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Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania ratify partnership

first_img Tags Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Washington, DC Curate Diocese of Nebraska An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Rector Smithfield, NC Director of Music Morristown, NJ Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Belleville, IL Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Course Director Jerusalem, Israel In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Tampa, FL Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Collierville, TN Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Bath, NC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Bishop Elections The Episcopal Dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York voted Oct. 26 to share a bishop and a staff for the next five years as they explore a deeper relationship focused on creating new opportunities for mission.The move was formalized when Western New York elected the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania, for a five-year term as its provisional bishop. Rowe will assume the office upon the retirement of Bishop William Franklin in early April.“History will judge us as to the right and wrong of the choice,” said Rowe, in a brief address before the vote was taken. “God? God will bless us in our faithfulness to the Gospel call—no matter our choice. And that’s all that matters.”During the first three years of the partnership, the two dioceses will work together to deepen relationships and develop shared mission priorities. In October 2021, they will re-evaluate the partnership and in October 2024, decide whether to continue it.“We have all experienced the new energy that the conversations about this partnership have created, and we have felt what this infusion of energy could mean for our ministry here in Western New York,” said Franklin, who has been bishop of Western New York since 2011. “It’s created a kind of electricity and given many of us a renewed, missional hope for the future of the Episcopal Church in this region.”Rowe will maintain offices in Tonawanda and Erie and make visitations in both dioceses. Elected leaders in both dioceses will continue to exercise their canonical functions. Each diocese will maintain its cathedral and send a deputation to the 2021 General Convention.“This partnership has the chance to infuse invigorating energy into all of us,” said Danielle Bane, of St. Stephen’s Church in Fairview, Pennsylvania.  “And with that renewal, we can do God’s work with greater generosity because of increased efficiency and a marvelous synergy.  I know it will include some hiccups and challenges, but the light that results will shine brighter.  A little vulnerability and faith are always part of terrific innovations.”The vote was the culmination of a 14-month process of consultation. More than 500 people attended eight listening sessions in the two dioceses last winter to discuss the proposed partnership. In May, the standing committees of the two dioceses unanimously voted to support the idea.“We can credit the work of the Holy Spirit to bring the joint energies and the talents of two dioceses under the dynamic leadership of one bishop,” said the Rev. Luke Fodor, rector of St. Luke’s Church in Jamestown, New York. “Sean Rowe is the best possible candidate we could have found to be our provisional bishop.  And now, we look to the future of serving beside new colleagues. May this border crossing moment open our eyes to the way that God is calling forth new realities in our midst.”The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies gave the convention’s keynote address. She said the restructuring initiatives were afoot throughout the Episcopal Church, and described the proposal voted on today as “bolder and more thorough than most.”“The world might swirl around us, but we know who we are, and we can stretch our identity, our faith, and, yes, even our structures to accommodate the changes we need to make,” Jennings said. New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Knoxville, TN Press Release Service Submit a Job Listing Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Submit a Press Release Rector Martinsville, VA Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Featured Events Submit an Event Listing Rector Pittsburgh, PA Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Albany, NY Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Associate Rector Columbus, GA Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania ratify partnership Sean Rowe will lead both dioceses Rector Shreveport, LA AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Posted Oct 26, 2018 last_img read more

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Death threats to journalists and mob attacks on news media

