’s long-term investment strategy foresees a reduction in fixed income in favour of both infrastructure and real estate, the fund nevertheless saw its bond and money market holdings increase to nearly 40% of assets, up by 1.1 percentage point year on year.The asset class returned 2.4% overall, with money market instrument returns at zero for the second year running.Notably, the provider saw its corporate credit portfolio decline by one-sixth over the course of 2014, citing less interest by companies to take on loans funded by pension providers due to Finland’s struggling economy.Having issued nearly €100m in new loans in 2013, the amount fell to €55.5m last year, while the overall loan portfolio shrank in size from close to €1.8bn to €1.5bn, a 17.6% drop.Ilmarinen also continued to reduce its exposure to domestic equity, with Finnish shares only accounting for 30.2% of all listed shares, a 3.4 percentage point drop.Its exposure to Japanese and emerging market stocks also reduced.However, its holdings in Chinese equity increased markedly compared with 2013, exceeding 5% of the overall equity portfolio, while exposure to European equities increased, approaching 40% of equity holdings.The rebalancing saw equities fall from being the best-returning overall asset class, gaining 10.9% last year compared with 20.9% in 2013.The return nevertheless compared favourably with the 4.9% growth of its property portfolio and the 6.8% gains from absolute return funds, which account for 40% of Ilmarinen’s €1.3bn portfolio of ‘other’ investments. The holdings, which also include commodities, returned 17.7%.Ritakallio, who was announced as president and chief executive last year, said the provider’s diversified investment strategy had “proven to be extremely successful”.Ilmarinen previously announced that FIM Group chief executive Mikko Mursula would succeed Ritakallio as CIO.Read about how Ilmarinen is using its absolute return portfolio to replicate hedge fund strategies in-house Ilmarinen boosted its exposure to China and reduced holdings in emerging markets and Japan last year, returning close to 7% over the course 2014.The increased exposure to China follows AP2’s intention to double the size of its equity mandate, after its existing portfolio returned 59% last year. The €34.2bn Finnish pensions mutual also said an increase in pensioners, stemming from baby-boomers working lives’ coming to an end, had seen it become cashflow negative.It reported a shortfall of €180m, despite contributions of €4.4bn last year.
China is one of Zimbabwe’s biggest supporters in the field of education, a realization that the sector is crucial for nurturing and developing future leaders.Not only is the support through government-to-government grants but also through Chinese companies that are helping put up schools.
HealthLifestyle ‘Brooklyn Castle’: Boy Fights Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) With Game of Chess by: – November 26, 2012 Tweet Share Sharing is caring! 14 Views no discussions Patrick Johnston, 11 when “Brooklyn Castle” was filmed, learned concentration and perseverance from the game of chess. (Courtesy Elizabeth Spiegel)Patrick Johnston is surrounded by a legion of champions at Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn, N.Y., where the after-school chess club players have won 26 titles, more than any other junior high in the country.At 11, he struggles with attention deficit disorder and is the lowest-rated player on the team. But he has ambition. He practices his skills seven days a week, hoping to reach the modest goal of ranking at a middle level.“I just want to win,” the bespectacled kid with the intense eyebrows says. For Patrick and his teammates, it’s more than a game as their trophies and banners fill the hallways of I.S. 318 in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Chess requires patience, long-term planning and the knowledge that every move has a consequence.“Chess is fantastic for kids in a world where you can’t concentrate for more than 10 minutes,” fulltime chess teacher Elizabeth Spiegel, the “brains of the operation,” says. ” It makes it a valuable tool.”Spiegel’s team — a multiracial collection of kids for whom chess is both a passion and a way out of poverty — are the central characters in “Brooklyn Castle,” a documentary that is now showing in 14 cities and is a hopeful contender for the Oscar short-list this week.The film follows Patrick and four other players, starting three years ago, through their triumphs and losses against the backdrop of budget cuts at I.S. 318, a public school where more than 70 percent of the families live below the federal poverty level.Unlike many disadvantaged schools, where chess players would be a “pariah,” “the geeks are the athletes” at I.S. 318, principal Fred Rubino, who died in April and to whom the film is dedicated, said in the film.He and assistant principal John Galvin were the driving force at the school, fiercely protective of the after-school programs that pay for children to have opportunities their parents could never afford.Since 1997, the chess club has grown from 10 to 80 players in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. And until their travel funds took a hit, the team criss-crossed the country by plane and train, winning one competition after another.In her first solo film, director Katie Dellamaggiore said she didn’t set out to crusade for teachers and after-school programs.“I didn’t have an interest in chess at all, and I wasn’t looking for a story about public education,” she told ABCNews.com.Dellamaggiore, a 34-year-old Brooklyn native, had read about a talented chess player at a local high school, but was steered instead to I.S. 318, where younger players were aspiring winners.With young, exuberant players, “It was so much richer in material,” she said. She began interviewing in 2008, but the narrative took an unexpected turn when the economy tanked and, as a filmmaker’s side bonus, the school was required to make $1 million in budget cuts.Parents, teachers and students rallied to raise funds. “You have to put a human face on what might be seen as a line in a budget,” Dellamaggiore said.Justus Williams had a natural gift for chess and had already rated in the highest range at age 11. He was selected to join the U.S. Chess Federation’s All-American Team, but the pressure to live up to expectation nearly paralyzed him.Rochelle Ballantyne, 13, and the highest-ranked player on the middle-school team, wanted to prove she could be the first African-American female master in the history of chess. But the demands of high school were derailing her dreams.Pobo Efekoro, a physically towering 12-year-old whom the director calls “a charismatic force of nature,” becomes a mentor to other team members. And, as a bonus theme, he runs for class president as “Pobama,” on a campaign to restore funds for student programs.Alexis Paredes, 12, is the second-best player. He wants to parlay his success and get into one of New York City’s elite high schools so he can become a doctor or lawyer and support his immigrant parents. But the entrance test is daunting.Patrick is not one of the chess superstars, but his determination to win, in spite of his ADD, impressed Dellamaggiore.“It surprised me; he talked so candidly about it,” she said. “I really like how Patrick was so self-aware of what his setbacks were and he spoke openly with his mom about it at the kitchen table.“As filmmakers we realized that the conversation about ADD can get messy and judgmental,” said Dellamaggiore. “We wanted to be really honest about one kid’s experience and what we were observing. It’s not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.”By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES ABC News Share Share
Olympic medal winnter Nick Goepper held an online competition to date him.Dearborn County Olympian Nick Goepper has chosen his “dream date.”Goepper pored through thousands of entries from female fans before choosing 21-year-old Annie Rogers of northeast Ohio.The slopestyle bronze medalist from Lawrenceburg invited women to submit entries through Twitter with “#iwanttodatenick.”There’s no word what the plans are for Goepper’s date with Rogers, who’s a senior zoology major at Kent State University.