Special-ed kids fit with schoolmates

first_img“I remember when it was one teacher tapping me on the shoulder to bring their class in for reading with the special-education students,” she said. “It was done in isolation. “Now all my teachers know that they have to participate in integration and they want to. Teachers meet together for faculty meetings and discuss the kids’ progress, students are together at assemblies and they travel to each others’ classes.” Lessons go both ways Now while the special-needs children are gaining access into the world of their peers, it is the able-bodied kids who learn the most, Abril said. “By the time these kids are graduating, they have had more contact with special-needs people than some people have their whole life. They will approach special-needs children when they are in junior high and high school and hopefully it will be an experience they will carry on with them for their entire life.” Like a protective mother bear, Carol Posthumous carefully stood watch over her special-ed pupils as a boisterous group of third-graders read to them. “Teachers will bring their classes in here every so often to spend reading time with my kids,” Posthumous said. “If you watched them before they came in, you can see that they feel the increased energy in the room.” A special-education teacher for the past 12 years, Posthumous said Valley View has given her kids a chance to feel a part of their school community – something she feels is invaluable to their development. “Integration is just another way for them to experience sensory activities, experience life, experience the real world and be out in public. That’s what you want to do with them. You don’t want them sheltered; you want them out and accepted,” she said. It’s tough for some teachers and children to work with her kids, Posthumous said. They don’t speak, so it can feel like they’re not listening or otherwise connecting. Her advice before dealing with such special-needs kids is to drop any preconceieved notions. “With our kids, you can’t assume that they’re not hearing, they’re not understanding. You have to assume they are listening. They are with us to whatever extent they can.” Erin Spalding, who teaches a regular fifth-grade class, said working with special-needs children has made her look at options. “I love my regular-ed kids, but there is just something about these kids that’s special,” Spalding said. Spalding has two special-ed pupils in her class each day for at least an hour and sends several of her kids to work in special-education classrooms throughout the week. The growth she’s seen in her mainstream kids is almost as impressive as the progress made by her special-education students, she said. “Right now, there are about five children who, I could tell you, will be working with special education when they grow up. They are the kids who want to be with the special-needs kids all the time, even when there isn’t an assignment involved, and that is what it’s all about.” New friends Fifth-grader Delaney Bush has spent every recess for the past two years volunteering with these special kids. Early on, the little brown-haired girl got hooked on the reaction she could get from her new friends. “They just laugh and gleam when you give them attention,” Delaney said. She has developed an especially close relationship with 11-year-old Ashley Renteria. Therapists and aides had tried and tried to get Ashley to perform sit-ups to strengthen her back, but to no avail. One day, Delaney dropped something and dived backward in a sit-up motion to retrieve it. Ashley broke out in chuckles and since then, an abdominal workout has become a part of the two tweens’ routine. Some of Delaney’s friends don’t get it – so she suggests they try it out. “A few of my friends ask me why I spend so much time with the kids, but I really like it. I think they enjoy it when kids their own age talk to them because they don’t get that a lot.” More to be done One special-education advocate gives kudos to Valley View’s integration program, but said it’s not enough. “It’s a great initial step, but what we need to do is create schools and classrooms where all children belong together all the time,” said June Downing, a professor of special education at California State University, Northridge. “If you let these kids in as visitors, they will always be the kids that don’t belong.” Downing, who has written several books on the rights of students with disabilities to be integrated into general education classrooms, said the laws in California, dating back to 1975, clearly describe integration as a goal in special education. In California, the goal now is 80 percent integration for students with disabilities into general-education classrooms. “Research shows that if you have children together who have all the same problems, it is really hard for them to learn social skills and communication skills,” Downing said. “It is very easy to lower the expectation for these kids.” Downing said studies have also revealed the benefits of integration for able-bodied children. “For the children without disabilities, they gain sensitivity, an understanding and appreciation of differences, and they learn problem-solving by finding ways to include their different classmates,” she added. “It really is a civil-rights movement, just like it was for race at one time. We wouldn’t partially integrate kids by race today, would we?” Working toward goal Ralph Scott, manager of the California Department of Education unit in charge of monitoring special education, acknowledged that while there is a state goal, it is exactly that – a goal. “Kids have to have access to their nonhandicapped peers and cannot be isolated, but it also depends on what services are needed for the child and what their individualized education plan says,” Scott said. Scott said federal and state standardized testing also is pushing the need for integration, but it can be challenging. “A lot of it has do with the culture of the school. Some are very open, and some aren’t.” Abril admits that the road to integration wasn’t easy. “I do not have a special-education background,” the principal said. “It was a big paradigm shift for me and there was a learning process.” But the work has paid off. “The results have far exceeded my expectation,” Abril said. “Do I think we will ever be a 100 percent integrated school? Probably not. But we are taking steps toward that direction. “By far, this is the best thing we have ever done.” connie.llanos@dailynews.com (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We used to have another school across the hall with its own teachers, principals and office staff, and now we are one, created with an ideal of 100 percent integration participation,” Valley View Principal Gail Abril said. Before the merger, the Los Angeles County Office of Education ran the regional education program for severely disabled children like Jeremy, kids who were isolated from other children by their disabilities. Local schools and parent advocates decided they wanted to take back their special-education program. Each elementary school district took in a specific area of disability – Valley View in the Sulphur Springs School District educates the severely disabled and medically fragile children. Despite state legislation supporting the integration of children with disabilities into mainstream classrooms, many special-education students are still separated from the other kids. That split convinced Abril to make her school a model for blending the two. NEWHALL – As he slowly lifted the basketball, the boy’s fingers tensed. His arms lifted for the launch and his lips curled into a smile. Claps and whistles followed from the crowd, sharing a piece of this accomplishment. Playing catch is more than a game for Jeremy Chalebek. A few months ago, this 11-year-old could barely hold a ball. A brain tumor when Jeremy was just 7 weeks old left him with multiple disabilities – he can’t talk, he uses a wheelchair and he’s developmentally delayed. But the hours Jeremy has spent playing catch as part of his daily interaction with able-bodied clasmates were on full display one sunny Thursday at Valley View Elementary School in Newhall, where educators are breaking ground with innovative programs that blend special education with mainstream learning. last_img read more

