At polling places on Election Day, San Gabriel Valley voters expressed disappointment that so few of their fellow residents turned out to cast ballots. Without statewide or national contests to draw voters, cities expected a low turnout of 13 to 17 percent, officials said. But those that did trek to polling places said municipal elections were crucial to their cities’ future. And the lack of civic engagement has had a negative effect on local government, some said. “That’s why we keep getting the same bums in office,” said longtime West Covina resident and voter Charlene Schmidt, 60. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Schmidt was leaving a Honda dealership on East Garvey Avenue where poll workers had seen a little more than 100 voters by about 1 p.m. “We’re still looking for the big rush,” said poll worker Johnny Key, noting that things usually get busier after regular work hours. Voter turnout for local elections in the county has dropped since a high of 17.7 percent in 1983. Four years ago, 11.4 percent of eligible voters went to the polls, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office. In Montebello, contests for city council, clerk, treasurer and school board meant there was more on the ballot than in most Valley cities. Poll workers in the city said they did notice an uptick in turnout for the contentious election this year. Rose Mary Brougher said she has worked at the Montebello polls for the past 40 years. “We have a city that really needs guidance,” she commented as a steady trickle of voters came to her polling station at a residence in the 700 block of North Fourth Street. “People need to get out and see what’s going on in their cities,” Brougher said, lamenting the overall decline in voting. Outside the polling station, voters Ray and Margaret Gallego, who have lived in Montebello more than 40 years, said local politics were exasperating and they were hoping for change. But that very frustration with city government may be driving residents away from the polls, they said. “The problem with voters is this: You don’t know who to believe any longer. You kind of throw your hands up,” Ray Gallego, 72, said. Added Margaret Gallego, 69, “Not too many people feel it makes a difference.” Meanwhile, 22-year-old Dominic Tiberio was getting on his skateboard after casting his ballot. “I don’t know too much about politics here,” he said. “My mom is really into city stuff, so she’d be disappointed if I didn’t vote.” firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2110160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
The United Nations campaign highlighting the work of the world’s humanitarian workers has reached 100 million people through social media so far, the world body announced today, describing it as its “first milestone” that gets it closer to the one billion mark, which it aims to reach by World Humanitarian Day on 19 August.The campaign, ‘I Was Here,’ allows transmission of messages of support from people who have registered online across the world pledging humanitarian action, however big or small. Members of the public can then share their individual acts of good through the interactive website www.whd-iwashere.org.Organized by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the campaign has gained momentum in the past few days following the video recording – in front of more than 1,200 fans, celebrities, humanitarian workers and dignitaries – on Friday night, at the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York, of US performing artist Beyoncé singing the song “I Was Here.’The video of the song, which Beyoncé and songwriter Diane Warren donated to the campaign, will premiere globally on 19 August, with displays on big screens in the cities of Dubai, Geneva, Addis Ababa, as well as in New York City’s Times Square, among other locales.“Everyone can be a humanitarian. All it takes is one act to help someone else,” the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, said during the Friday night event, which was hosted by television journalist Anderson Cooper. “That’s the spirit of people helping people.”During the event, Mr. Cooper interviewing former child soldier Ishmael Beah, who fought in Sierra Leone’s civil war; Pernille Ironside, a UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) child protection officer; New York photographer Erin Dinan, whose non-profit organization One Sandwich at a Time feeds people living on the streets; and Laurent Vieira de Mello, whose father – a senior UN official, Sergio Vieira de Mello – died along with 21 other humanitarians in an attack in Iraq.The General Assembly proclaimed 19 August as World Humanitarian Day in 2008 to commemorate that attack, which took place at the UN’s offices in Baghdad’s Canal Hotel in 2003. In addition to killing 22 people, another150 people were injured.The Day aims to honor those who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and those who continue to bring assistance and relief to millions, in addition to drawing attention to humanitarian needs worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in meeting those needs.
