Job DescriptionVirginia Tech Advanced Research Institute (ARI) and the BradleyDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering inviteapplications for a postdoctoral associate. A postdoctoral associateposition carries the expectation of a maximum of 4 years postdegree. The applicant will mainly work on proposal writing,conducting research and assisting faculty and graduate studentswith research in the areas of electric power, alternate energy,smart grid and artificial intelligence (AI) applications focused onelectrical energy domains. The successful candidate will supportthe director of ARI and help coordinate related research efforts atpartner institutions, as well as supporting program development andidentification of new research funding opportunities.Required QualificationsThe candidate must have an earned Ph.D. in electrical engineeringor computer science with specialization in several of the areaslisted in the following: |Modeling, simulation, validation andverification of power systems, |Distributed energy resources andmicro-grid, |Artificial intelligence and machine learningapplications, and |Cyber-physical systems focused on energydomains. |Also required are a good understanding of the technicalissues associated with interconnecting intermittent renewableenergy sources and ability to develop sponsored research proposals.The successful candidate must also be willing to take ownership ofa project, and good analytical and communications skills.Preferred QualificationsPreferred qualifications include prior proven successful researchexperience and functional knowledge of toolboxes used in electricpower system research.Appointment TypeRestrictedSalary Information$60,000 – $65,000Review Date01/25/2021Additional InformationPhD must be awarded no more than four years prior to the effectivedate of appointment with a minimum of one year eligibilityremaining.The successful Candidate will be required to have a criminalconviction check.About Virginia TechDedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve),Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking ahands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to beleaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institutionthat enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout theworld, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicatedto knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers morethan 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eightundergraduatecolleges , a school ofmedicine , a veterinarymedicine college, Graduate School , and Honors College . The universityhas a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campusin Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus inRoanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices andresearchcenters . A leading global research institution, Virginia Techconducts more than $500 million in research annually.Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, orapplicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (includingpregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, geneticinformation, national origin, political affiliation, race,religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwisediscriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about,discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation ofother employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected bylaw.If you are an individual with a disability and desire anaccommodation, please contact Ganchimeg Darambazar [email protected] during regular business hours at least 10 businessdays prior to the event.Advertised: December 22, 2020Applications close:
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Oxford Council have published a provisional decision to reduce the opening hours of popular student club The Bridge, following violence around the venue. The club could formerly stay open until 3am, but under new regulations will be forced to shut an hour earlier for a three month period.The Council stated on their website before Tuesday’s hearing, “Thames Valley Police are seeking a review based on the grounds the operators are not upholding their obligations under the four objectives of the Licensing Act most notably the prevention of crime and disorder.”Police licensing officer Alex Bloomfield said the decision to request a review was made after an incident at Halloween. The club has had many problems with disorderly and anti-social behaviour outside the venue. In October, four men were arrested after a brawl outside The Bridge, which saw two people being taken to hospital, one with serious head injuries.The Council said that the committee questioned whether the problems were circumstantial or caused by poor running of the premises and said that the Committee came to a decision based upon the evidence provided by both parties.The news has been met with disappointment from students. St Hugh’s first year Teddy Mears said, “Going to Bridge on a Thursday is an integral part of the week for any St Hugh’s student, and it’s a good way to get to know everyone at college, so it would be a shame if it were to close earlier.”Phil Davidson, the manager of the club, told Cherwell, “although we have attended a recent review of the club’s licence no finite decision was reached as we indicated that we wished to appeal the panel’s findings. Until such time as that appeal has been heard our opening hours remain the same as they are now.“Our view is that we fail to see how an hour lopped off our trading times will have any impact on perceived problems at the club, particularly as according to the police statistics over 50% of our ‘problems’ relate to lost/stolen items.”
