News June 8, 2021 Find out more December 14, 2017 – Updated on December 15, 2017 Another wave of trials of independent journalists in Azerbaijan Follow the news on Azerbaijan “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says Update: On 15 December, a Baku appeal court upheld blogger Mehman Huseynov’s two-year jail sentence, while Aziz Orujov was sentenced to six years in prison. Afgan Mukhtarli’s trial will continue on 28 December. Receive email alerts AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses WomenCorruptionJudicial harassmentExiled mediaImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of EuropeCitizen-journalistsInternet RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan RSF_en RSF_EECA 14.12.2017 – As Azerbaijan today begins trying a journalist who was kidnapped and brought back by force from neighbouring Georgia, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the international community to take a firm stand with its government in order to get it to stop hounding the country’s few remaining independent journalists.The trial of Afgan Mukhtarli, which begins today in the northern city of Balakan, is a striking example of the determination with which the regime goes after its critics. An investigative journalist and activist living in exile in the Georgian capital, Mukhtarli was abducted there on 29 May and forcibly returned Azerbaijan, where he was immediately jailed.Despite all evidence to the contrary, the authorities continue to insist that he was arrested at the border and have charged him with smuggling, crossing the border illegally and refusing to comply with instructions from the police.All the requests that the defence presented at an initial hearing on 30 November were rejected. Mukhtarli continues to be held despite being diabetic and suffering from high blood pressure, and despite having lost a lot of weight.Spate of hearings on media casesDecember is proving to be a busy month for court cases involving independent media and journalists. Tomorrow, a court will continue hearing the appeal by Mehman Huseynov, a blogger who was sentenced to two years in prison on a criminal defamation charge in March for describing how he was tortured while previously detained.Four days later, a Baku appeal court is to examine an appeal against the blocking of the leading independent news websites – the sites of the daily newspaper Azadlig, Radio Azadlig, Meydan TV, Turan TV and the broadcast Azerbaycan Saati – which have been inaccessible within Azerbaijan since May.The trial of Kanal 13 TV chief Aziz Orujov, who was arrested in May, was to have continued on 12 December but has been postponed until an unspecified date. Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year jail sentence for him on charges of illegal business activity and abuse of power in connection with his NGO, the Caucasus Research Media Centre, which funds the TV channel.On 8 December, the supreme court upheld an international travel ban on Khadija Ismayilova, a well-known investigative journalist who was jailed on trumped-up charges in 2014 and was freed conditionally in May 2016 as a result of international pressure. She cannot leave Baku and is banned from travelling abroad for the next five years.”All these judicial proceedings are yet further evidence of how journalism is systematically criminalized in Azerbaijan and the most spurious pretexts are used to silence the few remaining critics,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “It is time to implement the individual sanctions cited by the international community so that the government stops flouting its human rights obligations.”Journalists hounded even in exile The government does not hesitate to abuse Interpol provisions in order to continue persecuting the many Azerbaijani journalists have fled abroad.Fikret Huseynli, a Turan TV journalist living in exile in the Netherlands, where he has refugee status, was arrested at Azerbaijan’s behest while on a visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on 14 October. He was released two weeks later but has not been able to get his passport back and is still unable to return to the Netherlands because the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office has appealed against his release. The appeal is due to be heard on 20 December.When they cannot get their hands on journalists who have fled abroad, the Azerbaijani authorities target relatives who have stayed behind. Emin Sagiyev, the brother of a Turkel Azerturk, an Azerbaijani journalist now based in the Netherlands, where he hosts a very popular Turan TV programme, was arrested on 17 November for “drug trafficking,” a charge often used against dissidents and their relatives.Azerbaijan is ranked 162nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. President Ilham Aliyev’s government has gone all out to eliminate media pluralism in recent years. The leading outspoken media outlets have all been throttled financially or forcibly closed. At least 13 journalists and two bloggers are currently detained in connection with their reporting. June 4, 2021 Find out more News Help by sharing this information Organisation AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses WomenCorruptionJudicial harassmentExiled mediaImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of EuropeCitizen-journalistsInternet News to go further News Russian peacekeepers deny foreign reporters access to Nagorno-Karabakh April 9, 2021 Find out more
