THE POWER OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT/OWNERSHIP – (PART ONE): WHAT COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IS AND CAN…

first_imgIt has been tried and proven over the years in the Western World (Europe, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and it is becoming so in some parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America that decentralization is one of the keys to good governance. The Liberian government, through the Governance Commission, is pushing through decentralization as a means of developing and sustaining a stable democracy (government by the people and for the people). It recently launched the decongestion program as a means of implementing some of the fine recommendations from the Governance Commission.As terrible as Ebola is, it has taught and is still teaching a lot of positive lessons to help citizens and governments of the most affected countries to change and live better lives. One of such vital lessons is the power of community ownership or engagement. This article introduces a short series to aid us reflect a bit on the role and significance of communities in tackling communal and national problems as well as implementing projects and programs for the good of institutions, communities and the nation.The series will proceed as follows: this introductory article will define what community ownership is and can achieve. The second article will consider how to promote community engagement at every level of the Liberian society. In the third article the focus will be on the role of effective communication for initiating and sustaining community engagement. The thrust of the fourth article will be on the role and responsibility of influential or opinion leaders in the community. And the fifth and final article will delve into the means (how to) sustain community ownership.What is community engagement and why is it so important for overcoming common challenges and advancing the betterment of all of society? Community engagement or ownership means the community’s full participation in whatever that affects its wellbeing, good or ill. This requires the involvement of the community in decision making, implementation, evaluating outcomes, and the processes leading to them.In the past, and this is still the case in some instances, community projects were decided and implemented by central government or local and international NGO’s or missionary interventions far from the people of the community. If, for example, the government or a Church or an NGO felt that a particular community needed a school it decided the venue, what aesthetic  style, kind of building materials and under took the entire project and turned it over to the people concerned without their input.The unfortunate result of this, often, was that community saw whatever was done for it as the donor’s “thing” and therefore looked to that government or institution as the owner responsible for its upkeep and maintenance. If anything went wrong the end users waited on the donor to come and do something about it. A sense of ownership and responsibility was lacking. This promoted the idea of the community waiting for the government or some NGO to come and do something for the people about their needs and challenges. As a result of this state of affair a deep sense of dependency was developed and entrenched over the years.Community engagement means the community itself initiating and seeing through programs and projects to enable it to overcome problems, and initiate projects and programs to advance its own good causes. It is about making communities realize and take ownership of their own difficulties, strategizing to overcome them and making and implementing things for its own hope and aspirations.I recently heard an African proverb at two UNICEF workshops for pastors and imams to be trained and supported in order to make a positive difference with regards to helping communities fight and defeat Ebola, the reopening of schools, and any future crises and opportunities that require community participation. The proverb says: “When an egg is broken from outside, life dies but when it breaks from inside life begins”. In other words what is initiated and driven by community participation is by far better than what is imposed from outside. Community ownership overcomes dependency syndrome and empowers communities to grow and tackle common problems.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Sony looks to play in download services

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TOKYO – Sony may soon compete directly with Apple and its popular iPods and iTunes, producing its own movie-download service and products, company officials said Tuesday. “Music and video downloading has been available through networks, and we are looking into the area as a possible business,” said Sony spokesman Shigenori Yoshida. The Japanese pioneer of personal music players fell behind Apple Inc. and its market-leading iPod. It also got a late start on flat-panel TVs, forcing Sony Corp. to cut jobs, shut plants and shed underperforming divisions under the guidance of Chief Executive Howard Stringer, who took over in 2005. Last week, Sony revealed a new Walkman video player that comes with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media Player 11, capable of managing digital libraries in the U.S. and Europe. The LCD-mounted players, which will also be compatible with MPEG-4 encoded video and AVC, are already available in Japan.last_img read more

