Refresh your Kitchen through Refacing and Remodeling

by

Daphne Mills

Kitchen is the soul of any home, and it should ideally look pleasing to the eye and organized for effective functionality and attractive appearance. This is a concern for many households, because even if the place is cleaned on a daily basis, it will gain a stale look in due course of time. The best remedy to correct this problem is a set of unique kitchen renovation ideas that can bring life to the space and reinvigorate it. Two of the most common changes that are incorporated in homes are kitchen cabinet refacing and remodeling, both of which serve distinct purposes.

Kitchen cabinet remodeling is the process of renewing the whole look of the kitchen, which is usually done by reshuffling the position of the items placed in the cooking area. This can mean that the refrigerator, oven, counter etc. are moved from one place to another, with the sole purpose of zeroing in upon the most aesthetically pleasing look for the concerned space. This process extends to refurbishing the look of the lights, accessories, floor pattern, curtains, sinks, and faucets etc., among many others are replaced in order to refresh the ambience of the kitchen. On the other hand, kitchen cabinet refacing

is an approach in which the surfaces of cabinets, drawers etc. placed in the area are uninstalled and replaced with fresh ones. This process is very cost effective and does not take much time, with an expected time period of one to three days being sufficient for a normal household. This job only changes the surface of the storage areas, and their insides remain the same, which is the primary reason for the low rates levied by service providers. All door fronts and drawer surfaces are replaced by new ones, and the same can be done for kitchen tops and sides of cabinets.

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These kitchen renovation ideas

can be implemented with utmost expertise by professional individuals and firms that are engaged in manufacturing and installing a variety of products pertaining to kitchens and other household areas. Firms that have credible market reputation offer high quality material and service at the lowest of prices, and install best in class products in the homes. They understand the intricacies involved with executing such jobs, and offer space saving tips to the clients, so that they are able to utilize the space in the kitchen in a streamlined and efficient manner.

Daphne Mills is working with the leading closet organization located in Calgary, Canada and has written some of the most searched articles on kitchen renovation ideas ,

bathroom remodeling

, kitchen cabinet refacing and

glass shower doors

.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sunday, Wikinews sat down with Australian blind Paralympic skier Jessica Gallagher and her guide Eric Bickerton who are participating in a national team training camp in Vail, Colorado.

((Wikinews)) This is Jessica Gallagher. She’s competing at the IPC NorAm cup this coming week.

Jessica Gallagher: I’m not competing at Copper Mountain.

((WN)) You’re not competing?

Jessica Gallagher: No.

((WN)) You’re just here?

Jessica Gallagher: We’re in training. I’ve got a race at Winner Park, but we aren’t racing at Copper.

((WN)) So. Your guide is Eric Bickerton, and he did win a medal in women’s downhill blind skiing.

Jessica Gallagher: Yes!

((WN)) Despite the fact that he is neither a woman nor blind.

Jessica Gallagher: No, he loves telling people that he was the first Australian female Paralympic woman to win a medal. One of the ironies.

((WN)) The IPC’s website doesn’t list guides on their medal things. Are they doing that because they don’t want — you realise this is not all about you per se — Is it because they are trying to keep off the able bodied people to make the Paralympics seem more pure for people with disabilities?

Jessica Gallagher: Look, I don’t know but I completely disagree if they don’t have the guides up there. Because it’s pretty plain and simple: I wouldn’t be skiing if it wasn’t with him. Being legally blind you do have limitations and that’s just reality. We’re certainly able to overcome most of them. And when it comes to skiing on a mountain the reason I’m able to overcome having 8 per cent vision is that I have a guide. So I think it’s pretty poor if they don’t have the information up there because he does as much work as I do. He’s an athlete as much as I am. If he crashes we’re both out. He’s drug tested. He’s as important as I am on a race course. So I would strongly hope that they would put it up there. Here’s Eric!
Eric Bickerton: Pleased to met you.

((WN)) We’ve been having a great debate about whether or not you’ve won a medal in women’s blind downhill skiing.

Eric Bickerton: Yes, I won it. I’ve got it.

((WN)) I found a picture of you on the ABC web site. Both of you were there, holding your medals up. The IPC’s web site doesn’t credit you.

Jessica Gallagher: I’m surprised by that.
Eric Bickerton: That’s unusual, yeah.

((WN)) One of the things that was mentioned earlier, most delightful about you guys is you were racing and “we were halfway down the course and we lost communication!” How does a blind skier deal with…

Jessica Gallagher: Funny now. Was bloody scary.

((WN)) What race was that?

Jessica Gallagher: It was the Giant Slalom in Vancouver at the Paralympics. Actually, we were talking about this before. It’s one of the unique aspects of wearing headsets and being able to communicate. All the time while we were on the mountain earlier today, Eric had a stack and all he could hear as he was tumbling down was me laughing.
Eric Bickerton: Yes… I wasn’t feeling the love.
Jessica Gallagher: But um… what was the question please?

((WN)) I couldn’t imagine anything scarier than charging down the mountain at high speed and losing that communications link.

Jessica Gallagher: The difficulty was in the Giant Slalom, it was raining, and being used to ski racing, I had never experienced skiing in the rain, and as soon as I came out of the start hut I lost all my sight, which is something that I had never experienced before. Only having 8 per cent you treasure it and to lose all of it was a huge shock. And then when I couldn’t hear Eric talking I realised that our headsets had malfunctioned because they’d actually got rain into them. Which normally wouldn’t happen in the mountains because it would be snow. So it was the scariest moment of my life. Going down it was about getting to the bottom in one piece, not racing to win a medal, which was pretty difficult I guess or frustrating, given that it was the Paralympics.

((WN)) I asked the standing guys upstairs: who is the craziest amongst all you skiers: the ones who can’t see, the ones on the mono skis, or the one-legged or no-armed guys. Who is the craziest one on the slopes?

Jessica Gallagher: I think the completely blind. If I was completely blind I wouldn’t ski. Some of the sit skiers are pretty crazy as well.

((WN)) You have full control over your skis though. You have both legs and both arms.

Jessica Gallagher: True, but you’ve got absolutely no idea where you’re going. And you have to have complete reliance on a person. Trust that they are able to give you the right directions. That you are actually going in the right direction. It’s difficult with the sight that I have but I couldn’t imagine doing it with no sight at all.

((WN)) The two of you train together all the time?

Eric Bickerton: Pretty well, yes.
Jessica Gallagher: Yes, everything on snow basically is together. One of the difficult things I guess is we have to have that 100 per cent communication and trust between one another and a lot of the female skiers on the circuit, their guide is their husband. That’s kind of a trust relationship. Eric does say that at times it feels like we’re married, but…
Eric Bickerton: I keep checking for my wallet.
Jessica Gallagher: …it’s always about constantly trying to continue to build that relationship so that eventually I just… You put your life in his hands and whatever he says, you do, kind of thing.

((WN)) Of the two sport, winter sports and summer sports person, how do you find that balance between one sport and the other sport?

