Sad reminder of young lives lost on roads

first_imgTears fell unexpectedly when I visited the memorial last week for the first time. I’d heard a City Hall youth organization had cleaned up graffiti that had marred this sanctuary, making it nice for Thursday evening’s annual memorial, a chance to remember these kids and to remind the living to be safe behind the wheel. I wanted to see it for myself. There isn’t anything much lower than vandalizing a cherished memorial where loved ones have organized to fund something they fervently hope will remind other kids it can happen to them. Scanning the markers, I spotted Gino Merante’s. My son Matt played baseball as a kid with the talented Gino, who died at 17 driving too fast one night on The Old Road. Gino might have been graduating college this year, maybe looking back at his days on the baseball field, and perhaps looking toward the big leagues. There was Zach Legried’s marker, too. He and my daughter Kristen started kindergarten together and continued through high school. He died in 2004 at age 15, hit by a car as he bicycled to the Valencia mall. His longtime schoolmates still smile when they remember his Cowardly Lion’s roar from their first-grade production of “The Wizard of Oz.” How sad it is that he won’t don cap and gown next month to graduate. Each of these kids has a story, a devastated family and a crew of young friends who shouldn’t know this kind of grief. Sure, time softens the horrible losses, but nobody forgets the kid they knew who died too young. SAUGUS The trees that shade the saddest place in Santa Clarita are blossoming now, the only touch of color in a corner of Central Park where local kids who have died on the road are remembered. It’s eerily quiet here, not far from where hundreds gather after school and on weekends to play soccer, softball, even horseshoes. The city’s Youth Grove Memorial is a collection of some 67 sculpted tree stumps, symbolizing life cut short. Too short. Brass plates top the foot-high stumps, the names of each youth engraved along with his or her age. Forever 14, Forever 19, forever young. Lauren Blaire is “Forever 18.” Her parents, Donna and Nick Blaire, will be at Thursday’s memorial. The Saugus High student, the talented catcher on the softball team, was hit by a drunk driver nine years ago not far from campus while driving home from a friend’s house. “We’ve had so many kids and young adults killed in tragedies like my daughter’s,” Nick Blaire said last week at an annual softball game played in her honor. “Instead of roadside shrines with flowers and candles, we wanted a place where you could come and reflect. The idea is, hopefully, what happened to our family won’t happen to anyone else. This is an educational tool for kids to realize the consequences of poor choices.” The stumps surround a larger circle with a message urging safety, and it’s glaringly obvious there is room for more. “There is room, but hopefully we’ll never need it,” Blaire said. “Hopefully, kids will hear this message to make good decisions, to be careful.” Many of the kids, like Lauren Blaire, weren’t at fault. Some were drunk, some were careless, some like Zach made youthful goofs. Last year close to 200 people attended their memorial. This year, poetry and music are planned and participants will hold glow sticks in lieu of candles as the names of those remembered are read. Banners with pictures of these lost children will be hung for the memorial. “That’s really powerful when you see the faces,” said Tess Simgen, a community service analyst for the city. “This is so gripping because all the names are in one place.” [email protected] (661) 257-5251 If you go A memorial for local youths who have died in traffic incidents will be held at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the Youth Memorial Grove in Santa Clarita Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgDonegal County Council says it is making progress throughout the county in the fight against those who continue to dump waste illegally.Suzanne Tinney Waste Awareness Officer with the Council they are disappointed at the level of recent dumping across the county. However they have vowed to continue to clamp down on dumpers and have already identify blackspots.“Although we are disappointed at the level of illegal dumping taking place at a time when we are working hard to promote Donegal as tourist destination, we are confident that by working with the community, we can tackle this issue to achieve a greener and cleaner county for everyone in Donegal including residents and visitors.“Dumping can range from discarding waste boxes or bags at a bottle bank site to larger scale dumping at more remote sites. These sites require perseverance and continued surveillance but I am confident that the Council is making in-roads and we will be continuing this approach with vigour over the coming months”.Ms. Tinney added  that the council is aware of areas where illegal dumping has become more prevalent and will continue to target these areas. Given the remote nature of some of the sites used for illegal dumping, Donegal County Council has invested in various surveillance equipment in recent years for use throughout the county.Ms. Tinney stated that “this investment includes a number of ‘trail’ cameras or covert cameras activated by infra red sensors, together with Road-Hawk Vehicle Digital Cameras. Others include high spec long range cameras which are acquired for surveillance on illegal activities involving waste management issues and these have proven to be very useful”.Enforcement ActivityIn 2012 Donegal County Council issued 173 fines or fixed penalty notices under the Litter Pollution Act 1997, up from 124 fines in 2011. The increase in the number of fines issued in 2012 is due partly to the increased level of resources invested by the Council in particular areas of the county.A breakdown of litter fines (fixed penalty notices under the Litter Pollution Act 1997) issued in 2011 and 2012 are outlined in the following table:Area Fines issued 2011 Fines issued 2012 Donegal 35 20Stranorlar 13 37Inishowen 44 19Letterkenny 26 32 Glenties 6 (part time only) 65Ms. Tinney stated that “where fines are not paid the Council will be continuing to initiate prosecutions through the court”. She added “under the Waste Management Act 1996 there were 7 cases before the courts in 2011 and 7 before the courts in 2012. This Council takes these issues very seriously and every effort will be made to combat all forms of illegal dumping”.Costs of Clean ups:In 2012 Donegal County Council spent in the region of €410,900 in cleaning up illegal dumping sites in Donegal and this was down from the 2011 figure of €428,800.Ms. Tinney stated that “this decrease in expenditure reflects a combination of things including the impact of the surveillance and enforcement measures that we have in place along with the support of the local community in addressing these issues”.The following is the breakdown of expenditure incurred by Donegal County Council in clean-up operations in 2011 and 2012Area 2011 Expenditure 2012 ExpenditureDonegal €13,660.65 €5,473.35Stranorlar €19,819.51 €18,944.66Inishowen €28,364.75 €30,690.10Letterkenny €8,755.29 €16,436.37Glenties €60,700.51 €38,533.16Mobile Litter Unit costs €297,521.45 €300,870.73€428,822.16 €410,948.37Excellent Community supportMs. Tinney paid tribute to the work of the Litter Wardens and Environment staff and added that she could not stress enough the importance of the excellent support of local community groups throughout the county in clean up campaigns such as the National Spring Clean campaign which is taking place this month. “These types of initiatives are great and I am always heartened by the great work that is done in Donegal by the local communities and this certainly supports us in the work that we do”.The public can contact the Council to report illegal dumping by calling our Customer Contact Centre on 07491 53900.Some examples of surveillance from around the county which has proven successful:Examples attached of illegal dumping activities caught on covert cameras deployed throughout the county. Enforcement including fines has been pursued in each case.COUNCIL UPS ITS WAR ON ILLEGAL DUMPERS was last modified: April 16th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal County Councilillegal dumpinglast_img read more

