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BCCO’s Juneteenth Celebration in Odessa grows as anchor in community

first_imgHome Local News BCCO’s Juneteenth Celebration in Odessa grows as anchor in community OC employee of the year always learning Twitter 1 of 2 By admin – June 10, 2018 Grustle’s Codye Hatcher (23) drives towards the basket against Talkin Heads during the annual Juneteenth Basketball Tournament June 16, 2017 at the Odessa College Sports Center. Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp Santi Medrano, 10, attempts a dunk on one of the jumpers set up at last year’s Juneteenth celebration at Woodson Park. 2021 SCHOOL HONORS: Permian High School center_img ECISD undergoing ‘equity audit’ Previous articleCommissioners to appoint new county judgeNext articleFinding work is easy, but not childcare admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Local News BCCO’s Juneteenth Celebration in Odessa grows as anchor in community Codye Hatcher’s three little daughters are getting old enough, now, to where they can go running off in the park on their own on a weekend like this one.They know everybody they see now, Hatcher said, as they bounce around the familiar faces and festivities, and even at six years old and younger, they know what they’re in for even before they get there.“They look forward to it as much as I do myself,” he laughed.The annual Juneteenth Celebration in Odessa has become a family affair for Hatcher and his girls, just as it has for so many members of the West Texas community — and the festivities are set to gear up again this weekend for four days of fun starting Friday. Santi Medrano, 10, attempts a dunk on one of the jumpers set up at last year’s Juneteenth celebration at Woodson Park. Facebook The Black Cultural Council of Odessa is in its 21st year organizing its event that coincides with the annual holiday, which commemorates June 19, 1865, the day the slow-moving news of the Confederacy’s surrender two months earlier finally reached Texas, emancipating slaves in the state.The BCCO’s Juneteenth Celebration is set to feature musical performances, picnics, food vending, a pageant, a parade, its long-running annual basketball tournament, and more, centered in Woodson Park and sprawling out across locations throughout Odessa, June 15-17 and June 19.“It’s special for the community,” Hatcher said, speaking over the phone last week, knowing what it can mean for a young family in West Texas, and looking forward to returning to the court for another year in the tournament and spending more relaxing time out at the park.“It brings everybody back together.”And this year, the BCCO’s event is bigger than ever.Jo Ann Davenport Littleton, BCCO board member, said the event is attracting more vendors this year, and that it has seen an uptick in local businesses sponsoring food and giveaways and the like.Musical acts in the styles of gospel, soul, hip hop and more line the weekend’s schedule for the stage at Woodson Park, where food trucks and vendors from all around will be available, and events like Saturday’s parade on Dixie Boulevard, a comedy act at Blackshear’s auditorium, and the basketball tournament at the Odessa College Sports Center bring the celebration spilling out across Odessa.Admission is free for events throughout the celebration. For a full schedule, visit OdessaBCC.org.“To be a part of the organization, to be a part of the celebration, to see it grow, the way it’s growing, with the participation, with the excitement and people buying in — it’s a great feeling,” Littleton said.“We feel that our city is embracing our Juneteenth celebration and that’s very exciting.”Meanwhile, the celebration is giving right back to the city and the area, attendees like Hatcher can attest.Hatcher first moved to Odessa in 2014, ahead of his junior year of basketball at UTPB. It could’ve been a bit of a culture shock, he agreed, moving from his native Tennessee to Odessa, where black or African American people make up a much smaller portion of the area’s overall population. Odessa’s black population makes up about five percent of the city’s total population, according to Census data.But the Juneteenth Celebration is like a cultural anchor for the black community in West Texas, Hatcher agreed — and now, years after his college basketball career ended, he’s still in the area, raising his young family in Midland.Juneteenth festivities have helped make a home out of West Texas for plenty other members of the black community in the area, too, said Danny Wright, the longtime area Boys and Girls Club coordinator, ECISD educator and former Permian basketball coach.“What it brings is a restoration of history and a celebration of a group of people,” Wright said, amid organizing the 38th annual Danny R. Wright Basketball Tournament as part of the festivities.“If there’s a guy who, let’s say he’s a freshman at UTPB or Odessa College … and he’s been around the city … you very seldom see any African Americans,” he said. “If he messes around and comes to Juneteenth: ‘Wait a minute man, did I go to sleep and wake up in a different city? What is going on here?’” he laughed.