Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Asbestos_controversy_aboard_Scientology_ship_Freewinds&oldid=4647051”

6 Things You Need To Know Before Your First Yoga Class}

6 Things You Need To Know Before Your First Yoga Class

by

William LawrenceThinking of starting yoga? Bet your body has been yearning for this for some time now. Everyone has their reasons for doing yoga; losing weight, release stress, maintaining good health both mind and body. Whatever your reason is for starting yoga, have fun with it. It is also important to know a few things before undertaking this new activity that will improve your health and here are some:

It is all about you: Even if you are in a class of ten people, this is your time to discover your body and mind. It involves making somewhat awkward body movements, such as being upside down or curving your back! Let yourself go and just explore your inner strength.

Notify your instructor if you need special attention: This is basically if you are pregnant, have terminal illnesses, injury or a condition that may be affected by the type of exercises that yoga involves. Yoga does not have a particular way of how it is done; there are different techniques and poses for different bodies. Therefore, your instructor will know what suits you best.

Follow instructions: Some of the postures you will be required to do might be challenging, actually they are quite tough. You may find it easier to twist or modify the posture to be more comfortable, but this should be avoided because you are risking getting injury that could take a sometime to heel.

Beware, it is addictive: Compared to other exercises, yoga is special. From the technique it uses to the several health benefits it has to your body, your body is left feeling incredible. This makes you want it even more and cannot afford to miss any session!

Go on an empty stomach: It will almost be impossible for you to do yoga on a full tummy. Remember most of the time you will be stretching into postures, which can be very uncomfortable for you if your stomach is full. If you think you cannot make it till the end of the session, take a snack at least half an hour before the class; a light snack.

Do not compete, enjoy! Have fun during yoga class, even if it may take some time to grasp those postures. Take one posture at a time and you can even practice it when you are idle, during your lunch break and before you sleep. You will be a pro in no time!

Follow instructions: Some of the postures you will be required to do might be challenging, actually they are quite tough. You may find it easier to twist or modify the posture to be more comfortable, but this should be avoided because you are risking getting injury that could take a sometime to heel.

Beware, it is addictive: Compared to other exercises, yoga is special. From the technique it uses to the several health benefits it has to your body, your body is left feeling incredible. This makes you want it even more and cannot afford to miss any session!

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yoga teacher training in Goa

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yoga retreats in Goa

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Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}

US Representative Anthony Weiner resigns over sexual conduct

Friday, June 17, 2011

Anthony Weiner announced his resignation yesterday afternoon as a Democratic representative from New York to the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he has filled for twelve years. He has been under pressure from politicians within his own party after a sex scandal engulfed his life and that of the Democratic party.

Weiner told reporters it was “impossible” to continue in his role after the events of the last few weeks, including revelations that he was involved in sexual relationships with a number of young women over the internet, including sending lewd photos of himself, and then lying about his actions to reporters.

He announced his resignation at a press conference in a Brooklyn senior center where 20 years ago he began his political career and apologized for his “personal mistakes”. His wife, Huma Abedin, did not accompany him, but Weiner apologized to her in his speech, saying that he hopes “most importantly, that my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage that I’ve caused.” He took no questions from reporters.

On June 6, Weiner had admitted to corresponding with women he met on the internet, including exchanging lewd photos. But on June 11 he declared in an emotional interview he would not resign. Under pressure from Democrats, Weiner requested a two-week leave of absence from his position in order to obtain treatment to become “a better husband and healthier person.”

However, Democratic politicians became increasingly anxious to put the growing scandal behind them, as it distracted members from more important issues such as problems with Medicare and the need for more jobs. As the scandal gained momentum, a variety of politicians, including Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, called on him to resign. President Barack Obama said he would resign if he were in Weiner’s place in an interview with ABC News.

“Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reaction to the revelations,” Pelosi said in a statement after Weiner announced his resignation. “Today, he made the right judgment in resigning.”

The scandal came to light May 27 after Weiner accidentally sent a photograph of his crotch on his public stream on the social networking website Twitter, and then tried to cover it up by blaming hackers for posting the picture, denying all responsibility.

