THE POWER OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT/OWNERSHIP – (PART FOUR): THE ROLES OF INFLUENTIAL AND OPINION…

first_imgThis fourth article of the series centered on the necessity and strength of community engagement considers the roles of opinion leaders of the community. Leadership is key to the survival and success of organizations and institutions. If community engagement is to be initiated and sustained it has to be led by all who play influential roles in the life of the community. These community influential leaders include chiefs, pastors, imams, teachers, leaders of men, women, youth, and heads of wheelbarrows and motorbikes associations. Community ownership can be successfully engineered by shared leadership. The third article on the necessity of effective communication in engaging and maintaining ownership made the following points:A required element of community engagement is appropriate communication. Communication is a two way activity. It requires both speaking through verbal and non-verbal means and listening. One speaker speaks and the other listens and the other speaks and the one listens. Keen listening means the listener attempts to feel what the other feels, hear what the other hears and to put one in the other’s shoes.An effective communication is absolutely vital to any attempts to persuade people to do something, especially if it involves asking them to change their mental attitude and behavior. Any kind of propaganda (whether it is a war of any kind, a political platform, a new policy, a marketing strategy, an evangelistic undertaking, or any human endeavor that asks the voluntary involvement of other people) requires the right kind of communicating if it is to succeed. In fact, communication is a necessity for all who lead or influence others in one form or the other. Sometime the difference between success and failure depends on how one communicates his/her vision.If communities are to find self-generating solutions to their problems and improve their total wellbeing there must be effective communication at every level and stage of a continued process. Those who initiate and remain with community engagement have to be effective communicators.This requires an entry into the community. Community entry is about the strategies employed to get the community open herself up and disclose its true needs, concerns and aspirations. There are all sorts of ways of doing this depending on each particular community. Whatever means one chooses has to include involving the local leadership on the ground.Effective communication takes a lot more listening than talking. It means honestly and earnestly seeking to understand and learn from the community as opposed to telling her what one wants to communicate and coming to teach the community something. When one listens empathetically very often one learns something valuable from and about the people that one desires to engage. Effective communication overcomes barriers and creates countless opportunities for community participation and ownership.This kind of communication should bring on board everyone in the community. The drawing in of everyone is best done when the influential and opinion leaders of the community catch the vision. They in turn can spread and involve those they influence. Therefore chiefs, zoes, pastors, imams, teachers, leaders of the women, men, and youth, and heads of motorcyclists and wheelbarrow boys associations are to be involved in formulating the vision of whatever the community wants to do and in motivating everyone to come on board.The chiefs and zoes are the leaders of the people and what they say and do carries a lot of weight. Community members are likely to listen to them more than outsiders. Likewise religious leaders (pastors and imams) wield a lot of influence. Through their preaching, teaching and other forms of ministry (service) they engage members of the community at different levels on daily or at least biweekly basis (most likely on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). Their members believe them and often do what they say and do.Teachers too influence what their students think and do. The kids listen and trust them more than their parents and others. Motorcyclists, wheelbarrow boys and leaders of the women, men and youths also can influence those who make use of their services. They all are to catch and drive community vision, projects and help solve problems and challenges that inevitably come from time to time. They all must play their parts if the community is to attend to its problems and make progress. They ought to help the community generate its own solutions and drive development. The importance of each one of these opinion leaders must be recognized and tapped into if communities are to see themselves as responsible for their own problems and coming up with visions for its own betterment.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Links to hold club championship this weekend

first_imgThe cost to register for the event is $30. As part of the registration dinner will follow Saturday’s round of play. Breakfast on Sunday will also be provided prior to the final 18 holes.To sign up for the event you can call Fort St. John Links at 250-785-9995.- Advertisement –last_img

