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Discovery Canyon, CSU sprinter Lauren Gale, heads to Tokyo with Team Canada | Colorado Springs High School Sports

Lauren Gale, Canadian Olympic Track and Field Team.

“I’m going to put it on my Instagram bio, on my resume when I apply to dental hygiene school,” said Gale, 21, noting that these schools are difficult to access. “Maybe that will help, I don’t know.”

The former Discovery Canyon student, who just finished her junior year at Colorado State, is heading to the Tokyo Games as part of the 4×400-meter relay team.

Gale and his parents had coffee on his porch in Fort Collins in early July 3 as they waited for the life-changing email from Athletics Canada, but Gale’s former track club, the Lions d ‘Ottawa, beat him with a Tweet. Gale was the youngest member of Canada’s track and field team.

Gale’s time of 51.96 put her firmly in contention before Rio Olympian Alicia Brown tied her at the 2021 Olympic Trials. Brown handed in a 51.82 later in June, casting minor doubts on the inclusion of Gale.

She is due to leave for Japan on Saturday.

“To have to compete on the biggest stage of the biggest track event possible – that’s crazy,” said Gale. “I still can’t believe it.”

Gale was always the one chasing the ball down the field in youth football, giving her parents the idea to try athletics. Years later, at an indoor competition, they cheered on Lauren after what they thought was a good 400-yard run, but other spectators saw more.

“After all, everyone looked at us and said, ‘Wow, this is a really good time,’” her mother Lisa said. “We didn’t even know what a good time was, but apparently for that age it was super fast.

“We thought, ‘We need to look at this a bit further. “”

Lauren’s father’s work as a Canadian Army Engineer took him to Peterson Air Force Base and family in Colorado Springs for six years. Lauren arrived at Discovery Canyon in 2015. In 2016 and 2018, on both sides of hip surgery, she won the 100, 200 and 400-meter state races in 4A. She was named Gazette Preps Female Peak Performer of the Year in 2017-18.

Lauren tried out international competition at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, where she competed in the 200 meters and 400 meters for Team Canada. After graduating from high school, she competed in the 200 at the 2018 IAAF World Under-20 Championships.

“I love Canada and I love representing them. I still claim it as my home even though I’ve been here for a few years now, ”Lauren said.

“But it’s always good to be able to display a Ram sign in other places. It’s cool to be able to represent them both.

She set school records in the indoor and outdoor 400 this season. She finished 13th in the NCAA West prelims on May 29, with a place to qualify for the NCAA Championships. It was a good enough time for Team Canada.

She had hoped to attend the trials, but crossing the border in Montreal from June 24-27 required a two-week quarantine. A strange season, full of mask mandates and canceled meetups, had required a creative solution – times and world rankings were factored in, Lauren said.

Lauren’s own dental hygienist’s work will be on display when she visits the stage at Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

His parents, preparing for a move across the country, will try to install their TVs as soon as they arrive. If that doesn’t get sorted out quickly, they’ll be them at a Washington DC sports bar telling everyone who their daughter is.

“She can go against the best in the world,” Lisa said.

“We’re so proud it’s crazy.”

One day, the gloved hands in your mouth might belong to an Olympian.

“If I can help build people’s confidence, then my job is done,” Lauren said.

Colorado heptathlete Annie Kunz can celebrate with family as she secures trip to Tokyo

Olympic athletes to wear their own medals at Tokyo ceremonies

How Draymond Green helped reignite Team USA’s offense to rebound from two losses


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Non profit living

Closure of Mary’s Kitchen, a sanctuary for the homeless, would be a “tragedy” for those who depend on it

For Derek King and many like him, Mary’s Kitchen is a sanctuary.

King, who has been homeless for almost a decade, found Mary’s Kitchen in Orange at a time when he had reached his limits. Malnourished physically and spiritually, he was ready to give up.

Mary’s Kitchen provided her with food, a shower and clothes. It helped restore something that many homeless people had to give up when they lived on the streets: dignity.

He found a new meaning in the relationships he established and the spirituality fostered by the leadership of the association.

“There are times when the fear of living for nothing strangles you,” King said in an interview this week with Mary’s Kitchen.

King’s story is not uncommon.

Charles Cousert hadn’t eaten in days before finding Mary’s Kitchen, where he was given food and clothing.

He said he would have died if it hadn’t been for the association.

“This place is literally a blessing,” Cousert said. “It’s a sanctuary.

