New Hemispheres Editor We Want to Reinvent the InFlight Magazine Completely

first_img“We’re not approaching it as a service magazine,” Gell added. “We’re approaching it as a general interest magazine—something you would pay for before you get on a flight.”As evidence of this new, quasi-highbrow approach, Gell pointed to one new front-of-the-book section he described as a “global ‘Talk of the Town.’”“No more ‘Top 10 Steakhouses,’” he said.“In-flight magazines have always assumed a captive audience—it has made them very lazy,” Gell said. “We all know there is going to be Wi-Fi on planes soon, it’s already starting right now—so we’re going to have to fight for attention.”Gell said his goal is to “give passengers something as sophisticated as they would find on the newsstand,” and, in turn, an editorial environment the types of high-end advertisers found there are comfortable in.But to attract those advertisers, Simon Leslie, Ink’s group publishing director, said he’s had to do something few magazine publishers have the luxury to do in a recession: turn away advertisers.“We inherited a lot of contracts we’re not renewing,” Leslie said. “Hair replacement, dating adverts—we’re removing them to attract leading advertisers.” The magazine, he said, will feel “very European.”Ad pages for Hemispheres fell 24.1 percent in 2008, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.“Of course it’s very risky,” Leslie said. “Some marketers are offering big amounts of money at us, and I’ve turned them all down. Literally people who’d slot 6- or 8- or 12-page inserts with ‘Best This’ or ‘Best That’—it’s pure cash that goes to the bottom line.”He added: “People are looking at me like I’m on a different planet, (but) we’ve taken a stance to refuse   that advertising and are sticking by our guns.”And, unlike Delta Sky, which announced in April that it would be available for sale on newsstands—an apparent first for a U.S. in-flight magazine—there are no plans to distribute Hemispheres on the newsstand. “The audience we have on planes is good enough,” Leslie. In December, United Airlines selected Ink Publishing, a London-based custom publisher, to publish Hemispheres—effectively ending a deal with Pace Communications to produce its in-flight magazine.Today, Hemispheres will officially relaunch with a new design, new philosophy—and a new and editor and publisher bent on reinventing the magazine as a high-brow consumer title that passengers will actually want to read, rather than, say, a place to deposit their chewing gum.“In-flight magazines have this stigma attached to them,” new Hemispheres editor Aaron Gell, a former editor at Radar, said. “They’re considered ‘sleepy’—the content is not up to par with what you see on the newsstand.last_img read more

Time Out New York Launches ECommerce Daily Deals Platform

first_imgFrom a strategic standpoint, it’s also a revenue generator for the company. TONY receives a revenue share from all transactions—a percentage that varies depending on the vendor relationship, says van der Wal. For restaurant bookings, TONY partners with reservations site OpenTable; for theater tickets, the company works with local theaters. Daily deals are mostly offered through existing advertisers and is “an extension of what we offer our business partners,” says van der Wal. “When people used to come to our website and start planning their evening, they subsequently had to go to other websites to book,” says Aksel van der Wal, president of Time Out North America and COO of Time Out Group. “From our perspective, it’s a much better user experience if they can book on our website as well.” TONY’s print circulation is just under 150,000, while it’s main website drew 1.85 million unique visitors in February—according to van der Wal, a 91 percent increase since Oakley’s acquisition of the company last May. Moving forward with an expanded focus on digital media, Time Out New York (TONY) has integrated e-commerce and daily deals into its website and newly-launched apps.Users can now purchase theater tickets and book tables at restaurants directly through the site and apps. TONY’s new “Offers & Experiences” platform offers daily discounts from local niche companies.center_img Despite this push to a digital focus, van der Wal says Time Out has no current plans to back off print. “Print is still extremely important for us,” he says. “Like with any print product in the last years, print is under pressure. That’s no news. But it’s still a crucial part of our offering.” The new apps, for iPad and iPhone, are designed to offer relevant, targeted suggestions based on user activity and are powered in part by the personalization algorithm provided by LikeCube, a UK-based semantic analysis company Time Out acquired last August. The apps will also offer picks from TONY editors.The iPad app will launch in London within a couple of months, and van der Wal expects some of the company’s licensees in 35 global cities to have “picked it up” by then as well.Formation of a Global Digital Media GroupPrivate equity firm Oakley Capital acquired a majority stake in Time Out New York last May, following its initial investment in Time Out London in November 2010, with the goal to create a global digital media group called Time Out Group. Part of the plan was to develop a single multi-channel online platform powered by a central content database and transaction engine. TONY’s shift to the new timeout.com/newyork domain is a move to unify the site with Time Out Group’s other global properties.Since Oakley’s acquisition, Time Out also purchased daily deals site Keynoir and luxury shopping site Kelkoo Select, in November and December respectively, in an apparent attempt to acquire the companies’ e-commerce capabilities.last_img read more

GM Apple and Ford Score Full 100 on Corporate Equality Index on

first_imgIn the latest edition of Human Rights Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), several Fortune Top-20 companies including General Motors, Apple Inc and Ford Motor Company scored a complete 100.The Human Rights Foundation releases an annual CEI report that gauges the state of the LGBT community and how they are treated in workplaces. It also measures the benefits, rights and corporates’ attention towards the community on an annual basis.”When it comes to LGBT equality, corporate America is a leader, not a follower. At every turn, from advocating for marriage equality to providing vital support for transgender employees, this country’s leading companies have asked, ‘what more can we do?,’ and they’ve worked tirelessly to achieve new progress. That kind of leadership changes countless lives around this country, and sets an important example to other companies around the globe,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Foundation said in a statement.What the Survey FoundWhile the senate is still debating an exclusive law for protection against discrimination for the LGBT community, the CEI report found that 89% of the Fortune 500 companies already have a “non-discrimination by sexual orientation” policy at work.Also, about a third of the Fortune 500 companies now offer healthcare cover and more than hundred of them have “adopted gender transition guidelines” and education programs that promote identity acceptance and definitions in the workplace.The WinnersThis year, a record 366 companies achieved a 100% rating on the CEI, compared to the 13 businesses that had achieved a full score 13 years back when the ratings debuted.Law firms, banking and financial institutions and retail and consumer product firms were the top sectors where LGBT is most accepted and respected.Below are the top 10 Fortune-1000 companies that scored a full 100:Chevron Corp.Apple Inc.General Motors Co.General Electric CoFord Motor Co.AT&T Inc.Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)CVS Caremark Corp.McKesson Corp.Hewlett-Packard Co.last_img read more

