News April 30, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Outrage about death of two journalists in two days Reporters Without Borders today voiced its outrage at the murders of two journalists in different parts of Colombia in the past 48 hours and urged the authorities to do everything possible to identify and punish those responsible. Radio presenter Jaime Rengifo Jr. was killed yesterday in Maicao in the northeastern department of Guajira. TV producer and presenter Guillermo Bravo Vega was killed Monday in Neiva in the department of Huila, southwest of the capital.”The information available so far suggests that both murders were linked to the victims’ work as journalists,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to public prosecutor Luis Camilo Osorio. “It is high time Colombia broke the vicious circle of impunity – letting these murders go unpunished would mean accepting they will be repeated,” he said.Ménard noted that four journalists have been killed since the start of the year and that about 50 have been killed in the past 10 years, which makes Colombia the most dangerous country in the western hemisphere for journalists.Many of these deaths have been prompted by the victims’ coverage of the decades-old civil war. Both left-wing guerrillas and their right-wing paramilitary foes view journalists as “military targets” if they suspect them of supporting the rival camp. Journalists are also killed because of their reporting on drug-trafficking and government corruption.Carlos Castaño of the paramilitary United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), Manuel Marulanda of the Marxist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and Nicolas Rodríguez Bautista of the Guevarist ELN (National Liberation Army) are on the Reporters Without Borders worldwide list of predators of press freedom because of the repeated press freedom violations by the armed groups they lead.Jaime Rengifo Jr – “the only journalist who spoke out fearlessly”Rengifo, who presented a programme called “Journalists in action” on Radio Olímpica, was shot dead at dawn yesterday at the entrance to the hotel where he lived in Maicao (Guajira department) by two men who got away on a motorcycle. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing and Rengifo had not received any direct threats, but the words “Death to Jaime Rengifo” was painted on the facade of the town hall at the start of this month.Rengifo’s radio programme relayed listeners’ criticisms of public companies, local authorities, the army and the police. He had started up a fortnightly publication in February, called El Guajiro, which was distributed in Maracaibo and Bogotá as well as locally. “He was the only journalist who spoke out fearlessly about everything,” said a fellow staff member at Radio Olímpica. He had recently drawn attention to the violence and corruption caused by local criminal gangs and paramilitary groups. Late last year, he took part in a local campaign to get the power company Electrocaribe to lower its charges. He had worked in the area for 20 years.Guillermo Bravo Vega – a “left-wing” journalistThe producer and presenter of the programme “Facts and Figures” on the local TV station Altavisión, Bravo was gunned down outside his home in Neiva (Huila department) by four men on two motorcycles. Hit four times, he died while being taken to hospital. An investigation has been launched, but police have said they do not know what motivated the killing.Family members and colleagues said Bravo had received “constant death threats.” A man who introduced himself as a member of the AUC paramilitaries came to his home in February and warned him that he would be killed if he did not leave the area. Bravo reported this threat to the authorities.A work colleague said it was clear from the tone of “Facts and Figures,” which analysed political and economic issues, that Bravo was a “left-wing” journalist even if he tried to give it a broad appeal. His family did not rule out the possibility that the murder was linked to his coverage in 2000 of the privatisation of a regional state-owned company, Licorería del Huila, in which he had denounced irregularities it its sale to Licorsa.Of late, Bravo had also contributed to the Neiva-based weekly Tribuna del Sur and had presented cultural programmes for the local public radio station La Emisora Cultural. He received the Simón Bolívar award for journalism in the 1970s when he edited the economic weekly La República. He was a municipal government candidate in Neiva in 2000. In the 1980s, he was a representative of the small left-wing opposition party ANAPO in the Huila departmental assembly. RSF_en to go further ColombiaAmericas 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies News May 13, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Organisation Help by sharing this information RSF, IFEX-ALC and Media Defence, support FLIP and journalist Diana Díaz against state harassment in Colombia RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America News ColombiaAmericas Follow the news on Colombia April 27, 2021 Find out more Reports October 21, 2020 Find out more