Business fixated on housing

first_imgUNIVERSAL CITY – Local business leaders packed a hotel ballroom Thursday to hear an economic forecast about job rates and inflation, but home prices were what seemed to be on the tip of everybody’s tongue. Speakers at the 2007 San Fernando Valley Economic Summit at the Sheraton Universal Hotel focused on price declines (deeper in some areas), interest rates (look for an end-of-the-year adjustment) and how this housing downturn compares with those in the past (prices won’t fall as far). Five of eight breakout sessions addressed real estate. At one session, state Real Estate Commissioner Jeff Davi, who oversees licensing and regulation of real estate brokers and agents, said housing prices would inevitably inch up after the current cycle plays out. For the meantime, he saw one positive angle to level prices. “Housing prices staying flat are a good thing for businesses looking to hire people,” Davi said. At another session, panelists lamented a shrinking pool of industrial real estate and predicted shifts north to the Simi, Antelope and Central valleys. Industrial land is often also zoned for commercial, which fetches higher prices per square foot. “Industrial is going away unless something happens,” said John Degrinis, an executive at a commercial real estate organization, Collier International. The preoccupation with real estate is tied to what Valley companies said, during a survey, was the No. 1 issue they face: finding skilled workers. The survey polled 70 midsize businesses and was conducted by Davis Research as part of an annual economic forecast released Thursday from the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge. One-third of those surveyed said not being able to find enough employees topped their list of concerns, followed by 23 percent listing the rising cost of labor and health insurance. High residential real estate prices make it difficult for businesses to find a location where employees can afford to live. Long commutes, in turn, deter prospective workers and create a labor shortage. Debbie Kukta, vice president of Trojan Rivet Corp., said few of her employees can afford to live near the company’s factory in Glendale. Rivet has a task force to address the issue but there is little the company can do. “We try to pay them the highest wages we can,” Kukta said. But prices are “out of our control.” Douglas Snider sees another side to the story. As president of Wireless Applications & Management Corporation in Calabasas, he turns to regions with high housing prices because that’s where potential clients live. “For my target, it attracts the right clients,” Snider said. julia.scott@dailynews.com (818) 713-3735last_img read more

Fivestar Athletics facing stiff penalties; tips for entering contracts

first_imgAll fitness contracts have to be in writing and they have to contain certain information, as outlined by B.C. law.For more tips and information about B.C.’s fitness contract law, visit www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. Consumers can cancel their fitness contract within 10 days of signing, no matter what. (Also, consumers must receive their refund within 15 days of cancelling). The investigation into Fivestar Athletics began after Consumer Protection B.C. received a complaint that customers were being illegally entered into verbal contacts and denied cancellation rights.“Contracts required by martial arts studios and gyms are called continuing service contracts and this business sector needs to know there are serious consequences for breaking the law,” spokesperson for Consumer Protection B.C., Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith said in a written response. “The bottom line is that verbal contracts are not allowed and cancellation rights must be honoured.”The facility is now being ordered to meet a number of requirements under the Compliance Order and Administrative Penalty, including the reimbursement of $1,560 to a consumer, the payment of penalities totalling $2,300, and the reimbursement of $500 to Consumer Protection B.C. for partial inspection cost.- Advertisement -Fivestar Athletics must also immediately comply with contract requirements under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, as well as the Consumer Contracts Regulation.What you should know before entering a fitness contractConsumer Protection B.C. is offering the following advice for anyone considering a gym membership for the upcoming year:Advertisementcenter_img Consumers can cancel their fitness contract under certain circumstances (called “material changes”). For example, if the consumer moves more than 30 km away from the gym and comparable facilities aren’t available, they are allowed to cancel.last_img read more