Emma Turnbull has been elected as Labour councillor for the University Parks seat in yesterday’s Oxfordshire County Council elections.Turnbull defeated Liberal Democrat candidate Lucinda Chamberlain, a Brasenose student, by 691 votes to 400. The division includes the majority of Oxford colleges and had been held by Sam Coates of the Green Party.The University Parks campaign had been marked by controversy, after Lib Dem campaigners accused Turnbull of “lies and slander” about Chamberlain in a campaign leaflet.Results for the 63 seats of Oxfordshire County Council – which runs 90 per cent of local authority funding – have been announced throughout the day.The big winners were the Liberal Democrats, who won around 25 per cent of the vote and increased their number of seats from 11 to 13. The Conservatives won 31 seats, failing to achieve an overall majority, which means there is no overall control of the County Council.Labour lost one seat, moving their total down to 14, while the Greens lost all their council seats.Matching a similar picture across the country, the Tory share of the vote increased across Oxfordshire to 41 per cent, while the UKIP share fell.Several students were standing in the elections. Harry Samuels, a third-year classics student at New college, came last in Cowley, but increased the Lib Dem vote share by a third. Lucas Bartholdi–Saad, Wadham, stood unsuccessfully for Labour in Wolvercote and Summertown, receiving a 2.5 per cent swing. Alex Curtis saw his Conservative vote share decrease in Isis.In the other key Oxford city divisions, Labour won Cowley, Iffley Fields, Isis, Jericho and Osney. Liberal Democrats won Abingdon North, Headington and Quarry, and Wolvercote and Summertown.Here are the results of seats won by each party:Conservatives 31 (–)Labour 14 (-1)Lib Dem 13 (+2)Independent 4 (–)Henley Residents Group 1 (+1)Greens 0 (-2)For a full breakdown of the divisions click here.
Council members issue statement on Suez contract; mayor urges council to approve itA joint statement concerning the city’s proposed new contract with Suez Water, which the council is scheduled to vote on this Wednesday, Sept. 6, has been issued by City Council President and mayoral candidate Jen Giattino, Councilman Peter Cunningham, and Councilwoman and chair of the Revenue and Finance subcommittee Tiffanie Fisher.The council members say the finance and revenue subcommittee and ad hoc infrastructure subcommittee met last week with administrators and their financial consultant.“The primary purpose of the meeting was to review the administration’s responses to the many questions that were posed by City Council members during the council meeting on Aug. 2 concerning the proposed contract extension between Suez Water and the City of Hoboken,” reads the statement. “During our review and discussion of the administration’s prepared responses, we expressed additional concerns about the proposed contract. And we requested again to be provided with the detailed financial analysis supporting the proposal.”According to the statement they recommended that the administration take a few steps prior to a council vote on the contract, including “to have a subsequent subcommittee meeting to address the concerns we have raised and for the administration and its consultants to meet with the entire City Council during an executive session to discuss the proposal in detail.” Both meetings have been scheduled for this week.“This is a critical and long-term financial and operating contract for Hoboken,” they said in the statement. ”We need to have full transparency and ensure that we are making the right decisions for Hoboken taxpayers and rate payers.”In a separate press release Mayor Dawn Zimmer asked the council to approve the contract.The administration says Hoboken’s existing agreement with Suez Water, which extends through 2024, only requires Suez to make $350,000 per year in capital investments in the water system. Experience with the city’s aging infrastructure has show this is less than the amount needed just to make emergency repairs. Under the existing agreement, the city is responsible for repairs exceeding $350,000 per year as well as excess bulk water costs as of 2014. The city’s current liability to Suez under the existing agreement is $8.35 million and is estimated to total $17.8 million through 2024.According to the press release “the proposed agreement would extend the contract through 2034, forgive the existing liability, and provide an estimated $31 million investment in Hoboken’s water system. The proposed agreement would shift bulk water and capital repair costs from the taxpayer to the ratepayer.”