Budding poet Alannah Ferry from Milford has won the title of Young Writer of the Year 2019 in a Pramerica/ North West Words competition. The Junior Writing competition prizegiving took place in Cafe Davitt Letterkenny on Friday the 24th of May with a packed house.Hundreds of students from Primary and Secondary Schools throughout Ireland entered the competition with Poetry and Fiction in six categories. There were three shortlisted writers for each category, with Alannah Ferry from Milford claiming the overall title of Young Writer of the Year 2019 with her poem ‘She’s Alone with Invisible Company’. Alannah’s work and all the winners’ poems are now featured in a new online magazine launched by North West Words.The magazine gives high praise to Alannah’s ‘chillingly brilliant’ poem.“Her poem ‘ She’s Alone with Invisible Company’ stands shoulder to shoulder with some of our best known poets. A real masterpiece, and a worthy winner,” said the editorial comment. The magazine showcases the 18 finalists entries of the Pramerica sponsored Young Writer of the Year 2019 and their poems while also including the judges’ notes on the finalists.Check out the Magazine at the link here: http://northwestwords.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/NWW-Childrens-Competition-Winners-20191.pdfMilford student’s masterpiece earns Young Writer of the Year award was last modified: June 24th, 2019 by Caitlin LairdShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:NORTH WEST WORDSpoetrypramericayoung writer of the year
The Department of Energy recently solicited information from experts and other interested parties that will help the agency develop energy efficiency standards for manufactured housing. It could be an interesting process, and perhaps a contentious one.The DOE’s basic mandate is to comply with a provision (Section 413) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that requires adapting the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code to manufactured-housing practices, but doing it in a way that also is compatible with factory-housing rules – known as HUD Code – and that are currently enforced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.This balancing act, not surprisingly, is complicated by the concerns of energy efficiency advocates, who see development of the standards as a prime opportunity to address what they say are manufactured housing’s woeful energy efficiency performance, and the concerns of the manufactured-housing industry, which is trying to control costs and revitalize its diminished market.The DOE requested interested parties’ input in an “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” which it entered in the Federal Register on February 22. The response deadline was March 24.A chance for transformationOne of the people sending comments to the DOE docket was Lane Burt, a construction engineer and the manager of building-energy policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council. In an NRDC blog post, Burt complained that “a manufactured home can come off the assembly line today and immediately be eligible for weatherization through the Weatherization Assistance Program. That means that the government could immediately be paying to retrofit this home to become more efficient when just months before it could have been done at the factory for pennies on the dollar. I can’t think of a single reason why it is acceptable for new manufactured homes to be weatherization candidates because the code is not up to par.”Burt also cites a DOE analysis showing that manufactured homes use almost twice as much energy per square foot as site-built single-family homes.Of course, cost – specifically the purchase price of a manufactured home – also is a principal issue for the Manufactured Housing Institute, an industry trade group.Advising cautionIn its comments to the DOE, the MHI cited a 2007 housing survey showing that the median annual income of a family living in manufactured housing was $28,343, and that 2008 Census Bureau data showed that the average price for a manufactured home was $64,900, excluding land. Financial pressures on manufactured housing’s customer base – which now represents about 14% of the market for new single-family homes, according to the MHI – are now especially severe; not long ago, the industry served about 20% of the market.Beyond standards that won’t push purchase costs beyond the financial means of the industry’s customers, the MHI also advocates that the standards DOE imposes mesh smoothly with HUD’s supervision program for manufactured housing. Another priority for MHI is that the new standards rely on whole-house performance rather than prescriptive requirements for building components, and that they be compatible with the engineering, design, and material-management software commonly used in the industry.MHI also recommends that the DOE allow a year after the rules are finalized before requiring compliance. The big issue for the industry, MHI repeated in its comments to DOE, is that the standards don’t push the purchase cost of a manufactured home so high that the likely cost of operating it becomes a moot issue.The DOE says it will present a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, containing the proposed standards, later this year, and will then invite public comments and also play host to a public meeting on the proposed rules. It could indeed be interesting.