BJP set to give deathly blow to CongressJDS alliance on its 1st

first_imgHD Kumaraswamy with his wife and son along with DK Suresh posing for the camera after casting votes.HD Kumaraswamy Twitter AccountThe BJP is set to register its best-ever performance in the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka. If we go by the early trends, the saffron party is leading in 23 seats, which eventually could come as a deathly blow to the Congress-JD (S) alliance on its first anniversary.Till the story went for publishing, Congress was leading in three seats – Bangalore Rural, Bangalore Central and Chamarajanagar, while JD (S) was leading in only in Haasan constituency. There is a neck-to-neck fight between JD (S) candidate Nikhil Gowda and independent candidate Sumalatha in Mandya.The heavyweights of Congress and JD(S) like Mallikarjun Kharge (Kalaburagi), who had won 10 consecutive elections, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda (Tumakuru), former Chief Minister Veerappa Moily (Chikkaballapur)and KH Muniyappa (Kolar) are trailing.If these trends are final, it is going to adversely impact the JD(S) and Congress government, which completes one year in office on May 23. Ironically, the oath-taking ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy had become a platform for all the opposition parties to display their unity of strength against Narendra Modi’s BJP. With state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa constantly claiming that 20 MLAs from the opposition parties are in touch with him and would join the BJP any time, the fate of the government might be in jeopardy and political pundits have already predicted that the alliance might fall soon.last_img read more

Court denies bail to 5 accused in Rupa murder case

first_imgZakia Sultana Rupa. Prothom Alo File PhotoA Tangail court on Wednesday rejected the bail pleas of five accused in a case filed over the killing of college girl Zakia Sultana Rupa after gang rape in a running bus in Madhupur upazila of the district.|Senior judicial magistrate Golam Kibria passed the order when Advocate Fayezur Rahman filed the bail petitions.The five accused are bus driver Habibur, its supervisor Safar Ali, and helpers Shamim, Akram and Jahangir.Rupa, 27, a law student, was murdered after gang rape in the running bus while she was returning to Mymensingh from Bogra on 25 August.Police recovered the bloodstained body from Panchmail area of the upazila on that night.Following post-mortem, she was buried at central graveyard of the town as unclaimed body. Later, victim’s relatives identified her seeing her photograph.On 28 August, police arrested the five accused from Mymensingh over the murder of Rupa.On 31 August, police exhumed the victim’s body and handed it over to her family for burial in a proper manner.Rupa, who completed her Masters from Bogra Azizul Haque College, was studying law at Dhaka Ideal Law College. She used to work at Unilever Bangladesh Limited at its Sherpur branch.last_img read more

The information man of Jessore

first_imgAshraf HossainAshraf Hossain is a living legend in Jessore’s Chaugacha upazila, helping the people in his area to avail the Right to Information (RTI) act. Ashraf approaches various departments of government organisations for information and provides this information to people who need assistance. Thus he tries to render government and private organisations accountable.Abdul Jabbar needed help from Ashraf Hossain. He is a day labourer of Boro Gobindapur in Jessore’s Chaugacha upazila. He cut his hand while on the job and rushed to hospital on Saturday. Jabbar’s brother called Ashraf and Ashraf called the Chaugacha health complex’s authorities.Ashraf’s call made the hospital authorities provide Jabbar their best treatment.Jabbar told Prothom Alo, “The doctor took time and care to stitch my hand. I would not get the best treatment if Ashraf uncle had not called them”.Ramzan Ali from the village Laskarpur has been facing inordinate delays in registering land at the upazila land office. Ashraf Hossain sent him to an official and the work was done within a few days.Ramzan said, “Without Ashraf’s help I would have faced more hassle”.Ashraf Hossain, 50, lives with his wife and two children in Jamlata village of the upazila. And eighth grade drop-out Ashraf, is a timber trader.Ashraf always protested against any irregularities, corruption, and unlawful activities around him since his childhood. Now he fights against the corrupt with proof. He even provides the proof and information to the media.Ashraf Hossain applies for necessary information to different government departments, using RTI. He asks for information if he hears of any irregularities or corruption.He complains to the information commission if any official refuses to provide him with the necessary information.Ashraf, so far, has submitted application 26 times to various government departments under the RTI act. He received 18 sets of information on time, four after approaching the information commission and four are being processed.Ashraf was harvesting rice with his son in the field near home when the Prothom Alo correspondent visited him.Ashraf said, a private development organisation MRDI arranged a training camp on the RTI act in it office at Shinghajhuli union parishad in 2015. The seven-day camp was organised by Manusher Jonno Foundation.”I came to know that according to the law every citizen has the right to any information from the authorities. After the training ended, I started to seek information from different departments of the government offices” he added. Ashraf said, Chaugacha upazila health complex, Chaugacha Upazila Education Office, Chaugacha Juba Unnayan Office and Shishu Niloy Foundation refused to provide him with information.Shishu Niloy Foundation did not even accept his application and an official even insulted him. He complained against the foundation and three government offices to the information commission.Ashraf said the officers apologised and provided him with the information he asked for later on.Now his applications are under process in Chaugacha Primary Education office, Dhuliani UP, the office of Jessore district civil surgeon and Chaugacha Rural Electrification office.According to Ashraf, the RTI act is a great initiative as it renders various organisations accountable. But he had been threatened too, while trying to avail information. His wife, Taslima Khatun said, “My husband helps people, I am happy about that. But sometimes he has to face threats to his life. I am worried about him” Ashraf’s initiative to ask for information is the talk of the town. Following his footsteps, Jahangir Alam, a Singapore migrant from Ujirpur village, Abu Kalam, Dablu Mia from Muktarpur and Nawab Ali from Fatehpur sought information from various offices under the RTI act.Sukumar Das, the acting president of TIB’s Shocheton Nagorik Committee in Jessore said, “This is certainly a positive initiative by Ashraf Ali. Being inspired, many others are seeking information from different offices.”Earlier, Ashraf applied for lists of free medicines provided by the government and the register book that contained the patient lists provided with the medicines from January to September on 26 August in 2015. He applied to the Jessore civil surgeon’s office on 7 October. They did not provide him with any information.Ashraf then complained to the information commission and the commission ordered them to provide him with the necessary information within 15 days.After that, the patients started to receive free medication and treatment at the Upazila Health Complex.A patient at the health complex, Shahar Banu said, “I have been admitted into the hospital for 10 days. I got all the medicines for free.”Ashraf applied to the Chaugacha upazila education officer for a copy of the student-list who get the stipend and government allocations in Garibpur primary school. There have been no irregularities in distribution of stipend since then. ASM Kabir Hossain, the senior information officer of Jessore district said, “Every citizen has the right to information from any department. Ashraf Hossain is seeking information using RTI act which is a very positive initiative”.Shaheen Anam, the executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said the RTI act was introduced with the purpose to establish good governance. “We can achieve the goal if the public starts to use the act” he added.Shaheen again said, “It is sad that rural people are using the RTI act more than urban ones. We need to work on this to change the scene”.*The article originally published in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat.last_img read more