Make a comment Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Top of the News More Cool Stuff Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Business News Property owners and landlords with 15 or fewer units can access help to avoid foreclosure through the Los Angeles County Disaster Help Center, county representatives announced Tuesday.“We recognize the COVID-19 health emergency has resulted in significant job loss and loss of income for thousands of L.A. County property owners,” said Joseph M. Nicchitta, director of the county Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. “As a result, the number of property owners seeking foreclosure avoidance will increase. Los Angeles County is rising to meet that challenge and provide property owners with some much-needed relief by offering expanded foreclosure prevention services.”Free one-on-one counseling and support is available for property owners who have been adversely affected by the ongoing coronavirus emergency. Borrowers with loans owned by the government, a national or state charter bank or private institutions may be eligible for temporary relief.Counselors fluent in multiple languages are available to help property owners work with lenders to:— temporarily reduce or delay payments;— modify loans to decrease payments, drop the interest rate or extend the length of the loan; and— agree to a short sale to sell the home for less than you owe and settle the debt.Some lenders have programs of their own in place and others may be restricted from initiating foreclosure proceedings during the health emergency.Counselors can assist in filing complaints for violations of various city, state, county and federal foreclosure moratoriums.More information is available by calling the L.A. County Disaster Help Center at 833-238-4450, emailing [email protected] or at LACountyHelpCenter.org Herbeauty12 Most Breathtaking Trends In Fashion HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Secrets That Eastern Women Swear By To Stay Young LongerHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Vietnamese Stunners That Will Take Your Breath AwayHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeauty EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS 27 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Subscribe Community News Help Available for L.A. County Property Owners Facing Foreclosure CITY NEWS SERVICE Published on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 | 4:35 pm STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Community News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena
iStock/Thinkstock(ADRIAN, Mich.) — Birdies on the golf course are usually a good thing. Just not when that bird is a very angry goose.At a high school golf tournament in Adrian, Michigan, a Blissfield High School foursome had teed off and was walking down a fairway where a goose was sitting on an egg in a nest off to the side. There was a sign warning them of the goose and the golfers were respecting its space.But that’s when an additional goose suddenly came up behind the golfers.And it was not happy.The foursome was attacked by the goose, with one particular golfer, in his purple pullover, coming under direct assault.Devon Gilson-Pitts, whose husband is an assistant coach for the Blissford team, says she drove in a golf cart with her husband to get between the golfer and the goose. She said it took four carts to keep the goose away and help retrieve the golfer’s clubs, which fell out during the attack.Neither man nor goose was injured.Blissfield finished ninth of the 13 teams in the Saturday tournament.Isaac Couling, who was competing against Blissfield for Concord High School, was identified as the victim in the attack by The Detroit News. He says he parred the hole.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
kajakiki/iStock(NEW YORK) — Christmas trees can be deadly.That’s the urgent advisory from consumer safety experts who warn that it only takes a small ignition source to set a festive home ablaze.A tree without enough water is essentially flammable kindling, fueling what can become a devastating catastrophe.Several people die from tree fires each year, according to newly-released data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which looked at rates between 2013 and 2015.Most holiday lights won’t get hot enough to set a tree on fire. But frayed wires and broken bulbs can spark a flame. Outdoor holiday lights have been known to cause shrub fires and should only be purchased from certified manufacturers, the CPSC says.Watering a tree regularly can keep a small fire from spreading. In a demonstration by the CPSC Thursday, a dry tree quickly became engulfed in flames while the watered tree barely caught fire under the same conditions.“Even after Christmas, keep it well watered until you drag it to the curb,” acting CPSC Chairwoman Anne Marie Buerkle told ABC News.In addition to watering, the CPSC offers these tips to help avoid a holiday tragedy:1) Check lights for broken or cracked sockets.2) Don’t put candles on unstable surfaces like couches or pillows.3) Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors regularly.4) Keep the tree away from any heat source.Thousands of people injure themselves every year while decorating for the holidays, according to the CPSC.“All of these injuries are preventable,” Buerkle said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock(NEW YORK) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday that 62 employees and eight former employees are under investigation for lewd and offensive posts on a private Facebook group that mocked House Democrats and migrants.Matthew Klein, the acting commissioner of CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, said the probe was not considered a criminal investigation at this point but rather an internal investigation to determine whether the employees were involved in “serious administrative misconduct.”Klein declined to identify any individuals involved or whether all 70 people would be punished.