Construction on a section of Indonesia’s Trans-Papua highway was suspended after at least 17 people were killed; conflicting reports state the victims were either contract laborers or Indonesian soldiers.In a recent paper, researchers warned the highway threatens to increase social conflict in Indonesia’s restive Papua region, while also degrading New Guinea Island’s ecosystems and the health of its residents.The Indonesian government bills the project as a lifeline of economic development for an impoverished region, but many indigenous Papuans see the project as a means to facilitate troop movements and resource exploitation. Violence in Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua has stalled a massive infrastructure project that researchers have separately warned may threaten the island’s ecological health and the livelihood of its residents.At least 17 construction people were killed on a stretch of the Trans-Papua highway in Nduga district on Dec. 2, with conflicting reports stating the victims were either civilian works or members of the Indonesian military. The attack, claimed by the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNBP), followed the anniversary of West Papua’s declaration of independence, which was submitted — and rejected — on Dec. 1, 1961.The Trans-Papua highway is the latest major development project by the Indonesian government to come under scrutiny in the country’s half of the island of New Guinea. While the government bills the ambitious road as a lifeline of economic development for a long impoverished region, many native Papuans see it as a means to more quickly move troops around to quash uprisings while opening the island for resource exploitation.Three major hotspots of deforestation (in circled areas) are expected if the Trans-Papuan Highway is constructed. Image courtesy of William Laurance.Regardless of the motivation for the highway network, its creation will almost certainly accelerate degradation of Papua’s forests and increase social conflicts, say researchers from James Cook University in Australia in a report published earlier this month.“We’ve assessed big development projects around the world, and this is one of the most worrying in terms of its overall social, economic and environmental costs,” said William Laurance, a distinguished research professor at James Cook University and one of the paper’s authors.“In addition to all the environmental damage, the Trans-Papuan Highway doesn’t make economic sense … The roads would be extremely expensive to build and maintain because they’d have to traverse some of the steepest and most difficult terrain imaginable.”No passage exists through much of the corridor planned for the highway, and researchers warn that opening up access to these areas will result in increased deforestation, increased conflicts over competing land claims, and increased development of mining concessions, in particular those located inside Lorentz National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The park is the largest protected area in Southeast Asia, and the only one in the world that spans a continuous range of ecosystems between high-alpine glaciers and a tropical marine environment. One of the world’s largest gold mines, Grasberg, operated by U.S.-based Freeport McMoRan, operates just outside the park’s northwest corner in the Maoke Mountains. Much of the area surrounding the mine has been designated as mining concessions, 19 of which overlap with Lorentz National Park.Planned roads and mining concessions in the Lorenz World Heritage Site. The roads are part of the Trans-Papuan Highway. Image courtesy of William Laurance.While many of these mining claims are still in the exploration phase, the researchers suspect the 211 kilometers (131 miles) of new road planned within the park will all but ensure development within the protected area proceeds, following a pattern seen repeatedly throughout the country.At the southeastern reaches of the highway, the proposed road corridors connect several areas of forest that have remained intact thanks to their inaccessibility. Where roads already exist nearby, deforestation has been accelerating, with large areas experiencing greater than 75 percent forest cover loss over the last 20 years.Much of the land at the road’s southern terminus comprises peat forest and probable peat swamp, large swaths of which were designated in 2010 as part of the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE). That 12,000-square-kilometer (4,600-square-mile) mega project was established to increase Indonesia’s food and biofuel security, but has been criticized as an ill-considered land grab that ignores the rights of the indigenous people while running counter to Indonesia’s own commitments to not develop on peatland.The authors of the paper cite MIFEE as another instance where the central government has failed to consider the ecological nuance of an area, or the realities of the on-the-ground local priorities.Despite the nation’s 2013 legal recognition of the rights of indigenous people to their customary forests, competing claims to the land in Papua are far from settled. The researchers warn that rapid road development before resolving these issues will exacerbate political unrest, and possibly even undermine the economic reasons for building the highway.Road construction in the highlands of Papua. Image courtesy of William Laurance.