Suu Kyi cancels public speech in Australia as feeling unwell

first_imgMyanmar`s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi (L) receives an official welcome on the forecourt during her visit to Parliament House in Canberra on 19 March 2018. Suu Kyi is in the Australian capital after attending the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-Australia special summit in Sydney over the weekend. Photo: AFPMyanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday pulled out of a public speech and question-and-answer session in Sydney because she was “not feeling well”, the event’s organisers said.Suu Kyi has been under fire internationally for her public silence about a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state that has seen nearly 700,000 of the Muslim Rohingya minority flee to Bangladesh.Suu Kyi, who attended a special ASEAN-Australia summit on Friday-Sunday, was in Canberra for talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Monday. She had been due to make a keynote speech at the Lowy Institute think-tank in Sydney Tuesday.The speech and subsequent Q and A session would have been the only public comments the Nobel Prize winner would have made during her Australia trip.“This afternoon the Lowy Institute was informed by the Myanmar embassy that the State Counsellor will no longer be able to participate in this event as she is not feeling well,” a spokeswoman for the think-tank said in a statement.“Accordingly, the event is now cancelled.”The Rohingya humanitarian crisis was one of the key topics at the special summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia, with other leaders quizzing her about the issue during a gathering Sunday, Turnbull said.Malaysia’s leader Najib Razak had warned Saturday that the issue could threaten regional security since those victimised could fall prey to extremist groups like the Islamic State.The exodus has sparked rare tension within the regional body, and Muslim-majority Malaysia has called for an independent ASEAN-led investigation into allegations of army abuse.Suu Kyi was the subject of public protests against human rights abuses during the summit, with demonstrators criticising her as well as Cambodian strongman Hun Sen and Vietnam’s Nguyen Xuan Phuc.last_img

Gas cylinder blast at school compound kills 1

first_imgA destroyed rickshaw-van is seen at the Dhaka Education Board Laboratory School and College ground in Mirpur 1, Dhaka on Friday. Photo: Ashraful AlamA man was killed and several people, including students, were injured after a gas cylinder exploded at Dhaka Education Board Laboratory School and College compound in Mirpur 1 area of the capital on Friday morning.Deceased Siddique, 60, was a balloon vendor.Balloons scattered after the explosion at the Dhaka Education Board Laboratory School and College ground in Mirpur 1, Dhaka on Friday. Photo: Ashraful AlamWitnesses said Siddique was selling gas-filled balloons near a temporary platform set up for the annual sports competition at the school compound.At a stage, the gas cylinder went off with a big bang around 8:00am, leaving Siddique and several others injured.One of the several injured students of Dhaka Education Board Laboratory School and College ground in Mirpur 1, Dhaka on Friday. Photo: Ashraful AlamFatally injured Siddique was taken to Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital where physicians declared him dead on arrival, said Selimuzzaman, officer-in-charge of Darus Salam police station.Wife of deceased balloon vendor cries at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital in Dhaka on Friday. Photo: Zahidul KarimThe injured students were treated Delta Hospital, he added.last_img read more

US urged to block sales of crowdcontrol gear to Hong Kong

first_imgA protester sits atop an overhead bridge during a rally by civil servants to support the anti-extradition bill protest in Hong Kong, China on 2 August 2019. Photo: ReutersA bipartisan group of US lawmakers on Friday urged the Trump Administration to suspend future sales of munitions and crowd-control equipment to Hong Kong police which has been accused of using excessive force against anti-government protesters.A Hong Kong democracy activist, Joshua Wong, this week tweeted pictures of teargas shells and rubber bullets he said were used by police against protesters.Representatives Christopher Smith and James McGovern, chairs of a congressional human rights commission, made their request in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.”We ask that you suspend future sales of munitions and crowd and riot control equipment to the Hong Kong Police Force and publicly announce that the US will not contribute to the internal repression of peaceful protest in Hong Kong,” they wrote.They also urged the secretaries to push back “against the Hong Kong and Chinese governments’ efforts to characterise the demonstrations as ‘riots’ and to blame the US for political instability which they alone created.”Members of Hong Kong`s medical sector attend a rally to support the anti-extradition bill protest in Hong Kong, China on 2 August 2019. Photo: ReutersThe State Department and the Commerce Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”All these weapons are imported from the United States. Given the innumerable proof of police brutality in recent protests, all countries should call a halt to the sale of arms to the notorious Hong Kong Police,” Wong said on Twitter.Thousands of civil servants joined in the anti-government protests in Hong Kong on Friday for the first time since they started two months ago, defying a warning from the authorities to remain politically neutral.Protests against a proposed bill that would allow people to be extradited to stand trial in mainland China have grown increasingly violent, with police accused of excessive use of force and failing to protect protesters from suspected gang attacks.The human rights commission is composed of more than 40 members of the US House of Representatives. Smith is Republican and McGovern a Democrat.last_img