Pique lifts Barca as El Clasico lives up to hype

first_imgLionel Messi, who put in a superb 64-minute performance, opened the scoring after just three minutes and when Ivan Rakitic doubled the lead soon after, the writing appeared to be on the wall for a sluggish Real Madrid side.Yet Zinedine Zidane’s side quickly woke from their slumber and by the end of the first half, goals from Mateo Kovacic and Marco Asensio had pulled them level.What followed was entertaining, often breathless friendly fare before Pique struck that decisive goal.This was nothing more than a pre-season match and obviously wasn’t going to affect the overall record between these two old rivals, which stands at 93 wins for Real, 91 for Barcelona — who had won their most recent meeting with Messi’s last-gasp winner — his 500th for the club.Madrid had the last laugh in May, winning La Liga and the Champions League, but actually arrived in Miami off the back of two exhibition defeats – a penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United before Manchester City also did a number on them in Los Angeles, running out 4-1 winners.Barca, meanwhile, had beaten United and Juventus in International Champions Cup friendly competition, but the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Neymar — and Paris Saint-Germain’s reported readiness to make a 218 million-euro move for him — has cast a serious cloud over their two-week stay in North America.The Brazilian started for Ernesto Valverde’s side and while the rest of his team-mates head home he will fly to China to perform commercial obligations on behalf of the club.Neymar (L) of Barcelona challenges Raphael Varane of Real Madrid during their International Champions Cup football match in Miami, Florida © AFP / HECTOR RETAMALValverde put off post-match questions about Neymar.“I always try to talk about things that happen rather than things that might happen,” he said. “We are going to wait. From my perspective, we have Neymar in our team, we count on him and we have to see.”On Saturday it was Neymar starting alongside Messi and Luis Suarez while Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema were all unleashed by Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.Neymar’s first involvement was to fall to the ground and clutch his ankle.For a moment it looked like his evening would be over before it began, though he was back on the pitch in time to see Messi open the scoring with just three minutes on the clock.The Argentine ace waltzed into the box and lifted a shot past Keylor Navas via a deflection off Raphael Varane.And it wasn’t long before Navas was picking the ball out of the back of the net once again.On six minutes, Neymar, gradually moving more freely, squared the ball and it found Rakitic, whose finish was clinically struck in the seventh minute.Real had barely escaped their own half and were lucky not to fall further behind on 13 minutes when Suarez fired over from close range.Yet with Madrid’s first effort on goal, Zidane’s side pulled one back.Croatian Kovacic evaded a challenge just outside the box before arrowing the ball past the outstretched hand of Jasper Cillessen.Suddenly, the game was on. Benzema, who’d barely had a sniff, dragged just wide on 19 minutes with Cillessen beaten.Navas remained the busier keeper, however, and was on hand to repel Messi once again on 31 minutes.It was a key save because in the 36th Asensio levelled for Madrid.Los Blancos were counter-attacking dangerously and it was left to Modric who squared for the Spaniard who took full advantage of Jordi Alba missing the ball to rifle past a horribly exposed Cillessen.– ‘Game of two faces’ –Although they came back from the early goals, Zidane was downbeat about his team’s performance. But he said there was plenty of time to get things right before Madrid take on Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup on August 8.“Today was a game of two faces for us, one bad, one better,” he said. “Ultimately we are preparing for the eighth — we will be ready.”Both teams retained their star men after the restart and it was Neymar whose pinpoint free-kick was steered home by Pique in the 50th.“We made a good start, generated some good opportunities,” Valverde said. “Overall, we did well trying to dominate the match.“I expect the best from Messi and all the players but he is extraordinary and we are aiming to win all the titles this season.”While the clash of the Spanish rivals was supposedly a friendly, Rakitic was lucky to escape a red card just after the hour mark when he appeared to push referee Jair Marrufo.Neymar departed on 72 minutes in what could have been his final performance in Barcelona colors.“I don’t want to speculate about Neymar,” Valverde said. “I see him in the same place I have seen him recently: on the pitch with us.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Gerard Pique of Barcelona scores a goal in the second half against Real Madrid during their International Champions Cup 2017 match in Miami Gardens, Florida © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / Mike EhrmannMIAMI, United States, Jul 30 – Gerard Pique delivered Barcelona’s match winner over Real Madrid on Saturday as El Clasico Miami lived up to the hype.The Spanish international steered in a Neymar free-kick in the 50th minute to seal a 3-2 win for the Catalan giants in front of 66,014 at the Hard Rock Stadium.last_img read more

