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Zetlin:Today, put the Badger banter on hold, put NFL talks aside; it’s Oct. 1, and the baseball playoffs are underway.Will the Red Sox repeat? Can the Rays continue their miraculous run?No, and no.It kills me to say it, but I think this is “The Year.” Yes North-siders, I’m referring to you. The drought will end this season, on the 100th anniversary of the Cubs’ last World Series Championship.Chicago’s lineup is stacked from top to bottom with the likes of Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. The rotation is solid with Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden leading the pack.But the glaring difference between the Cubs and the rest of the National League postseason squads — yup, Brewers fans, you know best — is their bullpen. Former Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija has looked solid down the stretch, Carlos Marmol has one of the nastiest sliders in the game, and closer Kerry Wood is still Kerry Wood, assuming his right arm is still attached to his body.The Milwaukee bullpen will be its demise, teams will pitch around Manny, and the Phillies just don’t match up pitching-wise to the Cubs. Whoever makes it out of the American League — my guess is the Angels — won’t stand a chance against the Cubbies, because if they even get a whiff of the trophy in Wrigley, they ain’t falling short this time.Forget Bartman; forget the goat. Wrigleyvillers, I know you know the words: Go Cubs Go!Mason:You made my point against the Cubs for me, Zet. Thank you.People need to remember: They’re the Cubs! One hundred years is a long time. This is a franchise destined to crush dreams and false hopes. This postseason won’t be any different.Instead, this year’s World Series trophy will return to a place it has been not too long ago. No, not Boston. Think Hollywood.It ain’t the Dodgers either.That’s right. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, winners of the 2002 series, will take baseball’s title home yet again.Surprisingly, the Angels are probably one of the least talked about teams in the postseason. But fans shouldn’t be surprised when Mark Teixeira, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter hit their way to the World Series.The Angels made a few moves — both during and prior to this season — that solidified their lineup. They signed Hunter as a free agent from the Twins in the offseason, and he went on to hit 21 homers and drive in 78 runs. They also picked up Teixeira before the trade deadline, and he finished with a .358 average.And then there’s the pitching.Aces Ervin Santana and John Saunders both won 16 or more games for the Halos, and John Lackey looked impressive all season as well, finishing 12-5 with three complete games.Oh yeah, they’ve got this guy named Francisco Rodriguez. You know, the single-season saves leader. And with a strong bullpen needed come October, I’d say the Angels have as good a guy as any.Cubbies to win it all? Forget that noise. There are Angels watching down on this postseason.
Willian’s fortuitous free-kick gave Chelsea a deserved lead in their Champions League opener.The Brazilian appeared to overhit his delivery which evaded Gary Cahill’s outstretched boot but it still found its way past Maccabi keeper Predrag Rajkovic.The goal spared the blushes of Eden Hazard, who had missed a fifth-minute penalty.Willian was again the instigator, as he raced on to a through ball and poked it beyond Rajkovic, who brought him down.The only punishment was a yellow card, however, as Hazard blazed the spot-kick well over the bar.The much-changed Blues, who left out captain John Terry, Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic, dominated the opening stages, with Maccabi looking anxious in defence and in possession.However Chelsea’s own lack of confidence showed up at times, with Hazard and Cesc Fabregas both caught dwelling on the ball.Abdul Baba Rahman has looked good on his debut, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek marked his first Champions League start with a first-minute booking.Chelsea: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Cahill (c), Baba Rahman; Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Remy.Subs: Blackman, Terry, Ivanovic, Ramires, Matic, Traore, Diego Costa.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Mother Nature can be so cruel sometimes. After months and months of anticipation leading up to Tuesday’s rockfish and halibut openers, boats from Crescent City to Shelter Cove were forced to stay in port due to howling north winds. Blustery winds this time of the year are common, and they actually do way more good than harm. But the timing could have been a little better. The good news is we won’t have to wait long to get on the water. By today, wind and seas are forecasted to die down …
Ladysmith Black Mambazo have carvedout a glittering international career over the half century of their existence. (Image: Heads Up International)The Oscar-nominated short documentaryOn Tip Toe explores the group’s roots, and includes a testimonial from Paul Simonas well as live performance footage.(Image: Amazon.com) MEDIA CONTACTS • Simon Manda+27 72 178 6426 or +27 31 811 7575 RELATED ARTICLES • Mambazo win their third Grammy • Gospel Choir shine at the Oscars • The White Zulu on stage in SA • Hot SA musicians head to Cannes• SA university choir best in worldJanine ErasmusSouth Africa’s beloved Ladysmith Black Mambazo (LBM), the Grammy-winning isicathamiya group, have embarked on a countrywide tour to celebrate their 50 years together. Isicathamiya (from the Zulu word meaning “to walk softly”) is a style of singing that focuses on deft harmonising. Isicathamiya choral competitions are popular in South Africa.The Back to eKasi (slang, meaning “home”, from the Afrikaans word lokasie, meaning “township”) tour sees the globe-trotting group going back to their roots and taking their unique a cappella sound to townships around South Africa between 16 and 24 September 2010.Fans in Bloemfontein, Thokoza in Ekurhuleni municipality, Rustenburg North, Atteridgeville, Ermelo, Bela-Bela and KwaMashu near Durban are in for a treat, with performances from LBM and two local curtain-raisers at each venue.All seven concerts during the nine-day tour are free.Cultural cooperationThe eKasi tour also celebrates the youthful LBM founder Joseph Shabalala’s 70th birthday on 28 August, as well as a decade of South African-Norwegian cultural collaboration through the funding organisation Mmino, which works exclusively with music projects.Because of this milestone, Norwegian singer Kristin Asbjørnsen will also take the stage with the distinguished vocalists.Tor Christian Hildan, Norwegian ambassador to South Africa, said that music was the core of the two countries’ cultural cooperation.