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Tom Petty Also Wants To Tour “Wildflowers” By The End Of Next Year

Tom Petty Also Wants To Tour “Wildflowers” By The End Of Next Year

first_imgTom Petty made a major announcement yesterday, revealing an extensive US tour in honor of the band’s 40th anniversary. The shows will mark the end of a three year touring hiatus for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, though Petty has been anything but dormant in that time. Still, the return of the Heartbreakers is sure to be widely celebrated in 2017.Before that announcement, however, Petty had talked about doing a tour where the hit 1994 album, Wildflowers, was played in full. With four months of 2017 committed to the major 40th anniversary tour, fans were left unsure as to whether the Wildflowers tour would be happening.Petty addressed those rumors in a new interview with Rolling Stone, saying that Wildflowers was still very much on the table and even possible for the end of 2017. “I started talking about that the other day and got a loud, ‘Shut up!’” said Petty. “Every time I bring it up it hits a wall somewhere. But we’re done in August. After that, it’s not out of the question I’d get the box set together and take it on the road to theaters before the end of the year.”Keyboardist Benmont Tench added, “I’d be more interested in an Echo tour than a Wildflowers one, but I love the idea of a Wildflowers tour. I think it’s brilliant. There’s just something about that record. Rick [Rubin]’s influence made it so spare and every little lick meant something. It was a very special record.”We’ll keep our fingers crossed until we know more, but we can’t wait for the 40th tour! You can see the full calendar for the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ tour, below.Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 40th Anniversary TourApril 20 /// Chesapeake Energy Center  /// Oklahoma City, OK*April 22 /// American Airlines Arena /// Dallas, TX*April 23  /// Verizon Wireless Arena /// Little Rock, AR*April 25  /// Bridgestone Arena /// Nashville, TN*April 27 /// Philips Arena  /// Atlanta, GA*April 29 /// Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion  /// Houston, TX*May 2 /// Frank Erwin Center /// Austin, TXMay 5 /// Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre /// West Palm Beach, FL*May 6  /// Amalie Arena /// Tampa, FL*May 8  /// FedEx Forum /// Memphis, TN*May 10  /// StateFarm Center  /// Champaign, IL*May 12  /// Scottrade Center  /// St. Louis, MO*May 13 /// Klipsch Music Center /// Indianapolis, IN*May 29-30 /// Red Rocks Amphitheatre  /// Morrison, COJune 2  /// Sprint Center /// Kansas City, MO*June 3 /// Xcel Energy Center /// St. Paul, MN*June 5  /// Wells Fargo Arena /// Des Moines, IA*June 7  /// Schottenstein Center  /// Columbus, OH*June 9 /// PPG Paints Arena  /// Pittsburgh, PA*June 10  /// Quicken Loans Arena /// Cleveland, OH*June 12  /// US Bank Arena  /// Cincinnati, OH*June 14 /// XFINITY Theatre /// Hartford, CT*June 16  /// Prudential Center  /// Newark, NJ*June 17 /// Mountain Jam Festival /// Hunter, NYJune 29  /// Wrigley Field /// Chicago, IL†July 1  /// Wells Fargo Arena /// Philadelphia, PAJuly 2  /// CMAC Performing Arts Center /// Canandaigua, NYJuly 5-6 /// Marcus Amphitheater-Summerfest /// Milwaukee, WI†July 15 /// Air Canada Centre  /// Toronto, ONTJuly 18  /// DTE Energy Music Theatre  /// Detroit, MIJuly 20  /// TD Garden /// Boston, MAJuly 23  /// Royal Farms Arena  /// Baltimore, MDJuly 26-27  /// Forest Hills Stadium /// Queens, NY‡*with very special guest Joe Walsh†with very special guest Chris Stapleton‡on-sale January 14last_img read more

SEAS’s Debra Auguste wins prestigious NSF CAREER Award

SEAS’s Debra Auguste wins prestigious NSF CAREER Award

first_imgDebra Auguste, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has won a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).The award honors Auguste as one of the most promising up-and-coming researchers in her field and provides an annual grant of $100,000 to support up to five years of laboratory research and educational outreach.Auguste’s project, titled “Molecular Diversity in Drug Delivery Design: An Integrated Approach to Research and Education,” will investigate ways of building drug delivery vehicles that complement the heterogeneous display of molecules on cell membranes. Her work targets inflamed endothelial cells, which often present in cancer and cardiovascular diseases.Auguste will also develop six educational modules to share concepts in bioengineering with students at local high schools. The students will learn how the assembly of lipids, DNA, and cells are coordinated to produce specific functions.Research in Auguste’s group is primarily focused on developing new biomimetic materials for drug delivery and tissue engineering.A chemical engineer by training, Auguste holds a bachelor’s degree from MIT and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 2006, she was a postdoctoral associate at MIT.last_img read more