Weiner later admitted sending online messages to other women, including to a 17-year-old high school student in Delaware, though a police investigation uncovered nothing illegal. On Wednesday, a former porn actress revealed that she had engaged in an online relationship with Weiner and that Weiner had asked her to lie about the nature of their contact.

More photos have continued to emerge, including one showing his nude genitals, and others showing him half naked. On Wednesday, the National Enquirer published images of Weiner cross-dressing while he was a college student at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. In one photo, he is seen wearing a bra and pantyhose, while in another he is oiled and wearing swimming trunks.

Congressman Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reaction to the revelations. Today, he made the right judgment in resigning.

Colleagues said Weiner wanted to wait for the return home of his wife, Abedin, before making a final career decision. He has been married for almost a year to Abedin, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. She is a top aide to Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, and the couple’s wedding was presided over by former President Bill Clinton. She returned home to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday morning after having traveled with Clinton in the Middle East and Africa since June 8.

Weiner’s district covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens, boroughs of New York City. He ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor of New York City in 2005, and he was considered a potential candidate for future races. Known to be an outspoken supporter of liberal causes, he has irked conservatives and Democratic leaders. In 2009, he pushed for government-run health care, even though Obama had opposed the idea.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=US_Representative_Anthony_Weiner_resigns_over_sexual_conduct&oldid=4673691”

US Senate passes new bankruptcy bill

Saturday, March 12, 2005

In a vote of 74-25 last Thursday, the US Senate passed a measure that would change bankruptcy laws, making it harder for individuals seeking relief from their debt burden to avoid repayment. Almost twenty Democrats joined Republicans, who currently hold a majority of the seats in the US Senate, in passing the bill.

Lobbyists for credit card companies and financial services firms have worked for the bill during the last two administrations. A similar measure passed both the Senate and House during the previous administration, but then President Bill Clinton pocket-vetoed the measure in 2000.

Democrats sought to soften the bill by allowing bankruptcy filers to negotiate directly with lenders for relief, but the amendments were defeated by the Republican-controlled Senate. Proponents of the bill claim the rise of bankruptcy filings to nearly 1.5 million a year shows that abusers of credit use the filings to shield themselves from irresponsible practices.

“There has been an explosion of bankruptcy,” said Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the bill’s sponsor. “We preserve the principle of a fresh start, but we also establish a principle that if you have the ability to repay some of your debt, you are not going to get off scot-free.” However, Massachusetts Democratic Sen., Edward M. Kennedy said, “This legislation makes the bankruptcy courts of the United States the collection agency for the credit-card industry.”

The bill impacts a broad spectrum of bankruptcy law, but the most significant impact is on personal bankruptcy filings. Individuals who get behind in repaying credit card debt face high interest charges and stiff late payment fees. By only meeting minimum payment requirements, borrowers remit to the lender over the life of the loan an amount in interest and other fees that can far exceed the value of the principal balance of the loan. This can put consumers who run up high balances on various cards at financial risk of default. Critics of the bill blame these aggressive lending practices as a contributing factor in the rising trend of bankruptcy filings from 1996.

The proposed bill doesn’t only affect debtors with credit card debt.

It also affects debtors who have run up large medical bills.

Patients with a past medical history that disqualifies them from full medical coverage, can easily find themselves facing insurmountable medical bills after just a short stay in the hospital. These individuals will no longer be able to get a fresh start after these personal disasters, and will be forced to live in poverty until they can pay off their medical bills as part of their Chapter 13 filing. (Prior to this bill, they would have been able to file Chapter 7, completely discharging their debt.)

Chapter 7, which accounts for 70% of bankruptcy filings, allows individuals to eliminate most non-secured debts after liquidating assets, with the notable exemption of one’s principle residence in most states. The Senate passed bill would change Chapter 7 eligibility by applying a means-test, where those with a median income higher than the state average would be required to file under Chapter 13 provisions. Under Chapter 13 protection, an individual’s debt is not forgiven; rather it is restructured for payment under more lenient terms.

This was the first major overhaul of federal bankruptcy law in many years.

Under the old bankruptcy law, a personal bankruptcy attorney could not be held financially responsible for his clients mendacity. Under the new bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy attorney is responsible for his client’s lies to the Court about his assets and the bankruptcy attorney and his insurance carrier can be held responsible by the Bankruptcy Court.

