The Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) has pledged its support to the Ministry of Education’s decision to close all schools at the end of July and resume on September 7.At a press briefing in Monrovia, FLY President Augustine Tamba, welcomed the decision by MOE and said it is part of the transformation of the country’s education sector.“FLY sees the action by the government as timely and in the best interest of Liberia’s education system,” Mr. Tamba said.According to him, the effects of the civil crisis compounded by the Ebola outbreak last year caused the education sector to suffer a setback to the extent that the issues of bribery, low income for teachers, lack of quality instructional tools, lack of textbooks and dysfunctional laboratories have overwhelmed the sector. He said the constant failure of students in public exams is a glaring indicator of the failure of the education system.He noted that the older Liberian generation is more educated than the present one, which is supposed to inherit the leadership of the state. Mr. Tamba said that in spite of the situation, FLY remains confident that the closure of schools in July to be reopened in September will usher in a new dawn for the education sector.He recommended that the next academic year start in October instead of September to create at least a space for the policy implementation and massive reduction in the tuition fees in all private schools.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
LANCASTER — In many ways, tonight’s franchise debut of the Lancaster Rattlers is the culmination of founder and general manager Gerald Brunner’s dream. But to Brunner, the 7:30 p.m. exhibition soccer game against the L.A. Galaxy at Antelope Valley College is only the start. Brunner, a 52-year-old commission salesman with no prior sports management experience, is a self-described dreamer who these days is dreaming big. Less than a year after landing the Antelope Valley’s first Premier Development League soccer franchise, he has made the Rattlers the centerpiece of a brazenly ambitious five-year plan to bring Lancaster a professional United Soccer League team. Also in the works is a women’s PDL team. He’s counting on passionate area soccer fans to support his franchise. He also hopes there will be enough enthusiasm to pressure the city of Lancaster to build the franchise a stadium. “I was taught a long time ago in order to accomplish any kind of goal or dream, you have to have little ones, little peaks,” he said. “This is our first peak.” Brunner’s plans are based on a European soccer model he calls a “pyramid of development.” He said the Rattlers have already established the framework for the pyramid, organizing an in-house recreation league, club teams and a Super 20 team — ostensibly the Rattlers’ farm team. He said the pyramid model, if adopted nationally as some have suggested, could eventually supplant the draft. “Sometimes I go at things half-baked, but I believe whatever your mind can believe, it can achieve,” Brunner said. Brunner’s approach has nevertheless produced remarkable results. He’s formed a cross-promotion partnership with Chivas USA, a Mexican club program that fields a Major League Soccer team. The Rattlers will play exhibition games against Chivas on June 5 and July 11. The deal also includes plans for a Rattlers night at a Chivas home game at The Home Depot Center in Carson this summer. The Rattlers will feature several high-profile talents, including former Littlerock High School scoring sensation Oscar Sandoval and former Palmdale High School star Jose Garay. Sandoval, who plays at Div. I Sacramento State, and Garay, who plays at Div. III Kansas Wesleyan, will join the team later this spring when the semester ends. The Rattlers open their PDL season April 28 against the Ventura County Fusion at Knight High School. They will play the remainder of their regular season home games at Palmdale High School, and the Chivas exhibition games at AVC. Garay said the franchise has created a buzz on message boards, with soccer players across the nation intrigued by the Galaxy matchup. “I think it’s going to be great for all the soccer players in the Antelope Valley,” Garay said. “Obviously, (Brunner’s) determination is tremendous.” Lemuel Galvao, who coaches AVC’s women’s and Highland High School’s boys’ soccer teams, said he thinks the Rattlers will be a boon for the fast-growing sport. “Letting kids know that there is a place to go beyond high school and college works to help the sport,” Galvao said. “That’s why I think it’s important for the community to get behind it.” — Gideon Rubin (661) email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