Environmentalist and activist David Suzuki’s new episode of The Nature of Things highlights some surprising and bold South American initiatives that contribute to economies while considering environmental impact.Worried about the usual path of economics and development, Suzuki is delighted to share these new perspectives and ideas that benefit not only nature, but societies as well.Unique to Ecuador, the rights of Pachamama (Mother Earth) are written into the constitution. When a road building company came into the country’s Loja province and began dumping rocks and dirt into the Vilcabamba River, the river’s width was narrowed causing a faster running waterway. When a flash storm wiped out much of Richard Wheeler and Eleanor Geer-Huddle’s property, they decided to sue the provincial government on behalf of the river. Pachamama won. The river must be returned to its original condition.“[Ecuador] has granted the rights of fish and trees and birds and rivers to exist in their natural state,” says Suzuki in a CBC interview about his television program. “[In Canada] we have a minister of the environment. His job is not to protect the environment, it’s to protect the rights of the human beings that are going to interact with that environment. Nature is assumed in our country to be a resource or a potential for human use, not to exist for its own sake. We haven’t made that jump to realize that the health of nature is absolutely related to our health and our well-being as well.”Another groundbreaking program in Ecuador is the Yasuni-Itt Initiative. The Yasuni National Park on the east side of the Andes is thought to have the highest biodiversity in any ecosystem on the planet. “In one hectare in Yasuni they discovered more different species of trees than we have in all of North America, from Alaska to Mexico,” says Suzuki. But below the park is a massive deposit of oil.Rather than ruining the park to extract the oil, and rather than burning the oil and contributing to the carbon in the atmosphere, the Ecuadorian government proposed to the UN to leave the oil in the ground in return for international support to put towards conservation, reforestation, social development of the indigenous communities that live in the Amazon, and renewable energy science, technology and investigation. Instead of receiving an estimated $14 to $20 billion in oil revenues over 13 years, Ecuador aims to receive around $3.6 billion while protecting the rainforest.“Compare Ecuador, which is a much poorer country than Canada,” says Suzuki. “We look at the tar sands in Alberta, and whoa! Forget the fact that to get that oil is unbelievably expensive in ecological terms. We just want at it to get whatever money we can get out of it and never consider the possibility of leaving it in the ground, and possibly find other economic means, as Ecuador is searching for.“I think the challenge we face today is a lack of diversity. I think we’ve got to look to these other areas that haven’t bought completely into the economic development system that we’ve adopted so extensively.”Andean Adventure aired on January 10.Copyright ©2013Look to the Stars
The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee considered several bills that included measures on mental health and improving women’s health care, matching a similar House push, Military.com reported Thursday.The Senate mental health bill would create grants for outside mental health organizations, require access to alternative animal and sports therapies, and increase the number of VA mental health providers. It also would require VA to track progress on its national suicide plan, and expand telehealth services.The women’s health bills would increase VA counselors for female veterans, increase coverage for maternity care, and expand the number of female health care providers.The bipartisan bills have widespread support.In the House, Veteran’s Affairs Committee lawmakers passed a number of their own mental health bills, including addressing veterans suicide, Military Times reported.“The sad statistic shows after the 20 veterans and military service members who die by suicide, 14 of those 20 have not received VA health care,” Chairman Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) said. “This is one step toward changing this tragic number.”One measure would expand counseling at community-based veterans centers. Another measure would require the VA to provide a report to lawmakers when a veteran commits suicide at VA facilities in their districts. ADC AUTHOR
The mole is stuck on Mars. NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA’s Mars InSight lander has been a star on the Red Planet. It touched down in November and has since snapped lovely landscapes, deployed a seismometer and unleashed a burrowing heat probe known as the “mole.” Everything was going great until the mole got stuck under the surface in February.NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), whose engineers designed the heat probe (also known as the Heat and Physical Properties Package, or HP3), have come up with an initial plan to help crack the mystery of why the mole isn’t moving.NASA and DLR both issued updates on the project on Thursday. One big question is whether the mole hit a single rock or came up against a gravel layer. There’s also some concern the probe itself or its cable could be hung up on something inside the housing that’s supposed to protect it. InSight studies Mars NASA’s InSight Mars lander got stuck between a rock in a hard place NASA InSight lander catches a shadowy eclipse on Mars NASA InSight lander rocks its journey to Mars: A view in pictures NASA Space 1 22 Photos Share your voice Tags Comment Sci-Tech The mole works by hammering down into the ground to measure the heat coming from the interior of Mars. The InSight team now plans to conduct a hammering test lasting up to 15 minutes later this month. The lander’s seismometer will listen to the mole and hopefully pick up clues about what stopped its progress.InSight will also train its camera on the mole’s above-ground support structure to look for movement. The mole is designed to burrow down as far as 16 feet (5 meters), but only made it a matter of inches before stopping.If the InSight team can solve the puzzle of what’s hiding there under the surface of Mars, it may be able to revive the mole’s mission to explore the hidden inner life of the Red Planet.
