Mountain Mama: Women’s Southeast Paddling Series

first_img“Shannon Christy was loved by all her knew her,” the leader of the Ladies Southeast Paddling Series down Section 9 of the French Broad River said to us, the twenty women gathered in a circle. She explained that after the day’s paddle, we could buy raffle tickets to benefit a fund the Shannon Christy Memorial Fund (to be turned into a non-profit to empower women in kayaking in 2016). For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Shannon, her name is synonymous with an unequaled generosity in spirit and up-for-anything attitude.Thirty minutes earlier I pulled into the take-out in my pick-up with a custom welded kayak rack, the kind of vehicle that makes everyone assume you’re running shuttle. Women introduced themselves as they handed me their boats and I balanced on the bedrail in my flip flops and sundress. I reached over to turn a boat and lost my footing, falling face first into the bed of my truck. I broke my fall, grabbing onto my rack and flipped over it, leaving me in the compromising position of feet up in the air and sundress gathered around my belly button. Talk about an ice breaker, that stunt had us all laughing.Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 2.24.17 PMThen a friend who’d taken a brave leap to another part of the country and pursued her dream job had come back into town for the weekend and paddled with us.  As we paddled through rapids like Pillow and Ledges, she told us about the bumps along the way. The journey had transformed her, animating her with a certain confidence and optimism that was contagious. Another friend learning to kayak attempted some boofs and wore an ear -to-ear smile the whole way, getting another successful day on the river under her belt. The day was spent catching up with old friends and making new ones.Later while reminiscing about the day, I remembered an email I sent to Shannon in June 2012. We had paddled the Pigeon and talked about the importance of exposing all types of women to whitewater. We exchanged a few emails planning an after work series to get women in their boats. Between us, we knew so many beginning women paddlers who wanted to get out on the water more often.I dropped the ball on actually organizing any paddles with Shannon, but I realized that Saturday, the exact paddle we had discussed all those years ago finally happened. The day was so kissed by grace that I’m sure Shannon Christy had a hand in it.Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 2.24.09 PMGirls at Play will host three more of these supportive gathering to foster community amongst women paddlers – the Pigeon River on July 25th, Ocoee on August 1st, and the Lower Gauley on September 18th. While Girls at Play provides trip leaders, these paddles aren’t intended to be instruction based.last_img read more