Jessica Gallagher: It’s not easy. Yeah, it’s not easy at all. Yesterday was my first day on snow since March 16, 2010. And that was mainly because of the build up obviously for London and the times when I was going to ski I was injured. So, to not have skied for that long is obviously a huge disadvantage when all the girls have been racing the circuit since… and it’s vice versa with track and field. So I’ve got an amazing team at the Victorian Institute of Sport. I call them my little A Team of strength and mission coach, physio, osteopath, soft tissue therapist, sport psychologist, dietician. Basically everyone has expertise in the area and we come together and having meetings and plan four years ahead and say at the moment Sochi’s the goal, but Rio’s still in the back of the head, and knowing my body so well now that I’ve done both sports for five years means that I can know where they’ve made mistakes, and I know where things have gone really well, so we can plan ahead for that and prepare so that the things that did go wrong won’t happen again. To make sure that I get to each competition in peak tone.

((WN)) What things went wrong?

Jessica Gallagher: Mainly injuries. So, that’s the most difficult thing with doing two sports. Track and field is an explosive power; long jump and javelin are over four to six seconds of maximum effort. Ski racing, you are on a course, for a minute to a minute and a half, so it’s a speed endurance event. And the two couldn’t be further apart in terms of the capabilities and the capacities that you need as an athlete. So one of the big things I guess, after the Vancouver campaign, being in ski boots for so long, I had lost a lot of muscle from my calves so they weren’t actually firing properly, and when you’re trying to run and jump and you don’t have half of your leg working properly it makes it pretty difficult to jump a good distance. Those kind of things. So I’m skiing now but when I’m in a gym doing recovery and rehab or prehab stuff, I’ve got calf raising, I’ve got hamstring exercises because I know they’re the weaker areas that if I’m not working on at the moment they’re two muscle groups that don’t get worked during ski. That I need to do the extra stuff on the side so that when I transition back to track and field I don’t have any soft tissue injuries like strains because of the fact that I know they’re weaker so…

((WN)) Do you prefer one over the other? Do you say “I’d really rather be out on the slopes than jogging and jumping the same…

Jessica Gallagher: I get asked that a lot. I think I love them for different reasons and I hate them for different reasons so I think at the end of the day I would prefer ski racing mainly because of the lifestyle. I think ski racing is a lot harder than track and field to medal in but I love the fact that I get to come to amazing resorts and get to travel the world. But I think, at the end of the day I get the best of both worlds. By the time my body has had enough of cold weather and of traveling I get to go home and be in the summer and be on a track in such a stable environment, which is something that visually impaired people love because it’s familiar and you know what to expect. Whereas in this environment it’s not, every racecourse we use is completely different.

((WN)) I heard you were an average snowboarder. How disappointed were you when you when they said no to your classifications?

Jessica Gallagher: Very disappointed! For Sochi you mean?

((WN)) Yes

Jessica Gallagher: Yeah. I mean we weren’t really expecting it. Mainly because they’ve brought in snowboard cross, and I couldn’t imagine four blind athletes and four guides going down the same course together at the same time. That would be a disaster waiting to happen. But I guess having been a snowboarder for… as soon as we found snowboarding had been put in, I rang Steve, the head coach, and said can we do snowboarding? When I rang Steve I said, don’t worry, I’ve already found out that Eric can snowboard. It would have been amazing to have been able to compete in both. Maybe next games.

((WN)) So you also snowboard?

Eric Bickerton: Yes.

((WN)) So she does a lot of sports and you also do a crazy number of sports?

Eric Bickerton: Uh, yeah?

((WN)) Summer sports as well as winter sports?

Eric Bickerton: Me?

((WN)) Yes.

Eric Bickerton: Through my sporting career. I’ve played rugby union, rugby league, soccer, early days, I played for the Australian Colts, overseas, rugby union. I spend most of my life sailing competitively and socially. Snow skiing. Yeah. Kite boarding and trying to surf again.

((WN)) That’s a lot of sports! Does Jessica need guides for all of them?

Eric Bickerton: I’ve played sport all my life. I started with cricket. I’ve played competition squash. I raced for Australia in surfing sailing. Played rugby union.

((WN)) Most of us have played sport all our lives, but there’s a difference between playing sport and playing sport at a high level, and the higher level you go, the more specialized you tend to become. And here [we’re] looking at two exceptions to that.

Eric Bickerton: I suppose that I can round that out by saying to you that I don’t think that I would ever reach the pinnacle. I’m not prepared to spend ten years dedicated to that one thing. And to get that last ten per cent or five percent of performance at that level. That’s what you’ve got to do. So I’ll play everything to a reasonable level, but to get to that really, really highest peak level you have to give up everything else.

((WN)) When you go to the pub, do your mates make fun of you for having a medal in women’s blind skiing?

Eric Bickerton: No, not really.
Jessica Gallagher: Usually they say “I love it!” and “This is pretty cool!”
Eric Bickerton: We started at the Olympics. We went out into the crowd to meet Jess’ mum, and we had our medals. There were two of us and we were waiting for her mum to come back and in that two hour period there was at least a hundred and fifty people from all over the world who wore our medals and took photographs. My medal’s been all over Australia.

((WN)) Going to a completely different issue, blind sports have three classifications, that are medical, unlike everybody else, who’ve got functional ability [classifications]. You’ve got the only medical ones. Do you think the blind classifications are fair in terms of how they operate? Or should there be changes? And how that works in terms of the IPC?

Jessica Gallagher: Yeah. I think the system they’ve got in place is good, in terms of having the three classes. You’ve got completely blind which are B1s, less than 5 percent, which are B2, and less than 10 percent is a B3. I think those systems work really well. I guess one of the difficult things with vision impairment is that there are so many diseases and conditions that everyone’s sight is completely different, and they have that problem with the other classes as well. But in terms of the class system itself I think having the three works really well. What do you think?
Eric Bickerton: I think the classification system itself’s fine. It’s the one or two grey areas, people: are they there or are they there?

((WN)) That affected you in Beijing.

Jessica Gallagher: Yeah. That was obviously really disappointing, but, ironic as well in that one of my eyes is point zero one of a percent too sighted, so one’s eligible, the other’s just outside their criteria, which left me unable to compete. Because my condition is degenerative. They knew that my sight would get worse. I guess I was in a fortunate position where once my sight deteriorated I was going to become eligible. There are some of the classes, if you don’t have a degenerate condition, that’s not possible. No one ever wants to lose their best sight, but that was one positive.

((WN)) On some national competitions they have a B4 class. Do you think those should be eligible? In terms of the international competition?

Jessica Gallagher: Which sports have B4s?

((WN)) There’s a level down, it’s not used internationally, I think it’s only used for domestic competitions. I know the UK uses it.

Jessica Gallagher: I think I… A particular one. For social reasons, that’s a great thing, but I think if it’s, yeah. I don’t know if I would… I think socially to get more Paralympic athletes involved in the sport if they’ve got a degenerative condition on that border then they should be allowed to compete but obviously… I don’t think they should be able to receive any medals at a national competition or anything like that. So I was, after Beijing, I was able to fore-run races. I was able to transition over to skiing even though at that stage I wasn’t eligible. So that was great for us. The IPC knew that my eyesight was going to get worse. So I was able to fore-run races. Which was a really good experience for us, when we did get to that level. So I think, with the lack of numbers in Paralympic sport, more that you should encourage athletes and give them those opportunities, it’s a great thing. But I guess it’s about the athletes realizing that you’re in it for the participation, and to grow as an athlete rather than to win medals. I don’t think the system should be changed. I think three classes is enough. Where the B3 line is compared with a B4 is legally blind. And I think that covers everything. I think that’s the stage where you have low enough vision to be considered a Paralympic sport as opposed to I guess an able bodied athlete. And that’s with all forms of like, with government pensions, with bus passes, all that sort of stuff, that the cut off line is legally blind, so I think that’s a good place to keep it.