North County San Diego residents oppose Mega Church complex development in their

first_img Elizabeth Alvarez Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter North County San Diego residents oppose Mega Church complex development in their neighborhood June 12, 2019 Posted: June 12, 2019 DEL SUR (KUSI) – San Diego County residents are collecting signatures to stop a megachurch complex from being built in their residential neighborhood.It’s a controversial proposed development that has been in the works for eight years.Flyers about the fight are being passed out and a signature drive is going on.Residents living in 4S Ranch, Del Sur and Santa Fe Valley are upset about the plan to build a mega church complex off of Four Gee Road, an area that is currently zoned for homes.This is one of the most carefully plan master planned communities in the county,” said Jerry Kent, a concerned resident.Another concerned resident is Kay Slate. “We knew what the plans were. And, that this was always going to be for residential homes.”The Proposal includes building a 90,000 square foot church complex to include five buildings. It would operate from 8am to 10pm seven days a week. This land was bought by the Chinese Bible Church of San Diego 8 yrs ago.The developer showed up at a community meeting this past Sunday.KUSI News asked him why the church chose this location — a location zoned for residential use. “Because this is the closest to the 4S Ranch Village — the concept that people can walk, ride their bike instead of public transportation.  Rather than be built further away (from members) and cause more traffic and infrastructure” Said Ron Harper, Owner of Harper Communities.But concerns residents say that’s the opposite of what will happen since most church members do not live in the area.Ameet bhatia, another concerned resident, made it clear, they have nothing against the church or its members. “This is just the wrong place for it this is a residential not at all, not at all. This is just the wrong place for it.  This is a residential neighborhood. You got kids all over here.  We got three kids who play sports in the field right behind where they’re proposing this. It’s already tough as it is people are already flying by.“We had to experience it in 2007 when the fire came from the North and the only way we could get out was from Four Gee Road. It was backlog it took us a long time to get out,” said Kay Slate referring to wildfires and other emergency evacuations.Harper also told KUSI News Sunday that  there was really only one time when there’s a high-capacity, which is Sundays, and perhaps a few other days when there are small bible studies and youth groups.He  added “ To be compatible with the neighborhood, we’ve done hundreds of reductions over the eight-year process,” said Harper.Harper Communities did its own environmental impact report. The developer said they and found no negative impact on “traffic, biology, fire protection, roadways and air quality.”The San Diego Planning Commission, however, did not agree and denied recommending the proposal to the county in November of 2019.The ultimate decision will be made by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on June 26th. Elizabeth Alvarez, last_img read more

