LAPD ranks reach 8-year high

first_imgFor newly minted LAPD Officer Alberto Ortiz, Friday’s graduation from the Police Academy marked a milestone, with his class of 44 pushing the force over 9,500 – the most since 1999. “I would do anything for any of them,” said Ortiz, 21. “I’m very proud I made it through LAPD.” With the department struggling with gang violence and a staff shortage, these young, eager academy graduates are a bright spot for department leaders. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton are continuing a push to build a force of 10,000 officers in five years. But more progress is needed, with some 255 veteran officers anticipated to retire beginning in April amid stiff competition between law enforcement agencies for new recruits, Los Angeles Police Department and city leaders said. “It’s a significant milestone in terms of numbers,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, a member of the council’s Public Safety Committee. “But the overall picture – it is short of what we’re trying to achieve with the impending retirements. “You got your senior officers, senior detectives that are retiring. How do you fill 50 years of experience?” Through aggressive recruitment campaigns, including billboards and online ads and enticements such as signing bonuses of up to $10,000 for new officers, the LAPD has reached 9,503 officers, the highest deployment since the department had 9,504 sworn officers in November 1999. The department had fewer than 9,000 officers when Bratton became chief in 2002. “You’re coming into the department at a time when Chief Bratton and the command staff gets it,” Police Commissioner Anthony Pacheco told the graduates during a ceremony at the Police Academy in Elysian Park. “They understand and are working with the city leaders in ways unheard of … all in an effort to enhance public safety.” Yet Zine believes more can be done to address the underlying hurdles to recruitment, like the city’s high cost of living. He cited past attempts by police agencies in Arizona that have attracted recruits by touting lower housing costs. Rookie LAPD officers make just under $50,000 a year. Zine proposed developing affordable housing for officers on city-owned land as another draw for potential recruits. “If they’re paying $2,000 for an apartment, that doesn’t leave a lot for them for a car payment,” he said. Bratton did not attend the ceremony but said the department remains on track to meet the goal of 10,500 officers, with the academy training 70 officers a month. Despite the manpower shortage, he said the department has been effective. “I think you are seeing clearly we have a very aggressive department,” he said. “They have, over the last four now going on five years, gotten overall crime down 30 percent.” Pacheco acknowledged the job of the graduates won’t be easy – the 9,500 LAPD officers are taking on an estimated 39,000 known gang members in the city. They can only even the odds with community cooperation and more officers, he said. “When I see these new officers join the ranks,” he said, “I know the future is bright.” (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Barcelona’s new captain for the 2018/19 season has been confirmed

first_img 2 He has also been Argentina’s leader since 2011, when given the roll by Alejandro Sabella.In his highly-decorated Barcelona career to date, Messi has won nine LaLiga titles, six Copa del Rey crowns and four Champions League trophies. Iniesta hands the captaincy over to Messi The 31-year-old is his club’s talisman 2 Lionel Messi has been appointed as Barcelona’s new club captain.The Argentinian superstar will lead the Blaugrana from the 2018/19 season onwards, following the departure of previous captain, Andres Iniesta. Barcelona will have three vice-captains, the first one being Sergio Busquets, the second being Gerard Pique and the third being Sergi Roberto.All four are products of the club’s youth system – La Masia.Messi has been the side’s second captain since Xavi’s departure in 2015.last_img read more

Fearless approach: Rookie defenseman gets set for NHL debut

first_imgLAS VEGAS — Defenseman Mario Ferraro said he has about 11 friends and family members coming to T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night and was springing for nearly as many tickets so they could all watch the Sharks play the Vegas Golden Knights in the season opener for both teams.From Ferraro’s perspective, it was money well spent. After all, your NHL debut only happens once.“Just seeing the excitement that’s on their face for me is really special,” said Ferraro, who is from King City, Ontario. …last_img

