BLOG: Governor Wolf’s Message on Memorial Day (VIDEO)

first_imgThe fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have been courageously protected by millions of Americans willing to give their lives so that others may be free.On the 148th observance of Memorial Day – once known as Decoration Day – we ask that Americans pause to give thanks for the brave men and women who died to preserve our freedom.More than 70,000 Americans from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have given the last full measure of devotion for this country since it first proclaimed itself an independent nation in 1776.Many of these patriots are interred with comrades in hallowed memorial grounds in America, Europe, and the Pacific. They lie in simple country plots, urban memorial parks, unmarked graves, and among friends and family.On Memorial Day, and every day, we thank them for their sacrifice and acknowledge our eternal debt to them. We pray that the devotion to patriotism and citizenship they displayed through service to this country will never be forgotten. Through their deeds, we have learned to appreciate the freedoms that are the legacy of their sacrifice.A new generation of men and women in uniform have faced, and continue to face, their own “great task remaining before us,” on the city streets and desert sands of Iraq and in the mountains of Afghanistan. The proud contingent who today wears America’s uniform is tied to all other veterans by the same ethic of service in the name of freedom.Today we gather to demonstrate our unity, remember our losses, and ask that all citizens of the commonwealth recognize our unwavering commitment to a future filled with opportunity, justice, and hope for all people.Today, I urge all Pennsylvanians to join with others across the United States to demonstrate our gratitude as we reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom. Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: BLOG: Governor Wolf’s Message on Memorial Day (VIDEO) By: Governor Tom Wolf May 30, 2016 The Blog,  Videos SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Mary Agnes Stahley

first_imgMary Agnes Stahley, of Oldenburg, was born February 3, 1919, to Benjamin and Barbara Herbert Paul. She was wedded to Vincent Anthony Stahley. Mary Agnes retired from McPhersons in Sunman, and enjoyed volunteering at her church, St. Anthony, where she was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary. Mary Agnes was also known to enjoy a good bourbon. On Wednesday, March 28, 2018, Mary Agnes passed away at Arbor Grove Village in Greensburg. Mary Agnes is survived by her loving son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Melanie Stahley of Oldenburg; her grandchildren, Nicole (Wesley) Wheeldon, Matthew Stahley, and Patrick Stahley; seven great-grandchildren; and her siblings, Helen Rose Nunlist of Oldenburg, Virginia Hammel of Sunman, and Melvin Paul of Oldenburg. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Vincent Anthony Stahley; a son, Kenneth Fields; and siblings, Jerome Paul, Francis Paul, Robert Paul, Anna Mae Flodder, and Dorothy King. Friends may visit with the family on Saturday, March 31, 2018, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home, 107 Vine Street, Sunman. A funeral service conducted by Father Shaun Whittington will begin at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow in St. Anthony Cemetery, Morris. Memorial contributions can be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association. To sign the online guestbook or leave personal condolences please visit The staff of Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Mary Agnes Stahley.last_img read more

Derek Carr on his Raiders future: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

first_imgClick HERE if you’re having trouble viewing the gallery on your mobile device.OAKLAND — If Jon Gruden is willing to trade Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, it’s only logical Derek Carr is the next franchise cornerstone brought up in trade talks, however unsubstantiated.Gruden said last week he’ll never say never when it comes to dealing players. That comes after he insisted the Raiders weren’t dealing Mack or Cooper … until the Bears and Cowboys, respectively, approached with offers Gruden …last_img