“By cutting through the traditional lands of so many different indigenous groups, the roads will almost certainly provoke anger and anti-government sentiment — and that’s the last thing Indonesia needs,” said Mohammed Alamgir, a co-author of the study from the University of Bangladesh. “These top-down initiatives by central governments tend to do poorly because they don’t take into account local cultural sensitivities and ecological dynamics.”Failing to consider these cultural sensitivities is especially risky in a place like Papua, where anti-government and separatist sentiments have for decades routinely boiled over into public outrage and violence.The western half of the island of New Guinea was formerly a Dutch colony. The Dutch rejected the 1961 declaration of independence by the local people, a move repeated by Indonesia when that country annexed the province in 1963. In late 2017, a petition to the United Nations demanding a vote on independence was smuggled across the province gathering 1.8 million signatures, accounting for 70 percent of Papua’s population.Many Papuans still hold celebrations on Dec. 1, despite Indonesian laws prohibiting them. Some reports suggest the recent attacks on the road builders occurred after one of the workers photographed locals holding a flag-raising ceremony on the illicit holiday. The TPNBP is the armed wing of the Free Papua Organization (OPM), for decades the region’s main separatist group. The OPM says most of the construction workers killed were members of the Indonesian military, while official sources describe the dead as contract workers from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.Potholes in Papuan roads caused by road construction in high-rainfall areas. Image courtesy of William Laurance.Editor’s note: William Laurance is a member of Mongabay’s advisory board.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don't deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called 'Mankind' has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of 'developing' their 'God-given' resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world's highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you're trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can't hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn't come into the picture.2.I don't see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Biodiversity, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Governance, Indigenous Peoples, Mining, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Roads Article published by Isabel Esterman
RAFAEL DOS ANJOS WIN EDMONTON, Alberta (AP): Brazilian brawler Amanda Nunes played a tactical game on Saturday night to beat challenger Valentina Shevchenko by split decision and retain her bantamweight title at UFC 215. "I wanted to show the world I'm here to stay," Nunes said. The judges scored it 47-48, 48-47, 48-47 to run Nunes' record to 15-4. It was a careful fight with few extended skirmishes until Nunes took Shevchenko to the canvas in the fifth round. The fans often booed and chanted, "Fight, fight, fight!" Nunes, nicknamed the 'Lioness', raised her arms as the decision was announced while many of the fans booed the verdict. She later told reporters her strategy was to go the full five rounds to wear Shevchenko down and then strike and hush detractors who said Nunes was an early-round knockout artist and would fade in the long game. "I know the crowd wants to see a knockout ... but tonight, this fight was for me, to go five rounds and prove I'm the best. I'm here to stay. I'm here for a reason," she said. Shevchenko, a Kyrgyzstan fighter nicknamed 'Bullet,' is 14-3. The 29-year-old walked to the side of the octagon, shaking her head in disbelief. "I don't agree with the decision at all," Shevchenko said afterwards, adding: "I won this fight." She said she believed she won three rounds, and while Nunes took her down in the fifth, "I was landing more punches from being on the ground (than Nunes from above)." It was the second time Nunes had beaten Shevchenko in 18 months. The 29-year-old Nunes took a unanimous decision over Shevchenko at UFC 196 in March 2016. The two were set to fight in July at UFC 213, but Nunes pulled out the day of the fight with sinus issues. Nunes has smashed her way to the top of her class over the past 14 months. She bloodied and submitted Miesha Tate in July 2016 to take the belt, and then defended it successfully in December with a 48-second dismantling of star Ronda Rousey. Also, on the main card, in a bout with a potential title shot on the line, former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos submitted sixth-ranked Neil Magny with an arm-triangle choke at 3:43 of the first round of their welterweight battle. The 10th-ranked Brazilian is now 27-9-0. No. 2-ranked flyweight Henry 'The Messenger' Cejudo, looking for another title shot against Demetrious Johnson, nailed Wilson Reis of Brazil square in the jaw, dropping him to the mat, then pounded him into a knockout 25 seconds into the second round. Swedish veteran Ilir Latifi lived up to his 'Sledgehammer' nickname, lifting up and piledriving Australian upstart Tyson Pedro head first to the mat in a light heavyweight tilt. Latifi won by unanimous decision. Gilbert Melendez, dropping down to make his debut in featherweight, was cheered as he staggered up repeatedly from the canvas while taking a hellacious flurry of kicks and punches from eighth-ranked Jeremy Stephens. Stephens won by unanimous decision. HERE TO STAY
Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Two female pathfinders, trailblazers, initiators and visionaries are out to change the world. Media and Entertainment leaders Jerianne Ejercito and Tricia Canilao have partnered to form Boost, a marketing and commercial agency focused on growing brands across the region and building sports properties for the international arena. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsSPORTSAllen Durham chews out Meralco: Everybody played like sh*tJerianne Ejercito has a wealth of experience in brand marketing and advertising. For over a decade now, her own agency has partnered with the largest beer brand in the region. Her portfolio also boasts of other global and regional brands and businesses. Tricia Canilao, on the other hand, is an international music artist who has been on the world stage performing in hit musicals like Miss Saigon and Les Miserables. She also owned and led an events company in Hong Kong, working with HSBC and Chopard, among many global brands and businesses. BOOST is the local partner of MediaPro, one of the largest global sports marketing agencies in the world and the one that handles marketing for assets such as La Liga and is currently tasked to handle regional and domestic promotions for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games, which will be held for the fourth time in the Philippines. BOOST also works, both locally and regionally, with the industry giant HAVAS Group, one of the world’s largest global communications groups. These and all the plans already in the pipeline solidify their position as a major player in global sports marketing and in the communications industry. Women have come a long way in fighting for the right to be seen and heard, the right to be treated as equal to men. In this day and age of seeming wokeness and acceptance as evidenced by the growing #MeToo movement and the largest-ever Pride march in Southeast Asia, there is still much inequality left in the world of business and sports not only in the Philippines, but the rest of the world. The world of sports has long been dominated by men. Sports have been equated to locker-room talks, testosterone, and machismo, with women in power being treated as outliers, cast aside to handle less important matters like parties or events. Some become victims of tokenism, hired only so the company appears inclusive. ADVERTISEMENT 3 arrested in Bicol drug stings JoyRide execs deny using trolls to boost page reviews PLAY LIST 01:32JoyRide execs deny using trolls to boost page reviews01:09Malls set month-long, nationwide March 2020 sale to boost tourism00:50Trending Articles02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has 'natural deadline,' no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian DOJ dismisses CIDG drug complaint vs Albayalde 3 suspected drug pushers nabbed in Lucena busts Navy ship detects US sub off Palawan Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists LATEST STORIES BOOST has already finalized deals in the fields of boxing, golf, volleyball, and soon, e-racing. This will definitely make the landscape of Philippine sports thrilling. With the exciting future of local and regional sports marketing ensured, BOOST aims to be in the center of it all.ADVTSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Education, equal access to it, and sustainable programs for the youth are what drive these already-driven women. They have recently partnered with JCI San Juan Pinaglabanan to implement PROJECT AKLAT, a multi-phase program designed to work in and with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, an agency that takes on most of the global challenges we face today. With plans that include all 1,350 public pre-school students in San Juan covering 21 barangays across two districts, PROJECT AKLAT is dedicated not only to provide the needs of the children in line with the UNSDG, but also to become an indelible part of the community by providing access to educational facilities, updated literature and learning tools, and of course, personalized and meaningful support. ADVERTISEMENT View comments PH Air Force air surveillance radar system project awaits award notice Aside from being both driven and passionate about their work, altruism also brings these two women together. Their extremely busy schedules have not hindered them in any way from giving back, from being personally involved with a number of charitable institutions and causes, more often than not heading such causes themselves, fighting on behalf of their partners and beneficiaries for attention and ultimately, for support. 