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Makarapa start-up, South Africa style

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first_img8 February 2010 Johannesburg-based Newtown Projects is turning out makarapas – the decorated miners’ helmets unique to South African football fans – by the hundreds, while retaining the individual, hand-made quality of the product. How they do it offers a simple lesson for local entrepreneurs. On the outskirts of downtown Johannesburg lies a district called Newtown, the focal point of an urban regeneration programme spanning the last six years. If one stops outside one of its most famously refurbished buildings, The Mills, and takes a walk to the back of the building, what awaits is a sports fan’s wonderland. Hundreds upon hundreds of makarapas fill the numerous shelves, cover the walls and lie on tables; being painted, sprayed, bent and dried. The enormous display wall carries the headgear of two of the country’s favourite club teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, as well as many more of the 32 teams that will be competing in this year’s Fifa World Cup: Spain, England, Brazil, Honduras – you name it, they’ve got it. Paul Wygers, one of the architects who worked on South Africa’s iconic Constitutional Court building in Johannesburg, started the business, Newtown Projects, in October 2008.Seeing the gap – and taking it After listening to a discussion on radio one morning regarding what small businesses were doing for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Wygers realised that there was not enough being done to create a unique product for the tournament. “I was in my office and saw a makarapa sitting there, one we had made before we bought this building, and so I spoke to two colleagues of mine in Durban and we decided to make these for the World Cup.” Newtown Projects is based on the idea of creating large numbers of makarapas while retaining the hand-painted images, a unique aspect of the product. Tackling the ‘pinch points’ in the process “After looking at how a makarapa is made, we realised there are two ‘pinch points’ in the process: cutting them, and painting them. So if you can get rid of the pinch point of cutting them, which is the most labour-intensive part of the whole process, you can up the numbers.” Paul and his associates eventually stumbled across a robotic arm to do the job. The arm, housed in Newtown Projects, is similar to the ones used in the motor industry. The most difficult patterns the machine will cut in about three minutes, but the quickest pattern it cuts in less than a minute. This means that the robot can turn out hundreds of makarapas each day. By programming the design into the computer, the operator can cut a number of different makarapas, and hence produce the large array of designs the company offers. For Wygers, this means he can offer more people employment, a key driver behind the starting of the company. “If you are only able to cut 10 makarapas a day, then you are only able to employ two painters. But if you are able to cut 800 a day, you are able to supply enough work to employ 50 people a day, or a 100 people a day. That thing can run for 24 hours, and it can cut 800 to a 1 000 makarapas a day, so we can never employ enough people.”The painters who make the makarapas unique The backbone of Newtown Projects are the painters who make the makarapas so unique with their talented eyes and brushes. Thomas “TJ” Jabulani has been working at Newtown Projects since April 2009, and has become the most senior base-painter on the team. “I was working at the airport before this, I was spray-painting, working on the cars and vehicles, logos and touch-up paint. I like it here, I enjoy the work and the people, and now I have my own Pirates makarapa.” Daniel Molokomme is a 27-year-old artist. “I started as a base-painter because I wasn’t good with the brushes yet,” he says. “I worked my way up, helping the artists when big orders came in. I enjoy art, before this I was in Limpopo doing my artwork there with a couple of friends. “I want to see my makarapas in the stands, and one day people will recall: ‘Hey, this guy did something amazing!’”2010 and beyond At the moment, 35 people are employed by Newtown Projects, but by the time the tournament starts the company will be aiming at having a staff of 40 to 50 people. “What we really wanted to get out of this business, was not only to do something with a uniquely South African product, but at the top of the list was job creation. This is hugely important,” says Wygers. Some local tour operators are already seeing the benefits of such an offering. “We had a guy in here the other day who found out about us,” Wygers says. “He does corporate travel packages and he is bringing a bunch of people over for the World Cup, and they need to be doing things while not watching matches, so one of his ideas was to bring them here to make their own makarapas, with our guys teaching them how to do it.” With plans to expand into the American sports market through baseball and American football, as well as into other sports such as rugby, demand is sure to grow. Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

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Nielsen: U.S. Smartphone Users Concerned About Privacy and Location Data