((WN)) Veering away from this, I remember watching the Melbourne Cup stuff on television, and there you were, I think you were wearing some hat or something.

Jessica Gallagher: Yeah, my friend’s a milliner. They were real flowers, real orchids.

((WN)) Are you basically a professional athlete who has enough money or sponsorship to do that sort of stuff? I was saying, there’s Jessica Gallagher! She was in London! That’s so cool!

Jessica Gallagher: There are two organizations that I’m an ambassador for, and one of them is Vision Australia, who were a charity for the Melbourne Cup Carnival. So as part of my ambassador role I was at the races helping them raise money. And that involves media stuff, so that was the reason I was there. I didn’t get paid.

((WN)) But if you’re not getting paid to be a sponsor for all that is awesome in Australia, what do you do outside of skiing, and the long jump, and the javelin?

Jessica Gallagher: I’m an osteopath. So I finished my masters’ degree in 2009. I was completing a bachelor’s and a masters. I was working for the Victorian Institute of Sport guiding program but with the commitment to London having so much travel I actually just put everything on hold in terms of my osteo career. There’s not really enough time. And then the ambassador role, I had a few commitments with that, and I did motivational speaking.

((WN)) That’s very cool. Eric, I’ve read that you work as a guide in back country skiing, and all sorts of crazy stuff like that. What do you do when you’re not leading Jessica Gallagher down a ski slope?

Eric Bickerton: I’m the Chief Executive of Disabled Winter Sports Australia. So we look after all the disability winter sports, except for the Paralympics.
Jessica Gallagher: Social, recreational…

((WN)) You like that? You find it fulfilling?

Eric Bickerton: The skiing aspect’s good. I dunno about the corporate stuff. I could give that a miss. But I think it is quite fulfilling. Yeah, they’re a very good group of people there who enjoy themselves, both in disabilities and able bodied. We really need guides and support staff.

((WN)) Has it changed over the last few years?

Eric Bickerton: For us?

((WN)) Being a guide in general? How things have changed or improved, have you been given more recognition?

Eric Bickerton: No. I don’t see myself as an athlete. Legally we are the athlete. If I fail, she fails. We ski the exact same course. But there’s some idiosyncrasies associated with it. Because I’m a male guiding, I have to ski on male skis, which are different to female skis, which means my turn shape I have to control differently so it’s the same as her turn shape. It’s a little bit silly. Whereas if I was a female guiding, I’d be on exactly the same skis, and we’d be able to ski exactly the same all the way through. In that context I think the fact that Jess won the medal opened the eyes to the APC about visual impairment as a definite medal contending aspect. The biggest impediment to the whole process is how the Hell do you get a guide who’s (a) capable, (b) available and (c) able to fund himself. So we’re fortunate that the APC pushed for the recognition of myself as an athlete, and because we have the medal from the previous Olympics, we’re now tier one, so we get the government funding all way through. Without that two years before the last games, that cost me fifteen, sixteen months of my time, and $40,000 of cash to be the guide. So while I enjoyed it, and well I did, it is very very hard to say that a guide could make a career out of being a guide. There needs to be a little bit more consideration of that, a bit like the IPC saying no you’re not a medal winner. It’s quite a silly situation where it’s written into the rules that you are both the athlete and yet at the same time you’re not a medal winner. I think there’s evolution. It’s growing. It’s changing. It’s very, very difficult.

((WN)) Are you guys happy with the media coverage on the winter side? Do you think there’s a bias — obviously there is a bias towards the Summer Paralympics. Do the winter people get a fair shake?

Eric Bickerton: I think it’s fair. It’s reasonable. And there’s certainly a lot more than what it used to be. Winter sports in general, just from an Australian perspective is something that’s not well covered. But I’d say the coverage from the last Paralympics, the Para Winter Olympics was great, as far as an evolution of the coverage goes.

((WN)) Nothing like winning a medal, though, to lift the profile of a sport.

Jessica Gallagher: And I think that certainly helped after Vancouver. Not just Paralympics but able bodied with Lydia [Lassila] and Torah [Bright] winning, and then to have Eric and I win a medal, to finally have an Aussie female who has a winter Paralympic medal. I guess there can be misconceptions, I mean the winter team is so small in comparison to the summer team, they are always going to have a lot more coverage just purely based on numbers. There were 160 [Australian] athletes that were at London and not going to be many of us in Sochi. Sorry. Not even ten, actually.
Eric Bickerton: There’s five athletes.
Jessica Gallagher: There’s five at the moment, yeah. So a lot of the time I think with Paralympic sport, at the moment, APC are doing great things to get a lot of coverage for the team and that, but I think also individually, it’s growing. I’ve certainly noticed a lot more over the past two years but Eric and I are in a very unique situation. For me as well being both a summer and a winter Paralympian, there’s more interest I guess. I think with London it opened Australia and the word’s eyes to Paralympic sport, so the coverage from that hopefully will continue through Sochi and I’ll get a lot more people covered, but I know prior to Beijing and Vancouver, compared to my build up to London, in terms of media, it was worlds apart in terms of the amount of things I did and the profile pieces that were created. So that was great to see that people are actually starting to understand and see what it’s like.
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Australian_Paralympic_skiers_Jessica_Gallagher_and_Eric_Bickerton&oldid=4567568”

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor candidate Wayne Tseng answered some questions about his campaign for the upcoming election from Wikinews. The Lord Mayor election in the Australian city is scheduled to take place this week.

Tseng runs a firm called eTranslate, which helps software developers to make the software available to the users. In the candidate’s questionnaire, Tseng said eTranslate had led to him working with all three tiers of the government. He previously belonged to the Australian Liberal Party, but has left since then, to run for mayorship as an independent candidate.

Tseng is of Chinese descent, having moved to Australia with his parents from Vietnam. Graduated in Brisbane, Tseng received his PhD in Melbourne and has been living in the city, he told Wikinews. Tseng also formed Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce, an organisation responsible for many “community bond building initiatives”, the Lord Mayor candidate told Wikinews.

Tseng discussed his plans for leading Melbourne, recovering from COVID-19, and “Democracy 2.0” to ensure concerns of minorities in the city were also heard. Tseng also focused on the importance of the multi-culture aspect and talked about making Melbourne the capital of the aboriginals. Tseng also explained why he thinks Melbourne is poised to be a world city by 2030.

Tseng’s deputy Lord Mayor candidate Gricol Yang is a Commercial Banker and works for ANZ Banking Group.

Currently, Sally Capp is the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Victorian capital. Capp was elected as an interim Lord Mayor in mid-2018 after the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle resigned from his position after sexual assault allegations. Doyle served as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for almost a decade since 2008.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_2020_Melbourne_Lord_Mayor_Candidate_Wayne_Tseng&oldid=4598699”

What is Acai

by

Reid Marilyn

Ever since Oprah endorsed the Acai Berry calling it the number one ‘super fruit’, its popularity in the United States has been going like wild fire.

