New Pico neighborhood preschool prevails despite unified opposition

first_imgHomeNewsCity CouncilNew Pico neighborhood preschool prevails despite unified opposition Jan. 26, 2018 at 8:00 amCity CouncilEducationNewsNew Pico neighborhood preschool prevails despite unified oppositionKate Cagle3 years agoboard of educationcity councileducationpicoSanta Monicasanta monica californiasanta monica daily presssmmusd After a tense and sometimes rowdy public debate, the City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday to deny a neighborhood’s appeal to block the first preschool opening on a street zoned for single-family homes (R1) in Santa Monica. The Council included a lengthy list of conditions before approving a Conditional Use Permit for the 20-student school called Untitled No. 1 on 2953 Delaware Avenue.Gandara Park neighbors presented a united front against the school for 4-to-6-year-olds led by the appellant, Nada Shamonki, who claimed traffic and noise from the school would “destroy the fragility and peace that we hold onto desperately” on the quiet street surrounded by the Bergamot arts center, an Expo stop, and Metro Maintenance Yard to the North and the 10 Freeway to the South.“For most of the residents in Gandara Park, the approval of this preschool would be a slap in the face,” said resident Christine Parra, calling local advocates for early childhood education a “special interest group.” Parra’s name was one of hundreds of signatures from neighbors opposing the school.The Council was initially scheduled to make a decision on the school at the Dec. 5 meeting but delayed the discussion until neighbors could get all the public documents they had requested from the City. In the meantime, the Council changed the zoning code to allow parking outside of an enclosed garage in R1 neighborhoods, effectively reducing the number of variances required for the preschool from three to two. The delay also created arms race between the two sides of the issue, as both enlisted public speakers to persuade the Council Jan. 23.The resulting four-hour public comment period exposed an inherent conflict in the city’s land use policy that strives to preserve housing and neighborhood character while expanding opportunities for early childhood education. Speakers sparred over whether a preschool, rather than an in-home family daycare (the applicant, Laila Taslimi, lives north of Montana Avenue), is appropriate next to single-family homes. Opponents of the school also attacked Taslimi, a former McKinnley Elementary School teacher who traveled to Italy to study the Reggio Emilia approach to education.Councilmember Tony Vazquez, who voted against granting the permit and variances to allow the school, said he supports the concept of private preschools in R1 neighborhoods but could not support a school facing unified opposition from surrounding home owners. Vazquez said Taslimi’s unpopularity did not reflect well on her plans for the school.“She hasn’t been able to convince me to this date that she’s able to follow through,” Vazquez said. “I haven’t come across one neighbor that loves this thing, that wants it.”Councilmember Sue Himmelrich also voted against the CUP.“I think that this is emblematic of picking the wrong property,” Himmelrich said.Taslimi said she specifically chose to open her school in the 90404 zip code because of the lack of quality, affordable options for low income families. The Pico neighborhood has a disproportionate number of kids on a Connections for Children waitlist for preschool, according to senior planner Elizabeth Bar-El. The school will offer scholarships to 60 percent of its students.The permit includes nearly 60 conditions Taslimi must follow. The Council also granted two variances that will allow employee parking in the front yard setback, one on-site passenger loading space instead of two and a fence modification for a five-foot wall to comply with state requirements.To address neighborhood traffic concerns, city staff took a traffic count on Jan 11 on Delaware Avenue and found there were about 320 car trips on the street. The planning department estimates the school will generate an additional 52 car trips per day, below the city threshold of a “significant impact.”Extensive remodeling will transform the 1,500 square foot home into four classrooms and 2,600 square feet of outdoor play space. The school will allow early drop off beginning at 7:30 a.m. and late pick up until 6 p.m. with a monthly event night for parents to connect with teachers at the school.Dozens of residents who showed up to support Taslimi expressed bewilderment at the neighborhood’s strong opposition to a school serving small children, especially with Taslimi’s commitment to providing scholarships to low and middle-income families.“We have an opportunity to grant access to a quality preschool…this is not an opportunity we will likely see again,” said Untitled No. 1 board member and Pico resident Kristina Lizama. “If you believe a preschool is a community benefit, why wouldn’t you want it in your own backyard?”Mayor Pro-Tempore Gleam Davis said she was “troubled by this entire conversation” of whether schooling is an appropriate addition to a neighborhood. The opposition frequently criticized Untitled No. 1 as a commercial business that would disrupt the virtue of the neighborhood.“I’m just not understanding why it’s so difficult to accept a preschool: an early childhood education center. A preschool,” Gleam repeated. “It troubles me a great deal and it troubles me because we’re talking two different languages.”Councilmember Terry O’Day, who lives in the Pico Neighborhood, said he hoped the extensive list of conditions, including limiting enrollment at the school during its first year to twelve students, would reduce negative impacts like noise and traffic. Mayor Ted Winterer said he hoped the neighbors would learn to work with Taslimi to solve any problems that result from the [email protected] :board of educationcity councileducationpicoSanta Monicasanta monica californiasanta monica daily presssmmusdshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentKate CagleSenior ReporterSenior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Pressview all postsCrash between two Chevys blocked Wilshire for hours WednesdayA weekend of feminist empowerment in store for Santa MonicaYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall10 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson21 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter21 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor21 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press21 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press21 hours agolast_img read more