Photo library: South Africa at work 9

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download South Africa at Work contact sheet (1.5MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Uitenhage, Eastern Cape province: The Volkswagen South Africa plant in Uitenhage is the largest vehicle factory in Africa. Photo: Volkswagen South Africa » Download high-res image Uitenhage, Eastern Cape province: The Volkswagen South Africa plant in Uitenhage is the largest vehicle factory in Africa. Photo: Volkswagen South Africa » Download high-res image Welkom, Free State province: Winding engine driver Phillip du Plessis drives the cage between underground stations and to the surface at Harmony Gold Mine. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Welkom, Free State province: Electrician Gideon Ferreira works on the electrical board at the winding house at Harmony Gold Mine. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Welkom, Free State province: Electrician Gideon Ferreira works on the electrical board at the winding house at Harmony Gold Mine. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Welkom, Free State province: Store controller Mareka Mthokho checks underground equipment at Harmony Gold Mine. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Welkom, Free State province: Assistant machine repairer April Mabe uses an angle grinder to refurbish damaged underground equipment at Harmony Gold Mine. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Welkom, Free State province: Broken stoping support is dumped in the store yard at Harmony Gold Mine. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Welkom, Free State province: Broken stoping support is dumped in the store yard at Harmony Gold Mine. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image SOUTH AFRICA AT WORK 9: {loadposition saatwork}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at read more

SA, Botswana look to streamline trade

first_img22 November 2013 South African President Jacob Zuma and Botswana President Ian Khama, during their meeting in Pretoria on Thursday, stressed the importance of speeding up infrastructure projects to facilitate the movement of goods and people between the two countries. Zuma met with his Botswana counterpart ahead of the inaugural meeting of the South Africa-Botswana Bi-National Commission, which the two presidents co-hosted. Speaking to journalists after the commission meeting, Zuma said discussions were under way to look at how resources could be streamlined to boost trade between the two countries. “It is a question of how … we streamline trade. In this regard, we have taken a decision that our ministers will meet twice a year to evaluate how far the agreements we have signed have been implemented.” Since the establishment of official relations nearly 20 years ago, South African and Botswana have signed a total of 34 agreements covering various areas such as immigration, defence and security, energy, trade, transport and environmental affairs. Zuma said the bi-national commission would play a key role in broadening and streamlining cooperation between the two countries. The establishment of the commission was “a very important development because our relations with Botswana are historical and for us to take them forward is very important. We were able to get a clear report from the ministers of what we need to do going forward.” Strong economic ties already exist between the two countries, and South Africa remains Botswana’s major trading partner. South African companies have a huge presence in Botswana and are involved in various sectors, including mining, housing, food and beverages, construction, retail, hotels and leisure, banking and medical services. Zuma said his meeting with Khama had not only focused on the mutual needs and priorities of both countries, but also brought into sharp focus the importance of regional integration. The two presidents discussed developments in the region and on the continent, including the situation in Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. According to a joint communique issued after the talks, the two leaders commended Madagascar for holding peaceful and credible presidential elections last month, urging the people of Madagascar to maintain the same commitment to democratic processes in the second round of elections scheduled for 20 December. Khama and Zuma expressed concern over the unfolding security situation in Mozambique, and hoped that the situation would soon be resolved. In recent weeks, there have been sporadic clashes between former rebel movement Renamo and the Frelimo government, with the former accusing the latter of not honouring the Rome peace agreement they signed in 1992. Source: read more

Raw milk amendment gets shot down

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Overwhelming opposition from a strong coalition of dairy farmers, processors, consumer groups, food safety advocates, federal and state public health regulators, the medical community, and other key stakeholders led to the defeat of an amendment to the 2018 House Farm Bill that would have allowed the interstate sale of unpasteurized milk.Amendment 30, offered by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), would have removed existing regulations that prohibit the interstate sale of raw milk for direct human consumption — a development that the coalition of opponents said would have threatened the health of millions of Americans. The Massie amendment failed in the House by a vote of 331 against to 79 in favor.In a May 14 letter to House leaders Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) insisted that Massie’s proposed amendment to the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) represented “an unnecessary risk to consumer safety and public health.”“This amendment defies decades of proven food safety by removing requirements for pasteurization, which has been cited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.In addition to opposition from NMPF and IDFA, strong letters of opposition to the amendment were also sent to House leadership by the Safe Food Coalition — a consumer group consortium consisting of the Center for Foodborne Illness, Research & Prevention; the Center for Science in the Public Interest; the Consumer Federation of America; the National Consumers League; STOP Foodborne Illness; and The Pew Charitable Trusts.The National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments, a national food safety regulatory program that includes state milk regulatory agencies, dairy companies and FDA, also came out against the Massie measure, as did a coalition of 53 dairy cooperatives, state dairy associations and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.According to the dairy coalition letter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that unpasteurized milk is 840 times more likely to cause foodborne illness than pasteurized milk, and nearly 75% of raw milk‐associated outbreaks have occurred in states where the sale of raw milk was legal. Thus, the dairy groups argued, eliminating any regulations that stem the interstate sale of raw milk in the United States “would increase the risk to public health, exposing consumers nationwide to the inevitable consequence of falling victim to a foodborne illness.”“Nationally, our dairy industry benefits from a very high degree of consumer confidence — confidence built in large part by the excellent food safety record of milk and dairy products,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “Legalizing and regulating the sale of raw milk sends a signal to consumers that drinking unpasteurized milk is safe when, in fact, the opposite is true.”Current statistics estimate only 1% to 2% of reported foodborne outbreaks are attributed to dairy products. However, of those, more than 70% have been attributed to raw milk and inappropriately aged raw milk cheeses.While this is the first time that Congress has debated changing federal laws to expand access to raw milk, NMPF and IDFA have worked for years to battle similar bills at the state level, including recent efforts in Tennessee, Virginia and Louisiana. NMPF and IDFA have long advocated against the consumption of raw milk and raw milk products because of the high risk of illness, as well as the potential for misinformation that could inappropriately tie raw milk health concerns to the safety of pasteurized dairy products.“We greatly appreciate those who joined the current effort — from dairy producers, to dairy processors, state dairy regulators, consumer and food safety groups, state and local dairy organizations, the medical community, and veterinarians — and took a stand to oppose this irresponsible amendment that would have significantly compromised food safety,” Mulhern said.last_img read more

