Recall candidates beef up coffers

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.The recall targets Mayor Gary Taylor and Councilman Jay Imperial, who have supported the Wal-Mart Supercenter being built on Walnut Grove Avenue. The center is opposed by Save Our Community. Taylor and Imperial have not started campaign committees of their own, said City Clerk Nina Castruita. But a group they are affiliated with, No on the Recall, has raised $1,550. None of that money has been spent, according to state-mandated campaign finance records. Steven Ly, a spokesman for Taylor and Imperial, did not return calls seeking comment. The one group not officially affiliated with any candidate, Wal-Mart-sponsored Rosemead Neighbors Against the Recall, raised the most money in July: a total of $25,000, all coming from Wal-Mart. The committee also has spent more than any candidate, pumping $71,369 into mailers, campaign literature, signs, office space and legal services in July alone. Despite the results of her substantial fundraising – most of which came from individuals contributing $100 to $200 – Low said she knows she is no match financially for the retail giant. “No matter how much I raise, I probably can’t beat what Wal-Mart is going to put in,” said Low, a 44-year-old software manager for Raytheon. “All I can do is do my best, connect with my supporters, who have been very enthusiastic. My plan is really to use the money very wisely, to inform voters what is happening in the city.” Low, who also received a $1,000 donation from United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 770, plans to get her message out through mailers and phone banking, as well as walking the community. Download: No on Rosemead Recall (3MB PDF) Rosemead Neighbors Against the Recall (24.8MB PDF) Polly Low for Rosemead (38.7MB PDF) Friends of Victor Ruiz (1.4MB PDF) Gary Taylor (726KB PDF) Friends of Jim Clouet (924KB PDF) ROSEMEAD – Polly Low leads all candidates in fundraising for the Sept. 19 recall election, though candidate Jim Clouet has the most cash on hand, according to documents filed with the Rosemead City Clerk’s office. Low raised $16,822 in July, giving her a total of $22,407. She was followed by candidate Victor Ruiz, who raised $2,328 during the same period, for a total of $8,378 in his campaign war chest. Clouet only raised $50 of his total of $4,350 in July, but had $32,032 in cash left over, mostly as a result of taking out a $50,000 loan against his home to fund his campaign. By comparison, Low has $7,924 in cash left over, while Ruiz has about $4,600. Both candidates are supported by Save Our Community, the grass- roots organization that put the recall on the ballot. Like Low, Ruiz said all his precinct walkers, including himself, are volunteering their time. “We are not getting paid,” said Ruiz, 53, a civil engineering technician. He said Wal-Mart is hiring precinct walkers at $13 an hour to get its anti-recall message out to the public. Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin McCall could not confirm whether Wal-Mart is paying for precinct walkers. Clouet, who is not supported by Save Our Community, said the risk he took in refinancing his house is worth it to improve his city. “I loaned myself $50,000 at the beginning of the campaign, so I think my level of stress is a little bigger than most,” said Clouet. (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Ask It: Best Splurges at Walt Disney World