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first_imgRelated Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Location#privacy#web This Nielsen study specifically targeted those mobile subscribers who have downloaded an app within the last 30 days, so this is a demographic that is familiar with apps and that, at first blush, could be open to trying out the spate of new services that utilize location-based data. That could involve “checking in” or that could just saying “yes” to transmitting GPS data in order to deliver specific content. Regardless, the Nielsen study does seem to suggest that, despite the popularity of location-based apps, many consumers are still reluctant to share this sort of information. Only 8% of women and 12% of men say that they aren’t concerned about their privacy and location data. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… The Nielsen Company’s latest research, released today, into consumers thoughts on their privacy and their location data seems well timed in light of yesterday’s news that iPhones contain a hidden file that chronicles users’ movements. And no surprise – even without knowing about this recent revelation of the potential for iPhone tracking – most consumers responding to the Nielsen survey said they are concerned about the implications of sharing their location via their mobile phones.59% of women and 52% of men say that they have privacy concerns when it comes to the apps they download onto their smartphones. Those older than 45 were the most concerned about their privacy, while those between the ages of 25 and 34 were the least concerned.last_img read more

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Aetas chase OCR national team dream

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first_imgDuterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Only the 19-year-old Yugyug finished without penalty to make it into the top 15 of the race—composed of 20 obstacles that sure will test one’s endurance—that the top three athletes of the Elite male division hurdled in just half an hour.But with other qualifier races scheduled this year and an expected boom in the sport’s popularity in the Philippines in the coming years, the Aetas vowed to work harder to improve their performance.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsLansang, for his part, said he will intensify his training for OCR, a sport which he has fallen in love with since first trying it out during the Allianz Conquer Challenge last December in Clark.Five Aeta youths from the adopted school of Allianz in Porac, Pampanga competed for the 5K Elite races in the recent Allianz OCR Sunday held at Filinvest, Alabang last March 31. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO“Earlier, I was so eager to run and finish the race even though it was hard,” he told INQUIRER.net said in Filipino. “I really want to get the chance to make it to the national team even in the future.” He prepared for the race using unorthodox training methods like carrying piles of gabi leaves and sacks of coal in their community to build his strength.But even those strenuous everyday tasks were not enough to fully condition them for the five-kilometer stretch littered with obstacles like taho carry on an uphill terrain, acrylic climbing wall, and all kinds of rig challenges among others.“I want to train for something harder than the obstacles in the race. In the mountains, we carry gabi and sometimes four sacks of coal, but I need to do something harder. I will try to climb higher rocks in the mountains,” he said.“I was so eager to run today, but we still lack training and  I still had cramps. It was hard, there were times when I thought I couldn’t do the obstacle but I survived.”Gellyann Soria conquering another wall obstacle. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOAllianz, which is also supporting the Aeta community in Villa Maria in Pampanga, is backing these athletes’ dream to excel in the sport and maybe one day don the country’s colors.ADVERTISEMENT “We are not putting a timetable, but what’s important as of this point is they get the training they need. We are giving them a chance to excel in the sport and the life skills to discover new opportunities along the way,” said Allianz Philippines chief marketing officer Gae Martinez.After Sunday’s race, Pilipinas Obstalce Sports, the federation for obstacle course racing in the country, has lined up three more qualifiers to determined the roster for the SEA Games, where six medals will be at stake for OCR.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Gellyann Soria completing the taho carry challenge alongside race participants. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOMANILA, Philippines—Five Aetas had the opportunity to compete for a spot in the national team pool of the obstacle course racing, which is making its debut in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games hosted by the Philippines.Gellyann Soria, Ivy Pelayo, Danilo Yugyug, Miracle D. Lansang, and Jacob D. King of Villa Maria Integrated School in Porac, Pampanga all competed in the Elite 5K division of the Allianz OCR, where the podium finishers earned a spot in the training pool, last Sunday at Filinvest Alabang,ADVERTISEMENT View comments LATEST STORIEScenter_img Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew PBA: Hotshots clinch no. 6 in playoffs, rout Road Warriors Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games messlast_img read more

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THE UNITARY MODEL- WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOUR AFFILIATE?