“But I think that’s a good thing.”This year’s iteration of the high-level basketball tournament is set to tip off at 6 p.m. Friday and again at 9 a.m. Saturday, with Hatcher and a crew of UTPB alums and contingents looking to win a third straight championship — and fellowship along the way.“It gets them involved in where they’re at,” Hatcher said of other African Americans new to the area like him, perhaps who came to the area for education or for the oil industry. “When you’ve got events like that to come up, and those kind of people who want to figure out what’s going on or know about West Texas, that’s one of the great events to go see.”Ned Simmons said he has seen more of the same in his years in Odessa. He came to the area to play at UTPB in the summer of 2005 and then spent several years working in the school’s athletic department after that.“When you get to go out to a Juneteenth Celebration, being at the park, they get to see, ‘Wow, there is this black population out here. It is something that I can get used to, and be around and be a part of,’” Simmons said.Among so many other things, the event celebrates and carries on a heritage and a culture, Wright agreed, and that’s why it’s important that the event has continued and even grown.“We when we first started to do it, we would have a couple of cars playing music at the park,” Wright said. “And the thing has grown, thanks to Jo Ann Littleton and BCCO,” he said, noting that they’re among others.“It’s an opportunity to come out and it’s a secured environment, a controlled environment, a structured environment. … We don’t do that enough. It’s almost like a family reunion, but all the participants don’t necessarily share the same bloodline.”The BCCO’s weekend event kicks off in earnest Friday, with musical performances starting at 3 p.m. at Woodson Park.“I invite anyone who has never attended one, to please come be a part of our celebration,” Littleton said.“If they come once, they’ll want to come back.” Facebook Creamy Fruit SaladSouthern Style Potato SaladSummer Spaghetti SaladPowered By 10 Sec Mama’s Deviled Eggs NextStay last_img read more

Scottish agent register faces its first test as landlords call for letting agency to be banned

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Scottish agent register faces its first test as landlords call for letting agency to be banned previous nextRegulation & LawScottish agent register faces its first test as landlords call for letting agency to be bannedDozens of irate landlords enraged over unpaid rental income and unlodged tenant deposits are calling for Lanarkshire letting agent to be banned in October when register goes live.Nigel Lewis7th August 201801,155 Views Scotland’s rogue letting agent register is to face its first test after dozens of landlords have called for a Lanarkshire letting agency to be banned when the register goes live in October.At least 20 irate landlords from across the UK and beyond have called for action over Lets by Location. It is a two branch agency with offices in Hamilton and Airdrie that has court decrees totalling £20,000 outstanding against it.The calls for action have been growing louder following two recent court actions by landlords, and also on review websites by landlords from as far afield as South Africa and Germany who have chased the agency for unpaid rent income and deposits.The company has a one-star rating on AllAgents and Facebook for its Hamilton branch and all 19 of the reviews reveal frustrated landlords who are owed thousands by Lets by Location.This includes allegations of deposits that have not been lodged with an approved deposit protection service.Complaint upheldThe building crisis over the rogue letting agency’s activities came to a head last week when a First Tier Tribunal hearing in Glasgow upheld a complaint by local landlord George Hanley against the company and ordered it to pay compensation totalling £1,000.Hanley said that the letting agency had failed to pass on rent on numerous occasions from his flat’s tenants and had charged unnecessary and unjustified landlord and tenant fees including a £362 contract termination fee.The judge in the case described the agency’s payments system as ‘at best chaotic’.  The agency did not attend the Tribunal hearing or offer any documentation in its defence.The case follows an earlier Tribunal hearing during which Lindsay Chick and his wife Lesley from Kent claimed in court that Lets by Location had not paid them £7,000 in rent, the Daily Record reports.Hamilton George Hanley Lanarkshire Lets by Location Lindsay Chick AllAgents rogue letting agent August 7, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

‘We’re Not Gonna Take It!’ Thousands of Long Island Students Opt-Out of Common Core Testing

