Rewarding nation’s problem-solvers

first_imgFrom nurturing home-grown businesses to building a network of volunteers that can revitalize a community, Americans are coming together to create solutions to the nation’s most pressing problems.Today, the finalists for the Innovations in American Government Award presented their initiatives at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) before the National Selection Committee.“The importance of the Innovations in American Government Award has never been greater,” said Anthony Williams, acting chair of the National Selection Committee. “Government is facing unprecedented challenges, and I think all of us are sanguine to know that there are leaders and programs out there — including these government finalists — that are working to serve and engage our people better.”The finalists — Boston Public Schools’ Teacher Residency; Littleton, Colorado’s Economic Gardening; New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity and NYC Service; Oregon’s Statewide Land Use Program; and San Francisco’s Healthy San Francisco — were selected by public policy experts and practitioners from Harvard and other institutions around the country. The award winner will be announced in early 2012.According to the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at HKS, the six government initiatives demonstrate creative solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing issues: education, economic development, poverty, civic services, and health care.“Some of our nation’s most notable products, services, and programs have been conceived during times of great economic challenge,” said Anthony Saich, director of the Ash Center. “These Innovations in American Government Award finalists demonstrate that many of our nation’s biggest obstacles can be solved through the creation of smart, innovative programs even when budgets are tight and resources are scarce.”Members of the National Selection Committee included Carl Weisbrod, president of the Real Estate Division at Trinity Church; David Osborne, senior partner at The Public Strategies Group; Anthony Williams, HKS lecturer in public management; Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, adjunct professor at Georgetown University School of Public Policy; and William Clinger, a fellow in the Government Studies Department at Johns Hopkins University.Jesse Solomon, (right) executive director of Boston Public Schools’ Teacher Residency program, and Lesley Ryan Miller (left), Boston Public Schools director of teacher development and advancement, discuss their initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School before the National Selection Committee.The initiatives in detailNYC Service was launched in 2009 as a direct response to President Obama’s call for a “new era of service in America.” The program connects volunteers with a host of available “Impact Volunteer” service opportunities in the areas of education, health care, the environment, emergency preparedness, and neighborhood revitalization. From painting rooftops with reflective paint for increased energy efficiency to offering free exercise classes in disadvantaged neighborhoods, the program marks the nation’s first use of volunteer service to address civic problems. More than 1 million volunteers have been recruited since its inception.Also in New York City, the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) works to design, implement, and evaluate anti-poverty programs. CEO has now implemented more than 40 programs in partnership with 20 city agencies and has introduced a new measure of poverty for New York City, based on the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences. Unique programming includes SaveUSA, which encourages saving among low-income families by offering a 50 percent match to participants that save a portion of their tax refund. In addition, Jobs-Plus offers public housing residents aid in securing and retaining employment through job-search services and coaching, vocational training, and assistance with GED and ESL courses. CEO is now replicating five of its most promising programs in cities across the country through the federal Social Innovation Fund.Littleton, Colorado’s Economic Gardening program takes a different approach to economic development, focusing on enhancing the city’s home-grown industries to increase job growth and overall economic prosperity for the region. Launched in 1987, Economic Gardening gives emerging-growth Stage 2 businesses assistance in competitive market research, trade area analysis, social media, and Web marketing grounded in a host of scientific theories adapted to entrepreneurship. The program reports that since its creation, the city’s job base has nearly doubled (from 15,000 to 27,000) and sales tax revenue has tripled (from $6 million to $20 million), while the population has increased by 23 percent. Moreover, the city’s industry is now more diversified: from primarily oil and defense contracts previously to telecommunications, health care, engineering, software, and other industries.Oregon’s Statewide Land Use Program shares Economic Gardening’s philosophy of nurturing industries native to the region. Through property tax incentives, transferable development rights, and limited use requirements, the program protects and conserves farm and forest lands for agricultural and timber production. At the same time, the state establishes locally designated urban boundaries to both accommodate population and business growth while preventing urban sprawl onto rural lands. As a result, Oregon reports a high level of food and timber production. Its urban planning strategy incorporates public facility and public transportation plans, which the state notes are providing environmental benefits and cost savings by reducing reliance on automobiles.Economic development takes another shape in Boston Public Schools’ Boston Teacher Residency program. The program attracts and retains a diverse group of high-quality teachers to drive up academic achievement in areas of Boston with the greatest need. Aspiring teachers, called residents, participate in a yearlong apprenticeship, working with experienced teachers and taking courses to earn a master’s degree. Graduates receive ongoing support for their first three years of teaching. Boston Teacher Residency reports an 80 percent three-year retention rate of its graduates compared with the district’s 53 percent district three-year teacher retention rate before the program’s inception in 2003. Academic achievement is also up: The program is part of a set of district initiatives contributing to a 7 percent increase in the student graduation rate since 2006. Boston Teacher Residency co-founded Urban Teacher Residency United, which has supported replication of the residency model in 14 cities around the country.Like Boston Teacher Residency, Healthy San Francisco targets underserved and disadvantaged populations. As an initiative of the city and county of San Francisco, it provides health care to the region’s estimated 64,000 uninsured adult residents. Administered by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Healthy San Francisco integrates existing public and private health care providers into a single, centralized system, whereby residents can enroll, select a primary care medical home, and gain access to services, information, and support. Since Healthy San Francisco’s launch in 2007, over 85 percent of uninsured residents have voluntarily enrolled in the initiative, particularly notable as 20 percent of enrollees had not accessed health care services at all in the previous two years. Independent evaluation data reveals that enrollees show steadily declining emergency department use over time and that 94 percent of enrollees have expressed satisfaction with the program.The Innovations in American Government Award program was created by the Ford Foundation in 1985 in response to widespread pessimism and distrust in government’s effectiveness. Since its inception, nearly 500 government innovations across all jurisdiction levels have been recognized and have collectively received more than $20 million in grants to support dissemination efforts. Such models of good governance also inform research and academic study around key policy areas both at Harvard Kennedy School and at academic institutions worldwide. Past award winners have served as the basis of case studies taught in more than 450 Harvard courses and over 2,250 courses worldwide.last_img read more

