SCHOOL COMMITTEE RACE QA Samaha Newhouse Fennelly Evaluate Superintendents First 9 Months

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Jesse Fennelly, Jay Samaha, and incumbent Jo Newhouse are running for the three seats up for grabs in this year’s School Committee race.Despite running unopposed, Wilmington Apple felt it was important for readers to get to know the candidates a bit more. Wilmington Apple is asking the candidates weekly questions leading up to the April 27 Town Election.This week’s question: Arguably the biggest responsibility of the School Committee is the hiring of the Superintendent. Dr. Glenn Brand was selected last February, hired last March, and officially began his tenure as Superintendent here in July. He is approaching the end of his first year with the district and will receive his first evaluation from the School Committee next month. What letter grade would you give Dr. Brand’s performance thus far? Why? Name one area he’s particularly impressed you in. Name one area you believe he can improve in.Below are the candidates’ responses, in their own words:Jesse FennellyAmong the many responsibilities of the school committee, one of the biggest and most impactful is the hiring of a superintendent. Wilmington was fortunate to have the steady leadership of Joanne Benton for many years, but recently, there has been a noticeable lack of continuity at the helm of the administration. I was present for the school committee interviews of the superintendent candidates, and was immediately impressed with Dr. Brand. I said last year, and will say again, the school committee made the right choice in hiring Dr. Brand to lead our school system.Up to this point, I would give Dr. Brand an A-. Something he has done particularly well, which I indicated in my campaign last year was an area I would like to see improved, is the communication from the administration. Dr. Brand has done an excellent job, in my opinion, of keeping parents and the community updated on what is happening with the schools and the district as a whole. He has also done well with involving the community in the decision making process. From multiple surveys that have been sent out, to community representation on search committees, to involvement in strategic planning, Dr. Brand has included the community at every turn, something I believe is vitally important to the continued success of our school district.On the flipside, I don’t believe there is necessarily an area that he is lacking in. That said, one of the main issues of the school district as a whole has been a lack of continuity in leadership. I would encourage Dr. Brand to continue building his leadership team with individuals who are not only dedicated to the education of our students and improvement of our schools, but are invested in the LONG TERM success of the Wilmington School District. My hope would be, as Dr. Brand continues to build his team and replace those leaving, that he does so with an eye towards continuity. That he hires individuals who are committed to Wilmington for the long term.I know Dr. Brand can’t force people to stay here. However, if he can build a strong team that stays together for the foreseeable future, I have no doubt that we can improve our schools, and he can improve his A- to an A or A+.To learn more or get in touch, visit http://www.facebook.com/JesseFennellyforWilmingtonSchoolCommittee.Jesse FennellyJo Newhouse (Incumbent)I am pleased with Dr. Brand’s work to date, but it is too soon to give him a letter grade.  He appropriately spent the better part of this past year familiarizing himself with the school department and the Wilmington community as part of his entry plan, addressing the Coordinated Program Review findings and working on a strategic plan for the district.    His entry plan was very comprehensive, and he has provided detailed findings regarding areas of strength within the district and areas needing improvement. I am excited to work with Dr. Brand to address all of our areas of concern, but I am particularly interested in supporting his efforts to improve instructional support interventions, social emotional learning across all student demographics, and consistent communication protocols and systems within the district.Jo NewhouseJay SamahaI agree that one of the biggest responsibilities of the School Committee is to evaluate the Superintendent. Over the past few years we have struggled with inconsistent leadership in Wilmington. I believe that the hiring of Dr. Glenn Brand was a move towards more consistent leadership at the highest administrative level.If I were to assign a letter grade to Dr. Brand it would be a solid “B+”. As a teacher I would assign this grade to a student who has a strong grasp of the important principles. This student would put forth a consistently strong effort and would be a benefit to the class as a whole. This student would also have areas were he/she could improve to get that grade up to an “A”.I am confident that Dr. Brand knows the ins and outs of the job of Superintendent. He is competent and this shows in his reports to the School Committee and in feedback from both parents and staff that work with him. He is conscientious and confident. He is also humble enough to admit when he does not know something but will work hard to get you the answer.One area where he has truly impressed me is his ability to lead. One great example of this is his work with the Strategic Planning Committee. He has shown great transparency with the process. I have spoken with people on this committee and they are energized and excited to do the work. This, I believe, demonstrates Dr. Brand’s ability to lead. Another area of commendation for Dr. Brand is his work with the Special Education Program Evaluation. He has acknowledged that this is not something that Wilmington is obligated to do. However, he believes that it will ultimately benefit our students so he is going forward with it. That, to me, is the type of leadership I am looking for in a Superintendent.One of the areas that I believe Dr. Brand could improve upon is his community outreach and communication. When the final three principal candidates came to visit the Middle School and hold a forum there were very few parents present. I have spoken with numerous middle school parents who had no idea the forums were happening. I’d like to know what Dr. Brand’s plan is going forward to engage parents and families.I am looking forward to working closely with Dr. Brand and his leadership team in order to build even better schools in Wilmington.Jay SamahaLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSCHOOL COMMITTEE NOTEBOOK: 5 Things That Happened At Recent School Committee MeetingIn “Education”A VOTER’S GUIDE To The Wilmington School Committee RaceIn “Government”VIDEO: School Committee Candidate Jay Samaha Discusses His Campaign With WCTVIn “Videos”last_img read more