Championship day has arrived — here’s everything you need

first_imgFour drivers. One race. One championship.The stakes could not be higher for the Championship 4 of Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski. Under the sun, and then the lights, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, one of them will raise the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup high above their heads as champion.For Truex Jr., a seven-time race winner this season, the title would be a career’s culmination, one full of unexpected twists and turns that somehow ended with him as the dominant driver of a dominant team housed in Colorado.For the others, crossing the start/finish line first among the four would yield a second career Monster Energy Series title. For Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, their previous titles came in the elimination-style format. It would be Brad Keselowski’s first in this playoffs format, as his previous title was in 2012.MORE: Starting lineup | Race-day snapshotBeyond the championship race, the spotlight is firmly affixed to Dale Earnhardt Jr. He will climb into the No. 88 Chevrolet for likely the final time in the Monster Energy Series, ending a 17-year career. Matt Kenseth and Danica Patrick join Junior at the twilight of their NASCAR careers.It all adds up to iconic day ahead at Miami (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Get yourself fully prepped for today’s championship race below.FIRST TO THE FLAGMartin Truex Jr. is considered the favorite on Sunday. He has seven wins so far in 2017. Matt Sullivan | Getty Images• Preview: Want the highlights? Here’s a breakdown of the four championship contenders. | READ HERE• Fightin’ words: Kyle Busch didn’t mince words when asked about his relationship with Brad Keselowski. “Sometimes you just don’t like a guy,” he said during Media Day. There was plenty more when the drivers got together. | TOP QUOTES• Final exams: Saturday’s second practice session was noteworthy. Read up quickly on the highlights for every Championship 4 driver. | READ HERE• Line ’em up: See not only the full starting lineup in photos, but also crew chief listings and pit crew rosters. | READ HEREBrian Lawdermilk | Getty Images• Just a kiss: An in-car camera view during a Saturday practice yielded an unexpected shot when Martin Truex Jr. scraped the outside wall. | WATCH WHAT HAPPENED• Why ___ will win: For the second consecutive year, we’re telling you how every driver could win today’s race. | Kyle Busch | Kevin Harvick | Brad Keselowski | Martin Truex Jr.• Always by your side: This Championship 4 field has something in common beyond just being exceptional drivers — they all have exceptional women beside them. PHOTOS: Brad and Paige | Martin and Sherry | Kyle and Samantha | Kevin and DeLanaMORE TO WATCHBeyond deciding a series champion, there is plenty happening in Miami. Here’s the best of the rest. • Forever family: Rick Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are like father and son. We explore their relationship. | READ HEREJared C. Tilton | Getty Images• #Appreci88ion: It’s Dale Jr.’s likely final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, and we’re taking a look back at top photos, paint schemes and moments from his incredible career. | READ HERE• Better together: Matt Kenseth joins Dale Jr. in riding off into the sunset. The two posed together for an iconic photo, with their throwback paint schemes no less. | WATCH THE MOMENT• Emotional goodbye: Two days before the season finale, Danica Patrick announced, in effect, her impending retirement from racing. She’ll run two marquee races next year, though. | READ MORE• Lasting legacy: What a ride it’s been for Danica. Take a glimpse through her career in photos. | DANICA PHOTOSlast_img read more