Craig Lasky and America Sanchez are biking at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13th.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Homeless people who rely on Mary’s Kitchen said it was the only place they could find whatever they needed. Led by Gloria Suess, the association offers three meals, six days a week, to anyone who requests them. Showers and laundry facilities are also available, and the association receives mail for hundreds of customers.

After speaking with over half a dozen homeless people this week, it’s clear anyone can approach Suess with a problem they’re having and she’ll try to fix it.

During a visit to the association this week, Michael Lohse, accompanied by his dog Mildred, approached Suess and thanked her for helping him pay for the late registration of his car. Like other visitors to the site, Lohse, a victim of three strokes, has had a hard time. He said the nonprofit gave him $ 440 for the $ 1,300 he needed so he could drive again.

“Whatever you need, you’ll get it from Gloria,” said Patrick Hogan, volunteer at Mary’s Kitchen.

But after the city sent a letter of formal notice last month ending the association’s lease, the homeless people who rely on Mary’s Kitchen are now wondering what they will do if it is closed.

On June 18, the city sent Mary’s Kitchen a formal notice terminating its lease three years earlier. The city is giving the association until September 18 to vacate the property and they’ve asked Mary’s Kitchen to provide the city with a move plan within two weeks.

The letter from the city, signed by City Manager Rick Otto, indicates that the city has been a leader in Orange County in supporting the efforts of the homeless. However, Mary’s Kitchen is the only homeless service provider listed in the city’s housing component.

Marie’s kitchen has been operating in Orange since the mid-1980s, and at its current location at 517 W. Struck Ave., since 1994. Mary’s Kitchen is a humble, non-profit organization run by donations and volunteers, some of whom are themselves even homeless.

Natalie Wolf, center, and other volunteers prepare meals for the homeless at Mary's Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday, July 13.

Natalie Wolf, center, and other volunteers prepare meals for the homeless at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday, July 13.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

While Otto’s letter praises Mary’s Kitchen, it goes on to state that the association’s actions only serve to “enable roaming and can no longer be supported by the city.”

The letter says there has been an increase in crime and police calls from Mary’s Kitchen. The city says this has created an “unreasonable demand for municipal services.”

The letter also states that the city recently approved an affordable housing project nearby, which is “incompatible” with Mary’s Kitchen, which is located at the end of an industrial dead end. An Orange Police Department headquarters is across the street. There are no houses on the street.

Suess, the association’s president and CEO, said in a phone interview that Mary’s Kitchen had already complied with city requests to install security cameras and a security guard.

“Whatever they asked us to do, we did it,” Suess said.

Suess said the city does not want Mary’s Kitchen to serve people who are not from Orange, but that is inconsistent with the nonprofit’s mission to serve all who are hungry.

“We don’t judge who deserves food or not,” Suess said. “We take care of those who really need help.

“… I don’t think Orange understands, all these people who have considered Mary their home for all these years, where are they going to go?” Where do they get their mail from? Where are they going to shower? Where are they going to eat?

Mike Harrison, a volunteer at Mary's Kitchen in Orange, cooks meals for the homeless on Tuesday, July 13.

Mike Harrison, a volunteer at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange, cooks meals for the homeless on Tuesday, July 13.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Mary’s Kitchen and some members of the community back off.

The association hired lawyer Brooke Weitzman, who sent a letter to the city on July 9 saying the city’s notice did not include a substantial reason for prematurely terminating a rental agreement. He asks the city to cancel his letter.

“The notice does not meet substantive and procedural standards for early termination of the agreement,” the letter said. “The only reference to the lease in the notice indicates that the City can terminate the agreement, but it does not specify any reason supported by the terms of the agreement.

“Despite the recognition of the critical support Mary’s has received over the years, the letter draws baseless conclusions that are simply not supported by the facts, in effect blaming Mary’s Kitchen for the city’s failure to resolve the crisis. housing, the health care needs of its poorest residents, and everything and all other issues in the public space outside of Mary’s Kitchen property. Certainly nothing in the lease places the onus on Mary’s Kitchen to address the City’s failures to meet the needs of low-income and homeless people.

Weitzman’s letter also calls on the city to determine the environmental impact of closing Mary’s Kitchen in order to comply with California’s Environmental Quality Act.

The letter says water and soil may be contaminated by the loss of hygiene facilities at Mary’s Kitchen and other public spaces could be affected as homeless people are forced to move.