Develop Cross-Platform Apps for both iOS and OSX with Chameleon

first_imgklint finley Chameleon is a development framework for OSX that acts a drop-in replacement for the iOS framework UIKit. According to the project’s site, some application can be ported to OSX from iOS without changing any code. However, Chameleon is still able to provide a desktop OS experience instead of a multitouch experience. You can download it from Github here.The framework was built by Sean Heber and Craig Hockenberry, two senior developers from the software company Iconfactory – makers of the Twitteriffic app for both iOS and OSX. The pair created Chameleon to aid their own port of Twitteriffic from iOS to OSX.“Prior to the creation of Chameleon, we were looking at only being able to re-use about 25-30% of our code from iOS in the Mac version,” the site says. “By porting UIKit instead of the individual view and controller classes, we were able to re-use 90% of our iOS code.”In order to translate the multitouch experience into a traditional desktop experience, Chameleon incorporates the standard OSX AppKit framework and transitions between UIKit and AppKit depending on the context. For example, Chameleon will use AppKit for text entry on OSX instead of bringing up an on-screen keyboard.“Our approach with Chameleon was to use native AppKit constructs in the context of UIKit,” the site says. “The glue that holds these two frameworks together is Core Animation.”To fund this open source project, the creators are selling Chameleon t-shirts for $250:Many open source projects are funded by ancillary services or products. Since we don’t want to go into business porting your products, that model isn’t appropriate for Chameleon.So we’re trying something new.It’s no secret that a Chameleon T-shirt costs us much less than $250 to produce. It’s also no secret that this source code is potentially worth much more than $250 to your software development business. Support Chameleon and everyone benefits.What do you think? Developers on Hacker News have expressed skepticism about the framework’s ability to provide a decent user experience on OSX. Is it possible to translate from one platform to another so easily? How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Tags:#hack#Tools Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Google’s Battle Against Content Farms Goes Global for English Users

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Google#news#NYT#search#web mike melanson Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market At the end of February, Google announced a “big algorithmic improvement” to its search algorithm that was intended to address much of the criticism the search engine had been garnering for content farms increasingly appearing in its search results. Today, Google has announced that this algorithmic “improvement,” known as “Panda,” has gone global to all English-language Google users.When Google first made the change, it noted that it was “a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries.”“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites–sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful,” the company said on its blog. “At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites–sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”Today, Google said that it has “gotten a lot of positive responses about the change” and decided to roll it out to a much larger audience. In addition, it has incorporated feedback from its Personal Blocklist Chrome extension, which allows users to block certain domains from appearing in their search results. “In some high-confidence situations, we are beginning to incorporate data about the sites that users block into our algorithms. In addition, this change also goes deeper into the ‘long tail’ of low-quality websites to return higher-quality results where the algorithm might not have been able to make an assessment before.”The change should be “smaller in scope,” affecting only 2% of queries as opposed to nearly 12% when it was first implemented. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