Semtech and China Unicom to Bring LoRa Technology to China

first_imgSemtech has announced a technology collaboration with China Unicom to leverage Semtech’s LoRa devices and Technology in China to increase and drive more awareness of the LoRaWAN ecosystem. Both companies will collaborate to standardize wireless network gateway interfaces and network communication protocols, jointly develop IoT ecosystem partners, and optimize important Internet of Things (IoT) use cases.Semtech’s LoRa Technology has proven itself to be a very efficient and effective connectivity technology in IoT applications. And with China quickly emerging as one of the leading countries adopting smart, innovative applications, Semtech’s LoRa Technology will help China better serve its community by implementing smart devices that achieve greater connectivity and productivity.Semtech’s LoRa devices and wireless RF technology is a widely adopted long-range, low-power solution for IoT that gives telecom companies, IoT application makers and system integrators the feature set necessary to deploy low-cost, interoperable IoT networks, gateways, sensors, module products, and IoT services worldwide. IoT networks based on the LoRaWAN specification have been deployed in over 100 countries and Semtech is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, the fastest growing IoT Alliance for Low Power Wide Area Network applications.last_img read more

Angel Di Maria speaks to South American media about Manchester United…

first_imgWith a great performance in the second half and making two assists, the Argentine star helped Paris Saint Germain to beat Manchester United 2-0 and get a great advantage for the second leg of the Champions League round of 16.The game was marked by fan reaction about the player’s return to Manchester, where he couldn’t really show his best in the only year he spent at the club.With cursing, kisses and pretending to drink from a beer bottle which was thrown towards him, Di Maria had a response to that. And when interviewed by Esporte Interativo, he was asked if he got a little bit ‘nervous’ about the reception.“Yes, no, the truth is that I never spoke badly about people (the fans) or the club. I only had problems with the manager and nothing else,” Di Maria told Esporte Interativo. “Then I was very calm. I just stayed calm on the pitch and that’s why things worked out the best way possible.”PSG defender Marquinhos was also asked about the Argentine star’s performance, and says Di Maria deserved the great night he had.“It was incredible, wasn’t it. The performance he had today was enormous. We saw that with 70 minutes he was already really exhausted, because he left everything, came to defend, filled the spaces. Di Maria is a guy who has been making a huge season for us, has an incredible working, training, mentality. And today, I think all this was returned to him in a great performance. So I think it was a very personal moment for him too, so that he could make a big game, so he could give an answer to himself, to the Paris fans, to the Manchester fans. So we congratulate him for the great game he has made, and hope he continues with this mentality.”The only Manchester United player who spoke to Esporte Interativo was Ander Herrera. Two of the questions made to him were about the game, and when the Di Maria subject was mentioned, he had a short answer: “I talk about football, not controversies.”by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksTrending TodayForge of Empires – Free Online GameChallenge Your Brain With This Must-Play Strategy Game. No Install.Forge of Empires – Free Online GameUndoRaid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadEven Non-Gamers Are Obsessed With This RPG Game (It’s Worth Installing!)Raid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadUndoDating.comTop Successful Single Men in Tung ChungDating.comUndoPerfect-Dating.comReveal Tung Chung As The Best City to Date for Love & RomancePerfect-Dating.comUndoKeto减肥1個簡單的妙招一夜「融化」腹部贅肉(今晚試試)Keto减肥Undo熱門話題小心會長過頭…網友推爆:「真的長得超誇張!」熱門話題UndoSingles50Hong Kong: A 40+ Dating Site That Actually Works!Singles50UndoCoworking Space | Search AdsThe cost of shared office in Hong Kong might surprise youCoworking Space | Search AdsUndoCNN with DBS BankWhat Banks Did To Help Corporations Mitigate Future CrisesCNN with DBS BankUndo Angel Di Maria will certainly remember his redemption night at Old Trafford for the rest of his life.last_img read more

Major storm bearing down on East Coast

first_img Related iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A major coastal storm is expected to blow through the East Coast Sunday into Monday, arriving exactly five years after superstorm Sandy devastated the area.On Saturday, the storm system — which is expected to be significantly less powerful than Sandy — is forecast to spread heavy rain across Florida, after which it will quickly move up the East Coast.By Sunday afternoon, heavy rain will be falling from New Jersey to New England.The heaviest rain will be Sunday evening from New York City to Boston. Flash flooding is possible, with some areas getting more than 6 inches of rainfall.As the storm gets stronger and closer to the Northeast, gusty winds will develop, especially into Monday morning. Some of the gusts could reach 50 to 60 mph, and in New England, gusts may near 70 mph.Travelers should brace for potential delays at northeastern airports. Sunday marks five years to the day that Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast in 2012. The storm resulted in dozens of deaths in New York state, and both New York and New Jersey reported over $30 billion in damages.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more

