YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW: Informative forum on open government

first_imgCategories: OpinionOne of the challenges facing journalists and other citizens, particularly in the age of electronic communication, is obtaining information from government officials when they exchange so much of their information by text and email.The New York State Bar Association is hosting a number of forums on the topic, and it recently hosted a panel discussion at Syracuse University on the Freedom of Information Law. The forum, held Oct. 16, addressed a number of related topics, first focusing on the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), the Open Meetings Law, and the government’s efforts to fulfill FOIL requests. The panel then moved on to the day-to-day problems faced by journalists to obtain information.As I’ve said numerous times on this blog, our problems regarding open government are your problems. The state’s transparency laws are available to all citizens, not just journalists. And if professional journalists, who deal with this sort of thing every day, are having problems accessing information from the government, then the task is at least equally as challenging for other citizens.This forum by NYSBA is worth checking out, not just by journalists but by college communications/journalism professors, students and citizens.Click here for a link to a video of the forum. If you’re interested in this subject, it’s well worth your time.It’s your right to know what your government is doing. Take time to learn those rights and how you can exercise them.And as always, if you have an issue with your local government or a question about government access, you can either post a comment here or email me, Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney, at [email protected] I’d be happy to help. More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Doors open for Preston after SafeGolf accreditation

first_imgWhen it came to achieving SafeGolf status, Preston Golf Club was well aware of the social and welfare benefits that accreditation would bring.With the help and advice of England Golf’s Club Support Officer, Adam McAlister, creating a secure environment for young people and vulnerable groups to enjoy their golf was uppermost in the Lancashire club’s thinking.However, the club has been thrilled at the other advantages that have followed as a consequence of being a SafeGolf club.Chris Preston led the drive towards SafeGolf accreditation ably assisted by two colleagues at his club – junior organiser Charlie Webb and Penny Beckett, the child welfare officer and club president.Chris is proud that Preston Golf Club has become a leading light in Lancashire for SafeGolf which will become a mandatory part of England Golf affiliation for all clubs from January 2021.Chris explained: “The safeguarding and social benefits of SafeGolf are obvious.“We want to make sure everyone- young and old – can enjoy golf in a safe and fun environment at Preston Golf Club.“But on top of making sure we look after the welfare of our golfers, there are other benefits which our club is now enjoying.“Because we are a SafeGolf club we have just received notification that we are to become an HSBC Golf Roots Centre in 2020.“Aside from creating a culture of care at the club, the SafeGolf status is opening other avenues for the club to explore.“We are in discussions with Jamie Blair (England Golf’s Inclusion and Wellbeing manager) about a blind golf programme and are working with a local group called Galloway’s Society for the Blind.“We are encouraging golfers with disabilities too and are also in the process of putting together a separate package for local schools.“Without SafeGolf accreditation we wouldn’t be able to approach local schools with our ideas.”Chris is encouraging all clubs to focus their mind on the SafeGolf process in 2020 and to interact with their CSOs in the delivery of the accreditation.“We found our CSO Adam’s input invaluable in terms of getting SafeGolf over the line,” he added.“I would advise clubs to try and work on it over the winter months as when the playing season starts in the spring the pressures of that can take over.“The templates on the England Golf website were extremely useful and together with Adam’s insight helped us achieve our accreditation.“We followed structured steps and broke it down to pro staff and junior volunteers and made sure all relevant people had the necessary checks.“SafeGolf can be primarily for young people and vulnerable groups but we are also looking at our seniors and making sure we look after their interests.“That might just be when they are out on the course themselves or in a broader sense with initiatives around dementia.“One of our members, Steve Elliot, has been diagnosed with dementia and together with his wife Mags we are driving forward with an initiative designed to help Steve and others remain engaged with golf.” Tags: Preston Golf Clublast_img read more