Credit unions can provide a useful debit alternative for every member

Credit unions can provide a useful debit alternative for every member

first_imgFor most of us, the idea of not having an account for our money seems absurd. It’s just the way we were raised. It might shock you, but there are still consumers out there who choose not to have a share draft account. There are those among us who still believe in keeping their money in the mattress or a mason jar.No, they’re not strange hermits living in the woods, wearing foil hats, fearing an economic crash and the pending arrival of the mothership. They simply don’t find share draft requirements comfortable with their lifestyle.Last year the FDIC released a study that over 17 million Americans don’t have a deposit account at a bank or credit union at all, and another 51 million are “underbanked.” That means they use alternative financial solutions to manage their money.It’s easy to make assumptions, but in truth, it isn’t always due to less income or poor credit. Many live on the road due to their employment, or find their income seasonally. It can make maintaining a minimum balance or transaction requirement difficult.The problem is, in a world that’s rapidly going digital, that cash-only lifestyle is increasingly harder to maintain. The days of walking down to the phone company to pay your bill in cash are over. Buying money orders is an inconvenient and unnecessary expense. They should have the option to pay with a debit card without being forced into a situation they’re just not comfortable with. They deserve a safer alternative than carrying their savings in their wallet.Credit unions, which live a mission to help their communities, cannot ignore these potential members.There is an alternative: prepaid debit cards.Prepaid debit cards function the same as traditional debit cards, and offer even more security because they’re not linked directly to a share draft account. They are easily reloadable, and cannot be overdrawn so they also work as a great budgeting tool.“Our members travel a lot and we don’t have a regular debit card,” says Nektaria Felecos of Las Vegas UP Employees Federal Credit Union. Roughly 80% of their members are employees of Union Pacific Railroad, which offers the CUMONEY® Everyday Spend prepaid card from LSC®.  “A prepaid debit card works great for that purpose. Now they have the convenience of a Visa card for purchases, free bill payment, and access to cash at ATMs.”Credit unions considering a prepaid debit card program for their members should look for cards that provide:Safety: a program that offers Visa’s Zero Liability consumer coverage and mitigates risk for membersSecurity: cards that are not linked to your members’ personal information and provide the latest EMV chip card technologyConvenience: a good card program should provide a free companion mobile app and 24/7 online accessReloadability: cards that can be loaded with a mobile app, at the credit union, on a member website, on a mobile app, at Visa ReadyLink locations, or even via an auto-funding featurePrepaid cards are accepted everywhere traditional Visa cards are, but without the high interest of credit cards. Even members with share draft accounts and traditional debit cards are using prepaid cards, especially when travelling. It’s the perfect combination of convenience and security.With a prepaid debit card, members can experience the convenience and comfort of shopping or paying bills in person, on the phone, or online even if they don’t have a share draft account. 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bart Scott Bart is the Marketing Communication Coordinator for LSC in Naperville, IL. He has worked for the Illinois Credit Union System in various roles for nearly five years. Prior to his … Web: www.lsc.net Detailslast_img read more

The Days of Croatian Tourism in Slavonia begin

The Days of Croatian Tourism in Slavonia begin

first_imgBy the way, the first idea, ie when the initiative to hold DHT in Slavonia was created and started, was long ago, in 2016, through an article on Večernjak’s blogosphere (attached). From then until today, a lot of kilometers, coffee, nerves, time, effort, thinking, talking, energy have been spent… to turn this day from a dream into a reality. Vecernjak’s blogosphere: Slavonia does not need help and pity, but strategic development  Thanks everyone. See you at the Days of Croatian Tourism in Slavonia. When one crazy idea, loud thinking, vision and dream becomes a reality. Today is that day. Today begins the Days of Croatian Tourism in Slavonia. See the full program of events HERE , as well as the accompanying program attached. / / / HEADONEAST AND EXPERIENCE SLAVONIA – EXCELLENT PROGRAM OF THE Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board / / / SHOR (T) CUT TO THE BEST FUN IN SLAVONIA Thank you to everyone who supported the initiative from day one and to everyone who pushed and promoted it in various ways and each in their own way. Thanks to colleagues in the media who also initially supported the initiative and gave it their great contribution. Thank you to everyone who supported the initiative and who gave their contribution, be it big or small, direct or indirect, public or private personal… This is not the success of one person, this is the success of a number of people who contributed to today’s Days of Croatian Tourism held in Slavonia. last_img read more