Acai Berry is a small dark-colored (purple) fruit that grows in clusters and tastes like berries and chocolate mixed together. This wonder fruit grown in the Amazon area of Brazil has been in use by the locals for various benefits until the recent craze for it in the United States following discoveries made by various researchers on its benefits and testimonies from users. The fruit is highly perishable, the reason you will hardly see it in fresh form but frozen or as fruits and in yogurt, for they do not last the transit period from Brazil. It has been featured in the Oprah show, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Sports Illustrated for Women.

A Strong Energizer:

Niacin is substrate for ATP (Adenosine Triphospate) which is the body’s own form of energy, said to be the body’s fuel, is found is high amounts in acai berries and so less energy is used up by the body to produce ATP by making use of Niacin straight up. So used in energy drinks, it will be different from other forms that makes use of glucose and so starting the process of ATP formation from scratch and in the process using up more energy.

Anti-Aging Activities:

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The ORAC assay done to determine how much anti-oxidants a food substance contain is said to have scored acai berry way above 1000 making it anti-oxidant content the highest and most potent in any form of natural food in the world. Anthocyanins the anti-oxidant acai berry helps prevent the destructive effects of free radicals on the cells keeping our body organs like the skin looking fresh and younger.

Regenerates Your Muscles:

Acai berries contain high vitamin B levels and amino acids. The high levels of these nutrients help to keep the muscle healthy as well as build them. So it is highly recommended for those interested in muscles regeneration and hypertrophy. It is one of the highest amino acid containing plants known to man. Essential amino acids are needed in large amounts in the process of wound healing and muscles building for strength. Acai Berry provides a natural alternative to the use of amino acid tablets which is very common among body builders across the country.

An Immune system booster:

By destroying harmful entities in the body through its natural pool of anti-oxidants, acai berries help to keep us healthy and free of illnesses by keeping our immune system free and strong. Free radicals destroy the cell membranes of our white blood cells and immunoglobulin credited with the major function of fighting diseases but in the presence of high anthocyanins content provided by acai berries the white blood cells and immunoglobulin are mopped off of free these radicals helping them perform optimally.

Prevention of Heart Diseases:

Acai Berries contains a lot of essential fatty acids like the Omega-6, Omega-3 and Omega-9, and phytosterols. Studies have shown that this ingredients help prevent heart diseases and among those who have suffered heart attack, the constituents in acai have help achieve a positive result during treatment.

Digestion Aid:

The fibrous nature of acai berry assist in digestion of food in the stomach by helping get rid of toxic entities within the alimentary canal through the bulk stools making way for proper digestive processes. You can only imagine the dangers of lack of proper digestion.

Weight Loss Advantage:

The simple reason for this is that the berry is fibrous, produces the feeling of easy satiety and makes you eat less of other forms of food helping you loss weight while you stay healthy considering every other nutrient present in acai.

Maintenance of General Body Fitness and Wellness:

It is rather amazing to note that just one fruit could have so much benefit. However when a full list of the ingredients of the super fruit is obtained it is easy to understand. Acai Berry also contain carbohydrates, iron, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, protein and calcium.

So to start living healthy today, include acai berry products in your diet. Juices, powders, and pills are now sold on the internet, gyms, wellness centers, sports and fitness clubs etc. and your local supermarkets.

For the past 10 years Marilyn Reid has been active as an advocate for Alternative Health Therapies. The author of a soon to be published book on Essential Oils and

Aromatherapy

, Marilyn has been fascinated with the work of the Healthy and Lifestyle Guru, David Wolfe. For more information check out,

HealthyFoodsRawDiet.com

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Friday, February 3, 2006

An Australian Senate inquiry into the abortion pill “RU486” has started public hearings in Melbourne. A controversial conscience vote on the issue to overturn laws which prohibit Australian women’s access to the drug, will be held in Federal parliament on February 9.

The Senate committee is considering a bill to remove ministerial control of the abortifacient drug Mifepristone – or RU486. Health Minister Tony Abbott says the issue of whether to allow women access to the drug “is one of principle.” Abbott, who is against abortion, insists he is the right person to control the drug’s use in Australia.

Besides its use internationally as an “abortion pill”, there may also be a small chance that it may help treat various other medical disorders including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and inoperable brain tumours amongst other conditions. Mifepristone is effectively banned in Australia, with Minister Abbott controlling whether it is made available.

The bill, sponsored by a group of female senators and MPs, would hand Mr Abbott’s powers over to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) – the body that controls all other pharmaceutical drugs in Australia. The bill seeks to have the TGA determine the drug’s availability and not the Health Minister.

Democrats Leader Lyn Allison, said she was “cautiously confident” the parliament will overturn the current arrangements when the conscience vote takes place. “Those who are in favour of the bill are saying this is a choice that ought to be available to women and that on the basis of the studies that have been done overseas it is at least as safe as surgical termination,” Senator Allison said.

Reproductive Choice Australia (RCA)say that medicine is placed at the whim of politics, saying that over 80% of Australians are pro-choice. A national survey found 87% of women aged 18 to 49 support a woman’s right to choose.

RU486 is available in much of western Europe and North America, but was effectively banned in Australia under laws initiated by now-retired pro-life senator Brian Harradine.

Christine Read, medical director of family planning group FPA Health, said Misoprostol, also known as Cytotec, is across the world to invoke contractions to expel the fetus after a woman had taken RU486. “It is used extensively in obstetrics and gynaecology for termination of pregnancy and to induce labour, so it’s used in the medical management of miscarriage,” Dr Read said.

Dr Sharman Stone, said yesterday the issue was not about Misoprostol, but rather that “the TGA should make the decision about any drugs – that is its job. Any other conversations about other drugs are simply irrelevant to this argument,” Dr Stone said.

Family First senator Steve Fielding says lifting a ban on RU486 would pave the way for do-it-yourself home abortions. “RU486 is different to other drugs in that it is an abortion drug which could see do-it-yourself home abortions,” he said in a statement. “The question is, should policy be made by bureaucrats or our elected leaders?

Senator Fielding claims Australians are worried about the high number of abortions in Australia, as reflected in submissions received by the Senate committee.

On Monday the committee will move to Sydney for a final day of hearings.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Melbourne, Australia — Monday, following her return from London, Wikinews talked with Amanda Carter, the longest-serving member of Australia’s national wheelchair basketball team (the Gliders).

((Wikinews)) You’re Amanda Carter!

Amanda Carter: Yes!

((WN)) And, where were you born?

Amanda Carter: I was born in Melbourne.

((WN)) It says here that you spent your childhood living in Banyule?

Amanda Carter: City of Banyule, but I was West Heidelberg.

((WN)) Okay. And you used to play netball when you were young?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And you’re an occupational therapist, and you have a son called Alex?

Amanda Carter: Yes. It says “occupational therapist” on the door even. And I do have a son called Alex. Which is him there [pointing to his picture].

((WN)) Any more children?

Amanda Carter: No, just the one.

((WN)) You began playing basketball in 1991.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And that you’re a guard.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And that you are a one point player.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And you used to be a two point player?