first_imgShare This!It’s Wednesday again, and we’re putting you in the driver’s seat for another round of Ask It!Last week we asked you:Which of the following WDW Splurges is the best use of money?Truthfully, any would have been a great Valentine’s Surprise, but here’s how more than 700 of you voted (in order from least to greatest):Senses Spa Day (9%)Victoria & Albert’s (24%)Private Tour Guide (30%)Staying Club Level (37%)Spa DayIn general, I’ve found that people either love spa days or don’t see the point or enjoyment in a spa day. For me, I enjoy spending time in the Rainforest Room on a Disney cruise, but I’m not as fond of interaction with estheticians, so spa days would be a waste of money for me. Many people who were fans of spa days commented that you can get a spa treatment anywhere–the experience at Disney isn’t all that unique at any of the Senses Spa locations at Walt Disney World.Victoria & Albert’sVictoria and Albert’s offers an elegant dining experience. Photo Courtesy of Disney. For my husband’s birthday one year, we did the splurge at Victoria and Albert’s, and it is something that I’ll gladly roll pennies for a few years to save up and have another experience there. More than any other meal that we’ve had anywhere, we still talk about some of the unique parts of our meal there. (On Living with the Land, they are growing fiddlehead ferns, so every time our boat passes by, I remind everyone with me that I tried fiddlehead ferns for the first time at Victoria and Albert’s. Not sure how that rates in the world of humblebrags.) Hands down, the food is excellent, and although the price tag is steep, somehow it ends up feeling like you got your money’s worth at the end. Moreover, beyond the food, the intimate setting with a lovely live musician (like the harpist playing the theme from Star Wars) and some of the unique presentations of food and drink makes it an experience that goes beyond “just a meal”. One down side for some people is the required dress code–not everyone wants to dress up in their Sunday finest on a hot and humid August night on their vacation in Florida.Private Tour GuideWhether you look at a private tour guide as “renting a Plaid” (the tongue-in-cheek phrase many people used to refer to hiring official Disney VIP tour guides who often wear plaid) or taking one of Disney’s exclusive behind-the-scenes tours such as Keys to the Kingdom or Wild Africa Trek, the consensus of people who have spent the money on this type of splurge is that it is well worth the price tag. For the VIP tour guide, you not only get someone who truly knows the ins and outs of the parks, but the ability to bypass lines and ride favorite attractions multiple times. The behind-the-scenes tours offer unique experiences outside of a “normal” day in the parks.Staying Club LevelStaying Club Level provides many little extras, like food and beverage offerings throughout the day, including afternoon wine selections.In the end, when it comes to splurge, there is something about saying that you are staying Club Level at a Disney resort that really feels like a splurge. My first time staying Club Level, I loved pulling out that gold Key to the World card any time I could. (Yes, I was staying on DVC points, but no one needed to know that! Maybe that is DVC’s best kept secret?) Each Club Level lounge offers food throughout the day, including a sampling of foods in the evening from the signature restaurants at that resort. And while you could probably dine at one of those restaurants for the price difference that you pay for the Club Level room, there’s a level of attentiveness from the concierge staff that really can make this a grand experience. It really is the definition of a splurge–doing something for yourself that makes you feel like you’re experiencing the better things in life–and that may be why it took the top slot in this week’s votes.Ready for another poll? As Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts wraps up and the plants start popping up for Flower and Garden, we’re curious about what is your favorite event at Epcot. This week’s poll is:My favorite special event at Epcot is:Festival of the ArtsFlower and GardenFood and WineHolidays Around the WorldHead over to Twitter to vote, or leave your thoughts in the comments here or on Facebook. And in the meantime, share with us your favorite Walt Disney World splurge.last_img read more

Photo library: Tourism and leisure 8

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Tourism & Leisure contact sheet (1.1MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Cape Town, Western Cape province: Luxury apartments look onto the marina at the V & A Waterfront, a mixed-use shopping, hotel, business and residential development set in a working harbour.Photo: Rodger » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Capeprovince: The cable car up Table Mountain.Photo: Mary Alexander, » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: Hout Bay. Photo: Mary Alexander, » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: The lighthouse at Cape Point. Photo: Mary Alexander, » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: The Victoria and Albert Waterfront is a shopping and entertainment complex set in a working harbour. Photo: Mary Alexander, » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: A view of Table Mountain from the ferry to Robben Island. Photo: Mary Alexander, » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: A guard tower on Robben Island, once an infamous jail for political prisoners, most notably Nelson Mandela.Photo: Mary Alexander, » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: The manor house at Groot Constantia, one of the oldest wine farms in the Cape winelands. Photo: Mary Alexander, » Download high-res image Cape Town, Western Cape province: The manor house at Groot Constantia, one of the oldest wine farms in the Cape winelands. Photo: Mary Alexander, » Download high-res image TOURISM AND LEISURE 8:{loadposition tourism}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at read more