Olympia Gardening Expert Gives Tips On Successfully Growing Tomatoes In Our…

first_imgSubmitted by Mary Jo BuzaDid you know that at one time people were afraid to eat tomatoes?  Called ‘wolf pears’ tomatoes were scorned because it was thought that the red fruit was poisonous.  Lucky for us, some careless or perhaps fearless person decided to eat the tempting red fruit and lived!  Today, the tomato is a vegetable we consistently use in our kitchens. Could you image a summer salad without tomatoes?As much as we love tomatoes, growing them in the South Sound regions is a frustrating endeavor.  If the crop is not destroyed by the dreaded late tomato blight, our cool summer temperatures slow the ripening so much that your bumper crop of tomatoes are still green in September.I usually plant tomatoes in early June. But with the spectacular warm May, savvy gardeners got a jump on the weather and planted early with little risk of a late frost. Here are my secrets to growing tomatoes in the South Sound and attain the coveted ripe, red fruit.Tip #1 Grow the Crop under Clear Plastic: The best crop of tomatoes I have ever seen were grown on the south side of a house with an attached a wood frame for the plastic. The plastic increases the temperatures enough to ripen fruit and extends crop production long after the first frosts in September. The plastic will also keep the rain off which inhibits the late tomato blight.Tip #2 Use Soaker Hoses: Overhead watering promotes the dreaded late tomato blight.  The blight lives dormant in the soil waiting for contact with the leaves of your tomato plant. Tomatoes are infected when water splashing from the soil hits the leaves. The tiny drops of water carry fungal spores from the soil to the leaves.  Using soaker hoses eliminates this potential problem.  Another secret to growing tomatoes is to reduce the amount and frequency of watering once the fruit begins to ripen sometime in August.  This will hasten the ripening process.Tip#3 Stake Tomato Plants:  Why go to all the trouble to stake tomatoes?  There are several reasons. One, you can grow more tomatoes in a smaller space; plants can be set as little as 24 inches apart.  Second, the fruits tend to ripen earlier and are larger.  Third, the tomatoes have better air circulation which decreases disease problems. And lastly, growing tomatoes on stakes keeps them out the reach of slugsTomatoes are broken into two classifications: determinate and indeterminate. Tomatoes suitable for growing as a single vine are the indeterminate varieties. Determinate varieties are bushier and are not suitable for staking or trellising.  Indeterminate varieties grow more like a vine but require training.The ABC’s of Growing a Tomato Plants as a VinePlace the StakesIt may be hard to imagine that your puny four-inch tomato plant will need a stake, but don’t be misled. Once the plant sets fruit it will need a sturdy support.   A 2×2 wooden stake about eight feet long cut to a point at the bottom works best.  Some lumber yards will cut the points, but you will need to ask.To avoid root damage, place the stakes before you set out your transplants. Sink the stake about two feet into the ground.  This provides enough stability to prevent the plants from falling over when heavy with fruit.Tying the PlantsTying the plants is necessary because indeterminate tomatoes are not a true vine and have no way to support them. Any coarse twine will work.  Be careful not to tie the plants too tightly and cut into the stems.  You will be surprised at how fast your tomatoes grow.  I check and tie my plants about once a week.PruningThe concept of pruning tomato plants is baffling.  But a staked tomato is best grown as a single stem.  In each leaf axil, where the leaf stem joins the main stem, a lateral shoot will grow.  These lateral shoots need to be removed, before they grow longer than an inch or two.  I use my fingers to snap off the lateral shoots.  Fingers actually work better than pruners or a knife. I check and prune out lateral shoots once a week.PinchingOnce the plant has grown to the top of your stake, prune out the growing tip.  This will direct the plant’s energy into ripening the fruit.  This will accelerate the ripening process and increase the size of the fruit.Author Mary Jo Buza, is a landscape designer she has more than 25 years experience maintaining, designing, and teaching gardening in the South Sound region.  For more information on a custom landscape design or consultation call 923-1733. Check out her website: www.maryjobuza.com. Facebook123Tweet0Pin8last_img read more