Putting her best foot forward

first_imgIt was only fitting that Aja Mandrell’s tying goal in Quartz Hill High’s 1-1 tie Jan. 26 with Golden League rival Highland came with her left foot. To that point, one of the Rebels’ best offensive weapons had been nearly nonexistent, thanks to a fluke injury suffered during club soccer last fall. Mandrell believed she had an ingrown nail on her left big toe. She soon discovered there was a non-malignant tumor pushing up on the nail, and she needed surgery to have it removed. With teammate Shannon Cox already recovering from surgery – she had a 14-inch rod placed in her shin after suffering broken a fibula and tibia playing indoor soccer last May – Quartz Hill’s offense found itself missing two crucial components before the season started. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “At first, the doctors made it seem like I was going to be out for a day or two,” said Mandrell, a senior forward. “Then it turned into a week. By the time it was all over, it was most of the preseason.” Without the two stars, the Rebels struggled to consistently score goals during their preleague schedule. “When I was injured, I didn’t want to baby myself, because that’s the worst thing I could do,” said Mandrell, who made her season debut in Quartz Hill’s 2-1 loss Jan. 6 to Highland. “As a captain, missing that bonding period (in preseason) and not being able to lead the team was hard. But not playing was a killer to me.” Said Cox: “I can’t say I’ve felt sorry for (our situation). It just took us a little longer to mesh, and we just accepted it for what it was and moved on.” Although Cox and Mandrell don’t claim to be at 100 percent, their presence and energy has sparked the Rebels (10-5-3, 6-1-2) to an eight-game unbeaten streak – heading into Wednesday’s match at Knight – since the loss to Highland (17-2-3, 7-0-1). “I think it’s made a big difference,” Cox said. “We both play important positions, and we both try to get the other players involved in the offense. We’ve played together for three years, so that helped our chemistry fall back into place.” Although Quartz Hill lost to Highland – only its third setback in 91 league games since 1998 – with Mandrell back on the field, it told veteran coach Maury Cauchon and the Rebels they could compete with the defending league champion. “That was a huge game for us,” said Cox, who scored Quartz Hill’s lone goal against the Bulldogs on a second-half penalty kick. “Aja’s a captain, and we all felt better when she was out there. It made me feel more comfortable, and I left that game feeling better about the direction of our team.” Quartz Hill continued to build on its momentum with a 1-1 tie Jan. 13 against Lancaster (16-1-3, 7-0-1), although Mandrell didn’t play because she was on a college recruiting trip to Chico State. She hopes to be a factor for the Rebels when they play Friday at Lancaster at 6 p.m. “I feel like I have more to prove because I wasn’t there the first time,” said Mandrell, who also is considering Baylor, Portland State and Wright State. “We have to get up for this game as much as we get up for Highland.” Mandrell said scoring an important goal against Highland made her feel for the first time this season that she had made an impact in Quartz Hill’s success. “I was really nervous to come back and not live up to my potential,” said Mandrell, who shares team captain responsibilities with Kelsey Banks. “I was scared I wasn’t going to be able to perform at the level I expected from myself. It definitely felt good to come back and play like that.” A victory over Lancaster would be another step forward for Mandrell and Cox, who have made the most out of a potentially disastrous situation. “They’ve both really stepped up for us,” Cauchon said. “Obviously, we weren’t the same team without them, but since they’ve come back, we keep improving as we go.” Said Mandrell: “At Quartz Hill, we’re known for winning, and the pressure is on people like me and Kelsey and Shannon to make things happen. … If we can go out big, then it’ll be a good year.” Erik Boal, (818) 713-3607 erik.boal@dailynews.com 160Want 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

NEW MAYOR FOR DONEGAL YOUTH COUNCIL

first_imgDONEGAL Youth Council has voted in a new Mayor who will lead the group over the coming year. Bridget McDyer, from Rosses Community School in Dungloe, will be the chairperson of the Youth Council for the coming 12 months, ably assisted by Deputy Mayors Aoife Gillespie of St Columba’s College Stranorlar and Conor Farrell of St Eunans College.Bridget MyDyer is hoping the group can continue to influence positive change in the county in 2016. “It means so much to me. It feels like the people in our region are so isolated and their opinions aren’t often heard so being Mayor it means I can give a voice to those young people. I also get to keep working with an amazing group of people from all over the county to achieve the most we can from all our projects and highlight important issues for young people,” she said.Donegal Youth Council had a great year last year under the guidance of Mayor Eamon Conaghan from Deele College, which saw the group win a number of awards both locally and nationally to recognise their ongoing work on a range of topics.Donegal Youth Council is funded by Donegal County Council, HSE Health Promotion and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and aims to provide young people with opportunities to identify, prioritise and work on topics and projects which have been identified by the wider youth population of the county.NEW MAYOR FOR DONEGAL YOUTH COUNCIL was last modified: January 17th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Bridget McDyerDonegal Youth CouncilMayorlast_img read more