COVID-19: Surabaya plans on imposing large-scale social restrictions

COVID-19: Surabaya plans on imposing large-scale social restrictions

first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued a government regulation on PSBB last week, requiring provinces or cities to obtain a permit from the Health Ministry prior to imposing the policy. Regional heads have to submit the request alongside data on the increase of cases and proof that transmission had occurred in their region.The request would then be discussed by an expert team appointed by the health minister, who must make a decision within two days after the submission of the request.Read also: Anies slams red tape in pandemic fightFikser went on to say that Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini would submit the request with the East Java provincial administration once the assessment was completed. Risma has vowed to impose stricter measures to contain the outbreak, even without reporting the measures to East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa. Among measures taken were the partial closures of 19 roads connecting the provincial capital city to surrounding areas.Surabaya has been the city hardest-hit by the disease in the province, as health authorities confirmed 84 COVID-19 cases as of Monday with six fatalities. Surabaya satellite city Sidoarjo has also recorded 18 cases.Authorities mapped at least six clusters of the disease, including a manasik haji (haj rehearsal) at the Sukolilo haj dormitory in Surabaya organized by the Religious Affairs Ministry from March 9 to 18.At least 20 confirmed cases have been linked to the event. Three of them died, including Blitar Religious Affairs Agency head M. Solekan.Surabaya was not the first city to move to impose PSBB in the province. Malang Mayor Sutiaji announced in mid-March his policy to lock the city down, following the confirmation of the city’s first two confirmed COVID-19 cases in February. The policy, however, was immediately annulled and corrected by the mayor himself.Trenggalek regency has also closed most roads connecting the region, leaving only three national roads open.Read also: Indonesia’s strategy to combat COVID-19: What we know so farGovernor Khofifah has been giving the cold shoulder to mayors and regents’ wish to impose stricter measures to contain COVID-19, asserting that the administration “doesn’t use the term lockdown.”She warned on Sunday regents and mayors to first consult with her before requesting to impose PSBB in their respective regions.An official with the provincial COVID-19 task force, Joni Wahyuhadi, had repeatedly talked about the province’s wish to reach herd immunity, rather than confining its residents.“We will continue all these curative measures for those suffering from the disease, while we wait to reach the herd immunity stage,” he told journalists last week.According to the official tally on Monday, there were 189 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the province with 14 fatalities. Meanwhile, 40 people have also recovered from the disease, according to the health authorities. (kuk)Topics : The Surabaya administration in East Java is pondering the idea of submitting an official request for large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) with the central government, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increase across the city.The city’s COVID-19 mitigation task force spokesperson, M. Fikser, said the administration was assessing its readiness to impose the policy.“Relevant agencies are analyzing the impact of the policy. We have to finish the assessment before submitting the request,” Fikser said on Monday.last_img read more

PA National Guard Put on State Active Duty in Northwestern PA

PA National Guard Put on State Active Duty in Northwestern PA

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter PA National Guard Put on State Active Duty in Northwestern PA December 26, 2017center_img Press Release,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf this evening announced that 21 Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) troops have been put on State Active Duty in northwestern Pennsylvania after a record amount of snow fell across the area over the last several days.“Our National Guard members are trained to assist the citizens of our commonwealth during severe winter storms like Erie is experiencing right now,” said Governor Wolf. “We are very fortunate that they live and work in our communities and are able to mobilize on short notice in order to provide the manpower and equipment needed in northwestern PA.”The PNG is providing a number of high clearance all terrain military vehicles to aid local agencies with medical emergency and law enforcement response, assisting with safety and wellness checks, transporting essential emergency services personnel, and assigning a liaison to the Erie County Emergency Operations Center.Pennsylvania has the third largest National Guard in the country with approximately 20,000 members located in more than 80 armories and readiness centers statewide.last_img read more

Strong Support for Gov. Wolf’s Executive Order to Overhaul Vulnerable Population Systems