Texas flooding sparks fears of chemical explosion

first_imgTrucks make their way through flood waters on a main road leading to the Arkema Inc. chemical plant that was in crisis during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Photo: AFPNew proof of the devastation wrought by monster storm Harvey emerged Wednesday as the bodies of six family members were plucked from receding waters in Texas and flooding triggered fears of a chemical explosion near Houston.While clouds parted in America’s fourth-largest city, bringing a welcome respite after the storm turned roads into rivers, rural areas of Texas were drenched as Harvey headed eastwards with the city of Port Arthur especially hard hit.Authorities in neighboring Louisiana scrambled to safeguard their state from the impact of Harvey, whose onslaught evoked painful memories of Hurricane Katrina’s deadly strike 12 years ago—but New Orleans escaped with minimal rain.Taking advantage of a lull in the rainfall in Houston, rescuers recovered the bodies of six family members from a van which was swept away by the floods over the weekend.Manuel and Belia Saldivar and four of their great-grandchildren ranging from six to 16 years in age went missing on Sunday.“Our worst fears have been realized,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told a press conference, confirming all six bodies had been found inside the van.So far, officials believe at least 33 people to have been killed in the storm, and there is little doubt the toll will rise further—although many of those unaccounted for may simply have no access to phones or power.“To those Americans who have lost loved ones, all of America is grieving with you, and our hearts are joined with yours forever,” President Donald Trump said in a speech, a day after viewing some of the damage for himself on a trip to Texas.More than 30,000 people have found refuge in shelters across the Lone Star State, from the giant Houston convention center to small churches, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Brock Long.In Houston, where Mayor Sylvester Turner issued an nighttime curfew to aid search efforts and thwart potential looting, the two major airports reopened on a limited basis, signalling a slow return to normality.Turner told a news conference Wednesday night that trash pickup and metro service will resume in some areas where flood waters have receded.“It’s my hope that despite how massive this storm has been, that the city of Houston will quickly move to get back to where we were and then beyond that,” Turner said.The National Hurricane Center downgraded Harvey to a tropical depression Wednesday night, but warned that life-threatening flood conditions remain in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.But at least a quarter of Harris County, which includes Houston, is still under water—and the operators of an organic peroxides plant outside the city warned they were bracing for the risk of an explosion after flooding caused them to lose all power.“Right now, we have an unprecedented six feet of water at the plant,” Rich Rowe, president and chief executive of plant operator Arkema Inc, said in a statement.