Amanda Carter: I used to be a two point player.

((WN)) When were you first selected for the national team?

Amanda Carter: 1992.

((WN)) And that was for Barcelona?

Amanda Carter: It was for a tournament prior to then. Australia had to qualify at a pre-Paralympic tournament in England in about April of 1992 and I was selected for that. And that was my first trip overseas with the Gliders.

((WN)) How did we go?

Amanda Carter: We won that tournament, which qualified us for Barcelona.

((WN)) And what was Barcelona like?

Amanda Carter: Amazing. I guess because it was my first Paralympics. I hadn’t long been in a wheelchair, so all of it was pretty new to me. Barcelona was done very, very well. I guess Australia wasn’t expected to do very well and finished fourth, so it was a good tournament for us.

((WN)) Did you play with a club as well?

Amanda Carter: I did. I played in the men’s league at that point. Which was Dandenong Rangers. It had a different name back then. I can’t remember what they were called back then but eventually it became the Dandenong Rangers.

((WN)) The 1994 World Championships. Where was that at?

Amanda Carter: Good question. Very good question. I think it was in Stoke. ‘Cause 1998 was Sydney, so I’ve got a feeling that it was in Stoke Mandeville in England.

((WN)) Which brings us to 1996.

Amanda Carter: Atlanta!

((WN)) Your team finished fourth.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) Lost to the Unites States in the bronze medal game in front of a crowd of 5,000.

Amanda Carter: That would have been about right. It was pretty packed.

((WN)) That must have been awesome.

Amanda Carter: It was. It was. I guess also because it was the USA. It was their home crowd and everything, so it was a very packed game.

((WN)) They also have a fondness for the sport.

Amanda Carter: They do. They love basketball. But Atlanta again was done very well. Would have been nice to get the medal, ‘cause I think we sort of had bigger expectations of ourselves at that point, ‘cause we weren’t the new kids on the block at that point but still finished fourth.

((WN)) They kept on saying in London that the Gliders have never won.

Amanda Carter: We’ve never won a gold, no. Not at World’s or Paralympics.

((WN)) So that was Atlanta. Then there was another tournament, the 1998 Gold Cup.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was the World Championships held in Sydney.

((WN)) How did we go in that?

Amanda Carter: Third.

((WN)) But that qualified… no, wait, we didn’t need to qualify…

Amanda Carter: We didn’t need to qualify.

((WN)) You were the second leading scorer in the event, with thirty points scored for the competition.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was unusual for a low pointer.

((WN)) In basketball, some of the low pointers do pretty well.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, but in those days I guess it was more unusual for a low pointer to be more a scorer.

((WN)) I notice the scores seem lower than the ones in London.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I think over time the women’s game has developed. Girls have got stronger and they’re competing against guys. Training has got better, and all sorts of things. So teams have just got better.

((WN)) How often do the Gliders get together? It seems that you are all scattered all over the country normally.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I mean we’ve got currently three in Perth, four in Melbourne, four in New South Wales, and one in Brisbane out of the twelve that were in London. But the squad is bigger again. We usually get together probably every six or eight weeks.

((WN)) That’s reasonably often.

Amanda Carter: Cost-wise it’s expensive to get us all together. What we sometimes do is tack a camp on to the Women’s League, when we’re mostly all together anyway, no matter where it is, and we might stay a couple of extra days in order to train together. But generally if we come into camp it would be at the AIS.

((WN)) I didn’t see you training in Sydney this time… then you went over to…

Amanda Carter: Perth. And then we stayed in Perth the extra few days.

((WN)) 2000. Sydney. Two Australia wins for the first time against Canada. In the team’s 52–50 win against Canada you scored a lay up with sixteen seconds left in the match.

Amanda Carter: I did! That was pretty memorable actually, ‘cause Canada had a press on, and what I did was, I went forward and then went back, and they didn’t notice me sitting behind. Except Leisl did in my team, who was inbounding the ball, and Leisl hurled a big pass to almost half way to me, which I ran on to and had an open lay up. And the Canadians, you could just see the look on their faces as Leisl hurled this big pass, thinking “but we thought we had them all trapped”, and then they’ve looked and seen that I’m already over half way waiting for this pass on an open lay up. Scariest lay up I’ve ever taken, mind you, because when you know there’s no one on you, and this is the lay up that could win the game, it’s like: “Don’t miss this! Don’t miss this!” And I just thought: “Just training” Ping!

((WN)) That brings us to the 2000 Paralympics. It says you missed the practice game beforehand because of illness, and half the team had some respiratory infection prior to the game.

Amanda Carter: Yeah.

((WN)) You scored twelve points against the Netherlands, the most that you’ve ever scored in an international match.

Amanda Carter: Quite likely, yeah.

((WN)) At one point you made four baskets in a row.

Amanda Carter: I did!

((WN)) The team beat Japan, and went into the gold medal game. You missed the previous days’ training session due to an elbow injury?

Amanda Carter: No, I got the elbow injury during the gold medal game.

((WN)) During the match, you were knocked onto your right side, and…

Amanda Carter: The arm got trapped underneath the wheelchair.

((WN)) Someone just bumped you?

Amanda Carter: Tracey Fergusson from Canada.

((WN)) You were knocked down and you tore the tendons in your elbow, which required an elbow reconstruction…

Amanda Carter: Yes. And multiple surgeries after that.

((WN)) You spent eleven weeks on a CPM machine – what’s a CPM machine?

Amanda Carter: It’s a continuous passive movement machine. You know what they use for the footballers after they’ve had a knee reconstruction? It’s a machine that moves their knee up and down so it doesn’t stiffen. And they start with just a little bit of movement following the surgery and they’re supposed to get up to about 90 degrees before they go home. There was only one or two elbow machines in the country, so they flew one in from Queensland for me to use, to try and get my arm moving.

((WN)) You’re right handed?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) So, how’s the movement in the right arm today?

Amanda Carter: I still don’t have full movement in it. And I’ve had nine surgeries on it to date.

((WN)) You still can’t fully flex the right hand.

Amanda Carter: I also in 2006 was readmitted back to hospital with another episode of transverse myelitis, which is my original disability, which then left me a C5 incomplete quad, so it then affected my right arm, in addition to the elbow injury. So, I’ve now got weakness in my triceps, biceps, and weakness in my hand on my right side. And that was following the birth of my son.

((WN)) How old is he now?

Amanda Carter: He’s seven. I had him in July 2005, and then was readmitted to hospital in early 2006 with another episode of transverse myelitis.

((WN)) So that recurs, does it?

Amanda Carter: It can. And it has a higher incidence of recurring post pregnancy. And around the age of forty. And I was both, at the same time.

((WN)) So you gave up wheelchair basketball after the 2000 games?

Amanda Carter: I did. I was struggling from… In 2000 I had the first surgery so I literally arrived back in Melbourne and on to an operating table for the ruptured tendons. Spent the next nine months in hospital from that surgery. So I had the surgery and then went to rehab for nine months, inpatient, so it was a big admission, because I also had a complication where I grew heterotopic bone into the elbow, so that was also causing some of the sticking and things. And then went back to a camp probably around 2002, and was selected to go overseas. And at that point got a pressure sore, and decided not to travel, because I thought the risk of travelling with the pressure sore was an additional complication, and at that point APC were also saying that if I was to go overseas, because I had a “pre existing” elbow injury, that they wouldn’t cover me insurance-wise. So I though: “hmmm Do I go overseas? Don’t I go overseas?”

