4th Consultative Meetings – Unite Women in Liberia

first_imgAs a part of efforts to unite women in Liberia, Kvinna till Kvinna in collaboration with the UNMIL Gender Affairs Office on Thursday, November 17, organized its 4th Consultative Meeting under the theme: “Unity of women in Liberia , roles and cultural consideration.” In attendance were more than a hundred women from both urban and rural Liberia as well as representatives from CBOs, CSOs, government agencies, NGOs, INGOs, marketers, members of the Traditional Council, entrepreneurs and young women’s organizations.This year’s meeting was the biggest and most colorful since its inception in April 2015, with most of the participants dressed in glamorous African prints, and the exhibition of locally made products, county flags, and greetings from the 16 tribes of Liberia.The guest speaker, Prosper Nii Nortey Addo, Officer-In-Charge of the African Union Laison office in Liberia, said the meetings are held in promotion of women’s unity and this is a step in the right direction. Culture which is the way of life of a people plays many roles – positive as well as negative. When actions are taken in the name of culture that causes pain, such actions should be done away with through transformation. Culture is the tool to bring national unity and thus women’s unity. Positive cultural trends reflected in shared beliefs will promote unity and women’s empowerment. Focus must therefore be put on male counterparts who form part of the problem and thus solution as equal partners.Mr. Addo stresses that there must be recognition of different backgrounds and society as there is unity in diversity. This then leads to acceptance towards what you want to do to help people. Mr. Addo admonishes women actors and stakeholders to talk to others so all will have understanding and sensitization. Culture evolves and as it does, the positive side must be upheld.To partners and donors, Mr. Addo cautions that there is the need to invest in women’s political participation bearing in mind the consideration for cultural awareness and sensitivity by not imposing beliefs. He further stresses that gender can never be separated from culture as some gender issues are inhibited by some cultural practices.The Country Representative of KtK Office in Liberia, Rie Lukowski, admonishes all participants at the program that the positive practice of culture is significant in maintaining peace and unity. However, harmful traditional practices must be eradicated for the good of humankind. The energy of culture will be used to unite women and the entire nation. Also, the need for strong values to be maintained regardless of the changing times and how such values should be passed on to the young generation was stressed. Rie called on the women of Liberia to use culture to unite themselves and the entire nation. Rie further asserted that if the women of Liberia can unite to stop the war and Ebola, then they can indeed unite to help address issues that concern them. All were encouraged to spread the word of the need for unity.James M. Muriithi of UNMIL Gender Affairs Office stressed on the need for inter-generational chain – how the young is benefiting from the old. Women must ensure they talk with a strong voice to advance the work of NGOs. Planned advocacy should consider the UNMIL and GOL transition. Mr. Muriithi further advises that as women do affirmative action advocacy, care must be taken not to forget political participation.From the panelists, the need for a strong communication strategy and feedback mechanism to be developed by women to bridge the gap of disconnection and disunity was stressed by Samuel Darpolar, an independent consultant. The President of the National Rural Women of Liberia, Ma Kebbeh Monger, echoed the need for respect among women, both rural and urban. A representative of the Traditional Council, Alice S. Cooper, said the council should be regularly involved in such events to add their voice.The president of Young Liberian Women Organization for Improvement, Kona S. Kollie, also indicated the need for the older and younger generations to work together.The Kvinna till Kvinna Communication’s Officer, Adelaide Laryea, one of the panelists, said if indeed ‘the love of liberty brought us here’ then we can show our liberty by showing love, trust and unity among one another. She further called on all to reflect on what Liberia used to be back in the days and how Liberia impacted her sister countries. Posterity will not forgive anyone who tramples Liberia under foot for selfish gains. Furthermore, as we approach the 2017 elections, people elected into office must show a sense of accountability to help retain the electorate’s trust in them.To crown it all, Mother Mary, Mother Wisdom and now Mother Africa, Mary N. Brownell, a legend and role model stressed on the need to follow the basic principles of our various religions, which admonish us to love, leading to unity. Be more empathetic, be each other’s keeper, put words into practice and train children to respect and thus be relevant to their communities, she said.Mother Mary admonished all female aspirants to take a cue from the just-ended United States of America elections and be cautious of their actions. “Remember: whatever you do down the road of life will hunt you later on in life, more so as a woman,” she said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa: Gutless visitors make it easy for the Gunners