Here’s how shooting with a shallow depth of field can immerse your audience like nothing else.Top image via Hulu.Choosing how you will shoot your project might be just as hard as writing the script. With all the different lenses and cameras available today, choosing the right piece of equipment can be difficult. The creator and director of 2017’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a shining example of knowing exactly how to communicate ideas and tell stories — all through the lens.The recent upload from nerdwriter1 dives into the significance of Hulu’s latest brilliant series. The video explores what makes the show stand out and why it’s important to consider the story when choosing lenses. Without giving too much away, it’s important to know the show’s director Reed Morano (who usually works as a director of photography) was methodical with her approach to framing and shooting the central characters.Morano chose to shoot on the ALEXA Mini at an aperture of up to 1.4, creating a razor-thin depth of field, which allowed the filmmakers to guide the audience through each shot. This workflow carries more weight than you might think. Morano and DP Colin Watkinson created a hauntingly beautiful and disturbing visual motif that also serves as a fantastic example of the power of a shallow depth of field.Capture the Point of ViewImage via Hulu.By using a Zeiss 28mm T2.1 Lens and placing it mere inches from the lead actor (Elisabeth Moss), we get shots like the one you see above. Given the circumstances of the show, the central character, Offred, has experienced true tragedy and finds herself in this strange and terrible world. This isolation and trauma draws a remarkable performance from the actor, and the closeness of the camera to her face amplifies this work. Given the extremely shallow depth of field, the audience identifies with Offred and understands that due to the lack of control she has over life and body, “Your only agency is mental.” Moss’s incredible performance brings power to Morano’s vision.Create the WorldImage via Hulu.The women in the world of this show are forbidden from reaching out to the outside world — or reading anything in general. This lack of knowledge and understanding of the world around them creates a level of disconnect that we see expressed as an out-of-focus environment. The shallow depth of field gives us an excellent view of their perspective and the isolation they experience. This method of shooting your actors isn’t anything new; some of the best working cinematographers like Hoyte Van Hoytema and Lubezki have used this technique in the past. What makes this particular use of shallow depth of field so effective is how dedicated and consistent this vision is throughout the course of the show. This dedication proves how engaging one’s work can become with enough planning and care.Connecting the NarrativeImage via Hulu.The Handmaid’s Tale moves back and forth through time, giving us a glimpse of Offred’s past life, before Gilead. Straying away from the precise Kubrickian framing and acute angles of the present, the flashbacks are still shallow. Given the brilliant nature of the show, this decision to shoot both worlds the same way makes the audience think. Given the disconnect and isolation in Gilead, these themes were still present in the real world (our world), and Morano is communicating this through her camera work. Shows and films like this that live on past the screen and start conversations are vital, and they give us hope for the future of the medium.
Chris StewartAPTN NewsIndigenous investors are lining up to get financially involved in the multi-billion dollar Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.The $4.5 billion dollars project, purchased by the federal government, is currently on hold.The pipeline, if built, will see a large increase in the amount of bitumen flowing from the Alberta tar sands to the B.C. coast.Two consortiums have announced an interesting in buying all, or part of the pipeline and now a third group has joined the discussion.The Alberta based Iron Coalition wants to buy at least a 50 per cent stake in the pipeline.The coalition says that 30 Indigenous and Metis organizations in Alberta want to invest.[email protected]@aptnchris
LOS ANGELES — The Latest on California’s recommended new restrictions on a widely used pesticide blamed for harming the brains of babies.(all times local):11:15 a.m.An environmental group is blasting new recommendations by California regulators to curb a widely used pesticide blamed for harming the brains of babies.The Pesticide Action Network says the state’s recommended rules for chlorpyrifos (klohr-PY’-rih-fohs) are voluntary and have no weight behind them.Spokesman Paul Towers says the state is passing the buck to local officials when it should take the pesticide off the market.The Dow Chemical Co. pesticide currently used on about 60 different crops — including grapes, almonds and oranges — has increasingly come under fire from regulators, lawmakers and courts.The state’s action is a temporary measure while it works to draw up regulations limiting use of the chemical. Those regulations may not be in place for more than two years.