X Listen Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Courtesy of Greater Houston PartnershipGreater Houston home sales increased by 23 percent year-over-year in November. In November, Realtors sold 5,706 single-family homes, 1,055 more than the same month a year ago, according to a monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors. That’s a 22.7 percent increase.Tim Surratt, a real estate agent with Greenwood King Properties, said that’s great news, “but if we go back two years, it’s really only a 10 percent increase. In 2015, we were still having some instability for the oil prices and all of that. And so it looks like our market is very stabilized here in Houston.”He said the recovery is also finally having an effect on the sales of homes above $500,000.They jumped 32.5 percent from November 2015 – the first time this category saw an increase in sales in more than a year.“People are just feeling confident to get back into the market,” Surrat said. “They kind of sat on the sidelines to see if prices would come down, and they absolutely have not come down. And because of that, they couldn’t put off those purchases any longer.”The median price for a single-family home in Greater Houston went up by 8.3 percent from a year ago, to $222,000, a record for a November. 00:00 /01:01
Kolkata: Four persons were killed and seven others have been injured in three separate road accidents in the district on Sunday.The first incident took place at Andal in West Burdwan at around 6.30 am when a youth was returning home on his motorcycle after doing a night shift. The victim, a private employee, was hit by a speeding truck.He sustained critical injuries in the accident. Some of the locals rushed the victim to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. The truck driver fled the spot immediately. According to the local sources, the truck was at a high speed as a result of which the driver could not control the vehicle when the youth came in front of the truck. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe driver applied a sudden brake but failed to avoid the accident. The incident triggered tension in the area and it caused traffic congestion in Jadudanga area of Jamuria.Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver.Another accident took place on National Highway 34 near Udaypur area of Shantipur when a truck collided head on with a bus.One passenger and the helper of the bus succumbed to their injuries in a hospital.According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the bus driver might have fallen asleep while driving on Sunday morning. Seven other passengers were also injured in the accident. Three of them are stated to be serious. They were taken to a hospital for treatment. The third incident occurred in Mejia area of Bankura when a speeding truck knocked down a cyclist from behind. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver who has been at large.
If there’s one unifying theme at CES 2010, it’s as follows: Innovation is everywhere. From 3-D high-definition televisions to slick e-readers, powerful smartphones and a bevy of streaming media devices, the big watchwords this year are versatility, interconnectivity and value. Just a few items that already seem to be emerging as running themes this year based on early preview events, press conferences and, of course, buzz among critics and everyday gadget enthusiasts alike:1. 3-D, LED and Connected TelevisionLG, Samsung, Panasonic: You can barely turn around without bumping into a manufacturer pushing an LED (or, even scarier, 3-D) HDTV line as the next big thing. Thankfully, support for wireless internet is also creeping into more sets, letting you access widgets (bite-sized programs that run right on your TV) straight from your living room or stream over content from your PC. While the jury’s still out on 3-D, and the need to wear goofy glasses to enjoy it, newswires are abuzz with stories of broadcasters like ESPN and Discovery launching compatible networks. Truthfully, we’re more excited about Skype making its debut on sets, possibly bringing casual videoconferencing to mainstream prominence, and turning your couch into a communications hub after years of unfulfilled promise. Companies like Toshiba, with its Cell TV sets, are also planning to offer models with 1080p broadcast and Internet content upscaling, plus built-in hard drives and wireless 802.11n support, as well as the ability to convert 2D content from movies to video games into full 3-D.2. Tablet PCs and NetbooksFrom Asus to Lenovo, everyone’s pushing the low-cost, portable systems in slicker, even more transportable formats, albeit many now with touchscreens and beefier processors and graphics cards. More PC for less money, plus you can easily take notes on it and whiz through airport security? That’s one trend we can get behind.3. Portable ProjectorsAimed at business users with presentations to give, a number of companies are pushing portable projector models for BlackBerry and iPhone handsets. Surprisingly capable, these gizmos should be suitable for everyday use, if not pitching million-dollar ad