Chelsea have ’60 per cent chance’ of signing top January target

first_img huge blow 2 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury REVEALED no dice gameday cracker deals Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? REVEALED “A move to Chelsea wouldn’t be his first foray into English football though; the American spent some time as a youth team player at Brackley Town.” shining REAL DEAL Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January A move to the Premier League is almost certain with the German club themselves, as well as the player’s father, speaking about a possible exit previously.Dortmund’s sporting director, Michael Zorc, said: “We have known these rumours for many years. We plan at least until the end of the season with him.”Meanwhile, in the summer, Pulisic’s father Mark told Sky Sports: “The Premier League is a league where he’s always aspired to be in and play in. As a player nowadays, there are so few players staying at one club throughout a career, the chances of him moving to different clubs and leagues is a high probability.” 2center_img Pulisic suggested he would like to play in England before the USA’s friendly at Wembley tense Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? getty Bookmakers believe there is a 60 per cent chance Chelsea will sign Christian Pulisic in the January transfer window.The Borussia Dortmund attacker, who has also been linked with Liverpool in recent months was a bright spark for the United States in their friendly with England which saw more fans sit up and take notice of his talent. Christian Pulisic is rumoured to be on his way to west London And now, according to bookies, Dortmund are 11/10 to keep the American attacker in January meaning a transfer is a real possibility, and Chelsea’s odds of landing him shortened to just 4/6 on Tuesday morning.How Chelsea could line up after spending spree, featuring Christian Pulisic and Marco IcardiOddschecker spokesman George Elek said: “Pulisic was the only ray of light in the below par USA team that took on England last week, and his availability would have most top clubs take note. whoops Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Latest Premier League Storieslast_img read more

NEWLY REFURBISHED GARDA STATIONS COULD BE ON LIST TO CLOSE

first_imgA number of Garda stations across Donegal which have been renovated in the past couple of years could be on the list of 14 stations to close due to cutbacks, Donegaldaily.com has learned.Tens of thousands of euro has been spent bringing the Garda barracks up to an acceptable standard.However that money could have been spent in vain following the news that the stations could be on the list for closure. The stations include both Clonmany and Carndonagh which underwent extensive renovation in 2009 and last year.Chief Superintendent Terry McGinn has admitted that up to 14 stations could close in the coming months across Donegal.There are concerns that as many as 29 stations could be affected in some way.Former councillor and community campaigner PJ Blake says he has it on very good information that some renovated stations are on the list to shut their doors for good. “Not only is it bad enough that these stations are earmarked for closure but thousands has been spent renovating them in the past couple of years.“Somebody thought it was a good idea to invest in out Gardai and now they have decided overnight that we don’t need them.“The Gardai in Donegal are under enough pressure without these cuts and we must all stand together to fight them,” he fumed.NEWLY REFURBISHED GARDA STATIONS COULD BE ON LIST TO CLOSE was last modified: November 13th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cutbacksGARDA STATIONSlast_img read more

THREE HOUSES BURGLED ON SAME ROAD DURING SPATE OF BREAK-INS

first_imgGardai are investigating three attempted break-ins in the St Johnston area overnight.The attempted robberies all took place at households on the Ballylennon Road area.It is believed the thieves got away with electrical goods, cash and keys in one of the roads but very little in the others as they were disturbed. Gardai have appealed for anybody who may have noticed anything suspicious in the area to contact them. THREE HOUSES BURGLED ON SAME ROAD DURING SPATE OF BREAK-INS was last modified: July 18th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:burglariesdonegalGardaiSt Johnstonlast_img read more

Cottonwood student 7th in region for rodeo at Mesalands Community College

first_imgTUCUMCARI, New Mexico >> Mesalands Community College is announce Wednesday that Kasy Baker from Cottonwood is seventh in the Grand Canyon Region in the bull riding event. The Mesalands Rodeo Team hosted the 9th Annual Mesalands Grand Canyon Region Intercollegiate Fall Rodeo in October, which was the last rodeo of the fall semester.Baker is a recipient of the Stampede Rodeo Scholarship and majors in Artistic Silversmithing at Mesalands.The Mesalands Rodeo Team will kick off the spring season …last_img

What we learned from 49ers DC Robert Saleh on Wednesday at Senior Bowl

first_imgMOBILE, Ala. — Robert Saleh oversaw a unit that allowed 27.2 points per game in 2018, the fifth-worst average in the NFL.Entering his third season as 49ers defensive coordinator and coaching in the Senior Bowl for the third time, Saleh sat down with local reporters in Mobile on Wednesday.Here are a few notable things he said.How will Saleh and Co. sort through a class filled with pass-rushers? The 49ers own the No. 2 pick in April’s draft, and they’ll likely take a pass-rusher …last_img