By Anderson Gabino/Diálogo October 14, 2020 Brazilian Military Police from the Border Operations Department (DOF, in Portuguese), with support from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security’s Secretariat of Integrated Operations (Seopi/MJSP, in Portuguese), carried out Operation Horus in Mato Grosso do Sul state on August 26, resulting in the largest drug seizure in Brazil’s history. Two people were arrested as they transported the drug.Authorities seized close to 33.3 tons of marijuana found in multiple packages inside a truck, in Maracaju. Prior to this, in May, the Brazilian Federal Highway Police had seized the largest amount of marijuana, 28 tons, also in Mato Grosso do Sul, on the border with Paraguay.DOF director, Military Police Lieutenant Colonel Wagner Ferreira da Silva, highlighted the importance of the seizure. “Operation Horus of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, along with other strategies of our Secretariat of Public Security, dealt a major blow to criminal organizations that operate on the borders. It breaks a criminal cycle and decapitalizes organized crime, impeding that its dividends return against society in the form of violence.”The large number is also reflected in the annual total of seizures in the state. With few months left in the year, the total of drugs seized on the roads by DOF alone is more than 146 percent of the total seized the previous year. In 2019, authorities seized 73 tons of marijuana. Between January and August 2020, more than 180 tons of the drug have been seized.“This result demonstrates how aligned the institutions are, as well as the level of professionalism and commitment of all the participants,” said Eduardo Bettini, Seopi/MJSP general border coordinator.Since the start of Operation Horus in Mato Grosso do Sul in September 2019, the state has been leading in drug seizures. Security forces have already kept about 333.5 tons of drugs off the streets.
RED BANK – Holy Cannoli! Red Bank’s own Mr. Cupcake is going to be on national television this Sunday competing in the Food Network’s Cupcake War, and if he wins, the victory will be sweet.The popular weekly series features four top cupcake bakers recruited from around the country. The four contestants vie for the top prize of $10,000 by competing in a series of cupcake challenges.Once a humble dessert most frequently found at classroom birthday parties and booster club bake sales, the cupcake has come into its own in recent years, achieving a level of popularity that’s been a sweet dream for bakers like John Manganiotis, a.k.a. Mr. Cupcake.Manganiotis owns four Mr. Cupcakes stores: the one inside Ricky’s Candies at 86 Broad St. in Red Bank, and three others in Clifton, Hackensack and Oradell.Mr. Cupcakes: John ManganiotisManganiotis’ grandfather owned a diner, and his father was in the restaurant business before opening a convenience store in Clifton.“We were very well liked in Clifton,” the younger Manganiotis said.He had tried college and knew it wasn’t for him. He dreamed of having his own business.He went to work for an Italian bakery, where he trained as a baker.“I’d never baked before,” he said. When the owners decided it was time to move on, Manganiotis asked them to sell him the bakery.He was 22.“I told them, ‘I have no money, but I have a dream,”’ he said during an interview with The Two River Times at Ricky’s on Tuesday. “They took a gamble on me and I was in business.”He soon decided to move away from the traditional bakery idea and specialize in one thing: cupcakes. “I just wanted to focus on one product and make it the best,” he says now.The humble cupcake was about to have a makeover.Soon, Manganiotis was creating his own cupcake recipes, such as his French Toast cupcake that incorporates maple syrup and cinnamon into the cupcake batter.His new enterprise was attracting attention, and soon Manganiotis was doing radio and television interviews.“I opened up in September and by November I was on TV and everything. “My story got the people in the door and my amazing product kept them coming in.”His father soon joined him in the business and that allowed him to expand to other locations, Manganiotis said.Today, cupcakes are in demand for weddings, baby showers and other large events, with the Mr. Cupcakes outlet in Red Bank filling at least 5 ‘cupcake tier’ orders every weekend.And when the buyer comes back to return the tier, they usually order a few more cupcakes to take home since there are seldom any left over.Red Velvet cupcakes are most popular right now, and Mr. Cupcakes features two different versions, one that celebrates the southern red velvet tradition and another that puts a more creative spin on the red velvet idea.Other popular flavors are Cookie Jar, Carrot Cake and Peanut Butter & Jelly. “The reason why my cupcakes are different is that all the ingredients are in the batter,” says Manganiotis.As his status as a cupcake celebrity grew, he was invited to appear on season one of the “Cupcake Wars,” in a show that is frequently re-broadcast. On that episode, he admits, “I kind of got hosed.”But he was recently invited to return for a re-match.This Sunday at 8 p.m. on the Food Network, four bakers will compete in three rounds of baking challenges designed to test their baking, production and time management skills.And while he knows how the competition turns out, Manganiotis isn’t saying. “Food Network has a really strict policy. There’s a $500,000 fine.”