Central American and U.S. Firefighters Conduct Joint Training in Honduras

first_imgBecker explained that Air Advisor is an intensive program taught by three instructors from the USAF Expeditionary Center who provided 35 hours of instruction to the firefighters. The program was designed to improve previous knowledge, ensuring that CENTAM SMOKE, which is held in a multicultural and multinational environment, is a success. Participants attended classes on Mesoamerican Religions, Foreign Disclosure and Intercultural Communications and Negotiations, and Public Relations. “If they do not have all of the equipment, it is provided to them,” Inspector Becker explained. “It is important that the firefighters have the proper equipment. To perform all training they must have a self-contained breathing apparatus, which is vital to practicing the live fire and rescue drills, focusing on fire expansion and fire extinguishing methods.” When the course was completed, CENTAM SMOKE began with the arrival of the Central American teams at the Soto Cano Air Base, where they were informed of the facilities’ safety regulations and had their personal equipment reviewed. Arduous preparation CENTAM SMOKE began in 2002 at the national level and in 2009, the program was implemented regionally in Central America. It is now held biannually. Since its inception, it has trained 800 Honduran firefighters and approximately 700 firefighters from other Central American countries. Each firefigher makes a difference Each firefighter who participates in CENTAM SMOKE is one “who can work with standardized levels of quality and a high amount of professionalism. They will serve as an example and may encourage, wherever they are, programs similar to the one they have received. Many of the trained firefighters are worthy representatives of the program in their countries of origin,” Inspector Becker explained. Inspector Becker explained that program participants perform these drills to implement the acquired knowledge, improve the use of tools, and ensure the proper handling of firefighting hoses, sprinklers, and nozzles. Every firefighter who participates in CENTAM SMOKE receives a Firefighter Specialization Manual, allowing participants to teach the lessons they learned in their respective countries. CENTAM SMOKE is a biannual program that, in addition to improving civic and humanitarian operations, promotes regional cooperation and improves collective skills among firefighters from Joint Task Force Bravo and the Central American region. The firefighters participating in CENTAM SMOKE 2016 included four from Belize, and five each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, for a total of 34 participants. On the first day, the firefighters were divided into groups that included one participant from each country, as the multinational teams strengthened brotherhood among Central American firefighters. “The learning experience was very important,” said Honduran firefighter Jorge Betanco Rodríguez, who benefited greatly from participating in the CENTAM SMOKE training. “I strengthened my physical conditioning and bolstered my knowledge of the use and handling of tools, particularly the ‘jaws of life’ [an extraction tool used in rescues]. The correct use of this tool makes the difference between life or death when used in a rescue after an accident.” By Dialogo May 26, 2016center_img The typical workday lasted from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. “In addition to mutual cooperation and coexistence, the Central American teams achieve certifications and gain knowledge that enables them to deal with real situations and rescue as many people as possible,” Inspector Becker stated. “This training at the regional level in Central America greatly improves the professionalism and techniques that we use,” CENTAM SMOKE’s Coordinator, Fire Inspector Herberth Becker, told Diálogo. “The work of the U.S. and Central American teams is important because it allows a leveling of the shared knowledge regarding first aid, vehicular extraction [one or more techniques used to free a victim trapped in the tangle of metal from a collision or car crash], and aircraft and structural fires.” For the CENTAM SMOKE program, seventeen firefighters from the USAF Squadron 612 at the Soto Cano Air Base conducted preparations that included taking week-long Air Advisor course to welcome firefighters from across Central America, according to Inspector Becker. Lengthy workday For example, a team of firefighters from the Soto Cano base transported an injured person by helicopter to a hospital in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. The landing was considered risky because the hospital is in a densely packed urban area. However, the team of firefighters who received them had trained using what they had learned in the CENTAM SMOKE program to do their job without putting anyone at risk, Inspector Becker said. “A trained firefighter who does the job in accordance with the appropriate security measures is more confident and therefore able to successfully reach the victims of fires or other disasters, creating a positive civic impact,” he added. “A firefighter with CENTAM SMOKE training can make the difference.” The competition between the combined Central American team and the Squadron 612 Fire Brigade was inspiring, Betanco added. “It was a good competition. We strove to give the best of ourselves, and it fills us with satisfaction that the effort led to success, because the Central American team beat the U.S. one” A major training program was held at the Enrique Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, when the Central America Sharing Mutual Operational Knowledge and Experiences Exercise (CENTAM SMOKE) brought together representatives of fire brigades from seven Central American nations from April 16th-23rd for a joint training session with U.S. Air Force (USAF) Squadron 612 out of Soto Cano Air Base. During the week-long CENTAM SMOKE exercise, physical exercises come in the form of obstacle courses and rescue simulations using dummies of different sizes. The academic side includes classes on first aid and responding to medical emergencies. last_img read more