Adam Beach speaks to staff and students at Northern Lights College

first_imgBeach has been taking part in a number of speaking engagements as of late and the point he is trying to get across to younger people is to stay in pursuit of their given passions.“What I’m trying to promote is dreams. I’m trying to promote to challenge yourself to accomplish whatever that passion is. A lot of my friends from high school regret quitting acting to pursue a career their parents told them to do. When I see them they are so dismissed about leaving because I wasn’t the greatest actor when I started but they were amazing and if you think I’m amazing what could they have been been?”He adds when he was younger he didn’t know how he was going to reach his goal but the bottom line was to set one and to keep working hard to get to his desired point.- Advertisement -“I knew when I was 14 that I was out of here. When? I don’t know. How? I do not know but I’ll tell you what, I was going to Hollywood and nobody was going to stop me. Everybody would laugh when I was on stage but I didn’t see any of the laughter. I saw it as an appreciation and a congratulations for doing what you do because we can’t do it.”Beach currently has his attention focused on bringing movie theatres to small northern communities that will play big time movies at the same time they are released in major cities. His goal with the endeavour is not only to provide entertainment in the venture to to inspire people to get involved with film and acting.last_img read more


first_imgBhí Foireann Soisear ag imirt in éadan Naomh Muire sa Comórtas Peil na Gaeltachta Dé Sathairn seo caite. Cloich Cheann Fhaola 1-15 ; Naomh Mhuire 2-02.Pól Mac Suibhne (0-7), Eamonn O’ Chuireainn (0-4), Pól Mac Phaidin (0-2), Mairtin Mac Phaidin (1-1), Ciaran O Gallachoir (0-1). Beidh siad ag imirt Na Rossa an deireadh seachtaine seo, am agus ionad le cinntiú. Beidh Foireann Sinsir ag imirt Gleann Suili as baile Dé Sathairn 4.30i.n. sa i Comórtas Peil na Gaeltachta. Our Minors were narrowly defeated on Sunday against Fanad Gaels in the Division 1 Minor League. Cloughaneely 2-08 : Fanad Gaels 2-10. Cian Gallagher (1-04), Ciaran Mc Geady (1-01), Lee O’ Brien (0-2) and Cian Maguire (0-1). Home to St. Eunans Sunday 17th at 12pm. Our Set Dancers and Ballad Group travelled to Fermanagh on Saturday for Scor Sinsir. Both groups represented the Club and County very well. They did not advance to hte Ulster finals. Buíochas mór do na duine a thug cuidi agus tachíoch!t daoibhe i rith na mbliana. The Club would like to extend their deepest sympathies to the extended Boyle family on their recent bereavement.  Closing date for club membership is fast approaching with only registered members having any chance of getting a ticket for the upcoming Donegal v Tyrone Ulster Championship game. Membership at 20euros can be paid to Marie or Paddy. Only six remain in the national league in Last Man Standing with two weeks to go!! Club Donegal memberships for the season are now available. Each member is entitled to a club Donegal jacket and free admission to all adult club games in the county. Fees for the year are 150 euros or 275euros for a couple and can be paid to any committee member. We are hosting a series of 5k runs and walks over the coming months . There will be a full list of details over the coming weeks.  GAA NEWS: CLOUGHANEELY CLUB NOTES was last modified: March 12th, 2013 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:Cloughaneely GAA club noteslast_img read more

Hull vs Aston Villa: Live commentary, kick-off time and team news

first_img Bruce is hoping to lead Villa back to the Premier League 1 Getty Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener smart causal How Chelsea could line up against Southampton – what system will Lampard play? NEW ERA What is the team news?With their short-term financial issues seemingly sorted, Villa have worked fast to improve their already strong side.Jack Grealish looks set to feature despite interest from Spurs, but Scott Hogan and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy are both out with injury.Hull will have to cope without World Cup stars Kamil Grosicki and Jackson Irvine, whilst Reece Burke is primed to make his debut following a move from West Ham.Listen to live commentary of the Championship clash between Hull and Aston Villa from 6pm on talkSPORT 2 Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more How Arsenal could line up in Arteta’s first official game in charge – Ozil return? Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes ALTERED What time is kick-off?The opening Championship fixture for these two sides, this game is on Monday, August 6.Kick-off at the KC Stadium is at 7.45pm.Hull finished last season in 18th place and under Nigel Adkins will be hoping for better this time around.Last season’s these sides played out two draws, with the last meeting a drab 0-0 here back in March.Where can I listen to live commentary?You can do that right here on talkSPORT 2.Tune in from 6pm tonight on our online player or through your DAB digital radio for exclusive commentary of the game. highlights possible xi Steve Bruce is back in familiar surroundings as he takes his Aston Villa side to face Hull.The former Tigers boss led Villa to the Championship playoff final last season, but they must now rebuild after the painful defeat to Fulham. FOOTBALL LATEST gameday last_img read more