0Shares0000Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is on the verge of winning his third Premier League title © AFP/File / Adrian DENNISLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 6 – Vincent Kompany says Manchester City are happy to wait to seal the Premier League title, while clinging to the hope they can overturn a 3-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool.Pep Guardiola’s team would clinch the league with six games remaining if they beat Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, which would make them the quickest champions in Premier League history. City captain Kompany said the derby against second-placed United was the club’s short-term priority but the players felt they had “unfinished business” against Liverpool.“We’ve got one chance to do it in the Champions League,” he said. “In the Premier League we’ve got plenty of opportunities to do the job.“We’ll make it (the Premier League) a priority…. It’s never been like this. You play the league and usually go on holiday but this one feels completely different.”Kompany, who has already won two Premier League titles at City, said nobody at the club believed the European tie was over despite the chastening defeat at Anfield in midweek.“We have to live with the consequences of this result but that’s what makes football special,” said the Belgium international.“We had a very short period of time in this game where everything went wrong but the same can happen in the next game for the opposition. That’s what keeps us believing we can create chances.”Liverpool’s three-goal advantage means if they score in the away leg next week City will have to come up with five goals if they are to progress to the last four but Kompany said they had the firepower to turn the tie around.Kompany said City’s fans would have a big role to play in inspiring the team after experiencing the power of the Anfield crowd on Wednesday.“Fair play to Liverpool — their fans, the club, the way they lived up to this event but it’s our time to do it now but I’ve seen it before so I’ve no doubt they can.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! COVINA – All the dashing Badillo brothers left behind in the city is their name on a street. They wanted to create a coffee plantation but saw that dream die hard when they didn’t find the right climate here, or enough water, to grow it. Julian and Antonio Badillo were well-to-do coffee plantation owners from Costa Rica who came to the San Gabriel Valley around 1875. Donald Pflueger, in his book, “Covina” said the brothers came at the urging of John Hollenbeck, a prominent Los Angeles man who met them in Costa Rica. “Although Mr. Hollenbeck did not understand the cultivation of coffee, he conceived the idea of establishing a coffee plantation in the San Gabriel Valley and approached the Badillo brothers on the matter,” Pflueger wrote. So on to California the Badillos went with their families. The brothers bought 5,500 acres of Rancho La Puente from John Rowland’s widow, Charlotte, for $4 an acre, according to Barbara Ann Hall, member of the Covina Valley Historical Society and curator of the city’s Vintage Years display. Hall said about 2,000 acres of that property is now Covina. The Badillos built two houses: One was on the corner of Hollenbeck Avenue and San Bernardino Road while the other was west of where the John Houser residence later stood. Joseph Swift Phillips, who founded Covina, later lived in the house built by Julian Badillo. The brothers planted barley on many acres and coffee on 100 acres of their Costa Rica Ranch. When the first coffee plants died, they tried again. But that coffee crop failed as well. “Although they knew the coffee business, they didn’t know the climate of Covina. We are semi-arid,” Hall said. Agriculture in the Valley then was dry farming, which meant a complete dependence on rain, she said. After two years, Julian Badillo left for Tempe, Ariz., while Antonio Badillo stayed here, planting barley and tobacco and raising hogs. They weren’t successful ventures. “He borrowed very, very heavily and lost the land in a mortgage foreclosure,” Hall said. Hollenbeck bought the property in 1879 for $16,692 and, a year later, deeded 100 acres to Antonio Badillo. The Valley’s early settlers not only had to deal with water and weather woes but also horse thieves. The Badillos weren’t immune to this problem. Several of their horses were stolen. When a constable and neighbor of the Badillos found the missing horses – and the thief – in Arizona it made the papers in April 1885. In 1885, Badillo sold his 100 acres for $12,000 and left for San Francisco with his family. But his name doesn’t appear in that city’s directory from 1885 to 1888. The brothers were described as “dashing” in one book but so far photos of them have eluded historians. Their name lives on in the street that goes through most of the property they owned. At the corner of San Bernardino Road and Hollenbeck Avenue also lies a plaque which tells the story of the Badillos. It mentions that Julian Badillo built his house at the corner that would later house Phillips. There is another alternative ending to this tale of lost coffee dreams. In a piece about Covina history, an E.B. Rice wrote that after selling Daniel Houser the 100 acres, Antonio Badillo returned to Costa Rica with his family and bought a coffee plantation. Perhaps this time, his dream held. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811,Ext. 2718