Brazil’s Air Cadets Preparatory School Opens Its Doors to Women

first_imgBy Taciana Moury/Diálogo April 06, 2017 Eloá Rodrigues de Lima, Ana Carolina Félix Barbosa, and Laniz França Machado Sartorelli are making history at the Air Cadets Preparatory School (EPCAR, per its Portuguese acronym) in Barbacena in the interior of Minas Gerais state. The three are among 17 other women in the first female class at the military institute of secondary education. Established 68 years ago, its mission is to prepare students for admission to the first year of Aviator Officer Training at the Air Force Academy (AFA). According to the Department of Aeronautical Education (DEPENS, per its Portuguese acronym), the school opened its doors to women to further develop coed rights and responsibilities. The Brazilian Air Force (FAB, per its Portuguese acronym), has been a pioneer in female inclusion. As far back as 1996, there were already spots available at AFA for the quartermaster officers’ corps. Then in 2002 spots for aeronautical specialists opened up. In 2003 spots were made available for female pilots at AFA. Women have joined FAB since 1992, serving in technical squadrons, and in health care. The opportunity that opened in 2017 did not go unnoticed by women across Brazil. There were 3,480 applications for 20 openings or nearly 174 candidates per vacancy. The women reported to the school at the start of the year for an adaptation period, and they are now integrated into the routine, together with the 153 men in their class. According to DEPENS, these female students have adapted quite well to the academic structure at EPCAR, in terms of both their achievement in the classroom and their physical and military performance, as well as their compatibility working alongside male students. Curriculum EPCAR’s academic curriculum adheres to the high school standards set by the Brazilian Ministry of Education. The content is supplemented by classic military subjects focused on military history and the world of aviation in general, as well as field activities, with survival skills and techniques for ground deployment. Marching in single file, professional military ethics, physical training, and sports are also part of the school’s program. The daily routine for these 20 young women is the same as for the other students. “Activities are done together, without any distinction of gender, race, creed, or origin,” DEPENS emphasized in a press release. Rodrigues, 17, said that there is no discrimination of any kind. “No one gets any special or differential treatment,” she said. It was her passion for military life that led her to enroll in EPCAR. She hopes for a career as a FAB pilot. “It’s a total rush. We’re always motivated and it’s great to see our efforts acknowledged when we do well in our daily parade.”. Also age 17, Barbosa was used to military life. Coming from a military family, she also chose EPCAR in an attempt to get a spot at AFA. “We do our activities together, like physical education.” For this student, living with her squadron is the most difficult part. “This experience has been great, but there are moments of difficulty and uncertainty,” she said. Sartorelli chose EPCAR because she was inspired by her father, who is a member of FAB. She grew up at Santa Maria Air Force Base and has always wanted to be in aviation. The 18-year-old student explained how challenging it is to balance military life with her studies. “These first months have been hard because we lose a lot of sleep, and therefore, are very tired. But gradually, we’re getting used to it.” In spite of the demands, the student says that she is very happy at the school, mainly because she is in the first female class. “This incredible experience is teaching us new lessons, with group trips and interactions. We’re testing ourselves to the max, both physically and psychologically. But this will make us stronger and more prepared to become FAB officers.” Another pioneer is Captain Carla Alexandre Borges, who enrolled in the first class of female pilots at AFA, and celebrated the young women’s admission at EPCAR. “This is one more barrier that has been broken down, one more door that has been opened,” she stated. Capt. Borges was the first woman to pilot a fighter jet in Brazil, and feels that a career in the military is exciting but requires a lot of dedication. “I hope they go on to brilliant careers and that tomorrow they too are role models for many other women.” Training To be able to admit female students, EPCAR went through a redesign of its facilities and its academics. According to information from DEPENS, the physical facilities, such as restrooms, were adapted for women. The Student Guide was also updated to cover items such as romantic relationships and the regulations for women’s civilian clothing when traveling between the school and the city of Barbacena. In the area of military practice, DEPENS says that the only modification that needed to be done was the introduction of female charts for the Physical Fitness Test in the Evaluation Plan, which is conducted each semester for the purpose of adapting the scores to the physiological differences of each gender. There was also concern about training the students’ military instructors so that they could welcome the female corps. The instructors went through a training course for teachers of military doctrine where topics such as military ethics and the pedagogy of military character were addressed. The experience of having welcomed females into other courses within FAB was also discussed, such as the details of what occurred at AFA in 1996, and in the aviator corps in 2003. EPCAR has 55 civilian professors heading up classrooms in the Training Division, and 61 military instructors. In total, 489 students, divided into three squadrons study at the school in a three-year training program. At the end of that period, they can apply for a spot at AFA. Their admission to the academy, however, depends on passing medical exams, the Military Pilot Aptitude Test, and their physical performance, among other selection criteria.last_img read more

International Bar launches Web site

first_imgInternational Bar launches Web site International Bar launches Web site A new Web site launched by the International Bar Association is designed to provide the first one-stop-shop for access to the most current versions of the world’s 100-plus competition laws. The site,, also features more than 600 direct links to national competition authorities and international organizations with antitrust interests, and debuted at the recent Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Multinational Competition Committee meeting.Site visitors have access to articles, speeches, and commentary by world-renowned experts in competition law enforcement and reform. Competition laws and practice of 126 countries — including 24 African jurisdictions, 29 Mid-East and Eastern regimes, 43 European systems, 14 in North and Central America, 12 in Southern America, and four in Oceana — are available on the site. Also, the more than 600 links offer immediate access to all of the world’s known competition agency sites, as well as those maintained by international organizations, such as the World Bank, World Trade Organization, OECD, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.“The Web site provides a dynamic, single source of current information on laws, contacts, and educational resources to encourage and push frontiers of debate on competition policy,” said J. William Rowley, chair of the IBA’s Global Forum for Competition and Trade Policy. July 15, 2002 Regular Newslast_img read more

What makes a great strategist?

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Lots of businesses use the title of strategist for roles within their organization. For us at Emotive Brand, we have a very clear and defined view of what makes a good brand strategist. We carefully curate our project teams of strategists with a focus on selecting the skill sets and experience that are best suited for our clients and our projects.The Need for a Great StrategistIn today’s hyper competitive, interconnected, always shifting world businesses need great strategists to really drive their business and brand forward. When recruiting and hiring strategists at our agency, there are certain qualities we look for.1.Information masters:First off, successful strategists are talented and powerful listeners. In order to get to the heart of business problems and help align leadership teams around an impactful strategy, strategists need to be great listeners and also know who to listen to. Great strategists know how to get the information they need using many different frameworks and formats from people first-hand. continue reading »last_img read more