Cape Town pupils reap a healthy meal

first_imgThe garden includes 40 different varietals of vegetables and herbs – aubergine, tomato, spinach, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, beetroot, rosemary, thyme, basil and many more.In 2013 a study by the African Food Security Urban Network found that 12 million South Africans are food insecure. This in a country that is generally food secure.FOOD SECURITYSouth Africa’s Vision 2030, better known as the National Development Plan, identified food security as an important target in meeting the objectives of the NDP.A project in Cape Town funded by Woolworths MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fund is creating food security for a group of pupils in Observatory and Salt River. The edible garden planted at Observatory Junior School will produce 10 kg’s of fresh vegetables daily, allowing the 1 500 pupils at Dryden Primary School, Mary-Kihn Primary and Observatory Junior School to enjoy a healthy fresh meal.Helene Brand, MySchool’s CSI Manager, explained that the Salt River/ Observatory area was home to many households unable to provide a packed lunch. A secondary benefit she pointed out, “The edible garden at Observatory Junior School is our contribution towards giving more learners access to fresh food and a living garden where they can learn how to grow food and take responsibility for the upkeep of the garden.”THE GARDENThe garden at Observatory Primary is 400 square meters and includes 40 different varietals of vegetables and herbs – aubergine, tomato, spinach, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, beetroot, rosemary, thyme, basil and many more.Harvested produce is shared between all three schools, and is the base for the healthy lunch provided to learners every day. All three schools will also use the garden as an educational resource centre, actively involving learners in managing the garden. They will plant and harvest what they’ve grown, giving them a lifelong skill.Andy Clark, head of transformation at Woolworths Financial Services, said: “We’ve worked with all three schools through our participation in the Community of Learning Principals and the Partners for Possibility initiative and wanted to continue supporting them, so they can continue on their journey to be more sustainable and independent. They are run by highly committed staff and are motivated to participate in initiatives that will benefit their learners.“We are hoping to roll out more gardens at schools in the area, contributing to the communities in which we operate.”YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOWMore than half of Urban Harvest, the company that established the garden, 250 edible garden projects are based at schools in the greater Cape Town area. They seed gardens and help maintain and train people until they are self-sustainable.Explaining their philosophy Urban Harvest’s Ben Getz said: “The edible garden teaches learners that ‘you reap what you sow’. In the garden hard work pays off in many ways and the learners gain a greater sense of responsibility.“They also gain a sensitivity to and an appreciation for quiet, meditative, slow time when weeding or feeding the garden. They learn about keeping space neat and organised and a respect for nature and its lessons.”FETSA TLALAIn 2013 the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson launched Fetsa Tlala – an initiative aimed at improving household food security and stimulating sustainable job creation in the poorest districts of the country.This initiative ensures that underutilised agricultural land is put under production to increase local access to food.Fetsa Tlala will be financed through, amongst others, the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP). Allocations to provinces will be dedicated to food production, either crop or livestock production. More inclination, however, is towards the production of staple food such as maize, beans, wheat, sunflower, ground nuts and potatoes.CASP is the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries’ premier support programme and is funded through the Division of Revenue Act.last_img read more