In Manchester City’s shadow, Premier League top-four scrap begins

first_img0Shares0000Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku (2nd L) celebrates with teammates after scoring during their English Premier League match against Bournemouth, at Old Trafford in Manchester, on December 13, 2017 © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLondon, United Kingdom, Dec 15 – With Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking Manchester City team galloping away towards the Premier League title, attention is starting to shift to the jostling for Champions League positions.Manchester United, 11 points below City in second place, and third-place Chelsea are well placed, but beneath them the picture is more fluid. Just a point separates fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur and seventh-place Arsenal, while Burnley and Leicester City are both threatening to crash the cabal of the ‘Big Six’.Man Utd and Chelsea lower their sightsUnited and defending champions Chelsea find themselves in a strange hinterland, both miles behind City — 11 and 14 points respectively — but otherwise enjoying broadly successful seasons.Chelsea’s Pedro (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during their English Premier League match against Huddersfield Town, at the John Smith’s stadium in Huddersfield, on December 12, 2017 © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFJose Mourinho’s United had gone 40 home games without defeat prior to last Sunday’s stormy 2-1 loss to City in the derby, while Chelsea have taken 22 points from a possible 27.United drew a line beneath the derby defeat by beating Bournemouth 1-0 on Wednesday and defender Phil Jones says it has restored belief ahead of Sunday’s game at West Bromwich Albion.“We wanted to win the game (against City) and unfortunately it wasn’t to be, so it was important that we came out (against Bournemouth), showed a bit of fight and a bit of courage,” he told MUTV.“We had to dig deep and grind it out, but the most important thing was to get three points and get back on track.”Chelsea host Southampton on Saturday after bouncing back from their shock 1-0 loss at West Ham United with a one-sided 3-1 victory at Huddersfield Town.Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal seek consistencyHaving ended a four-game winless run with back-to-back victories over Stoke City and Brighton and Hove Albion, Tottenham appear to have rediscovered form just as Liverpool and Arsenal’s has disappeared.Spurs beat Brighton 2-0 on Wednesday and with Liverpool and Arsenal both drawing 0-0 — at home to West Brom and away to West Ham respectively — it lifted Mauricio Pochettino’s men up to fourth.Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are without a win in two games, having been pegged back by Wayne Rooney’s late penalty in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Everton.Arsenal, meanwhile, are yet to win a league game in December, their stalemate at West Ham following a 3-1 home defeat against Manchester United and a 1-1 draw at Southampton.But despite their current difficulties, Arsenal trail Spurs and Liverpool by only a point and they will expect to get back on track on Saturday against free-falling Newcastle United.“It’s not a concern. The manager and the boys have a plan, so we’re just trying to get back to winning ways,” says 20-year-old winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who made his league debut in mid-week.“We’ve got our home crowd behind us (on Saturday) and I think that could be what we’re missing in terms of getting that finishing touch on a goal,” he told the Arsenal website.Burnley and Leicester plot surprisesHigh-flying Burnley sit between Liverpool and Arsenal in sixth place and were briefly as high as fourth after beating Stoke 1-0 on Tuesday — their highest position since March 1975.Sean Dyche’s tightly drilled side have won six of their last eight league games and on Saturday travel to Brighton, who are without a win in six.Leicester have put last season’s post-title turmoil behind them under new manager Claude Puel, who has lost just once in eight league games since succeeding Craig Shakespeare.They sit four points below Arsenal ahead of Saturday’s home game with improving Crystal Palace, who are six games unbeaten in the league.FixturesSaturday (1500 GMT unless otherwise stated):Arsenal v Newcastle, Brighton v Burnley, Chelsea v Southampton, Leicester v Crystal Palace (1230 GMT), Man City v Tottenham (1730 GMT), Stoke v West Ham, Watford v HuddersfieldSunday:Bournemouth v Liverpool (1630 GMT), West Brom v Man United (1415 GMT)Monday (2000 GMT):Everton v Swansea0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Everton star commits future with new three-year deal