Neville: City are getting old

first_img The former Manchester United full-back reckons the age of the City squad and the impact of Financial Fair Play mean the chances of success in Europe for Manuel Pellegrini’s men are decreasing every season. City lost their opening game of this season’s Champions League 1-0 in Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Neville said: ” Two championships in three years marks them out as a great English side who sit alongside the title-winning teams of Arsene Wenger, (Jose) Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson. But just looking at them now, and where they are in their development, I feel this team is in a dangerous position. “Before Wednesday’s game I said: ‘For this team the time is now.’ I looked at the line-up and felt they were growing old together. Football allows that less and less. The fruit is ripe – but you had better eat it quickly, because it’s going to go off. “The value of those players will drop quite sharply in the next 18 months because everyone will know they are going over the edge. People used to say of Ferguson: ‘Why has he sold this or that player when he’s still performing really well?’ Answer: because he knew what was coming. “There is a trace of that now with City. Their problem, though, is that Financial Fair Play is chasing them down the road. So their option is to sell big now and buy young replacements in the next 12 months. “If they wait any longer they will be in trouble on the saleable value of the current players. Another route would be to bring through academy graduates.” Manchester City are running out of time to win the Champions League, according to Gary Neville.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Video: Clemson Defensive Tackle Christian Wilkins Shows Off His Impressive Athleticism

first_imgClemson Memorial Stadium during a Tigers game against Syracuse.CLEMSON, SC – OCTOBER 25: A general view of Memorial Stadium prior to the game between the Clemson Tigers and Syracuse Orange on October 25, 2014 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)Christian Wilkins is a defensive tackle by trade, but the 300-pound Clemson Tiger is a spectacular all-around athlete. During spring practice, Wilkins has tried his hand at a number of skills that aren’t usually part of being an interior lineman, like making one-handed catches and kicking field goals.Of course, Wilkins is also pretty good at playing his position. As a true freshman, he racked up 33 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks for the Tigers this season. More: The 10 CFB Teams That Could Go Undefeated In 2016 >>>last_img read more