first_imgAnother game, another 90 minutes without a goal for Aston Villa, who will have been thankful Arsenal did not run up a cricket score here at the Emirates.It has now been ten hours since the Villans’ last Premier League goal and they never looked like ending the drought here.In the end it was just the five goals but by the time Theo Walcott made it 3-0 on the hour mark, the game belonged to the hosts, with Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerin’s strikes an added bonus.As if that wasn’t already clear to everyone inside the ground.Gabriel Paulista, the defender from Villarreal began on the bench, but his team-mates barely broke sweat at the back.Arsenal were in control from the very first minute and it took a Jores Okore tackle to halt a rampaging Walcott, who had broken free and was bearing down on goal.It was clear it would only be a matter of time before the first goal when Aaron Ramsey fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area after five minutes.But the hosts found a way past Brad Guzan two minutes later when a long ball through the middle was cleverly flicked on by Ozil into the path of Giroud, who chipped the ball over the Villa goalkeeper.Pressure continued to build from the Gunners but alert defending from Ciaran Clark prevented any Arsenal players getting on the end of Laurent Koscielny’s header across goal from Walcott’s cross.  Ozil believed he had scored shortly afterwards but the Germany international’s effort was ruled out for offside, while minutes earlier Cazorla’s surging run ended with his shot cannoning off the post.Then it was Ramsey’s turn to again take aim at the Villa goal, but his powerful shot was palmed away by Guzan.The attacks continued right up to the half-time whistle, with Gunners goalie David Ospina getting down wonderfully to keep out Andreas Weimann’s header, which then led to his team-mates breaking forward but a great Kieran Richardson covering tackle put an end to the fast moving counter spearheaded by Giroud and Walcott.Arsenal established their dominance early in the second half when Richardson was dispossessed deep in the Gunners half and a quick break saw Walcott poke it to Giroud, who played in Ozil and the 26-year-old’s dagger-like shot flew straight past Guzan and into the bottom corner.Walcott eventually got his goal having started and finished the move, playing a neat one-two with Cazorla before latching onto the ball superbly and curling the ball into the net.The watching Gary Neville and Roy Hodgson can only have been impressed by the Arsenal speedster.Cazorla made it four with 15 minutes to go from the penalty spot after teenager Chuba Akpom was fouled by Guzan. The keeper, though, was clearly disappointed at not being able to keep the effort out after getting a fist to the shot.In the final few minutes, Clark and Guzan were on hand to keep the score at 4-0 as 19-year-old Akpom looked to get among the goals, but it was teenage right-back Bellerin who made it 5-0, with a low shot into the corner from the edge of the area.Walking away from the imposing Emirates, there can only have been one question on the minds of the visiting fans: when will the club score a Premier League goal again?Not for a while by the looks of things. 1 Arsenal were in superb form at the Emirates last_img read more