Strong Support for Gov. Wolf’s Executive Order to Overhaul Vulnerable Population Systems

first_imgStrong Support for Gov. Wolf’s Executive Order to Overhaul Vulnerable Population Systems August 01, 2019 Human Services,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Advocacy groups and legislators praised Governor Tom Wolf for signing an executive order Wednesday making sweeping changes to Pennsylvania’s systems that provide protections and support to vulnerable people.“The new Council on Reform met immediately after the announcement and is already hard at work identifying the changes our commonwealth’s systems need to undergo to better serve Pennsylvanians,” said Gov. Wolf. “I am eagerly anticipating their report, so we can start making the changes that will end the issues that have permeated our systems for decades.”Sen. Lisa Baker and Sen. Judy Schwank released a joint statement commending Wolf’s actions:“In response to Governor Wolf’s announcement of Executive Order 2019-05 and directives intended to increase protection of vulnerable populations, Senator Lisa Baker (R-20th) and Senator Judy Schwank (D-11) said they were pleased the administration is building on legislative efforts to address deficiencies in Pennsylvania’s child welfare system. For more than a year the Senators have been working to establish the Interbranch Commission on the Child Welfare System (SB 297) to advance remedies.‘Given the unacceptable number of tragedies experienced in recent years, and the documented shortcomings in the child protection system, there is a need for the sort of initiatives the governor is advancing,’ Baker said. ‘We also need the thorough and extensive inquiry that an independent interbranch commission can provide, so that will continue to be a priority.’‘I’m very encouraged by Gov. Wolf’s initiative in addressing the delivery of critical children’s services,’ Schwank said. ‘We need to continue to pursue our efforts in the legislature. The children in our care must be kept safe, and I am hopeful that at the end of this process we are ensuring their better future.’‘We have heard the troubling stories and profound questions from survivors of abuse and from family and friends of those lost to abuse. These come from our districts and many places across Pennsylvania. We owe them answers in the way of effective and lasting reform of state law and practices,’ they said.”Rep. Frank Dermody added on Twitter, “I welcome Gov. Wolf’s important action to defend vulnerable people. The state has a vital role here. I’ll work in the #PaHouse to advance any bills needed to keep the progress going. #Plan4PA.”Rep. Christina Sappey echoed his sentiment. “Pleased to share @GovernorTomWolf announced an executive order providing for protection to vulnerable populations. This order makes PA a trauma-informed state and expands on trauma-informed education initiatives I successfully passed in Harrisburg last month. #traumainformed,” she posted on Twitter.Other groups and individuals that have lauded Gov. Wolf’s executive order include:The AARP“AARP and its 1.8 million Pennsylvania members applaud the Wolf Administration for taking steps to better protect vulnerable older adults from potential physical and financial exploitation, and help seniors remain at home and in the community-where they want to be,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director and Council on Reform Member Bill Johnston-Walsh. “We are optimistic that this work will also lead to a long-overdue update to the state’s Older Adult Protective Services Act, and additional resources to help local aging advocates keep pace with rising reports of elder abuse.”Kari King, President and CEO, PA Partnerships for Children (PPC)“PPC commends Gov. Wolf on this initiative as it creates a prime opportunity to build on work in the child welfare community prioritizing prevention and kinship care, or care that is provided in family-like settings. Research tells us outcomes for children are better when kids are placed in family-like settings rather than in group homes or institutions. Unfortunately, 14 percent of the foster care population were placed in group home settings in 2018. We hope to partner with the administration and other advocates at the table to improve the child welfare system and realize the common goal we all share for at-risk children: that they are placed in loving homes free from abuse and neglect.”Douglas E. Hill, Executive Director, The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania“Counties are major providers of these services. We have long advocated for the resources to permit counties to do our jobs most effectively, and an oversight environment that focuses on outcomes for the clients more than on paper work. Our strong partnership in delivery of protective services to vulnerable populations will benefit from a thorough review and potentially new ways of providing services. We agree system changes are needed to allow us to more efficiently deliver services for which counties have been advocating, and we look forward to working with state officials in advancing the partnership.”Nancy Murray, President of the Arc of Greater Pittsburgh at ACHIEVA“ACHIEVA applauds the Wolf Administration for the Executive Order creating the Council on Reform. PA needs to do more to ensure the safety of children, people with disabilities, seniors, victims of domestic abuse and other vulnerable groups. The Council is charged with submitting a report to the Governor with recommendations for changes by November 1, 2019.”The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence“The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) commends Governor Tom Wolf for signing his ‘Protection of Vulnerable Populations’ Executive Order today. The Order establishes an Office of Advocacy and Reform within the governor’s office to help ensure the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians. Additionally, a Council on Reform will be created to support efforts to protect vulnerable populations throughout Pennsylvania. PCADV Chief Executive Officer Susan Higginbotham has been appointed to the Council on Reform, which will focus efforts on protecting vulnerable populations from three perspectives: Prevention and Diversion, Protection and Intervention, and Justice and Support.”Richard S. Edley, President and CEO, RCPA“RCPA congratulates the Governor on taking these important steps toward keeping the citizens of our Commonwealth safe and protected, by increasing oversight and accountability of its institutions, as well as improving responsiveness to incident management. It is clear that Governor Wolf’s administration is committed to improving the system’s ability to address, and help prevent, the mistreatment of Pennsylvanians in vulnerable situations.”Adam Marles, President and CEO, Leading Age“LeadingAge PA, the voice of non-profit senior care in Pennsylvania, today commended Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order to form a new Office of Advocacy and Reform to protect vulnerable Pennsylvanians, including our oldest and most frail population.“LeadingAge PA will always support efforts to improve the care and quality of life of Pennsylvania’s seniors and looks forward to working with the administration together on this. For some of our frail elderly, nursing facilities remain the best and most compassionate choice for care. For others, we believe it’s important to help them receive care in the least restrictive settings, including their homes.“Our members take great pride in supporting the many dedicated professionals on their team who care deeply for their patients. It’s our hope the new Office of Advocacy and Reform will work with us to identify resources to help us keep our team members – and compete for new ones.”The Center for Children’s Justice (C4CJ)“The Center for Children’s Justice (C4CJ) celebrates Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to prioritize protecting Pennsylvania’s children and to create a Child Advocate within a newly created Office of Advocacy and Reform.“This is incredible and long overdue news for Pennsylvania children who have experienced sexual and physical violence.“C4CJ, along with other advocates for victimized children, have spent decades urging Pennsylvania policymakers to create an independent Child Advocate as part of a broader commitment to ensuring that Pennsylvania’s child protection laws and practices emphasize evidence, recognize and reduce trauma, promote independent oversight and value transparency.“Even as C4CJ celebrates this news and the words spoken today, it is critical that we acknowledge that fundamental questions still need answers. Among them: Will the Advocate operate with independence and be provided with funding to accomplish the consequential work on behalf of vulnerable children?“The scope of duties outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order (EO) are intentional and represent those fully supported by C4CJ, including triaging complaints about government services for children and families involved in the child protection system and recommending system-wide improvements. The promising scope of duties outlined are a powerful signal that Pennsylvania is done letting institutional practices and loyalties, along with the quirks of state government, be of greater priority than protecting children. Still, translating today’s well-received words into actual protections for children will require intentional actions, independent oversight and a sustained financial investment.“Separately, the Governor’s EO creates a Council of Reform. The scope of the Council’s work and the vulnerable populations to be represented at the table is broad and diverse. That invites some caution in that even with the best of intentions, children, particularly abused and neglected children, may slip off-the-radar. Every effort must be made to ensure that the Council is intentionally child-centered and guards against victimized children being diminished or disregarded.“Finally, none of the promising steps taken today should deter the Pennsylvania General Assembly from acting to ensure Pennsylvania’s child protection statutes sufficiently invest in evidence-based and upfront prevention strategies to keep children safe at home as well as promote child-centered and trauma-informed interventions when abuse has occurred. Ultimately there can be no relenting, on all fronts, to ensure that every Pennsylvania child can live and grow free from sexual and physical violence connected to nurturing and supported families.”To see all of Gov. Wolf’s reforms, view the full Executive Order.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Secure a double lot in an elevated position in inner-city location