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Speakers opposed to the state’s new public education policies whipped an audience of hundreds into a furor at Comsewogue High School on March 29, 2014 as Opt-Out supporters, preaching from the stage in the auditorium, vowed to “starve the beast”—calling on parents to have their children skip the rigorous standardized tests and deprive the school system of the data upon which the system depends. Long Island’s own Dee Snyder’s voice blasted from the speakers as his refrain has become this multifaceted group’s mantra: “We’re Not Gonna Take It!”Many Long Islanders were true to their word. More than 20,000 school children here did not take the first round of state tests that began April 1.The protest against the Common Core Standards and state testing has reached a fever pitch, sparking a profound debate that is about more than preset standards or global competition, but about the civil rights of our schoolchildren. By coming together, parents, educators and students have brought their growing concerns over the future of public education to the front pages of local newspapers, into social media forums reaching tens of thousands, and into the speeches of those who profess to govern for all.In March, their collective voices were heard at three major events. Two expert panels on education convened on college campuses on Long Island to discuss the current peril students and teachers face and to propose possible solutions. And at Comsewogue High School, hundreds gathered on the eve of the state tests to communicate one message: We refuse.Education experts gathered in Long Island University’s Tilles Center on March 10 at a panel hosted by Long Island University’s Dr. Arnold Dodge, the chairman of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration at LIU-Post and a retired superintendent from the East Rockaway School District. Discussing the theme, “A Return to Common Sense: Restoring Developmentally Appropriate Education to Our Schools,” were a current superintendent, Dr. Bill Johnson; a principal; a mother, Jeanette Deuterman; a teacher, Dr. Anthony Griffin; and student Nikhil Goyal  to give a full report from the frontlines of education reform.Three days later, Stony Brook University hosted its own expert panel, framed by a discussion of the book, Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School, by Michael Fullan and Andy Hargreaves, both of whom participated in the discussion; Hargreaves in person, Fullan via Skype. Other panelists included Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg and Carol Burris, South Side High School principal and 2013’s New York Principal of the Year, aptly filling in for headliner Diane Ravitch who couldn’t make it.The Common Core initiative put into place in New York by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and overseen by the Board of Regents and the State Education Department has been the subject of scathing critique by both parents and educators alike that has not escaped the governor’s attention.“The flawed implementation of the Common Core curriculum has resulted in frustration, anxiety, and confusion for children and parents,” he has said.That the implementation has been a disaster is almost universally acknowledged, but where to go from here is something upon which almost no one can agree. The Cuomo administration has put together its own panel to make recommendations.PLEASE JOIN US IN THANKING OUR UNDERWRITERS FOR SUPPORTING QUALITY JOURNALISM. ACCESS TO OUR WEBSITE IS FREE DUE TO THE SUPPORT OF OUR UNDERWRITERS. CLICK HERE TO VIEW.At Comesewogue High School on March 29, Richard Ianuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers, said that the state education department needs to “stop it, fix it, or scrap it.”With state tests for grades 3 through 8 beginning April 1, trying to salvage New York education has grown in urgency. State testing is at the heart of the issue, thanks to unrelenting criticism from educators and parents who argue that the tests, upon which the entire Common Core initiative rests, are invalid.What determines the validity of the assessment is whether the data from the tests can be used to improve instruction. Since teachers are banned from seeing the graded exams their students took, they cannot know where their students’ weaknesses lie. Therefore, they cannot use that information to strengthen their skills. The data instead is used for a rating system to determine the teachers’ effectiveness.Parents and educators are taking strong issue with that. Under the guidance of Jeanette Deuterman, a mother from Bellmore who spearheaded the Long Island Opt-Out movement, many parents are exercising their rights to opt their children out of the tests this year. Deuterman projected the unofficial tally that more than 20,035 Long Island students refused this year.