Still Square Dancing With The Middletown Ramblers

first_imgBeverly and her husband, Richard, graduated from the square dancing program in 2005.She likes the activity because, “it helps you physically and mentally.” The dancing provides low-stress aerobic exercise, which is good for any age, and having to work on remembering the different movements and working with others in a square is a good problem-solving exercise, Beverly said.Along with those benefits, “It does keep me out of trouble,” she said, offering a little smile, then adding, “I still get in a little trouble around here.”There are about 78 basic calls dancers learn, such as the do-si-do (or dosado), swing your partner, promenade and grand square, which are the more commonly known ones. And while it takes time to learn the basic moves, “All you have to do is pay attention,” to begin to understand and do them, Frechette said. “There’s no dancing ability needed.”Another appeal of square dancing, participants explained, is that unlike, say, ballroom dancing or tango lessons, you don’t need to bring a designated partner to take lessons or join in the dances. “I think people think you have to know how to dance,” said Bill Smith, Port Reading. “You don’t.”Or have the partner. There are women who regularly dance the man’s part, if there is a shortage of males on a given evening. All it takes is to have eight dancers to form the square, Frechette said.Yackel said she can dance both men’s and women’s parts. But that has its difficulties, she acknowledged. “The hardest thing to remember is to move right or to move left,” she confided.Smith, who started square dancing thanks to friends in Salt Lake City, Utah, who recommended it to him. “I went to a barn dance and enjoyed it and here I am.”Smith enjoys the exercise and said, “You get to meet different people you wouldn’t get to meet other wise.”The music ranged from some classic pop tunes, swing-era standards to even Jimmy Buffett. “Whatever the caller wants,” explained caller Gotta.Gotta, North Brunswick, has been square dance calling for 54 years. The caller’s role, she said, is to “create the dance pattern and communicate it to the dancers.”“If I stop calling everything stops,” Gotta said.“Not that it’s about power,” she kidded with a small wave of her hand.Gotta has been square dancing since she was 5, attending dances at the Metuchen YMCA. “A lot of us started dancing when we were young,” she noted. “So pretty much anyone can do it without tramping on their own feet.”Red Bank resident Phyllis Lamarche was “looking for an activity to do solo.” She wound up meeting Ted Inge, Freehold, when they both started taking classes as part of the SCAN (Social Community Activities Network) program conducted at Monmouth Mall, in Eatontown. Now “We’re dance partners, at the very least,” Lamarche said.And that was a good selling point for her. “The best part is all the friends you make,” she said.The Middletown Ramblers was founded in 1970 and decided, first jokingly, to take its name from the type of car owned by three of the original members, the American Motors Rambler.The group will be holding an open house, offering an introduction to square dancing, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at the Thompson Park Activity Barn, 805 Newman Springs Road/County Route 520, Lincroft. Story and photo by John BurtonMIDDLETOWN – Swinging your partner and do-si-do’s have had members of the Middletown Ramblers coming together for more than four decades, enjoying the shared wonderful company, the activity and of course the pleasure of square dancing.“It’s the best activity you can find for the body and the mind,” insisted Prudence Frechette. Frechette, an Eatontown resident who likes to be called Pru, has been square dancing for 35 years and really appreciates the physical activity and “the social part.” On top of that, Frechette said, what she likes is its way of leveling the playing field, its democratization on the dance floor. “When you’re on the square,” she said, “nobody knows who’s the street sweeper or the CEO.”Frechette was one of about 50-plus who squared off to the commands of caller Betsy Gotta last Friday evening at the township’s senior center, at Croydon Hall, 900 Leonardville Road, in the township’s Leonardo section, for the group’s regular dance.Beverly Yackel, a River Plaza resident and the Ramblers’ coordinator, said those attending the Friday night dance, were “plus” dancers, Yackel explained, who have reached a certain accomplishment level. Club members have reached “a higher level” of square dancing that comes when they complete the nearly year-long set of two programs conducted by the Monmouth County Park System at a cost of $50 per person for each set of 12 two-hour sessions. Lessons are held at the Henry Hudson Trail Activity Center, 945 Highway 36 and Avenue D, Leonardo. Classes for the next session begin on Sept. 27 and the first class is free.last_img read more

Mallard’s Team of the Week — Glacier Gymnastics Team

first_imgThe team includes, Amanda Schacher, Gwen McCrory, Sara Tolles, Olivia Kelly, Tehya Colbeck, Aurora Dool, Abby Majeski, Brianne Stefani, Eden Bellman, Tess Gordon, Simone Hildebrand, Lily Taylor, Olivia Bezaire, Ally Nicholson, Annouk Prud’Homme.Also attending the meet from the Glacier Team were Ella Keelan, Ashlynn D’Alessandris, Kylee Dyck, Suki Simmington, Mercedes Majeski, Chloe Diotte, Kate May and Raven Sperling. Nelson’s Glacier Gymnastics Team took the recent Great West Gym Fest competition in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho by storm, winning 49 medals along with a pair of team championships.The competition attracted 43 clubs from across the United States and Canada bringing the total number of competitors to 1400, so this was not minor accomplishment for the Heritage City Club.Mallard’s Source for sports is always looking to spotlight local athletes, and was quick to select the Glacier squad, Team of the Week.last_img

Guard Kelechi Osemele misses practice again, is questionable to face Chargers

first_imgFor complete Oakland Raiders coverage follow us on Flipboard.ALAMEDA — The Raiders are preparing for the possibility of being without two-time Pro Bowl left guard Kelechi Osemele when they visit the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday.Osemele, who left for eight snaps against Cleveland with a knee injury but later returned, did not practice during a walkthrough session Friday and was officially listed as questionable.“We’ll have to wait and see,” coach Jon Gruden said. “That’s the best I can say …last_img