GM getting ready to market its fuel-cell cars

first_imgWARREN, MICH. – General Motors Corp., in a heated race with virtually all of the world’s major automakers to develop a hydrogen-powered vehicle, plans to start getting its fuel-cell cars ready for sale to the mass market. GM is expected to announce today that it will reassign more than 500 engineers who have been working on fuel cells and fuel-cell vehicle development from the automaker’s research operation to its powertrain and global engineering divisions. Hydrogen, while still controversial as a means for solving the nation’s energy crisis, is widely seen as the auto industry’s best chance to replace petroleum as a chief means of powering vehicles. GM says reassigning the engineers signals production of commercially viable hydrogen vehicles may be only a few years away – a reality still doubted by many scientists and others in the industry. Automakers are battling one another for bragging rights over the newest, greenest technologies, dispatching high-tech test vehicles to celebrities, lawmakers and the media and in big cities. Hydrogen vehicles are attractive because they offer dramatically lower net carbon dioxide emissions while helping end U.S. dependence on foreign oil. But the main problems are still the expense of building hydrogen fuel cells and the lack of hydrogen fueling stations around the country. “They can come out with these vehicles tomorrow, but can they come out with ones that will meet the demands of 99percent of the public?” said Spencer Quong, a senior vehicle analysts for the Union of Concerned Scientists, which lobbies for higher fuel economy standards. “Infrastructure is going to be a much bigger issue than people are being led to believe.” Undeterred by the still-significant challenges, GM and others are forging ahead. GM recently hosted reporters on a 300-mile road trip in a pair of fuel-cell powered Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicle crossovers to prove they could be driven that far without refueling and would be practical for daily driving. DaimlerChrysler AG touts its $1billion-plus investment in fuel-cell technology and the fact that it has more hydrogen vehicles on the road than any other automaker. Honda Motor Co. last month unveiled its next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, the Honda FCX, saying it would begin producing a small number next year for use in Japan and the United States. Critics of the auto industry’s focus on hydrogen say it is diverting attention and resources away from more immediate solutions to making internal combustion engines cleaner and more efficient. And even those who are working on hydrogen cars realize it will be a while before many average Americans are driving them. Hydrogen cars for the everyday driver remain years, if not decades, away, said Bill Reinert, Toyota’s U.S. advanced technology chief. Toyota is developing a hydrogen vehicle and has about 20 test cars on the road at any given time. Reinert said he thinks the hurdles are too great for anything beyond a few thousands car and trucks by the end of the decade. Only a major event such as a fundamental change in U.S. energy policy or a failure of the nation’s gasoline system would speed up hydrogen’s entry into the mass market, he said. “Hydrogen is probably the gold standard that we’d like to achieve,” Reinert said. “The fact of the matter is that the market won’t be ready nor will the infrastructure be ready.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “This says, `Not only have we done it in a lab, we’re ready to do it for real,”‘ said Larry Burns, GM’s vice president for research and development. “We have worked on this fuel-cell technology long enough and hard enough to be able to start to move this into production.” The employees, located mostly at GM facilities in Rochester, N.Y., and Mainz-Kastel, Germany, won’t physically move but will now report to leaders on the manufacturing side of the business. The workers learned of the change Thursday through a teleconference. An additional 150 workers will continue working on the research side to develop a next-generation fuel cell. GM will now focus on getting fuel cells into vehicles and making sure they meet safety and durability requirements, from being able to withstand a high-speed crash to lasting for 150,000 miles. The fuel cells would be used in GM’s plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt. The Volt, still years away, is being designed to run on a lithium ion battery that would be mated with a hydrogen fuel-cell system as well as other power sources. “It’s a real vote of confidence to see how much progress we’ve made,” said Britta Gross, GM’s manager of fuel-cell commercialization at GM’s Tech Center in Warren. “More of the top leadership is getting engaged. This is exactly what makes a program real.” last_img

Hundreds cheer shuttle landing

first_imgWhile at the space station, the astronauts installed a new truss segment, unfurled a new pair of power-generating solar arrays and activated a rotating joint that allows the new solar arrays to track the sun. The mission – officially known as STS-117 – was the 118th made by a shuttle and the 21st to visit the space station. Mission STS-118, is slated to launch in August. Atlantis lifted off on June 8 on what was supposed to be an 11-day mission. Two days were added so Olivas could staple up a thermal blanket that had peeled back during launch. An extra spacewalk – the fourth of the mission – was added to get the task done. Another day was added when Atlantis was unable to land Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center, the preferred site for shuttle landings. Officials say it costs at least $1 million more to land at Edwards, because the shuttle must then be mounted atop a specialized 747 and flown back to Florida. But for Southern California residents who got to see the landing, the bad weather in Florida was good news to them. “I’m really excited that it came to Edwards,” said LeeAnn Fitzgerald, who came out with her grandparents, Evelyn and Albert Roach, and her two children, Allan, 11, and Aleeya, 5. “I’m glad it rained in Florida. It was fantastic.” Evelyn Roach said they took LeeAnn to see a previous shuttle landing and were excited at getting to share a similar experience with their great-grandchildren. “Hopefully, they will remember it 30 years from now,” Evelyn Roach said. Norman Diaz decided on the spur of the moment to bring his family to the landing site from their home in the San Bernardino County community of Hinkley. “I grabbed everyone and said, `Come on,”‘ Diaz said. “There’s not that many opportunities to see it. It’s amazing.” Diaz’s mother, Sandra, said the shuttle looked like a “fat sausage,” while his 8-year-old twins were split on the sonic booms that preceded the landing. Haydn was kind of spooked by the thunderous booms, while Devlin pronounced them “cool.” james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – Cheered by hundreds of spectators, Atlantis touched down safely Friday in Southern California, ending a 5.8 million-mile construction expedition to the International Space Station. The shuttle’s trademark twin sonic booms sounded shortly before Atlantis glided to a stop at 12:49 p.m. NASA managers had hoped to bring the shuttle back to Kennedy Space Center, but bad weather in Florida forced them to divert the spacecraft to a dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base north of Los Angeles. “It’s just great to be back on planet Earth,” Atlantis Cmdr. Rick Sturckow said while standing on the tarmac. “There were a lot of challenges on this mission and they were all dramatic. All the solutions worked well.” The landing was the first at Edwards in nearly two years and the first time since the 9-11 terrorist attacks in 2001 that the public was allowed on to the viewing site. “I woke up thinking I was going to do housework. Next thing you know I’m watching a shuttle land,” said Rhonda Reasor of Palmdale. “It was fantastic. It looks like it comes in so steep, but it touches down so lightly.” During its 14-day mission, Atlantis delivered Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson to the space station and brought back astronaut Sunita “Suni” Williams. During her mission, Williams set a record for a long-duration flight, staying in space for 194 days, 18 hours and 58 minutes. She also competed via space station treadmill in the Boston Marathon, with an official time of 4 hours, 23 minutes and 10 seconds. The other members of Atlantis’ crew were pilot Lee Archambault, and mission specialists James Reilly, Steven Swanson, Patrick Forrester and John Olivas. last_img