“The immediate shutdown of a service provider leaving around 150-200 people a day without this safe place to sit, receive meals to eat and clothes to wear, access mail, access hygiene facilities, use a laundromat and more will inevitably have an impact on the environment, ”the letter said.

Weitzman also argues that the lease termination violates the city’s housing element, which requires the city to take into account the homeless, low-income people, the elderly and people with disabilities – all of whom frequent Mary’s Kitchen. Weitzman notes in the letter that Mary’s Kitchen is the only homeless service provider in the city listed in its housing element.

The letter notes that the city must “make adequate provision in its housing element for the existing and anticipated needs of all economic segments of its community, including its homeless population.”

Patrick Hogan has a glass of water at Mary's Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13.

Patrick Hogan drinks a glass of water at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Orange City spokesman Paul Sitkoff said in an email he could not comment on the closure of Mary’s Kitchen due to a possible ongoing litigation.

Weitzman said on the phone that she wondered who in town was leading the effort to shut down Mary’s Kitchen after decades of existence.

“There was no public meeting, so I know the letter is from the city manager, but who is it? Said Weitzman. “This sort of thing would normally be a decision of city council, especially given the long history of community service. It is not clear because there has been no public involvement.

Mary’s Kitchen is currently collecting signatures from supporters to show the city how crucial it is to the community. Suess said she wanted a few thousand signatures before sending them to the city.

The community also supports the association. Several members of the public showed up at a city council meeting on Tuesday night to criticize the city and express their support for Mary’s Kitchen.

“This city has lost its soul,” resident Heidi Zimmermann said at the meeting.

Pancho Sambrano shares lunch with her cat Ice Cream at Mary's Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13th.

Pancho Sambrano shares lunch with her cat Ice Cream at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

The city declined to provide crime statistics on Mary’s Kitchen, despite its allegations of increased crime in the area. The city called the association a “nuisance” in its letter, but there was no sign of it during a visit to Mary’s Kitchen this week.

Dozens of people had lunch and chatted among themselves. Some slept in the shade.

Everything fell silent as Suess recited a prayer through a megaphone. Many stood up and some took off their hats.

“Send blessings to Mary’s Kitchen,” Suess said.

“Amen,” they said.

For those who meet regularly at the shrine, losing Mary’s Kitchen is more than losing access to food and possessions. The camaraderie and support from Suess, volunteers and others gives them hope and meaning.

“I come here more for the community than the food, even though the food is pretty good,” said Starla Acosta, who has lived in her car for about five years, the same time she comes to Mary’s Kitchen.

Acosta met his close friend Ron at Mary’s Kitchen. She calls him her little brother.

Ron, who declined to give her last name, said Mary’s Kitchen helps all kinds of people. For many, it helps support them as they go through a difficult time in life.

Since Ron was injured at work two years ago, he’s been a regular visitor to Mary’s Kitchen. He has a job now, but he keeps coming to see his friends.

Ron said he couldn’t sleep the night he heard about the potential closure of Mary’s Kitchen.

“It would be a tragedy,” he said.

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History organization

“Everyone thought I was going to come and tear up this organization”

Behind Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, the Chicago Bulls won the 1996 Championship against the Seattle SuperSonics in six games, closing a historic season. They went 72-10 in the regular season, which at the time was the best record in NBA history.

Several pundits did not believe the Bulls would win the championship in 1996 due to the polarizing decision they made before the start of the season. Rodman was acquired from the San Antonio Spurs, and it was a profession that has not been rated well by critics and some Chicago fans since the Worm misbehaved with the Spurs and was part of the most hated team in Bulls history, the “Bad Boys”.

However, Rodman was instrumental in helping the Bulls win 72 games and defeat the SuperSonics, and he made sure to call out his enemies.

Dennis Rodman was proud to do his job

After the Bulls defeated the SuperSonics in Game 6 of the ’96 Finals, Rodman called out his critics perfectly for doubting he could help Jordan and Pippen win a title.

“Everyone thought I was going to come and tear this organization apart,” Rodman said. “There is a lot about me that people don’t know. I am a competitor. I stepped up and got the job done, and I’m proud of it.

Rodman was such a force on the boards in the ’96 final that SuperSonics head coach George Karl hinted Rodzilla could have won the final MVP title against Jordan: They have extra possessions and additional opportunities.

Against the SuperSonics, Rodman averaged 7.5 points and 14.7 rebounds. He took 11 offensive rebounds in Games 2 and 6 and 20 overall in Game 2. It was the same type of production Rodman had during the regular season as the Bulls won 72 games.