Peace clubs for safer schools

first_imgStudents working together at a peace camp. (Image: Jennifer Stern)Jennifer SternWhile a large number of South African schools are exemplary centres of learning, it’s a sad fact that far too many are underfunded and overcrowded places where little learning takes place, and levels of violence are far too high.For this reason, the Quaker Peace Centre (QPC) and Western Cape Education Department (WCED) have launched a number of initiatives to promote peace in the province’s schools.One of these is the Safer Schools Project, launched in early to help increase security at schools, restrict the access of people who are neither students nor staff to school premises, and facilitate conflict resolution training.But, that doesn’t solve the root of the problem, says Avril Knott-Craig of QPC.“You’ve got 62 children in a classroom, it’s 32º outside (and probably hotter inside), they’re bored, and their hormones are running rampant,” she says. “It’s a recipe for disaster.“When you’re bored, you make little spit-balls out of paper and shoot them at the teacher. You take the chewing gum out of your mouth and stick it in your neighbour’s hair, and they retaliate, and before you know it, it’s a free-for all and someone gets hurt.”In July 2008, 126 people, including teachers and students from 17 schools and representatives from the WCED, the QPC and the Safer Schools Project attended a two-day Peace Indaba in Cape Town in July 2008.The event, which was run as part of QPC’s Positive Discipline Project, was intended to workshop ideas on how to make schools in Cape Town safer and more conducive to learning – both of academic subjects and positive life skills.A large part of the problem, says to Knott-Craig, is that violence is an integral part of school culture.“While corporal punishment is technically illegal, teachers grew up in an environment where it was considered normal, and they have no other way of disciplining overcrowded and unruly classes.”Martin Struthmann, the manager of QPC, agrees. He describes the culture of violence he experienced as a teacher in a Mitchell’s Plain school in the 1980s.“The teachers spent the first few days of term making canes. Before the children arrived, they’d buy hosepipes, bamboo, sticky tape and stuff from the hardware store and make canes. It was part of the school culture.”One of the many educational reforms introduced by South Africa’s new democratic government after 1994 was outlawing corporal punishment.“Hitting children is against the law in terms of the Children’s Act, and the South African Schools Act,” Knott-Craig says.“Teachers can be dismissed for using corporal punishment. The National Education Department says they are going to implement it but they don’t. They can’t. The cane is the only way some teachers can discipline classes. Corporal punishment was outlawed and then nothing was put in its place.”And that’s what QPC’s Positive Discipline Programme is all about. Knott-Craig joined QPC when the Peace Education Programme wanted someone to write a manual on positive discipline for teachers. Shortly thereafter, the programme focus changed to concentrate mainly on positive discipline.“I’ve always been against corporal punishment,” Knott-Craig says. “I was never punished in this way as a child.  I taught in difficult schools in the eighties during the boycotts and all that. And I never used corporal punishment. It’s not necessary.  I’m not special, and if I can do it anyone can.”While not wanting to trivialise the problems inherent in many schools, Knott-Craig wanted to showcase the schools that were not dysfunctional.“The media was highlighting dysfunctional schools,” she says. “But the good schools needed to be acknowledged. There were lots of schools in the Graslow [Grassy Park and Lotus River] area doing great development work. There were many schools that could showcase good practice. Other schools could learn from them. Schools could share what was working.”Knott-Craig and an ex-colleague, Greg Vlotman, who is now the principal of Sid G Rule Primary School in Grassy Park, were the motivating force behind the idea. They received eager assistance from Glen van Harte, the District South curriculum manager of WCED.“His big thing was arts education,” Knott-Craig says of Van Harte. “He believed that arts education would reduce the violence in schools.”The key to discipline, she says, is curriculum design and delivery.“Where there is interesting work being done and [the students] are stimulated and challenged, there is no time to find mischief. If you can engage the learner you have a much greater chance of success.“So we need to look at the bigger picture. Curriculum, management, ethos, culture of the school – all these issues. It’s what schools decide they will or will not tolerate. “All the schools that were sharing the good practice didn’t have serious discipline problems,” she continues.