first_img1 Kevin Mirallas Everton winger Kevin Mirallas has signed a new three-year deal at Goodison Park, the club has confirmed.The Belgian international had been linked with a move away from Merseyside, with both Tottenham and Arsenal reportedly monitoring his progress.His long-term Toffees future was plunged into doubt towards the end of last season after he inexplicably took the ball off usual penalty taker Leighton Baines during a Premier League match with West Brom, before duly missing the spotkick.But the 27-year-old revealed his delight at his new contract: “I’m very happy to sign.“I’ve signed at Everton to win a trophy. I’m at a good team and I can continue my performances here.“Now I am very happy because I can concentrate on my team and our future, starting with the Premier League tomorrow.”Mirallas follows in the footsteps of midfielder James McCarthy in penning a new Everton deal this week.last_img read more

Rangers opinion: ‘There’s real belief Gerrard can bring fans silverware’

first_imgHe has created a real affinity with the clubs massive loyal following but I’m not too sure if he’s really got his head round the terrace chant that he’s “Blue & White” yet! He certainly has taken to the role like a duck to water and will be fully aware that at a club like Rangers demands are very high and things can change very quickly.All of the early signs, though, are this is a man who demands success and will get it. 5 Gerrard was known for his 100 per cent effort every time he played and he has quickly instilled his own values into his players. His contacts have enabled him to attract players but under performing existing players have been transformed by his values, attitude and commitment. On the field a very high tempo, organised squad is light years away from what was witnessed towards the end of last season. Results are obviously what matters but the supporters have taken him to their hearts off the field as well with his openness and honesty both before and after games refreshing for football fans used to soundbites and platitudes. The new man tells it the way it is and that is music to the supporters’ ears.Football can change in a game and the first Old Firm game of the season [on September 2] is imminent and whilst that won’t be season defining, the performance as much as the result will go a long way in convincing everyone that the Rangers board have finally got it right. In his eleven games in charge Rangers are unbeaten – two friendlies, two Scottish Premiership games, six Europa league ties and the most recent League Cup success over Kilmarnock. Gerrard’s side have never even been behind in those games and clean sheets have been attained in all three European away games. To add to this, the two unbeaten games in the Scottish Premiership were achieved playing with only ten men for the majority of the game.The full house signs are up for every home game and there is a real belief amongst supporters that the ex-Liverpool captain can bring back silverware to Ibrox. The biggest tests are still to come but with the previously recently unopposed neighbours across the city going through a difficult time there are reasons for optimism that Rangers can add to their record 54 Scottish titles perhaps sooner than even the most ardent of their supporters could have realistically hoped for. 5 5 5 The games are good to watch now and the spirit on the field has been more than matched off the park. All Rangers fans have ever demanded apart from trophies is a team playing for the shirt and showing the same passion that the supporters do. The heavy defeats against Celtic last season were not acceptable due to the belief that the players were not giving their all. In truth they were just badly outclassed and organised in key games, you cannot imagine that whatever the result any team put out by Gerrard will not fight from the first whistle to the last. The team is being moulded in the style of himself and that will go a long way to bringing success. Jeff Winter, the Rangers super fan and former Premier League referee, likes what he has seen already from new manager Steven Gerrard. He writes for talkSPORT…There was never any doubt of the pedigree of Steven Gerrard, but after a series of failed managerial appointments a few eyebrows were raised that Rangers were pinning their faith in someone with no managerial experience and a limited coaching track record. It’s still early days and no trophies have been won yet but the early signs give every cause for optimism.center_img Gerrard was given the Rangers job in May Steven Gerrard is unbeaten in his first 11 games as Rangers manager Rangers suffered heavy defeats to their league rivals Celtic last season Rangers were last crowned champions of Scotland in 2011 5 Rangers fans have taken Gerrard to their hearts Challenging on four fronts will mean that he really has to increase the strength in depth of the squad and after this week’s home leg of the Europa League play-off tie there is still a week until the closure of the transfer window. He has been backed from above so far but the quality and numbers will be necessary if the team progress to the group stages. It’ll be Sunday/Thursday/Sunday for six weeks until December and with injuries and suspensions likely to deplete his numbers, fresh legs and fresh faces will be vital.last_img read more