Bhutto slaying shows nature of enemy

first_imgThe next to last assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto came on Dec. 13, when a man in the crowd got the former prime minister’s attention. He was holding a 1-year-old baby – Bhutto said later she thought it was a girl – and tried to hand the child across the sea of bodies. Bhutto said, “He kept trying to hand it to people to hand to me. I’m a mother. I love babies. But the (street lights) had already gone out and I was worried about the baby getting dropped or hurt.” So she turned away and ducked into her armored vehicle. Just then, the baby’s body, rigged with explosives, detonated. That is the nature of the enemy. Thursday morning brought news that another bomber has succeeded in killing Bhutto. Early reports suggest that this time the terrorists relied on a suicide bomber and a gunman. Al-Qaida was quick off the mark. “We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat (the) mujahedeen,” said commander and spokesman Mustafa Abu al-Yazid in a phone interview with Adnkronos International. Whether al-Qaida really did the killing or opportunistically claimed credit is unclear. But there is no doubt that Bhutto represented a modernizing movement within the Islamic world and was accordingly seen as a threat by the seventh century zealots who rig babies with explosives. That she was a woman was an added provocation. Al-Qaida’s pronouncement reveals once again that however much we may wish to pretend that these overseas convulsions have nothing to do with us, however much we might want to avoid their tangled rivalries and primitive violence, they won’t let us. No, it isn’t. Emphatically not. The mullahs who rule Iran, the commissars who rule China, the dictators who control most of the Arab and African nations, and most of all, the terrorists who sent the world a deadly reminder of their ferocity when they killed Benazir Bhutto on Thursday are not waiting for an invitation to the mixer. And to nominate for president someone who thinks so would be a disaster. Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. (e-mail: mcharen@cox.net). 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonThe world thus rudely intrudes on what had become a parochial, oddly detached primary election campaign focusing on competing Christmas greetings, quail hunting, and the bugaboo of “special interests.” But now, at last, and perhaps just in time, the campaign season will get serious. Among the Democrats, the question of foreign policy gravitas is moot. Their front-runners are a first-term senator who has been on the national stage for only three years, a former senator who served only one term but knows a great deal about getting money out of juries for malpractice cases, and a current senator whose tenure as first lady is her chief claim to foreign policy experience. The Republicans offer a number of seasoned and sensible candidates, but the front-runner for the Iowa caucuses is not one of them. With a nuclear-armed Pakistan wobbling, do Republican caucus-goers really want to lend their considerable weight to Mike Huckabee, who compares America’s world posture to a high school popularity contest? In Foreign Affairs magazine, Huckabee wrote, “Much like a top high school student, if it (the United States) is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised.” This, mind you, is Huckabee’s bid for foreign policy credibility – Foreign Affairs is a wonkish publication. So is he serious? Does he really believe that international relations are governed by likability (a Huckabee strong suit, admittedly) instead of power, self-interest, security and ideology? And what exactly does Huckabee mean when he accuses the United States of attempting to “dominate” others? Huckabee approved of the war in Iraq – a war of liberation, not domination, however clumsily it may have been prosecuted at times. But then, it’s hard to know exactly where he does stand since he has also echoed leftist critics who claim that the Iraq War has been a “distraction” from the war on terror. Certainly Huckabee’s determination to close Guantanamo seems to be a bid for international popularity. Perhaps the high school reference was a one-time faux pas? No, the man seems perpetually to compare international relations and conflicts to personal spats. “We haven’t had diplomatic relationships with Iran in almost 30 years,” Huckabee told radio host Hugh Hewitt, “most of my adult life. And a lot of good it’s done. Putting this in human terms, all of us know that when we stop talking to a parent or a sibling, or even a friend, it’s impossible to resolve the differences and move that relationship forward. Well, the same is true for countries.” last_img read more