Orange Launches Online Music Analysis and Recommendations

first_imgOrange Spain, a mobile operator, has two new music services – ‘New Talents’ and ‘Enjoy your Music’. Both arepowered by Music Intelligence Solutions, aprovider of AI (artificial intelligence) software for music recommendation anddiscovery.Music Intelligence Solutions is an intriguing company. It was founded in 2002 andis based in Spain and the US West Coast. They describe themselves as “a diverse group ofmusicians and mathematicians”. Their customers range from record labels, to radiostations, to musicians and artists, to MP3 Player Manufacturers, to Music Retailers, tomobile operators. So they cover the whole spectrum of the music industry, which isunusual in a service provider.Hit PotentialTheir Hit Song Science technology aims topredict music chart success. It “overlays musical analysis with commercial data such assales, highest chart position, and release date.” On their website aimed at music artistsand producers, the technology is being promoted as a way to analyze the “hit potential”of music. You can read more about the technology here, plus The Guardian ran a good storyabout it back in January 2005.In terms of how it is related to the Web, it is verysimilar to internet radio service Pandora – whichanalyzes music patterns, via software from The Music Genome Project.The Orange “New Talents” service uses Hit Song Science. The idea is to allow independent artists to upload their new music onto the Orange website, providing themwith a hit potential rating free of charge. Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App richard macmanus 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… RecommendationsMI Universe technology,which powers Orange’s ‘Enjoy your Music’ service, is about giving music recommendations to users. Ithas two aspects to it – “soundalikes” and the “music taste test”. The aim is to matchup music with “the user’s music personality”.How does this work? It uses a clustering engine to find musicpatterns (including a “methodology for detecting social trends”) and a recommendationengine to do the matching with peoples tastes. This technology is being aimed at onlinemusic retailers, in-store terminals and mobile services. Here’s howit’s being used in the ‘Enjoy your music’ part of the new Orange Spain services:“…when an Orange customer is browsing music on his phone or on the Orange website,he can click on a track he likes to generate “more like this”. Therecommendation will be presented as a list on his phone, or graphically as a“mini-constellation” on the website. The customer will be presented withtracks from mainstream artists, plus tracks with a high success potential rating fromindependent artists, all of which he or she can sample and download. The tracks presentedwill have a high degree of sonic similarity with the initial track, and a strongcorrelation with the customers musical tastes.”SummaryYou can see the potential of music analysis software to power music services on theWeb – for clustering, social patterns, user recommendations, personalization, and so on. Pandora isalready proving it and these new services by Orange in Spain bring the experience to themobile Web world. I’m expecting this to be a ripe area for growth in online musicservices – and also, in time, tv and video on the Web. Tags:#music#web last_img read more