Smith shows the way at Emerald

first_imgAlan Freeman and Geoff Parker (playing in the same four ball, but not marking each other’s cards!) had a nip and tuck battle throughout the round, and inspired each other to win the A and B flights respectively. PSC golf Bunker Boys at The Bowling GreenMonday, February 6, Greenwood A & B- StablefordAlthough we’d been allocated a tee time 40 minutes later than our usual 11.00 a.m. slot, we arrived at the course to find it relatively quiet, and the first group was able to tee off ahead of schedule.  One has to say that despite sometimes less than ideal organization, Greenwood deserves our continued support for their high season pricing policy, especially for the PSC groups – unlike some other local courses. Paul Smith (left) is congratulated by JJ after his win at Emerald.A Flight1st Alan Freeman (4) 40pts2nd Geoff Cox (14) 34pts3rd Tony Robbins (14) 34ptsB Flight1st Geoff Parker (16) 41pts2nd Barry Murnin (16) 34pts3rd Tom Jones (26) 32ptsNear Pins:  Alan Freeman, Ian Kluth, John Graham and Mike CornerWednesday, February 8, The Emerald – StablefordWe had a large turnout today for our visit to Bang Chang and the ever-popular Emerald course.  Although the condition of the course has deteriorated slightly from its high point of a couple of years ago, it still provides a good test of golf, and there are numerous hazards waiting to trap the wayward golfer.  Such was the frustration for the normally mild mannered Ken Young, who was reported to the committee for joining the ranks of the club throwing brigade.The day was notable for two eagles on par 4’s; one by Ian Kluth and the other by Tony Robbins, although rumour has it that Tony’s ball made a complete lap of the green before accidentally falling into the hole!Paul Smith put in a superb performance, shooting a round of gross 70 to show everyone else how it should be done, and comfortably won the A Flight.Back at the Bowling Green there was a heated discussion over our rule requiring cards to be submitted by latest 6.45pm, and the decision was made that the rule will be applied rigidly in future, to avoid delaying the presentation.  All members should now be aware that having that one extra beer may cost them their prize.A Flight1st Paul Smith (3) 41pts2nd John Graham (10) 38pts3rd Tony Scambler (8) 37ptsB Flight1st Peter Habgood (20) 36pts2nd John Hughes (17) 35pts3rd Tom Jones (26) 34ptsNear Pins:  Alan Freeman, Colin Greig, Chris Dupp and Ian Kluth.Friday, Febrary 10, Century Chonburi – StablefordOn arrival at our scheduled course, Khao Kheow we discovered that they denied all knowledge of our booking, even though they had called a few days earlier to change the tee time!  Unable to play the course, hasty rearrangements were made and a reduced field set off to play at Century Chonburi which was the only course able to accommodate us at such short notice.We haven’t played here for almost a year (following a similar mess up with caddies at Treasure Hill), and those that made the effort were pleasantly surprised to find the course generally in reasonable condition.  The greens, although looking good were very slow (like putting through treacle) and the scores reflected our lack of familiarity with the course.  The only player that managed to play to his handicap was Mike Corner, and Alan Freeman took second place on a count back from Tom Jones.1st Mike Corner (22) 36pts2nd Alan Freeman (3) 34pts3rd Tom Jones (26) 34pts4th Mike Stokel (23) 33ptsNear Pins:  Paul Edgar, Geoff Parker, Mike Stokel  and Syd Harris.Following the recent demise of the Bunker Bar, the Bunker Boys now play out of the Bowling Green on Soi X-Zyte between Pattaya 3rd Road and Soi Buakhaow.  We play three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so if you enjoy a fun day out and a friendly but competitive golf competition why come and join us.We meet at the Bowling Green at 9 a.m. and new players with valid handicaps are always welcome.  For more information call Dave on 087 1469978, email dave.evel [email protected]last_img read more