___9:31 a.m.California regulators are recommending new restrictions on a widely used pesticide blamed for harming babies’ brains.The Department of Pesticide Regulation is issuing temporary guidelines Thursday for chlorpyrifos (klohr-PY’-rih-fohs) while it considers long-term regulations.The department is calling for a ban on using the chemical in crop dusting, discontinuing its use on most crops and increasing buffer zones around where it’s applied.The pesticide is currently used on about 60 different crops, including grapes, almonds and oranges.The action comes as the Dow Chemical Co. pesticide is increasingly under fire.A federal appeals court in August ruled the Trump administration endangered public health by keeping the pesticide on the market despite extensive evidence showing harm to babies.Hawaii passed legislation in June to ban its use.The Associated Press
Companies in this story: (TSX:LB) The Canadian Press MONTREAL — Laurentian Bank of Canada’s fourth-quarter net income dropped by 13 per cent from the previous year to $50.8 million, on lower revenues and loan volumes, and missed analyst estimates.The Montreal-based company’s net income amounted to $1.13 per diluted share during the three months ended Oct. 31, down from $1.42 during the same period a year ago. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.26 per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.On an adjusted basis, the Montreal-based bank reported net income of $54.3 million, down 18 per cent from $66.5 million.Other factors weighing on Laurentian’s results include a $5.9 million gain on the sale of its investment in Verico Financial Group during the same quarter one year ago, as well as an increase in provisions for credit losses or money set aside for bad loans.For the full 2018 financial year, Laurentian reported net income of $224.6 million, up nine per cent from $206.5 million during 2017.“Our 2018 results reflect our actions to strengthen the Group’s financial foundation, including maintaining healthy liquidity levels and our investments in people, processes and technology,” said Laurentian’s president and chief executive officer Francois Desjardins in a statement. “This positions us well to deliver our strategic objectives.”
TORONTO — A new survey shows business optimism for the year ahead among Canadian manufacturer executives is lower than it was a year ago as trade issues weigh.The survey, conducted by RK Insights, showed that 30 per cent of the 501 respondents were optimistic about business prospects for 2019, down from 44 per cent who were a year earlier.It showed that 18 per cent of the senior executives were concerned about business prospects for the year ahead, but that 51 per cent were cautiously optimistic in a similar level to last year.The survey, conducted in August and Sept. before a new North American trade deal was signed, showed an increase in concerns about the effects of U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade policies.Sixty-five per cent of respondents were very concerned about U.S. protectionism, up from 54 per cent last year, while 61 per cent were very concerned about Trump’s impact on bilateral relations, up from 45 per cent.The survey, conducted on behalf of Plant Magazine, has a margin of error of about four per cent, 19 times out of 20.The Canadian Press
“But if you flip that switch that many times, it gets stuck on and you’re always at that level of agitation or awareness.”Swan was on his day off in Kelowna, B.C., in May 2016 when he got a call from work telling him to get back to Fort McMurray, where a fierce wildfire was rapidly spreading.Unbeknownst to him at the time, his PTSD was in full force.Swan was assigned to watch over a pharmacist who stayed behind during the city-wide evacuation to fill prescriptions. Swan said he would have been better off keeping busy fighting the blaze. Swan has also complained to the Alberta Human Rights Commission.The allegations against Syncrude have not been proven in court and the company has not yet filed a statement of defence.Swan, 44, began working for Syncrude in 2002 as a heavy equipment operator at its vast mining operation north of Fort McMurray, Alta. In 2007, he joined the company’s fire department, which sometimes responds to calls in the surrounding community.“I was really good at it and loved it,” Swan said in an interview, a black lab named Jack who he’s training to be a service dog, at his feet.Swan said his PTSD built up over time and there was no single event that triggered it. On the job he had to deal with anything from injuries and illnesses to an explosion on site, he said.He said his adrenaline would ramp up every time and it was like flipping on a light. CALGARY, A.B. – A lawsuit filed by a former firefighter and paramedic against Syncrude Canada claims the oilsands giant wrongfully denied him benefits and fired him after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder related to his job.Mike Swan is seeking damages for lost compensation and benefits, improper paycheque deductions and in lieu of reasonable notice, says a statement of claim filed Dec. 19 in Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.The suit is also asking for “moral or aggravated damages for bad faith throughout the employment relationship” as well as punitive damages. “I remember feeling like I was vibrating, like there was nothing worse to me than not actually fighting the fire, and sitting in that parking lot just breathing smoke in.”Swan said the tipping point was when his then-fiancee left him, telling him she never knew what would set him off. His captain found him crying by an ambulance at work and suggested he get help through a company program.