Dennis Rodman led the NBA in rebounds per game in 1995-96

Rodman appeared in 64 games during the Bulls’ 72-10 season. He averaged 5.5 points and 14.9 rebounds while shooting 48.0 percent from the field. The two-time defensive player of the year has led the NBA in rebounds per game, a feat he has accomplished seven times in his career.

Several Bulls fans and reporters feared Rodman might not get along with Jordan and Pippen since he was one of the Detroit Pistons who played badly against Chicago. However, Dennis the Menace fits in perfectly with MJ and Pip. In fact, Jordan called Rodman one of the smartest players he’s ever played with in The last dance docuseries, while Pippen said the rebound machine played its part perfectly and knew how to impact victory.

Rodman’s three-year run with the Bulls was historic. Although he was not on an all-star team while playing in Chicago, he added other accomplishments to his resume.

Demolition Man won three rebounding titles and three championships with the Bulls

Rodman played 199 games with the Bulls. He averages 5.2 points and 15.3 rebounds and is the franchise leader in rebounds per game. The Hall of Famer won three rebounding titles and three championships alongside Jordan and Pippen.

The Bulls have not removed Rodman’s No.91 jersey. It’s surprising since he’s won three rings and is the best rebounder in franchise history. It will be interesting to see if President Jerry Reinsdorf ever decides to honor Rodman and put his jersey in the rafters of the United Center alongside Jordan and Pippen.

Rodman ended his NBA career averaging 7.3 points and 13.1 rebounds. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 and is arguably one of the greatest rebounders of all time. The New Jersey native is 12th in NBA history for rebounds per game.

Statistics courtesy of Basket-Reference.

RELATED: Michael Jordan & Dennis Rodman Never Speaked in Public Even though They were at the Same Restaurant


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International headquarters

Bach meets Suga as Tokyo virus cases near 6-month high

TOKYO – Tokyo on Wednesday reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in nearly six months, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said with the Tokyo Olympics opening in just over a week.

The growing numbers came out on the same day that the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, paid a courtesy visit to Tokyo to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Suga and Bach both pledged that the Tokyo Olympics would be “safe and secure” despite the games opening with Tokyo and neighboring prefectures under a state of emergency imposed by the national government.

Tokyo reported 1,149 new cases on Wednesday. It was the highest since 1,184 were reported almost six months ago on January 22. It was also the 25th day in a row that cases were higher than they were a week earlier.

Suga asked Bach to make sure the Olympics are safe, especially for the Japanese public, less than 20% of whom are fully vaccinated.

A d

“To gain the understanding of our people, and also for the success of the Tokyo 2020 Games, it is absolutely necessary that all participants take appropriate measures and measures, including countermeasures against the pandemic,” Suga said. to Bach. “As the host of the games, I hope that the IOC will make efforts to ensure that all athletes and stakeholders fully comply with these measures.”

Bach replied, “We would like to reaffirm our full commitment from the Olympic community to do everything, that we are not putting the Japanese people at risk.”

Bach told Suga that 85% of athletes and officials living in the Tokyo Bay Olympic Village will be fully vaccinated. He said nearly 100% of IOC members and IOC staff were “vaccinated or immunized”. The IOC also indicates that between 70 and 80% of international medical representatives have been vaccinated.

The IOC and Tokyo organizers last week banned fans from all venues in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. A few peripheral venues will allow a few spectators, and overseas fans were banned a month ago.

A d

About 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands more will enter Japan for the Olympics. The Paralympic Games will add approximately 4,400 additional athletes.

Japan has attributed around 15,000 deaths to COVID-19, a low number by many criteria but not as good as most of its Asian neighbors.

The Olympic torch relay has also been taken off the streets of Tokyo, with the Tokyo government fearing the relay will draw crowds and spread the virus. The opening ceremony will take place on July 23 at the new $ 1.4 billion national stadium in Tokyo.

Bach is expected to travel to Hiroshima on Friday and his vice president John Coates to Nagasaki to use the two bombed cities as a backdrop to promote the Tokyo Olympics and the first day of the so-called Olympic truce.

The Olympic truce, a tradition of ancient Greece, was restored by a United Nations resolution in 1993.

Bach arrived in Tokyo last week and spent the first three days secluding himself in the five-star hotel the IOC uses for its headquarters in Tokyo.

A d

The IOC is pushing the Olympics forward, despite opposition from much of the Japanese medical community, in part because it relies nearly 75% of its income on the sale of broadcast rights.

