Kansas House candidates on the issues: How do we solve the K-12 funding issue?

first_imgKansas Supreme Court file photo. Credit Kansas Courts.The last day to register to vote for November’s elections is Tuesday — and advance voting by mail begins this week.With Election Day fast approaching, we’ve been working to ensure Shawnee Mission area residents understand where the candidates stand on the issues facing our community.A few weeks ago, we put out a call to readers for questions they’d like to hear the candidates running for the Shawnee Mission area seats in the Kansas House of Representatives. With that input, we developed a five-item candidate questionnaires — and all this week we’ll be running their responses.Here’s question number one:The legislature next session will yet again need to address a school funding formula that’s been deemed unconstitutional by the Kansas Supreme Court. What needs to happen to resolve the funding issue for the foreseeable future and keep the courts out of K-12 school finance?District 14Angela Justus Schweller (Democrat)To resolve the latest ruling from the KS Supreme Court, the legislature will need to pass funding to account for inflation. Let’s stop aiming for the bare minimum and instead shoot for world-class schools. Keeping the courts out of the K-12 funding would involve addressing the needs of all student populations, as well as accounting for the changing conditions within individual school districts.Charlotte Esau (Republican)Did not respond.District 16Cindy Holscher (Democrat)If we want to keep the courts out of K-12 school finance, there is a simple solution – adequately fund our schools.  Over half a dozen studies have been conducted to determine how much money is needed to do so; the lowest estimate put that figure at close to $650 million.  However, the legislature only approved $500 M during last year’s session.  Why didn’t the Legislature go ahead and complete the task?  It’s because there are still a number of elected officials (predominately Brownback/Koch brother allies) who really do not have any intention of fully funding our schools.  This next session they will start talking about the need to change the constitution to remove the part that says we will adequately and equitably fund our public education.  Think about that; they want to remove the provision that ensures our kids get a good education.  In the meantime, they are spreading false stories about waste, administrative pay, the cost of buildings and how much is being invested in our kids.   Don’t fall for it; these are all steps to their plan to de-fund our wonderful public schools.Sue Huff (Republican)We need to continue to work on a funding formula that will work for the State’s budget, and one that will satisfy the Court. I would like to see a Constitutional Amendment put before the people of Kansas to prevent future suits like this from impeding legislators from fulfilling their budget and funding role of the Legislative Branch.District 17Tom Cox (incumbent Republican)In the latest court ruling, the judges gave very clear guidelines. They said the funding level of this year (Fiscal year 19) is adequate and the amount we have allocated will get us to adequacy except that we do not account for inflation since it was a 5-year phase-in plan. So we need to account for inflation, which I know multiple groups have worked on and then allocate those addition funds and the plan should pass muster with the court. I look forward to working to ensure that money is added and that we continue tosupport our schools as strongly as possible moving forward. The easy way to keep funding out of the courts is to ensure we keep adequately funding it so there is no need for a lawsuit in the first place.Michael Kerner (Libertarian)The school boards will never say that they have enough. The court seems to be unable to determine what is enough, so they keep saying more and the Legislature responds by raising taxes. That is a death spiral. Pretty soon we will be chasing the most productive taxpayers out of the state. The absolute minimum that must be done is a constitutional amendment to block the court’s ability to order the legislature to spend more money. The school boards and the court have no incentive to ever say enough. A better plan is a different constitutional amendment that removes the state from education funding and gives the local school boards enough taxing authority to support their school via property taxes. I will depend on the voters in each district to be sure the schools have enough to function as the taxpayers desire. This gives each school board independent control of its level of service and no one district is ever forced to subsidize another district. With the need to fund schools removed from the state, that same amendment can end the state income tax altogether.Laura Smith Everett (Democrat)This last legislative session we were more than $318 million above projected revenue estimates, and could have paid for all school funding without raising taxes. While it’s clear that the court now believes we’ve taken care of the equity aspects of the issue, the Trimmer and Stogsdill amendments would have most likely pleased the court on adequacy aspects as well. Unfortunately our current Representative voted against each amendment, which would have tied funding to inflation. By tying school funding to inflation, we would ensure that the costs associated with funding public education increase based on a reliable economic index. District 