“Given that the proposed agreement would provide $31 million for urgently needed infrastructure upgrades, I ask the City Council take a vote on this issue at their meeting next week so that my administration can move ahead accordingly,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. ”Under the existing agreement, the city – and by extension every taxpayer – is responsible for excess repair and bulk water costs. Ultimately, that means residents are footing the bill for car washes or laundromats that use millions of gallons of water, while the proposed agreement would make ratepayers responsible for their own water usage.”According to the press release, the proposed agreement was introduced to the council on July 11, presented and discussed at City Council and subcommittee meetings.To read the administration’s second set of responses to council members’ questions regarding the proposed agreement, go to www.hobokennj.gov/docs/Suez-Agreement-QA.pdf. Also see our past cover story. Battling bed bugs in senior buildingFreeholder and mayoral candidate Anthony Romano held an “emergency press conference” late on Monday, Aug. 28 to raise concerns about bed bugs and other issues in one of the privately-owned senior housing buildings in Hoboken.This is the first press conference Romano – who is running simultaneously for Hoboken mayor and for re-election as freeholder – has held in Hoboken in three years, and the first one about a purely Hoboken issue. The election is 10 weeks away.Romano said he had heard from several residents in the 135-unit building of Columbian Towers who reported problems with bed bugs, cleanliness, unlocked gates, and more. Romano called for a solution to the serious bedbug problem, asking for the city and county health department to exterminate the pests and investigate.When asked if he had talked to any county or city officials or health officials about the problem before holding the conference at 4 p.m., he said he had only talked to Councilman David Mello, who is on his council slate for election.Several seniors were invited to the conference to discuss the problem.Carla Scrudata, a resident of the building for the past eight years, said “the dirt is unbelievable.”“The gates are left open in the back and the lights are never on in the back of the building,” she added. “It’s a safety hazard.”Thomasina DeLauronolan, a resident of the building for 18 years said, “I have to sleep in a chair because of the bed bugs. It’s unhealthy.”“I’ve had to go to the doctor several times because of bites to my body and face,” she added. “I was ravaged.”According to city spokesman Juan Melli, “The Health Department has received a handful of complaints over the past few months regarding bed bugs, heat, trash, and leaks at 76 Bloomfield St. At this time, most complaints have been abated. Summonses were issued in certain circumstances, fines were assessed ($1,066), and other corrective actions have been taken.”He added that the health department “has been continuously following up with the management company and their exterminator, which has conducted nearly a dozen treatments at the building so far.”He added, “We encourage all affected residents to report problems to the Health Department at (201) 420-2375 so that we can thoroughly eradicate the issue.”Mayor Zimmer offers ways to help the victims of HarveyMayor Dawn Zimmer knows what it’s like to cope with a devastating flood, as Superstorm Sandy ravaged Hoboken almost five years ago. Now, viewing the flooding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey, Zimmer is highlighting ways local residents can help the citizens in Texas.“When Hoboken was devastated by Sandy, we received an outpouring of support and donations from organizations and volunteers from across the country,” said Zimmer. “I’ve heard from many Hoboken residents who are thinking about everyone impacted in Texas and wanting to know what they can do to help in their time of need.”The most effective way to help is by making a direct monetary donation to reputable organizations or with a coordinated response to a direct request from a local relief organization. I will be making a donation to the Red Cross, which did tremendous work to help Hoboken recover.”In addition to the Red Cross (Text HARVEY to 90999 to give $10 or visit www.RedCross.org to give more), other organizations that are playing an important role in the relief effort include the United Way ( www.unitedwayhouston.org/flood ), Salvation Army (www.salvationarmyusa.org/), and Heart to Heart ( http://www.hearttoheart.org ), to name a few. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has also set up the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund ( https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/). FEMA has set up a page with information on how to help: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/08/29/how-help-disaster-survivors-texas . Lawyer writes letter questioning whether mayoral candidate can run for two positions at onceHudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano is running for reelection in November and simultaneously running for mayor of Hoboken.North Bergen lawyer Eric Dixon, representing what he said was a “confidential client,” wrote a letter to the Hudson County clerk and state attorney general questioning whether Romano can run for both offices.In the Aug. 22 certified letter, Dixon wrote, “My client requests your office immediately examine and rule on the legality of the candidacy of a current county freeholder candidate, already nominated by primary to appear on this November’s general election ballot, for a second elected office the candidate is reportedly seeking.”He wrote, “It is my view that this candidate is not merely prohibited from holding two elected offices, but also prohibited from being a candidate for two elected offices in the same election.”He said, “In addition, the adverse consequences of this dual candidacy will be severe to residents of the jurisdictions in which this candidate seeks two offices; if