“To be clear, the expectations of professional conduct don’t end at the end of one’s shift,” Klein told reporters. “CBP has set standards of conduct that prohibit the types of posts we saw in this case. CBP has also made it clear to employees that messages posted on a private social media page that are discriminatory, harassing or offensive are not protected and could violate CBP’s standard of conduct, and importantly, may have a nexus to the workplace.”Officials launched the investigation on July 1, after a report by ProPublica revealed the posts in the Facebook group known as “I’m 10-15,” which included some 9,500 members of current and former Border Patrol personnel. Some posters responded to a teen boy’s death in U.S. custody with comments of “oh well’ and “if he dies, he dies,” while another post questioned whether the image of a father who died trying to save his daughter in the Rio Grande River was authentic.The site also included memes with altered images of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., involved in a sex act with President Donald Trump. The posts were made shortly before Ocasio-Cortez and others were due to visit Border Patrol stations, following allegations of massively overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.An internal CBP memo by Klein showed that he had been aware as early as February 2018 of at least one private Facebook group that included “inappropriate and offensive posts” by its personnel. It was not clear whether the Facebook group mentioned in the 2018 memo was “I’m 10-15.” In the all-hands memo at the time, Klein noted that the leadership was aware of “inappropriate and offensive posts” and said it must stop.“The bottom line is the Agency may bring discipline against an employee who posts offensive messages on a social media page where there is nexus to the Agency workplace,” Klein wrote in 2018, a statement similar to what he said Monday.Democrats have accused Trump of enabling a toxic culture to fester at Border Patrol stations, where agents are overwhelmed and under resourced.“How on earth can CBP’s culture be trusted to care for refugees humanely?” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.Following the ProPublica report, Trump told reporters he hadn’t seen the posts, but he also didn’t condemn them.“I will say this. I think that the Border Patrol has been treated very, very badly by certain members of Congress, very, very badly,” the president said on July 5. “Certain Members of Congress say very bad things and lie and exaggerate, and Border Patrol people are tough people. They’re not happy about it.” Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Comments are closed. Developing the right valuesOn 1 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Shepherd Construction is building a name for its people developmentactivities. Stephanie Sparrow met its personnel director Sharon Copland-JonesShepherd Construction has long been applauded for its training achievements.It claims to be the first national construction company to achieve Investors inPeople (IIP) in 1992 and passed its fourth reassessment in 2001. It also boaststhree National Training Awards and won the Contract Journal Training Award 2002– the publication noted it had invested £1.8m in training a year – an averageof £2,236 per employee. Earlier this year, Shepherd Construction joined the first wave of privatesector firms to be awarded the Quality Mark for the quality of its informationand guidance about learning and work from the DfES-backed Guidance AccreditationBoard. Yet trying to pick out the strands of this acclaimed training activity fromthe rest of its people agenda is a tricky task, as people, training and thebusiness mission are densely interwoven. Of course, this is as it should be,and as such meets the intentions of personnel director Sharon Copland-Joneswhose conversation about organisational growth is peppered with phrases such as”cohesive” and “organic”. It is a challenge to run cohesive people strategies across a constructioncompany, where the nature of the business is to design then go out and build ata broad range of developments across the UK. These currently include the £23mImperial Wharf site in Fulham, London, and a £7m cancer research site forManchester’s Christie Hospital. Shepherd’s operations are managed through a network of regional offices,while the head office in York is home to the procurement team and operationalsupport functions, including Copland-Jones. And this year saw the replacementof a more office-based training department which had been dedicated toproduct-based delivery. “The structure got in the way of being involved with people’sdevelopment,” says Copland-Jones. The company is unusual in its sector for the number of full-timers it employs– 1,100 – which includes 400 skilled craftspeople. These are scattered acrossvarious sites and Copland-Jones has accommodated their training needs byestablishing a team of four learning advisers with a regional remit (from herstaff of 12) who go out to the sites an average of three days a week as well asproviding online support. She is quite excited about their input. The learning advisers deal witheverything from induction to performance reviews for their dedicated group ofpeople. “They build up a relationship with their learners and they care. Thisstrategy is about employees’ longer-term futures with the business, so theadvisers have access to their learning agreements and look at all aspects oftheir development.” This approach means learning happens in tandem withpersonal and business needs. Copland-Jones, who sees her remit as “working for the board on thepeople agenda” and is quick to acknowledge the support of managingdirector Vaughn Burnand who took the post three years ago. Burnand isrigorously pursuing a change programme, based on visions and values