18Eric Jenkins (Republican)I believe that the rush to roll back income tax cuts was premature. As everyone knows, we were in a nationwide depressed economy and Kansas was experiencing its share of difficulties from lower tax revenues. Recent Federal Tax cuts, reduced regulation of business and consumer confidence has reversed the low revenue trend. I read a recent KS Star article that noted that revenues were more than $300 Million higher than projected. The State budget is enjoying the rewards of an economy that is turning around in a positive way. If this trend of increasing revenue continues, we should look at returning to taxpayers some of their hard-earned money. We should certainly look at reducing or eliminating taxes that are very regressive such as sales tax on food. I do not believe in the continued growth of government. Where does it end? If one were to compare the size of government and the number of programs with that of 50 years ago the difference would be staggering. Since then, however, this country has gone to nearly $20 Trillion in debt and people seem to be less happy about government than they ever have been.Cindy Neighbor (incumbent Democrat)We have an obligation to fully fund our educational system by Constitutional law.  There have been at least four studies done over the years that have all come to the same conclusion.  Schools were underfunded! Certain members in leadership did not like the outcomes and decided not to take them seriously.  After the courts gave the legislature time to establish a new school finance law, many discussions were held to reach an acceptable agreement. The courts asked for equity and adequacy.  When the courts heard the response the first time, they were concerned about outcomes that were not in place according to the Rose Standards, and again, the lack of appropriate funding. During the last court appearance, accomplishments were made regarding outcomes.  The court presented what their main concerns were and gave the issue back to the Legislature to complete their task to properly fund schools.There was an amendment brought before the House by Representative Ed Trimmer that would have brought us closer to a resolution, but the House voted it down three times.  Since the Brownback experiment has been repealed, state revenues continue to grow. There is enough money to now fund education and we need to act on it immediately and correct any other concerns expressed by the courts.  We need to remember we have three branches of government: The Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. The Judicial Branch is part of a checks and balance system. Their role is to interpret the laws made by the Legislature.  In this situation the Legislature has chosen not to meet its Constitutional responsibility and follow the law.District 19Stephanie Clayton (incumbent Republican)The school funding formula itself has been found constitutional, but needs to be fully funded in order to fit with the rate of inflation. This is a situation that can be easily resolved if the legislature appropriates the funds needed, and, if necessary, reforms the current revenue stream in order to sustain the funding of our schools. So much of the future of education funding, and the functionality of the State itself, depends on the attitude of the legislature and the Governor. If we conduct ourselves calmly and cautiously, all will be well. Beware of those who rail against our constitutional obligations, or who seek to change the constitution (a directive which I do not support), or who engage in histrionics by declaring a so-called “constitutional crisis”. I’ve been proud to vote consistently to strengthen, public education, and hope for the opportunity to continue doing so for you. Thank you for allowing me to serve.Stephen Wyatt (Democrat)The court has stated what the legislature needs to complete to have the funding issue remain out of the court system, adjust the current model for inflation. To keep this issue out of the court system in the future the legislature needs to fund schools above the adequate minimums. To complete this Kansas needs to elect pro-education candidates. I am a former educator and know that education is the one of the most important issues that faces our state and funding schools is a top priority.District 23Linda Gallagher (incumbent Republican)I voted for the school funding bills in both the 2017 and 2018 sessions. As a result of these bills, Kansas public schools will receive more than $800 million in additional funding through 2023. The Shawnee Mission School District will receive more than $15 million in new funding from 2017-19. Early childhood programs – including a pre-K pilot project, Parents as Teachers and the Tiny K infant and toddler program – are receiving $6.2 million more. Kansas schools are closer to being adequately funded than they have been since before the recession.I am pleased funding was increased for early childhood programs. It is essential that we prioritize early education so our youngest learners will be prepared for kindergarten and for educational success throughout their school years.The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in Gannon VI this summer that the 2018 school funding bill meets equity requirements to distribute funds equitably among school districts across the state. So, the current school funding formula is sound. It just needs some more funding to meet the adequacy standard.I am confident the legislature will be able to address the adequacy