Houston Health Department Knocks On 8000 Doors To Help Residents

first_imgListen Florian MartinKalicia Minor and Daniel Perez with the Houston Health Department knock on a door in a northwest Houston neighborhood.More than 200 employees from the city’s Health Department walk through Houston’s neighborhoods twice a year to hand out booklets with city resources.That includes information on the Zika virus, family planning and phone numbers for health and housing assistance or how to report potholes, for example.The Health Department’s Porfirio Villarreal said the program also helps the city.“We make sure that we get information as, like, what type of services they need, what exactly they’re seeing in their community,” he said. “And that helps us make sure we plan correctly for future programs.”And sometimes, the city employees turn out to be first responders.On Thursday, they went to an apartment and found a senior woman who had been lying on her bathroom floor for more than a day.Kalicia Minor said they quickly got help.“Had we not gone, no one would have known that she was there,” she said.The woman was dehydrated but other than that was OK, Minor said.City employees are visiting about 8,000 homes between May 5 and 7.         Florian Martin230 employees with the Houston Health Department are going door to door to pass out information on city resources. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share X 00:00 /00:00last_img read more

Supreme Court Hears Dispute Over Wedding Cake For Gay Couple

first_imgThe #MasterpieceCakeshop #SCOTUS case is about discrimination, not dessert. Public businesses should be #OpenToAll. Our analysis: https://t.co/7OvfCqJGW4 pic.twitter.com/QdTNyYuTlY— Americans United (@americansunited) December 5, 2017 The Supreme Court was taking up on Tuesday the highly anticipated case of the Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.Tuesday’s clash at the high court pitted baker Jack Phillips’ First Amendment claims of artistic freedom against the anti-discrimination arguments of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and two men Phillips turned away in 2012.The commission ruled that Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination law when he refused to make a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins.The argument is the first involving gay rights since the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that states could not prevent same-sex couples from marrying.The Trump administration is supporting Phillips in his argument that he can’t be forced to create a cake that violates his religious beliefs. It appears to be the first time the federal government has asked the justices to carve out an exception from an anti-discrimination law.Protesters on both sides filled the sidewalk in front of the court, shortly before the start of the argument.Scene outside SCOTUS: competing chants/rallies after oral arguments in #MasterpieceCakeshop case. pic.twitter.com/v0W6zh1hlL— Blayne Alexander (@ReporterBlayne) December 5, 2017 “We got Jack’s back,” Phillips’ supporters said. Backers of Craig and Mullins countered: “Love wins.”The case’s outcome also could affect photographers and florists who have voiced objections similar to those of Phillips.“Artists shouldn’t be forced to express what the government dictates. The commission ordered Jack to celebrate what his faith prohibits or to stop doing the work he loves. The Supreme Court has never compelled artistic expression, and doing so here would lead to less civility, diversity, and freedom for everyone, no matter their views on marriage,” Kristen Waggoner, the Alliance Defending Freedom who is representing Phillips, said in an email.But the American Civil Liberties Union and other rights groups that have sided with the gay couple said they fear a ruling for Phillips could allow for discrimination by a range of business owners. They said the court has never recognized what they call a constitutional right to discriminate.“The question is whether a shop like Masterpiece Cakeshop can put up a sign in its window saying, ‘Wedding cakes for heterosexual couples only,’” ACLU deputy legal director Louise Melling said. The ACLU is representing Craig and Mullins.Jack Phillips, the Christian baker in #MasterpieceCakeshop, leaves the Supreme Court. I just shook his hand & told him “I’m an American Muslim convert & I support you 100%. God bless you.” He smiled & said thank you @AllianceDefends @mpac_national @MuslimAdvocates @asmauddinesq pic.twitter.com/InXh4TDGQe— Ismail Royer (@_IsmailRoyer) December 5, 2017All eyes were on Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote often decides cases that otherwise split the court’s liberals and conservatives. The 81-year-old Kennedy is the author of the 2015 gay marriage decision and all the court’s major gay-rights rulings. At the same time, Kennedy has forcefully defended free-speech rights in his nearly 30 years as a justice.Colorado native Neil Gorsuch also is taking part in the most important gay rights case since he joined the Supreme Court in April.Colorado is among only 21 states with statewide laws barring discrimination against gays and lesbians in public accommodations.The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 16-111, will be decided by late June.center_img Sharelast_img read more

UPDATE HISD Wont Reconsider Charter School Contract Mayor Turner Supports Decision