‘I’m worried!’ Liverpool fans concerned about possible transfer

first_img1 Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho Liverpool may have secured their first piece of silverware this season by winning the Premier League Asia Trophy, but supporters still fear the worst.The Reds, having beaten Crystal Palace 2-0 on Wednesday, came from a goal down to defeat Leicester City 2-1 on Saturday in the final.New signing Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho got the goals, but rather than celebrating the victory, some fans have been left concerned by the latter’s body language.The Brazilian has been linked with a switch to Barcelona for some time and with speculation the Catalan giants could lose Neymar this summer, they could make a huge swoop for the 25-year-old.You can see how Liverpool fans reacted to Coutinho’s mannerisms below…last_img read more

Crunch time for shipping online gifts

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’That’s because online shopping is booming, and somebody has to deliver all those goods. FedEx Express air service projects that it will see its busiest night in history Monday. That’s when 5 million packages are expected to move through the air network, 4 percent more than the service’s busiest night last year. Web retailers have differing shipping cutoff dates. But the number of retailers guaranteeing that standard shipping orders placed by Dec. 18 or 19 will be delivered by Christmas Day nearly doubled to 39 percent compared with last year, according to a survey conducted for Shop.org, the online wing of the National Retail Federation Trade group, by BizRate Research, a division of Shopzilla. The standard shipping deadline has already passed for about a quarter of the businesses surveyed. Monday is expected to be the top mailing day for the U.S. Postal Service. The agency expects to process 280 million greeting cards and letters that day – more than twice the daily average. Total mail volume Monday is projected to rise to 900 million pieces of mail, up from 670 million pieces on an average day. Packages – including the boxed gifts that eBay seller MacBeth loads in her Lexus twice a day to haul to her local mailing center – are flying through the post office, too. The post office expects Wednesday to be the top package delivery day. UPS is preparing for a major delivery surge Wednesday, when the company will deliver 240 packages every second through its worldwide ground and air network.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It’s crunch time for Kim MacBeth. The eBay seller from Los Gatos hawks a line of sleepwear, from wispy thongs to plush robes. With Christmas just around the corner, she’s plunging headlong into the busiest shipping time of the year, typically handling 30 orders a day. “It seemed like this morning, things started to go crazy,” said MacBeth recently, taking a break from wrapping items. “It’s like people realized, `If I’m going buy something online, I have to do it this week.”‘ If you’ve been browsing on Web sites, you’ve probably seen the not-so-subtle reminders from online merchants about approaching mailing deadlines for getting gifts delivered by Christmas using standard, lower-cost shipping. last_img

Lennon hails ‘Moravcik-esque’ Mallan after Hibs run riot

first_imgNeil Lennon likened Stevie Mallan’s ball-striking to that of Lubomir Moravcik after watching the playmaker bag a stunning double as Hibs trounced Hamilton.Mallan took his Easter Road tally to nine goals since joining in the summer thanks to two long-range efforts as Hibs battered Accies 6-0.The former St Mirren midfielder’s sharp-shooting drew comparisons with Lennon’s former Celtic teammate Moravcik, who’s brilliant goals made him a hero of the Parkhead faithful.“Mallan is an enigma really,” said the Northern Irishman. “I’ve never seen anyone hit a ball as consistently as well as that since Moravcik days, he puts dip or bend on it 20-25 yards out. The comfortable win cut the gap at the top to two points, with Craig Levein’s table-topping Hearts visiting Rangers on Sunday.“All in all, we’re in a really good place, good condition and playing some great football,” added Lennon. “A result like that has been coming. We’ve been dominating games and creating lots of chances.“It’s very pleasing that the players have been rewarded for what’s a really good run of form.“Hearts have had a brilliant start – but we’ve not looked at them. There’s been a lot of talk about them and this, that and the other. We had a job to do here – concentrated on building a team and slowly but surely it’s beginning to take effect.“It’s only eight games, after 20 we’ll see where we are. We’ve maybe been fortunate with the run of games, we’ve got big games coming up that will test us.”Accies remain outside the relegation spots despite the heavy loss. Manager Martin Canning warned his players they will find themselves in trouble if they put in any more gutless showings.“It was sore and in terms of performances that was up there with the worst,” he said. “It was unacceptable in terms of the level of fight and commitment.“That’s what we’re known for and that’s what we are, we’re a working club and a fighting club and some of the new players need to realise that, that’s what we expect when we bring you to this club.“First and foremost you give me everything you’ve got and that’s where we start and that didn’t happen. You’re looking some leadership there, guys to step up but it didn’t happen.” “You’re disappointed if he doesn’t work the goalkeeper, actually.“That’s nine goals he’s got from midfield already – exceptional going at this stage of the season. We’re delighted with him.”recording their biggest league win since 2006.Martin Boyle, Emerson Hyndman and Flo Kamberi also found the net, before Matt Kilgallon’s stoppage-time own goal earned Hibs their biggest league win since 2006.last_img read more