Men’s Basketball Announces 2017 Non-Conference Schedule

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University men’s basketball team will play 13 games as part of its 2017 non-conference schedule as announced by first-year head coach Niko Medved, Thursday, Aug. 17.Four of those contests will be hosted in Knapp Center including the season opener against Coe College on Nov. 11. The Bulldogs will also host Chicago State (Nov. 26), Omaha (Dec. 9) and Maryland Eastern Shore (Dec. 22). Additionally, the Bulldogs have to potential to face a total of nine opponents that advanced to postseason play during the 2016-17 season as part of the upcoming non-conference schedule that features Minnesota, Iowa and Wyoming.The Bulldogs’ non-conference schedule also includes three games as part of the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam where they will face Wake Forest in the opening round Nov. 17 and face either Colorado or Quinnipiac Nov. 18/19. The final game of the tournament will come against either Mercer, Liberty, Drexel or Houston.Drake also travels to Omaha (Nov. 29), Wyoming (Dec. 2) and Summit League regular season champion South Dakota (Dec. 6) as part of a three-game road trip. Wyoming, the Bulldogs’ 2017 MVC/MWC Challenge opponent, is coming off a 2017 CBI Championship and 19-3 record at home. Following the Dec. 9 home contest against Summit League Tournament runner-up Omaha, the Bulldogs travel to Minnesota for a Dec. 11 contest at Williams Arena.On Dec. 16, Drake faces Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena as part of the annual Hy-Vee Classic before traveling to Summit League tournament champions South Dakota State (Dec. 19) and closing the non-conference season at home against Maryland Eastern Shore (Dec. 19).The Bulldogs Missouri Valley Conference schedule will be announced at a later date by the Missouri Valley Conference.Print Friendly Version Story Links 2017 Non-Conference Schedule last_img read more

O Domhnaill slams €6M cuts in Irish language

first_imgFianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Brian Ó Domhnaill has hit out at the Government for cutting capital spending for the Irish Language by €6m next year. Senator Ó Domhnaill says this harsh reduction is a damning indictment to the Government’s commitment to the Irish language.The West Donegal Senator said there was much talk in recent weeks about fairness in this Budget, but that only seems to apply to people living in urban areas. “A growing urban rural divide has developed in Ireland since 2011. Poverty and unemployment are higher in rural Ireland. A targeted approach is required if the growing disparities are to be addressed. The ongoing worrying trend of minimal state agency assisted employment in rural areas and certain regions is a real and substantive cause of concern. The lack of an adequate rural broadband network, coupled with poor transportation presents a substantial challenge which this Government is failing to address.“While I welcome the fact that Fianna Fáil, through the Confidence & Supply Agreement was able to secure changes to the Farm Assist programme, additional money for the CLÁR scheme and extra places on the Rural Social Scheme, many other aspects of rural life have been left behind. Regrettably, this budget represents a missed opportunity to implement measures to support rural Ireland. For instance, the implementation of a Rural Enterprise Scheme focussed on creating quality, sustainable jobs with career progression pathways and the front loading of broadband investment to roll-out rural broadband was not addressed.“The 9% cut for the Irish language is particularly punitive and is indicative of this Government’s disinterest in the language. Regional investment has fallen down the priority list and this week’s announcement will do little to reverse two tier economy.“The €3.25m allocation for Udaras na Gaeltachta current expenditure programme is a step in the right direction but much more is needed to redress the urban rural imbalance. This is the first of three Budgets under the Confidence & Supply arrangement and Fianna Fáil will continue to fight for rural Ireland to secure increased funding for initiatives over the coming years”. O Domhnaill slams €6M cuts in Irish language was last modified: October 13th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more