That’s why the borough is now looking at building new structures in the Fisk Street parking lot, which the borough already owns, he said. Fisk Street is already home to the borough police department building, which is deteriorating in certain parts, has mold issues and is not ADA-compliant. “There’s many, many options other than taking a good person’s building and displacing several businesses. The neighbors next door don’t like it, the businesses don’t like it,” said resident Diane Mevorach at the session. “It’s just a minute down the street. We’re only 1.6 square miles. We don’t need 13,000 square feet.” By Allison Perrine FAIR HAVEN – A controversial plan to purchase property at 623 River Road for municipal use was nixed last week, as the borough council unanimously voted to drop the proposed ordinance. At a Feb. 24 council meeting, Jen Portman, owner of Synergy Hot Yoga, explained that her business and others in the building at 623 River Road have been committed to the town and were “outraged” when they learned of the plans, according to borough minutes. She said that businesses are being “forced out” of the building and likely out of town. Noting that Synergy has members who used the space, she said she hoped the borough would reconsider the plans. “That whole concept plan was viewed through a lens that was certainly different or shattered by COVID,” Lucarelli told The Two River Times. “It won’t be what we could have had or what might have been, but we’ll make it work.” Put forth at the July 13 meeting, council members voted to withdraw ordinance No. 2020-02 to purchase the property. The decision to do so was born out of the borough’s facilities committee, according to Mayor Ben Lucarelli. Despite not moving forward with the purchase of 623 River Road, Lucarelli said work is still needed for the police station and community center. Necessary upgrades have been discussed by the council for the past two years; other sites have been considered, like the former Sunoco station, but were not deemed suitable. “We looked at renovating it and that was a large number, and you still had an old building that really didn’t work – the same old wiring, the same plumbing,” said Lucarelli. The borough is now doing design studies to judge the square footage and see if everything will fit, he added. The borough council officially scrapped plans to purchase the property at 623 River Road for a new police station and borough hall. Photo courtesy Elizabeth Wulfhorst The article originally appeared in the July 23 – 29, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. But residents publicly took issue with the idea at multiple meetings about the plans. At a March 5 Q&A session presented by borough administrator Theresa Casagrande, nearly 100 residents turned out and argued that the estimated $20 million project was too expensive and said the council was not transparent about its intentions. The plan was to relocate the police station, borough hall and council chambers to the property, a 13,484-square-foot brick building on a 1.44-acre parcel. It is owned by Reiss Manufacturing, Inc. and has an assessed valuation of $2,788,500. It is occupied by several businesses, including Synergy Hot Yoga, Steve Scanlon Photography, Live Well Physical Therapy, Rosenberg and Fecci and more. The existing borough hall would then be converted into a library and community center.