first_img X My focus is on the students. @HoustonISD must focus on the kids and low- performing schools. I am committing myself to work closely with the district and come up with the best model to improve student performance. You can’t have a dynamic city without a dynamic school district. pic.twitter.com/toBYPCWccM— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 25, 2018 No city resources would be used in partnering with @HoustonISD. I envision myself taking a leadership role and working in collaboration with the business community to support students and improve low-performing schools.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 25, 2018Earlier on Wednesday, Houston school police have decided to drop charges against two women who were arrested at a tense board meeting on Tuesday night over a controversial charter school contract.The original charges involved criminal trespassing and resisting arrest.In a statement, HISD said that they’ve agreed with the decision from Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg to retract the charges.“No further action is needed and the two detainees are being released now,” the statement said.The arrests came amid a tense meeting that turned into a protest and ended with no decision on the future of 10 struggling Houston schools. Tensions erupted when Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones asked police to remove the audience after one speaker went over her time limit and people protested.  ———————The HISD board met Tuesday night to consider a plan to temporarily surrender control of the schools to a charter group called Energized for STEM. Dozens of people spoke against the proposal, raising concerns from financial dealings, academic issues and what it means for the primarily black communities affected.“The fact that the board president cleared the room when there was some disruption — but it wasn’t at a level that we’ve seen at other times — is an indication of a larger problem of lack of transparency. And I would even say a lack of courageous leadership,” said Jasmine Jenkins, who directs Houstonians for Great Public Schools, which advocates for effective school boards and leadership.Jenkins added that she believes confidence in the HISD board has eroded over several months because of several issues, including the situation with struggling schools, budget difficulties and changes with district leadership.“I don’t know that the board has time to rebuild that trust,” Jenkins said.The board is facing a tight deadline to decide what to do next.If it wants to partner with an outside group to try and avoid closing schools or a state board of managers, it has to submit plans to the Texas Education Agency by April 30.Another option is to close and reopen these schools. Some want the board to do none of those things and sue the Texas Education Agency instead.____Laura IsenseeBoard President Rhonda Skillern-Jones talked with an activist at the HISD meeting after dozens of people were ejected from the building.————————What started as a heated workshop to consider handing 10 Houston schools over to a charter network turned into a skirmish and protest Tuesday night. It led to the detention of at least two women and ended without a vote on the future of the schools.When the last public speaker went over the 1-minute time limit, people protested and Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones ordered the room cleared. The protest turned physical and police removed people from the room. 00:00 /01:07 Sharecenter_img Houston Public Media confirmed Wednesday with multiple people involved in the protest that in total three women were detained by police, with two of them arrested–one put in handcuffs and the other dragged on the floor. HISD has not detailed what the specific charges are. Eventually, the board reconvened only to adjourn the meeting without deciding if it will surrender control of its 10 most struggling schools to the charter group, Energized for STEM.Another woman being dragged away from HISD’s board meeting pic.twitter.com/62NF43pDah— Shelby Webb (@shelbywebb) April 25, 2018“It sends the message that the community’s voice does not matter,” said Jenny Espeseth, an HISD parent and advocate and one of the women who was detained, but not arrested. In a statement, HISD cited board policy that audience members cannot be disruptive or abusive during board meetings and said that one of their police officers sustained minor injuries.“While the district appreciates and shares the passion the community has for the students and schools and welcomes public input, audience members are expected to be respectful and observe decorum so that their views may be heard and appreciated,” HISD’s spokesman Tracy Clemons said in a statement.“During Tuesday night’s workshop, after continuous disruption and multiple outbursts from members of the audience, and after several verbal requests from the Board President to adhere to the rules, attendees were instructed to clear the room and called for a recess.”Laura IsenseeAbout 100 people were removed from the HISD auditorium. Many remained outside the doors, chanting for the release of one of the women detained.Trustees later reconvened just after 11 p.m. Many protesters refused to return because they didn’t want to make the meeting seem legitimate and would have been required to sit in an overflow room — not the board auditorium.The HISD board of trustees eventually voted to adjourn 8-1, with Trustee Elizabeth Santos casting the sole no vote. “I teach my students to stand up against unjust laws and things that might hinder making progress. And I’m an activist, I’ve witnessed things before, but to feel like you were in a real live textbook was pretty intense,” Santos said after the meeting.Earlier during the public hearing, trustees heard from dozens of students, parents, teachers and advocates. All of them opposed giving Energized for STEM control of 10 schools that have failed to meet state standards for four years or more. Some cited financial concerns about the charter group. Others opposed the deal as privatizing public education. And several speakers, including members of the black community, said that the deal sold out schools that enroll mostly black students.“Have a backbone and stand up to this,” said Travis McGee, a parent and activist from Sunnyside, a neighborhood that might lose two public schools under the deal.With the board not taking a vote, it’s not clear what HISD’s next steps for its 10 most struggling schools. If they don’t meet state standards this year, they could trigger sanctions under the law known as HB 1842, including closure or a board of managers for the whole district. The partnership route with a charter school or another group could buy time for the schools to meet standards and avoid those sanctions, under the law SB 1882.If the district still wants to secure a partner, it has to meet the state’s April 30 deadline  — less than a week away.In order to call another meeting on the issue, the district is supposed to provide at least 72 hours notice.It is not clear what the HISD board will do next. In a text message, Board President Skillern-Jones told News 88.7 that no decision has been made. In a Facebook post, she said that she asked police to clear the room after several outbursts.“I hoped we could calm the tension and return for an orderly meeting. Unfortunately the situation escalated and subsequently caused many unintended consequences,” Skillern-Jones wrote. “I’m saddened at this outcome as it was not at all what I wanted. I take responsibility for calling this recess and am regretful it only created more discord. The one positive result from the chaos is that we did postpone a hasty decision, gained some additional perspective and broadened our considerations.”Other trustees expressed sadness as well. Trustee Anne Sung wrote on social media that she has “no words yet. I’m just heartbroken” for what happened.Sung said that even before the chaos, she did not have enough information to vote on the charter partnership with Energized for STEM and wanted answers to the “very reasonable list of questions that any partner should at a minimum answer.”“ What is at stake here is no less than our children and the future of whole communities,” Sung said. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Laura Isensee/Houston Public MediaParent and activist Travis McGee addressed a crowd of people at the HISD meeting while the board was in closed session and before a scuffle erupted with police officers.The Houston school district has decided not to reconsider the charter school contract meant to avoid state sanctions.“We are not bringing another partnership proposal to the Board, nor will there be another meeting to consider partnerships for the 10 schools,” said Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan on Wednesday. “Instead, we will continue to reinforce our commitment to helping students, staff, and families of our Achieve 180 schools continue the hard work they’ve done this year to transform their campuses and increase student achievement.”Lathan said that current staff will remain in place unless budget cuts force layoffs across HISD. She added that HISD will supplement resources and supports at these campuses to try and help them meet standards.The board’s decision followed advice earlier Wednesday from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. He encouraged them to “stand down” and try and get a waiver from state officials instead.The move puts even more pressure on the 10 under-performing schools to try and meet standards this year. If they don’t, they could be shuttered, closed and then reopened as new schools or the whole board of trustees could be replaced.————————————Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said  that he supports Houston Independent School District (HISD) standing down on trying to figure out a partnership deal for 10 struggling  schools ahead of the state’s deadline.“Not to submit a proposal, not to submit a plan based on this April 30th deadline. Focus on the kids. Focus on trying to improve these schools as best you can between now and the academic year,” Turner told reporters at City Hall Wednesday. Instead, Turner said that HISD should ask state officials — again — for a one-year waiver on sanctions because of Hurricane Harvey.I endorse @HoustonISD not submitting a partnership plan to the state by the April 30 deadline. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and the need to find solutions, we do not need to add additional stress to students. The state should stand down and grant HISD a one-year waiver. pic.twitter.com/INfnIeqKKA— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 25, 2018last_img read more

