‘Westfest’ unveil sale of restored furniture at food and craft fair

first_imgLinkedin Facebook Email The recently established community up-cycling initiative ‘Back2New’ will unveil its products at the upcoming ‘Westfest’ Food and Craft Fair Saturday 14 and Sunday 15.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Started in April, the Newcastle West based project was set-up to develop the skills and future employability of participants on the TÚS Community Work Placement Scheme.TÚS is a national initiative for people on the Live Register designed to provide short term working opportunities for unemployed people.The work supports community development and the services of benefit to the community. It will be managed at a local level by West Limerick Resources who have over one hundred placements in the West Limerick Area.The pilot social enterprise initiative is based in a dedicated enterprise unit in Newcastle West and currently has twelve participants who have been busy revamping and up-cycling disused furniture and waste material over recent months.“Back2New evolved as a collaboration between West Limerick Resources TÚS programme, its local and Community Development Programme and the Waste Management Section of Limerick County Council who have been providing raw materials such as old furniture and paint,” says Irene O’Callaghan of West Limerick Resources.“The twelve participants, who come from a range of backgrounds, have been developing their practical and creative skills over the last few months and are now ready to progress towards the sales and marketing side of the initiative” says Ms O’Callaghan.A wide range of furniture, which was up-cycled using a variety of appropriate techniques, will be on sale at the Food and Craft Fair which takes place on Saturday and Sunday September 14 and 15 at the Newcastle West Community Centre.People will also be able to meet and talk to those who created the pieces and will be encouraged to support the project through the purchase of some of the unique items on show.  Money generated from sales will be reinvested into the future development and expansion of the initiative.“In addition to providing employment and training opportunities to participants the project is also promoting waste minimisation as it diverts waste from landfill and encourages reuse and recycling in the local area,” Ms O’Callaghan says.“To date we have received a number of generous donations of unwanted furniture from local households and I think that the former owners will be surprised to see how they have been transformed through a bit of imagination and a lot of hard work on the part of the participants”, she says.Due to the large volume of stock which has now built up as a result of the project, a follow-up sale is planned to be held at the Up-cycling Centre in Unit 2, Newcastle West Enterprise Centre, on Friday September 27th with dates of future sales to be announced over the coming months.‘Westfest’ is a family-fun festival running for five days in September from the 11th to 15th in Newcastle West. There will be live music and entertainment set against the backdrop of Desmond Castle. Advertisement News‘Westfest’ unveil sale of restored furniture at food and craft fairBy Staff Reporter – September 11, 2013 654 center_img Twitter Print WhatsApp Previous articleMinister says plans ready for troubled regeneration residentsNext articleInformation evening for Limerick city retailers and businesses Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ielast_img read more