The result is that personal bankruptcy attorneys (this does not apply to corporate bankruptcy attorneys) are likely to flee the personal bankruptcy field when the new law takes effect. Their insurance companies will not offer the sort of coverage that they would need to continue to practice.

So when consumers need to file personal bankruptcy under the new law, they will be unlikely to find a bankruptcy attorney to represent them. Consumers will have to file pro se: such consumers will be likely to fail due to the complexity of the law.

The bottom line is that the field of personal bankruptcy law as a practice area of law will cease to exist when the new bankruptcy law takes effect, and consumers will be unable to secure legal counsel and so consumers will lose what legal protections counsel now affords them.

Under the new bankruptcy law about one half million Americans will be forest to pay for at lest 5 years on longer they will be held in servitude as chattel they will be completely subservient to a dominating influence of the company that holds the loan. Their loan will be put on the market for sale for profit. The people will be forced to work harder. People who fail to go to court will have a arrest warrant made out in their name and people who refuseto pay. They will be subject to fines and or jail. About fifty thousand Americans will punished by a fine and or about three thousand Americans every year will go to jail under the new bankruptcy law. For some people this will be a third strike they will be put in jail for life.

The bill has the support of President Bush, and its passage in the House sometime next month seems likely. If enacted into law, lending companies will recover more money on what otherwise would be written off as bad loans. Those persons of median and higher income seeking relief would be required to file under Chapter 13 status and pay up to $100 per month under court imposed conditions. It is expected the proposed changes would cause a sharp increase in filings before the new law could take effect.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=US_Senate_passes_new_bankruptcy_bill&oldid=4493827”

Body Massage With Massage Cushion San Diego

Body Massage with Massage Cushion San Diego

by

Tikee Pittman

As we age, it becomes more important to take care of our bodies at all times. If we allow stress to build and ignore pressure and tension, the physical condition often deteriorates causing anxiety and more serious illnesses. Treating these issues with medication can lead to dependencies and may have harmful reactions with other prescribed drugs. Using a personal massage cushion also reduces the expense of visiting a physical therapist or hiring a professional masseur. Having a regular massage eliminates headaches, relieves the pain of menstrual cramps and results in a renewed and positive energy.

A portable massager also provides a method for relieving tension and stress on various parts of the body. For example, we may be experiencing back pain due to excessive twisting or lifting. The aches and pains we’re feeling may be in the lower legs or shoulders. The massage cushion may also be applied to the feet, an area that provides continual support for our body weight. The oscillating massage system may be adjusted to different levels depending on the desired massage intensity and the sensitivity of the affected area. The convenience of having a massage at any time during the day provides fast and satisfying relief.

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For

Full Body Massage San Diego

visit http://www.renousdayspa.com

Most people are aware of the enjoyment received from using a massage chair at home or at a health facility. Although this method of massage is effective, it is not always a convenient option. The massage cushion, however, creates the same affect and provides easy access for stress relief at any time. The portable massager can be used at home in a bedroom, office or den or taken on a trip. The lightweight and portable design makes it easy to carry and store in the car or in a suitcase.

Health experts agree that the benefit of having a massage creates a positive effect on reducing stress. They also believe that the buildup of stress in the body may lead to other health issues such as heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. By using a massage cushion on a regular basis, muscle tension that occurs from either chronic conditions or occasional over activity can be eliminated. Applying a massage cushion to stress points on the back or on other areas brings instant relief and relaxes the body. The soothing effect of the vibration reduces the pain of tense muscles that contract and tighten during daily activities.

For Full Body Massage San Diego visit www.renousdayspa.com

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The Common Council of Buffalo voted on Tuesday to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal “to committee for further discussion”, after citing the need for more public involvement.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a development proposal by the Savarino Construction Services Corporation, a project designed by the architect Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on the southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo.

To make way for the project, at least five buildings located at 1109 to 1121 Elmwood Ave would be demolished. At least two properties on Forest Avenue could also be demolished. The Elmwood properties, according to Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarion Construction, are “under contract”, but it is unclear if Savarino Construction actually owns the Elmwood properties. Hans Mobius, a former mayorial candidate, is still believed to be the current owner the properties. Mobius also owns 607 Forest Avenue.