“It was useless. They wanted me to eat a salad and get some sleep.”His own psychologist, saying he’d likely had it for years, diagnosed Swan with severe PTSD in March 2017.At first, Swan thought he’d be back on the job after a few weeks.But the following May, his psychologist recommended he get full-time treatment, so he went off work.The statement of claim says Swan received the proper benefits and compensation until October 2017, when a mix-up at the Workers’ Compensation Board led to him losing a week of benefits and top-up pay.Then, in February of 2018, Syncrude told Swan he had to return to work within a week, even though his care team and the WCB did not think he was ready, the lawsuit claims. The statement of claim alleges his benefits and top-up payments were again suspended and improper deductions were made from his paycheque.The suit is seeking a declaration that Syncrude’s actions amounted to constructive dismissal.Syncrude fired Swan on Sept. 20 in what the lawsuit claims was wrongful dismissal.Company spokesman Will Gibson declined to comment on Swan’s specific case, but said “Syncrude values and supports its employees.”Swan said his disputes with Syncrude have worsened his mental health at a time when he should have been focused on getting better.He said he’ll never work as a firefighter or paramedic again because of his condition and he’s exploring retraining options through the WCB.The ordeal has ruined him financially, he added. His sister, with whom he’s been living in Calgary, has set up a GoFundMe page to help with legal and medical bills.“Think about every mental-health campaign that’s going on right now. What are they telling us? Put your hand up. Ask for help,” he said.“I asked for help. I’m still asking for help.”
Noting that in Bujumbura the situation is very tense, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, told the Council that several neighbourhoods, especially those perceived to have opposed the President’s re-election for a third term in July, experience nightly exchanges of gunshots and grenade explosions. “Traumatized residents frequently discover mutilated bodies, victims of executions,” he stated, briefing the Council along with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, who echoed concerns that Burundi is at a dangerous “tipping point” and that the Council could intervene to prevent a replay “of past horrors.”Civil unrest erupted in April in Bujumbura after the ruling party elected President Pierre Nkurunziza as its candidate. While elections were considered relatively peaceful and conducted adequately, the UN reported that the overall environment was “not conducive” to an inclusive, free and credible process.“The May 22 killing of Zedi Feruzi, a key opposition figure, marked the beginning of a troubling pattern of politically-motivated assassinations and attacks,” Mr. Feltman noted. “Neither the conclusion of Burundi’s legislative and presidential electoral cycle this summer nor the inclusion of some key opposition figures in the governing coalition calmed the situation, which has instead grown more troubling.”Just this morning, at least two people were killed by a grenade attack in the Musaga neighbourhood in Bujumbura. On Saturday, at least nine people, including a UN staff member, were killed when unknown gunmen opened fire inside a bar in Bujumbura’s Kanyosha neighbourhood. The bar was alleged to have been a previous meeting venue of anti-third mandate demonstrators.“The crisis in Burundi is political at its core and cannot be resolved by a security clampdown,” the senior official stressed. “It is not credible to claim that a small group of criminals or traitors are behind the current violence. The problem is much deeper and thus more worrying.”For the deteriorating situation to improve, he said Burundian leaders will need to address the political deadlock that preceded and transcended the summer elections. “In this regard, the [Government] has established a commission for inter-Burundian dialogue, said to be open to all except those implicated in the failed coup d’état on 14 May,” he informed the Council. “While the UN in general supports national dialogue efforts, this commission will not be able to make much progress in the tense security context where members of political parties and civil society are frequently found dead on the streets,” he insisted. “With many media outlets closed down since spring and opposition leaders abroad afraid to return home, the Government has not established the conditions for credible and inclusive