Decide On Representation To Ban Online Gambling : Karnataka High Court To State

first_imgNews UpdatesDecide On Representation To Ban Online Gambling : Karnataka High Court To State Mustafa Plumber31 March 2021 5:53 AMShare This – xThe Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to decide on a representation made to it seeking to ban all forms of online betting and gambling. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj said “In the light of the representation in terms of annexure A, the state government will have to take a stand about action, if any they propose…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to decide on a representation made to it seeking to ban all forms of online betting and gambling. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj said “In the light of the representation in terms of annexure A, the state government will have to take a stand about action, if any they propose to take in the subject matter.” The bench added “To enable the state government to take a stand we adjourn the petition till June 1. The decision taken by the state government shall be placed on record in the form of objections by May 27.” In its representation made to the government dated September 12, 2020 the petitioner Sharada D R, has sought to ban all online betting and gambling. It was claimed by the petitioner that even after submitting a reminder letter dated October 24, when there was no response, a petition was filed before the High Court. The plea states that the State of Karnataka remains in a regulatory vacuum. The gullible and hapless sections of society, particularly the youth, are falling prey to online gambling and betting in the midst of a pandemic situation. The court also allowed the impleading application filed by All India Gaming Federation and Online Rummy Federation. During the hearing the additional government advocate submitted that Online gambling can be played from anywhere in the world. This is part of the policy of the government before the policy being decided on this issue, the central government may be a necessary party.” To which the court said “Ultimately for banning a particular activity the question will be again of existence of a legislation. You must decide what you want to do, don’t bother about what the Government of India wants to do.” The petition mentions that High Courts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have directed their respective jurisdictional state legislatures to explore the possibilities of regulating the regime. In these states there exists a central legislation. However, in Karnataka there is neither central legislation nor any regulatory regime. The petition also notes that because the State has no mechanism to monitor whether any online game or activity is a game of chance or involves skill. It cites the example of the Game of Rummy is a game of skill. It is said “However, what holds good for the game in the offline mode may not be true for the online mode. The State has not bothered to create any monitoring mechanism to ascertain whether the online Rummy offered by various virtual gaming platforms. In fact, admittedly many other puritan games of chance are in vogue on the internet, which can be very easily accessible and played by persons of all age groups including the children. However, the State has not taken any action to regulate the same.” The petition also states that because in the present pandemic situation, vulnerable sections of society, particularly, youngsters and children have access to the internet via mobile phones and laptops. Realising this precarious situation, many states have brought about legislation and regulatory regime to ban online gambling and betting.Following the directions of the Kerala High Court, the Kerala Government recently made online gambling illegal.In November 2020, the Madras High Court had asked the Tamil Nadu Government to bring a law to curb online betting. Following that, the Tamil Nadu government brought an Ordinance recently. The Gujarat High Court has also passed a similar direction.Also, the Delhi High Court has directed the Union Of India & Delhi Government to treat a petition filed against online gambling, as a representation and decide the grievances ventilated in the petition, as narrated in detail in the writ petitionSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

‘Boot camp’ gets skaters ready for figure skating season

first_imgFigure skaters from throughout the zone got a head start on the season after attending the West Kootenay Development camp held recently in Nelson.More than 50 young skaters descended on the NDCC Arena for “boot camp” on ice — designed to enhance and develop the abilities of young figure skaters in the West Kootenays.“The camp was open to all skaters from the West Kootenays that are interested in attending a grass roots seminar,” explains Sarah Gower a coach with the Nelson Figure Skating Club. “It’s one component of Skate Canada’s overall development strategy to foster young skaters from the region who eventually may go on to compete at provincial or national levels.”Event organizer Tina Borhi was pleased with the turnout.“We got lots of positive feedback from skaters and parents,” she said. “We had a number of high calibre skaters from out of town attend so the quality of skating was quite high and valuable for the younger skaters to see.”Gower, along with fellow coaches Rachel Stewart and Yoshie Measures teamed up with out of town coaches Sabrina Hinson and Mandy Paulsen to put the skaters through their paces.“We taught the skaters both new elements and elements they are familiar with but done in difficult positions, or difficult entries in the case of a jump,” says Gower, noting this approach wins skaters more points under the new system of judging.“Having five coaches on the ice at once meant that skaters were able to receive lots of input and varied approaches.”Marg Larose from Vernon led the off ice dance sessions while Sabrina Hinson ran the off ice flexibility sessions.last_img read more

Why Aren’t Entrepreneurs Developing Innovative Solutions For Renters?