___

Journalist AP Kantaro Komiya and video journalist AP Kwiyeon Ha contributed to this report.

—-

More AP: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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Canadian army

US soldiers at NT say close contacts

A plane loaded with U.S. military personnel in the Northern Territory was declared to be close contacts after another passenger tested positive for COVID-19.

The infected woman, who is an active member of the US military, arrived in Darwin on Thursday, July 8 before being diagnosed with the virus on Monday evening.

The 22-year-old is one of some 9,000 foreign service members in Australia for the 2021 Talisman Saber military war games, which began on Wednesday.

She was quarantined at the US Navy-leased Bladin Village worker camp 36 km south of Darwin along with around 1,000 other US servicemen when she tested positive.

The woman has since been moved to the red zone at the Center for National Resilience in Howard Springs, with her travel companions now considered close contacts, according to NT Health.

“All personnel who have traveled on the plane with the member of the United States military who tested positive are treated as close contact,” said a spokesperson.

“They are undertaking quarantine procedures at the village of Bladin, including daily checks.”

A defense spokesperson said the woman did not come into contact with the community despite being contagious.

More than 17,000 military personnel from Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea will participate in TS21.

The majority of war game simulations are expected to take place in Queensland and off the east coast of Australia.

British, Canadian, Japanese and Korean service personnel have been quarantined in Sydney. Other foreign troops have been stationed in hotels in Brisbane, a spokesperson said.

All foreign military personnel arriving in Australia for TS21 undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine.

NT Health and Defense declined to respond to the number of service personnel on the affected flight.


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Non profit living

New York’s plan to move homeless people out of hotels blocked by judge

The mayor’s claim that hotels should free up rooms for tourists is challenged by the industry itself.

“It is absolutely imperative for many hotels that this program continue,” said Vijay Dandapani, president of the New York Hotel Association last week. Even counting the homeless, occupancy rates are low, he said, and the lack of demand has driven down room prices in hotels open to the public.

But the hotels, many of which were concentrated in Manhattan neighborhoods in Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, have drawn community opposition since the start of the program. Neighbors complain that hotel residents use drugs, hang out, steal from shops and harass passers-by.

One hotel, the Lucerne on the Upper West Side, a few blocks from Central Park, has been the subject of a months-long political battle in a stronghold of liberalism after nearly 200 men, many struggling with addiction problems, were transferred there.

Some residents have welcomed the men. Many did not and strongly pressured the city, which tried to transfer them to a hotel in another affluent area of ​​the city center, to face a lawsuit there.

Last week, the men had been moved out of the hotel and back to shelters.

One of them, Mike Roberts, 36, offered a dispatch on Sunday from his new home in the East Village.

He sleeps in a room with seven or eight cabins that each house three or four men. If he reaches out from his bed, he can touch the next one.

Unlike his room at Lucerne, the one in the refuge has no air conditioning. Mr. Roberts often wakes up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat, and he cannot walk around because if he leaves the shelter between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. he loses his bed. Needless to say, his room does not have a private shower or TV.

“Here when I wake up I’m in a cabin,” he said. “It’ll be three people around me sleeping, one snoring, one probably getting high, or a guy pacing up and down. Who wants that? “

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International headquarters

International investors are key to delivering housing today and into the future

The Irish home buying and letting market needs more supply. This offer must meet the multiple demands that Irish society needs in the decades to come. Homeownership should be accessible to those who aspire to it, so it is right that the first-time home market is supported as part of government policy. The provision of adequate social housing is essential to underpin any claim of an equality-minded society. In addition, a deep and diverse private rental market is needed to meet the needs of a mobile workforce.

Regardless of your perspective on the problem, delivering a larger supply faster is the way to alleviate the current pressures. Supply requires investment and the good news is that there is enough capital available in Ireland and abroad to finance the 35,000 to 40,000 housing units we need each year to meet the shortage. current. To denigrate the investors behind this capital is to divert attention from the fight against more fundamental blockers that inhibit supply.

The international investment community is very keen to support the building of a vibrant and affordable housing sector in Ireland. Before the 2008 real estate crash, the market was financed almost exclusively by national banks, and then almost exclusively by debt. It is a welcome development in the market that we now have access to a more diverse pool of capital from investors such as foreign pension funds who are well positioned to finance this phase of the construction of Ireland.