Those days may be coming to an end. One potential buyer is coming back for a second look, said Mike Clear, assistant superintendent for business services. Clear said the district has been trying to sell the building to other school districts and community colleges. He would not disclose the asking price. The building, with a full kitchen and air conditioning, will stay put until it’s sold, and when that happens, the buyers will pay for the move, Clear said. “We’d like it to go away, too,” Clear said. “Unfortunately we’ve had a hard time selling it.” The blue-trimmed building was at the former Stevenson Ranch North campus before arriving at Meadows, where it’s also been used for meetings and as a multipurpose room, Principal Peggy O’Brien said. Portable buildings sit on the other side of the school’s campus and are home to some fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade classes. Those buildings were painted to match the school and blend into the Fedala Road neighborhood of tidy single-family homes. O’Brien wasn’t aware of complaints made to the district about the building and had thought parents were being patient. Some parents, such as Ellen Fagan, don’t mind the building on the playground. “They usually stay on top of this stuff as well they can,” said the 44-year-old Fagan. “We’re not the type to micromanage the school.” Sue Doyle, (661) 257-5254 email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Get rid of the dang thing,” Gina Langdale said Tuesday after dropping off her child at school. The 35-year-old Valencia woman said the district is using the playground for storage by leaving the building on the school site. Word is spreading among parents to call the district office and tell officials it’s time to give the unused facility the heave-ho, so the school’s 716 pupils can take back their playground. Julie Husman did just that. Calling the building an eyesore, the 40-year-old Valencia mother said she called the district and urged officials to get rid of it. She said the building obstructs her view when she drops off her children at school, because they have to walk around it to get to class. “You can’t see through it, so you can’t see your kids on the other side,” Husman said. VALENCIA – It’s been more than a year since lunch was last served inside the portable school cafeteria, and now some parents want the building gone. The gray structure has sat among red swing sets and slides on the colorful playground of Meadows Elementary School since December 2003, when the K-6 facility began a $6 million modernization project. About a year and one revamped cafeteria later, construction was completed. But the 48-foot-by-60-foot building has remained. Newhall School District officials are trying to sell it, but so far haven’t had much luck. Parents are getting impatient.
ST. LOUIS — Moments after the San Jose Sharks’ season ended with a 5-1 loss in Game 6 of the Western Conference final, with the victorious St. Louis Blues still on the ice celebrating their trip to the Stanley Cup Final, Sharks icon Joe Thornton was asked point-blank if he had thought about his future.His answer was just as direct. And simple, too.“No,” he said.This was no time for the 21-year-veteran, the first overall pick way back in 1997, to address whether he’ll play another year in a …
PHOENIX — First came Matt Cain. Then it was Tim Lincecum. Soon to follow was Madison Bumgarner.The Giants built three World Series championship clubs on the shoulders of homegrown talent, enjoying an embarrassment of riches with first round draft choices who quickly emerged as stars.The golden trio of starters have some of the most impressive résumés in franchise history, but none can say they accomplished what rookie right-hander Logan Webb did on Saturday at Chase Field.With five innings …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The 2015 growing season was a tough season to get hay made. Finding a window of dry weather to get hay mowed, cured and baled up was a challenge and the wet weather also challenged yield this year with delayed cutting opportunities.As the warm fall temperatures spur some late fall alfalfa growth, some farmers will be tempted to make one last cutting of that 16- to 20- inch hay. There are some considerations to make in order to keep root reserves at a premium for the start of the 2016 growing season.“Making a late mowing in alfalfa is okay as long as we are within 200 heat units of a hard frost, which would be a low temperature of 24 to 26 degrees,” said Kyle Poling, a Field Agronomist with DuPont Pioneer. “If we stay within those parameters and minimize the regrowth to less than 2 to 3 inches, there will be enough root reserves left for next year.”The most conservative approach to keeping the root reserves stable, according to Poling, is to make that last cutting right on top of, or right after, that last frost. A frost will cause the leaves to wilt and die, but if the field can be cut within a day or two of that frost a grower can get the tonnage without affecting the quality of the field going into the 2016 growing season.