first_imgThere are some 40 million rental units in America today. And that segment is growing fast as more Americans choose to rent instead of own in a tepid real estate market. While some technology providers have come to the rescue of landlords and prospective tenants, much opportunity remains.With home prices down 34% from their July 2006 peak, resulting in more than $16 trillion in vaporized household net worth, you can’t blame Americans for wanting to move on with their lives. That typically means renting a home or apartment, as fewer Americans now believe that owning a home is better than renting, 63% today, down from 89% in 1996:.That trend has fueled a rental market with the tightest demand in 10 years. Leading the U.S. rental market is the tech-heavy San Francisco Bay Area, with San Francisco rental prices up 15% and Oakland, Calif., up 11%, as of June 2012.But tenants and landlords know that finding and renting a home or apartment is not a simple process. The finding part has been made easier with the emergence of Craigslist as the default mother of all U.S. rental listings. Yet the procedure of applying for a rental and getting your application approved remains arduous. Thankfully it’s now being addressed by a few savvy technology providers.Online ApplicationsLandlords of multi-unit apartment buildings or home properties can now use a service from Santa Barbara-Calif.-based RentApp. As its name implies, this online service is designed to simplify the rental application process. Once a free account has been set up, a landlord can create a rental application by selecting from a menu of customary items, such as financial information, pets, etc. RentApp makes money by collecting fees from screening tenants, which start at $10 per “screen.”Once an application has been created, prospective tenants are sent a link to fill out the online application and RentApp can collect application fees, if a landlord has been set up with credit-card processing (a cumbersome process that screams for a Square-like solution). Landlords who have applied for background checking can then automatically screen each tenant. But background- and credit-checking require an on-site visit by an Experian representative, yet another tedious complication.The good news for prospective tenants is that there’s no paperwork involved and applicants do not directly divulge social security numbers to landlords – adding an extra layer of security protection. Welcome to the 21st century!Chicago-based startup RocketLease also offers online application creation, submission and screening, plus it lets landlords create an online property listing that applicants can use to review a rental offering and submit their application.But when I tested their service I discovered that not only did RocketLease not actually have the iPhone app portrayed on its home page, it also prominently displays a landlord’s email address on its listing pages, which could lead to spamming. RocketLease has assured me that it will begin cloaking email addresses this week.Digital LeasesMoreover, no existing service – and that includes other new-age outfits like E-Renter, which handles tenant screening but offers no online application submission service – lets one manage the entire rental process, in particular lease creation, submission and signing, plus rental payments. To create a lease, many National Association of Realtors NAR agents rely on services like zipLogix, which is able to generate PDFs that must be filled out by hand, i.e. non-fillable PDF forms. But this service is not available to individual parties. Popular legal services, such as Nolo or Rocket Lawyer, offer leases that can be tailored to each landlord’s state – but none offers online fillable lease services.Once a lease has been laboriously created, you can have it electronically signed by using Adobe’s EchoSign, which requires that each signatory field is manually specified. (Competitors to EchoSign include DocuSign and many others.) For rent payment collection, landlords have to rely on yet another service, like PayYourRent or RentPayment.Overwhelmed yet? Now you know why I agree with Sequoia Venture Capitalist Jim Goetz that it’s shocking to see how few entrepreneurs really focus on building products for businesses.Considering that there are 40 million rentals and 223 million computers users in the U.S. with no easy way of applying and qualifying for rentals, you can’t blame me for ranting against the lack of common-sense application development in America. While there are certainly outfits addressing the rental market with tech-based solutions, my experience suggests that the playing field falls far short of what’s needed.As a landlord you should not have to visit half a dozen sites to get a unit leased. Rental apps should be downloadable to a tenant’s mobile phone, filled in and signed directly from wherever they are. I know that day will come but it’s not here yet.Submit your ideas to help revolutionize our software industry at our ideation engine and here’s hoping that your next rental experience is a seamless one.Rental and lease images courtesy of Shutterstock. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…center_img michael tchong Tags:#e-commerce#enterprise 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