John Terry has been ruled out of Chelsea’s trip to Japan for the World Club Cup but Frank Lampard has been passed fit to return to action following a calf problem.Lampard is back in full training and has been included in the Blues squad for Saturday’s match against Sunderland.However, Daniel Sturridge has failed to recover from a hamstring problem in time for the game and a decision will be taken this weekend on whether the forward will go to Japan.Interim manager Rafael Benitez planned to take Terry to Asia but has been advised that a long flight may hinder the captain’s recovery from a knee injury.Benitez confirmed: “Sturridge is training but it is too early. He will not go to Sunderland and we will see if we can do something for Japan.“Terry will not fly as it will not be the best solution for him. He will not go to Japan.“Lampard is in the squad and will go to Japan. It’s disappointing for the other two but at least we have one more body.“Frank is an experienced player. We have a good team and a good squad but we need players with more experience. He can make a difference.”Click here for the Sunderland v Chelsea quiz See also:Benitez hopeful of January signingsTerry may not play against LeedsBone bruising prolongs Terry’s injury 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
2 March 2016George Airport is only the second in the world that uses solar energy, following Cochin International Airport in India.The first phase of the George solar project, officially opened by the Department of Transport and the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), is part of a R16-million plant that converts solar energy into direct current electricity using solar panels. The operation produces 680 kilowatts a day and powers 41% of the airport, with the aim to convert to 100% function by the end of the year.Acsa describes the new project as the best way to reduce energy demand from the national grid and harness solar power to power smaller airports around the country. The initiative is part of the company’s Vision 2030. It plans to open two more solar plants to serve Kimberley and Upington over the next two years.Acsa launches R16m solar power plant at George Airport https://t.co/lOHa1tWmM1 News via @EngNewsZA pic.twitter.com/dpkNgzj4Di— African Construction (@AfriConstruct) February 29, 2016The project falls under Acsa’s strategic environmental objectives which, in addition to reducing energy consumption, include minimising water consumption, increasing waste recycling, eradicating noise pollution and using energy efficient materials in all airports.“Sustainability, in terms of our environment, means that we need to over time be very careful about how we use any form of energy and then also other natural resources, like water,” says Acsa group executive, Andre Vermeulen. “As a company, we have got a plan in terms of our footprint, in terms of how we are going to consume electricity and water – especially electricity. It is about reducing our carbon footprint and becoming a carbon neutral company.”George Airport manager Brenda Vorster welcomed the project, which currently powers the airport’s car rental area, cargo warehousing, flight schools and airline offices, adding that “our second phase will be starting within the next year”.Transport Minister opens George Airport Solar Plant https://t.co/NU4cyI5WWx @DipuoPeters @WCGovTPW @Airports_ZA pic.twitter.com/lhttcDtMOv— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) February 26, 2016Minister Peters calls the project an enhancement for not only the airport industry, but also for the people of the area. “This is a way of contributing jobs. There were people who worked here during construction and we now know there are about 16 permanent jobs that have been created by this plant at the airport. We are also happy to indicate that the other regional airports will also be looking at how they’ll be able to introduce renewable energy.”Energy and transport were two crucial government portfolios in fulfilling the goals of the National Development Plan’s own Vision 2030 for the development of the country as a whole, she added.Source: News24
In this edition, we look back at the National Championships held between 1990 through to 1993, as well as the All Stars of Touch teams selected from the events. There wasn’t a National Championships held in 1989, due to the timing and location of the 1990 National Championships, to be played in Darwin. The 1990 National Championships in Darwin were the first to be held in the Northern Territory. Ashley Macrinos from the NT News wrote in one of his stories that although the home side didn’t have much luck on the field on the first day of the competition, it wasn’t all bad news. “The Northern Territory tasted success despite not winning a game on the first day of the Asics National Touch Football Championships at the Fannie Bay fields in Darwin yesterday.”