political dialogue. We encourage the Burundian authorities to do so as quickly as possible.”Meanwhile, he recalled that in October, the African Union Peace and Security Council agreed on a multi-pronged approach to address the situation, including the expansion of its human rights observers and military experts and the initiation of contingency planning for the possible deployment of an African-led Mission in the country.In addition, the UN Secretary-General is expected in the coming days to announce the appointment of a Special Adviser who will lead and coordinate UN efforts in support of Burundi.These events, he highlighted to the Council, are happening at a time when the mandate of the UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi is ending. Meanwhile, the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB) closed at the end of last year, at the request of the Government. For his part, the UN human rights chief underscored his deepening concern regarding the “increasingly grave human rights crisis” in the country.“At least 240 people have been killed since protests began in April, with bodies dumped on the streets on an almost nightly basis,” Mr. Zeid declared. “There have been hundreds of cases of arbitrary arrest and detention in the past month alone, targeting members of the opposition, journalists, human rights defenders and their families, people attending the funerals of those who have been killed, and inhabitants of neighbourhoods perceived to be supportive of the opposition,” he continued.“Fear of this violence, and the spectre of more bloodshed, are driving ordinary Burundians out of their homes. There are now well over 280,000 internally displaced people and refugees across the Great Lakes region. To make matters worse, it is reported that armed groups are recruiting in some refugee camps in neighbouring countries, and that agents of the Burundi Government are also present to identify opponents,” he added. Meanwhile, he said that President Nkurunziza set an ultimatum last week for Burundians to hand in all weapons, warning that those who would not do so would be dealt with as “enemies of the nation.” He noted that recent inflammatory remarks by members of the Government have suggested that this crisis, which has involved targeting people for their perceived political affiliations, could increasingly take on an ethnic dimension. “The President of the Senate recently ordered local authorities to identify ‘elements which are not in order’ and to report them to the police for them to be dealt with,” Mr. Zeid warned. “He also called on the authorities to rally people to get ready to ‘pulverize.’ Phrases such as these recall language that this region has heard before, and should not be hearing again. They could signal the imminence of much worse, and more widespread, violence.”He said he believes that the strong interventions of many officials and States in recent days “may have great influence,” and urged neighbouring countries in the Great Lakes to step up their attempts to promote a credible and inclusive political dialogue in Burundi.“I also believe it is the responsibility of this Council to address a situation of profound concern, well-known for many months, and which could lead to even greater carnage,” Mr. Zeid added, appealing to its members to keep Burundi at the top of the Security Council agenda.He further stressed the essence of having an inclusive dialogue take place among all stakeholders in Burundi, in accordance with the Arusha Agreement which put an end to 12 years of massacres and warfare in 2005.In his remarks, Mr. Dieng emphasized that in light of all that is clearly happening on the ground, the United Nations could not fail to take appropriate action now. Otherwise Burundi would slide back into an “all too familiar chaos.”Further, he said that “if there was ever a time for [the President] and his Government to display courageous leadership, it is now.” Indeed, the Government must work to restore peace through dialogue and to de-escalate the crisis. Yet, this is not the Government’s responsibility alone, continued Mr. Dieng, stressing that the international community, the African Union, the East African Community and the UN have an indispensable role to play.The United Nations Security Council should take urgent measures, including support for African Peace and Security Council decisions. Holding those who had incited and committed violence accountable would also help. It is important in that regard to remind Burundi, as a State party to the International Criminal Court, that those engaging in atrocity crimes would face prosecution.“No one should underestimate what is at stake, he said, recalling that the country’s own history and that of its neighbour, Rwanda, has shown the tragic consequences of failing to act when leaders incite violence.Meanwhile, earlier today in a statement, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also reiterated his appeal to all national stakeholders, in particular the Government of Burundi, “to keep the interests of the people of Burundi uppermost and resolve all outstanding issues through an inclusive dialogue.”