New restaurant feeds growth in downtown Binghamton

first_imgBINGHAMTON (WBNG) — If you’ve walked around downtown Binghamton lately, you may have noticed there’s a lot more places to eat. “In order to have a growing, thriving city, you have to have a vibrant downtown,” said Binghamton Mayor Rich David. “I started working downtown about ten years ago, and almost every single storefront on Court Street was boarded up, and was trashed,” said Rindgen. Binghamton is doing just that, and it’s most recent addition, The Stone Fox, is bringing wood fire pizzas with an outdoor dining experience. The Stone Fox was created by the owners of Dos Rios and The Colonial. That adds up to three restaurants changing the landscape of downtown. “This is going to be our first step into the fast-casual food scene. You’re going to walk up, you’re going to order at a window. It’ll be a more laid back experience,” said The Stone Fox Co-Owner Jordan Rindgen. “We attract any person that wants to eat something good, or eat something good,” said Rindgen. “I’m not surprised that these buildings and first-floor spaces are being snatched up by restaurants and others, the space is more and more in demand,” said David. The new addition, officials and restaurateurs hope, will bring new customers to the table. If you take a look around now, there’s been a drastic change from Rindgen’s description, with city officials searching for new opportunities to revitalize the area. Rindgen told 12 News he and his co-owners plan to have The Stone Fox open this spring.last_img read more

Paytm on India’s digital payments sector

first_imgI believe that Paytm is so far ahead in the innovation that can be built on top of the payments layer that I feel super comfortable about where we are.- Advertisement – A big part of India’s fast-growing online payments infrastructure is the United Payments Interface (UPI), created by the country’s top payments processor, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). UPI processed more than 2 billion transactions in October and is supported by most of India’s lenders. Its open architecture allows interoperability between payments apps using the platform, which facilitates peer-to-peer money transfer. UPI is currently dominated by PhonePe and Google Pay, leaving Paytm a distant third, according to reports.UPI is just one part of Paytm’s business. Deora said the start-up has more than 50% market share in the merchant payments segment and provides services in other areas, such as banking and wealth management. Reuters reported that the company also aims to have more than one million apps on its “mini app store” by the first quarter of 2021.“I believe that Paytm is so far ahead in the innovation that can be built on top of the payments layer that I feel super comfortable about where we are,” Deora said.WhatsApp for its part would likely have an advantage in the payments market in India despite being a relative newcomer. More than 400 million people in the country already use the messaging service, which gives it a sizeable userbase right off the bat. Facebook’s investment ties with Jio Platforms, owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, offer another advantage. “They have a shot,” Deora said about WhatsApp’s prospects in India. “If they are innovative and they build great solutions, that some consumers will come to them. I think that sort of goes without saying. But I’ll tell you it’s super hard to do so.”He explained that convincing sellers to allow a company like Paytm or WhatsApp to handle their money requires trust and does not occur overnight. Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay (Gpay) and Bhim UPI QR Codes (Standee) are Kept outside for Cashless payments at a medical store in Gurugram on the outskirts of New Delhi, India on 16 May 2020.Nasir Kachroo | NurPhoto | Getty Images – Advertisement – The service faces competition from the likes of Google Pay, Walmart’s PhonePe and most recently Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service, which announced a feature allowing its users to send money through the app.center_img Madhur DeoraPresident, Paytm SINGAPORE — Indian tech start-up Paytm is “super comfortable” with its position in an increasingly competitive payments sector in the country, a top executive at the company said Monday.Paytm is an ubiquitous name in India’s digital payments sector. Millions of Indians use the service to pay for things including utility bills, groceries, recharging mobile connections or buying movie tickets. Paytm is also a fully licensed digital bank.- Advertisement – “It’s no doubt that India is the last big tech market in the world and it’s an open market,” Madhur Deora, president of Paytm, said on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.” The interview was part of CNBC’s annual East Tech West conference, which is being held this year both remotely and on the ground in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China.“Payments is — over the last six or seven years, especially mobile payments — has come to the forefront of consumer offerings and innovation in consumer tech,” Deora said, adding that “people have come to realize that if you solve the payments problem then there are many things that you can do with respect to commerce, with respect to financial services.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

PREMIUMEnvironmental issues still low on agenda as pragmatism prevails: Experts

first_imgGoogle Log in with your social account Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Facebook The environmental agenda is expected to still be ignored in Indonesia this year by policymakers as political pragmatism prevails, experts and activists said, raising concerns over pressing environmental issues and their impacts on society.The value of pragmatism, which dominates Indonesia’s politics and is President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s political principle, made it hard for environmental issues to gain traction as electoral issues or become aligned with the government’s agenda.Pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia executive director Burhanuddin Muhtadi said as Jokowi was a technocratic populist, he criticized him for not having an ideological orientation on environmentalism and instead based his policies on pragmatism.“If we take a closer look at the president’s statements, especially after he won the 2019 election, he repeatedly spoke… Linkedin Topics : environment environmental-damage Environment-and-Forestry-Ministrylast_img read more