YouTube Flushes Bot Views, Annoints VEVO Channels

first_imgT’is the end of the year and all across YouTube, videos – primarily music- are being scrubbed clean of fraudulent views. Except one set of channels. VEVO, the one with a special partnership with YouTube, has remained untouched. Obvious VEVO power-play much, YouTube?YouTube has long had issues with botting – the practice of paying for fake views, much in the same way people buy fake Facebook likes or fake Twitter followers. In a bold move before the Christmas holiday, the Google-owned site stripped billions of views from the channels belonging to Universal Music Group, Sony BMG and RCA Records. Hundreds of examples of music-related content were removed as well.  Tallying Up The Fake ViewsThe music channel with the most fraudulent views removed was Universal Music Group, with the tally coming out to just over 1 billion (1,015,813,000), according to third-party analytics site SocialBlade. Sony BMG lost a little over 850 million views, while the RCA channel dropped 159 million.As first reported by the Daily Dot, this year-end cleaning of fake views also hit hundreds of other non-musical YouTubers, which led many to wonder in related Google forums whether this was the work of a bug. In a forum post, YouTube confirmed users had violated the Terms of Service item 4 section H, which states: “You agree not to use or launch any automated system, including without limitation, “robots.”YouTube did not respond to the Daily Dot’s requests for comment on the removal of views and videos from Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, and RCA Records, nor did they respond to ReadWrite’s. Tech blog Tom’s Guide however, got a confirmation from Google that the music channels had indeed violated the ToS. Claims Of BiasNetherlands-based web celebrity and gamer Athene Wins – who is a bit of a YouTube watchdog – called the take-down of fake views from certain channels “biased”  in a vlog addressing Daily Dot’s article, given that he believes botting has also occurred on VEVO channels.  “They’re just making sure all big labels and artists are forced to go with VEVO,” says Athene Wins, who points out Chris Brown and Britney Spears VEVO channels were untouched as far as the removal of botted views.  “Don’t tell me that you are going to be botting views for Chris Brown TV” but you “stop botting” at Chris Brown’s VEVO,” he added. fruzsina eordogh 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Tags:#YouTube The removal of botted views on only certain music channels does look suspicious, but the comment the Daily Dot received from Universal confirmed they have been focusing on pushing content into their VEVO channel, instead of their original YouTube channel. VEVO, after all, charges very high ad rates.  It is also possible that the millions of fake views on Universal Music Group, Sony BMG and RCA Records was done to make channels appear more popular than they were, since they were created in 2006, before the music video conglomerate VEVO (which includes Universal, Sony BMG and RCA Records talent) launched in 2009. Reddit, for example, relied on fake users to make the site appear more popular than it was, when it first started out.  YouTube’s funneling music into one central distributing network, VEVO, also makes sense for simplicity, as all music on the site can then be under one umbrella. This re-organizing of music content also means VEVO is staying on YouTube; back in July VEVO threatened to leave the Google-owned video sharing site unless they lowered their fees.Keeping the botted views on VEVO (if they do in fact, exist), then, makes sense from a business investment standpoint. Inflating the VEVO traffic keeps a nice justification going for those VEVO channels’ high ad rates, all the better for everyone’s bottom line. Why You Love Online Quizzes Related Posts last_img read more