NHT Drawdowns Will Only be Done if Necessary – Senator

first_img Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, is reassuring that drawdowns to support the budget will only be taken from the National Housing Trust (NHT) if deemed crucial. Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, is reassuring that drawdowns to support the budget will only be taken from the National Housing Trust (NHT) if deemed crucial.“It is not intended if it is not necessary, that all four years will be utilized,” Senator Johnson Smith said, while addressing the Senate on July 21.She was piloting the National Housing Trust (Amendment) Act, 2017, which makes provisions for these drawdowns.The Bill allows the Government to continue the withdrawal of $11.4 billion from the NHT over the next four years. It was passed in the Senate with no amendments.Mrs. Johnson Smith explained that this arrangement is one of the revenue measures adopted to contribute to financing the Government’s budget for fiscal year 2017/18.She explained that it is in keeping with the previous Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which supported the Government’s economic reform programme.Provisions were made for prior drawdowns through an amendment to the NHT Act, which came to an end in March of this year. The new Bill sought to renew this arrangement.Senator Johnson Smith pointed out that the Government was reluctant in opting for this revenue measure, but argued that without this being put in place, the Government would be forced to levy new taxes.“This measure must be viewed against the background of fundamental tax reform, (that is) the continued shift from direct to indirect taxes….for purposes of equity and the need to create the breathing space over the medium term to undertake public spending reforms, which will take time to implement and the benefit of which will only occur in the medium term,” the Minister said.“Furthermore, it certainly would be undesirable to cut expenditure on important programmes which are of benefit to the country,” she added.The NHT drawdowns are expected to continue until the financial year ending March 31, 2021. “Furthermore, it certainly would be undesirable to cut expenditure on important programmes which are of benefit to the country,” she added. Provisions were made for prior drawdowns through an amendment to the NHT Act, which came to an end in March of this year. The new Bill sought to renew this arrangement. Senator Johnson Smith pointed out that the Government was reluctant in opting for this revenue measure, but argued that without this being put in place, the Government would be forced to levy new taxes. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Fort St John Dairy Queen raises over 14500 for Miracle Treat Day

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Dairy Queen held its annual fundraising event, Miracle Treat Day on August 8.According to Fort St. John Dairy Queen co-owner Linda Patterson, for Miracle Treat Day, they were able to serve 2,013 Blizzards.From serving 2,013 Blizzards, Patterson says they were able to raise a total of $14,513.29 for Miracle Treat Day. All proceeds from every Blizzard sold on Miracle Treat Day went towards supporting a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, such as the B.C. Children’s Hospital.Despite it being poor weather, due to the rain and cooler temperatures, Patterson says it was a great turnout and thanks the community for their impressive support.“Fort St. John rocks because they helped us out a lot, so I’m really impressed. Every year they come out in droves and it’s great.”last_img read more

The Raiders Are Rolling With Historic Inexperience At QB

On Wednesday afternoon, the Oakland Raiders confirmed that history will be made in their playoff game against the Houston Texans Saturday: Rookie quarterback Connor Cook will become the first signal-caller in the Super Bowl era to make his NFL debut in a playoff game.It’s probably not the way Cook wanted to enter the record books. Things rarely go well when a team is forced to use a backup QB, particularly in the playoffs. Since 1966, there have been 86 playoff games where a team’s primary passer1i.e., the quarterback who led the team in dropbacks during the game. wasn’t the same as the team’s usual QB from the regular season;2i.e., the quarterback who led the team in dropbacks during the season. in those games, the team in question scored 21 percent fewer points than their seasonal per-game average, and their passing efficiency (as measured by adjusted net yards per attempt) was 20 percent worse than normal.Now, it being the postseason, you’d expect less offensive output anyway (since good defensive teams tend to make the playoffs). And indeed, teams who have their usual starter also see their performance decline — but only to the tune of 10 percent in points per game, and 12 percent in passing efficiency. The penalty for starting a backup is about double the typical postseason drop-off.3That the typical drop-offs for passing and overall offense are roughly equal lines up with research that shows passing efficiency is far more correlated with offensive success than how a team does in the running game. (Plus, quarterbacks do play their own role in the running game, whether by rushing themselves, by handing off or by opening up the defense with effective passing.)Things get even worse when a rookie backup — like Cook — is called into playoff action. Here’s the subset of those 86 games from above where the backup was in his first NFL season: It’s only an 11-game sample, but offenses led by rookie backups tend to collapse even harder than those directed by stand-ins with some NFL experience. Those teams’ points per game declined by 29 percent and their passing efficiency by 49 percent when compared with their regular-season averages.The good news for Oakland, however, is that the Texans are also dealing with a quarterback crisis of their own. And although the backup QBs in my dataset above tended to play horribly, they still managed to scratch out a victory more than 35 percent of the time — as did rookie backups. So although Cook may be historically inexperienced for a playoff starter, it wouldn’t exactly be inconceivable for the Raiders to pull off the win anyway. read more