first_img February 26, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Yemen Yemeni journalist killed, nine wounded in Aden airport explosions February 11, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts News February 8, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Death threats to journalists and mob attacks on news media News United Nations: press freedom situation “deeply worrying” in Yemen, according to RSF January 6, 2021 Find out more Organisation center_img Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns a recent surge in media freedom violations and attacks on journalists at a time of political tension in the run-up to the presidential election scheduled for 21 February.Four journalists and activist bloggers are currently under threat from a fatwa issued at the start of February by senior clerics that explicitly calls for their deaths and for the closure of the newspapers and websites that carried their articles.It was the appearance of an article headlined “First year of a revolution” by writer and journalist Bashra Al-Moqtari on the Al-Tagheer Net website on 11 January that aroused the anger of religious leaders and members of the Islamist party Al-Islah. In her article, Moqtari voiced the frustration and disappointment of a people that have seen their revolution stolen.“The revolution thieves have taken over the revolution of the Yemeni people,” she wrote, urging them to take to the streets to continue their fight for freedom and to refuse “the tragedy of a slow death, a tragedy perpetrated by the political elites, religious leaders and soldiers.”The fatwa’s three other targets are Fakri Qassam, an intellectual and editor of an independent newspaper in the southern city of Taiz, the satirical writer Mohssein Aeyd, and the Internet activist Sami Shamssan.Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns this fatwa, which aims to silence journalists and activists who say the revolution has been confiscated and who reject the 23 November accord mediated by the Gulf Cooperation Council.Many newspapers meanwhile continue to be the target of threats and attacks by the supporters of former President Ali Abdallah Saleh, who is currently in the United States for medical treatment. Armed demonstrators surrounded the Sanaa headquarters of the newspaper Al-Thawra on 2 February to protest against the removal of Saleh’s photo from its front page.They branded editor Yassin Al-Masroudi as a traitor and prevented journalists from entering the building. Saleh’s supporters then stormed the building and supervised the preparation of the next day’s issue. Reporters Without Borders deplores such practices, which were typical of the outgoing regime, but the Union of Journalists claimed that many journalists supported the action.Armed Saleh supporters also surrounded the headquarters of the newspaper Al-Jomhuryah in the city of Taiz on 4 February, while security forces watched without intervening. Editor Samir Al-Yussoufi reportedly received threatening messages in which he was told that the newspaper’s offices would be shelled. The day before, dozens of gunmen stormed the newspaper’s bureau in Sanaa.Reporters Without Borders stresses its support for the management and staff of both Al-Thawra and Al-Jomhuryah. Such practices constitute a serious obstacle to the ability of the media to operate in Yemen.“The intimidatory practices and death threats to which journalists are currently exposed must stop,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Freedom of expression and media freedom are essential conditions for change in a country that is trying to rebuild after years of authoritarian rule and a year of repression.”On 4 February, demonstrators also forced their way into the building that houses the Yemeni satellite TV station in order to prevent its chief from entering the building. The intervention of soldiers was needed for him to be able to get to his office. The protesters were demanding the removal of the heads of the three state-owned TV stations – Al-Yemen, Saba’ and Al-Iman – and the restoration of the satellite station’s former logo. to go further Fixer for foreign reporters held in Aden for past five months YemenMiddle East – North Africa News RSF_en YemenMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information Newslast_img read more

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CHCHC a vaccine site: Doctor says don’t hesitate to get vaccinated