he wins both contests, residents – his constituents – would be deprived of all representation for one full year in the one office the candidate would be prevented from accepting.”Dixon adds, “That is because the law would deem a vacancy to exist in the one office he declines, and the law states such a vacancy would not be filled until a special election held at the next general electing in November 2018.”The letter additionally outlines specific sections of state law that Romano’s dual candidacy may violate, including NJ Revised Statute 19:3-5.1 which states that no candidate may appear twice on a ballot for offices that which the state constitution would prohibit “the simultaneous holding” thereof.Candidates have until Sept. 5 to file their petitions for Mayor of Hoboken.Six people are running for mayor of Hoboken. Freeholder Romano and Councilman Michael DeFusco are said to be splitting the same base.DeFusco said, “The possibility that Hoboken’s representative on the freeholder board could remain vacant for up to a year until a special election, or that our seat could be appointed by politicians, not elected by the voters, is a chance that we simply can not take. Hoboken needs more representation, not less…it is shocking that Freeholder Romano would ask Hoboken residents to accept that outcome.” Angelo Valente files petitions for Hoboken City CouncilAngelo Valente filed his petitions to run as an independent candidate for City Council on Aug. 30. He’s the chair of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and was a councilman in the 1980s. Valente, a lifelong Hoboken resident, first announced his candidacy last month.He is not running with any of the six mayoral slates.DeFusco’s team files Hoboken council petitionsCouncilman and mayoral candidate Mike DeFusco and his council-at-large slate of Michael Flett, Andrew Impastato, and Vanessa Falco each filed their official nominating petitions on Aug. 30, making them the first trio of council candidates to file as a slate.The elections for mayor, City Council at-large seats, and school board takes place in November.DeFusco, who had previously filed 564 petitions in July, submitted an additional 250 petitions for a total of 814.Michael Flett filed 526 petitions, Andrew Impastato filed 540 petitions, and Vanessa Falco filed 518 petitions.“I believe that our council team of Michael Flett, Andrew Impastato and Vanessa Falco is a true representation of the best of our city and I know that they each possess the diverse range of experiences and perspectives necessary to ensure that all Hoboken residents feel well represented on the council,” said DeFusco in a press release.For more information about the DeFusco Team visit mikedefusco.com.CarePoint reaches new agreement with Horizon Blue CrossCarePoint Health announced that it has reached a new three-year rate agreement with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ).Effective Oct. 1, CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center, CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital in Jersey City and CarePoint Health-Hoboken University Medical Center will return to the Horizon Hospital Network.The new rate agreement means that Horizon BCBSNJ members for all products, including the NJ State Health Benefits Program (SHBP), will once again be able to access CarePoint health care facilities on an in-network basis, including elective and emergency procedures.“We are excited to partner with Horizon to move healthcare forward in Northern New Jersey,” said CarePoint Health CEO, Jeff Mandler. “This agreement allows CarePoint to continue to invest in our people and infrastructure while ensuring care for the most vulnerable among us.”Always call your insurance or medical provider to confirm any information as to whether they will accept your insurance.CarePoint donates funds for Hurricane Harvey reliefCarePoint Health announced Thursday Aug. 31 that it is raising funds for Hurricane Harvey relief by supporting Team Rubicon.The company, which has hospitals in Hoboken, Bayonne, and Jersey City, is making a corporate donation and employees are personally supporting Team Rubicon and other charities providing relief.Team Rubicon is a nonprofit organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.They are currently deployed in Houston, Texas conducting floodwater rescue operations in Harris and Galveston counties.“It is important for us all to come together as a community to support the ongoing efforts to deal with the effects of Hurricane Harvey,” said CEO of CarePoint Health Jeff Mandler. “We are all too familiar with the damage brought by coastal storms and want to do our part to enable organizations like Team Rubicon to help conduct rescue and recoveries in the affected areas.” SUPPLIES! – The Hoboken Police Department donated school supplies including 100 book bags last week to children in the Hoboken Housing Authority. The 2017 National American Miss New Jersey Jr. Pre-Teen State Cover Girl, Yazleen Rivera, helped donate and distribute the school supplies as well. ×SUPPLIES! – The Hoboken Police Department donated school supplies including 100 book bags last week to children in the Hoboken Housing Authority. The 2017 National American Miss New Jersey Jr. Pre-Teen State Cover Girl, Yazleen Rivera, helped donate and distribute the school supplies as well.