Second Attack on Store Owner Raises Security Questions

first_imgAfter more than 20 years in business, owners of the One Hour Valet at Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore, are strongly considering closing their doors, after a second attack in less than a year. The incident has other merchants at the mall questioning management’s commitment to their security.On July 11, around 6 p.m., Kyeong Lee, 60 says an individual jumped over the counter of her family’s dry cleaners located on the first floor of Mondawmin Mall. Fortunately, Lee was able to run to the front of the store, screaming, which apparently startled the potential robber and he fled. But, Lee was not so fortunate less than a year ago, when she says she believes the same person attacked her August 15, 2016.Mondawmin Mall in West BaltimoreAccording to Lee’s daughter Julie, her mother was punched in the head by the assailant causing a concussion, tied to a chair and choked her from behind while he demanded cash. He didn’t get money, but he allegedly stole Lee’s cell phone before fleeing the store. According to Julie Lee, the assailant manged to avoid video cameras and security guards on both occasions.“When my mother approached a mall security guard and grabbed him, his response to her was, `Get off my belt.’ They are not doing their job properly,” Julie Lee told the AFRO. She says the two incidents have shaken her mother badly. “It’s torture mentally, she just can’t handle it. Not knowing what’s going to happen is eating her alive,” Lee said.According to Julie Lee, Detective Green of the Baltimore Police Department provided satisfactory service during the first incident when her mother was assaulted in August 2016. However, Lee claims a member of BPD she identifies as Officer Krauss was less diligent in his investigation. He allegedly offered the Lees some advice to dissuade future assailants, `Get a dog,’ is what Julie Lees says the officer told her as well as her parents.Mondawmin Mall, the flash point of the Baltimore uprising in April 2015, following the death of Freddie Gray, is one of the oldest malls in America (it opened in 1956). Mall management would not respond to a request to be interviewed for this story, saying they could not comment on the incident involving Lee or the Mall’s security operations. However, other merchants have had questions about mall security since clashes between police and students erupted during the uprising.While reporting on this story, a security guard stopped by Lee’s establishment to check on her, and said he was ordered to increase the frequency of foot patrols in front of the store and others since the incident earlier this month.“What is a foot patrol every 10 minutes going to do?” exclaimed a business owner near One Hour Valet, who did not wish to be identified.  “That is the problem, whenever you need security, they are not there.  The people who come to rob you or shoplift, they know how security works.  They just wait until security has moved to another area,” the merchant added.“There should be security guards at the doors of our shops all the time,” said another business owner who did not want to be identified. “People who come honestly to shop will not be offended,” said the merchant.  “Traffic at the mall has not really picked up since the Freddie Gray incident. My shop is for established adults.  Many who came here before Freddie Gray, simply don’t come out to Mondawmin Mall anymore.”Local residents have divided views on Mondawmin.  Some young people like Gywnn Oaks resident Shaira Graham still supports the mall.“I feel like the mall is doing the best that they can. I like the fact that they are having community functions that attract the public,” she said. “That’s what brings the people together. They are opening up new stores and if they weren’t getting people out to shop, they’d be closed,” she added.Another Mondawmin merchant who has been operating for more than 20 years, says she doesn’t really see any major change in the mall’s atmosphere after the unrest. “It’s always been this way,” said the merchant, who also did not want to be identified.  “Things are happening here all the time…fights can break out at any time , robberies happen too often here. I see a different generation, doing the same stuff.”last_img