first_img By The Penny Hoarder Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day The Charles Henderson Child Health Center has been authorized by the Alabama Department of Public Health to be a coronavirus vaccination site. The facility began vaccinations on Wednesday afternoon to qualifying groups including healthcare providers, first responders and persons ages 75 and up.Vaccinations will be given by appointment only today (Thursday) from 2 until 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. CHCHC a vaccine site: Doctor says don’t hesitate to get vaccinated Latest Stories Photo/Jaine Treadwell | The MessengerDeborah Hicks and her husband Ed Hicks were among the first 20 local residents who received the COVID-19 vaccinations at the Charles Henderson Child Health Center on Wednesday. Dr. Elizabeth Dawson administered the Moderna vaccine on the first day the vaccine was available at CHCHC. For times and appointment availability, call 566-7600. Published 9:31 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2021 Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Sponsored Content Email the author Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Patriot Health ZoneHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential Health32-second Stretch Ends Back Pain & Sciatica (Watch)Healthier LivingThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Book Nook to reopencenter_img “The science behind the vaccine has taken 30 years to develop so it’s not an entirely new process,” Dawson said. “At the Charles Henderson Child Health Center, we have a doctor on site and medications to treat any emergence that might arise.”To those who are hesitating to get the Moderna vaccine in anticipation of the roll out of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine, Dawson said, “Don’t wait if you are in the age 75 and up group or in a high-risk group.”“The one-shot vaccine has not been approved and no one knows how long the time lag could be,” she said. “So, it’s best to get the vaccine when it’s available. This is a deadly illness.”Dawson encourages the wearing of masks and keeping social distance. Man arrested for Troy shooting Troy police made an arrest in conjunction with a Jan. 23 shooting on North Three Notch Street. Troy Police Chief… read more Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Print Article You Might Like “The masks do help,” she said. “The air is the problem. You don’t want to be in a small, closed-in area or in a place that is not well ventilated. Outside is the best place to be.”The Charles Henderson Child Center is proud to be able to offer the Moderna vaccine to the public, said Ben Busbee, CHCHC executive director.“After the Child Health Center was notified it was a potential site, the word came quickly that the vaccine would be available on Wednesday so the length of time to get the word out was limited,” Busbee said.“Twenty vaccinations were give Wednesday and we are expecting more to be given on Thursday and Saturday,” he said. To schedule an appointment for the vaccine or for information about vaccination dates and times, call 566-7600. The Charles Henderson Child Health Center is located at 1300 U.S. Highway. Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits By Jaine Treadwell To schedule an appointment, call CHCHC at 566-7600 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. An appointment is necessary to receive the vaccination.Dr. Elizabeth Dawson CHCHC medical director, said the center has received 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine and expects to receive 300 additional doses. Dawson said 20 million doses of the vaccine have been given with few problems. Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies Are…last_img read more

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Limited registrations available for April Fools Half Marathon and 8K in Atlantic City

first_imgThe April Fools Half Marathon and 8K will be held in Atlantic City, April 24-25. .ATLANTIC CITY – The time is now to register for the April Fools Half Marathon and 8K being held on the Atlantic City Boardwalk April 24-25.To ensure the safety of runners, Saturday will include an 8K race, while the half-marathon will be held on Sunday. Registration is capped at 250 athletes for each race, unless the current limit for outdoor events is increased.To maintain social distancing during the events, start times will include small “waves” of distanced runners. More information about COVID-19 protocols are available at https://www.acraceseries.com/EventInformationRegistration is $95 for the half-marathon, $53 for the 8K, and $138 for the Jester Challenge that includes both events.The Atlantic City Marathon Race Series is a division of the Milton and Betty Katz JCC, a non-profit organization based in Margate. The Race Series is dedicated to supporting the local community charitable works as well as the Milton and Betty Katz Early Childhood Scholarship Programs.For more, see https://www.acraceseries.com/For information about sponsorships, contact Race Director Genia Bittner at 609-822-1167 or email [email protected]last_img read more

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Air sector drives growth in SSP UK sales

first_imgSSP, which operates UK travel sites for brands including Starbucks and Upper Crust, has reported a 2.7% increase in like-for-like sales in its third quarter.The company said like-for-like growth in the period from 1 April to 30 June 2018 in the UK and Continental Europe had been broadly in line with the first half of the year, driven by continued growth in the air sector.But the company added that, as expected, trading in the rail sector continued to be weaker, and had also been impacted by strike action in France.SSP said total group revenue had increased by 7.3% on a constant currency basis. At actual exchange rates, the relative strength of sterling against most currencies meant total group revenues rose 5.8% year-on-year.“We have seen a good improvement in the operating margin in the third quarter, driven by the ongoing roll-out of our strategic initiatives, with operating margin growth a little ahead of that seen in the first half,” stated SSP.“Looking forward, whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we are well placed to continue to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and to create further shareholder value.”SSP last year opened its first Knead concept store at London’s Euston station in partnership with Paul Hollywood.last_img read more