he drew upwith senior members of the company. Copland-Jones has to make sure this is putinto practice. She also credits IIP as firm foundation for developmentactivities. “We were one of the first major contractors to get Investors in Peopleand I think that’s when we started to become much more strategic from atraining and development point of view. We built on that annually and we’re nowreached the stage where we’re more about a link between the company values andemployee competence and behaviour,” she says. In an industry which traditionally bemoans the lack of skilled operatives,Shepherd Construction is playing its part in raising the bar and part of itseducation and development philosophy is to link activities to a nationallyrecognised qualification. “We knew we couldn’t offer people jobs for life as such. Although wehave an incredible length of service of 11-12 years on average, we felt weneeded to ensure that people have the skills and remain employable within theindustry. So all skills development that we work towards is either linked to aNational Vocational Qualification or a technical qualification that isrecognised externally,” she says. Employee feedback “The other driver is that we are ultimately selling the skills andexpertise of our people, so it’s important evidence for us to show to ourclients,” says Copland-Jones, who keeps herself up-to-date with clientsatisfaction ratings. Shepherd is very keen on communicating its vision to employees of where thebusiness is heading over the next three years. It runs a roadshow every yearand is keen to reach its staff and invite their input. Empl-oyee feedback andits response is well circulated, including being published in its Vision andValues newsletter. Copland-Jones is backing this effort by doing as much as she can to makelearning and development high-profile activities among the employees. Part ofthis process involves making information readily available about the skills,jobs and experience required to progress at Shepherd Construction. It forms akey component of the company intranet, known as Localnet. The Localnet displaysthe results of a competence-mapping process created by Copland-Jones and her team,based on the values which managing director Burnand has established (see boxabove left). She knows that it is not unique to be competence- based butbelieves what sets the company apart is the breadth of its cover. “We are unique in the range we cover, from apprentice to main boardlevel. You may find other construction businesses [doing something similar] butthey don’t approach their strategic support services, admin or clerical as wedo. We look at what everybody’s contribution is and try to engage them,”she says. “We profile each of the occupations by the essential skills knowledgeand experience so they can use the Localnet to work out what they need to do todevelop themselves. We encourage them to complete a learning stylesquestionnaire, and we’ve developed different types of learning interventions tooffer greater flexibility so they don’t have to be pulled off site to attendworkshops. We are looking at e-learning for example.” The key to Localnet lies in its accessibility. Shepherd is committed tohaving PCs in every on-site induction room by the end of this fiscal year, soany employee can find out about jobs, training and progression. Giving ITsystems a high profile out on the sites also works well for Shepherd, as it iscommitted to establishing a minimum IT literacy standard throughout the companyvia a skills matrix and customised training. Copland-Jones has collated responses from 50 employees keen to share theirsuccess across Localnet “so other employees can see what it takes to getthat job”. This builds on a sense of personal responsibility for employeesto develop themselves and others. It also fits in with her definition thatleadership is “a process not a job”. The performance managementsystem actively encourages managers to develop people and demonstrate evidencethat they are doing that, in keeping with this philosophy. Managers get further back-up in people competence from a modular programmedeveloped in conjunction with BTEC called People Skills. It covers all keyareas from recruitment and induction through to how to identify training needsand how to coach or mentor – Copland-Jones is keen that line managersunderstand the difference between these terms. The managers work incross-functional cohorts which have the advantage of breaking down barriersfrom across the business. Making the linkAs part of linking training and values Copland-Jones is hoping that theseline managers will understand that each person is recognised for what they cancontribute. The new competence approach emphasises playing to your strengthsand those of the team. “We are as good as the dynamic of the team. If youstop being individuals we’ll stop being good at what we do.” Older and senior managers are soon to come under the microscope. “I wantto validate the currency of their people management ability. Just becausesomeone went on a course five years ago doesn’t mean it’s still valid or thatthey are competent in those areas. I’ll be looking at refreshers and otherthings because people can always develop,” she says. As well as progressing the staff who are in place, Copland-Jones has to keepa constant eye on retention and recruitment. She believes the improved accessto learning is having an impact on retention. “Looking back about five yearsour average was 25 per cent in staff turnover which is about the industry norm.Last year we got it down to 18 per cent and this year its 12 per cent. Ourtarget is 5 per cent. If people can see that you are giving them learningopportunities then