issue raised by the court and appropriate from existing revenues the necessary extra funding to cover the cost of inflation over the next few years. The state’s monthly revenues continue to exceed projections every month, which should provide the funds needed to comply with the court’s ruling. The 2017 tax reform bill, which I voted for, restored balance and fairness to our tax system and stability to the state’s finances. We would not have been able to fund schools as we have the past two sessions without this tax reform.Some legislators want to stand up to the Kansas Supreme Court and refuse to put more money into schools. They want to pass a constitutional amendment removing the judicial branch from having any oversight over adequacy of school funding. I will not support this. Kansas has three separate but equal branches of government for a reason, and it would not be right to remove the judicial branch from this responsibility. We need the judicial branch serving as a backstop for potential irresponsible, unconstitutional legislation coming from the legislative branch and approved by the executive branch. The way to resolve the funding issue for the foreseeable future and stop the endless cycle of school finance litigation is to adequately fund schools. Kansas students deserve nothing less.Susan Ruiz (Democrat)Every child should have equal access to quality education. We must invest in our children and give them every opportunity to succeed. Kansas’s issues with school funding are well known. It is time to end the court battles and fully fund our schools. Working within our new legislature, I believe there will be real opportunities to address this issue.District 25Melissa Rooker (incumbent Republican)Education is one of the highest priorities for the 25th House District. I share this value and have been a relentless advocate for our students, our teachers and our schools. I have put pressure on reluctant legislators to fully fund our schools through a constitutional funding formula that meets the test for both adequacy and equity.The Kansas Supreme Court found the formula constitutional in terms of equity in its latest opinion, but tasked the legislature with addressing the effect of inflation to complete our work on adequacy. Guidance from the court was very straightforward – appropriate additional funding to adjust for inflation in school years 2017-2018, 2018- 2019 and incorporate inflation adjustments into the schedule of future payments outlined in the 2018 legislation. The Court accepted the base funding amount, referred to as the “principle amount,” so the inflation adjustment should be viewed as the “interest” payments owed over time.Once the funding targets are met, the state can avoid adequacy litigation by simply living up to its statutory commitment. The formula includes a method for distributing funding found to meet the equity test of “reasonably equal access to substantially similar educational opportunities through similar tax effort.” The key to staying out of court for equity violations is avoiding defiant legislative decisions to circumvent this mechanism.Some are calling for a constitutional amendment to keep the courts out of K-12 finance. I am not. I cannot support any change to the constitution that weakens protection to our schools.Critics say the plan we passed is “illegal” or “a failure” because we still have work to do. In reality, we averted a constitutional crisis and imminent school shutdown with the plan. A total of $823 million over six years, amounting to a re-investment of over $3.2 billion, has been commited to our public schools. The court accepted this as a good faith effort to meet our obligation but is holding the legislature accountable for phasing in funding over multiple years.Just bringing a bill to the table and declaring it the right idea is not enough. You must be willing to fight for it. With 165 different opinions, fighting for good public policy requires a willingness to listen, collaborate and negotiate. We need legislators with the courage to put partisan politics aside, invest in public education, and do what’s right for Kansas kids. I ask for your vote.Rui Xu (Democrat)The good news is that in the short-term, the path to constitutional funding is fairly straightforward for the legislature; the Supreme Court has said that we just need to add in additional money to adjust for inflation to achieve the adequacy component.However, while the Court did rule this current bill as ‘equitable,’ their wording leaves some doubt as to whether or not it will remain Constitutional. They say “equitable… under the present circumstances.” The first priority is getting our schools Constitutionally funded, but I believe we need to adjust along the way to ensure that we remain equitable.We also need to ensure that we keep electing pro-public education public officials. If the House and Senate are filled with legislators who value public education, then the courts won’t have to get involved at all.District 29Brett Parker (incumbent Democrat)The legislature needs to prioritize adequately funding schools as soon as the session begins. It is incredibly disappointing that this job was not done each of the last two years. As soon as an adequate plan is passed, the long term investments in Kansas public education must be maintained beyond 2019. This will allow us to end the lawsuits and provide a more stable footing for our budget moving forward.James Todd (Republican)Kansas has been in litigation regarding the