“We will not allow the New York State Education Department to use our children to aid in the systematic breakdown of our public education system,” Deuterman said at the Tilles Center. “We will not allow them to use our children to unfairly evaluate our teachers, principals, and schools through their test scores. Parents know that test scores do not correlate with good teaching. The teacher evaluation system is broken, and our children are the ones that have suffered the consequences. Our children will not participate…until significant changes are made.”Dr. Bill Johnson, superintendent of Rockville Centre Schools, agrees.“One of the sad things about it is that I truly believe that assessment should be an important component of every child’s life in school,” he said. “But in fact when the state has developed tests that are quite frankly never found to be valid, it is very difficult for me to encourage parents to have their children sit for a nine-hour exam knowing full well that the results are not going to used by anybody in the school district to do anything with at the end of the day.“As a superintendent,” he continued, “I need to honor the rights the parents have within their school.”But what about the rights of the child?Pasi Sahlberg, an author and educator from Finland, speaking at the education forum at Stony Brook University’s Wang Center, dissected the difference between the education system in the United States and the much-lauded system in Finland. Finnish law dictates that between each 60-minute lesson, students are allotted a 15-minute recess. In Finnish culture, children are entitled to recess as an inherent part of their rights.“Children must play,” Sahlberg stated.Finnish children do not start academic lessons until they reach 7 years old and do not experience standardized tests until they take their college entrance exams.In the United States, educational reform financed by federal Race to the Top funds and standardized through the Common Core State Standards Initiative has brought buzzwords like “grit” and “rigor” into the national lexicon, while quietly doing away with play-based developmental learning in the lower grades in favor of an increasingly academic structure. This approach has been sold to the American people by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as a way to elevate the educational system and produce students who can better compete in the global economy. South Side High School principal, Carol Burris, believes that rationale to be false.“There is this myth that there was once this great American school system and somehow, we have fallen to the bottom and we are hopelessly falling behind the rest of the world,” Burris said. “The truth of the matter is, since the beginning of international tests, we’ve always been kind of in the middle. Sometimes at the bottom. If you take a look at the performance of American students, it is actually stronger than it’s ever been before. Our graduation rates have never been higher.“We’re creating this myth that everything is awful, which then gives people permission to just say, ‘Well, let’s blow the whole system up. How can it possibly get worse?’ Well, it can get worse,” she continued.That’s not the only falsehood, Burris added.“There’s another myth that somehow rigorous standards are going to solve all of the problems,” she said.Compared to American standards, she explained that the standards of Finland were “almost skeletal.” Their guidelines were left to the teachers’ discretion based on their experience with their individual students’ needs.“I’m afraid for [our] kids,” Burris continued. “Because I’m afraid that all of the advances that we’ve made in equity in my school, where teachers have learned to work together collaboratively, where they’ve been able to take a special-ed kid and find a place for him in an international baccalaureate class, that all that good work will be undone by all of these reforms.”Here, standardization is the goal. Based upon modules offered by the state Education Department and sanctified in these Common Core tests, they are the antithesis of innovative thinking. And innovation is at the heart of the entrepreneurial spirit this country prides itself on.Sahlberg said that the United States already has an exemplary education system—it just needs to be allowed to flourish.“I would say all of the successful education systems have one thing in common: They have built their success on American education, innovation and ideas,” Sahlberg said. “Same thing if you go to Singapore, China, or even Canada. This proves that you have everything it takes to build not only schools that work, but to build a system that’s successful. It’s about sharing what you do, what you know; having the policies and reforms in place that are encouraging.“Your problem is not that you need to invent again with new ideas,” Sahlberg said, “but so you can learn again from one another and make the best use out of the ideas that you already have. If you want proof that the American ideas and innovations of education really work, come to Finland.”The mother from Bellmore who spearheaded the Long Island Opt-Out movement, Jeanette Deuterman, issued a stern warning to those who she believes are threatening the education of her children.