buys, given their decent, if not overwhelming, brightness levels and picture quality. Still, what do you expect from a device that fits in your pocket?4. E-Readers and E-Book PlayersWhile still expensive and hard to justify as a purchase in the face of software platforms like Blio, which bring rich media content (books, magazines, comics, newspapers, etc.) to all platforms, not just dedicated single-function devices, there’s no getting around it: e-readers are everywhere at CES this year in color, touchscreen and other exciting new forms, and genuinely threating to upend the publishing industry within three years, if not completely reduce the newsstand to irrelevance in the next 12-18 months.5. Streaming Media ExtendersWe’ve still yet to see a single killer app in this category capable of supporting most major multimedia formats and convincing even the staunchest technophobe from buying in with its idiot-proof setup and interface. But it’s inevitable that one will arrive at some point, and make streaming audio and video more common than not in the near future, given the preponderance of companies looking to connect your TV, Blu-ray player, receiver, etc. to your home network or the internet. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 3 min read January 8, 2010
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Brought to you by Business on Main Yes, viruses, worms, phishing and other horrible-sounding threats make for a dangerous world out there for your computer network. But there’s comfort in the fact that 84 percent of network attacks are considered preventable with simple security measures.Yet to be convinced that you need to take protective measures? Then consider the following:It takes 20 minutes for an unprotected computer to get infected after it’s been hooked up to the internet.Forty percent of passwords can be cracked within one hour.In 2007, 127 million personal records were either lost or stolen.Now that I’ve made you aware that something must be done, it’s good to know that protecting your computers doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. In fact, just like in the physical world, it mostly requires some basic common sense. Below are the four critical tools for locking your computer network up tight.Antivirus software. In my opinion, antivirus software should be mandatory, like car insurance–you can’t get a computer without it. Yes, antivirus software has historically been a royal pain in the processor. It was costly, it updated itself all the time and it would slow your computer to a crawl. But I see antivirus protection as being like flossing: It sucks, but think what you may lose without it. Besides, there are some free (yes, free) antivirus programs that are top-notch, such as AVG (which also has a pay version). And the performance drags have drastically improved in the last year or two, especially with products like Symantec’s Norton Internet Security . Get something on every system in your company and keep it up to date. It’s basic hygiene.Firewall. For both individual PCs and networks, firewalls are must-haves. These are simple programs that, based on a certain set of rules, examine the traffic coming in and out of your computer or network and block any unauthorized access. It’s like having a lock and peephole on your front door. Many internet security software packages, such as Symantec’s, have firewalls built in. Check Point Software Technologies , probably the most recognized brand in the firewall business, also markets a free version of its basic firewall software called ZoneAlarm .Get a VPN. If you or your employees ever access the company servers remotely, you need a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN simply creates an encrypted tunnel between your PC and the network, so that anything you send between the two is protected. It sounds more complicated than it is. And there are free versions of this as well, including Alonweb and PacketiX VPN . Some of these free versions hit you with advertising, but that’s nothing you can’t handle.Passwords, passwords, passwords. I’m not just talking about passwords to log on to the network or a website. Those are obvious. But did you know that your hard drive can (and should) be password-protected? Did you know that you can require your employees to enter a password before they download anything onto their system? And did you know that those passwords must all be different; change regularly; include letters, numbers and symbols; and in general be really difficult to guess? It’s called password strength, and for more on how to make a weak password stronger, see this handy reference guide .How well you protect your network will depend on how well your employees adhere to the guidelines. And sometimes just educating them on good, safe computing habits (like not clicking on links in e-mails from unknown sources or downloading anything from an untrusted site) is not enough. So a little security technology can go a long way toward helping you sleep at night. And most of it won’t cost you a thing, which will also help you sleep. 4 min read July 16, 2010 Register Now »