George W Bush And Chad McQueen Attend 2018 Scottsdale Auction

first_imgFormer U.S. President George W. Bush and Chad McQueen helped Barrett-Jackson speed past the $100 million mark in funds raised for charity as ten vehicles brought in $6.21 million for non-profit organizations during the 47th Annual Scottsdale Auction at WestWorld.The top fundraisers included Lot #3010, the first current-generation Ford GT that has been donated for charity since the car was introduced, bringing in $2.55 million to push the company to nearly $102 million since 1971. On Saturday, President Bush joined Chevrolet on the block for the sale of a 2018 Corvette Carbon Fiber 65 Edition (Lot #3007), which sold for $1.4 million to benefit The George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Military Service Initiative while film star Chad McQueen was on stage Friday as the Ford Mustang Bullitt brought $300,000 for Boys Republic.“I’m incredibly proud that we’ve reached such a historic milestone of raising almost $102 million in total charity donations at our home in Scottsdale,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Our company was founded on the principle of charitable donations by my father Russ Jackson and his partner, Tom Barrett, and I’m grateful to be able to carry on that banner in their honor. This has been an incredible 47-year journey for our company, driven by our tremendous bidders, consignors, sponsors, celebrities and the entire collector car community, whose heart is only matched by their generosity and outpouring of support. The amount of good that has come from the $102 million we’ve raised together is simply immeasurable. But we’re not going to stop here as this is simply a milestone on our journey to continue to help those who need our help the most.”For the first time in the company’s history, the Barrett-Jackson team was joined on the block by a former U.S. president. President Bush, along with television host Jay Leno, as well as Chad McQueen, son of TV actor Steve McQueen, lent their efforts to help raise awareness and donations for charity this week.Carolyn and Craig Jackson auctioned their personal Corvette with the entire sale benefiting the American Heart Association (AHA). Joined on the block by Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, the sale kicked off Barrett-Jackson’s yearlong Driven Hearts initiative. The company will continue to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the AHA in a variety of ways, including the first Barrett-Jackson themed license plate program through the Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division (ADOT-MVD). The six-character license plates cost $25, with $17 from each plate sold benefiting the AHA. The Driven Hearts campaign also includes a partnership with Hotels for Hope, which enables fans traveling to Barrett-Jackson events to book rooms through Barrett-Jackson.com, with a portion of every actualized hotel room night booked going to the AHA.“We’ve been given a tremendous opportunity to enrich the lives of so many deserving individuals,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “Over the last 47 years, the collector car community has joined us to help our youth, those who struggle with disease and sickness, our nation’s military veterans and first responders, and so many others. We’re proud to be a catalyst for change and for reaching this incredible milestone and excited to continue this great tradition of charitable giving in the future.”Ten charity vehicles crossed the block in Scottsdale with 100 percent of the hammer prices raising a total of $6.21 million. This year’s charity vehicles included:• 2017 Ford GT (Lot #3010) – $2.55 million – Donated by Ron Pratte to benefit The Autism Society of North Carolina’s Ignite Program and the Autism Alliance of Michigan • 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition (Lot #3007) – $1,400,000 – Donated by to benefit The George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Military Service Initiative • 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (Lot #3009) – $925,000 benefiting Building for America’s Bravest Through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation • 1988 Chevrolet Corvette 35th Anniversary Edition (Lot #3008) – $350,000 benefiting the American Heart Association • 2015 Pioneer Cedar One Custom Roadster (Lot #3005) – $350,000 benefiting the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, The Royal Canadian Legion and Our Nation’s Heroes Foundation • 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt (Lot #3006) – $300,000 to benefit Boys Republic • 2017 Ford F-250 Pickup (Lot #3003) – $115,000 benefiting ChildHelp through the SEMA Cares Foundation • 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Aero Custom Coupe “Project Prestone” (Lot #3004) – $100,000 benefiting TGen Foundation • 2018 Bennington 23SSBXP Pontoon Boat (Lot #3002) – $100,000 benefiting the Mayshad Foundation • 1996 Ford Mustang (Lot #3001) $20,000 – benefiting Jordan Vocational High Schoollast_img read more