“They had disbanded their discipline committees. The teachers were doing really creative peace education in the classroom. One teacher had built a Zen garden and, when the learners got angry, she’d tell them to go play in the Zen garden and think about why they’re angry, and calm down.”It’s certainly a new take on standing in the corner, and it’s probably more effective in the long run than a good clip on the ear.The next step in the initiative was peace camps for students, the brainchild of Geraldine Goldblatt, Central District curriculum adviser for the WCED.“Goldblatt said she wanted to run a non-violent camp for learners,” Knott-Craig says. “She’s done a huge amount of research into curriculum material that deals with the history of violence, and how we can use it to teach children about non-violence.Goldblatt was given the go-ahead by Mackie Kleinschmidt, the Central District curriculum manager, with the WCED funding the camps and the QPC providing free facilitation.The camp was held in Glencairn, with 60 students and 30 teachers from 11 schools attending. And it was not limited to so-called “problem” or “township” schools. Rhodes High School in Mowbray and Westerford, one of Cape Town’s top academic schools, also attended.Knott-Craig admits she had a secret agenda – she was hoping the camp would spread the idea of peace clubs.She had previously met Stan Jarvis, a teacher at Heideveld High School, which was situated deep in the Cape Flats. Jarvis had attended Knott-Craig’s positive discipline course, and had started a peace club at Heideveld.In May 2008, when xenophobic attacks rocked Cape Town’s townships, Heideveld High’s peace club members asked Jarvis to organise a workshop on xenophobia to understand the violence. So Knott-Craig, Struthmann and Caroline Rakodi, from the UK, joined Jarvis for a one-day workshop with the theme What makes us African?The answer that came out was, “The thing that makes us all African is the fact that we are all different.”“It’s our diversity that makes us all one,” says Knott-Craig, smiling.She didn’t have to do much work on her secret agenda. The students who attended the camp chatted to the Heideveld High peace club members, and decided they wanted peace clubs at their schools, too. So they started planning them then and there.“They have so much fun,” she says. “They do interesting things. They were attending the peace jams and meeting Nobel laureates.” Peace jams are events organised by Nobel peace laureates who travel the world for a year engaging young people on matters of peace building.“The teachers are so motivated. They involve them in so many things outside the curriculum. Through the British Council, they got linked up with Rivers of the World [an arts programme organised around rivers]. They select eight rivers, and one was the Liesbeek. Some of the peace club members went to London.”Soon after that the second indaba was held at Heideveld High, with many of the same players.One area in which Knott-Craig came up against some resistance in the planning phase of the camp and the indaba was the idea that teachers and students would participate on an equal footing. But she pushed for it.“I think they have something to offer and must be seen as part of the solution not the problem,” she says.“[The teachers] could not believe the profundity of what the learners had to say. They had good ideas – they challenged Glen [van Harte] and he took them seriously. It was right to have learners involved. Adults tend to speak for young people instead of letting them speak for themselves.  And,” she adds, smiling, “teachers are the worst.”While the Non-Violent Schools Campaign is a joint  project jointly of QPC and WCED, it is intended to be self-sustaining.“The peace clubs need to be sustained by the teachers and learners,” Knott-Craig says. “We will run programmes, for example, training in diversity, Alternatives to Violence Programmes and/or empowering workshops for young women. But they are their clubs. They have ownership of their clubs. QPC is just the engine that runs it in the background.“My dream actually is that eventually the camp, the indaba, the peace clubs are all run by the schools and we all become redundant. Once that’s happened I’ll feel that we’ve achieved something.“But ultimately, if change is going to come it’s going to come from the bottom up not the top down,” she says.  “I haven’t found the quick fix, but I am handing over to the learners. I believe in their idealism, and their ability to think outside of the box.”With a laugh she adds, “They haven’t even found the box.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesEducation in South Africa Tutu, De Klerk to children’s aid Education is the winner Learning through gaminglast_img read more