BCCI secretary in favour of more u-19 and India ‘A’ tours

first_imgNew cricket board secretary Sanjay Jagdale is quite clear about his priorities. One of his top priorities is to push for organising “good tours” for India ‘A’ and India under-19 teams so as to build a strong bench for the senior national side.Jagdale, who is aware of the available young talent as he looked after junior cricket as joint secretary and convened the selection committee meetings till recently, wants matches on these tours to be played on different kinds of pitches to help players improve their skills.The Indore-based Jagdale has taken over the reins of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at a crucial stage vis–vis the imminent transition in the national team.Soon senior pros like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Zaheer Khan would be on their way out and the selectors will have to find com-petent youngsters to step in.That’s why Jagdale wants to organise meaningful junior tours that would throw up youngsters who could slip comfortably into those big shoes.”The BCCI is a well organised and well structured body. Whatever scope of improvement is there, I would like to organise tours for India ‘A’ and India under-19 teams with an eye on the future,” Jagdale, who turns 61 on Thursday, told MAIL TODAY in an interview.”I want these to be good tours, which are given more weightage, as preparation is a long-term process.”These tours will help build the bench strength for the senior team and also take care of the fitness-related issues. I’ll try and see that the unfortunate England tour is not repeated.” A former Madhya Pradesh captain, Jagdale, however, felt that tours like England, where the Indian team failed to win a Test or a One-day International or the lone Twenty20 International, happen rarely.advertisementHe said that players are the best judges of their injuries and illnesses, and that they will have to be honest about it. “Ultimately, it comes down to the individual, even if you have physiotherapists accompanying the team. In tennis, if Novak Djokovic gets spasms, he will have to decide if he can play the next tournament or rest,” he said.”I feel most of the players are honest. But still situations like the recent one can be avoided.There’s no foolproof formula to avoid injuries.” A former national selector, Jagdale said that the recent accomplishments of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team were the maximum that a side could achieve.”The team was No. 1 in Test cricket and it won the World Cup. You can’t go higher than where we were two months ago.Most of the credit for that should go to the players,” he averred.Despite that Jagdale is keen to unearth players that would add muscle to the bench. “I want to focus on India ‘A’ tours, which have produced players like Virat Kohli. I believe we are at a crucial stage (of transition) and we have to keep an eye on the future,” he stressed.”There’s talent, but talent alone is not enough. What you do with the talent is important – like how you apply yourself to the game, how much hard work you can put in, and how much can you sacrifice.” Jagdale feels the Vizzy Trophy all-India inter-varsity tournament has been a source of throwing up talented youngsters.But sadly the tournament was not played last season. The BCCI promised to organise it this season before backing out.Now, the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) says it will revive it.”BCCI tried our best to help the AIU financially. The University Sports Board will have to come up with some strong ideas. We are open to it. If they come up with something constructive we’ll think about it again,” said Jagdale, himself a product of university cricket.Jagdale pointed out that Sunil Gavaskar too was spotted while in school.He made his Ranji Trophy debut largely on the basis of his heavy scores during the Indian schools team’s tour of Sri Lanka in 1970.”Immediately after Sunil scored a double century there he was called midway to Mumbai and made his Ranji Trophy debut,” recalled Jagdale, a member of that team.last_img read more

VICTORIAN AFFILIATES VOTE TO DISSOLVE

first_imgTouch Victoria have officially become a branch of Touch Football Australia under TFA’s Unitary Model, voting to have their state association dissolved at a Special General Meeting on Saturday 22nd July.Over 12 months after the historical meeting when the new constitution of Touch Football Australia was adopted, Touch Victoria joins TouchWest, Touch SA and more recently NT Touch in the unitary model’s next phase of implementation. The Special General Meeting unanimously decided to dissolve the state association. Under the new model all VTA Management Committee positions became redundant.Touch Victoria Executive Officer, Miles Davine wishes to express his thanks and appreciation to those current and past members of the committee.At the conclusion of the meeting it was declared that Matthew Gilbertson (Chair), Peter Shefford, Michael Lovett, Craig Coleman, Simon Stuart and Hamish McLean would sit as the Executive Council for Victoria representing the Victorian Affiliates of TFA.last_img read more

10 months agoMonaco coach Henry turns to Crystal Palace defender Sakho

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Monaco coach Henry turns to Crystal Palace defender Sakhoby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAS Monaco coach Thierry Henry is seeking Premier League signings to rescue their season.Deep in talks with Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, Henry is also eager to strengthen his defenceL’Equipe says Monaco are this week moving for Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho.The Frenchman has revived his career over the past year, playing his way back into the France squad this season.ASM are ready to test Palace’s resolve with a firm offer for Sakho after talks with free agent Pepe fell through last week. last_img

SASKATOON ROCKERS THE SHEEPDOGS ADDED TO RIVERFEST ELORA

center_img The Saskatoon band also performed at the festival in 2016. The Sheepdogs have been added to this year’s Riverfest Elora after the opening night headliner had to cancel due to a leg injury.Organizers said that after receiving news this week that Toronto singer Jessie Reyez was unable to perform, they called in a “huge favour.”“It’s hard to find the right headliner for a festival under normal circumstances, let alone to find one with just over two weeks to go,” artistic director Spencer Shewen said.“Our good friends, The Sheepdogs, are willing to help us out and jump in at the last minute.” Facebook Advertisementlast_img