first_imgA Letterkenny-based businessman has welcomed a government apology today after a report into the death of his brother and two other soldiers in the Lebanon was released.Enda Henegan said the families felt vindicated.His brother Corporal Fintan Heneghan, along with Private Mannix Armstrong and Private Thomas Walsh died in the bombing on March 21, 1989. The report found the device should or could have been detected before it detonated. The Defence Forces and United Nations had failed to carry out adequate threat assessments despite greater risks from radical Islamic groups, an independent review stated, while the troops had not undergone adequate mine sweeping training.Enda Heneghan’s accused the Irish Army authorities of a cover-up for the last two decades and said the Defence Forces’ treatment of the families had been outrageous.“After a blanket denial over 22 years, we’re now in a situation that the army authorities in this country have admitted a systems failure, as it is being termed,” he added.“Today does not represent any thought of victory or celebration because today, as every day for the rest of our lives, there are three graves in the west of Ireland.” Cpl Heneghan, 28, from Ballinrobe, Co Mayo; father-of-three Pte Walsh, 39, from Tubbercurry, Co Sligo; and Pt Armstrong, 26, whose widow Grainne gave birth to their first child weeks after her husband’s death, were killed while collecting stones during UN duty in Bra’shit, south Lebanon.For years families and colleagues argued the men died because the dirt track had not been swept for the fatal landmine, believed to have been planted by the militant Hezbollah group targeting the Israeli army.The army had denied any negligence.Defence Minister Alan Shatter ordered an independent review in April, by senior counsel Frank Callanan, when evidence came to light during a High Court case brought by Pte Armstrong’s widow, Grainne. The action collapsed and was settled out of court.The Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter has apologised on behalf of the Government to the families of the three men. They had maintained the road had not been swept for mines before the men were sent out to collect stones.Mr Shatter said: “I met the families and extended to them, on behalf of the Government, our heartfelt regret for the failure to fully recognise, by early 1989, the implications of the changed circumstances in the Defence Forces mission area in southern Lebanon and for the deaths of their loved ones.“While we can never be absolutely certain that their loved ones would have been saved if the Defence Forces had adopted a higher risk posture and appropriate protection measures, we must accept that appropriate operational procedures could possibly have avoided this tragedy.”Mr Shatter said it was clear all the officers and men of the Defence Forces in Lebanon were doing the best they could in a very complex and difficult mission with limited resources. “Notwithstanding this, the report concludes that there was a systemic failure, not alone by the Defence Forces but by the Unifil mission as a whole, to respond to the increased threat from improvised explosive devices and from the danger of a targeted attack by radical armed Islamic elements,” the minister said.“Three men have died and three families have been bereaved and devastated by their loss. Our thoughts at this time must be with them.“Unfortunately we can never undo what happened and what should not have happened.“As the report shows, the deaths of Cpl Armstrong and Ptes Heneghan and Walsh could and should have been avoided.“For that, on behalf of the State, I apologise wholeheartedly to their families, their loved ones and their comrades.”DONEGAL-BASED BROTHER OF KILLED UN PEACEKEEPER WELCOMES REPORT was last modified: September 19th, 2011 by gregShare 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:heneghanlebanonletterkennysligolast_img read more