“To all of the corporations that stand to make billions at the expense of our children, education officials with little or no education experience, Board of Regents members that put status quo over common sense, and legislators that place politics over the protection of our children, watch out!” she said. “The parents of New York are awake. We’re organized. And we will not stop until we return common sense to the education of our children.”Tim MacDowall and son Ryan, a fourth-grader at Longwood School District, showed their opposition to Common Core at a the “iRefuse!” rally March 29. Ryan opted-out of taking the state exams this year. (Jaime Franchi/Long Island Press)Starve the BeastDeuterman’s voice was amplified at Comsewogue High School. Torrential rain did little to dissuade the hundreds of people who came out to express their opposition to the state tests this April. Against the backdrop of the aptly named Comsewogue Warriors logo, Superintendent Joe Rella and parent advocate Mark Ferraris hosted speakers such as clinical social worker Mary Calamia, Assemb. Al Graf (R-Holbrook), president of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association Beth Dimino, co-founder of Stop Common Core in New York State Yvonne Gasperino, Michael Bohr, the founder of advocate group Badass Parents, and upstate principal Tim Farley, and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the newly announced Republican gubernatorial candidate running on the anti-Common Core platform—whose own kids have opted out of taking the tests.The lobby was full of advocacy groups such as the Badass Teachers Association to the Guardians, Stop Common Core in New York State, Lace to the Top, and Badass Parents selling T-shirts and stickers, sharing battle stories and offering support to each other.Tim MacDowell, a concerned father, said that his Longwood fourth grader Lucas will refuse the test this year. His son took the test last year.“I didn’t want him to,” MacDowell said, “but I thought I was alone. I didn’t know any of this existed. And he passed. But I don’t know what he passed. He got a 3 on the ELA [English Language Arts] and a 3 on the math. But as a parent, one who really rides him hard, I don’t know what that means. I’d like him to get a 4, but I don’t get any feedback. The teachers don’t get any feedback. They don’t individualize the results. They just tell me he got a 3. It’s useless.”MacDowell certainly doesn’t feel alone any longer. These protesters have little common ground in other issues but in this increasingly polarized political atmosphere they stand together against Common Core.Richard Ianuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers, hammered home that message.“The New York State United Teachers will stand behind every one of our members and every parent in this audience and every parent in New York State who makes that choice,” he said. “The moment a choice is taken away from a parent, that’s the moment when public education is destroyed. The moment when choice is taken away from a teacher, then public education is destroyed.”Bookends: Anti-Common Core advocates Mark Naison (L), co-founder of Badass Teachers Association, and Michael Bohr, of Badass Parents Association, lent their voices to the opt-out movement at the “iRefuse!” protest rally on March 29. (Jaime Franchi/Long Island Press)A vocal opponent of this reform, Dr. Mark Naison, history professor and chair of African-American Studies at Fordam University and co-founder of the Badass Teachers Association, railed against what he called the “Walmart-izaton of Education.”“It implements a kind of authoritarianism that we’re seeing more in the workplace,” he said. “It is unacceptable. Children need freedom, they need self-expression, they need space and they need to be allowed to make mistakes; they need to learn from those mistakes.“This issue is not going away,” he continued. “We have found a fault line in education policy that is so profound that we’re going to flip the script in terms of how this issue is going to be regarded in American politics. Some people think it will take a year. I think it will take five to 10 for us to win it.”Naison stopped to take in the surroundings: a group encircling a candidate for governor, parents and children awash in green shoelaces and t-shirts proclaiming “I refuse!” and a camaraderie born of a shared cause.Naison smiled at the audience assembled at Comsewogue.“I see this as a step forward,” he said.last_img read more

Air Line Pilots Association changes course and merges into Connexus Credit Union