current funding formula since it’s inception in 1993. This litigation has spanned Democrat and Republican (both moderate and conservative) administrations. I believe that Kansans are ready for the litigation to be over. Constant litigation has lent itself to a narrative disconnect. On the one hand, some (including my opponent) argue that students in Kansas have been deprived of a quality education throughout the litigation. The reality is that in Johnson County we have nationally recognized schools and people move into our school districts to ensure their kids have a high quality education. I continue to believe that it would be more beneficial if the Supreme Court was more deferential to the legislature regarding tax and budget policy on education. At the same time, the Supreme Court does have a role to play because education is a right in our Constitution and their rulings should be respected.The Supreme Court has ruled that Kansas needs to come up with more support and the legislature has responded. More than $1 billion in new money has been approved for investment in education over the last four years. Included in this is $825 million during the last session for which my opponent did not vote. The Supreme Court did not put a dollar amount on what would satisfy their review standard until the last opinion, and in it they acknowledged the heavy lifting that has taken place before hand. The ruling says that the legislature needs to adjust it’s inflation calculation. I will work with Moderates, Conservatives, and Democrats to find a solution to inflation and hopefully bring the court case to an end.Fiscal discipline is needed to ensure that the scheduled increases to education are fulfilled. I will be a responsible steward and protect the investment to education. Hopefully, we can then move the discussion on education back to allowing parents in the school districts the opportunity to vote for more money to put into their schools by either increasing the LOB or eliminating the cap on local support of education.Robert Firestone (Libertarian)Firestone has indicated to the Shawnee Mission Post that though his name will remain on the ballot, he will no longer be actively campaigning for the seat.District 30Brandon Woodard (Democrat)Kansas has not constitutionally funded our public schools for an entire generation of K-12 students. The Kansas Supreme Court has advised the Kansas Legislature to adjust for inflation to bring public school funding into “constitutional compliance;” however, I do not believe that the bare minimum is good enough for Kansas. Adequate public schools are not the same thing as exceptional public schools, something Kansas was once known for. As I’ve often heard from voters at their door, our public schools give young Kansans the foundation from which they’re given an equitable opportunity to lead a meaningful life.My commitment to public education is exactly why I’m the only candidate in KS House District 30 with support from: MainStream Coalition, Kansas National Education Association, Education First Shawnee Mission, Kansas Families for Education, American Federation of Teachers- Kansas, and Game On for Kansas Schools.It’s time to do right by Kansas children by resolving the school financing plan once and for all. We do that by not only constitutionally funding our public school system, but by making investments in our schools to reduce class size, competitively compensate our teachers, and provide the counseling, nursing, and classroom support necessary to giving every student a fair chance at a quality K-12 education.Wendy Bingesser (Republican)I graduated from Olathe North and both of my sons graduated from Olathe East. I was on the board of Citizens for Excellence in Olathe Schools during the important 2008 school bond that moved the 9th-grade students from middle school to high school. My record advocating for my sons’ education should give confidence to Olathe and Lenexa families that I will fight for our kids in the Kansas House of Representatives. I am particularly interested in raising the average salary earned by teachers, providing tax credits for teachers that purchase classroom supplies, and emphasizing career and technical programs in our high schools.The school funding dispute between the legislative and judicial branches of government appears to be entering its final stages. The seemly never-ending battle at the Kansas Supreme Court has created a lot of uncertainty for Kansas families. The most recent ruling in the Gannon case suggests that the legislature could come into compliance with the Constitution by accounting for inflation in the formula that was approved by the legislature in the last session.The Kansas Division of the Budget has indicated that the state will have an ending balance of around $370 million at the end of fiscal year 2019. If the legislature is proactive and wise with their spending, covering the additional $100 million that is estimated to be needed to account for inflation in the education formula should be covered with already anticipated revenues. I am not in favor of additional tax increases on Kansas families.Tomorrow we’ll publish the candidates’ responses to item two:Should the Kansas Secretary of State continue to have the right to appoint the Johnson County Election Commissioner? Would you support legislation returning full authority over the Johnson County Election Office to local control? What other changes would you propose for the Kansas election system?last_img read more