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first_imgOn 25 June, arguably the most important meeting in the history of the sport will be held. The Special General Meeting will vote on a new constitution that will fundamentally change – for the better – the way the sport is managed and delivered across the country. Let’s assume that the vote is `yes’. What does this mean for the affiliates; for those people actually out there delivering the sport, running competitions? If you’ve been wondering what the answer to this question is, it’s well worth your time to check out the following document… THE UNITARY MODEL- WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOUR AFFILIATE?last_img
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11 days agoAston Villa defender Mings defiant after England debut

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first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Aston Villa defender Mings defiant after England debutby Freddie Taylor11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTyrone Mings was delighted to make his England debut despite being subjected to racist abuse.The Aston Villa stopper started alongside Harry Maguire at centre-back in the 6-0 win over Bulgaria.Mings was the victim of racist taunts from the home crowd, but he was happy the Three Lions finished the match.Speaking after the game, he said: “It was a great occasion; I made my England debut. Slightly overshadowed by a few disappointing chants, which could be clearly heard on the pitch, but we showed a great response and ultimately we let the football do the talking.”I think the protocol was effective, and there was less chanting after that. We made a decision at half-time to come out and play the game, which we thought was the right thing to do.” last_img read more

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AP Investigation Fish billed as local isnt always local

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first_imgMONTAUK, N.Y. – Even after winter storms left East Coast harbours thick with ice, some of the country’s top chefs and trendy restaurants were offering sushi-grade tuna supposedly pulled in fresh off the coast of New York.But it was just an illusion. No tuna was landing there. The fish had long since migrated to warmer waters.In a global industry plagued by fraud and deceit, conscientious consumers are increasingly paying top dollar for what they believe is local, sustainably caught seafood. But even in this fast-growing niche market, companies can hide behind murky supply chains that make it difficult to determine where any given fish comes from. That’s where national distributor Sea To Table stepped in, guaranteeing its products were wild and directly traceable to a U.S. dock — and sometimes the very boat that brought it in.However, an Associated Press investigation found the company was linked to some of the same practices it vowed to fight. Preliminary DNA tests suggested some of its yellowfin tuna likely came from the other side of the world, and reporters traced the company’s supply chain to migrant fishermen in foreign waters who described labour abuses, poaching and the slaughter of sharks, whales and dolphins.The New York-based distributor was also offering species in other parts of the country that were illegal to catch, out of season and farmed.Over the years, Sea To Table has become a darling in the sustainable seafood movement, building an impressive list of clientele, including celebrity chef Rick Bayless, Chopt Creative Salad chain, top universities and the makers of home meal kits such as HelloFresh.“It’s sad to me that this is what’s going on,” said Bayless, an award-winning chef who runs eight popular restaurants and hosts a PBS cooking series. He said he loved the idea of being directly tied to fishermen — and the pictures and “wonderful stories” about their catch. “This throws quite a wrench in all of that.”As part of its reporting, the AP staked out America’s largest fish market, followed trucks and interviewed fishermen who worked on three continents. During a bone-chilling week, they set up a camera that shot more than 36,000 time-lapse photos of a Montauk harbour, showing no tuna boats docking. At the same time, AP worked with a chef to order fish supposedly coming from the seaside town. The boat listed on the receipt hadn’t been there in at least two years.Reporters also tracked Sea To Table’s supply chain to fishermen abroad who earn as little as $1.50 a day working 22-hour shifts without proper food and water.“We were treated like slaves,” said Sulistyo, an Indonesian fisherman forced to work on a foreign trawler that delivered fish to a Sea To Table supplier. He asked that only one name be used, fearing retaliation. “They treat us like robots without any conscience.”Sea To Table owner Sean Dimin emphasized his suppliers are strictly prohibited from sending imports to customers and added violators would be terminated.“We take this extremely seriously,” he said.Dimin said he communicated clearly with his customers that some fish labeled as freshly landed at one port was actually caught and trucked in from other states, but some chefs denied this. Federal officials described it as mislabeling.____A century ago, small-scale fisheries dotted America’s coasts and fed the country’s demand for seafood. But as time passed, overfishing, strict government regulations and outsourcing to developing countries changed the industry, making it nearly impossible for local fishermen to compete.The U.S. seafood market is worth $17 billion annually, with imports making up more than 90 per cent of that. Experts say one in five fish is caught illegally worldwide, and a study last year by the University of California, Los Angeles and Loyola Marymount University found nearly half of all sushi samples tested in L.A. didn’t match the fish advertised on the menu.Sea To Table offered a worry-free local solution that arrived from dock to doorstep by connecting chefs directly with more than 60 partners along U.S. coasts. While its mission is clear, scaling up to a national level while naming specific boats and docks is currently unrealistic. Still, the company is predicting rapid growth from $13 million in sales last year to $70 million by 2020, according to a confidential investor report obtained by the AP.As its business expanded, AP found Sea To Table has been saying one thing but selling another.For caterers hosting a ball for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who had successfully pushed through a law to combat seafood mislabeling, knowing where his fish came from was crucial.The Montauk tuna arrived with a Sea To Table leaflet describing the romantic, seaside town and an email from a salesperson saying the fish was caught off North Carolina. But the boxes came from New York and there was no indication it had been landed in another state and driven more than 700 miles to Montauk. A week later the caterer ordered the Montauk tuna again. This time the invoice listed a boat whose owner later told AP he didn’t catch anything for Sea To Table at that time.