Secure a double lot in an elevated position in inner-city location

first_img11 Vista St, Bardon.A four-bedroom, one-bathroom post-war home at Bardon has hit the market and could be the site of a new dream home.The 860sq m block is on two allotments at 11 Vista St, and only five minutes from Brisbane’s CBD. 11 Vista St, Bardon. 11 Vista St, Bardon.Surrounded by multi-million dollar homes, the property is close to Ashgrove, Paddington and Toowong.With views to the city and surrounding bushland, Mr Keogh said breezes and air flow at this altitude were guaranteed.He said three highly ranked local schools were nearby as well as a selection of respected secondary schools.With Mt Coot-tha at your doorstep there’s plenty of picnic spots to enjoy, bush walking tracks and bike trails. The property is close to cafes and restaurants and public transport is nearby.center_img More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 201911 Vista St, Bardon.Calibre Real Estate selling agent Andrew Keogh said rarely were buyers presented with the opportunity to secure a double lot in such an elevated position in Bardon.“For those buyers who wish to build a brand new home in the style and design of their choice, then here is your chance,” Mr Keogh said.The owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said the property was bought in 1965 and where they raised their two children.“They had an idyllic childhood, trekking through Mt Coot-tha, riding their bikes to Bowman Park and catching tadpoles with their mates in the creek,” the owner said. “We renovated the property in 1973 and the house is as you see it today. “I love the views out over Mt Coot-tha and towards the city as well as the variety of birdlife that you get in that particular pocket of Bardon.”last_img read more