((WN)) Did they cover you from the 2000 injury?

Amanda Carter: Yes. They covered me for that one. But because that had occurred, they then said that they would not cover if my arm got hurt again. And given that the tournament was the Roosevelt Cup in the US, and that we don’t have reciprocal health care rights, the risk was that if I fell, or landed on my arm and got injured, I could end up with a huge medical bill from the US and lose my house. So I decided not to play, and at that point I guess then decided to back off from basketball a little bit at that point. But then, after I had my son, and I had the other episode of transverse myelitis, in 2008, I just happened to come across the coach for the women’s team…

((WN)) Who was that?

Amanda Carter: It was Brendan Stroud at the time, who was coaching the Dandenong Rangers women’s team. I just happened to cross him at Northland, the shopping centre. And he said: “Why don’t you come out and play for Dandenong?” I was looking fit and everything else, so I thought “Okay, I’ll come out to one training session and see how I go.” And from there played in the 2008 Women’s National League. And was voted MVP — most valuable one-pointer, and all-star five. So at that point, in 2009, after that, they went to Beijing, so I watched Beijing from home, because I wasn’t involved in the Gliders program. I just really came back to do women’s league. In 2009, I received some phone calls from the coaching staff, John Trescari, who was coaching the Gliders at that point, who invited me back in to the Glider’s training program, about February, and I said I would come to the one camp and see how I went. And went to the one camp and then got selected to go to Canada. So, since then I’ve been back in the team.

((WN)) Back in the Gliders again.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

((WN)) And of course you got selected for 2012…

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) My recollection is that you weren’t on the court a great deal, but there was a game when you scored five points?

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Within a couple of minutes.

((WN)) That was against Mexico.

Amanda Carter: Yes. That was a good win, actually, that one.

((WN)) The strange thing was that afterwards the Mexicans were celebrating like they’d won…

Amanda Carter: Oh yeah! It was very strange. I guess one of the things that, like, I am in some ways the backup one pointer in some ways, but what gives me my one point classification, because I used to be a two, is my arm, the damage I received, and the quadriplegia from the transverse myelitis. So despite the fact I probably shoot more accurately that most people in the team, because I’ve just had to learn to shoot, it also slows me down; I’m not the quickest in the team for getting up and down the court, because of having trouble with grip and stuff on my right hand to push. I push reasonably quick! Most people would say I’m reasonably quick, but when you at me in comparison to, say, the other eleven girls in the team, I am not as quick.

((WN)) The speed at which things move is quite astonishing.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, and my ability is more in knowing where people want to get to, so I aim to get there first by taking the most direct route. [laughter]

((WN)) Because you are the more experienced player.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

((WN)) And now you have another silver medal.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which is great.

((WN)) We double-checked, and there was nobody else on the team who had been in Sydney, much less Barcelona or Atlanta.

Amanda Carter: I know.

((WN)) Most of the Gliders seem to have come together in 2004, the current roster.

Amanda Carter: Yes, most since 2004, and some since 2008. And of course there are three newbies for 2012.

((WN)) Are you still playing?

Amanda Carter: I’m having a rest at this particular point. Probably because it’s been a long campaign of the training over the four years. I guess more intense over the last eighteen months or so. At the moment I am having a short break just to spend some time with my son. Those sorts of things. ‘Cause he stayed at home rather than come to London.

((WN)) You would have been isolated from him anyway.

Amanda Carter: And that’s the thing. We just decided that if he had come, it would have been harder for him, knowing he’d have five minutes a day or twenty minutes or something like that where he could see me versus he spoke to me for an hour on Skype every day. So, I think it would have been harder to say to Alex: “Look, you can’t come back to the village. You need to go with my friend now” and stuff like that. So he made the decision that he wanted to stay, and have his normal routine of school activities, and just talk to mum on Skype every day.

((WN)) Fair enough.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! But I haven’t decided where to [go] from here.

((WN)) You will continue playing with the club?

Amanda Carter: I ‘ll still keep playing women’s league, but not sure about some of the international stuff. And who knows? I may well still, but at this point I’m just leaving my options open. It’s too early to say which way I’m going to go.

((WN)) Is there anything else you’d like to say about your record? Which is really impressive. I can count the number of Paralympians who were on Team Australia in London who were at the Sydney games on my fingers.

Amanda Carter: Yes!

((WN)) Greg Smith obviously, who was carrying the flag…

Amanda Carter: Libby Kosmala… Liesl Tesch… I’ve got half my hand already covered!

((WN)) What I basically wanted to ask was what sort of changes you’ve seen with the Paralympics over that time — 1992 to 2012.

Amanda Carter: I think the biggest change has been professionalism of Paralympic sports. I think way back in ’92, especially in basketball, I guess, was that there weren’t that many girls and as long as you trained a couple of times a week, and those sorts of things, you could pretty much make the team. It wasn’t as competitive. This campaign, certainly, we’ve had a lot more than the twelve girls who were vying for those twelve positions. The ones who certainly didn’t make the team still trained as hard and everything as the ones who did. And just the level of training has changed. Like, I remember for 2012 I’d still go and train, say, four, five times a week, and that’s mostly shooting and things like that, but now it’s not just about the shooting court skills, it’s very much all the gym sessions, the strength and conditioning. Chair skills, ball skills, shooting, those sorts of things to the point where leading in to London, I was doing twelve sessions a week. So it was a bigger time commitment. So the level of commitment and the skill level of the team has improved enormously over that twenty years. I think you see that in other sports where the records are so much, throwing records, the greater distances, people jump further in long jump. Speeds have improved, not just with technology, but dedication to training and other areas. So I think that’s the big thing. I think also the public’s view of the Paralympics has changed a lot, in that it was seen more as, “oh, isn’t it good that they’re participating” in 1992, where I think the general public understands the professionalism of athletes now in the Paralympics. And that’s probably the biggest change from a public perspective.

((WN)) To me… London… the coverage on TV in Britain, but also here, some countries are ahead of others, but basically it’s being treated like the Olympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Yeah. There wasn’t a lot of difference between.

((WN)) Huge crowds…

Amanda Carter: Huge crowds! We played for our silver medal in a sell-out crowd… you couldn’t see a vacant seat around the place.

((WN)) I was looking around the North Greenwich Arena…And that arena! The seats went up and up and up! And as it was filling on the night, you could see that even that top deck had people sitting in it. I guess in 2000 even, to fill stadiums, which we did, we gave APC and school programs, a lot of school kids came to fill seats and things. We didn’t necessarily see that in London. They were paid seats! People had gone out and spent money on tickets to come and see that sport.

((WN)) I saw school groups at the football and the goalball, but not at the basketball.

Amanda Carter: No. Which is a big difference also, that people are willing to come and pay to watch that level of sport.

((WN)) I was very impressed with the standard of play.