Donegal Death Notices – Rest in Peace

first_imgDonegal death notices for today, Wednesday, July 5.Dan MC GEEThe death has taken place in the Lakehouse Nursing Home, Portnablagh, of Dan Mc Gee of Meenacladdy, Gweedore. Survived by his brother Patrick, nieces and nephews. Removal from The Lakehouse yesterday at 5.00pm going to his brother Patrick’s residence in Magheroarty for wake. Removal from there on Thursday, the 6th, for 11.00am requiem Mass in St Colmcille’s Church, Knockfola, with burial afterwards in the adjacent cemetery. Rosary both nights at 9.00pm.Joe LOUGHThe death has taken place at The North West Hospice, Sligo of Joe Lough, Doohill, Ardara. Sadly missed by his beloved wife Bridget, son Paul, daughters Geraldine, Mags and Caroline and all his dearest family and friends.His remains are reposing at his residence from 11am today (Wednesday). Funeral from there on Friday morning at 10.30am to The Church Of The Holy Family, Ardara for 11am Requiem Mass with burial afterwards in the adjoining graveyard. Family time from 12 midnight to 10am. Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu, if desired, to The North West Hospice, Sligo c/o any family member. Joseph CLARKEThe death has taken place at Letterkenny University Hospital of Joseph Clarke, 525 Bonemaine, Bridgend, Co Donegal. Beloved husband of Marian and dear father of Keith, Annemarie, Jennifer, Emma and Angela.Removal from Murphy’s Funeral Home Wednesday 5th July at 11.00am going to his residence. Funeral on Friday 7th July leaving his home at 10.15am going to St Aengus’ Church, Burt for 11.00am Requiem Mass followed by interment in Burt Cemetery.Packie ‘Annie’ O’DONNELLThe death has occurred of Packie ‘Annie’ O’Donnell, Brockagh, Dungloe, at Letterkenny University Hospital.Reposing in McGlynn’s Funeral home from 6.30pm this evening (Wednesday July 5th) with rosary at 9pm and also tomorrow from 10am with rosary at 6pm with removal afterwards to his late residence in Brockagh. Funeral Mass on Friday July 7th at 11am in St Crona’s Church, Dungloe with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery. House is private from 11pm and also on the morning of the funeral.Helen DIVER (née Mc Laughlin)The death took place on Monday 3rd July 2017 at the Donegal Hospice Letterkenny of Helen Diver (née Mc Laughlin) Hollywell Retirement Village Killea Co Donegal and formerly of “Hill Bungalow” New Line Road Letterkenny.Reposing at Light Chapel of Rest Carnamuggagh Letterkenny on Wednesday 5th July from 4.30pm until prayers at 5.30pm and removal to St Eunan’s Cathedral Letterkenny to arrive at 6pm to repose overnight. Funeral mass on Thursday 6th at 11.30am and interment following mass at Conwal cemetery in the Mc Laughlin family plot.Helen is survived by her step-daughters Noleen and Suzanne, sister Gabrielle Caffrey (Cork) brothers Vincent (Cork), Aeneas (Derry), Nieces, Nephews, sisters-in-law Anne, Roisin, Brother-in-law Gerard and wider family circle. Helen is pre-deceased by her husband Vincent, her father Charles V and her mother Winfred and brother Robert and Paul. Family Flowers only Please Donation in lieu if desired to The Donegal Hospice, Knocknamona Letterkenny Co Donegal. Marie GALLAGHERThe death has occurred of Marie Gallagher Ardnawark, Barnesmore, Donegal.Removal from her residence took place this morning at 10.15am for 11am Mass in St. Agatha’s Church, Clar. Burial immediately afterwards in the adjoining cemetery. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu, if desired, to the Alzheimers Unit, Donegal Town.Donegal Death Notices – Rest in Peace was last modified: July 5th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare 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:donegal death noticesobituarieslast_img read more