“We have lost critical refrigeration of the materials on site that could now explode and cause a subsequent intense fire,” he said. “The high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it.”As a precaution, officials had already ordered the evacuation of an area within 1.5 miles (three km) of the plant in Crosby, northeast of Houston, and Rowe said the facility itself had been evacuated for employees’ safety.‘City underwater’Even as Houston got a first glimpse of life-after-Harvey, the city of Port Arthur was pummeled by torrential rains—making it almost impossible to reach despite the best efforts of volunteer rescuers.“Our whole city is underwater right now,” Port Arthur’s mayor, Derrick Freeman, posted on Facebook early Wednesday—assuring stranded residents that help was on the way.Justin Coleman was part of a crew of three jeeps and three boats that drove overnight from Fort Worth trying to reach Port Arthur, but were forced to turn around on their first attempt.“We’re on the radio with them right now and every 30 seconds there’s another person rescued,” the 33-year-old told AFP during a pit stop at a gas station in the nearby town of Winnie.“There’s a lot of babies and elderly that are stuck in their homes right now. They said it’s getting up to their chests,” said Coleman, who runs a construction company.So far, parts of Texas have seen more than 50 inches (1.27 meters) of rain, while in Louisiana, the top total 18 inches so far was increasing.Dodged a bulletHarvey first slammed onshore as a Category Four hurricane on Friday night before unloading on Texas.Although now downgraded to a tropical storm, Harvey made its second landfall just west of the Louisiana town of Cameron early Wednesday, packing maximum sustained winds nearing 45 miles per hour.Forecasters are predicting another five to 10 inches of rain in the region, with the downpour finally expected to stop on Thursday.For now, southwestern Louisiana is taking the hardest hit, with a levee being breached in the town of Gueydan.While New Orleans appeared to have dodged a bullet, the arrival of Harvey nevertheless served as a somber reminder, coming just one day after the 12-year anniversary of Katrina, which ravaged the vulnerable city famous for its jazz music and cuisine.“I began to pray for the people in Texas after having gone through that same experience myself as a Katrina survivor,” said Crystal Harris, who works for a bank which was taking donations for storm victims.‘Lessons learned’In Texas, the damage wrought is staggering—Enki Research put its “best estimate” at between $48 billion and $75 billion.At least one bridge had crumbled, one levee had breached and dams were at risk, while Harvey sparked the closure of several major refineries across what is a major hub of America’s oil industry.More than 4,500 people and 1,000 pets have been rescued from the storm zone by the Coast Guard, which expected to rescue an additional 1,000 people Wednesday in the Port Arthur area alone.The Coast Guard has deployed about 50 aircraft and two dozen boats, but the overall rescue effort, involving other military branches and state police, easily tops more than 100 aircraft.“We are certainly bringing lessons learned from Katrina,” Admiral Paul Thomas, who oversees Coast Guard operations in 26 states, told reporters in New Orleans—noting that several members of his team are Louisiana natives who are veterans of the 2005 disaster.last_img read more