Amanda Carter: The standard, over the years, has improved so much. But the good thing is, we’re looking at development. So we’ve got the next rung of girls, and guys, coming through the group. Like, we’ve got girls that weren’t necessarily up to selection for London but will probably be right up there for Rio… Our squad will open, come January, for the first training camp. That will be an invitational to most of the girls who are playing women’s league and those sorts of things, and from there they’ll do testing and stuff, cutting down and they’ll select a side for Osaka for February, but the program will remain open leading into the next world championship, which is in Canada.

((WN)) What’s in Osaka?

Amanda Carter: The Osaka Cup. It’s held every year in February, so that will be the Gliders’ first major tournament…

((WN)) After the Paralympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah. So everyone’s taking an opportunity now to have a bit of a break.

((WN)) And then after that?

Amanda Carter: It’s the world championships in 2014 in Canada. So that will be what they’re next training to.

((WN)) How many tournaments do they normally play each year?

Amanda Carter: We’ve played a few. And you often play more in a Paralympic year, because you’re looking to see the competition, and the other teams, and those sorts of things, so… This year we did Osaka, which Canada went to, China went to… Japan, and us. We then went to — and we’d previously just been to Korea last November for qualification. We’ve been over to Germany. We’ve been to Manchester. So we’ve had a few tournaments where we’ve travelled. And then we’ve had of course a tournament in Sydney about three weeks before we went to London. And then of course we went to the Netherlands, before we went on to Cardiff in Wales.

((WN)) You played a tournament in the Netherlands?

Amanda Carter: Yes. Of four nations — five nations. We had Mexico at the tournament… GB… Netherlands… us… and there was one other… There were five of us at the tournament. It was a sort of warm up going in to… Canada! Canada it was. Canada was the fifth team. Because Canada stayed on and continued to train in the Netherlands. So they were good teams. Mexico we don’t often get a look at so it was a good chance to get a look at them at tournaments and things like that. And then flew back in to Heathrow and then in to Cardiff to train for the last six days leading in to London.

((WN)) Thank you very much for that.

Amanda Carter: That’s okay!
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Saturday, July 1, 2006

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bipartisan state budget Friday that invests a record $55.1 billion in education – an increase of $3.1 billion this year and $8.3 billion over the last two years – and allocates $4.9 billion to create a budget reserve and to pay down the state’s debt early.

Schwarzenegger credited bipartisan cooperation in coming up with a budget he was willing to sign, and do it on time, a rarity in recent California politics.

“It’s amazing what can be accomplished when Democrats and Republicans work together in Sacramento,” said Schwarzenegger. “I want to thank the legislative leadership – Senators Don Perata and Dick Ackerman, Speaker Fabian Nunez and Assembly Republican Leader George Plescia – for all their hard work on the budget. We put politics aside and were driven by the overwhelming desire to do what’s best for the people of California.

“I am especially proud that the budget expands preschool, and returns art, music and physical education classes to our children,” he said.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said he is pleased by the budget. “The budget passed by the Legislature brings welcome support to education in California, making good on past debts to our schools and investing in sorely needed classroom programs,” he said.

He had his own budget favorites: “I’m particularly pleased that the budget includes increased funding for school counselors, teacher professional development, programs targeted to helping students pass the high school exit exam, and expanded and improved student nutrition programs.

“While there are some priorities over which we may disagree, I applaud the Governor and the Legislature for a budget that makes education a top priority.”

Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 335,000-member California Teachers Association, also likes the direction of the new budget.“The timely approval of the new state budget is good news for our public schools and students,” she said. “School districts and teachers can now plan ahead. The nearly six percent cost-of-living-adjustment will allow local schools to restore funding to education programs that have been cut over the past few years and provide for salary increases.”

Still, Kerr, said, the budget doesn’t go far enough. “This budget is a down payment on the debt owed to our schools. Teachers will continue to work with the governor and the Legislature to ensure repayment of the $3 billion still owed to our schools under Proposition 98 and the lawsuit settlement agreement announced last month. That money will help our schools of greatest need reduce class sizes, improve teacher training and increase parental involvement.”

How the budget affects the New Haven Unified School District and James Logan High School, or the James Logan Courier, specifically is not yet clear.

State Treasurer Phil Angelides, who is running for governor against Schwarzenegger, liked the increased education funding, and praised his fellow Democrats in the legislature for that, but criticized the entire budget for being out of balance.

“On higher education, Democrats in the Legislature did the right thing, when the governor would not, and gained a $6 per unit rollback in community college fees,” he said in a statement. “That is a start. But the governor’s budget will still leave community college fees nearly double what they were just three years ago. And the budget will also leave untouched the fees at CSU and UC, which have increased by $2,000 and $5,000 respectively under Governor Schwarzenegger.”

Missing from the budget, Angelides said, is funding to expand health care for low-income children. Schwarzenegger “failed to get members of his own party to agree to a budget that funds health care for more kids from low-income families on the Healthy Families program regardless of the families’ immigration status. Compassion requires – and intelligent public health practice demands – that all people residing in California have access to adequate health care,” Angelides said.

Schwarzenegger credited a strong economy that increased state revenues for providing the cash to cover the increased expenditures and set aside a $2.1 billion reserve and an additional $2.8 billion for debt prepayment. Included in that is $1.42 billion for repaying borrowed funds earmarked by the voters for transportation projects aimed at reducing traffic throughout the state. The early debt payment and the reserve account for nearly 4.7 percent of the overall budget – the highest in 25 years.

Still, Angelides said, the budget is out of balance and the state is running up more debt. “Despite his repeated pledges to ‘cut up the credit card’ Governor Schwarzenegger has produced a budget that still leaves a $3.3 billion structural budget deficit for 2006-07 and more deficits for years to come,” Angelides said, “It is a budget thatwill continue to shift the burden of today’s deficits onto the backs of futuregenerations.”

The budget largely mirrors the May Revise, which has since prompted all three Wall Street credit rating agencies to upgrade the state credit rating, reducing the cost of state borrowing. One of the agencies, Fitch, Inc., cited “California’s continuing economic recovery, strong revenue performance and continued progress in reducing fiscal imbalance” when upgrading their rating on the state’s general obligation debt from A to A+ last month. Standard and Poor’s also raised its rating from A to A+ in May. Moody’s Investors Service raised its rating from A2 to A1 the same month.

Despite the improved credit ratings, Angelides said, the three rating agencies still have reservations about the state’s fiscal future. The agencies “have corroborated my warning and that of the Legislative Analyst that while state revenues have improved, California’s fiscal condition will remain insecure until the state produces balanced budgets,” he said.

Highlights of AB 1801, the Budget Act of 2006 by Assembly member John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), include:

Preschool through High School Education – The budget includes $100 million for the Governor’s targeted preschool initiative, which will make preschool available to every four year old living in a low-performing school district. $50 million of this funding will be used to build and improve preschool facilities. The budget also includes $645 million to fund physical education, arts and music programs. Overall, $11,264 will be spent on each student, an increase of $516 from the current year.

Higher Education – The budget allocates $19.1 billion from all sources for higher education and eliminates tuition and fee increases at UC and CSU. California, which already has the lowest community college fees in the nation, will further lower student fees from $26 per unit to $20, effective Spring 2007.