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0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) Having demolished Portugal 45-15 before surviving a huge scare against Spain to squeeze a 36-27 victory with their 46-15 shellacking of Tunisia in the Africa Cup, Kenya have shot to 28th in the World Rugby ranking.This trajectory from a side that has played second fiddle to their sevens counterparts, skipper, Brian Nyikuli, is bubbling with confidence the team can gun for bigger things.But with title holders, Namibia also improving on their rankings to sit 21st, head coach, Paarwater anticipates a lively encounter when they meet the World Cup-bound side for the first time since overcoming them 29-22 at last season.“I think Namibia are definitely going to come out after us, they will have a score to settle after we beat them last year and nearly kept them out of the World Cup.“They have all their overseas guys back and are a quality side but as I said to our guys against Spain, if you want to compete against the best you must be the best,” Paarwater pointed out.Nyikuli said the new rankings are a major boost ahead of the Namibia trip.“Being top 20 is not easy, its means we have really worked hard and we can be able to take any one. We did it against giants, Portugal and Spain so going away to Namibia we know it will be a tough task but we have the composure,” the Kenya Harlequins back stated.With seven tries in four tests, winger Darwin Mukidza has rightly been identified as one to watch, while Joshua Chisanga, is another youngster who Kenya aim to build their team around in their mission to qualify for the 2019 World Cup after missing this year’s edition by a whisker.Simba lost their opening Africa Cup match 20-28 to Zimbabwe, a side that crushed their World Cup dream last year.“One good thing about this team is 90 per cent of the guys are 22-23 years old. The plan is to keep the guys together for the next World Cup qualifying rounds. I’m grooming some young guys now so they are ready come 2019.“The partnership with Western Province has been a huge success going by the experience we picked in Vodacom Cup last year,” Paarwater, who still works for Western Province as head of talent identification, added.While the athleticism of Kenya’s players has always made them dangerous attackers in shutting out the opposition, the team’s backs have improved, after conceding only five tries in four matches.“When I first arrived to work with Kenya the guys could play rugby but the most important thing was to put the structures in place to help them with the basics of the game – in attack, defence and the kicking game, things we take for granted at Western Province.“Conditioning was another challenge. I had to tell the props there was a difference between being big and fat. The conditioning programme and the structures we’ve put in place have contributed to the improvements in our defence,” he outlined. 0Shares0000Simba captain Brian Nyikuli in action against Portugal at RFUEA Grounds on May 30. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, June 22 – After edging out high ranked Portugal and Spain in international Test matches, national 15s head coach, Jerome Paarwater, is now targeting victory against Namibia for a chance to retain the Africa Cup.The two sides lock horns August 8 in Windhoek where Kenya must beat the hosts who have a match in hand against Tunisia to end the season on a high.
Coupled with Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat at Manchester United, it enabled Pochettino’s men to reclaim second place and close to within two points of leaders Leicester City.After visiting sixth-place West Ham, Spurs face a showdown with north London rivals Arsenal, but despite their walking wounded, Pochettino said: “It’s easier to prepare for the West Ham game after this victory.“They (the players) are happy, they smile, it is always a better mood to recover.“It is an exciting moment for us, but some players we need to manage because some players feel a little bit tired. We came from a very tough period.”While Spurs look to establish themselves as Leicester’s main challengers, third-place Arsenal find themselves five points behind the leaders ahead of their home game with Swansea.Arsenal could not take advantage of an injury-ravaged United team at Old Trafford, where 18-year-old striker Marcus Rashford scored twice for the hosts and set up Ander Herrera for what proved to be the decisive goal, and manager Arsene Wenger conceded it had been a weighty blow.“We dropped three important points, but we have to show we are up for the fight and bounce back on Wednesday night,” said the Frenchman.“We have to not feel sorry for ourselves. Mathematically, what it means, we will only know at the end of the season.”Manchester City’s title hopes looked to have been fatally undermined by consecutive losses to Leicester and Spurs, but although they lie nine points off the pace — albeit with a game in hand — confidence has been bolstered by Sunday’s League Cup triumph over Liverpool.League Cup success proved the catalyst for a late surge to title glory in 2014 and ahead of Wednesday’s speedy reunion with Liverpool at Anfield, manager Manuel Pellegrini is hoping that lightning will strike twice.– Ivanovic warning –“It’s important to continue trusting what we are doing,” said the Chilean, whose side prevailed 3-1 on penalties at Wembley after the game finished 1-1 at the end of extra time.