Concern raised in Donegal over Garda restructuring plan

first_imgThe Chair of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee (JPC) has raised concern over proposals to restructure the Garda organisation.A network of 19 “mini police forces” is to be set up across the country.The move would see Donegal and Sligo/Leitrim become one force. There are suggestions the plan will mean up to nine chief superintendents and as many as 30 superintendents — almost a fifth of all superintendents — may be “surplus to requirements”.The “divisional” model will replace the current “district” model. There are 107 of these, headed by a superintendent.Under the new model, there won’t be a superintendent in charge of everything in the district, but a divisional superintendent in charge of crime, two to three in charge of community engagement, one for performance, and an assistant principal officer in charge of HR, administration and finance. Councillor Gerry McMonagle said he attended several national joint policing meetings across the country but at no time were major reforms outlined.He told Donegal Daily: “These proposed changes were not raised with us at the JPC at a local level or for that matter nationally.“I would have attended a number of joint policing meetings with other chairs of committees with the policing authority, but plans of this nature were never ever mentioned to us,” McMonagle added.“There was always talk about improving Garda statistics but there was no talk of merging counties, divisions or districts.”The Letterkenny councillor said suggestions of a new plan for the county only created further ‘uncertainty’.He continued: “I haven’t heard anyone from any walk of life, and especially from the Gardaí, who are favour of it. “Most of the rank and file Gardaí are opposed to it, they can’t understand it.“The fact that the Garda Representative Association (GRA) or the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors were not informed, says a lot about this plan.“For example, under the new proposals, County Kerry has been allowed to stay on its own, which is in a similar situation to Donegal without the added pressure and problem of Brexit.“Donegal is on a border with a city that has over 120,000 people, in what is technically another jurisdiction. “Questions have to be asked about why certain counties were allowed to stay on their own but Donegal wasn’t,” he added.“It only brings further uncertainty to the county.“Garda management in the county have been lobbying for a number of years to get increase resources into Donegal.“They work and live in the county and understand what is needed in terms of additional gardaí on the ground, more vehicles and other resources.“Now, if garda management moves to Sligo, which has been suggested, who is going to take care of the needs of Donegal?“And what sort of pressure will they be under if they don’t deliver for Sligo or for Leitrim.“I just think they have put the cart before the horse and now Commissioner (Drew) Harris has suggested he is going to consult with JPCs, the GRA and it is all cart before the horse.“This should have been done prior to this plan being unveiled,” McMonagle concluded.Concern raised in Donegal over Garda restructuring plan was last modified: August 24th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