The Decision-Making Puzzle

first_imgIn world champion Tetris matches, players often start play at Level 18—in which pieces are on the screen for about a second. Wayne Gray, a professor of cognitive science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, calls it a problem of “predictive processing and predictive action.” Champion-level expert players, he says, are able to take in the state of the gameboard and react almost immediately, without going through the mental steps of figuring out how to move the piece and rotate it that a novice player requires. “They can see the problem and reach a decision at the same time,” he said. If you’ve ever played the classic puzzle-like computer game Tetris, you know that it starts out slowly. As the seven different pieces (called “zoids” by the initiated) descend from the top of the screen, a player has to shift the pieces horizontally and rotate them so that they fit into a gap in the stack of pieces at the bottom of the screen, or “well.” In early levels, the pieces might take 10-15 seconds to fall. The speed increases at each level.  Read the whole story: Science Friday More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

People worldwide — even nomads in Tanzania — think of colors the same way

first_imgEmail Share Share on Twitter Pinterest This study population – the Hadza people of Tanzania – has relatively few commonly shared color words in its language. During the study, the most common response by Hadza participants to a request to name a color was “Don’t know.”However, the way the participants grouped the colors they did name – regardless of what name they used – tended to match color-naming conventions of Somali-speaking immigrants and native English speakers, and of many other cultures around the world.“Looking at the Hadza data, we see a relatively modern color vocabulary emerging, but the color terms are distributed across the entire population,” said Delwin Lindsey, professor of psychology at The Ohio State University Mansfield Campus and lead author of the study. “We captured a point in time culturally where the stuff for creating a complex color naming exists, but it’s not in the head of any one individual. It’s distributed in bits and pieces across the culture.”Scientists know a lot about how the human brain responds to seeing color – and that universality of perception makes color naming a good model for studying patterns in language change.“This study provides a very useful framework for thinking about how the terms that are used to describe things in our environment actually emerge and evolve,” Lindsey said. “You can think of the words as species that are evolving – they are competing for space in our heads. So this is an example of cultural evolution that closely mirrors biological evolution.”The research is published in the journal Current Biology.Lindsey said the finding suggests that color naming is not a matter of nature versus nurture, but a combination of the two. The result also suggests that both prevailing theories about color naming apply around the world: Cultures create color names, but individuals from vastly different societies (Hadza, Somali and American) share the same perceptions of colors in their mind.“Clearly, there are certain constraints within the mind that guide how colors are going to be grouped together,” said Lindsey, also a professor of optometry on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. “But this illustrates an interesting trade-off between culture and biology as determinants of human thought. There are cultural universals, but within each culture there is dramatic diversity. If the culture were playing the preeminent role, members of a society would establish conventions that they all agree on. But they’re clearly not all agreeing on anything.”How does it play out in English? One person’s lilac shirt is called lavender by her neighbor.Lindsey and collaborator Angela Brown, professor of optometry at Ohio State, reported in 2006 on their analysis of data of the World Color Survey, a collection of color names obtained by University of California, Berkeley researcher Paul Kay and associates from 2,616 people of 110 languages spoken by mostly preindustrial societies.That analysis confirmed that, across cultures, people tend to classify hundreds of different chromatic colors into only eight distinct categories: red, green, yellow-or-orange, blue, purple, brown, pink and grue (green or blue).In 2009, Lindsey and Brown published a second paper describing further analysis of the World Color Survey, in which they showed that four common, distinct groupings of color categories, which they called “motifs,” occur worldwide: black, white and red; black, white, red and gray; black, white, red and a single cool green or blue category; and black, white, red, green, blue and yellow. A surprising result was that the motifs observed within a society are nearly as diverse as those observed across cultures.“We found that these motifs occurred with minor variations across 110 languages,” Brown said. “A person from Cameroon, Africa, can name colors more similarly to somebody from Northwestern Australia than to his Cameroon neighbor. And that Cameroon neighbor might be more similar to a different person in Northwestern Australia.”Larger color vocabularies are generally associated in more technologically advanced societies.“To try to get at how these motifs might emerge, we wanted to go as far back technologically as we could. That’s where the hunter-gatherers fit in,” Lindsey said.He and Brown collaborated with co-corresponding author Coren Apicella and her colleague David Brainard, both on the psychology faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, to survey the Hadza people. Apicella has been working with the Hadza people for more than a decade.center_img LinkedIn Share on Facebook Would a color by any other name be thought of in the same way, regardless of the language used to describe it?According to new research, the answer is yes.A new study examines how a culture of nomadic hunter-gatherers names colors, and shows that they group colors into categories that align with patterns of color grouping evident in 110 other world languages.last_img read more

H5N8 outbreaks in southern Africa prompt strategy talks

first_imgAs South Africa today reported another highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu outbreak at a large commercial poultry farm, animal health officials from the United Nations are meeting with country officials this week to discuss how to battle the threat to southern Africa’s poultry sector.In January, Uganda reported Africa’s first H5N8 detection, and since then, the virus has been detected in other African nations, spreading southward to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.H5N8 hits another South Africa farmIn South Africa, the latest outbreak struck poultry at a commercial farm in Mpumalanga province housing nearly 400,000 birds, according to a report today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Mpumalanga province is in the country’s eastern region and is where the virus was first detected in the country in the middle of June.The outbreak began on Aug 1, killing 301 birds. The flock is slated for culling and the facility for disinfection, and veterinary authorities have isolated the area and ordered enhanced surveillance. So far investigators haven’t pinpointed the source of the outbreak.Meeting to set response actions, timelineOutbreaks in southern Africa are a threat to the incomes and food supply of millions of families in the region, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regional office for Africa said today in a statement. It said policymakers from the region, including those from the Southern Africa Development Community, are meeting in Johannesburg this week to share information and assess current and long-term response steps.David Phiri, the FAO’s subregional coordinator for southern Africa, said in a statement, “The poultry sector is vital in the region because poultry meat and eggs provide affordable sources of high-quality animal protein to millions of people in the region. Poultry production is also a major source of income for many, particularly rural women and youth.”Authorities in Zimbabwe and South Africa have culled about 1 million birds between them, and South Africa is destroying about 1 million eggs a day from affected farms, the group noted.The FAO said the bird flu threat comes as southern African countries are recovering from food shortages from 2015 to 2016 that resulted from weather events and insect problems. It noted that Zimbabwe and South Africa have systems in place to detect outbreaks at commercial farms, unlike on the region’s smaller farms and for those who raise backyard poultry.Because of the threat, health officials have already held two meetings, one in February and one in May. The FAO said at the May meeting, country officials were pressed to beef up their ability to detect, prevent, and quickly respond to outbreaks.The FAO said at the meeting this week, which wraps up tomorrow, that country officials are expected to spell out actions and a timeline to quickly curb the spread of the virus. The agency is providing to affected countries emergency response kits that contain protective equipment and diagnostic testing materials and has deployed technical experts.See also:Aug 3 OIE report on H5N8 in South AfricaAug 3 FAO statementlast_img read more