Law Enforcement – The budget includes an additional $196 million to support law enforcement efforts, including money to fund Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement teams, 500 GPS devices to track and monitor the highest-risk parolees and four new Gang Suppression Enforcement Teams. The budget also proposes the addition of 235 California Highway Patrol positions, includes $56.4 million to replace the CHP’s existing radio system and allocates $6.4 million to handle the increasing number of wireless 9-1-1 calls. Additionally, the budget includes a $20 million investment to strengthen efforts to fight methamphetamine trafficking and $6 million to create three new California Methamphetamine Strategy program teams.

Disaster Preparedness – The budget provides $220 million to enhance California’s ability to prepare for, mitigate and respond to emergencies, including money to strengthen public health response during a disaster. This includes preparations to prevent a pandemic influenza outbreak and expanding efforts to help local governments develop disaster preparedness plans.

Public Health – The budget includes $22.6 million for counties to perform outreach and enrollment activities to reach the 428,000 children who are eligible for Medi-Cal or the Healthy Families program but are not enrolled. The budget for the Healthy Families program also covers enrollment growth for 78,200 additional children.

Transportation – In addition, the Budget makes a substantial investment in improving California’s transportation system. It provides $1.4 billion to fully fund Proposition 42 for the second consecutive year, and it provides an additional $1.4 billion for the early repayment of past loans from Proposition 42, for a total of $2.8 billion. Of the $1.4 billion repayment, $440 million is designated for cities and counties for local road and street maintenance that would otherwise not be funded.

The budget is the first on time budget since 2000 and the fourth in the last 20 years. The 2006-07 budget’s general fund is $101.3 billion and total is $131.4 billion. For a more detailed overview of the budget, please visit www.dof.ca.gov.

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By Barbara Holbrook

Halloween has come and gone, so you know what that means: we have entered the surprisingly swift slide towards the long holiday season. Before you know it, you’ll be seeing turkeys and then Santas pop up everywhere. Instead of waiting until the last minute – again – to do your holiday gift shopping, start now, while you still have time to think up something creative.

Why not start your brainstorming with your boss? After all, he or she is one of the reasons you still have a job this holiday season, while so many less fortunate people out there will be spending their holiday sending out resumes and asking Santa for a new position. Take a look at these four great gift ideas for your boss.

Gifts From the Whole Gang

One thing you can do for your boss that he or she will be sure to appreciate is to get the rest of your workplace in on the fun. You can chip in together to offer your boss something particularly nice, such as an airplane ticket to your boss’s favorite holiday destination, or even a cruise. If your boss is a sports fan, get him or her a couple tickets of premiere seats for the big game. Of course, this only works if you have a big enough office to afford such a gift.

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For something less expensive that everyone can be involved in, offer your boss a framed poster with all of the team’s signatures around it.

Gag Gifts for Your Boss

Gag gifts are great fun – if your boss has a good sense of humor, and your relationship is such that you know your boss will enjoy a humorous or even raunchy gift.

Two words of caution about gag gifts, however. First, if you’re not sure if your boss would find it funny – if you find yourself hesitating even a little bit, wondering if this is really such a good idea – don’t do it. The last thing you want to do is offer something that you hoped would earn a laugh, and instead it earns a scowl. Second, if you’re going to offer a gag gift to your boss, make sure it’s something unique and personal, such as an item that is reminiscent of an office inside joke. What you don’t want is something generically funny that will end up in the wastebasket by January 15.

Boss-Approved Of-the-month Clubs

‘Of-the-month’ clubs are excellent gifts that keep on giving. From more traditional book-of-the-month clubs to more unique subscriptions, such as wine-of-the-month or pie-of-the-month clubs, the chances are you can find an of-the-month club that fits your boss’s hobbies and lifestyle.

Does your boss dote on his or her dogs? Consider a dog-treat-of-the-month club, where your boss will receive custom-baked dog treats for Rover and Fido every month. Does your boss like gardening? A garden-of-the-month club will provide your boss with gardening tools and bulbs each month.

Gifts to Help Your Boss Relax

Your boss probably needs a chance to relax and unwind as much as anyone else in the office. A great gift is a visit to a spa or massage studio, where your boss will be given a chance to deeply relax and let go of stress. From private massage therapists who will come right to the office to visit your boss in the middle of a busy day, to upscale day spas where your boss can spend a day or a whole weekend, spas and massages make great, unique gifts for your boss.

About the Author: A gourmet food club — think snacks, popcorn or cookies — is something every boss can enjoy. And, if you’re lucky they might even share with the office! Check out BestOfTheMonthClubs.com to find great ideas for unique food gifts.

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=642860&ca=Career

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tragedy struck Huntsville, Alabama Monday morning when a school bus transporting Lee High School students to a local trade school careened over a retaining wall on an elevated part of Interstate 565 at the U.S. highway 231 exit and plummeted 30 feet.

Killed in the initial crash were Nicole Ford, 19, Christine Collier, 16. Tanesha Hill, 17, died later at Huntsville Hospital. A fourth victim, Crystal Renee McCrary, 17, died Tuesday. Anthony Scott, the bus driver, and 14 students remain hospitalized, according to Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman Pam Sparks.

Huntsville Police spokesman Wendell Johnson said a 1990 Toyota Celica apparently hit the Laidlaw Education Services-contracted school bus. The bus driver apparently attempted evasive action, and a reaction sent the right tire climbing up the protective barrier. The buses momentum caused it to teeter on the wall briefly, flipped upside down, careening headlong onto the ground below. It was unclear if the driver jumped or was ejected, though National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Debbie Hersman said the bus driver was found on the overpass, and that, “We are trying to determine why the bus driver was on the overpass.”

Investigating agencies at federal, state and local levels include the NTSB, Alabama State Department of Transportation, Alabama Department of Public Safety, and Huntsville Police Department.

Thad Sokolowski, a 17-year-old Lee High School eyewitness said, “The orange car was going to pass the bus. He thought something was wrong with the car, like his tire got blown out because it started fishtailing.” He added that the orange Toyota hit the bus, “but not hard. It was a bump,” adding that the bus “skidded down the rail and it was gone.”

His description of the wreck was given to his mother, Bonnie Sokolowski, and published in the Huntsville Times, because he did not want to speak with reporters.

Police Chief Rex Reynolds said evidence will be presented to a Grand Jury, as is required by state law for fatalities involving minors, and added that charges have not yet been filed against the 17-year old Toyota driver. Chief Reynolds said the bus driver had a clean driving record.

Mass chaos ensued and Crestwood Medical Center and Huntsville Hospital, the two local hospitals, both activated their Mass Casualty action plans. Emergency response personnel from throughout the area were called upon to assist in rescue efforts. Huntsville Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Sherrie Squyres said all off-duty hospital medical and nursing personnel were requested to return to work, and that three trauma surgeons and one neurosurgeon were committed exclusively to accident response.

Among the problems facing hospital and rescue personnel was the absence of personal identification among the victims. Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore said that the Lee High School principal had initiated a student ID card program, “but not every student carried the ID.”

Brad Holley, Field Director for Alabama Department of Education, noting the tragedy said “We have not had a student killed while riding a school bus since 1969.” Huntsville’s last school bus related fatality was November 19, 1968 when a bus transporting students from Lee High Chapman Junior High Schools careened off Bankhead Parkway on Monte Sano Mountain above Tollgate Road. Faulty brakes caused that wreck.

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