they will stay with you.” Shepherd has also re-thought its approach to recruitment by launching aneducational liaison strategy. The fun side of this was ‘a go out and grabundergraduates’ attention’ approach run via a publicity campaign in conjunctionwith the Black Sheep Brewery, North Yorkshire. The campaign, which offeredtrendy T-shirts and beer was able to convey that the Shepherd was looking fortalented individuals as opposed to “the average member of the flock”.Of course there are more serious elements to university liaison too, such asShepherd providing guest speakers and allowing universities access to itstechnical library. The company also runs a Schools Challenge where pupils fromsenior schools nationwide compete for the chance to win a £10,000 project buildwhich will benefit their establishment or community. The end result of these initiatives is to create a buzz around the industryand its possibilities, says Copland- Jones. “We’ve hit our recruitmenttargets as a result of these initiatives, and raised our profile as anemployer. Some people have joined us as graduates, others as apprentices. “The Schools Challenge, where the shortlisted candidates visited ushere and worked on their designs and presentations, has also improved ourinter-company teamworking and development of our younger managers,” shesays. Rolling out the competence programme will be Copland-Jones’s next majorchallenge. “I have a holistic vision for what we’re doing with people management,but if I communicate in terms of ‘we’re doing this, this and this’ it will justleave me coming out with initiative after initiative. What I have learnt isthat I have to communicate it in a holistic way. My challenge is to makeemployees and the business see the linkages,” she said. CVSharon Copland-Jones2000 Promoted to personnel director, Shepherd Construction1996 Personnel manager for Shepherd Southern Division1995 Career development manager, Shepherd1994 HRD consultant, McCourt Newton1990-1994 Personnel manager, operations, Network SouthEast, Croydon 1990-1992 Personnel Manager, engineering, Network SouthEast1986-1990 Personnel administration manager Swansilver (trading as the BodyShop, KensingtonInside shepherd’s competency frameworkAs part of a change programme started nearly three years ago,Shepherd has identified key values: ranging from commitment and honesty toinnovation, customer focus openness, safety and teamwork. It is now putting inplace an underpinning competency framework, where every occupation has beenmapped out in terms of skills and knowledge, which forms the basis of aperformance management and personal development review system. From March this year, the system was beingrolled out for senior managers and head office staff. 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Using proceeds from the sale, the Company will pay off approximately $13 million in debt under its existing reserve-based credit facility and make a cash distribution to its unitholders. The details of the distribution are expected to be announced in early March 2021.Joseph A. Mills, President and CEO of the Company stated, “We are very pleased to announce the sale of our Powder River Basin assets. When this sale closes, it will conclude the four-year process of monetizing Samson’s assets and delivering a strong cash return to our equity owners following our emergence from bankruptcy in March 2017.”Following the closing, the Company, which was started by Charles Schusterman in 1971, will begin the process of winding down its affairs and moving toward final dissolution.Jefferies LLC is Samson’s exclusive financial advisor and led the marketing process for the Powder River basin assets. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal counsel to Samson. Samson Resources II, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which Samson will sell all of its Powder River Basin assets to an undisclosed buyer for $215 million in an all-cash transaction. The Company exited 2020 producing approximately 8,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (75% oil) from the Powder River Basin. The sale is expected to close on or around March 4, 2021 and will have a January 1, 2021 effective date. Following the closing, the Company will have divested substantially all of its upstream assets. The Company’s only remaining upstream oil and gas assets will consist of approximately 24,000 net leasehold acres, 23,000 net mineral acres and 40 non-operated wells, all located in East Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, which the Company anticipates divesting in early 2021. The Company exited 2020 producing approximately 8,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (75% oil) from the Powder River Basin. The sale is expected to close on or around March 4, 2021 and will have a January 1, 2021 effective date Samson Resources II to sell its powder River Basin assets. (Credit: Pixabay/James Armbruster.) Source: Company Press Release