More Evidence Our Solar System Is Uniquely Suited for Life

first_img(Visited 60 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 With over 2,000 extrasolar planets found around nearly as many stars, there’s still no place like home.“Why aren’t we finding other planetary systems like our own?” PhysOrg asked.  While the menagerie of planets discovered by the Kepler spacecraft is exotic and curious, it primarily shows that our earth escaped certain death.Most planetary systems found by astronomers so far are quite different than our own. Many have giant planets whizzing around in a compact configuration, very close to their star. An extreme case in point is a newly found solar system that was announced on October 15, 2012 which packs five—count ’em—five planets into a region less than one-twelve the size of Earth’s orbit!An attending scientist at the American Astronomical Association’s Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting commented, “If we can understand this one, hopefully we can understand how these types of systems form and why most known planetary systems appear different from our own solar system.”  Now, though, it is not clear.  Most planets orbit very close in, but our sun’s planets are widely spaced.The fact that almost all solar systems found so far are so different than our own has astronomers wondering if we are, in fact, the oddballs. A study from 2010 concluded that only about 10 – 15 percent of stars in the Universe host systems of planets like our own, with terrestrial planets nearer the star and several gas giant planets in the outer part of the solar system.This might be a selection effect based on what our instruments are capable of detecting, but the discovery of so many close-in planets is sending theorists back to the drawing board.There are several theories about the formation of the large planets in our outer solar system which involves the planets moving and migrating inward and outward during the formation process. But why didn’t the inner planets, including Earth, move in closer, too?Fact is, “We don’t know why this didn’t happen in our solar system,” the spokesperson said.  It’s going to require “a new generation of theories to explain why our solar system turned out so differently.”Several science sites like National Geographic gawked at another oddball system that finds a planet orbiting a four stars, leading to inevitable comparisons with Tatooine of the Star Wars mythology.  The real story is that the planet also “challenges conventional notions of how planets form,” an astronomer said.  “The discovery of these systems is forcing us to go back to the drawing board to understand how such planets can assemble and evolve in these dynamically challenging environments.”Update 10/17/2012:  An earth-size planet has been found! –but you wouldn’t want to visit there.  Space.com said that the earth-size planet orbits a member of the Alpha Centauri system closer than Mercury orbits the sun, making it a “hellish, lava world.”  On Oct 18, Space.com used the opportunity of this discovery to list some of the requirements (and desirements) for a planet to be hospitable for life.This is not what the astrobiologists, astronomers and modelers expected.  Migration was brought into the nebular hypothesis in response to discoveries, not as a prediction of those discoveries.  What have “conventional notions” done for you lately?  The sight of experts rushing back to their drawing boards implies that planetary evolution theory is in a mess.  Hot Jupiters abound, requiring them to posit rapid migration toward the star.  Who knows how many fell in?  On the way in, if indeed they migrated, they would have sent rocky planets with interior orbits careening out of their stellar systems.Another problem posed by the hot Jupiters and closely-orbiting rocky planets is the realization that planets had to form much more quickly than the nebular hypothesis allowed.  Instead of slow “core accretion,” theorists invented new ideas out of whole cloth, like “disk instability,” trying to get gas giants to form in decades or centuries instead of millions of years, to allow them time to clear out their orbital debris before the nebula dragged them inward.  This is another example of how inept astronomers are at explaining planets despite their admirable skill at observing and describing them.   Virtually every planet in our solar system surprised them: none of them fit the predictions of the nebular hypothesis and billions of years.Meanwhile, here our earth sits, safe inside our sun’s habitable zone, as most of us pay these cosmic billiard games little mind.   Instead of thanking your lucky star, you might try thanking your Creator.last_img read more