“The NT was voted the best dressed State at the Titles for the first time in the Championships ten-year history,” Macrinos wrote. The NT News also quoted ATA President, Ken Wells, who gave the venue a huge wrap.“These fields are the best in the history of the titles. The lighting is superb. It is only the second time that the titles have been played under lights,” he told the NT News.New South Wales won back the Championship title in 1990, following their loss to Queensland for the first time in the previous Championships in 1988. Queensland, however, did win the Men’s Open division. After drawing the game 3-all, Queensland took out the title due to the fact that they finished higher on the competition table. The Queenslanders also won the Women’s 27’s division in the same fashion after their nil-all draw at the conclusion of their game. New South Wales won the Women’s Open title back in 1990 with a 4-0 win over Queensland, following their loss to their arch rivals in 1988. New South Wales also claimed the Mixed Open, Men’s 30’s, Men’s 35’s and Men’s 40’s divisions. The tenth National Championships was held at Canberra’s Bruce Stadium in March, 1991. Tasmania and Victoria both did not participate in the titles, making it the first titles since 1982 where all states weren’t represented. The Championships were opened by the Federal Minister for Sport, Ros Kelly, with the march-past being held at Parliament House. The ACT Women’s Open side started off the tournament strongly, as Graham Cooke from the Canberra Times reported.“With a second-half display as bright as the autumn sunshine bathing Bruce Stadium, the ACT Women gained a historic victory over Queensland on day one of the Australian Touch Championships. Touchdowns by Laura Basford, Lisa Camden and Jenny McClung, the last coming inside the final minute of play, gave the home side a 3-2 victory, fighting back from being 0-2 down.”“The ACT got better as the game progressed and the key to its win was the standard of communication among its players,” Cooke said in his story. New South Wales took a clean sweep in the Open’s divisions, winning back the Men’s Open title with their 4-3 win over Queensland in extra time, while also taking out the Women’s and Mixed Open divisions over Queensland. New South Wales defeated the ACT in the Men’s Over 30’s division. The result of the game was nil-all at full time and New South Wales were awarded the title due to being higher on the competition table. New South Wales also had victories in the Men’s Over 35’s and Men’s Over 40’s divisions over Queensland, while Queensland won their only title when they defeated New South Wales 2-1 in extra time in the Women’s Over 27’s division. The presentation function was held at the National Convention Centre where Australian teams to compete at the Second World Cup in Auckland later in the year were announced. The Eleventh National Championships moved back to Hobart, Tasmania in 1992 and while the weather was questionable, it failed to dampen anyone’s spirits. Peter Staples from the Hobart Mercury reported on the opening ceremony of the event. “As the band played Waltzing Matilda, the elite of Australia’s touch footballers marched along Bligh Street, Rosny, yesterday to launch the start of the Australian Touch championship to be played at Wentworth Park this week.”“Hobart last hosted the national Touch championships in 1983 but the sport has since grown enormously in popularity throughout Australia and is played competitively in New Zealand, Japan and USA,” Staples wrote in his article. Queensland’s Men’s Open team won its third title in four years in 1992, with its 3-2 win against New South Wales after the match went into extra time. New South Wales made it three successive Women’s Open titles when it defeated Queensland 3-2 with seconds left on the clock. Queensland also won the Women’s 27’s and Men’s 35’s division 3-1 in each game, while New South Wales defeated Queensland in the Men’s 30’s and Men’s 40 division. President of the ATA, Mr Paul Jonson, praised the Hobart tournament, saying that it was the best championship in eleven years of national competition.1993 signalled the move to the Tempe Velodrome in Sydney for the twelfth National Championships. In the lead up to the event, the Sunday Telegraph’s David Vujanovic wrote a preview on the Championships, saying:“In the premier divisions of the Men and Women’s Open, competition could not be tighter. The New South Wales team should reach the final in what is expected to be the highlight (of the Championships),” Vujanovic’s said in his story. And Vujanovic was correct in his predictions, with all three Open’s divisions going right down to the wire. Queensland’s Women’s Open team and New South Wales Men’s Open team both caused upsets, defeating their respective arch rivals in the final. New South Wales and Queensland also battled it out in the Mixed Open division, with New South Wales taking the win 2-1 in a drop off. Queensland took out the Men’s 30’s division with a 1-0 win over New South Wales, while New South Wales were winners over Queensland in both the Men’s 35’s and Men’s 40’s divisions. 