Red and Yellow investment reaps rewards

first_imgRed and Yellow’s mission is to counter the increasing income gap by arming underprivileged people with the knowledge and skills they need to compete with their affluent counterparts on even ground. This is done through facilitating this learnership. (Image: Red & Yellow)It started almost a year ago, when 30 promising, young and hungry people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds were chosen to take part in the first advertising certificate course run by Red & Yellow School in Johannesburg.The first course run by the advertising and marketing college took place at the institution’s main campus in Cape Town in 2015.Chosen from some 3 000 applicants, the 30 students were given a chance to prove themselves and become part of the future of South Africa’s marketing and advertising industry through the Red &Yellow Springboard Marketing Institute (RYSMI).The RYSMI learnership involves six months of training at the school, after which the students are placed in various companies in the industry for a further six months. There they get on-the-job experience and training, giving them a proper taste of life in advertising and marketing.Today, almost a year later, the students are in their last days of their course and their time at their respective companies and agencies. When their learnerships do end, the students will go back to Red & Yellow, where they will prepare to write their final exams.Putting on paper what they learned in the classroom and in the industry, this last step will reveal whether they have what it takes to break into the sector successfully.Red and Yellow’s mission is to counter the increasing income gap by arming underprivileged people with the knowledge and skills they need to compete with their affluent counterparts on even ground. This is done through facilitating this learnership.Commenting on what it took to be successful in advertising and marketing, Matome Malatji (pictured above) said that “most importantly it is centred on how you think.”A PERSONAL ACCOUNTMatome Malatji, one of the 30 students, was placed at Avatar Agency. Speaking of his experiences over the better part of the last six months, he said: “At Avatar Agency, for the first time, I was in a place where I understood people and they understood me right back.“At Avatar I learned about the agency and the industry as a whole; how the departments and the different people and personalities in those departments worked as a unit. This experience helped me put all that I had learned during the first six months of the learnership into practice.”His time at the agency gave him a chance to get to grips with what exactly went on in the day-to-day running of an agency and how individual agencies existed in the competitive field of advertising.“Everybody wants to be heard. With the hands-on experience I had at Avatar and the lessons I was taught at Red & Yellow, I believe I have found my voice to have my say in this ever-changing industry, which has its own culture and lifestyle.”Commenting on what it took to be successful in advertising and marketing, Malatji said that “most importantly it is centred on how you think. I will carry with me everything I have learned and my now not-so-little black book.”GET INVOLVEDThe Red & Yellow certificate course accepts a new group of ambitious students each year to continue the school’s search for promising talent and those who will help to take the South African advertising and marketing industry to new heights.If you want to be considered for the programme, more details are available on the Red &Yellow Springboard Marketing Institute website. You can also get in touch with Melissa Maguire via email on [email protected] or call 011 067 3400.“All’s well that ends well,” said Malatji. “You never know what you’re capable of until you try.”last_img read more

South Africa welcomes Obama’s backing for Agoa

first_img6 August 2014South Africa has welcomed the commitment by US President Barack Obama to support the continuation and enhancement of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).Obama made the remarks at the US-Africa Business Forum in Washington on Tuesday. His backing of a new Agoa term came as a pleasant surprise to many, who have been waiting to hear Obama’s position on the issue. US law makers are expected to vote on the renewal of Agoa when the current commitment term expires next year.“We still do the vast majority of our trade with just three countries – South Africa, Nigeria and Angola,” Obama said. “It’s still heavily weighted towards the energy sector. We need more Africans, including women and small- and medium-sized businesses, getting their goods to market.“All leaders in Congress – Democrats and Republicans – have said they want to move forward,” he added. “So I’m optimistic we can work with Congress to renew and modernise Agoa before it expires, renew it for the long term. We need to get that done.”South Africa’s ambassador to the United States, Ebrahim Rasool, welcomed Obama’s commitment to back a renewal of the scheme.“On the investment side, the United State is the biggest source of foreign investment to South Africa, so Agoa must continue, and we want to see the inclusion of South Africa in the programme,” Rasool told SAnews in Washington.“For South Africa, if we can leave here with a firm commitment that Agoa will continue and that South Africa will continue to be in it, that will great for us because that will mean we save US$9-billon.”Agoa provides duty-free market access to the United States for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries by extending preferences on more than 4 600 products.It also provides duty-free access to all clothing (as well as certain textile) exports from countries that qualify. Through the Act, South Africa has reportedly exported significant quantities of manufactured goods, most notably about 60 000 automobiles a year.Since its inception in 2002, Agoa has achieved a great deal for both the United States and African countries that benefit from it. Its work is not yet completed.Source: read more