Long term goal

With long investment horizons often extending beyond 20 years, pension funds focus more on return on capital than on return on capital. They may already be buying Irish sovereign bonds with an annual interest return or ‘coupon’ close to 0%, which means they are happy to get into less liquid real estate investments at just 3-4%. annual return. Attractive low-rate capital costs are available to the industry and with the right safeguards in place we can ensure that the capital serves the broadest purposes for the country’s needs.

Likewise, these investors understand that investing in real estate is a societal issue, not just a financial one, and they respond positively to sound policy on taxation, tenant rights and transparent governance. This investor profile is very different from the caricature of the “cuckoo” fund often accused of evicting first-time buyers or trapping tenants.

To date, these investors have been mainly active in the “multi-family” sector, which means that they buy blocks of apartments built exclusively to be rented out indefinitely and not for sale.

There is a significant and growing need for pure rental stock in Ireland, where we are lagging behind our European peers. Ireland has been very successful in attracting European headquarters of global companies and with them thousands of jobs with local talent and employees from abroad. For foreign employees who can reside in Dublin for periods of six months to three years without wanting to buy a house for the long term, high quality, professionally maintained rental apartments are essential. The supply of rental apartments to this cohort does not necessarily have to come at the cost of crowding out first-time buyers, but again, the answer to this problem is more supply, not less efficient capital.

Financing the future

Another development of relevance to the debate when considering the role of international investors in the Irish market is the worrying contraction of the Irish banking market. With the exit of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish banking sector, this will further exhaust the nationally available financing options for the wider economy, including property developers. International capital can step in to fill the void left behind to manage the pipeline of real estate developments until completion.

Bottlenecks to accelerating supply include the slowness with which planning is assigned to developers and low thresholds for forensic review, even when that planning is successful. Delays in confirming connection certificates for site services such as water and electricity are blocking the start of construction on the house. There are other bottlenecks to the development of the Irish residential pipeline, such as the shortage of construction workers and supply chain shortages linked to Brexit and Covid-19, but they will not be resolved until ‘There will not be a clear horizon for faster housing development which is currently paralyzed by an interrupted planning process.

These issues need to be addressed through the government’s fledgling policy initiative on Housing for All due to be released later this month and the terms of reference of the soon-to-be-launched Housing Commission. With sensible policy safeguards in place to protect tenants and first-time buyers, international investors can provide an attractive source of capital to help tackle Ireland’s chronic housing shortage for decades to come.

Myles Clarke is Managing Director of CBRE Ireland


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Canadian army

He worked with Canadian soldiers. He helped try to save Captain Nichola Goddard. Now this Afghan interpreter is waiting for the Taliban and fears being sentenced

For over two years, Kohistany served as a combat interpreter for the Canadian Forces in the Kandahar and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan.

He would translate meetings, workshops, trainings and conferences with local elders, the Afghan National Army and the police. He also participated in interrogations and investigations of prisoners and translated documents and intelligence reports from sources on the ground.

When not in combat mode, Kohistany advised his Canadian commanders on Afghan cultural, religious and tribal customs or taught their soldiers the Pashto and Dari languages.

At least twice he and the troops he was with have been attacked by insurgents, most notably in the incident of May 17, 2006, when his convoy commander, Captain Nichola Goddard, was killed in an ambush. by the Taliban. He helped his crew get her out of the turret so the medic could perform first aid.

“I was in a light armored vehicle with about nine soldiers. We’ve all been hurt, some more seriously. I had little shrapnel on my neck and pulled them out right there, ”recalls Kohistany, who worked for the Canadian military in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2007.

Considered “the eyes, the tongue and the ears of the infidels and the occupiers”, Afghans who have worked for foreign governments – and their families – have already been targeted and have received constant death threats.

Now, as the United States and its NATO allies withdraw all ground troops in Afghanistan by August 31, and Taliban insurgents reclaim many territories, Kohistany fears he will be doomed.

“The threat has increased day by day. You can easily see the Taliban slogans on the walls. You can see Taliban flags on the houses, ”said Kohistany, who asked that his full name not be released for his safety. “Targeted assassinations are escalating.”

As he sees other foreign governments such as the US, UK and other European countries making plans to resettle their former Afghan aides, Kohistany said he felt abandoned by Canada.

“If I had known that one day we would be left behind by the Canadian government, I would never have joined the Canadian military to work and fight with them, shoulder to shoulder, against the Taliban and put my life in danger. , ” he sighed.

“I feel very disappointed. “

In a letter last week to Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, three retired Canadian Majors Generals called on the federal government to relaunch a resettlement program for Afghan civilians like Kohistany.