Coordinated response key as region’s flooding fears deepen: Expert

first_imgAll levels of government will need to work with conservation officials across Southwestern Ontario to address the region’s deepening flooding fears, a much-anticipated provincial report states.Doug McNeil, appointed a government adviser on the issue in July, completed an independent review of flood management and flooding events this year in Ontario. His 66-recommendation report was made public Thursday.Among the recommendations is McNeil’s call for the Essex Region and Lower Thames Valley conservation authorities to work with federal and municipal officials “to address the existing and expected impacts” of flooding in Chatham-Kent, Windsor-Essex and Pelee Island due in large part to the toll of “erosion hazards and climate change on Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River.”Richard Wyma is the general manager of the Essex Region conservation authority. He participated in a feedback session when McNeil came to London earlier this year for information about the challenges specific to flooding in Southwestern Ontario.“Our issues are different from everywhere else. Our issues are dealing with record-high water levels” in Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, Wyma said.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.All three experienced water levels 10 to 15 centimetres higher than previous all-time record highs. “There’s basically no room for water to go,” he said. “Our water levels are likely going to continue to be high next year.”At the same time, Wyma says he’s pleased with the “comprehensive” nature of the report. And the fact the Doug Ford Tories touted McNeil’s findings.Localized flooding in a few front yards, but as of now the road still remains open to traffic. #ckont pic.twitter.com/ApXISyTnBP— Trevor Terfloth (@DailyNewsTT) November 27, 2019“They released the report in full. That’s a good indication right there that (the government wants) to address flooding. That’s an indication that they want to make sure there’s an openness and transparency,” he said.Wyma also applauded McNeil for not shying away from the contentious topic of the day: “Importantly, the report talks about the impacts associated with climate change.”In a section on Southwestern Ontario shoreline erosion in the 156-page document, McNeil writes that “Landowners who thought they were 100 years away from erosion hazards might now only be 50 years away, and significant lengths of municipal infrastructure (roads and utilities) are at risk of failure.”“The safety of the public and the protection of our communities is our No. 1 priority,” John Yakabuski, Ontario’s minister of natural resources and forestry, said in a statement that accompanied McNeil’s findings.“After last spring’s flooding, we recognized that we needed an external perspective on the current roles and responsibilities of the governments, agencies and organizations involved in flood management, someone who could provide independent advice on improvements we can make.”In his review, McNeil said this year’s record flooding in many parts of the province was caused by a combination of weather conditions, including a colder-than-average winter and spring, deeper-than-average snowpack, lack of significant winter thaw, rapid snow melt and significant spring rain.He found nothing pointed to human error or the negligent operation of water-control structures as the cause of the flooding, and the government and its partners were effective at reducing and mitigating flood risks.The government’s statements connected to the report repeated the word “resiliency.” “To me, it’s about a region or a landscape or a watershed dealing with impacts,” and specifically with the impacts of climate change, Wyma said.He said there was no dollar amount for flood-prevention measures attached to the report. Nothing in the report was surprising, Wyma says, but “it did reaffirm things that we’ve been seeing.”Other recommendations call on the province to:Review the funding formula for the eligibility of municipalities under the Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program Continue the dialogue with the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the federal government on the steps needed to make flood insurance available to more Ontario residents. Update the flood forecasting and warning guidelines and provide clarity on roles and responsibilities of different organizations Consider adopting legislation that will require flood-risk properties to be identified in some way that is publicly accessible, at the very least on the property title, so prospective buyers are aware.last_img read more