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Brazil Shelves Plans to Build New Nuclear Plants

first_imgBy Dialogo May 11, 2012 Brazil announced on May 9, it has shelved plans to build new nuclear power stations in the coming years in the wake of last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan. The previous government led by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had planned to construct between four and eight new nuclear plants through 2030. But the Energy Ministry’s executive secretary, Marcio Zimmermann, was quoted as telling a forum on May 8 that there was no need for new nuclear facilities for the next 10 years. “The last plan, which runs through 2020, does not envision any (new) nuclear power station because there is no need for it. Demand is met with hydro-electrical power and complementary energy sources such as wind, thermal and natural gas,” Zimmermann said in remarks released by the Ministry. “The 2021 plan, as far as I know, will not consider nuclear power stations either,” he added, although he did not rule out construction of such facilities in the longer term. “After the (2011 Fukushima) accident in Japan, not just Brazil but the entire world stopped to analyze and assess,” Mauricio Tomalsquim, president of the EPE energy research firm, told the same event. Tomalsquim said that in the next 10 years, the hydro-electrical contribution to Brazil’s energy mix will fall from the current 75 percent to 67 percent while that of renewable energy sources — wind, solar and biomass – will rise from eight to 16 percent. Brazil’s sole nuclear power plant, located in Angra dos Reis, a coastal town near Rio, has two pressurized water reactors in operation, with outputs of 657 MWe (megawatt electrical) and 1350 MWe respectively. A third reactor resumed work after a 24-year dispute in June 2011, with a projected output of 1245 MWe. It is expected to be completed in 2015. The Angras do Reis plant currently generates around three percent of Brazil’s energy production, which relies overwhelmingly on hydroelectric installations. Brazil, Latin America’s dominant power, and neighboring Argentina are the only South American countries operating civilian nuclear power stations.last_img read more

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The HOW (Hotel Operations Weekend) Festival takes place in less than a month!

first_imgHOW (Hotel Operations Weekend) The festival is the first festival in Europe on the topic of hotel operations, which will be held on September 28 and 29, 2017 at the Falkensteiner Hotel Iadera in Petrčane near Zadar.The Festival will discuss global trends in hotel operations and business optimization models and improve communication and sales to customers. The HOW Festival is the only one in the region to bring together over 400 participants, mostly hotel directors, heads of operations and hotel departments in larger hotel companies and hotel directors in individual facilities. Also, it is the only one that discusses the daily hotel business, solutions that improve and modernize the same and global trends that attract new generations of tourists.The program is segmented on the first day in which there are panel discussions and lectures for all participants while on the second day parallel workshops are organized divided into hotel departments such as:Household:Outsourcing hotel laundry – is it worth it?Household organization – how to reduce cost while increasing staff efficiencyReception: “Seeking an authentic experience” – how can the reception bring the local way of life and experience closer to tourists?How is the technology implemented in the reception?Food and drink: How to increase usability and reduce food costs?How can hotel bars be profitable?Sales and marketing:Digital networks and web content – how important is it?… And other topicsTechnology:How to choose the right technology?… And other topics The aim of the Festival is to bring together representatives of tourism and hotel management from across the region, to present international trends in hotel operations and examples of good practice, and to provide entertainment and networking of participants. HOW is designed as a gathering of hotel directors, operations managers and hotel department heads to discuss and present the latest global trends in hotel operations in one place and how to implement them in everyday work.”Leading hoteliers in the region have expressed interest in presenting current trends and examples of successful practice, and we want to present global trends in hotel operations to participants, but also encourage them to implement new services and products. The very concept of the Festival is aimed at developing B2B business, networking of participants and raising the quality of hotel business and services. ”Points out the organizer Marina Franolić from the company Proficiscor dooSome of the over 50 confirmed regional and international experts of the HOW Festival 2017 are: Dalibor Šumiga, is an expert in behavioral and guerrilla marketing, consumer psychology and Google Ambassador, Frank Reul, Director General for Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia AccorHotels / Orbis, Jacques L. Morand, Vice President for South East Europe, Hyatt International Hotels and Resorts,  Piet Boogert, General Manager of Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy, Joseph Jutt Ferlan, director of DoubleTree by Hilton Zagreb, Marko Lukicic, Member of the Management Board of Jadranka dd, Martin Gahn, director of Top Gahn Quality Coaching and many others.You can see the complete program as well as all information about the Festival at www.howfestival.com.last_img read more