“There is an urgent need to ensure the safety and well-being of Afghan nationals who served alongside Canadian soldiers, development officers and diplomats during our intervention,” said the letter signed by the three. former task force commanders Denis Thompson, Dean Milner. and Dave Fraser.

“Many Canadian veterans come into contact with the Afghans who served alongside them, and their stories are poignant. These people are considered “comrades in arms” and their plight affects these veterans, like all Canadians. “

Specifically, veterans are calling on the federal government to immediately reintroduce a special immigration program that helped resettle 780 Afghans and their families to Canada between 2009 and 2011.

The Afghan-Canadian Interpreters – an advocacy group made up mostly of veterans, serving military personnel, and supporters – have identified at least 115 former interpreters, cultural advisers and local staff who they say are in need of the protection of the Canada.

Volunteers contacted them and compiled a list for Ottawa. Time, they say, is running out.

“The Western presence will no longer exist in the country. Therefore, there will be no protection for any of them, ”said group spokesman Dave Morrow, a retired lieutenant who served in Kandahar in 2010 and 2011.

“We don’t have a plan. We don’t have a list other than the one we created as an organization. This is where we fill the void, to hopefully provide some kind of visibility and awareness of this huge humanitarian issue that is unfolding very, very quickly.

Canada’s initial resettlement program was limited to Afghan civilians who provided 12 consecutive months of service to Canadians between October 2007 and July 2011. To be eligible, they also had to provide testimonials from their Canadian supervisors as well as proof that they were in danger in Afghanistan. .

Immigration Minister Mendicino’s office told reporters that Afghan civilians not eligible for the previous program may apply to immigrate to Canada through other immigration programs or on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Morrow says these options are not viable.

“If you were in a war-torn country with no internet access, no cell service, and maybe an iPhone 3 to fill out all your paperwork, no access to printers, paper, or whatever, this statement in itself was disturbing, ”he said. mentionned.

Kohistany went into hiding with his wife and children in Kabul, a relatively safer area where most of the foreign diplomats are located. They moved around several times to avoid detection and threats from insurgents, he said. Just two months ago, two bikers shot at his house with an AK-47.

“There is no option for us. Key roads and borders are all controlled by the Taliban. We are like prisoners. The only option or hope we have is to find or ask someone or a government to come and get us in a safe country, ”said the 36-year-old, a graduate in law and political science.

He was not eligible for the previous Ottawa relocation program because he left the force before October 2007.

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“We are between life and death. The insurgents occupied more territory and found more influence in the big cities and created more threats for everyone. Life has become more dangerous than ever.

Cpl.  Robin Rickards, who served in Afghanistan on three missions before retiring in 2010, says Canadian soldiers would not be able to do their jobs without the help of local interpreters, who saved soldiers' lives at many times.

Retired Corporal Robin Rickards first met Kohistany in 2006 on the first of his three missions in Afghanistan and the two became good friends because they spent a lot of time together on the front lines.

He said the armies would not have been able to do their job without the help of these interpreters.

“The most important thing they did, to save the lives of Canadians, was that they were essential to monitor ICOM radios. All communication between the Taliban elements in the field was by two-way radio, ”says Rickards, who retired in 2010 and now lives in Thunder Bay.

“The interpreters would bring the conversations to us in real time and also add their perspective on legitimacy. … The longer a person is employed by Canadians or Coalition Forces, the better they determine if it is legitimate, but it increases the risk they face in the long run.

Rickards asserts that these civilian employees of foreign governments are considered “apostates” by the Taliban and that Canada has more than a moral obligation to save them. And they should be on the front lines for resettlement in order to save the lives of Canadian soldiers, he added.

Wherever the Canadian military is deployed, they need local translators to serve as cultural and linguistic ambassadors, he said, whether in Ukraine, Latvia or Mali.

“The plight of our interpreters in Afghanistan will be seen by people in other countries,” Rickards warned. “People in these other places where we go in the future will be wary of helping us because they will be wary of the consequences when we go. And that will hamper our ability to be successful in these missions. “

Marcus Powlowski, Liberal MP for Thunder Bay — Rainy River, has been a strong advocate for Afghan civilians.

“They risked their lives for our country,” said Powlowski.

Ottawa has an ambitious goal of welcoming 401,000 permanent residents this year, and in the past the government has resettled tens of thousands of people vulnerable to wars and violence in Syria and Myanmar, he said. he adds. According to him, the Afghan civilians in question are only a drop in the ocean.