Inside Conditions…Yellow Bellies in New England

first_imgAUBREY BRUCEI wrote this column on Monday, December 12, 2016.  The reason that the date is significant to me is that there is an old saying that goes something like this: “what goes around comes around” or in the case that I am about to argue before you, again, and again.In 2015, the New England Patriots may have possibly used “other methods” of cheating in an effort to manipulate the post season competition pool across the NFL: besides their usual methods of deflating footballs, videotaping practices of their opponents and questionable in-game substitution practices, ya know, mundane stuff like that.  However, there may be other devious and hard to detect methods that may have been utilized from Patriots “apparatus of deceit” to aid “Belicheat Inc.” in adding another tainted Lombardi to their dark asterisk laden trophy case, insuring that a few of Benedict Arnold’s descendants’ remained as the “cocks of the walk in the NFL.”Remember in times past if a man was caught stealing a horse or horses, or gambling with a marked deck of cards or a loaded pair of dice he was usually murdered on the spot.  He could not bargain to have his life spared by promising to give up a draft choice or two or pay a paltry fine.  Victims demanded to extract their pound of flesh immediately as to insure that the violator would not ever repeat the same behavior.Is there nothing that the Patriots organization won’t do to win?  The late Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders used to say, “Just win baby.” Could the motto of Robert Kraft the owner of the Patriots be? “Just cheat baby.”Nick O’Malley wrote this on masslive.comon December 27, 2015.  “With a chance to lock up home field advantage through the NFL playoffs on the line, the New England Patriots dropped a hard-fought overtime game against the New York Jets on Sunday. The win gives the Jets a major boost in the AFC playoff picture, especially given the Pittsburgh Steelers’ surprising loss to the Baltimore Ravens.To some, Sunday’s loss wasn’t an example of the Jets rising up with a big win, it was Bill Belichick playing mind games with the rest of the NFL. That’s right: Some fans are claiming the Patriots lost on purpose to manipulate playoff positioning. So how strong is the belief? [ The following is] a quick roundup of [fans] who are convinced they’re onto something here, and that Belichick is playing some sort of 3D cosmic chess while everyone else is playing checkers (or something like that).  Yeah right.  “Belichick is playing some sort of 3D cosmic chess while everyone else is playing checkers.”  Why does everyone insist on giving this sports pseudo-demigod and his player’s accolades and awards for doing dark sh-t?  Just the thought of any skullduggery originating from the Boston camp makes me almost want to take off my collar and lose my religion.I am telling you, if the Patriots lose to the Ravens on Monday night, the excuse for the loss that they are going to use over and over is that New England did not have their full complement of starting players.  I may be wrong, (which is not strange) but if I can be right 50% of the time I will be happy.  However, if New England wins, Bill Belichick will again be hailed as the “genius above all sports geniuses” sitting on his throne up in Valhalla, with Tom Brady and Robert Kraft sitting on his right and left side with celestial airbags positioned in a convenient arc around them just in case lightning or the hammer of Thor makes an attempt to strike one or all of them.Are the NFL marketing gurus’ again burning the midnight oil, or will the players decide who will ultimately hoist the NFL championship trophy above their heads?Aubrey Bruce is the Senior Sports Columnist for the New Pittsburgh Courier, he can be reached at: [email protected] or 412.583.6741Follow him on [email protected]last_img read more