1990 All Stars of TouchScott Notley (QLD), Paulette Oldham (QLD), Glen Haslam (NSW), Stacey Gregory (NSW), Kerry Norman (QLD), Andy Yiangou (NSW), John Fielding (WA), Peter Buckland (QLD), Sue Dorrington (NSW), Eddie Hilaire (NSW), Joanne Van Der Griend (NSW), Adrian Lam (QLD), Michelle Clough (NSW), Jamie Thomas (NSW).Coach of the Year: Maria Arthur (SA), Manager of the Year: Narelle Thompson (NSW) Referee of the Year: Tim Freebody (QLD), Official of the Year: Bob Watts (ACT – Tour Manager). 1991 All Stars of TouchJamie Black (NSW), Katrina Maher (NSW), Stacey Gregory (NSW), Tony Howard (NSW), Garry Lawless (ACT), Mick McCall (NSW), Donald Smith (QLD), Judy Malcolm (NSW), Darryl Fry (QLD), Michelle Clough (NSW), Jamie Thomas (NSW), Amanda Baska (QLD), Darren Shelley (NSW), Garry Clarke (NSW).Coach of the Year: Peter McNeven (QLD), Manager of the Year: Ian Rogers (QLD), Referee of the Year: Greg Summers (QLD), Official of the Year: Brian Rooney (NSW – Head Coach). 1992 All Stars of TouchMark Boland (NSW), Joanne Wong (NSW), Steve Hancock (QLD), Trevor Philips (QLD), Peter Buckland (QLD), Kerry Norman (QLD), Debbie Biddolph (NSW), Renee Clark (QLD), Alex Illin (QLD), Michael McGovern (ACT), Patrick Grehan (QLD), Kobie Jones (NSW), Jamie Thomas (NSW), Scott Notley (QLD). Coach of the Year: Garry Giles (NT), Manager of the Year: Ralph Powell (QLD), Referee of the Year: Tim Freebody (QLD), Official of the Year: Graeme Murphy (ATA Development Officer). 1993 All Stars of Touch Greg Young (QLD), Andy Yiangou (NSW), Ron Chilby (NSW), Teena Jennings (ADF), Darren Shelley (NSW), Katrina Maher (NSW), Mark Boland (NSW), Sharon Williams (QLD), Jeff Bartlett (NSW), Judy Malcolm (NSW), Giselle Tirado (NSW), Peter Marsh (QLD), Angela Daley (QLD), Stacey Gregory (NSW). Coach of the Year: Peter Bell (QLD), Manager of the Year: Ian Rogers (QLD), Referee of the Year: Rick Borg (QLD), Official of the Year: Bill Ker (QLD – Executive Director). Stay tuned to the TFA website for upcoming editions on the history of the National Championships. Touch Football Australia is calling on the Touch Community far and wide to celebrate 30 years of National Championships. Have you booked your tickets to the 30 Year Celebration Breakfast to be held on Sunday, 14 March, the day after the 2010 X-Blades National Touch League? Call Touch Football Australia on (02) 6212 2800 to book your seat.
By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsCree NDP MP Romeo Saganash has asked Canada’s auditor general to probe the millions of dollars Ottawa spends fighting Aboriginal rights and title cases.Saganash sent a letter to Auditor General Michael Ferguson requesting an operational audit of the expenditures to determine whether Ottawa is using taxpayer money wisely and efficiently battling First Nations over rights.“I am asking that your office conduct an investigation into the government’s policies and practices to oppose the status and rights of Aboriginal peoples and defend itself in the courts,” wrote Saganash in the June 12 dated letter. “Such adversarial actions serve to unjustly deplete Aboriginal peoples’ financial resources and do not promote reconciliation.”The federal Aboriginal Affairs department spent over $100 million between 2012 and 2013 on legal fees, according to federal government records. The department’s own internal risk assessment found that a lot of the litigation money has been spent on losing causes.“As (First Nations) become impatient with outcomes, they often move disputes into the courts in order to increase the pace of resolution. Courts increasingly rule that the federal government is not living up to the ‘Honour of the Crown’ obligations,” according to the department’s risk profile for 2011.Ottawa has also recently twice challenged the rulings of the Specific Claims Tribunal, which was created to settle outstanding historical claims that had reached a stalemate at the negotiating table.The Federal Court of Appeal handed a loss to Ottawa earlier this month on one of those challenges, upholding the tribunal’s ruling in favour of the Kitselas First Nation.Ottawa is also challenging a tribunal ruling that sided with the Williams Lake Indian Band.In the letter, Saganash said he’s requesting the audit because federal departments have failed to adequately respond to his requests for clarity the amount of money specifically spent battling rights and title cases.“The answers to these requests…have been lacking,” wrote Saganash. “With many departments stating that this information was not ‘readily available.’”[email protected]@JorgeBarrera