LAHS 2019 Homecoming Week Activities Sept. 16-21

first_imgCourtesy/LAHSLAHS News:This week Los Alamos will don green and gold to celebrate Homecoming 2019.“It’s that time of the year when everyone is a Topper,” said Jonathan Lathrop, co-sponsor of the Los Alamos High School Student Council. “Our Student Leadership team has been very busy planning a lot of activities to celebrate this tradition.”The week begins Monday, Sept. 16 with the Billy Bob Volleyball game. Senior boys play volleyball while members of the LAHS Volleyball team act as coaches and referees. The game begins at 6 p.m. in Griffith Gymnasium.It’s just the opposite on Wednesday as Senior girls play football while members of the football team step in to coach and referee. The Powder Puff football game starts at 6. P.m. at Sullivan Field.The Topper student bonfire is scheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Sullivan Field parking lot after the Girls Soccer game against the Santa Fe Demons.“We’re crossing our fingers that it won’t rain! It’s been two years since our last bonfire, and LAHS students are excited to revive this tradition,” Student Body President Emily Holmes said.Members of the LAHS cheerleading squad and the Topper band will pump up the Homecoming spirit.Los Alamos will be alive with floats, the LAHS Marching Band, and Topper pride Friday as the Homecoming Parade heads down Central Avenue starting at 2:30 pm.This year’s theme is “Box the Bengals”.Brad Parker will serve as the Grand Marshal this year.Parade participants can find the parade application form at https://sites.google.com/laschools.net/homecoming-2019/home. Forms are due to Diana Bequette, the LAHS Bookkeeper, by 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18.Friday night, the LAHS Topper varsity football team will take on the Gallup Bengals at 7 p.m. at Sullivan Field. High School students and staff get into the game free with their school ID. Game tickets for community members are $5 and may be purchased in advance at https://lahstoppers.com/topper-event-tickets/.The LAHS Topper Band will perform at halftime followed by the crowning of this year’s Homecoming King & Queen.The Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in the lobby of Duane Smith Auditorium. Tickets will be on sale for $25 per person at the door or in the Athletic office beforehand, preferably. Lunch will be catered by Pig + Fig.This year’s inductees include:Bruce Cottrell;Kris Monaghan;Ann Cernicek;Molly Cernicek;Aubrey Jones-Woahn;Eddie Sanchez; andSec Sandoval.The Homecoming festivities will wrap up with the Homecoming dance 8-11 p.m. Saturday at the high school.“Student Leaders are getting very creative with the decorations to make sure Toppers have a night to remember at the GLOcoming dance,” said Lynn Ovaska, co-sponsor of the Los Alamos High School Student Council. The dance will be Meow Wolf-themed with many glow-in-the-dark elements. Community members are invited to donate Meow Wolf type of decorations this week.Students can purchase dance tickets in A-Wing Lobby or online at https://gofan.co/app/events/68162 until Thursday, Sept. 19. No tickets will be sold Friday or at the door Saturday.For more information about Homecoming 2019, check out https://sites.google.com/laschools.net/homecoming-2019/home.last_img read more

Allison Transmission Promotes Otto Szalavari To Managing Director Of Global Marketing

first_imgAllison Transmission has announced the promotion of Otto Szalavari to managing director of global marketing. Allison says he will be instrumental in driving growth through ongoing implementation and refinement of the company’s marketing strategy.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement“During his short period of time with Allison, Otto has more than proven his ability to tackle challenges and generate results,” said John Coll, senior vice president for global marketing, sales and service. “I look forward to watching him lead our marketing team and further expand the Allison brand across the world.”Szalavari’s primary areas of responsibility will include market insights and voice of customer, global marketing brand management and communications, developing differentiated value propositions, developing and deploying key sales tools, and assessing markets and segments for new product development.“I truly appreciate and embrace this opportunity to contribute toward Allison’s continued success,” said Szalavari. “To have this responsibility with a market leader like Allison is a privilege, and I’m excited about the marketing team’s role in supporting global growth initiatives.”Szalavari joined Allison in February as director global marketing information and product strategy, with a focus on international and domestic business activities and commercial sales agreements. In that role, he has led global market intelligence activities, including the understanding of market size, market trends and competitive positioning. AdvertisementSzalavari holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Moscow Polytechnic University and a master’s degree in business economy and international marketing from Budapest Business School – University of Applied Sciences in Hungary.last_img read more