The properties 605 and 607 Forest Avenue could also be included in the proposal according to Hassett.

“We would use a Special Development Plan to rezone 1119-1121 Elmwood and 605 Forest to a C-2 zoning category,” stated Hassett. It is possible that Savarino Construction may try to obtain a variance for 605 Forest, which would allow them to enforce eminent domain, should the hotel be allowed to go forward.

The building at 607 Forest was also discussed to be rezoned, but it is unclear what the plans would be for that property. During the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett stated that the properties 605 and 607 were “now off the agenda”.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood, owns the property at 605 Forest and attended Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“Having a hotel is a bright idea. We all love the idea of a hotel, but the way that it is presented, is wishful thinking. This hotel does not fit. It’s like putting two gallons of water in a gallon jug, it does not fit. At the last meeting, the architect admitted that they are planning to put the undergound parking lot and the hotel, right at the property line. If I open my window, I will be able to touch the wall, that goes fifty feet high”, said Georgiadis.

“There is a problem having a seventy-two room hotel and fifty-five parking spaces. That means that all the other cars will spill all over the neighborhood. The footprint is simply too small. If you have a bigger [parking] lot, and a smaller hotel, I will welcome a hotel. I have a parking lot at my own business, and I am chasing people all day long. Remember, the city says it has ‘zero tolerance [for illegal parking]’. Try telling that to the guy from Albany who came to see his kids, that are going to Buffalo State, who would get tickets totaling over a hundred dollars”, added Georgiadis.

The city’s Planning Board is scheduled to meet on March 14, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. about the proposal. Although a discussion will take place, no vote is expected to be taken.

At the moment, none of the properties are zoned for a hotel. Savarino Construction plans on asking for a C2 zoning permit. If that does not work, they plan to implement a new zoning plan called a “special development plan” which would allow for only a hotel on the site. That zone would not be able to be changed.

“This [project] justifies Mobius’s refusal to invest in any maitenance[sic] or improvements”, on the properties said Clarence Carnahan, a local resident. “Where were the Council persons over the years? Where were the city inspectors over the years, to make sure that he maintained and improved his properties? The government was supposed to be protecting, not being preditorial. I see a predatorial issue here when it comes to this hotel. Over the years: Why has the local government been disfunctional when it came to Mobius’s properties? Refusal to invest in improvements, doesn’t that sound like a slumlord? Maybe I am missing a point here, but what kind of messages does this send to other slumlords that havn’t[sic] been jailed or fined? It’s [the hotel] trying to be pushed through.”

Carnahan also presented signs for residents and or business owners who are opposed to the hotel, that could be placed in windows or on stakes in the yard. Some of the signs said, ‘No tell hotel’, ‘Hans off, no hotel’, ‘It takes more than a hotel to make a village’. and ‘Keep Elmwood free, no hotel’. Carnahan plans on making more signs for a protest to be held on Saturday March 18, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Elmwood and Forest. Some signs were given to individuals after the meeting.

“First things first, Hans is the problem, and I don’t think it has been addressed. Let’s roll back the clock on this project. What can we do with Hans? There is such thing as eminent domain, which could be of greater interest to the community, to seize the property at its lowest assessed value”, said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood. “There are so many ideas that have not been explored and we are about to give this parcel away, to a big developer.”

Mobius has not returned any calls by Wikinews regarding the situation.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews has obtained a letter, exclusively, addressed to one of the five business owners from Hans Mobius stating:

There is a proposal to develop my property which you are currently renting. Because of opposition to this development, it does not look like it will happen. I will let you know if there any changes.

Despite the letter, there have been no plans or decisions made to end the proposal.

To date, none of the business owners or residents of 1119-1121 Elmwood have received an eviction notice.

Business owners and residents gave an indication of what they would like to see happen at the corner; a project similar to one done locally last year. There, developers renovated two buildings on Auburn and Elmwood Avenues, merging the buildings into one thus allowing for more shop space. Among some of the shops to move in after the development were Cone Five Pottery, The Ruby Slipper, and Abraham’s Jewelers. Prior to the renovation work, the left building in the picture was boarded up for several years. Many of the concerned locals would like to see a similar development on Forest and Elmwood.