South African film chosen to air in the US

first_img10 September 2015The South African film, Ayanda and the Mechanic, is one of two acquisitions announced for Ava DuVernay’s African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement.Along with Out of My Hand, the South African film was chosen by the group following its screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Ayanda and the Mechanic won the Special Jury Prize in the World Fiction Competition at that festival.The new releases were an initiative to broaden the focus of the organisation and highlight the work of Latino, Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern and female filmmakers, the group said.It was founded by DuVernay in 2010 through a collaboration with key black film festivals and arts organisations. The American director, screenwriter, film marketer, and film distributor, was the writer and director of Selma (2014), the acclaimed biopic of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. DuVernay is the first female African American director to have a film nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture.Renamed Array on 8 September, the group will continue to release and champion movies by black filmmakers from the African diaspora, as well as those by women and other filmmakers of colour.Tilane Jones, the group’s executive director, told TheWrap that both these films were terrific. They reflected Array’s broadened scope.Actress Terry Pheto, the co-producer of Ayanda and the Mechanic, said DuVernay had long been a promoter and distributor of black independent films, reported South African newspaper The Citizen. “DuVernay herself recognises this and is proving to be a force to help bring about needed change,’ she said.“She is not only a savvy film marketer and acclaimed director, but also a black woman entrepreneur who is deeply committed to increasing the representation of black people on the big screen.’Pheto played a leading role as Miriam in the 2005 Oscar-winning feature film Tsotsi.So excited to announce that @Ayandamovie has been picked up for US distribution by the incredibly talented @AVAETC!— Terry Pheto (@TerryPheto) September 9, 2015The @Ayandamovie team is beyond grateful to have our film distributed in the US by @AVAETC, @SaraBlecher @News24— Terry Pheto (@TerryPheto) September 9, 2015Ayanda, the latest film by award-winning director Sara Blecher, is a tale of love, friendship and growth in contemporary South Africa. It opens in local cinemas on 2 October, and is set for release in the US in mid-November.The film has also been screened at prestigious film events such as the Cannes Film Festival.Source: TheWraplast_img read more

Retirement Planning Over the Life Cycle

first_imgBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] Military Families Learning Network will host Retirement Ready? Effective Strategies for Military Families webinar on November 1. This 90-minute webinar will Include a segment about personal finances and how people at different stages of the life cycle view retirement planning.Join Retirement Ready? Effective Strategies for Military Families on Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. ET. Image created by Bari SobelsonAs described in a presentation by Professor William Klinger of Raritan Valley (NJ) Community College to the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education, these generational reactions can be summarized as follows:Age 20-35– What, me, worry? I’ve got plenty of time.Age 35-55– Too many expenses. I’ll save later versus now.Age 55-70- Yikes! I have no savings. It’s catch-up time.Age 70+- How can I make my retirement savings last?At age 20-35, the key thing to remember is that time is on your side. For example, college students graduating at age 22 have 45 years of compound interest on their savings before they’re eligible for full Social Security benefits at age 67. In addition to saving early, it is also important to keep spending in check so that savings can get an early start. Some young adults, unfortunately, procrastinate by thinking “I’ll start saving later when I pay off student loans” or “I’ll save when I make more money.”In the “middle years,” age 35 to 55, emphasis should be on continued savings, especially in tax-deferred retirement savings accounts such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Be sure to take full advantage of the maximum available employer matching, such as 6% of your pay if you invest 6%, and track your annual progress by preparing a net worth statement that takes a “snapshot” of your current assets and debts.In later adulthood, age 55 to 70, people are (hopefully!) empty nesters and can accelerate their savings even further. According to research by Fidelity investments, people should have 5 times their salary saved at age 55, 6 times at age 60, 7 times at age 65, and 8 times at age 67 to be considered “on track” for a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, the 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute indicates that only 14% of workers have more than $250,000 saved for retirement and 54% have less than $25,000 in savings, including 26% that have less than 1,000.A primary retirement planning concern of people age 70+ is having their savings last throughout their lifetime. High health care and long-term care costs in later life are also major concerns. A body of research suggests that initially withdrawing 4% of savings (whatever the dollar amount) and increasing it annually for inflation has about an 85% success rate (i.e., chance of not running out of money) over a 30-year period based on past investment performance data. New research findings with “floor and ceiling” withdrawal strategies and “decision rules” (e.g., freezing income during periods of negative investment returns) have been shown to increase success rates even further.To summarize, retirement planning is important throughout adult life and can span a period lasting seven, or even eight, decades. Key messages for people of all generations are as follows:Start saving for retirement as early in life as possible. If it’s too late for you to get an early start, save as much as you can today and encourage your children and/or grandchildren to start saving early.Increase savings as income rises and/or expenses (e.g., child care) and/or debts (e.g., student loans) are reduced or end.Develop an adequate savings nest egg and a strategy for sustainable retirement savings withdrawals in later life. To plan your retirement savings, use the Ballpark Estimate.Enjoy the fruits of your labor in retirement and the journey of life along the way.Register today to join the November 1 webinar Retirement Ready? Strategies for Military Families. CEUs for accredited financial counselors, certified personal finance counselors, marriage and family counselors, social workers and counselors are available.last_img read more