“I’m kind of in shock right now,” said Brandon LaVielle of Lavish Roots Catering. “We felt like we were supporting smaller fishing villages.”Some of Sea To Table’s partner docks, it turns out, are not docks at all. Their seafood was advertised as “just landed” from wholesalers and retailers like Santa Barbara Fish Market — which also has imports — and Red’s Best in Boston. Both collect seafood at harbours and companies up and down their coasts.Sea To Table also promoted fresh blue crab from Maryland in January, even though the season closed in November. In addition, the company said it never sells farmed seafood, citing concerns about antibiotics and hormones. But red abalone advertised from central California are actually grown in tanks — it’s been illegal to harvest commercially from the ocean since 1997. Rhode Island and Washington state also supply aquacultured seafood, such as oysters and mussels.Dimin said farmed shellfish “is a very small part of our business, but it’s something that we’re open and clear about.” When asked to provide evidence that the company has been transparent about its use of farmed shellfish, he paused and then replied, “There’s nothing to hide there.”However, days later, he said he decided to drop aquaculture from his business because it contradicts his “wild only” guarantee.Private companies that mislead consumers, clients and potential investors could face lawsuits or criminal liability. Both the Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are charged with enforcing laws to prevent fish fraud. Sellers who know, or even should have known, that fish is mislabeled could be found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, mail fraud and wire fraud. The crimes carry potential fines and jail time.Carl Safina, an award-winning author and leading marine conservationist at New York’s Stony Brook University, said companies that prey on consumers’ good intentions “deserve to be out of business immediately.”A half dozen commercial fishermen and dealers in various regions of the country voiced concerns and, in some cases, anger about Sea To Table. Others have lashed out in the past using social media. Most spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern for their safety and their businesses in an industry where relationships often overlap.Eric Hodge, a small-scale fisherman from Santa Barbara, said he considered partnering with Sea To Table a few years ago. He quickly changed his mind after seeing canary rockfish on the distributor’s chef lists when the fish was illegal to catch. He also learned Sea To Table was buying halibut from the fish market, which relies heavily on imports. He said he spoke to the company about his concerns.“Honestly, they know. I just don’t think they care,” Hodge said. “They are making money on every shipment, and they are not going to ask questions. And in seafood, that’s a bad way to go about it because there is so much fraud.”___The idea for Sea To Table began with a family vacation to Trinidad and Tobago more than two decades ago. Following a fishing trip there, Michael Dimin and his son, Sean, eventually started shipping fresh catch from the Caribbean nation to chefs in New York. Later, they shifted their model to work exclusively with small-scale American coastal fishermen.Restaurants and other buyers demanding sustainable products were drawn to the company by a marketing campaign that provided a story not just about where the fish came from, but the romantic image of an American pastime. And they were willing to pay a lot — sometimes more than $20 a pound — for high-end species.The New York Times, National Geographic, Bon Appetit magazine and many others singled out Sea To Table as the good guys in a notoriously bad industry. Larry Olmsted, author of the bestselling book “Real Food, Fake Food,” recommended it as an answer to fraud in a Forbes article.After learning about the problems, Olmsted said he was disappointed, and that it made no difference to him if part of the business was legitimate: “It either is reliable, or it’s not.”Sea To Table partnered with sustainability giants such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Marine Stewardship Council and the James Beard Foundation, which collaborated on events and referred to the distributor as an industry favourite. They expressed concern that suppliers who knowingly mislabel catch will damage the movement.Sea To Table’s products are sold in almost every state, reaching everywhere from Roy’s seafood restaurants to Tacombi taco chain. It can be found at eateries inside the Empire State Building in New York and Chicago’s O’Hare airport, direct to consumers from its own website and even on Amazon for home cooks to order. In addition, more than 50 college campuses such as Yale, Ohio State and the University of Massachusetts have signed up. So have some of the biggest make-it-yourself meal kits, including Home Chef and Sun Basket, a rapidly growing market that Sea To Table says generates a third its revenues.Whether they know it or not, a company spending money at any point in a long chain that begins with an abused fisherman and ends with a diner is inadvertently supporting the problem. Customers who responded to AP said they were frustrated and confused.“Not ok,” Ken Toong, who is responsible for UMass Dining, said of Sea To Table. “We believed them.”