Owami Women celebrates women as active citizens

first_imgThe theme ‘Be Bold for Change’ set the tone for the third Owami Women Play Your Part Recognition Awards held to celebrate women making a difference in their societies.Award winners at the 2017 Owami Women Play Your Part Recognition Awards on 21 September 2017. (Image: Play Your Part / Owami Women)The Owami Women Play Your Part Recognition Awards celebrate women who are socially and economically responsible, influential and engaged at a local community level.Women have played an important part over the years in relieving many of South Africa’s social, economic and political challenges, and many socio-economic achievements have been made thanks to the combined energies of women from different walks of life. Acknowledging these efforts is the basis for the partnership between Brand South Africa and Owami Women.The awards evening, now in its third year, took place on 21 September 2017 under the theme ‘Be Bold for Change’.The awards recognise and celebrate women who are developing their communities and are playing their part in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, and skills development. Owami Women and Brand South Africa called for nominations of women contributing towards a positive social change in our nation.Women of all ages converged at Montecasino’s La Toscana in Fourways, Johannesburg, to celebrate the achievements of South African women and to inspire the next generation of young women to take up the challenge and pursue greatness.The Deputy Minister of Communications, Tandi Mahambehlala, welcomed the delegates, remarking that “the National Development Plan recognises that although progress has been made to improve the lives of women, discrimination, patriarchal beliefs and poor access to quality education and career opportunities persists”.Guest speaker, the acting Chief Executive of the SABC, Nomsa Philiso, shared some motivating anecdotes about the role that bold women have played in her life. “What inspires me are women that go for it but do not leave people behind.” She encouraged others to “get people to believe in themselves. It takes nothing away from you”.The awards recognised:Letlotlo Morule from Lebone II College in North WestOfentse Nhlengethwa from Lebone II College in North WestAobakwe Tsheloane from Lebone II College in North WestNangamso Khoza from the Inqubela Foundation in the Eastern CapeRahab Matebane from the Mapitsi Foundation in GautengNabilah Plaatjies from I love ZA in GautengPontsho Manzi from Fabulous Woman in GautengShamila Ramjawan from PrincessD Menstrual Cup in GautengDr Sheena Geness from the Geness Foundation in GautengMargaret Ramatsobane from Sizakele Social and Education Programme in GautengLouise van Rhyn from Symphonia in GautengLydia Hlongwane from I Care Organisation in GautengPhilanthropist and presenter Zuraida JardineFlorah Modiba from the Arebaokeng Hospice in GautengThandekile Nhleko from the Ikhono Foundation in KwaZulu-NatalMotsatsi Mmola, who is a youth change agent in LimpopoLebogang Mashigo from the Nubreed Music Institute in MpumalangaRefilwe Sedumedi from the Sedumedi Foundation in GautengBrand South Africa and Owami Women congratulates all the award recipients and trusts that they will inspire more South Africans to play their part.Click here to see some highlights from the evening.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