Tillerson expresses concern about atrocities in Rakhine

first_imgUS secretary of state Rex Tillerson speaks to staff members at the US Mission to the UN on 26 October 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. AFPUS secretary of state Rex Tillerson urged Myanmar’s army chief Thursday to help end the violence in Rakhine state that has forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee.In a phone call with Min Aung Hlaing, Tillerson expressed “concern about the continuing humanitarian crisis and reported atrocities in Rakhine”, according to a statement by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.“The Secretary urged Burma’s security forces to support the government in ending the violence in Rakhine state and allowing the safe return home of those displaced during this crisis, especially the large numbers of ethnic Rohingya,” she added, using Myanmar’s former name.More than 600,000 members of the minority Muslim group have fled across the border into Bangladesh in an intensifying crisis that began in late August.Militant attacks on Myanmar security forces in Rakhine sparked a major army crackdown on the group, who are labelled illegal Bengali immigrants by most Burmese.Tillerson, who paid a visit to Myanmar’s giant neighbor India earlier this week, urged the military in his phone call to facilitate humanitarian aid for those who have been displaced.He also told the army to “cooperate with the United Nations to ensure a thorough, independent investigation into all allegations of human rights abuses and violations and to ensure accountability,” said the statement.Washington announced on Monday it was pushing for targeted sanctions against officers from the Myanmar army involved in violence while withdrawing invitations to senior members of the security forces to visit the US, and ending travel waivers.The move came after Tillerson had said the US holds Myanmar’s military leadership “accountable” for the refugee crisis, drawing a distinction with Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government.Tillerson warned last week the world won’t stand and “be witness to the atrocities that have been reported,” adding that the military must be disciplined and “restrained.”Min Aung Hlaing has consistently defended his forces against accusations of having committed atrocities.“One-sided statements and accusations against Myanmar and security members over the terror attacks of extremist Bengalis in the west of Rakhine State are totally untrue,” he said in a post on his Facebook page Tuesday.Supporters say Rohingyas have been systematically deprived of basic rights over decades in majority Buddhist Myanmar.In the latest crackdown, Myanmar’s security forces have fired indiscriminately on unarmed civilians, including children, and committed widespread sexual violence, according to UN investigators.last_img read more

Cloud Filestore A new high performance storage option by Google Cloud Platform

first_imgGoogle recently came up with a new storage option for developers in its cloud. Cloud Filestore which is in its beta will launch next month according to the Google Cloud Platform Blog. Applications that require a filesystem interface and a shared filesystem for data can leverage this file storage service. It provides a fully managed  Network Attached Storage (NAS) service to effectively integrate with Google Compute Engine and Kubernetes Engine instances. Developers can leverage the abilities of Filestore for high performing file-based workloads. Now enterprises can easily run applications that depend on traditional file system interface with Google Cloud Platform. Traditionally, if applications needed a standard file system, developers would have to improvise a file server with a persistent disk. Filestore does away with traditional methods and allows GCP developers to spin-up storage as needed. Filestore offers high throughput, low latency and high IOPS (Input/output operations per second). This service is available in two tiers; premium and standard. The premium tier costs $0.30/GB/month and promises a max throughput of 700 MB/s and 30,000 max IOPS. The standard tier costs $0.20/GB/month with 180 MB/s max throughput and 5,000 max IOPS. A snapshot of Filestore features Filestore was introduced at the Los Angeles region launch and majorly focused on the entertainment and media industries, where there is a great need for shared file systems for enterprise applications. But this service is not limited only to the media industry, other industries that rely on similar enterprise applications can also benefit from this service. Benefits of using Filestore A lightning speed experience Filestore provides high IOPS for latency sensitive workloads such as content management systems, databases, random i/o, or other metadata intensive applications. This further results in a minimal variability in performance. Consistent  performance throughout Cloud Filestore ensures that one pays a predictable price for predictable performance. Users can independently choose the preferred IOPS–standard or premium– and storage capacity with Filestore. With this option to choose from, users can fine tune their filesystem for a particular workload. One will also experience consistent performance for a particular workload over time. Simplicity at its best Cloud Filestore, a fully managed, NoOps service, is integrated with the rest of the Google Cloud portfolio. One can easily mount Filestore volumes on Compute Engine VMs. Filestore is tightly integrated with Google Kubernetes Engine, which allows containers to refer the same shared data. To know more about this exciting release, visit Cloud Filestore official website. Related Links AT&T combines with Google cloud to deliver cloud networking at scale What Google, RedHat, Oracle, and others announced at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2018 GitLab is moving from Azure to Google Cloud in Julylast_img read more