“We share common values and see the importance of music in cross-cultural communication as a powerful tool to address demanding social, economic and political issues,” said Hildan.“In this spirit I congratulate Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, and Mmino – and I am proud to introduce our own Kristin Asbjørnsen to South African audiences through this unique township tour.”A singer and composer, Asbjørnsen works with the musical ensembles Dadafon and Krøyt, and is also a member of the experimental vocal quartet Kvitretten.The tour is supported by, among others, Gallo, LBM’s South African record company, and the National Arts Council (NAC), based in Newtown, Johannesburg.“We congratulate uBaba [a term of respect] Shabalala on his 70th birthday, Ladysmith Black Mambazo on its 50th, and Mmino, our own child, on its 10th,” said NAC CEO Annabell Lebethe.“We are very happy to be part of this very special tour that brings Mambazo back to the townships to share their beautiful sounds with the people who helped shape our arts heritage.”Breaking down musical boundariesThe triple Grammy winners – in 1987, 2004 and 2009 – have performed and collaborated with the world’s best, including Paul Simon, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, gospel veteran Mavis Staples, and many more.It was Simon who, in the mid-1980s at the height of the international cultural boycott of South Africa, defied the ban to work with a group from that country, and the result was the iconic Graceland album, which rocketed LBM to international stardom.In 2006 they worked with pop sensation Josh Groban on his album Awake, appearing in two songs, Lullaby and the classic South African protest song Weeping. They also performed live with Groban in the US on the Awake tour.Family tiesJoseph Shabalala, then a factory worker, founded the group in 1960, basing its style on gospel music and traditional African harmonies. He had just converted to Christianity, an event that played a big role in LBM’s musical direction, but he has always emphasised that their message is not meant for any one religious group.LBM is very much a family affair, with the original line-up comprising members of the Shabalala and Mazibuko families. Today there are five Shabalalas and two Mazibukos in the group, with a Dlamini and Mthembu as well.In the five decades since, LBM have gone on to achieve international fame and acclaim. While their 13 Grammy nominations have yielded three wins, there has also been a host of other nominations, including Emmys, South African Music Awards, and an Academy Award nod in 2001 for the short documentary titled On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom.As individuals and as a group, LBM have been consummate international ambassadors for South African culture, but their global popularity and success has meant that fans at home often miss out on performances. This makes the eKasi tour all the more special.“I think it is going to bring lots of memories because we have not been in these places in some time … we perform in their cities, but not in townships,” said group member Albert Mazibuko. “It is wonderful and we are so looking forward to it,”Back to eKasi tour itinerary:Thursday 16 – Bloemfontein, Paradise HallFriday 17 – Ekurhuleni, Thokoza AuditoriumSaturday 18 – Atteridgeville, Saulsville ArenaSunday 19 – Rustenburg North, Ben Marais HallMonday 20 – Ermelo Community HallTuesday 21 – Bela-Bela, Sunfa StadiumThursday 23 – KwaMashu, eKhaya Muli Arts Centre On Tip Toe is the Oscar-nominated documentary tribute to LBM. (Image: Docurama Films) Read more: /index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=964:ladysmith-black-mambazo-110209&catid=43:culture_news&Itemid=112#ixzz0zlcUNSEI
A harvest of hope brings in income for micro-farmers in Cape Town.(Image: Harvest of Hope)MEDIA CONTACTSRob SmallFounder, The Farm and Garden National Trust+27 21 801 9677Aneshree NaidooThe legacy of social entrepreneur James Thomas has reached far and wide. The 57-year-old was the single South African killed in the devastating terror attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, a month ago.Among other initiatives, Thomas developed Business Expenses Savings Training Game (BEST), a business skills programme that has been reaping international accolades for its practical, hands-on simulation approach. Thomas trained young people throughout Africa in entrepreneurship, including building business and life skills through a number of programmes in South Africa.Developed in Khayelitsha, a dusty, poverty-stricken township in Cape Town, the BEST is now licensed worldwide and has been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Chinese and Russian, among other languages. The game simulates a real-life business environment and is a practical training tool that puts players in real-world commercial situations so they learn how to make good business decisions. It was specifically created to train people who were functionally illiterate in business skills and has been implemented in 75 countries.Seeing the game’s practical applications and universal appeal, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has – with the help of the Triple Trust Organisation – redeveloped BEST for inclusion in its Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) programme. The ILO’s Start Your Business kit, including SIYB, is aimed at people with concrete business ideas who want to start their own business. The organisation aims