____AP’s investigation began with one of Sea To Table’s nearby suppliers. Located on New York’s eastern coast beyond the posh Hamptons, Bob Gosman Company opened in Montauk as a mom-and-pop clam shack more than six decades ago.Now run by cousins Bryan and Asa Gosman, it is a small empire sitting on a multi-million dollar property. Oceanfront restaurants, shops and motels bustle with tourists in the summer. And its fish market, where 70 per cent of the tuna is imported, has become one of the biggest wholesalers in the area.Gosman’s gets most of its tuna along with other species from a place in the state where fish can always be found, regardless of the season: The New Fulton Fish Market. The nine-acre refrigerated warehouse just outside Manhattan is the second-largest facility of its kind, moving millions of pounds of seafood each night, much of it flown in from across the globe.Beautiful maroon slabs of imported high-grade tuna were on display for several nights in December, January and February, as well as other times throughout last year, when AP reporters roamed the market. The frigid building buzzed with workers on forklifts zigzagging across slick concrete floors, stacking orders waiting to be picked up.In the early hours, often between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., boxes of fish bearing foreign shipping labels from all over the world were arranged into piles with “Gosman” scribbled across them in black marker. They were later hoisted onto a waiting truck with the same name.After a three-hour drive east, the AP watched the loads arrive at the company’s loading dock in Montauk, just as the sun was rising on the tip of Long Island.The tuna, swordfish and other species were then ferried inside Gosman’s warehouse. They came from Blue Ocean in Brazil, Vietnam’s Hong Ngoc Seafood Co., and Land, Ice and Fish in Trinidad and Tobago. Occasionally, boxes showed up from Luen Thai Fishing Venture and Marshall Islands Fishing Venture, part of a Hong Kong-based conglomerate that’s a major supplier of sushi-grade tuna. Despite recent conservation partnerships, Luen Thai has a checkered past, including shark finning and a bribery scandal that resulted in the jailing of a former Cook Islands marine resources minister in 2016.Bryan Gosman said Sea To Table stressed it would not take imports. But with no yellowfin tuna landed in New York during the coldest winter months — which a federal official confirmed — it was impossible to provide high-quality loins from Montauk.“So in the beginning, there were times when we were trying to hustle around fish,” Gosman said. “Buying fish at different places, so it could be a legitimate business plan that they’re trying to follow.”Eventually, with Dimin’s blessing, Gosman said he started getting fish from as far away as North Carolina and trucking it up to New York.They stopped that arrangement in March. Gosman said it wasn’t profitable. Dimin said they wanted to avoid the “complexity of communicating” their sourcing.Meanwhile, in the dead of winter, AP had turned to a chef to order $500 worth of fish on their behalf. Sea To Table provided a receipt and verbal assurances that the seafood — which arrived overnight in a box bearing the company’s name and logo — had been landed in Montauk the day before.The invoice even listed the “Standin Up” as the boat that caught it. But the vessel’s owner said it was in another state at the time, hundreds of miles away.“I know my name is being used,” said Robert Devlin, who was upset by the news. “A lot of people do fraud that way.”The AP also shipped tuna samples supposedly from Montauk to two labs for analysis: Preliminary DNA testing suggested the fish likely came from the Indian Ocean or the Western Central Pacific. There are limitations with the data because using genetic markers to determine the origins of species is still an emerging science, but experts say the promising new research will eventually be used to help fight illegal activity in the industry.Bryan Gosman said they keep Sea To Table’s fish separate, but acknowledged there’s always a chance some imported tuna can slip through with domestic.“Can things get mixed up? It could get mixed up,” he said. “Is it an intentional thing? No, not at all.”___The investigation didn’t end in Montauk. One of the boxes in Gosman’s stack at the Fulton fish market was stamped with a little blue tuna logo above the words “Land, Ice and Fish,” out of Trinidad and Tobago.This is where the AP traced companies in Sea To Table’s supply chain to slave-like working conditions and the destruction of marine life.The global seafood industry is known for providing cheap fish that comes with another price. Unscrupulous foreign companies operate with virtually no oversight in vast swaths of international waters, as AP reported in a series of stories in 2015. Those reports helped free more than 2,000 enslaved fishermen in Indonesia.Though it’s nearly impossible to tell where a specific fish ends up, or what percentage of a company’s seafood is fraudulent, experts say even one bad piece taints the entire supply chain.On learning that Sea To Table’s supply chain could be tracked to businesses engaged in labour and environmental abuses, Dimin said it was “abhorrent and everything we stand against.”He said he was temporarily suspending operations with two partners to conduct an audit.During the investigation, reporters interviewed and obtained written complaints from more than a dozen current and former Indonesian fishermen — including Sulistyo — who were connected to companies in Sea To Table’s supply chain.Sulistyo said his trawler plied waters between Africa and the Caribbean. Occasionally, it stopped in Trinidad and unloaded swordfish, yellowfin and bigeye tuna at Land, Ice and Fish.Some crew members who docked there said they were beaten and forced to work when they were sick or hurt. At times, they said, migrant workers died on board and were tossed in the freezer with their catch while the boat continued to fish.“You are out 500 miles or a thousand miles from shore, he is the law at that point,” John Duberg of Land, Ice and Fish said of individual captains. “And if he feels he has a misbehaving crew member, he may have to take disciplinary actions.”Marine life was treated with even less respect. Some men said they were ordered to pull in as many sharks as they could catch and slice off their fins, which are a delicacy in Asia. The bodies were tossed back into the ocean, a practice banned by many countries.Whales also were killed, their heads sometimes chopped off and their teeth extracted as good luck charms. The workers showed photos and videos of fishermen posing with mutilated sharks and whales. While some men appeared to celebrating, others said it left them feeling sickened.Sulistyo endured the abuse and long hours for a year before jumping to another ship in 2017, demanding to be taken to port. He returned to Indonesia and was classified as a victim of trafficking by the International Organization for Migration.After hearing that just 30 pounds of tuna could be sold in America for more than $600 — the amount Sulistyo earned during his entire year of work — he stared at the ground in disgust.“I want to say to the Americans who eat that fish, please appreciate what we did to catch this fish with our sweat, with our lives,” Sulistyo said. “Please remember that.”____AP journalists Julie Jacobson in New York and Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia contributed to this report.last_img read more