Capturing market carry

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With too much supply in the U.S. and around the world, corn isn’t likely to move in the short-term without a big event.With 30 to 45 days of the major soybean producing areas of South American growing season left, there is still a lot of weather premium potential left in beans right now. Capturing market carryAfter Dec options expired on 11/24/17, it left me short several Dec future contract positions. Since Dec futures go off the Board of Trade soon, I have to move them to a future contract month. I want to make sure I maximize my market carry opportunities with these trades, but also consider practicalities, like when I will have to core my bins centers out. I selected March ’18 futures.Unfortunately many farmers don’t take full advantage of market carry. This is a shame, because it’s a relatively easy, low risk way to add profit to a farm operation. For me, market carry pays for my on-farm grain bins and then some. Following provides detail on how I will collect market carry on these recent trades and answers some questions farmers have on collecting carry. Trade 1 — Capturing the carry (Dec to March)When capturing market carry, I have to keep my position unchanged. In this case, I bought back the short Dec futures on 11/29/17, and sold the March futures at the exact same time, capturing the 14.5-cent spread. On a monthly break down this is 4.83 cents per month because Dec to March is a three-month trade move (14.5 / 3 months)Does it matter what futures are when this is done? No. This can trip up some farmers, but the only thing that matters is the spread. With March futures higher than Dec by 14.5 cents market carry, I buy the Dec futures back and sell March futures, I’m left with only the profit of the spread. This follows business rule #1, Buy Low/Sell High. In the end, my hedge is still in place and I capture the profits of the spread which is market carry. Trade 2 — Old Crop market carryI also moved my futures position for some 2016 corn I have stored and priced and will hold until 2018. Those hedges were in the Dec ’17 futures too, so I moved them to Mar ’18 as well and collected 14.5 cents on that trade as well.Why choose Mar ’18 versus another future month? There are several things to consider when selecting your carry month. Historical spread trendsMany would choose a summer month like July. However, when I analyzed the average monthly spread premium from Dec to July, a 7 month spread, it is currently paying 30 cents carry. To me this isn’t big enough. Because, over nearly the last year corn has paid nearly 5 cents per month when rolling one futures contract forward each time. This is likely a result of massive amounts of corn in storage in the US and around the world. In other words, the past year historicals indicates the spread between Dec and July should be closer to 35 cents. CommissionsWhile I want to maximize carry, it’s important to consider commissions too. Each time I move futures forward I pay one cent. So if I moved futures from March to May and then May to July, I could end up paying 3 cents extra in commissions to try and capture 5 cents of extra premium. That extra 2 cents of potential probably wouldn’t be worth the risk so it comes down to when I think I will actually move this corn. When I need to move cornRight now I’m not sure when I’ll be physically moving some or all of my corn, it could be winter, spring, or summer. If I move futures to July but then have to move some back to March or May because I end up physically moving some of my grain, I could lose one cent of commission.Unfortunately, much of my 2017 crop is still not fully priced. One cannot capture carry if they don’t have the crop sold. Thus I’m missing some opportunity. As time marches on, market carry opportunity decreases, so that always needs to be considered. If I had more of my crop sold, I may have consider a percentage against July futures at a 30-cent spread to reduce some risk. Letting options expire versus buying them backI recently mentioned how I let most of my options expire or get exercised. Several farmers said they didn’t know farmers could do that and wondered why I would want to do this.Usually, I let many of my options get exercised or expire worthless. Buying options back that have been sold previously costs half- to 1-cent in market premium and another 1half-cent in brokerage fees. Adding these additional premiums and fees to all of my trades erodes my profitability. For example, had I bought back all of the options discussed in last week’s commentary where I had seven trades in place actually involved about 20 different options. That means on 100,000 bushels the extra fees would have been close to $1,500. Since I was comfortable with any trade scenario happening, the extra fees and commission seemed like a waste. But what if my broker doesn’t charge for taking an option position off?If that’s the case, I would ask what the broker charged to put the position on in the first place. In my experience, if there is no cost by a broker to take an open position off, then the broker is already charging the farmer “round trip prices” upfront. I would recommend that a farmer negotiates with their broker to only charge half upfront and half on the backend, so that a farmer is only paying for what they need. A good rule of thumb for me is to minimize the number of trades in my hedge account to reduce lost premium as well as commission fees whenever possible. Lots of trading doesn’t always mean more profits. Why not try to get out of some trades at different times?I’m not very good at trying to time the market. When I’ve tried in the past, I’m usually disappointed in the results. However, when I make a plan and stick to it, my outcomes are much better. Since I have trades built around a number of possible outcomes on each trade, if I am patient and let the trades develop, I’m generally happy in the end.I’m not alone though. No one is an expert at timing the market on a consistent basis, despite the confidence of “experts” in trade. Those that have had some perceived success can become overly confident that they know something no one else does. In reality, these people may have just been lucky.I prefer to stick with my marketing plan that was developed and put in place long ago. I have no idea where the market will go, but my plan was designed for any market direction I might face. I continue to have trades in place for any possible market scenario going forward. I don’t like to try and guess what will happen next, because what if I’m wrong? Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at jon@superiorfeed.com.last_img read more