OECS Competitive Business Unit Facilitates Formation of National Fashion Associations

OECS Competitive Business Unit Facilitates Formation of National Fashion Associations

first_img Sharing is caring! BusinessLifestyleLocalNewsRegional  OECS Competitive Business Unit Facilitates Formation of National Fashion Associations by: – February 7, 2020 Share Share Tweetcenter_img 100 Views   no discussions Share                                                                     Fashion Association of Dominica(OECS) As a means of stimulating the growth and development of the fashion and design sector in the region, the OECS Competitive Business Unit through its Creative Industries Sector Programme, has helped to facilitate the formation of National Fashion Associations in the Commonwealth of Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Associations aim to become viable entities operating in the fashion industry’s regional and global marketplace.After months of various interventions by the Competitive Business Unit to support groupings of designers in these two OECS Member States, along with the support of local partners including the Intellectual Property Offices; Invest SVG; and the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA), national associations have now been established in each of these Member States — with the recent registration in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the election of an executive body in the Commonwealth of Dominica.A grouping of designers in the Commonwealth of Dominica have been working on the process towards the formation of a national association there, with the support of the Competitive Business Unit and other stakeholders. As a step towards the registration of the grouping into a legal entity, the group held its elections of officers recently, with designer, Deborah Mikkie Graham of Bellanoir Fashions emerging as the first-ever president.The full executive reads:Deborah Mikkie Graham – President Vanessa Winston – Vice PresidentAvena Prince – Secretary Vilma Samuel – Treasurer Melinda Seraphine – Assistant Secretary/TreasurerRuth Augustine – Public Relations Officer Nominated members: Reena Polydore, Sonia Akpa and Alisha Florent The newly elected president of the Dominica Fashion and Design Association (DOFA), Deborah Mikkie Graham says, “…there are significant numbers of persons who are interested in pursuing careers  in the industry and are hesitant to do so due to severe limitations. We needed a body to advocate on behalf of designers and the industry in general. We are extremely thankful to the OECS CBU for taking on the effort to help us form an association over the past two years, and are thankful also for the many opportunities they have created for local and regional designers thus far.  It was however critical to establish an organisation dedicated to supporting the work of fashion and design in Dominica.”Graham is hopeful that her association will continue to work with other stakeholders to improve on the situation of the industry in the Commonwealth of Dominica and to assist the association and its membership to develop brands to compete internationally.She too is hoping that, “through skills training and education, interested designers and other professionals within the industry will be exposed to new areas of competencies and skills to allow for a larger number of persons to embark on career paths in the fashion industry.”The CBU plans to work with Business Support Organisations (BSOs) in both islands to assist the two associations with the creation of strategic plans and to begin focusing on areas of collaboration that would help enhance the competitiveness of the fashion industry in these two Member States, while it pursues work on building other national associations in the remaining Member States in the coming months.Following the registration of the Fashion Association of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (FASVG), the newly elected president, Peta Odini Sutherland, noted, “The idea of a Fashion Association was something which grew …as we started seeing the various opportunities available that could become more accessible via the creation of an association.”She further emphasised that “Funding agencies and other partners were more prepared to deal with a grouping than with individuals and have shifted their resources to supporting cluster type projects.  An association therefore was the obvious next step that we would have to take in order to make the industry in St. Vincent more viable.”Sutherland and her colleagues envision that the Association will serve as a means to bring the collective talent and skills of local designers together to solve the myriad of issues and challenges which impact the industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the rest of the OECS.Design by Dominican Fashion Designer and President of the Fashion Association of Dominica – D. Mikkie Graham, owner of Bellanoir Fashion.Design by Dominican Fashion Designer – Kimara Matthew, owner of Finesse Beauty House of Fashion.last_img read more