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U-19 National Team of Bosnia and Herzegovina finished Preparations

first_imgThe U-19 national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina did two training sessions on the third day of preparations in the FF BH Training Camp in Zenica.Assistant coach in the BH junior team, Vedin Musić, conveys impressions from the preparations:“After a long time, we had the opportunity to gather and do mini preparations with two generations of players. We saw the condition of the guys after the work stoppage that caught us all. A break could be felt, but we can say that the national team is at a satisfactory level. It is important that we finally get together and did these training sessions.”Musić also added:“There is quality among these guys. With the players from domestic clubs that we have now invited, and with the national team players from abroad, we can create a respectable team that will be ready to make good results in the qualifications.”National team player Ivan Bašić says that the players are in good shape:“We have done these preparations well. It is good for us that we are finally together and that we have started preparing for the qualifications. It was hard to keep fit during the break; everything is different when you are with the team. However, it seems that we are all in good shape and I believe that the break will not be felt on us when it comes to matches.”His teammate Salih Husić thinks similarly:“First of all, I am happy to be at a gathering with my teammates from the national team again. Although we trained during the break, there is a difference in working individually and as a team. Regardless, we are in good shape. In addition, we have a quality team and I hope that we will show that in the qualifications.”The U-19 national team players will finish their preparations tomorrow, when anthropological tests will be done.last_img read more

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Marvin Miller gets to the Baseball Hall of Fame…but no Curt Flood

first_img(NNPA)—When it was announced on Dec. 8 that the late Marvin Miller, the first executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), had finally been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame I let out a yell of glee! Finally, an individual who did so much for baseball and knocked down so many walls has been recognized. Transforming an organization—the MLBPA—that was barely functioning into one of the most important labor unions in the USA was no small feat. And opening the door to free agency, which he and his leadership team mastered through brilliant strategy, fundamentally changed baseball.What was missing in all the excitement was the recognition of the first ‘soldier’ out of the foxhole who, in an act of great courage and sacrifice, laid the foundation for the victory that Miller was able to bring about. Of course, I am referencing the late Curt Flood.Curt Flood, an African American outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, was faced with a forced trade to the Philadelphia Phillies. This was in the late 1960s when baseball players were de facto owned by their teams (due to the “reserve clause”). Flood refused the trade and went to Marvin Miller seeking support. Miller and other leaders of the MLBPA asked Flood some tough questions, including whether he was truly ready for the risks associated with taking such a stand. Flood convinced Miller, as well as player leaders such as Roberto Clemente (Pittsburgh Pirates), that he was ready. And he then received their full support.Flood fought a multi-year court battle, ultimately ending in the Supreme Court, trying to end the reserve clause and institute free agency (the ability of a player, after a specific period of time, to offer his services to the highest bidder). He was ultimately defeated in one of the strangest US Supreme Court decisions ever recorded. Flood was exiled from baseball; went into a tailspin; but, with the help of his second wife, actress Judy Pace and other key friends, was able to reestablish his life. He passed away in 1997.Flood’s case, though going down in defeat, shook up the baseball world and discredited the reserve clause system. It laid the foundation for the strategy employed by Miller a few years later to crack the system and introduce free agency. It is as a result of the courage of Flood and the strategy of Miller that Major League players were able to gain the incredible salary improvements seen over the last four decades.I have, for quite a long time, felt that both Miller and Flood should have been admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Both of them, in different and related ways, changed baseball as an industry. Miller’s induction was a great victory, hands down. Flood, however, was the first soldier out of the foxhole; a Rosa Parks-like figure in baseball who knew that though the odds were stacked against him, he was prepared to stand firm.How could that not merit being admitted into the Hall of Fame?(Bill Fletcher Jr. is the executive editor of globalafricanworker.com and the former president of TransAfrica Forum.)by Bill Fletcher Jr., For New Pittsburgh Courierlast_img read more