Bako North Western is planning a year of celebrations to mark its 50th year in business.The activities include money-off promotions, prize giveaways, a birthday cake competition, and a party in August next year.Mark Tomlinson, chief executive, said: “It is a real milestone in the history of our company and we want customers and staff alike to join us in celebrating this momentous occasion.”The firm said that, as part of the celebrations, it will be looking back at the company over the past 50 years, from the four craft bakers who established BAKO NW in the back room of a pub in 1964 and its first registered office in Warrington, to the 150 employee-strong business it has grown into today.The calendar of dates can be viewed at www.bakonw.co.uk.
Monday’s Class Council elections resulted in run-offs in each of the Sophomore, Junior and Senior Class Council races, said Michael Thomas, Judicial Council Vice President of Elections. The run-off elections will be held Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. To win the initial election, a ticket must win a majority of the votes cast, Thomas said. No ticket received more than 50 percent of the vote in the election. Juniors Anne Huntington, Mike Oliver, Brittni Alexander and Tyler Harmsen advanced to the Senior Class Council run-off election with 38.8 percent of the vote. Huntington said her ticket wants to make it a fun senior year for the Class of 2012. “We have a lot of experience and know how to run events,” she said. “We just want to make it the best senior year it can possibly be.” Huntington said she is excited to be a part of the run-off election. “It’s all about making new friends and meeting new people,” she said. “That’s been the greatest part of this experience.” Juniors Parker King, Ben German, Alicia Elliott and Brinya Bjork proceeded to the run-off election after capturing 29.2 percent of the vote. King said his ticket wants the Class of 2012 to feel fulfilled when they graduate from Notre Dame. “We want seniors to get the most out of their four years here and leave having done all they wanted to do,” he said. “That’s why we have our Notre Dame bucket list idea and plans for many other fun events.” King said, if elected, he would also like to help prepare seniors “to go out into the real world.” “Once we graduate, we’ll really be living on our own for the first time, without the comforts of the dining hall or any of the other things that Notre Dame has to offer,” he said. “We want to help seniors get ready for that transition.” Sophomores Kevin Doherty, Megan Rodts, Kim Neary and Nolan Welsh advanced to the Junior Class Council run-off election with 41.4 percent of the vote. Doherty said his ticket’s biggest success has been in talking face-to-face with other members of the Class of 2013. “This shows that people like what we’ve been saying and what we have to offer,” he said. “Hopefully putting the extra time into campaigning before the run-off will help us to reach the majority vote we need to win.” Doherty said his ticket’s main campaign platform is centered on establishing a homecoming week tradition at Notre Dame, known as Domecoming. “We have the foundation with this year’s first Domecoming week,” he said. “Now we want to make it bigger and better.” Sophomores Michael Weiss, Julianne Crimmins, Mike Kress and Sean Hannon proceeded to the run-off election with 34.3 percent of the vote. Weiss said his ticket is anxiously anticipating the extra day of campaigning. “We’re really excited to get the extra day to talk to more people and share all of our great ideas,” he said. Weiss said he is really confident in his ticket’s platform. “We’re pushing for better apparel, off-campus dances and a class trip to a Chicago Cubs game in the spring,” he said. Freshmen Nicholas Schilling, Paul DiGiovanni, Mary Clare Rigali and Margaret Preuss proceeded to the run-off election after garnering 36.5 percent of the vote. Schilling said his ticket will focus on mobilizing more voters in Wednesday’s run-off. “We want other members of the Class of 2014 to feel like they’ve had a significant say in the results,” he said. Schilling said he is looking forward to being a part of the run-off. “Our biggest strength is in the specificity of our ideas for next year,” he said. “The different events we have planned, like Domerfest 2.0, are what’s really unique about our ticket.” Freshmen Anthony Krenselewski, Lizzie Helpling, Jackie Picache and Alesandra Mendoza advanced to the Sophomore Class Council run-off election with 27.1 percent of the vote. Krenselewski said his ticket’s focus is on bringing unity to the Class of 2014. “That’s what we’ve been about the whole campaign and that’s what were going to continue to be about heading in to the run-off,” he said. Krenselewski said he hopes to build a stronger identity for next year’s sophomore class. “We hope we can bring our class together through a number of different events,” he said. “Our best ideas are centered on the concept of greater unity.”