Decathlon to replace Saks Off Fifth store at Montreal Eaton Centre

first_imgTORONTO – European sports chain Decathlon is replacing Saks Off Fifth in a spot over two floors at the Montreal Eaton Centre.Hudson’s Bay Company says it and mall developer Ivanhoe Cambridge have mutually agreed to no longer open a Saks Off Fifth location.The Toronto-based department store chain owner tells The Canadian Press that plans for the location have been abandoned “due to a number of factors,” but refused to reveal what those factors are.A spokesman for the Montreal Eaton Centre owner confirmed that the store would not be opening, but also did not provide a reason why.France-based sporting goods store Decathlon will open in the Saks space next fall, the first for a downtown location in Canada.“This location in the downtown core, which is a relatively new approach for us, will enable us to deliver even more effectively on our brand promise, which is to make sport accessible to as many people as we can,” Tristan Vende of Decathlon Canada said in news release.Ivanhoe Cambridge leasing vice-president Jean Landry said the opening of Decathlon is one of the highlights of its $200-million revitalization project for a property that once housed the Eaton’s department store and adjacent mall.Decathlon operates more than 1,400 stores in 42 countries and generates almost $13 billion in annual sales.In addition, European-based Time Out Market will open in Canada for the first time in the mall. It will offer 16 food options, two bars, a demo kitchen, cooking academy and retail shop.HBC announced in late 2015 that the purveyor of discount designer clothing and other goods would open at the centre in 2018, as part of the brand’s Canadian expansion.The company said that the store would take over about 4,165 square meters (44,850 square feet) in the Montreal Eaton Centre and Complexe Les Ailes spaces that merged in 2016.HBC says it operates 18 Saks Off Fifth locations in Canada in cities including Ottawa, Winnipeg and Niagara-on-the-lake, Vaughan and Pickering, Ont.Companies in this story: (TSX:HBC)last_img read more

BC Hydros generating stations receive upgrades

first_imgAdditionally, we’ll update controls for intake systems; controls for plant auxiliary systems; GMS plant central control room; and remote operation controls for GMS and PCN generating stations. When completed in 2024, Site C Generating Station will also be controlled from GMS as part of this upgrade. Upgrade work has been completed for generating units 1 to 5 and generating units 9 and 10. The unit controls upgrade and governor retrofit work for generating unit 6 is scheduled to be completed in October 2019. All upgrade work for this project is expected to be completed by mid-2023. GMS HVAC System Upgrade At GMS, we’ll be upgrading the 50-year old heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The HVAC system provides conditioned air to building occupants and temperature regulation for generating equipment.  To ensure increased reliability and system stability, we’ll be upgrading the protection and control equipment for PCN generating units 1 to 4. The current electromechanical systems, which were installed in the 1980s, are past their useful life and will be replaced with modern, state-of-the-art systems. The work will include installation of new digital protection and control panels for the generator exciter and transformer systems. There are two stages for equipment replacement timed to fit with annual maintenance schedules; the construction for generators 3 and 4 started in April 2019 and will be completed this year, and construction for generators 1 and 2 is planned to start on March 2020. June/July 2019 Peace River Generating Stations Projects Update GMS G1-10 Control System Upgrade We’re replacing unit controls for generating units 1 to 10 and retro-fitting governors for generating units 6 to 10. These control the water flow through the turbine to regulate the shaft speed of the generator. Also due for replacements are the exciters for generating units 9 and 10 – these control the current through the generator field winding to regulate the output voltage of the generator.  Targeted replacement of components of the current system is expected to improve reliability, maintainability and safety, and is currently planned to take place between 2022 and 2023. PCN HVAC System Upgrade At PCN, we’re also strategically upgrading the HVAC system as the heating, cooling and ventilation needs aren’t being efficiently met by the existing system. Major components need to be replaced and this work is being sequenced after the GMS HVAC project to enable transferring of lessons learned. We’re planning for construction at PCN between 2024 and 2025. GMS G1-5 Exciter Transformer Replacement Exciter transformers are necessary to power the exciters which control the magnetic field in the generator and the output voltage. The exciter transformers in generating units 1-5 needed to be replaced. Exciter transformers for units 1 and 2 were replaced in 2018 and units 4 and 5 this year, with unit 3 scheduled for replacement in August 2019.VISITOR CENTRE W.A.C. Bennett Dam – open until September 2 The W.A.C. Bennett Dam is one of the world’s largest earth-fill structures. It holds back the Williston Reservoir, which is so large that it can be seen from space. To enjoy the spectacular view, we welcome you to our visitor centre. It offers fun and educational exhibits that showcase dam construction, wildlife in the area, how we turn water into electricity, and a First Nations Gallery. bchydro.com/visitorcentrescenter_img HUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. – Two of BC Hydro’s largest generating facilities the GMS Generating Station and nearby Peace Canyon Generating Station will be receiving upgrades.According to BC Hydro, a number of projects are underway to ensure continued reliable, affordable and clean power. These projects are part of our investment of over $2 billion per year to upgrade our ageing assets and build new infrastructure. PCN Protection Upgrade Project last_img read more