Ask It: Best Special Event at Epcot

first_imgShare This!Last week, we presented this #AskIt —My favorite special event at Epcot is…Without a doubt, people are passionate about special events at Epcot. For many, it was difficult to choose just one. For others, there was one that drew large amounts of vitriol. With more than 800 votes in, here’s the results (in order from least to greatest).Festival of the Arts (6%)Holidays Around the World (19%)Flower and Garden (32%)Food and Wine (43%)Festival of the ArtsI’m going to go out on a limb and say that, in the likely event that Festival of the Arts returns for many more years, Festival of the Arts will be giving Flower and Garden a run for its money, if not nipping at the heels of Food and Wine. It has the best of so many festivals–spectacular food booths, engaging entertainment, informative workshops, unique displays, and then adds Broadway musical performances, interactive art experiences (like the paint-by-number mural), and artists throughout the park making works of art as you watch and willing to answer questions about their technique. I truly believe that the only reason this didn’t score higher in the poll is that the festival is so new that many people haven’t had a chance to experience it. When they do, however, it will quickly become a favorite festival.Holidays Around the WorldAnyone else think that the main reason for Holidays Around the World to score near the bottom is because they got rid of Lights of Winter? Anyone? Just me? Okay then. Moving on.There’s a lot to love about Holidays Around the World. Although the food offerings don’t wow people much, especially coming right after Food and Wine, there are special holiday foods available. The Holiday Tag at the end of Illuminations is a glorious way to make sure that any dental fillings you have are securely affixed in your mouth (or provide easy removal for loose ones) as the show celebrates Peace on Earth with a massive amount of peace-disrupting fireworks. The Holiday Storytellers are always favorites, and the overall décor throughout the park really helps build the holiday spirit. The big down side–the event ends with the highest crowd levels of the year.Flower and GardenFlower and Garden is known in my house as Epcot’s Celebration of Plenty of Pollen (sponsored by Claritin). Everything is in bloom all around Epcot. Beautiful, yes. Even seen through the misty glaze of itchy eyes.In all seriousness, however, Epcot never looks finer than it does during Flower and Garden. The color everywhere brings oohs and aahs around every turn. Kids love the outdoor playgrounds, people of all ages love the Garden Rocks concert series, photographers love the pops of color throughout the park, and I personally think many of the food offerings at Flower and Garden are better than comparable foods at Food and Wine. From the educational side, there are a variety of presentations on everything you can think of relating to plants, farming, and backyard gardening. It was also noted by several people that there are fewer drunks at Flower and Garden than at Food and Wine–a huge plus in many people’s books.Food and WineBut the winner is Food and Wine, which has two very popular aspects–food and wine (and beer and other potent potables). Certainly, there’s more to Food and Wine, like the Party for the Senses evenings, many food and beverage seminars, the Hide and Squeak scavenger hunt, and the popular Eat to the Beat concert series. Overall, the food and drinks are the major draws. Over the years, Food and Wine has become a victim of its own success. Saturday nights especially have become slammed, and it is very common to see groups of people wearing shirts extolling the joys of drinking to excess. If you frequent Food and Wine in the evenings, you are likely at some point to witness someone falling down drunk, urinating in public, or vomiting. And although people do rightly point out that things like that do happen at other times, among many parent groups, the whispered word is don’t take your kids to Epcot on Saturday nights in the fall. Food and Wine was the only event that people specifically mentioned that they now loathe because of the actions of a few out-of-control guests. Nevertheless, it is an event worth attending and still ranks as the most popular one in Epcot’s festival calendar. No surprise it won the poll here, too.And now it is time for a change of pace. I just got off my first trip on the Disney Wonder (which I’ll be sharing details about in tomorrow’s Best Week Ever). Because my mind is still thinking back to my cruise, this week’s #AskIt is:Which Disney Cruise Line ship is your favorite?Disney MagicDisney WonderDisney DreamDisney FantasyThe poll is open on Twitter, or you can leave your comments here or on Facebook. For me, I think I need more personal experience on each ship to truly be able to decide. Off to peruse for an upcoming cruise I go…did someone say 2018 summer itineraries are out?last_img read more