JAMESTOWN – A low pressure system will track across Western New York today, that will provide for a wintry mix early before switching to rain in the afternoon. For today, rain, snow, freezing rain, and sleet are possible early in the morning before turning over to all rain in the afternoon. Otherwise cloudy with highs in the low to mid-40’s.Tonight, a few rain or snow showers possible with lows in the lower-30’s. As we start off the new work week, we will be mostly cloudy with snow showers likely in the morning mixing with rain in the afternoon. An inch of snow is possible on the highest hill tops. Highs in the upper-30’s.Some sun returns for Tuesday with partly cloudy skies. Still a chance for a rain or snow shower in the morning. Highs near 40.Forecast is getting a bit more clear for mid-week into Thursday. Models are suggesting a low pressure system will bring rain in for Wednesday/Thursday while still a few others show dry quiet weather. For now a chance of rain will be in the forecast for each day. Temperature wise, highs should be in the upper-40’s to near 50 for the period.WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced second year funding amounting to $66,678,357 to 183 community groups to provide education and training to young people across the United States. This includes a grant of $283,920 to ReSOURCE: A Nonprofit Community Enterprise (formerly ReCycle) in Burlington, Vt.The YouthBuild program assists out-of-school youth in obtaining their diplomas or GEDs while providing occupational training in the construction industry. While acquiring leadership skills and participating in community service, at-risk youth build and renovate affordable housing within their communities. “President Obama and I are delighted to provide second year funding for this successful program, which does so much for youth and their communities,” said Secretary Solis. “Not only does the YouthBuild program assist young people in obtaining additional education, it provides them with a sense of accomplishment, and empowers them to be good citizens and productive members of their communities.”Participants in YouthBuild programs include individuals who have been in the juvenile justice system, youth aging out of foster care, high school dropouts and others. In addition to receiving academic and occupational skill training, these young people develop leadership skills and participate in community service opportunities. Many YouthBuild participants are also learning “green” building techniques, assisting with retrofitting existing homes, and discovering how to help make their communities sustainable and environmentally friendly.Organizations chosen for YouthBuild funding include workforce investment boards, faith-based and community groups, and local and nonprofit housing development agencies. The YouthBuild program was transferred by Congress from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the U.S. Department of Labor in 2006. The fiscal year 2009 funding for these YouthBuild grantees totaled $113,525,000, bringing overall funding to $180,203,354. Remaining funds from the FY 2010 YouthBuild appropriation of $102,500,000 will be used for ongoing technical assistance and a new YouthBuild competition. It is anticipated that this competition will be announced this summer with awards made in late fall. The Labor Department anticipates making approximately 28 grants. This competition will be full and open; however, those grantees who were awarded YouthBuild grants in July 2009 are not eligible to apply. The upcoming solicitation will provide specific details on eligibility.A full list of grantees can be found at http://www.doleta.gov/youth_services/pdf/Complete_YouthBuild_Grants_2009…(link is external). For more information on YouthBuild grants and other Department of Labor youth employment programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov/youth_services(link is external).Source: DOL. 7.13.2010# # #
Empty classrooms, teachers on strike, and derelict buildings are some of the consequences of the economic crisis in Venezuela. Only days after the 2018-2019 school year ended, Bolivia Suárez, an opposition lawmaker from the National Assembly (AN, in Spanish) of Venezuela, said that the country is going through an “educational catastrophe.”The legislator and member of AN’s Social Development Commission said in July that public schools have completed only 70 percent of the school calendar, which means that students missed more than two months of classes. Lack of water, power outages, and chaotic public transport contributed to the collapse of education, the lawmaker said.“What this regime is doing with education is a crime,” Suárez told the press.