From Tragedy Arises the Voices of Athletes Showing The

There is no bright side to unarmed Black men getting gunned down by police officers as whimsically as they would hail a cab. It’s all very dark and horrific, scary and sad. At the same time, it has been enlightening, and not just from learning how much hate and fear fills the heart when it comes to African-American males.It has also been enlightening to witness an era of complacent athletes grow up as we watch. The kids today have been docile and less involved in social or political issues, either afraid speaking out would hurt their brand or just not caring enough. Turns out, they care a lot.An athlete speaking out on an issue as huge as Ferguson and the other atrocities will not change the world. But the collective observation of the wrongs by professional athletes brings awareness and can make a difference by inspiring others, their fans, to get involved, too. And it speaks significantly about the level of people’s anger, disappointment, sadness and fatigue over the rash of unwarranted killings—and the injustice that the shooters are not held accountable.It’s truly a big deal when today’s athletes are fed up. They get it: It could be them shot in the street or strangled in a choke hold or it could be their kids or nephew shot at a playground. The examples of police killing Black males are so rampant and so frightening that they agree with much of the rest of the world—something has to be done.The same day NBA commissioner Adam Sliver said he wished players would not make political statements in their pre-game attire, the Los Angles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and teammates wore “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts, at once honoring fallen Eric Garner, who gasped that expression as a Staten Island cop choked and eventually killed him.Why  would Silver call for the players to squash their emotions about the disheartening cases and their support for justice? He should actually be proud that the players get it and are not afraid of any misguided ramifications that could come from showing political and social awareness. This is Silver’s first misplay as commissioner.Here’s Bryant: “I think it’s us supporting that movement and supporting each other as well as athletes. I think the beauty of our country lies in its democracy. I think if we ever lose the courage to be able to speak up for the things that we believe in, I think we really lose the value that our country stands for.”Kobe added: “It’s important that we have our opinions. It’s important that we stand up for what we believe in and we all don’t have to agree with it and it’s completely fine. That’s what makes this a beautiful country.”The beauty of America is threatened when Black men’s lives are taken with such recklessness. That’s why it has been impressive to see the activism by high-profile athletes like Bryant, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, the five players from the St. Louis Rams who raised their hands in a “Don’t shoot” posture, reminiscent, some witnesses said, to that of Michael Brown before he was shot in Ferguson, Mo., by officer Darren Wilson.The sports world is a big world, and their inclusion in the rejection of the violence helps ignite the message.More from Bryant:“I think it would be a serious disservice to limit this to a race issue. It’s a justice issue. You’re kind of seeing a tipping point right now, in terms of social issues. It’s become now at the forefront right now as opposed to being a local issue. It’s really been something that has carried over and spilled into the mainstream, so when you turn on the TV and you watch the news or you follow things on social media, you don’t just see African-Americans out there protesting.“It’s become a thing where people are really standing up for their rights and really questioning the justice system and questioning the process of the legal system and those who have authority—and whether or not they’re abusing authority and what’s the threshold to use deadly force and so forth and so on. But that’s what our nation is founded on, man. We have the ability to question these things in a peaceful fashion. That’s what makes us a great country. We have the ability to voice up, we have the platform to speak up, and we have the platform to effect change.”And there you have it. Refreshing that such sentiments are coming from today’s spoiled and coddled athlete. Unlike Charles Barkley, they apparently are not living in a glass bubble. They see the world as it is. . . and are not afraid to say they don’t like what they see. Good for them. read more