Rocco Termini, a developer in Buffalo, proposed a similar design at the February 28 community meeting

In an interview after the February 28 meeting, Termini stated, “I will be willing to take a look at this myself, or I would be more than happy to be partners with Sam, Sam Savarino”, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Savarino Construction Services Corp.

So far Savarino Construction has no plans to team up with Termini.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Buffalo,_N.Y._hotel_proposal_delayed_further&oldid=2584585”

Fort Lee, Virginia adopts RAPIDGate for fast civilian access

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The U.S. Army installation at Fort Lee in Virginia will begin using a program called RAPIDGate that will replace passes issued to non-military persons who regularly require access to the facility. The program will take effect July 10, when the practice of issuing 90-day passes to people who present a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance for the vehicle used for access ends. Those passes will be grandfathered out as they expire.

The RAPIDGate program for fast entry into Fort Lee replaces what was once access privileges performed by the installation itself, which came free of cost. The new outsourced program administered by Portland, Oregon-based Eid Passport, Inc. enhances security to the installation by performing background checks. Their service comes at a price. The screening process makes a ten-year felony background check, performs a check against terrorist and sexual offender watch lists, and does a social security cross reference to validate a person’s identity.

Qualified applicants are issued a pass that enables them to bypass inspection pits and use any of the facility’s seven gates for access. Businesses whose employees would benefit by this are required to contact the program provider and have “point of contact” persons who can validate an applicant’s employment. Enrollment in the program costs the business US$199. A pass for each employee of the business costs $159 annually. The pass for employees expires after a year, when a new background check is required by the program.

The program is a voluntary alternative for civilians to conform with new access policies mandated by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army, according to an information pamphlet distributed by the base. A kiosk will be set up at Fort Lee to accept applications that process a photograph, social security number, and fingerprint.

Those without a RAPIDGate pass will need to enter the fort at locations where their vehicle can be inspected. A rigorous inspection involves armed guards asking the driver to place keys on the dash board, pop the hood and the trunk, open the glove box, and have all occupants exit the vehicle and open all doors, including the hood and trunk. While the vehicle is inspected inside, another guard uses a mirror attached to a wand to inspect under the chassis of the vehicle’s undercarriage.

Eid Passport, Inc. specializes in identity authentication and background screening. Fort Lee will be the 12th military installation out of an estimated 250 military installations on U.S soil to implement identity screening as part of new policies mandated by the Department of Defense (DoD).

“The pass contains no personal information,” said David Smith, the director of marketing for Eid Passport. It does contain a barcode which is scanned at entry. The RAPIDGate program database includes a biometric fingerprint that might be checked by the scanning device against the presenter of the pass in times of elevated security. The pass is also embedded with an active RFID transmitter. The pass is scanned on entry to the fort at the gate check point, but not upon exit. If the RFID transmitter works properly, movement into and out of the base will be recorded.

The Fort Lee pamphlet mentions a “a new mandate” by the DoD. That mention appears to be in reference to portion of the language found in an Instruction issued in October last year by the DoD that states, “Implement a verification process, whether through background checks or other similar processes, that enables the U.S. Government to attest to the trustworthiness of DoD contractors and sub-contractors.”

The Instruction stems from a Directive signed by President Bush in August of 2004. That Directive, from the Department of Homeland Security, says in part, “Wide variations in the quality and security of forms of identification used to gain access to secure Federal and other facilities where there is potential for terrorist attacks need to be eliminated.”

Fort Lewis in Washington state was the first U.S. military installation to adopt the RAPIDGate program as a test in 2004. Since then, Fort Sam Houston, Fort Carson, and Fort Bragg, among other installations have adopted the program.