A spokeswoman for Wadham told Cherwell that the college was considering allowing the group to stay in the building, but raised concerns over safety of those staying there. She said: “Wadham is investigating the ramifications of this move, with particular concern for the safety of those who are sleeping rough in an old and dilapidated building, including in areas that are not designed for residential use. The College will be making every effort to speak to representatives of this homeless group as well as local residents, safety experts and the site developers.“Wadham is currently awaiting planning permission for redevelopment of the site as student accommodation, significantly relieving pressure on local housing stock. As part of this project, Wadham College has undertaken to contribute more than £900,000 towards social housing provision in Oxford.“Wadham College is particularly concerned about the problems of homelessness in Oxfordshire and to this end has a longstanding relationship with the Gatehouse homeless project. The College regularly fundraises for homeless organisations and donated much of the furniture from the Iffley Road site to a homeless charity.”The activists say that homelessness in Oxford has trebled in the last five years and that the situation for rough sleepers has worsened after government cuts have forced closures of night shelters in the city.In November, local authorities announced the closure of Simon House and Julian Housing, which is expected to cause the loss of around 202 beds over the next twelve months.Ruthi Brandt, a Green Party Councillor on Oxford City Council, who has been helping at the shelter told Cherwell: ” I think this is an excellent initiative and I fully support it (as do the rest of the Green Councillors, both on the City and the County councils). We are in a real crisis at the moment – there are more and more people sleeping rough in Oxford (as is apparent to anyone walking in the city centre or along Cowley Road – the situation is heartbreaking), and with winter temperatures settling in, sleeping outside is even more dangerous than usual.“Services have been cut to the bare bones and the Labour city council has so far refused to dip into the emergency homelessness funds to deal with this emergency. So I applaud the people who have taken this step to help those of us who now need help, and I am hopeful that Wadham College will come through as a good and conscientious neighbour and allow the people to stay there in warmth and safety over the coming winter months. I am told that neighbours [near to the garage] have been very supportive, and some even donated items such as blankets.”A group of Wadham students will be meeting to support the petition later this week, and a motion in support of the move is expected at this Sunday’s SU meeting.Rowan Davis, a fourth year biology student, said on the petition: “As a Wadham student I am immensely privileged to receive subsidised accommodation in the centre of the city. In the middle of this freezing winter it is immoral to allow our community to suffer around us.” Wadham College has responded to demands from homelessness activists currently occupying its building on Iffley Road, saying the college is “making every effort” to “investigate the ramifications” of allowing the group to use the site as a temporary shelter.It comes after a group, calling themselves ‘Iffley Open House’, started a petition asking the College to allow them to use the former VW garage, which is owned by Wadham, as a temporary shelter for rough sleepers.They want to “provide secure shelter and basic amenities for people sleeping rough on Oxford’s streets”. Around 36 people are believed to have been sleeping in the space, which includes a kitchen and showering facility, since New Year’s Eve. As well as students, there are several local residents and housing activists, including some Green Party members, one ex-Green Party councillor and former Lord Mayor, Elise Benjamin, involved in the initiative. The building has been empty since it was purchased by Wadham in 2015, and building work is due to start on the site in March this year, to develop it into student accommodation.An online petition started by the group had reached over 1,200 signatures at the time of going to press. The group had also written an open letter the College, asking for their permission to continue using the site until the end of winter.The letter states: “The situation for rough sleepers and homeless people in Oxford is now at a critical point.“Oxford University and colleges like Wadham own dozens of buildings across the city which lie empty, some of which have been empty for almost a decade, that could be repurposed as shelters, social housing and social spaces.”A member of ‘Iffley Open House’, Sandra Phillips, said in a statement to Cherwell: “This building lies empty whilst hundreds are without a home or even a roof over their head. We all have an obligation to do what we can to help this situation, everyone is affected by the housing crisis in some way.”
The Trustees of Reservations recognized David R. Foster with its prestigious Charles Eliot Award at the organization’s annual meeting and dinner held on Sept. 25.Foster was honored for his 25 years of inspiration and visionary commitment to the trustees and greater Massachusetts conservation community. He is the director of Harvard Forest and a faculty member of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.One of Foster’s most notable contributions to the conservation community has been his leadership of a remarkable team of university experts in an outreach campaign designed to promote the conservation of forests in the Massachusetts and New England landscape. His team, largely drawn from the Harvard Forest — an ecological research area located on 3,000 acres in Petersham, Mass., that is owned and managed by Harvard University — and New England universities, published “Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the Forests of Massachusetts” in 2005 followed by its sequel this year, “Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Landscape,” which emphasizes forest and farmland conservation. These publications have raised consciousness among policymakers and the public at large, stimulating grassroots activism. The earlier publication has already contributed to important, ecologically informed changes in forest policy in Massachusetts.