Ohio State field hockey to take on two top3 teams

Junior back Emma Royce (27) plays defense during a game against Ball State on Sept. 14 at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU won, 3-2, in overtime.Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographerOhio State field hockey is set to embark into unknown territory.OSU (3-6, 0-2) is scheduled to begin a three-game road trip Friday at 3:30 p.m. in College Park, Md., against the No. 2 Maryland Terrapins before a matchup with another top-three team on Sunday.OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said she’s excited about going on the road with her young team and bonding with her athletes.“I’m looking forward to it actually,” Wilkinson said Sunday. “I’m looking forward to getting on the road with this team.”Maryland (7-2, 2-1) has been ranked in the top five of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Coaches’ Poll in 16 consecutive weeks dating back to 2013. And Maryland has appeared in the top five nationally in 158 of 163 rankings since 1999, according to a Maryland release.The Terrapins bring an elite level of field hockey to the Big Ten in their first season in the conference.“I am really excited to have Maryland in the Big Ten,” junior forward Peanut Johnson said in an email. “They are an excellent program and I think they will make the conference stronger and more competitive.”Maryland is coming off back-to-back conference wins last weekend against Michigan and Michigan State. Senior midfielder Maxine Fluharty — who is tied for second on the team in points — led the way Sunday in East Lansing, Mich., with two goals in Maryland’s 4-2 victory against Michigan State.Maryland freshman forward Moira Putsch tallied three points on a goal and an assist over the weekend and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Tuesday.After its matchup with Maryland, OSU is scheduled to travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face the No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers. In all, the Buckeyes have played, or are scheduled to play 11 ranked opponents in 2014.The schedule could seem daunting, but junior back Emma Royce said OSU takes pride in playing the best teams in the country day in and day out.“It is not easy playing ranked teams consistently, however we take it is as a positive challenge,” Royce said via email. “Every battle we face, we know we are improving. The team goal is to use all these challenges to help us peak for the Big Ten Tournament.”Midfielder Tara Vittese was the first Virginia freshman to earn preseason All-ACC honors and has tallied 31 points in 11 games this season.The Buckeyes’ defense must be ready for a high-powered group with four players scoring eight or more goals on the season.“The defensive mindset will be one of strength,” Royce said. “It is crucial that we play with more physicality and that we are decisive in our defensive strategy.“Commitment to a strong defense will make or break us against the best teams.”OSU’s matchup with Virginia is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Buckeyes are scheduled for one more road game after the weekend, against Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J., on Oct. 10, before playing at home again against Kent State Oct. 12. read more

Mens Lacrosse No 7 Buckeyes beat No 20 Boston 159 behind dominant

Then-sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski heads for the goal in the fourth quarter during the first round of the NCAA tournament against Loyola Maryland on May 14, 2017. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThe No. 7 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team remained undefeated at home with its 15-9 victory against No. 20 Boston University Saturday afternoon.The Buckeyes (2-0) showed exactly why their ranked seventh in the country is deserved during the first half, scoring 10 goals while holding the Terriers (1-1) to just one.The first Ohio State two goals came within the first two minutes of the game. Freshman attackman J.T. Bugliosi scooped up a ground ball and fired a shot past Terrier goalie Joe McSorely to put the Buckeyes ahead early.Ohio State sophomore midfielder Christian Feliziani won the ensuing face-off seconds later and ran through an unprepared Boston defense to score his team’s second goal.An illegal procedure penalty on Ohio State in the second period resulted in a man-up advantage for the Terriers, who capitalized on the opportunity to record their first goal of the game.The Buckeyes, however, remained focused and continued their first-half dominance. They won 12-of-13 face-offs and picked up 23 ground balls compared to Boston’s 14 in the first half.“Both offensively and defensively we were clicking. I think we were moving the ball super good on offense and we were getting good chances,” Ohio State sophomore attackman Tre Leclaire said.At halftime, senior goalie Matthew Smidt said head coach Nick Myers told the Buckeyes to remain focused and to not get complacent with a nine-goal lead during the second half.“He said it’s a new ball game,” Smidt said. “You got one half and you got another half, and you’ve got to take care of business in the second half.”The Terriers came out swinging after halftime and quickly scored four unanswered goals during the third period. But junior attackman Jack Jasinski, assisted by midfielder John Kelly, scored for the Buckeyes to stop Boston’s momentum with 6:19 left in the third period.“After they had a couple goals on us I think we just took a deep breath and relied on our game plan and executed that plan,” said Leclaire.Boston outscored Ohio State 5–3 in the third period and 3–2 in the fourth, but could not overcome the first-half deficit.“We came out a little slow in the second half — partially on me — but we took a step back and we did our thing and we came out with the W,” Smidt said.Nine different Buckeyes recorded goals, with four coming from freshman midfielder Jackson Reid and three contributed by Leclaire.Smidt said the team’s goal going into the match was to keep their heads down, focus on the job that needed to be done and do it — but to have fun playing in the process.“We’re here to do a job. That’s to keep the record in here and to keep grinding,” Smidt said. “We have all our parents here and all that stuff – it’s more fun than anything. Playing in front of your home crowd is something unbelievable.”The Buckeyes will look for another home win when they face Hofstra at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Feb. 17. read more