East Java governor slams Surabaya for ‘late’ response to Sampoerna COVID-19 cluster

first_imgEast Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa has criticized the Surabaya city administration’s delayed response to a cluster of COVID-19 infections at one of tobacco giant PT HM Sampoerna’s factories in the city. “The response to the case was too late. They [Sampoerna] reported the case on April 14 to the Surabaya Health Agency. Perhaps the report lacked details. If [the report was] detailed there should have been a quick response,” she told reporters on Friday. Khofifah said the provincial COVID-19 task force was only made aware of the case on April 28 when dozens of Sampoerna workers were confirmed to have contracted the virus.  Sampoerna’s Rungkut 2 factory in Rungkut district has been identified as a new cluster of COVID-19 cases in Surabaya after the test results of two workers came back positive for COVID-19 several days after their deaths on April 14. The Surabaya COVID-19 task force has since scrambled to trace those who may have had direct contact with the two workers at the factory, which has at least 500 employees. On April 29, the task force took blood samples from 323 workers for rapid testing with 91 of them returning reactive. The 91 workers have since undergone polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with 63 testing positive.  East Java COVID-19 task force member Joni Wahyuhadi said that another 165 workers who might have been in direct contact with the two deceased workers had undergone PCR tests earlier but the results had not yet been disclosed. Meanwhile, PT HM Sampoerna Tbk director Elvira Lianita said the company had put its cigarette products produced at the Rungkut 2 factory in a five-day quarantine before distributing them to consumers to ensure they were free from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.Read also: Sampoerna factory closes after two COVID-19 deaths, authorities rush to trace contacts”We also quarantine our products for five days before they are distributed to our consumers,” she said on Thursday in a written statement obtained by The Jakarta Post. She said that the five-day quarantine was longer than the quarantine period suggested by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).According to the two organizations, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive for 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel surfaces, less than four hours on copper surfaces, and less than 24 hours on cardboard surfaces, she said. Elvira said the Rungkut 2 factory had been closed since April 27.The Sampoerna COVID-19 transmission cluster, the 30th cluster detected in Surabaya, will likely cause a spike in confirmed cases in the city. The city is the hardest hit region in East Java with 554 confirmed cases and 71 deaths recorded as of Monday. According to the official government count, East Java is the third hardest hit province in the country, behind only Jakarta and West Java, with 1,124 cases and 117 fatalities recorded as of Monday.  Despite the emergence of the cluster, East Java Manpower and Transmigration Agency head Himawan Estu Bagijo said that factories could continue to operate in Surabaya, Sidoarjo and Gresik, where large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) have been implemented. “No article in the PSBB regulation stipulates any restrictions on economic activities, only limitations. Factories may continue to operate as long as they adhere to physical distancing measures,” he said. Topics :last_img read more

WHO warns some nations still face ‘long, hard’ battle with COVID-19

first_imgTopics : The Americas are the current epicenter, particularly the United States, which has the highest COVID-19 death toll in the world – more than 127,393.Ryan said the WHO was trying to verify reports of hoarding of medical supplies in the United States and wanted to ensure everyone had access to life-saving materials.Asked about a virus in Chinese pigs that a study said has become more infectious to humans and might become a “pandemic virus”, Ryan said: “It’s important to reassure people that it is not a new virus and is a virus under surveillance.”  Nations who fail to use every mechanism available to combat the still-raging novel coronavirus will struggle to beat it, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.”Some countries … have taken a fragmented approach. These countries face a long, hard road ahead,” Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva, without singling out any nations.More than 10.5 million people have been infected globally and more than half a million have died since the COVID-19 disease first emerged in China.center_img Tedros said local flare-ups were inevitable as some nations began lifting lockdown restrictions. “But countries that have the systems in place to apply a comprehensive approach should be able to contain these flare-ups locally and avoid reintroducing widespread restrictions,” he said.WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan told the same briefing the UN body planned to send two experts from headquarters to join its country team in China to establish the scope for a mission looking into the origins of the coronavirus.Heavily criticized by the United States and others for secrecy and a late response, China has said it was transparent throughout and would support an investigation once the pandemic is under control.While many have signaled a live animal market as the probable origin, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have said there is evidence the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory.last_img read more