Time for a fussfree meal

first_imgFancy places need fancy décor. Right? Wrong. Sometimes, a place can be fancy without going overboard on the décor. Which is what I found interesting about Zing at The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa. Minimalistic chic is how Zing has been designed. The outdoorsy feel comes from the swimming pool and the backyard of the hotel that it overlooks. While this isn’t where you would want to come if you have a romantic lunch or dinner in mind, it is just perfect for lunch with the girlfriends over gossip and cocktails. I would give it a thumbs up for business meetings too. The menu is more cafe than fine dining, even though they have a good selection of champagnes, wines, single malts and scotch. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The food on offer is a global platter — so you find everything from Indian to southeast Asian, Continental and more. In mood for Continental? Order some Fish N Chips and Surf N Turf along with lamb chops. Care for Indonesian or Thai? Dig into Nasi Lemak with Bamboo steamed vegetables and Phad Thai. There is Italian too if you so fancy. The star on the menu though, is German. The classic German dish, Curry Wurst, has thankfully not given an Indian makeover here and retains its juicy nature. German sausages, a dash of tomato to add a zing to it and potato salad, this one kind of takes the cake if you decide to stick to Continental. Pair it with a Jack and Coke or Jim Beam — it is filling enough to become one whole meal. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixNot fond of whiskey? Grab a Qutub Chinar (tall vodka, rum with rose and lemon) or a Sharabi Gola (gin and sweet vermouth with orange juice) from the bar. They are just as nice. The selection of tea and coffee is also quite interesting.  Non vegetarians will relish this place because most of the items on the menu are all about meat. However, leaf eaters can try out the Khaw Suey (recipe left) or Cottege Cheese Brochettes among others. I settled for some Butterfly prawns which are batter fried and served with sweet chilli and garlic sauce with a chilled beer. It was fried yes, (I wasn’t technically thinking of diet) but not oily enough to make it unhealthy.   The Zing Club (available in both vegetarian and non vegetarian versions) is quite a meal in itself too. Meat eaters can choose between chicken, turkey and eggs. The desserts section has the usual suspects like brownies and cheesecakes, with a twist (imagine Star anise stewed cherry cheesecake and Kahlua flavoured opera with truffle and butter cream). Be careful of the ice cream though, it is served so chilled that your teeth would freeze. But go to Zing if you care for a simple, fuss-free meal.DETAILAt: Zing, The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa, Bangla Sahib Road Timings: All Day Phone: 4250 0200 Meal for Two: Rs 3,500 (Approx Without Alcohol)last_img read more