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Michael BartlettThe members of $175 million Air Line Pilots Association FCU, voted to merge into $1 billion Connexus Credit Union, here, the two CUs announced Monday.The merger, which created an institution with more than $1.2 billion in assets and 179,000 members, was effective July 8.Both CUs have national charters, serving all 50 U.S. states. They said the combination was a “strategic merger” that joined two credit unions with “very similar philosophies and values.”“The merged credit union will offer its 179,000-plus members a stronger member experience by bringing together best practices of both credit unions, including optimizing and expanding member convenience through online services, call center, branch and ATM locations, as well as diversification of product and service offerings,” the CUs said in a statement. continue reading »last_img read more

Anyasi Confident of Enyimba’s Victory against Sundowns

first_imgFemi SolajaEnyimba FC Chairman, Felix Anyasi-Agwu is confident that the Nigerian representative in the elite club competition has all it takes to getting the result against host, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.The two teams will battle tomorrow at the Lucas Moripe Stadium from 7pm Nigerian time with contrasting fortune from the opening Group B round of matches.While Sundowns are aiming to pick the maximum points and sit atop the group following the expulsion of Entente Setif of Tunisia whom they were leading before the match was abandoned, former champions, Enyimba are hoping for a bounce back journey after losing at home to Zamalek on Match-day one in Port Harcourt. “We are not under any pressure to play this match and the players are in the right frame of mind to get the result in South Africa on Wednesday,” Anyansi responded at the Murtala International Airport on Sunday night before the team’s departure.“The loss in Port Harcourt was a major setback and we have used the domestic game after the loss to keep ourselves back on track and all hands are on deck to ensure that we get positive result from the match,” he remarked.Enyimba were warmly received by the Nigerian community led by Ikechukwu Anyene at the O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg.Later, they moved to Pretoria and had their first training session yesterday evening.They are expected to have a feel of the turf at the 28,000 capacity-seater Lucas ‘Masterpieces’ Moripe Stadium, former called Atteridgeville ahead of the match.Enyimba FC and Mamelodi Sundowns are pointless with Zamalek SC topping the three-team group with three points.Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns’s Khama Billiat, Keagan Dolly and Wayne Arendse have all voiced their readiness for the match against Enyimba.“We are well motivated, and we are all buzzing with confidence ahead of our encounter with Enyimba,” Billiat told club’s official website.This optimism was voiced out by Dolly who feels they have a point to prove to the world the stuff they are made off.“I’m looking forward to showcasing to Africa and the world that we are a world-class team,” Dolly said.While Arendse is expecting a hard-hitting game. “We are expecting a physical game and we are up for the challenge come Wednesday,” he said.A win for Paul Aigbogun’s men will see them revive their stuttering campaign following their defeat to the White Horses.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Euro 2016 draw: 24 teams confirmed, seeded for next summer’s tournament

first_imgThe pots for Euro 2016 finals draw are now known after Sweden and Ukraine booked the final two places.Hosts France will be joined by holders Spain plus Germany, England, Portugal and Belgium as the six seeded nations. France will automatically be drawn into position A1, playing their games in Paris, Marseille and Lille, with the other seeds placed into position 1 of groups B through to F.The nations in pots 2 to 4 will be randomly drawn into a position in each group to create the fixture programme for the group stage of the finals. The draw ceremony begins at 5 p.m. GMT on Saturday, Dec. 12.Bosnia-Herzegovina’s failure to qualify has proved to be Ukraine’s gain. Bosnia would have taken the final place in pot 2, but that now falls to Ukraine, which means they cannot now be drawn against neighbours Russia.Italy, Switzerland, Croatia and Austria complete the second pot. Italy will face another tough group after only being third seeds at the World Cup last year and bowing out with England at the group stage.Hungary, who qualified after beating Norway in the playoffs, are the other beneficiaries of Bosnia’s elimination, as they take the final berth in pot 3. Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Romania and Slovakia are the other five teams alongside them. Republic of Ireland, the only unseeded team in the playoffs to make the finals, slot into pot four.Pot 1: France, Spain, Germany, England, Portugal, BelgiumPot 2: Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Austria, Russia, UkrainePot 3: Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary Pot 4: Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Iceland, Wales, Albania, Northern IrelandThe top two teams in the six groups, along with the four best third place teams, will qualify for the knockout rounds.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more