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Lawsuit filed against gas company after Massachusetts blasts

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first_imgBOSTON – Lawyers filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of people who were forced out of their homes for days when dozens of natural gas explosions and fires ripped through three Massachusetts towns.The lawsuit is the first of what’s likely to be several filed against Columbia Gas and its parent company over Thursday’s explosions , which killed one person and injured more than two dozen in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.It accuses the utility companies of negligence and seeks compensation for residents of who had to evacuate but didn’t suffer injuries or damage to their homes.Frank Petosa, one of the attorneys who brought the case, said although families were allowed to return to their homes on Sunday, they still don’t have gas or hot water and must live in fear that the explosions could happen again.“These individuals have had their lives turned upside down,” said Petosa, of Morgan & Morgan.Columbia Gas officials didn’t immediately respond to an email on Tuesday.About 8,600 customers were affected by the explosions. Many had to evacuate their homes for days and may have to go without gas service for weeks.A letter sent by the state’s U.S. senators to executives at Columbia Gas and its parent company, NiSource, on Monday said the pressure in natural gas pipelines was 12 times higher than it should have been.“The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has reported that the pressure in the Columbia Gas system should have been around 0.5 pounds per square inch (PSI), but readings in the area reached at least 6 PSI — twelve times higher than the system was intended to hold,” the letter said.The pressure spike registered in a Columbia Gas control room in Ohio, the senators said in the letter, which requests a reply by Wednesday.“We write to request that you provide us with information in order to help the American people understand why this terrible disaster occurred, whether the company was sufficiently prepared to respond to an incident of this magnitude, and how we can prevent any similar tragedy in the future,” the senators wrote.The explosions are under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Chairman Robert Sumwalt has said the investigation is partially focused on pressure sensors that were connected to a gas line that was being taken out of service shortly before the blasts.On Tuesday, Columbia Gas President Stephen Bryant announced that the utility is donating $10 million to an emergency relief fund for people affected by the emergency.The Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund will help residents of the three communities with food, housing and other short-term needs as they recover, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said.Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, who has been highly critical of Columbia Gas, said the utility is “living up to their corporate responsibility” with the donation.Also Tuesday, Moody’s Investor’s Service said the explosions and fires are likely to damage the finances of Columbia Gas and its parent company.The Wall Street credit rating firm said the disaster was “credit negative” for Columbia and NiSource Inc., and may cause “the deterioration of each company’s financial position.”U.S. Sens. Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday sent letters to Columbia Gas and Eversource Energy – another utility in charge of recovery efforts – asking for more details about how residents have been notified that it’s safe for them to be receiving gas and whether the companies are maintaining a database and map of homes and buildings that have been inspected.The Massachusetts Democrats said there has been widespread confusion about whose homes were affected by the incident.U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a member of the House Subcommittee on National Security, is calling for a congressional hearing into gas pipeline safety nationwide, pointing to the natural gas explosions in Massachusetts and in western Pennsylvania.An estimated 650 pipeline incidents last year caused 20 fatalities and 35 injuries, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Massachusetts Democrat said. This year pipeline incidents have caused at least three deaths and 33 injuries.Lynch said the vulnerability of residents living near pipelines is even more worrisome given the aging state of pipeline infrastructure.last_img read more