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Little Silver Mayor Goes Live on Facebook

first_imgBy Chris Rotolo |LITTLE SILVER – Monday evening Mayor Robert Neff sat in front of his laptop in a vacant municipal courtroom, fully engaged in an official Q&A session with residents from his town.It was a town hall forum, by way of Facebook Live. Throughout the session the mayor posed various topics of conversation and deftly fielded pressing questions from some constituents of his town, population about 6,000.It’s not something many other local politicians have attempted.“I don’t think I had butterflies in my stomach about doing this live, but I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure how many residents would take part,” Neff said. “I was nervous that their questions might stop and we’d have to cut it short. But they kept coming and we actually went over time by a few minutes.”The mayor received 16 questions throughout the 33-minute session, which peaked at 41 concurrent online viewers. But since it aired, users have viewed the archived recording more than 1,000 times. The conversation continues, with viewers posting additional follow-up questions and the administration responding with answers.Inspired by similar sessions conducted by Brick Township Mayor John Ducey, Neff saw these Facebook Live sessions as a potential method to reach residents where they are – online.Neff credited Councilwoman Corinne Thygeson for her hours of research on this new method of audience connection, as well as the time she spent with him planning for potential topics that could arise.“This was really Corinne’s initiative. If you have a council member who has an interest, and takes the lead to coordinate it all, you can pull off a very successful production like we just had. I can’t thank her enough for the hours she put in.”They also tried to anticipate the technical difficulties.His MacBook, decorated with tropical pineapple stickers, was carefully placed atop a stack of books and manuals to align the laptop’s camera with his face so he could sit up straight. He did two or three dry runs and found glitches every time.“When you run into issues people like to say, ‘Just have your aide do it or call your IT department to handle that or don’t you have a public relations person?’ All those things are me!” said Neff, an attorney who once worked as a newspaper reporter.Neff took questions on a wide range of topics, from sidewalk maintenance and garbage pickup, to the liquor license that was passed by a referendum vote two years ago.He explained the liquor license was recently auctioned off and purchased for $300,000 by a company called Brickwall at Little Silver, a group comprised of local residents and those who own and operate The Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room in Asbury Park, who will soon be proposing a similar establishment for the borough that would be located adjacent to the NJ Transit train station parking lot. It was revealed in the broadcast that the Planning Board is still awaiting an application for site plan approval for that bar and restaurant.Neff also touched upon the town’s controversial cell tower and said the Borough Council is not attempting to break the 25-year lease agreement between Little Silver and Verizon. In hopes of quelling public concerns about potentially harmful radio waves emitted from the tower, the mayor was adamant that the structure has been tested and is well within federal guidelines.One of the final questions posed to Neff was about the municipality’s stance on marijuana and if the borough had an ordinance in place banning cannabis sales in its 2.7-square-mile town. The mayor made a distinction between the use of medical marijuana, as opposed to the sale of recreational products, stating, “The selling of marijuana within town shops isn’t something Little Silver would be excited about. And neither would our law enforcement officials.”Neff went on to explain that the borough does not currently have an ordinance in place banning its sale primarily because the substance is still illegal in New Jersey. However, he does anticipate that such a proposal to ban these types of shops will come before the council in the near future.When he was finished, Neff said the session was fun, and he got great feedback.But whether the method will gain popularity among other Two River-area leaders remains to be seen. Middletown Mayor Stephanie Murray isn’t completely ruling it out.“Considering that over 80 percent of the U.S. population has a social networking profile, it makes sense for governments to adapt and communicate that way,” Murray said. “We’re not currently using Facebook Live to interact with our residents, but we are communicating across a number of social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.”Murray also spoke to the importance of accessibility, specifically in-person meetings, saying, “I truly enjoy meeting with residents at my open office hours and I don’t plan on replacing those face-to-face interactions with technological ones.”Neff’s Facebook session can be viewed on the Borough of Little Silver Facebook page.This article was first published in the March 15-22, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

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