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We could use an inch or two of rain now. We got a couple quick showers for maybe a half-inch total this weekend and we had a quick shower last Monday.We are dry but the beans haven’t really showed too much stress yet and the corn is kind of hit and miss. The later planted stuff is starting to show some stress but the early stuff must have pretty good root systems.I help some guys chop some corn around here and some of the early-planted stuff might be about a normal time for chopping around Labor Day. But there will be quite a bit that is later this year.Alfalfa is still looking good. I know quite a few guys have been spraying for leaf hopper. I think a few guys laid out their third cutting. I think most of the first cutting grass hay is done now.We only have a little alfalfa. We do pretty much all grass hay. There is a little bit we will get some second cutting out of once the rains go through but the majority of the grass hay is not growing much. It really depends on the rains.We have cover crops planted in all of the wheat fields and we have the straw baled. The cover crops are starting to come up and with this rain it will help. We have a 15- or 16-way cover crop mix out there now with ryegrass, a couple different peas, sunn hemp, sudangrass, millet, buckwheat and others. Oats is the highest rate and it is only 10 pounds of seed per acre. It is around $20 an acre for what we put out. Half to three quarters of the mix will die and then we’ll just really have the ryegrass and clover that comes back.The beans are flowering and the earliest planted beans are setting pods. Some of the beans are aborting flowers because it was getting dry, but this moisture is going to help get them going again.There is some really early corn starting to tassel. For the most part, though, there is a lot of corn that hasn’t even set tassels yet.
Ready for another inspectionYou can see my $7,000, high-powered sprinkler system at work in Image #7 below. Hard to believe that underneath the plastic “infiltrators” you see in the background and 12 inches of soil, that spray is going to be the last step in safely disposing of my sewage.Today, the septic designer brought over a hose assembly and we hooked it up. The hose assembly attaches to the pump at the bottom of the tank and makes three 90-degree turns before exiting the tank and going through the PVC pipes I assembled a few days ago.Now it was time to fill up the pump chamber with water and test the system. It was necessary to fill up the chamber with water for two reasons. First, you never want to run any kind of water pump without water in it because air has much lower resistance than water and the motor will burn out without that resistance (so make sure you aren’t out of windshield wiper fluid!). Second, the panel won’t operate the pump unless both the redundant off and pump on floats have been activated, and I’m not too keen on climbing down into the tank and flipping them upside down by hand.After 10 minutes or so I had enough water in the tank to activate both floats and I turned on the power to the control panel. The pump activated and we got the beautiful water show you see in the photo. The septic designer called the inspector for an appointment so I can replicate the display for him and he will sign off on it. Adding the pipingThe pipes that disperse the effluent to the drain field are made from 2-inch PVC reduced to 1 1/4-inch PVC using two cross fittings and a tee fitting. In image #4 below, you can see how the 2-inch pipe enters the field and is attached to cross fittings underneath the black tunnels. The design allows the 2-inch pipe to branch into six separate 1 1/4-inch pipes and disperse the effluent into the the field evenly.The PVC is very simple to glue together with primer and cement. Once the pieces are glued, a 1/8-inch hole must be drilled at the top of each 1 1/4-inch line every 2 feet, starting 1 foot from the place it tees off from the main 2-inch pipe. Those pipes are then covered with the large, black gravelless chambers. The holes allow the effluent to spray out and cover as much of the area of the entire field as possible.The gravelless chambers are exactly what they sound like. Instead of covering the PVC lines with gravel, you use the plastic chambers. They are cheaper and much easier to install than shoveling gravel. The chambers help direct the effluent sprayed from the pipes into the soil and also ensure that the pipes will be protected from human activity above. GBA Encyclopedia: Green Plumbing SystemsGBA Encyclopedia: Gray WaterGBA Product Guide: Septic and Leach Field Systems How New Technologies Are Shrinking Wastewater’s Hefty Carbon Footprint Standard treatment of sewage hasn’t