A Strategy for Cost-Effective Efficiency in Tucson

first_imgLike a lot of building-industry professionals who run their businesses solo, Tucson-based Michael Ginsburg has become a utility player in his market. La Mirada Homes, which he launched in 1976, offers design, construction, remodeling, and general contracting services. And now, Ginsburg is bringing his experience to bear on the design and construction of a near-net-zero-energy, modest-size house that, he says, could be offered for a comparably modest price.Ginsburg calls it the S.E.E.D. Home (for its “super energy efficient design”) and will celebrate its inception with a ceremonial groundbreaking on Friday. The 1,935-sq.-ft. four-bedroom home’s performance is pegged tightly to the energy efficiency of the structural-insulated panels that will comprise its exterior walls and roof, Ginsburg told GBA. He said he chose SIPs filled with polyurethane foam over alternatives that feature polystyrene because the former offers better thermal resistance for a negligible difference in price.The wall panels are rated R-24, which, with R-5 foam board under the exterior stucco and 2 inches of interior-side dead space for electrical wiring, would bring the composite R-value of the exterior wall to 34. The roof panels, supported by structural gluelam beams (no 2x wood), will provide R-41 insulation.A slow-curing floorThe walls and roof will go up before the slab foundation is poured to shade and prevent cracking in the concrete, which will later be colored and polished. The slab will be insulated to R-8 underneath and at the edges, Ginsburg said.The house is not, however, designed to take advantage of direct solar gain, a prospect the builder “completely rejected as a passive heating strategy because of the inherent overheating and management problems” it would have presented in a single-story house of this size and layout. Rather, the building will be equipped with a SEER 16 dual-stage heat pump, hydronic radiant floor heating, radiant floor cooling, and a whole-house fresh-air exchange.In an e-mail to GBA, Ginsburg also pointed out that “there are no interior (weight-)bearing walls to interrupt the thermal integrity of the floor of the shell. Therefore, the concrete floor is, in effect, a thermal mass element for the entire square footage of the home. With no direct solar gain, I can now use, control, and manage the floor for heating and cooling. In essence, I’ve created a ‘living cave.’ Achieving and maintaining a constant interior temperature will be easy and cost-effective.”The home’s renewable-energy equipment will include solar hot water collectors and a photovoltaic system capable of feeding electricity back into Tucson Electric Power’s grid.The project design has received HERS ratings of 18 and 20 from two independent, accredited HERS raters, Ginsburg said, although he noted that getting financing was a bit more difficult. After several rejections from other lenders, the builder explained, the president of Bank of Tucson “gave me a hearing regarding the concept and nature of the project first, before even considering our financials,” and then proceeded with an appraisal, financial review, and loan approval.We’ll post cost details, more specs, updates, and images as they become available.last_img read more

Elevator Shaft Vents Blamed for Big Energy Losses

first_imgA typical apartment building in New York City loses thousands of dollars worth of energy every year from leaky elevator shafts that vent warm air at the top of the building and draw in cold air at the bottom, according to a new report from the city’s U.S. Green Building Council chapter.The report, Spending Through the Roof, says that apartment building owners spend an average of $3,400 a year to heat replacement air for what’s lost through the roof. In taller buildings, the report notes, the cost can be more than $20,000 a year.Plugging this type of air leak can cost from $500 to $15,000 for a large building. If the leaks were plugged on 4,000 tall apartment buildings in the city, landlords would collectively save $11 million a year while keeping 30,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Holes in the roof were requiredOpenings in the tops of elevator shafts and stairwells were required by state and fire department regulations, the report says, as a way of venting smoke in the case of fire. But construction practices and firefighting techniques have changed, so the vents now “are needlessly open all the time.”Tenants know their buildings are affected when they try to open the ground-floor doors to get in, according to an article in The New York Times. “As you try to pull open a lobby door,” the newspaper reported, “it seems soldered shut. Wrestle it open, and you are greeted by a shrill whistle and a blast of air.”How much heat is lost depends on how tall the building is and where it’s located. The report notes that a 15-story multifamily building in a dense neighborhood loses $3,000 worth of heat through the roof every heating season. The same building in an area subjected to more airflow (less densely built up) would lose $6,500.Total lost heat in the 4,000 multifamily buildings that are at least 10 stories high would fill 29,000 Empire State Buildings.The two major options for plugging the leaks are to cover two-thirds of elevator shaft vents with annealed glass, leaving the rest open, or to install a motorized set of louvers that stay closed unless there’s a fire.Laws governing stairwell vents haven’t changed since 1929, the report says, so there’s no legal way now for building owners to fix the problem.last_img read more