RxAndroid 210 is out with a newly added Async API

first_imgRxAndroid 2.1.0, the latest version of RxAndroid, has an option to post async messages. The async parameter affects Android APIs 16 and newer. It allows one to avoid VSYNC locking that pushes every post to the next frame. RxAndroid adds minimum classes to RxJava to make reactive programming in Android applications easy and hassle-free. Why this change is introduced? The main thread has historically used Handler#post() to schedule new Messages. This follows the VSYNC locking and results in waiting until the next frame to run. Use of Handler#post() causes a delay of up to 16ms for every emission to go through the post(). This delay happens even if you’re already on the main thread. The Async API aims to bypass VSYNC locking while still letting the framework handle all the scheduling safely in its looper. How you can install the Async API? With the help of RxAndroidPlugins you can set async as the custom scheduler. In Kotlin: val asyncMainThreadScheduler = AndroidSchedulers.from(Looper.getMainLooper(), true)RxAndroidPlugins.setInitMainThreadSchedulerHandler { asyncMainThreadScheduler }// Or if the default scheduler is alreadyinitialiazedRxAndroidPlugins.setMainThreadSchedulerHandler { asyncMainThreadScheduler } In Java: Scheduler asyncMainThreadScheduler = AndroidSchedulers.from(Looper.getMainLooper(), true);RxAndroidPlugins.setInitMainThreadSchedulerHandler(callable -> asyncMainThreadScheduler);// Or if the default scheduler is already initialiazedRxAndroidPlugins.setMainThreadSchedulerHandler(scheduler -> asyncMainThreadScheduler); How asynchronous is enabled in the different Android APIs? The Async API works by relying on the new Handler.createAsync factory in API 28, and on pre-28 it will reflectively fall back to a private constructor of Handler to enable this. API 28: The Handler.createAsync() factory API is used. It sets all Messages it handles to be asynchronous by default. API 22+: The public setAsynchronous() method is used. API [16–21]: The setAsynchronous() method is still used but the lint error that says it’s only 22+ is suppressed. To avoid any OEM situations of deleted/changed internal APIs, the Message#setAsynchronous() method call is handled using try/catch in the from() Scheduler factory to ensure it’s there at runtime. This catches the NoSuchMethodError if it is missing and falls back to the standard non-async messaging. API : There is no behavior change and the standard non-async messaging is used since the asynchronous APIs didn’t exist. To know more about the Async API head over to Zac Sweers announcement on Medium. Read Next Entry level phones to taste the Go edition of the Android 9.0 Pie version Android 9 pie’s Smart Linkify: How Android’s new machine learning based feature works Dagger 2.17, a dependency injection framework for Java and Android, is now out!last_img read more

Sacred Rides Global Events convicted and fined

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Tags: TICO, Travel Industry Act Share Sacred Rides, Global Events convicted and finedcenter_img Wednesday, November 23, 2016 TORONTO – Miro Brcic and Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Holidays Inc. (Sacred Rides) have pled guilty and each was convicted of one count of operating as a travel agent without registration, confirms TICO.Brcic is an owner and director of Sacred Rides, which operated in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario. Brcic was sentenced to a fine of $3,500 plus Victim Surcharge Fine, for a total of $4,375. Sacred Rides was sentenced to a fine of $1,000 plus Victim Surcharge Fine, for a total of $1,250.Sacred Rides has applied and is now registered as a travel agent under the Travel Industry Act, 2002.In other news, in September 2016, the Ontario Court of Justice, Provincial Offences Court acquitted Global Events Management Group Inc. (Global Events) and Maher Jaber of one count each of operating as a travel agent without registration.TICO appealed to the Ontario Court of Justice, Criminal Division. The appeal was granted and the defendants were convicted of operating as a travel agent without registration. Jaber and Global Events were sentenced to a fine of $2,500 each, plus Victim Surcharge and Court Fees for a total of $6,250.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaJaber and Global Events operated in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario. Posted bylast_img read more