Sen Nathaniel Oaks Sentenced to 3 12 Years in Federal Prison

first_imgBy Stephen Janis and J.K. Schmid, Special to the AFROStorm clouds descended on Baltimore, Tuesday around 2 p.m. A black haze reached down to obscure the topmost floors of the World Trade Center. Lightning flashed and thunder louder than the trucks lumbering down Pratt Street. But the rain hadn’t come yet.A political career that spanned nearly four decades came to an ignominious end July 17 when former State Sen. Nathaniel “Nat” Oaks was sentenced to three and half years in federal prison for accepting bribes and obstructing justice. Upon his release, Oaks must also submit to three years of state supervision. It’s a grim forecast that will shadow Oaks, 71, almost into his 80s.Sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for bribery, former Sen. Nat Oaks went to Luna Del Sea Steak & Bistro for a meal with supporters. (Photo by J.K. Schmid)Oaks was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine and to perform 80 hours of community service.Oaks has 60 days to report to Federal Correctional Institution-a prison of his own choosing. Before the worst comes, Oaks took shelter at Luna Del Sea Steak & Bistro, 300 Pratt St. on July 17.Tucked in the back, past the bar and the restaurant’s booths, in Luna’s banquet hall, Oaks broke bread with around 40 friends and supporters after his defeat in court.“Good people make mistakes,” said Anthony McCarthy, former media representative for Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and former AFRO editor, told the AFRO. “Nathaniel Oaks still has a lot to contribute to the community. Those people who truly know him have already forgiven him and are ready to join him for the next chapter in his life.”The sentence comes after Oaks pleaded guilty to a series of federal charges, the result of an investigation that included wiretaps, business owners working as FBI informants and efforts by Oaks to tip off a target of the probe which resulted in additional charges.Charges from federal prosecutors depicted Oaks as a politician who was willing to sell influence in exchange for cash, and who attempted to stymie the investigation after he agreed to cooperate.In a series of meetings with a lobbyist, Oaks negotiated cash payments of $10,300 to assist a business working with the FBI to obtain a contract with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Oaks eventually wrote a letter on the company’s behalf and later introduced a bill that would have authorized a $250,000 bond to fund the project which netted him an additional $5,000 payment.After Oaks was indicted, he agreed to cooperate with the FBI and wear a wire. But, investigators caught the West Baltimore politician tipping off the intended target, which resulted in a superseding indictment and additional charges of obstructing justice. Oaks also reversed on his agreement to cooperate with the investigation.During sentencing WBAL-TV reported that Judge Richard Bennett said Oaks’ efforts to obstruct an ongoing investigation factored into his decision to impose a lengthier sentence.“To obstruct an FBI investigation is as serious as the underlying case,” Bennett said before handing down the sentence.The statutory minimum in these kinds of cases is 8-10 years. The defense asked for 18 months.“[Bennett] was still stuck on the one thing,” Larry Young, former Maryland State Senator and host of WOLB’s The Larry Young Morning Show, told the AFRO. “This judge wanted to send a signal to Nat Oaks: He should not have told the federal FBI he was going to cooperate and reverse himself. And he hung to that.”Rather than resign, Larry Young was expelled from the Maryland State Senate over ethics allegations in 1998. He was acquitted at trial.“To anyone in that courtroom, it was very clear that he was looking at that 18 months, but he put on the additional years because of that,” Young said.Young was one of 40 character witnesses to write a letter to Judge Bennett on behalf of Oaks.The sentence marks the end of a career that was forged in the Edmondson Village community of West Baltimore. Even early in his career Oaks was no stranger to controversy.First elected to the state legislator as a delegate to the 41st district in 1983, Oaks lost his seat in 1989 after he was accused of double billing the state for personal expenses.But, Oaks won the seat back in 1994, and served as a delegate until 2017 when Governor Larry Hogan appointed him to replace retiring State Sen. Lisa Gladden.Still, even facing charges, Oaks managed to weigh in on the most recent election.After a group of 41st district constituents won a court order to have him removed from the 2018 primary ballot, Atty. Gen. Brian Frosh successfully persuaded the Maryland Court of Appeals to keep him on it.The move prompted criticism that keeping Oaks on the ballot was an attempt to split Black votes in a contentious Senate race between former Del. Jill Carter and newcomer JD Merrill, who has ties to the former Gov. Martin O’Malley through marriage to his daughter Grace who also works for the Attorney General’s office.Carter ultimately prevailed, but Oaks still garnered roughly 1,000 votes in a race decided by roughly 2,000 votes.Young, the first Black chair of a standing committee, Environmental Matters, worked with Oaks in the Senate.“I tend to be a consensus builder, and moderate, Nat’s gung-ho, ‘let’s get it done now,’ and so, it was like, if you don’t want Nat Oaks on your ass, you’ve gotta talk to LY,” Young said. “The caucus is gonna miss him, because not everyone in that caucus has the ability to stand and tell the other folks this is wrong, this is unfair, and you’re gonna respect us. And that was him, Joan Carter Conway were two of the few that had kind of discipline and character about them, and that’s going to be missed, in that caucus.”Oaks came to the front of the restaurant to greet the AFRO but declined interview or comment.“The AFRO never writes anything good about me, so no thank you,” Oaks said.The rain came shortly thereafter.last_img read more

LocationBased VR Startup The Void to Open San Francisco Outpost

first_imgThe Void is coming to San Francisco: The location-based VR startup is getting ready to open a new outpost in the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall on the city’s busy Market street this summer, Variety has learned. There’s no word on the exact launch date; The Void didn’t immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.The Void hasn’t officially announced the planned San Francisco location yet, but its future outpost near the Westfield food court already features posters teasing a summer launch.The Void is one of a number of startups operating ticketed VR experiences in malls and movie theaters around the world. The company currently operates 11 such locations, with VR centers in Las Vegas, Santa Monica, Calif. and Toronto. It has announced plans to launch additional locations in Hollywood, New York, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img The company has partnered with Disney and Lucasfilm’s ILMxLab on a number of location-based VR experiences, including “Ralph Breaks VR” and “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.” In addition, it has also produced some original content in-house, like its horror-themed “Nicodemus” experience. All three were featured in posters at its future SF location.last_img read more

MacKenzie Bezos Signs Giving Pledge to Donate Half Her 37 Billion Amazon

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 MacKenzie Bezos, one of the world’s richest women after her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, joined a pledge to donate at least half her wealth — currently estimated to be around $37 billion — to charitable causes.MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos finalized the terms of their divorce in April, under which she will get 25% of the shares in Amazon that were jointly held by the couple. On Tuesday, the Giving Pledge announced that she is one of 19 additional individuals who have signed on to the philanthropic initiative, founded in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, which exhorts high-net-worth people to commit to giving away more than half their wealth.Jeff Bezos, who will remain the richest individual in the world even after the divorce, has not signed on to the Giving Pledge to date. Streamers, Asians, V/R, Boost Industry Attendance As Venice Market Kicks Off Kristen Stewart on ‘Seberg’: ‘It’s Not Hard for Me to Wear My Politics’ Popular on Variety center_img In January, Jeff Bezos announced the couple’s plans to divorce after 25 years of marriage. Jeff Bezos, 55, and MacKenzie Bezos, 49, were married in 1993, after they met at hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. in New York City where Jeff Bezos was an SVP and MacKenzie Tuttle was a research associate. They are the parents of four children: three sons, and a daughter adopted from China.Jeff Bezos last year began dating Lauren Sanchez, the wife of Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell. Sanchez and Whitesell, who were married in 2005, separated last fall.MacKenzie Bezos has supported marriage equality through Washington United for Marriage; transitional housing for homeless families through the Day 1 Families Fund; college scholarships for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors through TheDream.US; and efforts to reduce political polarization through With Honor, a nonpartisan organization that works to increase the number of veterans in public office.She also has funded cancer research through donations to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Alzheimer’s research through the Diagnostics Accelerator at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. In 2013, she founded Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization, where she serves as executive director. “In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” MacKenzie Bezos said in a statement. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.” Related Following their divorce, MacKenzie Bezos will hold shares representing about 4% of Amazon’s outstanding common stock for which she is granting Jeff full voting rights. She’s also giving her ex-husband her full interest in the Washington Post, which Jeff Bezos bought in 2013, and space-aeronautics company Blue Origin. The couple’s combined net worth currently is estimated at $151.4 billion, according to Forbes.On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos praised MacKenzie’s decision to join the Giving Pledge but didn’t comment on whether he will follow suit. “MacKenzie is going to be amazing and thoughtful and effective at philanthropy, and I’m proud of her. Her letter is so beautiful. Go get ‘em MacKenzie,” Jeff Bezos wrote in a Twitter post.last_img read more