Hamptons Trunk Show

first_img Share UJA-Federation of New York’s Hamptons Trunk Show was held Thursday, August 2, at Bridgehampton Historical Society. The event featured designer clothing, jewelry, accessories, and home décor for sale, along with music and refreshments. Twenty percent of all sales benefit UJA-Federation.last_img

WODA to Present Environmental Excellence Awards

first_imgThe categories are based upon the objective of the dredging project:Dredging for Navigation (purpose is to create or maintain navigation channels);Environmental Dredging (purpose is environmental enhancement, e.g., remediation or wetland creation); andDredging for Sand and Gravel Extraction (purpose is to extract sand and gravel for such actions as concrete production, land development, or beach nourishment).The awards will be presented in June during the 21st World Dredging Congress & Exposition (WODCON XXI) in Miami, Florida, USA.Deadline for submitting applications for the 2016 WODA Environmental Excellence Awards is 15 April 2016. The World Organization of Dredging Associations (WODA) has just announced that the organization will, for the first time, present the 2016 WODA Environmental Excellence Awards.The overall process and criteria are similar to the annual Environmental Excellence Awards initiated by WEDA in 2011.Three Environmental Excellence Awards will be given, one for each of three dredging categories.last_img read more

No great shakes

first_imgA distinctly chill wind could be felt in the latest construction activity figures released this week, as overall work in the sector dropped for the first time since August 2016. September’s fall, recorded by the respected IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index, was prompted by the sharpest drop in civil engineering work for more than four years, together with a significant decline in commercial work. And in a warning which may well send a few more companies reaching for the blankets, respondents to the survey behind the data emphasised “fragile confidence” among clients, particularly in commercial building.Statistics like these, of course, are only ever a fragment of a full picture; what seems like the start of a trend can just as easily turn out to be a blip. Nonetheless, the fact that work dropped in September – when it traditionally picks up after an August lull – and did so for the first time since the wave of uncertainty unleashed immediately after the Brexit vote, is cause for concern. Not just for construction firms, but also – given the pressing need for development in areas like infrastructure and housing – for the UK as a whole.The country is in the grip of a housing crisis, and trying to stave off another over energy generation, at the same time as carrying out infrastructure improvements that are widely viewed as long-overdue for economic growth. So the government should be hyper-alert to drops in the industry’s work and to the reasons it is in the public sector’s interests to step in to plug those gaps. The fact that work dropped in September – when it traditionally picks up after an August lull – and did so for the first time since the wave of uncertainty unleashed immediately after the Brexit vote, is cause for concernThe Conservative Party conference, taking place in Manchester this week, provided a potential stage for the government to outline ways it could invest in construction to the economic and social benefit of the UK. However, the ploughing of a further £10bn into Help to Buy, while in itself welcomed by housebuilders, fell far short of the mark of a game-changer in housing; both from the perspective of developers hoping to see the policy extended beyond its current 2021 cut-off, and for critics, including housing associations, who believe the funding would have greater impact on the housing crisis if it were spent directly on more affordable homes.Of more significance, potentially, is the government’s proposed new approach to working out the number of homes councils should build; an idea mooted in February’s housing white paper and quietly fleshed out last month. The method – which prioritises areas for building where homes are least affordable – would raise the number of new homes envisaged for England from 250,000 a year to 266,000, with the real significance being an increase of around 35% across 156 local authorities, particularly in the South-east.Having a framework to ramp up the number of homes delivered in places close to London which have traditionally been resistant to development would be a powerful tool in addressing the housing crisis – even if the move has already drawn the ire of MPs in the Conservatives’ “shire” heartlands.Sure, there are flaws with the proposals as they stand, but they are not much to do with the impact on the green belt: if councils can show there really is not enough unprotected land to build the levels suggested, the requirement for new homes can be reduced. A bigger issue, which has already been raised by northern councils, is that by calculating an area’s need for homes based on lack of affordability, places where houses cost less – for which, read the very places in the Midlands and North that are ripe for regeneration, development and investment – will see housing targets slashed.There is a danger that infrastructure schemes are being allowed to stall – which would have clear consequences for wider investment in the regions many of those schemes are designed to benefitLimiting growth in the UK’s regional economies is clearly the opposite of what the UK needs; the extent to which the economy is focused around the capital strikes at the core of the pressure on housing and infrastructure in the South-east. So the government needs to work up its new approach to housing alongside policies specifically designed to reignite momentum in regional development, particularly through drawing together infrastructure projects with wider development.The £300m of funding announced at the Tory conference for rail connectivity in the northern England is a step in this direction. But as the fall in civils workload for September showed, there is a danger that infrastructure schemes are being allowed to stall – which would have clear consequences for wider investment in the regions many of those schemes are designed to benefit.In six weeks’ time, the government will have another chance to address these issues, with chancellor Philip Hammond’s first autumn Budget. With construction’s pipelines looking uncertain, and the UK’s economic and social need for development rising unremittingly, the stage would appear to be set. But this will require the government both to heed the cues from the industry’s performance, and, crucially, follow a single script to address them.last_img read more