Violence against women: Prevention, protection and empowerment in Haiti

Violence against women: Prevention, protection and empowerment in Haiti

first_img Share Map of Haiti. Photo credit: merriam-webster.comPORT AU PRINCE, Haiti — It is a lesser known reality of the earthquake that devastated Haiti on 12 January 2010 and left more than 200,000 dead. The merciless disintegration of the Haitian State created a situation of utter chaos for the country’s most vulnerable.In less than 55 seconds of tremors, 1.5 million people were suddenly stranded on rubble-strewn streets filled with the detritus of 80,000 collapsed buildings. Almost two years after the disaster, more than 650,000 people still live in makeshift camps, often in terrible conditions. Even if the election of a new president, Michel Martelly, in May last year gave Haitians hope for the future, the new government faces a highly unstable situation. Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies are preparing to shutter the emergency operations they set up in the immediate aftermath of the quake. The transition from emergency assistance to long-term development projects poses a growing challenge as hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) still rely on aid to survive. The United Nations has deployed more than 12,000 peacekeepers in the Caribbean nation in an effort to ensure security for the almost 650,000 IDPs.Among the displaced, women are particularly vulnerable as they face a surge in sexual assaults and domestic violence. In addition, precarious living conditions in the IDP camps as well as the overall weakening of local authorities provide criminals with opportunities to offend with impunity.Despite the difficulties, women are slowly beginning to talk, says Celia Romulus, a project manager for UN Women, the agency fighting violence against women.“We are confronted with dramatic situations in which young women are raped in broad daylight in their tents or even young children are being raped,” Romulus says. Sexual assaults are particularly difficult to identify, prevent and punish. As a result, the UN has strengthened its patrols in the camps, fielding more than 8,800 blue helmets, 1,244 members of the UN police force (UNPOL) and 2,337 police officers from formed police units (FPUs). With more than 50,000 inhabitants, Jean Marie Vincent is the biggest IDP camp in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, occupying several hectares of property near the city centre and close to Cité Soleil, one of the poorest and less secure areas of the city.Raymond Lamarre, the UNPOL police spokesperson in Haiti, bluntly describes the difficulties faced by law enforcement: “The gangsters of Cité Soleil commit crimes and then hide in the IDP camp where it is more difficult for us and for the Haitian National Police (HNP) Force to track them down.”To dissuade these criminals, UN police concentrate their efforts along the camp’s perimeter and at its entrances.“Intensifying patrols along the perimeter helps to reduce opportunities for committing crimes and it strengthens security for the IDPs,” says Lamarre, noting that the new measures have led to a significant reduction in reports of sexual assaults.“We have found out that the latrines are particularly dangerous for women at night. That’s why we have decided to install lighting near these places where sexual predators happened to be lurking.”To reduce sexual assaults at night, the United Nations set up solar panels to illuminate the women’s restrooms.Despite the precautions along the camp’s perimeter, violence inside the camp is still widespread, with UN officers coming under threat as well. “For the first time, UN police have been targeted,” notes Claude Mercier, the police officer in charge of an investigation into the recent shooting of UN personnel.“Yesterday, shots were fired in the camp and we immediately dispatched a UNPOL team towards the location. One of the police officers was severely wounded and the culprit managed to escape. The body of a civilian was found not far from that place,” he says.With two police stations overseeing a population of 50,000 people, UNPOL officers admit it will take time to completely secure the camp. The upcoming departure of a large number of humanitarian organizations and the lack of resources available to the national police make the situation ever more fragile. For Lamarre, one of the solutions would be to forge relations of trust with camp residents.“We are not perfect. We need to interact more with the population, forge ties, and create a situation of symbiosis between communities. We are here to build trust. I dare to think that we generate hope and change for the population,” he says.In addition to the horrors of the crimes themselves, the criminals responsible for sexual assaults also have a feeling of impunity within the camps. These predators are often neighbours or associates of their victims and provoke fear of retribution if the victims report the crime. To break this wall of silence, the UN police have established a gender unit with 20 police officers, 15 of whom are women, dedicated to the prevention and the fight against sexual violence in the camps.