4 Reasons Why You Should Care That IBM Just Made the Biggest

first_img On October 28, IBM announced a deal to acquire Red Hat, the largest distributor of the popular open-source operating system Linux, as the New York Times reported. The deal, estimated by BusinessWeek as costing $33 billion, positions IBM — one of America’s most venerable technology companies — to take a bigger slice of the cloud computing market.Related: IBM Says Cloud Business Enjoying ‘Breakthrough Year’That seems like a good move for IBM: Gartner has forecast that annual revenue from cloud computing will reach $186.4 billion by the end of 2018, and $302.5 billion by 2032.So, for those new to these topics: What exactly is cloud computing, and why is it forecast to grow by 62 percent in the next three years? As defined by Amazon Web Services — itself the largest cloud computing provider, with a 33 percent market share — cloud computing is “the on-demand delivery of computer power, database storage, applications and other IT resources through a cloud services platform via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing.”The main driver behind the enormous growth of the cloud computing market has been the increasing adoption of the three models: software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). Adopters have been diverse, ranging from individuals and small businesses to the world’s biggest corporations.Things are changing fast for these players. “As of 2016,” Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, told  ZDNet, “approximately 17 percent of the total market revenue for infrastructure, middleware, application and business process services had shifted to [the] cloud.”Through 2021,” Nag continued, “this will increase to approximately 28 percent.”Such explosive growth in cloud computing provides enormous opportunities for everyone from solo SaaS entrepreneurs to giant companies like IBM. Below is a look at four reasons driving IBM’s purchase of Red Hat, in what the latter company called the largest software company acquisition to date.Those reasons reflect what the purchase says about the continued growth of — and opportunities in –the cloud computing market.1. IBM’s need to keep up with the big boysIn its influential Magic Quadrant survey of the top cloud computing providers, Gartner relegated IBM to No. 6 in its rankings, lagging far behind the big three of: Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.2. IBM’s bet on the hybrid cloudBy acquiring Red Hat, IBM is making a substantial bet that rather than migrating fully to public cloud solutions like AWS, many large businesses will instead adopt hybrid cloud solutions. Typically, a hybrid cloud approach relies on a blend of private cloud computing –with technology deployed in-house, often using Red Hat Linux — in tandem with a public cloud provider like AWS, Azure or Google Cloud. IBM significantly trails those big three in market share, but is looking to make up ground with the Red Hat acquisition.Such a hybrid cloud approach is appealing to companies which:Are hesitant to trust their most sensitive data to a third-party, but recognize the cost and operational benefits of hosting some vital services,such as email and customer relationship management in the public cloud.Are concerned about entrusting uptime for their most crucial processes completely to a third-party provider, particularly in times of disaster recovery.Rely on legacy services that cannot be easily transitioned to the public cloud, but can run on in-house technology and work in concert with data processed on the public cloud.Are concerned about scalability and want to harness the public cloud’s compute power to improve it.Related: It’s Google vs. Alibaba in the Cloud Computing Gameplay in the Asia PacificIBM is betting heavily that these concerns, among others, will make hybrid cloud solutions appealing to a substantial number of customers; and the Red Hat acquisition better positions the information technology company to capitalize on that bet. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty put it this way, according to Business Insider: “IBM will become the world’s No. 1 hybrid cloud provider,” she predicted, “offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses.”In addition, according to ZDNet, Rometty “dissed the public cloud and noted that most companies are 20 percent along the cloud journey and renting compute power to cut costs.”The next 80 percent is about hybrid cloud,” ZDNET predicted. Now, with its Red Hat acquisition, Rometty apparently believes that IBM will become that leading provider of hybrid cloud solutions.3. IBM’s bet on open sourceWired noted that many might think it unusual that IBM paid $33 billion to acquire a company that “gives away its primary product for free.” The source code for Red Hat’s most popular product — its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system — can be downloaded and used without charge.However, Red Hat generates approximately $3 billion in revenue a year from companies using its products and paying for support. IBM has long been a believer in and contributor to open source software projects, particularly Linux. Wired also noted that, “Open source was once a fringe, idealistic movement in software, but it’s now a core part of how big companies operate, from internet giants like Google and Facebook to Walmart and ExxonMobil.”Even former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer embraced open software. That’s notable because Ballmer famously described open source software as “a cancer,” according to TechCrunch. Yet Microsoft today is one of IBM’s biggest cloud computing competitors with its Azure platform and has embraced open source software, even acquiring open source code repository and developer community GitHub for $7.5 billion earlier in 2018.4. IBM’s declining revenuesSince its founding in 1911, IBM has enjoyed many successes, and was considered “the most admired American corporation” for many years during the 1970s and 80s, as Fortune reported. The internet era has not always been kind to IBM, however: In 1993, the company posted what at the time was the second biggest ever quarterly loss in US history, in 1993. More recently, IBM reported disappointing third quarter 2018 results. In recent years, IBM increasingly wagered on Watson, its artificial intelligence division, to drive growth, but Watson, “has not performed as well as IBM had hoped and investors were losing their patience,” reported TechCrunch.In acquiring Red Hat, IBM hopes to position itself as a much bigger player in the burgeoning cloud computing industry. The same TechCrunch article noted that the move may be seen as a return to focusing on “the enterprise software and services business that has always been [IBM’s] core competency.”Final thoughtsThe acquisition of Red Hat by IBM marks the biggest software acquisition ever, according to TechCrunch. Whether this wager on the hybrid cloud pays off over the long term remains to be seen, but it is a clear indication that the future of cloud computing remains bright, at least according to one of history’s most successful companies.Related: Apple Confirms it Uses Google Cloud for iCloudThe message here? Red Hat’s acquisition should serve as a clear indication and inspiration to entrepreneurs that building applications that solve problems in the cloud computing sphere may prove to be very lucrative indeed. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. October 31, 2018 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 7 min read Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more