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NDIT appointed by BC Hydro to administer Site C agricultural compensation fund

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first_imgNDIT is an independent corporation that was established in 2005 that has managed more than $80 million in funding for partner organizations, including administration of BC Hydro’s $800,000 Generate Opportunities, or GO Fund.Hydro said that NDIT will manage the fund and act as a secretariat to the regional decision-making board, which is responsible for overseeing the management and disbursement of the fund.Northern Development Initiative Trust and the board will work together to develop a strategic five-year plan, fund application packages and evaluation criteria, as well as a financial management plan.For more information about the Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund, visit www.sitecproject.com/AgFund. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro announced today that it has appointed the Northern Development Initiative Trust as the financial administrator of its Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund.The $20-million fund, which was launched earlier this year, supports agricultural priorities in the Peace Region.Hydro said it set up the fund to recognize the role that agriculture plays in the local economy and the potential effects of the Site C project on agriculture.last_img read more

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Synergy – Project Management Event

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first_imgThis event is hosting Sean Craig, a Project Management expert who will help guide the session. Craig has 14 years of experience in project management and has worked on projects all over the world. Craig has led projects worth $300 million dollars and has participated in projects worth over $5 billion. He most recently led the energy reduction project at our local Canfor plant.Synergy would like you to join them and interact with other people from different industries to learn more about project management.FB Event Page CLICK HEREFor Tickets to the Event CLICK HERESynergy attracts motivated individuals of all ages, all industries, and all levels of experience to come together on pertinent topics that are collectively important to the group.Synergy recognized there is strong economic growth and limitless opportunities in Fort St. John. This is a place for individuals to build their career skills in a variety of fields. Synergy can help provide relationships outside of the workplace with people from all over the world and from all walks of life. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Synergy allows individuals in the community to learn and grow from one another using a ‘Think Tank’ model.Wednesday, January 30th from 7 pm – 9 pm, join Synergy at Whole Wheat and Honey Cafe for this free ‘Project Management’ event.Shared from the event page, Synergy says, regardless of your role, if you take on projects as part of your overall position, knowing how to effectively maneuver stakeholders, how to plan and mitigate risks, and properly budget for projects requires a refined skillset from a project leader in Project Management. Synergy is open to anyone interested in building themselves through networking and collaboration. All ages, industries, and all forms of experience are welcome. The benefits of joining the group suggested by Synergy include;– Builds you which in turn, builds your business– Builds relationships, excellent networking activities before and after the event– Builds roots, leading to increased staff retention and staff engagement– Builds inclusiveness, everyone is welcomeFor more information, email; synergy@fsjchamber.comlast_img read more

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Zack Greinke Is One Of A Kind