Baseball Ohio State ends losing streak with 108 comeback win against Ohio

Ohio State freshman infielder Marcus Ernst (28) makes contact with the pitch during the March 24 contest against Hawaii at Nick Swisher Field. The Buckeyes lost 15-3. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternDespite trailing 7-3 heading into the eighth inning, Ohio State was able to rally  to end its five-game skid.In the ninth inning, the Buckeyes (17-16, 2-4 Big Ten)  scored three runs to complete the comeback Tuesday, edging out Ohio (8-22, 3-6 MAC) 10-8.Sophomore catcher Dillon Dingler was able to deliver a two-run double to left-center field to give the Buckeyes a 10-8 lead in the ninth inning. With a four-run deficit through seven innings, freshman outfielder Nolan Clegg scored on a passed ball, cutting the Bobcats’ lead to 7-4. Redshirt sophomore catcher Brent Todys then tied the game on one swing, launching a three-run home run to tie the game at 7.The Buckeyes tallied three more runs in the ninth inning on an RBI single from junior first baseman Conner Pohl and Dingler’s two-RBI double to win their first game since March 30. Todys finished with three hits and four RBI. Clegg also hit his second home run of the season, finishing the game with three RBI.  For the Bobcats, redshirt freshman designated hitter Cole Revels tallied five RBI in the game. On the mound, Ohio State freshman pitcher Will Pfenning struggled, allowing five earned runs on five hits and two walks in three innings of work. After allowing three runs in the next 4.2 innings of work, junior left-handed pitcher Andrew Magno was able to keep the Bobcats off the scoreboard for the remaining 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Ohio State will take on Dayton at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. read more

Torres plans to leave Spain

first_imgFernando Torres has confirmed that he will be leaving Spain this summer, after announcing his departure from Atletico Madrid at the end of this seasonThe former Liverpool star has struggled to make an impact at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano this season and the arrival of Diego Costa in January has seen Torres fall further down the pecking order under head coach Diego Simeone.In light of his increasingly restricted opportunities at Atletico, Torres recently announced that he will be leaving his boyhood club for the second and final time at the end of the season with clubs from both the Chinese Super League and the Major Soccer League believed to be heavily interested in signing the 2010 World Cup winner.But Torres, while ruling out joining another club in Spain, did suggest to Cadena SER that he may be open to a move elsewhere in Europe.“I have not made the decision. I will say it as I have said: that I leave Atletico.” said the 34 year-old, according to Sky Sports.“I will not continue in Spain. Europe? I don’t know. One has an idea that can then change.”Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…Also looking likely to follow Torres in leaving Atletico this summer are Antoine Griezmann and goalkeeper Jan Oblak.While Torres is keen for the highly-rated duo to remain at the Spanish capital, he insisted that Atletico must prove their worth against Europe’s elite to convince the pair to stay.“I don’t know if he wants to stay. I do not speak with him about that. I would love it if he wanted to stay.” admitted Torres.“Griezmann has been third in the Ballon d’Or without winning titles. You have to offer him the possibility of winning them. He has to see Atletico at the level of the big [clubs].”And on Oblak, Torres said: “I have not seen a goalkeeper like him. He’s spectacular. I would do everything possible so that he stays. He will stay if the club lives up to his ambition.”last_img read more