Remembering Patrick Doherty beloved industry veteran

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, April 6, 2017 Remembering Patrick Doherty, beloved industry veteran Share TORONTO — When referring to the dates on his tombstone, with the date of his birth on one end followed by a final date on the other, Patrick Joseph Doherty said what mattered most of all was “the dash between those years.”Wise words from the larger-than-life travel industry veteran who passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on March 27 at The Villages Regional Hospital near Ocala, Florida.Known by friends and colleagues as the “Redman”, Doherty was born in 1940 in Dublin, Ireland where he eventually worked as a young man in local shipping yards. Guided by his entrepreneurial spirit, he immigrated to Canada in 1968 and co-founded Alltour Marketing Support Services Ltd., the distribution partner of the Canadian travel industry. In the last quarter of his illustrious career, he joined Baxter Publishing where he established a multitude of partnerships that lasted well into his retirement.In his obituary, Doherty’s family spoke of his love of life, golf, travel and piano bars, and said no one was too insignificant for him to reach out with a friendly smile and say, “My pleasure to meet you!” He loved people of all ethnic backgrounds, ages, professions and interests.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaDoherty was a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, mentor, friend and business partner. He is pre-deceased by his wife of 40 years, Catherine (Dolly), and is survived by his sister, Mary O’Sullivan, and brother, Harry Doherty in Dublin, daughters Elizabeth, Martina and Sarah, sons-in-law Peter and Tony, grandchildren Nicole, Patrick, Celene, Reilly, Aidan, Ryan, Caleb and Gabriel, and great-grandchild Connor.A visitation will be held on April 9 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Glendale Memorial Gardens, 1810 Albion Road, Etobicoke, Ont. Funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on April 10 at Saint Peter’s Church, 100 Bainbridge Avenue, Vaughan, Ont. Cremation has already taken place. Arrangements in care of Glendale Memorial Gardens (416) 697-1803.In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.last_img read more

Win up to 100000 Loyalty Rewards points with TravelBrands Booking Bingo

first_img Posted by Share Tags: TravelBrands Travelweek Group Tuesday, March 6, 2018 center_img Win up to 100,000 Loyalty Rewards points with TravelBrands’ Booking Bingo << Previous PostNext Post >> MISSISSAUGA — TravelBrands is inviting agents to play a game of Bingo for a chance to win Loyalty Rewards points.Beginning on March 5 and running until April 29, 2018, the promotional game includes ‘squares’ like air, car rentals, add-ons, cruise bookings, hotel bookings, TravelGenie bookings and more. When agents book a qualifying product on a square, they’ll receive a stamp and attempt to make a qualifying figure.“We launched Bingo as a way to connect with our trusted agents and have while doing so,” said Frank DeMarinis, President and CEO, TravelBrands. “Our Booking Bingo showcases the wide array of products and offerings TravelBrands has on its Access platform, while giving back to our agents as a gesture of gratitude for all of their hard work.”There are over 100 prizes to be claimed for agents who complete the qualifying figures. Prizing and figures are as follows:The first 100 participants to make and claim a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row will earn 5,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsThe first 30 participants to make and claim an ‘X’ will receive 10,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsThe first 30 participants to make and claim a ‘T’ will win 10,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsThe first 10 participants to make and claim all outside squares will earn 30,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsThe first 3 participants to make and claim a Full Card will win 100,000 Loyalty Rewards pointsMore news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaTravel agents can access their electronic Bingo card in their Loyalty Rewards points’ account. Agents are responsible for determining what they need to book, following their progress, and claiming their prize. Stamps are made automatically and will be shown one day after booking. If a booking is cancelled, the stamp will be removed from the card.Since the number of winners per figure is limited, each claim submitted will be time-stamped to ensure fairness.The deadline for claiming a prize is May 7, 2018. Points will be credited to the winners’ accounts at the end of the Bingo game and no later than May 11, 2018.To make qualifying bookings and participate in Bingo, visit travelbrandsaccess.com.last_img read more