changed much over the years. Nature actually had it figured out pretty well before humans even attempted to manage it. Given enough time, soil and the organisms that inhabit it are extremely adept at breaking down harmful toxins and dispersing the safer compounds into underground waterways. The only thing a septic system does is harness this awesome power.Designing a proper system starts with a soils test and/or “perc” test. A soils test involves removing a deep core of soil and analyzing what appears in the different layers. Soil is then classified into sand, gravel, loam, clay, and all sorts of combinations of those types. A perc test involves filling a deep hole with water and timing how long it takes water to percolate through the soil at the bottom of the hole. (The soil must be prepped by soaking it thoroughly first and most counties require you to have a license to complete the test.) Both tests can give a pretty good indication of how well a particular patch of soil will perform at breaking down the effluent — what sewage becomes after sitting for a period of time. Soils and perc testsIn my state, the soils test or perc test must be completed by a licensed septic designer. The designer I hired charged $150 and found my soil to be “sandy loam” for the top inch and “medium sand” for the next 2 feet until reaching the water table at 28 inches. This is the depth at which dry soil becomes saturated with water due to an underground spring.The county and state health codes dictate what kind of dispersal system can be used for a given type of soil. Conditions on my site allowed me to use a gravity distributed system, which is the simplest type.The next step in the design called for locating the area of the lot where the drain field would be located. Health codes dictate setbacks for the field of 5 feet from property lines, 10 feet from water lines, and 100 feet from natural water supplies. I have a natural canal on one end of my property, and the 100-foot setback took up a substantial amount of the lot.The drain field needed to be 400 square feet, and there also needed to be a reserve field of the same area set at least 6 feet away from the main field. I had a problem here because it was impossible to fit both fields into the setbacks. Fortunately, by using the next system up from gravity I was able to use smaller fields that fit within the setbacks. RELATED ARTICLES The electrical cable was too shortThe tank installation went smoothly, but for the second time in my build I underestimated the amount of wire I needed and now I’m stuck with a couple pieces that are too short. I’ll have to return to the electrical supply store to get longer pieces. An important part of working solo is knowing where your deficiencies are and I tend to cut things just a little too close so I don’t waste a thing. With wire, hopefully this will be the last time I underestimate the length I need!I began the day by running 1 1/2-inch PVC from the tank to the drain field. I learned a lot from the mistakes I made running electrical conduit, and the end result was a well planned and perfectly aligned run. The next step was attaching the float switches inside the pump chamber of the septic tank. There are three floats that will work together to operate the pump.The float switches are bell-shaped plastic parts attached to low-voltage cords. They are very simple but ingeniously designed. When the water is low, gravity pulls the float down so the heavier bell end is down. When the water level raises, the bell end floats upward, causing a sliding metal part inside the float to meet another metal part in the middle and complete the circuit. ExcavationThe experienced backhoe operator I hired was able to dig the 9 foot by 15 foot hole to a depth of 77 inches in less than an hour (see Image #3 below). I would have liked to do it myself, and I realize now, after having seen it done, that with the right person checking the depth for me I could have done it. But it would have taken me at least five times as long. The hardest part about digging a hole that deep is that you aren’t able to see the bottom of the hole from inside the cockpit of the excavator, so you’re basically digging blind.Once the hole was dug, I climbed down on a ladder and made sure the bottom of the hole was nice and flat. We hit the water table around 6 feet down, so I was working in about 6 inches or so of water. Once I was sure I had made a nice bed for the tank I climbed back out and we got started on digging the field. This part could have very easily been done by hand since the depth of the drain field is only 7 inches. But since the excavator was already there, it made quick work of the job.The field is 9 feet by 35 feet, and it must be flat and level. The first step is finding the lowest spot, then and digging down 7 inches from there. Once that is done it’s simply a matter of matching that depth to the remainder of the field. I used a 6-foot level and also a rotary laser level to check the depth, and a rake