“We forge ties of trust with the population and that allows for female victims to come and see us when an incident of sexual aggression occurs,” explains Nedea Valentin, the gender unit’s deputy chief, who also points out that victims of sexual violence are more comfortable confiding in female officers.As soon as an incident is reported, the female officers immediately engage in the standard operating procedure. First, the assault must be verified by a doctor within 72 hours – the crucial timeframe within which sex crimes can be medically identified and treated – at one of the local hospitals or special clinics set up by the NGO Doctors without Borders. Then, if the perpetrators are found and arrested, the officers bring the case all the way to the courts where they help victims plead their cases to the judge. At the same time, victims are provided with counselling and psychological support. To eradicate the growing scourge of sexual violence, the gender unit dispatches teams of four to different camps throughout Port-au-Prince, conducting awareness seminars with the city’s women. During the daily meetings, the officers discuss the ongoing fight against sexual and domestic violence but also the economic empowerment of women, the overall fight against poverty and family planning. One of the assumptions accepted by the team is that domestic and sexual violence are the collateral effects of the more entrenched economic and social violence suffered by women.During one of the awareness sessions with the women of the Primature camp – founded on the grounds of what used to be the Prime Minister’s residence – the conversation quickly turns to the soaring prices of basic food items, such as oil, rice and beans.“Everything has become more expensive after the goudou goudou,” says a young mother, referring to the local onomatopoeic name for the earthquake.Undaunted, the gender unit’s Nalidjata Soumahoro explains the advantages of the tontine – a cooperative system based on the pooling of common savings.“Each week around 15 women or more meet, each one of them bringing some money with her,” says Soumahoro to the group. “And each week one of the women takes home all the money as capital to start a small business, whether it be selling mangoes, oranges, etc. The following week, another woman takes the pooled money in order to start another small business. This way, all the women receive the money they need to create a livelihood!”For Fredrik Bjerkeborn, the Deputy UN Police Commissioner in Haiti, UNPOL’s approach to dealing with gender issues contributes “positively to changing mentalities in the communities.” Nevertheless, he notes that the road to gender equality in the IDP camps will be a long one because it is a long and profound societal process.One of the most important measures implemented during the recent years of UN operations in Haiti was to increase the female presence among the peacekeepers. The Bangladeshi contingent of the UN police force now includes 108 women and is led by a woman – Commissioner Sahely Ferdous.Beyond the security aspects of the mission, the female presence in the UN police force proves to the locals that women can assume positions of power, and further illustrates that gender equality is possible. Moreover, the female presence in both the UN police force and within MINUSTAH is growing with a current total of 489 women serving in their ranks.“It is important to train the Haitian National Police to make it able to tackle gender related problems,” explains Bjerkeborn. “We provide specific training for the prevention of sexual violence. We explain the situation of women in the camps and we prepare them to answer questions that women in danger could ask and we teach them how to implement proper procedures to act immediately in case of a reported sexual assault.”He further points out that UNPOL aims to create special safe rooms where sex crime victims can express themselves freely, safely and anonymously.Empowerment of womenProtecting women only makes sense if they are ultimately empowered by being able to identify and seize opportunities. For this reason, UN Women, the Organization’s youngest agency, has promoted several initiatives to reclaim areas of IDP camps where women have been regular targets of assault. “We try to eliminate their worst fears: violence in the public space,” says Célia Romulus. “The idea is to turn women into their own security experts in their own environment.”To do that, the agency’s local partners help organize safety patrols in the camp’s neighbourhoods, walking the same routes as the women use to go to school, the market or to the various water pumps positioned around the camp. Along the way, they mark out areas where improved lighting or a police presence would help guarantee better safety.This form of citizen’s awareness has already yielded encouraging results as the women have become increasingly likely to report any instances of sexual violence. “When our mobile teams arrest a suspect, and the wall of silence is broken, we show that sexual violence is unacceptable and that gives meaning to our work,” states Sheila Laplanche, a communications specialist at UN Women’s office in Haiti.“We support the State in its efforts to establish a law on violence against women, and we also encourage female participation in political life as well as the creation of microcredit projects specifically for victims of violence,” concludes Ms. Laplanche.Célia Romulus stresses that UN Women’s emphasis on listening has permitted women to be heard more easily in the aftermath of the earthquake.“Very often, before speaking of the actual sexual violence, the victims first speak of the trauma of the earthquake. Then later, when trust is established they begin speaking about the aggression and the violence they have endured,” she says, underlining that by focusing on listening to the victimized women, some have already begun to heal and rebuild their lives.This gender-focused initiative completes the massive aid operation launched by the UN’s humanitarian agencies in the immediate aftermath of the quake.“Just by simply being there, in the middle of the rubble, and available to hear their stories,” Romulus says, her voice choked with emotion, “the victims have thanked us for helping them get their dignity back.”Caribbean News Now Share 77 Views   no discussions Tweetcenter_img Share NewsRegional Violence against women: Prevention, protection and empowerment in Haiti by: – January 12, 2012 Sharing is caring!last_img read more