“We continue (being) involved in the Premier League. We have to play (for) another 36 points, so we are not going to give up.“We made a huge step the other day in the Champions League (winning 3-1 at Dynamo Kiev), but winning this title will continue giving us a lot of trust to work.”United, now three points below the Champions League berths, having played a game more than fourth-place City, host Watford on Wednesday.Leicester continue to make a mockery of predictions that their title challenge is bound to collapse and can reassert their five-point advantage on Tuesday when they host West Bromwich Albion.They almost squandered a chance to put pressure on their rivals on Saturday, when it took an 89th-minute goal from substitute Leonardo Ulloa to see off Norwich City, but manager Claudio Ranieri took the manner of victory as a sign of the depth in his squad.“When one man scores a goal, all of Leicester City Football Club are happy,” said the Italian.“Everyone would like to play, but it’s not possible. They believe in the project and they believe their team-mates are playing well.“For me it’s important to believe in them because, when I need some changes, they are ready.”Champions Chelsea, meanwhile, will look to continue their recent upsurge in form when they visit relegation-threatened Norwich.“Every time when we relax, even for a few seconds, we lose points, so we have to go step by step,” warned Branislav Ivanovic, who scored Chelsea’s late winner at Southampton on Saturday.“We have in three days another game and we have to be very careful because it is another away game against a difficult opponent.”Fixtures (1945 GMT unless otherwise stated)Tuesday:Aston Villa v Everton, Bournemouth v Southampton, Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City v Chelsea, Sunderland v Crystal PalaceWednesday:Arsenal v Swansea City, Liverpool v Manchester City (2000 GMT), Manchester United v Watford (2000 GMT), Stoke City v Newcastle United, West Ham United v Tottenham Tottenham Hotspur0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Tottenham Hotspurs are looking to establish themselves as Leicester’s main challengers.LONDON, Monday 29 – Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino said that the balm of victory would help his hobbling players prepare for Wednesday’s Premier League clash with London rivals West Ham United.Harry Kane wore a face mask to protect a broken nose against Swansea City on Sunday and Dele Alli injured his foot in the warm-up, but both players finished the match with smiles on their faces as Spurs came from behind to win 2-1.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champFor the first time in a decade, consumers aren’t tapping home equity to splurge on stuff. Meanwhile, prices on everything from milk to multimedia players are jumping. Even wealthy shoppers are on edge watching the wild volatility of the stock market. “Consumers are more challenged than ever before,” said Britt Beemer, chairman of America’s Research Group, a retail forecasting firm. “Never in my lifetime have we had food and gas prices up at the same time. Toys are in a free-for-all, nobody knows what’s safe or what to buy. People might say, I’ll buy a few gift cards and let it go at that.” According to an America’s Research Group poll conducted last month, 22 percent of consumers said they planned to spend less on Christmas this year than last, about twice the average percentage during the last 10 years. Fears of a gathering storm of economic gloom won’t cancel Christmas, but they’re conjuring up plenty of dark clouds. An unwelcome, early package of high gas and food prices, expensive credit, rising foreclosures and a volatile stock market has many shoppers – rich and poor – planning a little holiday belt-tightening. Joanne Laurie, a mother of three shopping for kids’ books at a Woodland Hills Barnes & Noble, is making a concerted effort this year to control spending and minimize credit-card purchases that will need to paid off in the new year. “I think everybody is concerned about the economy,” she said. “There’s a feeling that things are tightening up.” They also plan to wait later this year to buy and are visiting fewer stores. Holiday buying started strong this year on “Black Friday” – the industry yardstick for day-after Thanksgiving purchases that push most retailers into the black for the first time all year. But store traffic and purchases have since fallen back. November shopping figures were mixed. While retail sales rose a better-than-expected 1.2 percent in November, analysts still forecast a weak holiday buying season. Also, more than half of the 43 retailers reporting to the International Council of Shopping Centers registered lower-than-expected sales. Marie Driscoll, a senior equity analyst at Standard & Poor’s, said the firm is projecting about a 3 percent increase in sales, but that it will take until January to see that as shoppers begin to redeem gift cards. Probably the single biggest change affecting consumers’ perceived financial health is declining real estate values and the big freeze that has tightened credit. This holiday season, for the first time in recent