CALGARY (660 NEWS) — It’s sat empty ever since the Calgary Public Library moved its central location to the East Village in November, but it won’t stay that way for much longer.First opened in 1963, the Castell Building will remain a place of knowledge and learning, thanks to a partnership between the University of Calgary and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.“We’re very excited for this partnership with CMLC, between the University of Calgary and specifically the Faculty of Environmental Design,” said U of C President Dr. Elizabeth Cannon. “This space in the old library will be activated through teaching, through research and really a community hub.”It will provide a satellite location for that faculty, as they explore what cities should be like in the future.“Really provides an opportunity to look at city buildings. And really, in that context, seeing how you can design cities to be more resilient, to be more innovative and to be more connected.”READ MORE: New Calgary Public Library opensIt’s a five-year partnership that begins in January, with $200,000 being spent renovating the main floor and basement of the old building, which sits along the CTrain line next to city hall.Michael Brown is President and CEO of the CMLC and is happy to see this project fit with their revitalization plans in the downtown.“The old central library is really a space that if we let it sit vacant for too long, it’s going to turn into something that we’re not really happy with. Over the last year, we’ve started having discussions with a number of city groups, and one of the groups that came forward was an environmental design group at the University of Calgary. They saw the vision of what this building could be and what it could turn into.”But that money does not mean it will transform the building into a luxurious space — because that is not required.“It’s not going to be necessarily a neat and tidy space, this is going to be a working space, this is going to be a studio space,” said Dr. Cannon. “And that’s what you want. A lot of creativity, a lot of innovation around the futures of cities.”“They’re used to working in spaces that aren’t quite perfect yet, they can keep designing as they work their way through it,” added Brown. “So $200,000 in this kind of space I think is peanuts to attract that great a tenant.”Breaking news announcement this morning – our faculty is activating the former central library…thank you @CalgaryMLC for making this possible! https://t.co/XYKuhtuX1C #urbanrevitalization #downtown #heritagereuse #yyc #architecture pic.twitter.com/j6Q9ari1lC— Environmental Design (@UCalgaryEVDS) December 10, 2018Dr. Cannon added this fits with the university’s ‘Eyes High’ strategy, which is also related to the recent opening of a research park in the northwest.It’s expected to draw in lots more traffic into the downtown, from students and faculty, to professionals and just general members of the public, as there will be numerous events inside the building as well.“Young people, old people, it’s definitely going to bring the uber-engaged in terms of their community. We’ve used the term for many, many years, urban explorers. They want to see things like this in their core,” said Brown.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John will be welcoming a group of women leaders from Peru and Columbia as part of an international study tour on gender equality and women’s empowerment this weekend. The delegation, which will be visiting the Energetic City from May 6th – 13th, will tour local resource facilities, educational institutions, and visit non-profit organizations. The women, who are sponsored through a program with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, will also meet with local First Nations, business and community leaders to discuss inclusivity and gender diversity. “We are delighted to welcome these women to the City of Fort St. John and share our community’s expertise,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman. “As a resource-based city, we have worked hard to create a sustainable and inclusive community through collaborative partnerships, and hope to share this knowledge with these remarkable community leaders who are making a difference in Peru and Columbia.” In 2017, City Council passed a resolution to sign an agreement with the mayors of Chumbivilcas province in the Cusco region of Peru to work on strengthening the planning of local economic development and the inclusion of women in municipal development. The program had a delegation including Mayor Ackerman visit the Cusco region last year to help local governments with sustainable economic development planning, government transparency and accountability in mining areas, and share best practices in effective local government operation. The goal of the program is to help build more sustainable and inclusive communities in resource-based regions of Columbia and Peru through learning opportunities from their Canadian counterparts. The Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America is a five-year program and funded through grants from Global Affairs Canada. A number of other municipalities from B.C. and across Canada that have successfully diversified their local communities from single-employer and/or resource-based economies have also participated in the program.