Gareth Owen – Raising an Eyebrow My Life With Sir Roger Moore review

first_imgCredit: The History PressRaising an Eyebrow is a personal account of working for a movie legend for nearly two decades. The author was executive assistant and close friend to the star he worshipped as a kid – The Saint/James Bond himself – Sir Roger Moore!Gareth Owen, who was Moore’s right-hand-man between 2001 and the star’s death in 2017, is well-placed to tell his story. After all, as you find out in the book, it was he who masterminded Moore’s autobiography, and he would ultimately do much of the heavy lifting in getting words onto the page. The result – My Word Is My Bond – was justifiably a bestseller. It felt authentic, capturing the warm, self-deprecating, calm, intelligent and gently ironic voice of the much-loved star. Owen and Moore collaborated again for the titles Last Man Standing, Bond on Bond and the deeply poignant (posthumously-published) À Bientôt. If you ever saw one of Sir Roger’s sellout “An Evening With…” shows, you will remember Gareth as the gentleman who interviewed him on stage and moderated questions from the floor. I was lucky enough to be in the audience for his final show (not that I knew it at the time), and the rapport and trust between the two men was self-evident.This dispenses with any whiff of cash-in about Raising an Eyebrow. Rather, it is a loving tribute to a fondly-remembered and much missed friend and boss, fully of witty stories and bons mots about the great man himself. The book is affectionate and tactful, respecting Moore’s privacy and the feelings of his surviving family members. It’s hard to imagine Sir Roger raising an eyebrow in opprobrium over any of it: more likely a martini glass.That said, the book doesn’t have the same power to resonate as the four titles the two men collaborated on, because Roger is one step removed, and third person rather than first. But as a tribute, it is certainly affecting, and there are some great stories for fans of Sir Roger Moore to get their teeth into. On one memorable occasion, the star walked out of the BBC America studios in New York and refused to return for the scheduled interview in a rare show of temper. That is was bad manners from the reception staff at the root of it reveals something about Sir Roger’s character – impeccably courteous himself, he expected good manners to be reciprocated.Raising an Eyebrow will strongly appeal to aficionados of Sir Roger Moore, especially the ones who enjoy all of the behind-the-scenes gossip and anecdotes. For anyone wanting to work in the entertainment industry as an executive assistant or ghost writer, researcher, interviewer and general confidante, then Raising an Eyebrow is the ideal memoir for you. Though be warned that the obvious stresses and strains of international travel, booking theatres and fielding calls from some crazy hucksters may put you off. More causal readers, who perhaps just love Sir Roger’s portrayal as Bond, probably won’t derive as much from this title, especially during the earlier Roger-lite chapters where Owen recounts his break into the industry (with some affectionate name-dropping along the way).There are one or two momentary lapses in detail that are surprising given the quality of the earlier Moore memoirs that Owen worked on – the year is incorrectly specified as 2016 on the opening page of the prologue – where we later know for certain that the author meant 2017. Stylistically, the text can be piecemeal, jumping from one anecdote to the next chronologically, but sometimes without much of a through-line, and there’s an overuse of exclamation marks. But these reservations aside, Raising an Eyebrow is a breezy, enjoyable read that takes few sittings to get through. Crucially, the book ends strongly – the closing chapters recounting Sir Roger’s final illness and death are deeply moving, as well as revealing about the subject’s strength of character.The affection and energy with which Raising an Eyebrow has been written is intoxicating, and a worthwhile addition for your bookcase to accompany the other Sir Roger Moore titles. In honouring the memory of a great man, and one who is sorely missed, Gareth Owen does a great job. His book is a celebration of a wonderful cinematic and humanitarian legacy left by one who brought so much joy to so many people, and whose work lives on. Raising an Eyebrow is testament to the kind of love and loyalty Sir Roger Moore attracted.Publisher: The History Press Publication date: 5th February 2020 Buy nowlast_img read more