“What happened at Fort Dix, [New Jersey], as we look at it, is a Fort Dix issue,” Laura Arenschield reported spokesman for the 18th Airborne, Tom McCollum, as saying in June. “That should not be taken as an invitation for someone to try it here at Fort Bragg, but (security) is a living, breathing entity. You have to constantly change it just to keep those who are trying to penetrate it on their toes.” The new security measures will go into effect at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is among the largest of domestic military bases, starting July 8.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Fort_Lee,_Virginia_adopts_RAPIDGate_for_fast_civilian_access&oldid=459582”

Life Coaching How To Attract More Clients

Submitted by: Christina Cordle

Being a life coach is such a rewarding profession. Not only you get to have a regular job, you also get to help people who have problems. These days, a lot of people are seeking the help of professional life coaches. Since each of us has our own share of struggles in work, in our relationships, and in our life in general, the demand for life coaches have increased these past few years. Being a good life coach would not be enough to attract many clients. A marketing plan should be formulated in order for you to let people who need your help find you. Here are some tips to get you started in attracting potential clients:

Choosing the Right Demographics Ask yourself who are your target market and try focusing your marketing efforts on them. There are different approaches when it comes to marketing for coaches so you need to take a step back and analyze which market you want to penetrate. Targeting a specific age group, gender, and location would make it easier for you to market yourself. Choosing the right demographic would also help you lessen the level of competition so you won t need to spend a lot of effort.

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Advertising Methods The internet is your best friend. There are just so many ways to put up an advertisement over the internet. Start with social media and work your way through other internet marketing options. Almost everyone has a Facebook or a Twitter account so take advantage of those types of platforms in the internet. Be creative in creating your account profile and make sure that it is suitable for your target audience. As much as possible try to utilize free advertising methods especially if you are just starting out. If you have the resources, it would be perfect to have your own personal website created. Having your own website would increase your value and people would feel comfortable and confident in employing your services.

Give Freebies Everybody loves freebies. This is one way to instantly attract the attention of potential clients. You may put up a simple video and talk about some basic tips about life coaching. You can also create life coaching articles and post it in top article directories or in your own website. People will love you if you give out free stuff. If people love you, it would be a great promotion too since there would be a great possibility that they will recommend you to other people.

Those are just simple but very effective ways to get known and attract clients. Personal skills are always necessary but it would be nothing if people do not know you. Come up with a great marketing strategy and put it into action. If necessary, you may seek help from advertising or marketing experts to help you setup your campaign. It is rare to find a job these days wherein you can earn while helping others. Just by following these simple tips, you can offer your services to a lot of people who need help out there.

About the Author: Christina Cordle enjoys writing for Coachestrainingblog which is an online resource on

marketing for coaches

and

life coaching articles

as well as other related subjects.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

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Cuban dissidents hold rare public meeting

Saturday, May 21, 2005

A public meeting by Cuban dissidents was held in a rare celebration of Cuba’s Independence Day on Friday. Although Cuban President Fidel Castro had expelled and refused entry to several European observers before the meeting started, police did not crack down on the peaceful protests by nearly 200 people. Called the “Assembly to Promote Civil Society”, the meeting was to promote peaceful change and lay groundwork to introduce democracy in Cuba.

The meeting was planned by several leading Cuban dissidents and former prisoners including Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, René Gómez Manzano and Félix Bonne Carcassés. Controversy accompanied the event, and many dissidents did not attend because invitations to some Miami, Florida groups were thought to promote violent reform.

Castro expressed disapproval of the event, complaining of opposition groups that are bankrolled by the United States. Previous meetings, planned as long ago as Concilio Cubano in 1996, were cancelled due to government crackdowns, arrests, and the shooting down of two planes.

Fidel Castro, speaking to CNN about the rally said, “Those who attack us don’t represent more than a fraction of 1 percent. … You [the foreign news media] have helped create them.”

This is the 103rd anniversary of Cuba’s independence, a day that was observed with celebration until Castro took over in 1959 and introduced the rule of authoritarian Communism.

U.S. President George W. Bush sent his greetings to those celebrating Cuban Independence in an videotaped message. Bush said, “As we observe Cuba’s independence today, we look forward to the day when Cuba is free, and my Administration supports efforts to hasten that day’s coming. The tide of freedom is spreading across the globe, and it will reach Cuban shores.”

The U.S. Senate also passed a resolution on Tuesday “extending its support and solidarity to the participants of the historic meeting”, and calling for “the international community to support the assembly and its mission to bring democracy and human rights to Cuba.”

The planned two-day meeting is being held openly in a garden belonging to one of the organizers on the outskirts of Havana. While ostensibly no Cuban government officers monitored the event, “government spies do regularly infiltrate dissident meetings,” CNN claimed.

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