Iran breaches uranium stockpile limit set by nuclear deal

first_img(AP) — Iran has broken the limit set on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, international inspectors and Tehran said Monday, marking its first major departure from the unraveling agreement a year after the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the accord.The announcement by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and later confirmation by the U.N. nuclear watchdog puts new pressure on European nations trying to save the deal amid President Donald Trump’s maximalist campaign targeting Tehran. Iran separately threatened to raise its uranium enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels on July 7 if Europe fails to offer it a new deal.It also further heightens tensions across the wider Middle East in the wake of Iran recently shooting down a U.S. military surveillance drone, mysterious attacks on oil tankers that America and the Israelis blame on Tehran, and bomb-laden drone assaults by Yemen’s Iranian-backed rebels targeting Saudi Arabia. Those rebels claimed a new attack late Monday on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport that the kingdom said wounded nine people, including one Indian.The European Union urged Iran to reverse course and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the action “a significant step toward making a nuclear weapon.” Iran long has insisted its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, despite Western fears about it.At the White House, Trump told reporters Iran was “playing with fire,” and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the international community to require Iran to suspend all enrichment, even at levels allowed under the nuclear deal.“The Iranian regime, armed with nuclear weapons, would pose an even greater danger to the region and to the world,” Pompeo said in a statement.Though Trump pulled back from airstrikes targeting Iran after the U.S. drone was shot down, Washington has rushed an aircraft carrier strike group, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and thousands of additional troops to the region. That’s raised fears that a miscalculation or further incidents could push the two sides into an armed conflict, some 40 years after the Islamic Revolution and the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.Speaking to journalists in Tehran, Zarif acknowledged Iran that broken through the limit set by the accord.“We had previously announced this and we have said it transparently what we are going to do,” Zarif said. “We are going to act according to what we have announced and we consider it our right reserved in the nuclear deal.”The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, later said its director general had informed officials that it verified Iran had broken through the limit.Under terms of the nuclear deal, Iran agreed to have less than 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of uranium enriched to a maximum of 3.67%. Previously, Iran enriched as high as 20%, which is a short technical step away from reaching weapons-grade levels. It also held up to 10,000 kilograms (22,046 pounds) of the higher-enriched uranium.Neither Zarif nor the U.N. agency said how much uranium Iran now had on hand. Last week, an Iranian official in Vienna said that Tehran was 2.8 kilograms away from the limit. Iran previously announced it had quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium, which at under 3.67% is enough to power a nuclear reactor to create electricity, but is far below weapons-grade levels.However, Iran could have chosen to mix the low-enriched uranium with raw uranium, diluting it and bringing it down under the cap. Pushing past the limit served as a notice to Europe, Zarif said.The “actions of the Europeans have not been enough so the Islamic Republic will move ahead with its plans as it has previously announced,” Zarif said. “We are in the process of doing our first phase of actions both on increasing our stockpile of enriched uranium as well as our heavy water reserves.”Breaking the stockpile limit by itself doesn’t radically change the one year that experts say Iran would need to have enough material for an atomic bomb, if it chooses to pursue one.But by coupling an increasing stockpile with higher enrichment, it begins to close that one-year window and hamper any diplomatic efforts at saving the accord.At the time of the 2015 deal, which was agreed to by Iran, the United States, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain, experts believed Iran needed anywhere from several weeks to three months to have enough material for a bomb.Zarif stressed the country remained on track to raise its enrichment if Europe did not take any additional steps toward saving the accord.“The next step is about the 3.67% limitation, which we will implement too,” he warned.Trump campaigned on pulling the U.S. from the deal, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Since Trump withdrew America from the pact a year ago, the U.S. has re-imposed previous sanctions and added new ones, as well as warning other nations they would be subject to sanctions as well if they import Iranian oil.Amid the tensions, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have launched repeated drone attacks on Saudi Arabia as the kingdom’s long war in the country continues. The Houthi’s satellite news channel Al-Masirah claimed a new attack on Abha regional airport late Monday, which Saudi Arabia said wounded eight Saudis and one Indian. Earlier attacks on the airport have killed one person and wounded dozens more.Trump discussed the situation by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron, the White House said.A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc urged Iran “to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal,” known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.Spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic underlined that Europe “remains fully committed to the agreement as long as Iran continues to fully implement its nuclear commitments.”British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was “deeply worried” by Iran’s announcement. In a tweet, he urged Tehran “to avoid any further steps away from JCPoA & come back into compliance.”As Netanyahu said Iran’s move was a “significant step toward making a nuclear weapon,” he urged European countries to “stand by your commitments” to impose sanctions against Tehran if it violated the agreement.“The policy changed from ‘wait out Trump’ to ‘hit back at Trump.’ That’s a big deal,” said Cliff Kupchan, a chairman at the Eurasia Group and longtime Iran watcher. “I don’t think either side wants war, but both sides do want leverage. We’re in for a rough ride.”In Moscow, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov noted that Iran had warned it was going to exceed the limit set by the deal and emphasized that Tehran’s move followed “unthinkable” U.S. pressure.“It didn’t come as a surprise, Iran long has warned about it,” Ryabkov said.“Exceeding the 300-kilogram limit causes regret, but shouldn’t be overdramatized. It must be seen as a natural result of the preceding events,” Ryabkov said. “Iran has faced an unprecedented and unthinkable U.S. sanction pressure, effectively meaning a total oil embargo, an attempt to strangle a sovereign state.”last_img read more

Court Confirms USD 18 Bn Prestige Oil Spill Compensation

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pexels under CC0 Creative Commons license Spain’s Supreme Court in Madrid upheld the ruling that the insurer and the captain of the Prestige oil tanker are to pay EUR 1.6 billion (USD 1.8 billion) in compensation.Under the final ruling, handed down on December 20, the captain of the ill-fated tanker Apostolos Ioannis Mangouras and the marine insurer The London P&I Club are to pay EUR 1.57 billion in damages to Spain and another EUR 61 million to France.The Supreme Court confirmed the ruling by the Provincial Court of A Coruña, a northwestern city in Spain, made in November 2017.Described as one of the worst environmental disasters in Europe, the 2002 Prestige sinking led to almost 3,000 kilometres of shoreline in Spain, France and Portugal being polluted, and caused damages to the local wildlife and fishing industry.The 1976-built tanker broke in two and sank off the coast of Galicia on November 13, 2002, after sailing for six days with a fracture in its starboard side sustained in rough seas off Spain.It was estimated that a total of 63,000 tons of fuel were discharged into the sea, while the total damage cost was estimated at USD 4.4 billion.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more