and shovel to fine-tune things. Editor’s note: This is one in a series of blogs detailing the construction of a net-zero energy house in Point Roberts, Washington, by an owner/builder with relatively little building experience. You’ll find Matt Bath’s full blog, Saving Sustainably, here. If you want to follow project costs, you can keep an eye on a budget worksheet here. A pressure distributed systemI will be installing what is called a pressure distributed system. It’s basically the same as a gravity type system but with the addition of a pump. This balances the distribution of effluent more evenly across the field, thus allowing a smaller field area.The sewage from the house exits the main drain pipe and enters a three-compartment concrete septic tank (see Image #2 below).The first compartment is aptly named the trash chamber, and allows the sewage to separate into solids on the bottom, a layer of sludge on the top, and a cleaner liquid in the middle. This liquid is allowed to enter the second compartment, called the digestion chamber. In order to exit this chamber, the sewage must decompose into small enough particles to pass through a filter. A pump sits at the bottom of the last compartment, the clarifier chamber. When the level of liquid in the chamber causes a float to reach a certain height, some of the liquid is pumped out of of the tank and through a pipe to the drain field.There are two more floats: the first to ensure the pump doesn’t run too often and the second to sound an alarm if the pump isn’t working and the tank is getting full. BLOGS BY MATT BATH Foundation FormworkAn Introduction The control panel is mounted on a postYou can see in Image #6 how I’ve mounted the control panel on a 2Ã—6 pressure-treated post and run wires through 3/4-inch conduit from the panel down towards the pump chamber riser. Tomorrow I will buy a rubber grommet to make a seal as I drill a hole through the side of the riser and run the conduit into the junction box. The last step will be running some 12/2 UF cable from my temporary power pole underground to the control panel.The other part I still need is the flexible hose assembly that will connect the pump to the 1 1/2-inch PVC I talked about in the beginning of this post. Once that is hooked up, it’s just a matter of filling the tank with water and checking to ensure everything is working properly. Placing floats correctlyThe floats must be placed on the PVC pole precisely (see Image #5 below). The first float was to be placed 13 inches from the bottom of the tank. This switch controls the “redundant off” function in the control panel. Basically, it ensures that the pump continues to run until the effluent level is low enough to lower the float. Without it, the pump would wear out a lot faster because it would run so often. Imagine if you took out the garbage to the street every time you had a piece of trash! It’s much more efficient to have a small container and only empty it when the container is full.The second float is placed 20 inches from the bottom of the tank. Once the effluent level is high enough to raise this float, the pump activates and continues to run until the “redundant off” float is lowered.The third float is the high-level switch, and is placed 35 inches from the bottom of the tank. This activates an alarm and a siren if the float is raised, and will allow me sufficient time to figure out what is wrong and fix it before the effluent level gets so high that the tank is full (see Image #6 below). Installing the tankAround this time the septic tank manufacturer arrived with the tank on the back of a flatbed. The driver used a small crane on the back of the truck to hoist the massive tank into the air and lower it into the hole we had prepared.I had a hose all ready to start filling the tank with some water as soon as it was dropped. This helps to give it some added weight and ensure it settles into the soil. The backhoe operator also added soil around the sides but left the top and the inlet and outlet ports on the sides exposed. Finishing upThe final steps involved making inspection ports from 6-inch PVC and placing them over each of the ends of the drain lines. Each port has a plastic cap that can be lifted off to expose the 90-degree long sweep at the end of the line. If for any reason the drain lines get clogged, you can take off the cap, reach down inside the PVC and unscrew the plug for the line in order to flush it out.Toward the end of the day, the backhoe operator came back and expertly returned the soil over everything, driving back and forth to compact the soil (see Image #8 below).Totally out of sight now, you can hardly tell that anything was done! What better way to “save sustainably” than to build your own septic system on your lot rather than take up a ton of land with a giant sewage treatment plant? Obviously, those are necessary with high-density residential areas, but in neighborhoods like mine, it really is too bad that more homes don’t have their own septic systems.