August WASDE report bearish, watch the close

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Today’s report is a bearish report. Both corn and soybean production and yields were above trade expectations and near the high end of estimates. Corn production was estimated at 15.153 billion bushels with a yield of 175.1 bushels per acre. Ending stocks were estimated at 2.409 billion bushels. The US soybean production was estimated at 4.060 billion bushels with a yield at 48.9 bushels per acre.Old crop US corn exports were increased 25 million bushels while new crop corn exports jumped to 2.175 billion bushels, up 125 million bushels from last month. Old crop soybean US exports were up 85 million bushels with new crop exports were up 30 million bushels. The strong demand increases account for keeping soybeans from being down 30 cents or more. The ending stocks of 330 million bushels will keep the bears feeling good for the day. Again watch to see what where grains close.The USDA report today is a monthly supply and demand report. Traders are heavily focused on corn and soybean production in the US. For US corn and soybeans they will be watching both total production and yield.  Those numbers are easy to focus on with US corn and soybeans the main talk of the town as the growing season wraps up in a few weeks. This USDA report is the first report using actual field samples of corn and soybeans to aid in determining production and yield estimates.It appears the trade is heavily focused on the supply side of today’s report. Production and yield are easy to talk about. Everyone has an opinion. Discussion on demand has been largely absent ahead of this report. Demand continues to be strong for both soybeans and corn from the US. On Tuesday US soybeans had their 10th day in a row of old and/or new crop soybean sales to either China or unknown destinations.The market has been consolidating and trading in narrow price ranges for corn and soybeans the past two weeks. Any kind of surprise could yield a spike of 10-15 cents for corn and 20-50 cents for soybeans within a few minutes.Prior to the report corn was down 3 cents, soybeans down 9 cents, and wheat was down 2 cents. Near the 12:30 pm time frame, corn was down 7 cents, soybeans down 12 cents, and wheat down 8 cents.The previous estimates for new crop corn and soybeans began with the May report as USDA used trend line yields of 168 bushels per acre for corn and 46.7 bushels per acre for soybean for each of the May, June, and July reports. The July report did feature a small revision for corn and soybean acres using the June 30 acres report.Grain prices have been in a downward spiral since June 14. On that day December CBOT corn closed at $4.48 ¾. Last night it closed at $3.31 ¾. That same day November CBOT soybeans closed at $11.48 ¼, while last night they closed at $9.84. Frequent rains across much of the Midwest improved yield prospects from earlier indications. Bear in mind that not all areas received those rains since mid-June. The “I” states of Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana received those rains. Ohio did not.Don’t be surprised to hear drought stricken corn harvested in Ohio in the next two to three weeks. Corn on gravel ground in Circleville is done, the growing season shortened by both heat and a lack of rain in July. Northwest Ohio has also suffered from a lack of moisture as well as other areas of Ohio, particularly north of I-70.Prior to the report traders had estimated the US corn yield at 170.6 bushels per acre and total production at 14.757 billion bushels. The July estimates from USDA had US corn production at 14.540 billion bushels with a US yield of 168 bushels per acre. Trade estimates for soybeans were 3.941 billion bushels with a US yield of 47.5 bushels per acre. Last month USDA estimated soybean production at 3.880 billion bushels and a yield of 46.7 bushels per acre.Pointing to strong demand, we pick up additional sales again on Thursday with sales of 120,000 tons of new crop soybeans to China. Also today there were sales of 258,000 tons of new crop soybeans to China. Some are also suggesting that the old crop soybean export number could easily increase with this report. New crop soybean sales this week of 102 million bushels were the highest since 2003. They were also the second highest weekly number in history. While not impossible, it would be another strong indication of soybean demand to see old crop exports increase at this date. Keep in mind there is less than three weeks to go for the old crop marketing year that ends on August  31, 2016.Weather forecasts earlier today indicate central Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio could receive 3-5 inches of rain in the next five days. It would easily be welcomed to finish and potentially improve soybean yields. Rains will not bring back lost corn yields at this late date.Soybeans were especially volatile in the first five minutes following the report. They ranged from down 3 cents, then down 18 cents, then 12 cents, then hit 14 cents lower. This all happened within the first two minutes after the report release.We now know what USDA is thinking. The numbers are out. You can argue with the numbers or realize the USDA is over for this month. It will be most interesting to see where grains close. If November CBOT soybeans close below $9.65, they could challenge the $9.43 low early this month. Should December CBOT corn close below $3.25 they could challenge the $3.18 low made in October 2014.last_img read more