“We have collateral problems such as transportation, the student cafeteria, insecurity due to the lack of budget to hire security personnel, maintenance, and equipment,” Pablo Aure, professor and secretary general of advanced studies at the University of Carabobo School of Law, in the city of Valencia, Venezuela, told Diálogo. “Under this model, our institutions are practically doomed to close.”Many students and teachers have abandoned the classrooms. In September 2018, the Faculty Association at the Central University of Venezuela alerted AN that only 10 to 15 percent of the students had started classes in the 2018-2019 school year. Raquel Figueroa, Democratic Unit national coordinator for AN’s Educational Sector, said that more than 271,000 teachers, or 50 percent of those on the payroll of the Ministry of Education, had left the educational system.In May 2018, 14 Venezuelan nongovernmental organizations denounced in a joint statement “the continuing attacks of the Venezuelan State” against university professors, as well as attacks on academic freedom and university autonomy.“Every institution where ideas are debated, where knowledge and research are generated, is obviously the enemy of this type of tyrannical and dictatorial government system,” said Aure. “The regime destroyed public institutions, including universities. They are trying to close them, indirectly blocking their budgets with the poor salaries our workers have, banning elections in autonomous universities, and persecuting us as professors.”According to the new teacher wage table the government presented in January 2019, a teacher with 23 years of service, working 40 hours per week, would earn a little more than $3 (based on the exchange rate of August 27).Educational institutions “still stand today because of the efforts of some teachers who do their work out of love, even using their own money, what little they have, to buy markers for blackboards,” Hasler Iglesias, former president of the Federation of University Centers at the Central University of Venezuela, between 2015 and 2016, told Diálogo. “Unfortunately today, teachers have to be absent from classrooms to stand in line for hours to buy a bag of flour, bread, soap, diapers… and that also affects the quality of education in Venezuela.” By Ricardo Guanipa D’erizans/Diálogo September 18, 2019
Wright and Wilson were reportedly still in Jakarta and would immediately head to Palu to join the rescue team. The rescue operation will start when the two arrive.In his Instagram post on Sunday, however, Wright was seen walking along the river bank upon arriving in Palu on his first day. He said in the post that he would fly to Jakarta on Monday to meet and coordinate with Indonesian officials. The crocodile was regularly spotted swimming in the water connecting the Palu River to Palu Bay. Officials and conservationists previously tried but failed to catch it.Locals believe the crocodile was frightened off because every time there was a rescue attempt, dozens of curious Palu residents swarmed around the river to watch the process.In 2018, M. Panji, better known as “Panji the Adventurer,” an animal handler and tamer who is known from his stint on the Adventures of Panji national television show, attempted to catch the crocodile but failed.In January, Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola warned the agency to immediately rescue the crocodile because the motorcycle tire had been stuck in the crocodile’s neck for too long and might endanger its life.“I am surprised. I have repeatedly told [the agency] to rescue the crocodile, but the instruction seems to have been ignored. This time I emphasize that we must act immediately or I will act myself,” said Longki.Following that order, the agency held a contest for anyone who was willing to catch the crocodile, promising a prize as a reward, as a result of its limited resources.The contest, however, was later canceled after the agency failed to gain a positive response, so it prepared a special team with the assistance of the Environment and Forestry Ministry.Read also: See you later, alligator: Crocodile rescue contest in Palu cancelled as no takers emergeBKSDA Central Sulawesi then coordinated with a number of parties volunteering to join the rescue team, including crocodile observers Wright and Wilson.The team includes members from the police and it has installed nets at several points in the Palu River in the past week, which have so far failed to capture the crocodile.”We might be able to capture the crocodile if people do not gather around to watch it, because it might make the crocodile afraid to come to the surface,” said Haruna. (syk)Topics : Australian presenter Matthew Nicolas Wright together with his fellow crocodile observer Chris Wilson have officially joined the Central Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Central Sulawesi) to assist in the rescue of a wild crocodile that has had a motorcycle tire stuck around its neck for years in the Palu River.The participation of the two Australians is based on a decree issued by the Environment and Forestry Ministry on Monday to BKSDA Central Sulawesi, into whose operational control the crocodile rescue team has been entrusted.“After consulting with the ministry’s biodiversity conservation directorate general, both of them were allowed to immediately join the rescue team,” Haruna, a BKSDA Central Sulawesi official, told reporters on Monday. While waiting for Wright, Haruna said the team was preparing all the necessities including equipment and the most appropriate strategy to catch the crocodile and release the tire from its neck.The 4-meter-long reptile was first seen swimming with the tire around its neck in 2016.