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Here, we point out that the goal of a changeup is usually to fool the batter by presenting a speed different from that of the fastball. Greinke does not do that. Just over a month ago, the Houston Astros pulled off the biggest move of the season: In a deal reported minutes after the trade deadline had passed, the Astros acquired Cy Young winner Zack Greinke from the Diamondbacks to form baseball’s best rotation alongside Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, the two likeliest Cy Young candidates.Greinke, a future Hall of Famer, has been stellar this season — a 2.99 ERA and a sub-1 WHIP. According to FiveThirtyEight’s pitcher ratings, he would be the top pitcher on two-thirds of teams and the No. 3 on just three — and that’s the one he’s on. The move already has paid dividends for the ‘Stros, who are 5-2 in Greinke’s starts and have baseball’s best run differential since the trade — by nearly 50 runs.Now six weeks into team No. 6 (remember when he was traded to the Angels for the 2012 stretch run?), Greinke continues to adapt. At 35 years old, it’s anyone’s guess how long he can keep up this performance, but he’s signed through 2021 and should contribute through then. And because of the way he’s dealt with his decreasing velocity by relying on command and movement, he should be set up well for continued long-term success.According to Statcast, Greinke throws eight pitches: four-seam fastball, changeup, slider, curve, sinker (or two-seam fastball), split finger, cutter and eephus. (We’ll get back to that last one.) Only Yu Darvish has as many listed on his Statcast page, with the same eight (though the classifications may hide some of Darvish’s arsenal). Anibal Sanchez, Rich Hill and Odrisamer Despaigne are the only pitchers with seven.But it’s not just the variety of pitches that makes Greinke special. It’s how he throws them.Consider his changeup. Greinke throws his offspeed on 21.9 percent of pitches — a fairly steady increase from 7.9 percent back in 2008. Yet as his fastball has lost velocity, from once hitting more than 100 miles per hour in 2010 to averaging below 90 in 2019, his changeup has gotten faster. Instead, Greinke uses a power changeup with devastating late movement. Only Edubray Ramos has a smaller average speed difference. Greinke’s pitch has surpassed his slider, which used to be considered his best pitch, as the second option. Along with this, Greinke’s cutter, a staple of his arsenal in 2012 and 2013, has all but disappeared.Then there’s the curveball, a slow sweeping pitch. Greinke’s curveball is the second-slowest among qualified starters, behind the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin, at just over 70 miles per hour.This is where the eephus comes in. Greinke’s curve can be thrown so slow that Statcast registers it as the arcing pitch. But it’s not clear whether it’s a different pitch or just a curveball thrown slower. Nobody is throwing a true eephus, though six pitchers are credited with the pitch this year; only Greinke has one under 60 miles per hour. But even if you consider his eephus and his curveball as the same pitch, Greinke would still be tied with Sanchez and Darvish for the lead with seven different pitches.MLB pitchers have struck out 16 hitters on sub-67 mph pitches this year. Greinke owns eight of those (and four of the rest are from position players) with his slow curve that can make batters look silly.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/d20e23b5-749c-4869-9845-d5b61e1ee064.mp400:0000:0000:14Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The newest one is the split-finger, which he threw in April for the first time since pitch tracking began in 2008. He’s thrown five so far in 2019, including three to Jacob DeGrom in the same at bat. If he’s experimenting with it now, there’s a chance it becomes a regular part of his arsenal in the future, especially with the Astros’ penchant for getting the most out of pitch selection.But beyond his wide repertoire of pitches, Greinke’s pitching style is one of a kind. He throws most pitches low but gets strikes. Even though he throws fewer pitches in the strike zone than average, he almost never falls behind. And his .198 wOBA allowed on pitches out of the zone is second in MLB, also behind Corbin.Greinke has faced just 11 3-0 counts this year and had thrown a fastball every time, almost always on the edge, until he gave Christian Yelich a perfect changeup last week. None of the 20 other pitchers with as many pitches this year has seen fewer than 15 such counts. In the month of July, Greinke threw 479 pitches and none was in a 3-0 count. He threw eight pitches with a 2-0 count — seven were in the strike zone and the other was fouled off. He’ll throw in the strike zone when he falls behind; that just doesn’t happen very often. And even when he does, batters can’t take advantage — they’re just 2-16 on 2-0 counts this year despite seeing 65 percent of pitches in the strike zone.When he’s ahead, it’s a different story. That’s when the sub-70 curveball becomes devastating. Ahead in the count, Greinke throws just 27 percent of pitches in the strike zone; the league average is 38 percent. And 76 percent of his strikeouts have been on pitches out of the zone, well higher than the league average of 56 percent. And his plan of attack is to go low. On 1-2 counts, specifically, Greinke throws in either the lower third or below the strike zone more often than any other pitcher.Greinke is truly a unique pitcher. His fastball and offspeed have nearly the same velocity, but his curveball is one of the slowest. He throws outside of the strike zone but never falls behind, and batters can’t seem to figure out any of his pitches.Through his impressive career, the one thing Greinke lacks is a ring. He has 11 postseason appearances, but his biggest impact was probably his lone start in the 2014 NLDS (in which he scored more runs than he allowed in seven innings). He makes the top 10 list of career games started without a World Series appearance. But if he earns a huge postseason moment, he could move from likely Hall of Famer to potentially first ballot. Perhaps he’ll have that chance in Houston this October.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

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