Dine in luxury this Valentines day

first_imgThis month is ideal for lavish dates with your partner as it calls for culinary delights curated by The Imperial. It is the time to treat your special someone to an intimate dinner, where you can experience a unique blend of crafted gourmet and unmatched luxury, for everlasting memories.Make your moments special with Chef Veena Arora’s South- East Asian spread at The Spice Route or head for a romantic culinary sojourn with the ‘Unique Dining Experience’ in intricately structured canopies. Designed with precision and creatively crafted with flowers and oyster candles, the canopies at San Gimignano lawns and 1911 lawns offer an exclusive and a private dining affair with your beloved on February 14. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Daniell’s Tavern offers a divine interlude with authentic Pan-Indian flavors while La Baguette – our French patisserie is all set to surprise your loved one with sinful desserts. If you plan to indulge in authentic Italian San Gimignano- Tuscan Italian Restaurant is the place to be. The speciality is Crema di cannellini con mescolare funghi and verdure mozzarella ripiano con salsa pepe e mista lattuga which is best enjoyed with white wine.1911 restaurant, the all day dining restaurant will offer Pistachio crusted River sole fillets cauliflower puree and chive butter sauce, Bacon wrapped tenderloin steak with eggplant confit and Marsala jus Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIf by chance you crave for sweets La baguette – French Patisserie of the Imperial has Red velvet cake, Strawberry tiramisu layered cake along with many other options.Daniell’s Tavern- Pan India restaurant will serve Memsahib’s Muse  (Narkel posto bora) – Shallow fried coconut and poppy seeds dumplings, a delight from East India and General’s Pride (Baadshahi aloo) –  Potatoes stuffed with dry nuts and aromatic Indian spices, golden baked in a clay oven.The Spice Route, San Gimignano and 1911: 7pm to 11:45pmDaniell’s Tavern: 6:30pm-11:45pmLa Baguette: 10am to 10pmlast_img read more

Why women find dominant men more attractive

first_imgThe findings, published in the journal Human Nature, suggest that men and women with genotypes consistent with prevailing gender norms are seen as more desirable.The researchers from the University of California, Irvine wanted to find out if mate selection could actually be influenced by people’s ability to quickly detect the so-called “good genes.” The team led by Karen Wu turned to speed-dating to test their predictions in a real-life scenario.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In such meet-ups, participants only had a few minutes to assess the short- and long-term potential of their speed-dating partners, and to decide whether or not to offer their partners a second date.The team recruited 262 single Asian Americans to have three-minute dates with members of the opposite sex. After each speed-date, participants were asked whether or not they wanted to offer their partner a second date, and how desirable they found the person as a romantic partner. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixParticipants were notified of a “match” (and thus obtained each other’s contact information) only if they both offered each other another date. When examining the DNA samples collected from participants, the researchers focused on two polymorphisms (on two different genes) that were previously linked to social dynamics.One of the polymorphisms is part of the genetic make-up that has been linked to social dominance and leadership. The other, which has been linked to social sensitivity, is part of the opioid receptor gene that contributes to people’s capacity to experience social pleasure and pain, and their need to have social contact.The researchers found that men and women with genotypes consistent with prevailing gender norms were more likely to receive second date offers. They were also seen as more desirable short- and long-term romantic partners.last_img read more

EW Metro work Residents move from homes to hotels

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) has started evacuating residents of SN Banerjee Road from Tuesday to facilitate construction for twin tunnels under East-West Metro project. Eighty-six buildings fall between the 800-metre stretch between the Esplanade crossing and Subodh Mullick Square (Wellington Square) and residents of all these buildings will be relocated temporarily in phases for undertaking tunnel boring work.KMRCL has put up notices on the buildings to inform the residents to temporarily evacuate their homes. A number of shops and business establishments may also have to be closed for a few days with the west bound tunnel being dug. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA majority of these buildings are old and dilapidated. So, steps are being taken to strengthen these houses to prevent any untoward incident as there will be heavy vibration during the tunnel digging process. Steel props, tilt meters, settlement markers and other monitoring equipment are being used in the exercise. The props are meant to support the structures from the inside as well as the outside. “The strengthening work will continue side by side as tunnel boring machine (TBM) Chandi will be digging the tunnel,” a senior KMRCL official said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateArrangements have been made for lodging the evacuated residents at nearby private hotels. The residents can return to their respective houses once the tunnel-boring machines have passed under their residences. The Anadi Cabin, known for its lip smacking Moglai Paratha, will be closed for four days sometime by the end of this week. Regal Cinema and the Shalimar Hotel will also be closed for a few days when tunnel-boring machines will cut underneath the buildings. “The last lap of the tunneling from Esplanade to Sealdah will require around 14 months to complete,” the official said. A similar exercise of evacuating residents and strengthening buildings had taken place when the tunnels were built along Brabourne Road as part of the project.last_img read more