Warriors await challenge after cruising to 8-0 in playoffs

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Golden State Warriors are four wins from their third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals — and likely a third straight showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers. With four All-Stars, including two MVPs, it’s not hard to see why.The Warriors eliminated the Utah Jazz in a sweep Monday night and are 8-0 in the postseason for the first time in franchise history. The Cavaliers, coincidentally, also swept their first two opponents.For Golden State, the games mostly haven’t been close. Only one victory, Game 3 against the Portland Trail Blazers, was decided by fewer than 11 points, and the Warriors never trailed in three of the four games against Utah. The trio of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green has been consistently dominant, and Golden State’s elite length and athleticism on defense have been stifling.“We are mostly impressed with how we are playing our brand of basketball,” Green said. “We really imposed our will on the other team. That’s big. In the playoffs, you let a team get in a groove and it’s hard to win games like that.“We have imposed our will all eight games. That’s important on the offensive and defensive end, and if you can do that, with the talent that we have, with the experience that we have, it will be tough to beat us.”In the Western Conference finals, Golden State will face the winner of the Spurs and Rockets, who are tied 2-2.The Warriors are averaging a playoff-high 115.3 points per game, ahead of the Cavaliers’ 114.5. Golden State is allowing 98.8 points in the postseason to lead all teams still alive and has a playoff-best 96.9 defensive rating.The offense has come in waves. One second, it’s Curry shining, then Durant or Green the next. All-Star Klay Thompson has been in a bit of a slump, but still scored 21 points in the 121-95 victory Monday night.Even as games have gotten more physical, Golden State has stayed strong on the ball and kept turnovers to a minimum, said interim coach Mike Brown. The Warriors’ 11.5 turnovers per game lead all teams still playing, and Brown thinks combining that with their elite shooting and defense makes for a peerless combination.“We feel like have good shooters, good scorers and we would rather take a bad shot than us trying to make a hero play,” Brown said. “And we have a tendency, at times, to try to make hero plays with the basketball because these guys all appreciate each other. For the most part, they want to make the pass to somebody as opposed to making the shot. They get some sort of satisfaction out of it.“It doesn’t matter if Steph comes down, crosses half-court and launches it. At least we got a shot at the rim. We feel like most of those are going to go in at the end of the day, so we’re good with it.”The Warriors have been without coach Steve Kerr since Game 3 of the first round and haven’t missed a beat. He remains out after having a spinal cord leak procedure at Duke University on Friday, and there is no timetable for his return. He and Brown speak regularly, but that’s an obstacle to overcome.Jazz coach Quin Snyder raved about the culture Kerr has created.“They demonstrate it in everything that they do,” Snyder said. “When a team kind of lives who they are, that is a unique group. They all believe in each other and they are willing to sacrifice for one another.“Just the unselfishness that that group plays with and the care they have for one another on the court. They’ve got each other’s backs.”So far, the Warriors have only been slowed during self-created lulls, like when the Jazz cut a 26-point second-quarter lead down to five before Golden State got back in gear.The competition will get tougher, though. In the conference finals, they’ll have to deal with either San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard or Houston’s James Harden, and both players are better than any the Warriors have seen so far this postseason.And then there’s LeBron James, likely waiting in the finals.“They’re a historically great team,” Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. “They make you pay for mistakes. You have to be almost perfect every possession or they turn it into an 8-0 run, 9-0 run, 10-0 run. So you can’t have mental lapses against a team like this.”___More AP NBA: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, left, and JaVale McGee (1) share a laugh as they sit on the bench at the end of the second half during Game 4 of the NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz Monday, May 8, 2017, in Salt Lake City.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)last_img read more