to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.International acclaimThe overall SIYB programme has successfully been implemented in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and it has been used by 1 100 Chinese trainers to teach 4.5 million students. Of these, 85% have started businesses, each employing about five people; more than 11 million Chinese people have been affected by the training tool.The course comprises three modules held over five days and includes training in basic business cycles, understanding supply and demand, reaching customers, and improving a business. It also tackles financial literacy for running a business, quality control, inventory control and product promotion, among others.Necitas Lazaga of the Department of Trade and Industry Davao del Norte Field Office in Philippines recommended BEST for business starters in an interview with news networking site Ugnayan.com. The small and medium enterprise (SME) development co-ordinator said the BEST game formed a major part of the her office’s activities in 2012 in building SMEs, and that “the game also makes participants discover the (personal) qualities that are needed in running a business”.She said it was much better for starters to gain business experience before they ventured into real business so they would be guided on what to do, and what business decisions to take, to help them succeed.Local social entrepreneurshipBEST was one of many initiatives Thomas undertook to improve the lives of others. He was involved in Harvest of Hope. The Cape Town project works with farmers from townships such as Nyanga and Khayelitsha, who deliver fresh produce daily to the city’s more affluent southern suburbs. Providing much-need employment for mostly women, the scheme supports the micro-farming groups that sell their excess produce for a sustainable income. “It was a win-win situation. Farmers from the townships get to sell their produce and consumers in the suburbs receive healthy organic vegetables – everyone wins,” explains Thomas’s former Allan Gray Orbis colleague, Margie Worthington Smith.Thomas also founded the Triple Trust Organisation (TTO), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to “the alleviation of poverty in South Africa through making markets work for the poor”. Here he focused on introducing young people especially to entrepreneurship skills. Working with Outward Bound South Africa, an arm of Outward Bound, the international non-profit experiential education organisation, the TTO is implementing a “life skills and entrepreneurship” project to empower young people from rural communities with life skills and entrepreneurship awareness to help them start their own small businesses.It aims to empower young people by equipping them with an “I can” attitude; developing life skills in the areas of self-esteem, perseverance, belief in the future, goal-setting, and values; and equipping them with appropriate skills for sustainable economic activity.Yet it also aims to have wider implications, i.e. ensuring the establishment of businesses by, or employment of, a large percentage of the participants; and setting up partnerships with community organisations, local businesses and appropriate mentors to provide a support network to ensure the graduates’ ongoing development. The project will take 12 to 14 months.Kenyan connectionFurther afield, Thomas was involved with the Kenya Market Assistance Programme (KMAP). It aims to make markets work for the poor through projects that include producers, consumers and employees in the economy.One successful initiative has helped dairy farmers in Ndumberi, in Kiambu County improve their yields. Farmers in the area had long struggled to feed their livestock in the dry season, leading to annual milk shortages. To maintain milk production, they often had to travel long distances to buy overpriced feed.“We have been purchasing hay from Delamere, about 100 kilometres away, at a cost of 180 to 250 Kenyan shillings [$2.12-$2.95 or R20-R29] per bale,” says Jane Muya, a dairy farmer and the general manager of Ndumberi Dairy.But a KMAP-supported partnership between dairy co-operatives Ndumberi and Nyala in Kiambu and Laikipia counties respectively is leasing 1 200 acres of land in Nyahururu to produce hay. Called Hay and Forage, it will allow dairy farmers to buy fodder closer to home at a more affordable price – at just Ks120 a bale. The land leased has the potential to produce as much as 240 000 bales of good quality hay from the existing grass.Within one month, farmers who have bought this hay say they are already seeing improvement in milk productivity. “Since I started buying hay, my milk production has gone up by at least three litres,” said Hellen Njeri, a farmer with 10 cows.
Categories: News,Roberts News 06Apr Rep. Roberts demands transparency, accountability by MCCA Mid-Michigan lawmaker outraged by sudden auto insurance rate hikeState Rep. Brett Roberts, of Charlotte, is calling for the legislature to look into the books of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA), in the wake of a 13-percent increase per vehicle slated to begin on July 1, 2018.“The Catastrophic Claims Association was established in statute,” Roberts said. “There’s no logical reason that the legislature should be barred from seeing the details to help protect ratepayers across the state.”The MCCA was established in Michigan’s Insurance Code, specifically Act 218 of 1956. Those that write insurance policies in the state are members of the association, and they are the sole administrators of the collected dollars.“The fund has over $20 billion in it, and it is still growing. Now we are led to believe that there is not enough money to match their potential liabilities. If $20 billion is insufficient, they shouldn’t have any trouble proving it to us,” Roberts continued. “To effectively reform the insurance system in Michigan, we need to look at legislation that includes transparency for the MCCA, rather than ignores it.”The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association is not currently subject to state government oversight, including the Freedom of Information Act or the Open Meetings Act.#####