memory, homeowners can’t simply rely on easy refinancing or taking out a cheap home equity line of credit to finance the purchase of big ticket items. Despite recent interest rate cuts, mortgage rates are still up to 2001 levels, and lending activity is at a standstill. Adlai Hayes, president of mortgage lender On Time Capital in Culver City, said refi applications are down 65 percent to 70 percent from one year ago, for the same reasons that home loans are now harder to get. “All are referring to it as back to old-school banking, which means fully documented loans.” For people struggling with mortgage payments, prudence is absolutely key this season. “If somebody is struggling with and going to a lender asking (for help on their loan and the lender sees) all this added debt, they’re just not going to get much sympathy,” said Richard Pittman, director of housing and counseling at ByDesign Financial Solutions, a credit counseling nonprofit based in Commerce. “They had better be cutting back on Christmas, Hanukkah, the Kwanzaa and all that.” He said he was talking to one couple in trouble on their house recently who said they were so busy they had to pay a dog walker $100 a month. “When you’re talking about your house on the line and you’re worrying about the dog, there’s something wrong.” Even among consumers who consider themselves upper-middle class and don’t have specific real estate worries, there’s the feeling that it’s just not a wise time to spend. “I usually spend frivolously (for the holidays)” said Bobbie Horowitz, a retired schoolteacher from Tarzana. “I’m trying this year to be more conservative.” In some cases, she’s gone out of her way to track down bargains. Horowitz and her partner, Steve Kleinberg, have four children and two grandchildren between them. They were out recently trying to find a Nintendo Wii home video console for some of the grandkids. They went to several stores trying to find the $250 game hardware, but every place was sold out. Finally, they found a Wii at a store called Aahs! in Sherman Oaks, but Aahs! was asking $499 for it. Horowitz and Kleinberg drove away and plan to follow up on a cheaper offer for the console online. She said it’s not that she couldn’t afford the higher price. But she wants to do her part to break the cycle of spending more and more on toys during the holidays, not just for her, but for her adult children who are raising kids of their own. “I worry for them. Things are so much more expensive than they used to be.” Decisions about how to finance the holidays don’t affect everyone. Horowitz and Kleinberg said that friends of theirs in the upper-income brackets are completely unaware of any pullback or need to spend more conservatively. “They’re going to South America, Europe … I have one friend who’s going to Antarctica,” Horowitz said. On the opposite side of the spectrum, paying for Christmas presents is the last thing on the mind of someone like Joe Chipman. The 22-year-old Moorpark College student is homeless at the moment, a result of bad timing and bad luck. Chipman clears about $500 a month working part time at a computer repair shop in Simi Valley, but he’s looking for a second job to supplement his earnings. He stays with friends when he can, and his short-term goal is to save enough to enroll full time next semester. “The ratio between the cost of living and the minimum wage is ridiculous,” said Chipman, who said he took the bus to Woodland Hills to look for seasonal retail work. “I think the current economic status of the U.S. is in a shambles. We need serious intervention.” Barbara.Correa@dailynews.com 818-713-3662160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You're all set!
Mark Eddie and friends will perform, 9 p.m. today and 7 p.m. Sunday at J.R.’s Comedy Club located inside Marie Callender’s, 27630 The Old Road, Valencia. Cost: $15, or $25.99 for dinner and the show. Call (661) 259-2291. Sierra Club hike to Sierra Pelona Ridge, 9 a.m. Sunday at the San Fernando rideshare, Newhall. Call Gaylon Rodin at (661) 263-0568 or Melinda Arredondo at (661) 298-9024. Waterfall hike, 9 a.m.-noon Sunday at Placerita Canyon Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call (661) 259-7721. Ranger-led nature hike, 11 a.m. the second, third and fourth Sundays of each month at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road, Agua Dulce. Call (661) 268-0840. Afternoon at the Horse Races will benefit the Santa Clarita Emblem Club Scholarship Fund, 3 p.m. Sunday at the Elks Lodge, 17766 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country. Tickets: $15. Call (818) 368-7777. Shrove Tuesday celebration will feature a pancake dinner and carnival, 6 p.m. Tuesday in Fellowship Hall at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. Dinner: $3.50. Call (661) 297-3783. Ron Osborne and David Zazloff will perform, 9 p.m. Friday at J.R.’s Comedy Club located inside Marie Callender’s at 27630 The Old Road, Valencia. Cost: $12 or $22.99 for dinner and the show. Call (661) 259-2291 or visit www.comedyinvalencia.com. To submit an event for the Things To Do calendar, contact Sharon Cotal two weeks prior to the event at (661) 257-5256, fax her at (661) 257-5262, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at 24800 Avenue Rockefeller, Valencia, CA 91355. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You're all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will be presented, 2 p.m. today and 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 San Fernando Road, Newhall. Tickets: $8-$13. Call (661) 799-2702. Campfire program, 6-7 p.m. today at Placerita Canyon Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call (661) 259-7721. “The Winter Blues” jazz concert will feature the Golden Valley Jazz Ensemble and guest artists, 6:30 p.m. today in the small gym at Golden Valley High School, 27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway, Canyon Country. Tickets: $25, includes dinner and concert. Call (661) 298-8140. Grateful Dudes perform bluegrass music, 7:30-10:30 p.m. every Saturday at Vincenzo’s, 24504 1/2 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Call (661) 259-6733. “To Kill a Mockingbird” will be presented, 8 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 San Fernando Road, Newhall. Tickets: $8-$13. Call (661) 799-2702. Tesoro Adobe Historic Park is open to the public, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Saturday with guided tours of the Harry Carey/Farmer John Ranch House, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Call (661) 702-8953. Family Nature Walk, 11 a.m.-noon, and an animal presentation, 1-2 p.m. every Saturday at Placerita Canyon Park and Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall. Call (661) 259-7721. Bowl-A-Thon will benefit Pleasantview Industries, noon-8 p.m. today at Valencia Lanes, 23700 W. Lyons Ave., Valencia. Call (661) 296-6700. Star Party will feature telescopes set up for public viewing of the night sky, dusk- 11:30 p.m. today at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road, Agua Dulce. Call (661) 268-0840.
Arsene Wenger has dismissed claims Olivier Giroud didn’t leave Arsenal for Everton due to his wife.The striker was heavily linked with a move to Goodison Park in the summer but talks collapsed.New Everton manager Sam Allardyce has since claimed that the deal back then broke down because Giroud’s wife did not want to move up north.“He [Giroud] doesn’t want to move north of London, I don’t think. Or his wife doesn’t. It is very important to the wives you know,” said Allardyce.“Normally they are the bosses, I say that with experience.”However, Wenger has dismissed that idea and claimed that was not the driving factor behind Giroud staying.“I don’t think so, because he could have joined Everton and stayed basically in London,” said Wenger.“I don’t think that was the problem.” 1 Olivier Giroud
The nine black teen girls and one boy who are charged with a racially motivated hate crime against whites in Long Beach have made a sort of perverse history: It’s one of the rare times that underage blacks have landed in a court docket for hateful attacks against whites. The case raises the always-thorny issues of racial divisions, racial violence and what is or isn’t a racial hate crime. And it tosses a glaring spotlight on the recent surge of hate-crime attacks in L.A. County. The facts in the Long Beach trial are much disputed. Prosecutors say that on Halloween night, the teens viciously harassed, beat and kicked three white women. The teens allegedly hurled racial taunts and insults, including screams of “I hate whites,” at the women before and during the assault. Defense attorneys say that the teens did not assault the women and that they were singled out solely because they are black and were convenient, accessible targets. It’s the hate-crime charge against black teens that is the most intriguing and tormenting. Traditionally, blacks have been the targets of racially motivated hate crimes, and that hasn’t changed in the past decade. According to the FBI’s annual report on hate attacks in America, there are about 10,000 such attacks yearly, and in more than half of them, blacks are the targets. In the San Fernando Valley, it’s even worse. There have been 12 murder attempts on mostly young blacks by Latino gang members in the past five months. The blacks have no known gang ties. But the Latino-on-black assaults and the alleged black-on-white hate crime in Long Beach seem peculiar to L.A. In the majority of the hate attacks nationally, assailants are white — usually adult white males, and even more typically a motley assortment of the racist crackpot fringe. The black teens in Long Beach don’t fit the standard profile of racial hate purveyors. But does that mean that they don’t qualify? The jury is literally still out on that question. But the answer is a resounding “yes” that blacks can and do commit hate crimes. And as it turns out they are committing lots more of them than generally known. According to the 2004 FBI hate-crimes report, blacks committed slightly more than 20 percent of the hate crimes in America. In most cases, their victims were whites. And there’s where the confusion comes in: Did the blacks assault whites solely for their money and valuables, or out of anger for a real or imagined racial insult? These questions blur the line between common street crime and hate crimes, and they make it easier to ignore or downplay the racial aspect of the