Elgin-Middlesex-London: Conservative Karen Vecchio cruises to re-election

first_imgKaren Vecchio thanks her supporters while her husband Mike Vecchio looks on. Vecchio will serve at MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London for a second term. (Laura Broadley/Times-Journal) Karen Vecchio, the veteran Conservative politician, cruised to her second win Monday night, proving her popularity among voters in Elgin–Middlesex–London.“This is so much different than last time. You know, I’ve been serving for the last four years so it’s whether or not I’ve done a good job. This is a great way of saying, ‘You’re doing a great job,’ ” Vecchio said.She added she got to know her constituents all over again while she was on the campaign trail.“What I heard so much about was affordability and the struggles that families were having paying the bills,” Vecchio said.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer built his campaign on the issue of affordability.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Vecchio arrived late Monday night to cheers from supporters at her victory party at Boston Pizza. The riding has been reliable Conservative turf since 2004, when the current St. Thomas mayor, Joe Preston, wrested it way from the Liberals.Vecchio held the seat in the last Parliament as part of the Official Opposition.A rural-urban riding that takes in St. Thomas, Elgin County and a slice of London, it extends south to the Lake Erie shore and blends big-city issues — everything from attracting employers to dealing with the opioid drug crisis — with matters of more concern to small towns and the farm belt.Observers noted during the campaign that the riding is a tough nut to crack because the winning candidate must be able to adapt to all those different issues.In the urban areas, the concerns focus more on bread-and-butter issues such as reliable transit and managing urban growth. The riding’s many farmers – grain and oilseed producers – have been caught in global trade spats, including those between the U.S. and China.Awareness of climate change was tabbed as the sleeper issue in the riding.The only question was: Would the People’s Party of Canada find enough traction in rural areas like Elgin–Middlesex–London to pull votes from the Conservatives?But PPC candidate Donald Helkaa came in late to the race and ended with only 945 votes.“It’s definitely good practice for the next election,” the 26-year-old Helkaa said.He commended Vecchio for her win and said she was a formidable opponent who made him work harder.“She was a great contestant to run against. I feel I’ve really sharpened up my game.”In 2015, Vecchio received 49.2 per cent of the vote, with the Liberal candidate a distant second at 31 per cent.This year turned out even worse for the Liberals in the riding with 23.1 per cent of the vote compared to the Conservative share of 50.4 per cent.That didn’t dampen Liberal candidate Pam Armstrong’s spirits.“I’m happy. We wanted a majority government but Canada has spoken again and we still have a progressive agenda,” she said. “I’m still behind my party no matter what.”It was Armstrong’s first foray in politics, and the results mean she’s preparing for next time.“I’m happy because I gave it my best shot. It’s my first time out of the gate and still had good results, and the team had great results,” she said. “I figure, look out the next time. If I did that first time out of the gate, watch out for the second time out the gate. I’m not going anywhere.”Vecchio returns to Parliament as part of the Tory contingent, who will fill the Opposition benches again.With files from Free Press reporter Dan BrownTHE RESULTS(174 of 174 polls reporting)14,166 Pam Armstrong, LIB 10,909 Bob Hargreaves, NDP 945 Donald Helkaa, PP 3,522 Ericha Hendel, GRN 618 Peter Redecop, CHP 248 Richard Styve, LBRT 30,880 *Karen Vecchio, CON*MP in last Parliamentlast_img read more

Ask It Results: The Candlelight Processional

first_imgShare This!It’s Wednesday, and time for Ask It. Peace on Earth. Goodwill to all. Drinking around the world. Two of these can be found this time of year at Epcot. (Although, truth told, which two you find probably depends who you are traveling with.) One of the most popular events this time of year is Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, a retelling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator and full choir. People wait in long lines for a chance to get into one of the multiple shows each evening, but for some people, it is a “one and done” experience or something that doesn’t hold interest to wait to get in.Last week, we asked you:Is the Candlelight Processional something you like to do every year, occasionally, or never?Here’s your results.Every Year (234 votes, 27.5%)The Candlelight Processional itself lasts about 45 minutes. That doesn’t include waiting in line, sometimes up to 2-3 hours depending on celebrity narrator, if you opt not to do a dining package (where you can wait less time, but have to take the time for a meal that you may not have done otherwise). No matter how you slice it, the Candlelight Processional is a lot of time commitment during a vacation day. Many of the people who said that they go every year also mentioned that they were locals going on an average day instead of a vacation day. For others, the “every year” vote also included people who go every year that they happen to be in the area. It is a family tradition for many people, however, and something that many people wouldn’t want to miss.Never (302 votes, 35.5%)The “never” votes include both people who have never done it/never desire to do it, or people who have done it once and never would want to do it again, even if other people they were with wanted to see it. The Candlelight Processional is probably one of the most Christian-centric events at Disney outside of Night of Joy. For some people, both Christian and non-Christian, the Candlelight Processional has the vibe of a church service, and that is something that isn’t always part of a vacation experience. For others, even though it is a beautiful show to experience, the time commitment again comes into play. There’s so much holiday stuff to see and do, it’s tough to carve out time for this long show. For less of a time commitment and no line, people can walk right across the way and catch one of the Voices of Liberty performances with similar songs of holiday cheer (and a mix of religious and secular songs).Occasionally (318 votes, 37%)Just edging out the win this week was the occasionally vote. Sometimes when a special event is experienced every year, it loses some of the specialness. For many people, going to the Candlelight Processional occasionally helps keep it a special experience, and something to look forward to when the mood hits to go and see it. Going occasionally also means that it is easier to justify the cost of the dinner package, helping to stave off the lengthy time waiting in line. And although the plot of the Candlelight Processional doesn’t change (it is the Christmas story after all), each narrator is able to bring their own personality to the telling of the story, making it a slightly different show every time.So there you have this week’s results. Next week’s question is live on Twitter and here. In the meantime, do you have any other holiday traditions on a Disney vacation? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more