attacks. Authorities, also mindful of potential backlash from black leaders, dread inflaming racial tensions and so are deeply reluctant to brand black-on-white attacks as hate crimes. That’s plainly evident in the Long Beach case. City officials and local black leaders are cautious and guarded in what they say about the case. They have bent way over to look for reasons beyond race to explain the assaults. They have cited frustration, boredom and anger as possible extenuating motives. But the Long Beach attacks have heightened racial distrust and tensions in the city. Some blacks have said they fear whites will blame them for the attacks, and some whites have said they fear that blacks will target them. When blacks say or do nothing about these attacks, it is taken by some as a tacit signal that blacks put less value on white lives than on black lives. That’s ironic. For decades, blacks have shouted, often with much justification, that black lives have been shamelessly devalued when they are the victims of hate crimes. And that’s even more reason that there should be no double standard in condemning hate attacks, no matter the color of the assailant. But local civil-rights leaders have not rushed to the barricades to say and do much about the case. They are understandably conflicted by it. They know the vicious history of hate attacks against blacks, and they are loath to rush to judgment and convict the teens. One thing is certain: This case puts the issues of hate on trial in a Long Beach courtroom.— Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a political analyst and social issues commentator, and a frequent contributor to the Daily News. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d see160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You're all set!
State Senator Erin Houchin and District 73 Representative Steve Davisson met with four members of the Salem School Board and the both the assistant and superintendent Tuesday morning to discuss the school’s budget.State Senator Erin Houchin and District 73 Representative Steve Davisson met with members of the Salem Community School Board to look at funding and budget issues. Superintendent Lynn Reed, left, and board president, Steve Motsinger, took part in the discussion.In recent months, the school’s budget has been at issue – particularly at odds with teachers who haven’t been receiving raises.In a meeting with teachers in September, Superintendent Lynn Reed and Assistant Superintendent Kim Thurston gave an overview of the past years’ budgets and financial information and told teachers in attendance that state funding had declined and legislators were at fault for that. PART 1 – Down $1 MillionPART 2 – State Funding IncreasesPART 3 – Frustrations With AssessmentsPART 4 – DOE Dictates To SchoolsPART 5 – Professional DevelopmentPART 6 – ISTEP AlternativesPART 7 – Moving Forward TogetherPART 8 – Purchased ServicesPART 9 – Giving Up Additional Raises Houchin, who said this morning she (nor Davisson) were invited to that meeting, took issue with a comment from Reed when she noted, ” We’re getting less money for what we can do.”“That’s not what you said in the meeting,” said Houchin.”What you said, you’re getting less funding. That’s not an accurate statement. When you make statements like… ‘The state is killing us’…’The state is reducing our funding’….that’s not an accurate representation of the facts.”Both Davisson and Houchin presented figures from the Department of Education that showed Salem Community Schools had received additional funding increases each year since at least 2012.“That’s not responsible to push that out there in a meeting where the [Indiana State Teacher’s Association] was involved in and we were not. I accept the apology that you and maybe others made a statement that we don’t care. That’s very offensive to a parent of a child. My three children are in a school system you claim I don’t care about. Their teachers are fantastic…they have gotten a great education at Salem,” said Houchin.Both Reed and Thurston commented that funding had been cut.“I’m speaking to the fact a public meeting was held with teachers, led in part by the ISTA, that I certainly was not invited to. In that meeting, a statement was made that I don’t care, that Steve doesn’t care, about Salem Community Schools. On the face, that’s ridiculous. Why would I send my kids to school here and not care about the success of the school system where my own children are being educated? That doesn’t pass the laugh test,” noted Houchin.Reed commented that Houchin and Davisson’s figures included monies for programs, including Special Education, which could not be used for salaries.“It’s not our responsibility to manage that portion of it,” said Houchin. “Our responsibility is to pass a budget at the state level that adequately funds…that balances [the budget] and doesn’t raise taxes….The state spends roughly 52 percent of its $30 billion budget on K-12 education. That’s more than everything else in the state combined. Higher education gets 12 percent….41 percent of local property taxes goes to Salem Community Schools.”Another meeting between Houchin and Davisson was set for teachers at 5:30pHere are the recordings of the earlier meeting.