Powlowski said his government told him any resettlement plan in Afghanistan was a logistical challenge due to Canada’s limited presence in the country as well as security concerns.

“I don’t think it’s insurmountable at all that we’re doing this in Afghanistan. It could be as simple as sending a plane, letting (in) all the people because a lot of these people are in contact with our office, ”he said.

“Now, I’m not advocating that we do this. But potentially, it could be as easy as sending a plane. There is a source to verify who they are, to make sure they don’t have guns on them, to have them stolen, and to do all the bureaucratic tasks afterward.

Sayed Shah Sharifi, a former Afghan interpreter now in Toronto, says five of his family were killed by the Taliban because of their connection to him.  Threats against former employees to foreign governments are real, he says.

Sayed Shah Sharifi, a former Afghan interpreter resettled in Canada in 2012, knows firsthand how the Taliban treat “infidels” and their families. Five of his family members – his sister and his son; his brother’s wife and two children – were killed by insurgents because of their connection to him.

“These are not just threats. These are real risks, ”says Sharifi, who served alongside Canadian troops in Kandahar between 2007 and 2010 and now works as an electrician in Toronto.

With insurgents making significant gains in recent months, he said, there are growing concerns that they will steal internal Afghan government data to track down these former Western government employees with credentials. personal.

“The Taliban may not have found those in hiding yet, but if they are found, they are dead. “

Nicholas Keung is a Toronto-based reporter who covers immigration for The Star. Follow him on Twitter: @nkeung



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Voto Latino fights Latinos’ reluctance to vaccinate against COVID

Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino, a nonprofit organization for the Latin American community, was confused when her own mother told her she would not be getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It took two months for Kumar to convince his mother, who works in the health sector and had been vaccinated, her and her children, all her life, to make an appointment. What had held her mother back were the videos she had watched imparting false accounts, especially one that showed a man pretending to be a pharmacist, warning in Spanish not to be vaccinated, Kumar recalls, “because it was a technology never introduced to humans before. “

The spread of misinformation and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine is common among a range of U.S. populations, including within the Latino community. In an April survey by Voto Latino, 40% of Latinos said they had received material saying the vaccine was not working. In order to urgently overcome this, especially as the Delta variant spreads, Voto Latino uses his behavioral learnings to fight far-right disinformation during elections to rally people to get shot, as he did so to register them to vote in 2020. For the organization, it is essential to maintain a large and influential electoral bloc healthy and confident in the government so that it continues to exercise its right to vote in the to come up.

Although the number is improving, the uptake of the vaccine by Latinos has been 1.2 times less than among whites in the majority of states. This is the case with other ethnic groups, such as blacks, with whom Latinos share some of the same barriers to access, such as frontline work that prevents employees from taking time off or lack of care. adequate health. Additionally, like the black community, Latinos have had their own dark experiences of being subjected to medical racism by the US government, including a history of forced sterilization of women in Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.

Misinformation around the COVID-19 vaccine compounds already existing fears. Some messages mistakenly claim that the vaccine is not scientifically reliable, and others that it causes infertility. More outlandish claims include that it contains a microchip or that it transforms you in zombie. Part of the reason these myths are so common among the Hispanic community is that Facebook doesn’t crack down on disinformation in Spanish to the same extent as it does in English. Once the information arrives on WhatsApp, it can then spread virally without any control. Of those who said they saw “harmful” information about the vaccine, 53% said it had been on Facebook and 43% on messaging apps.

The promoters of this disinformation are often individuals or groups who create digital content based on talking points from far-right cable news, radio shows or politicians, says Ameer Patel, vice president of programs. by Voto Latino. These bad actors can then receive donations from the followers, which not only fund the wide dissemination of lies, but can allow them to make a living from the practice. “One of the things we’re really seeing is there’s this great appetite to fund the flow of misinformation and disinformation,” he says. When a particular message resonates with a certain community, they tap more into that idea; for example, the myth of infertility has been particularly powerful among young Latinos, Patel says, perhaps because of popular family or religious beliefs.

With the CDC is already reporting that Latinos are 2 times more likely to be infected with the virus than whites, and 2.3 times more likely to die, Voto Latino has decided to help fight false narratives by implementing the Latino anti-disinformation laboratory with the Media Matters association. Although Voto Latino focuses on voting, Kumar says a healthy community that trusts government is essential for democracy, calling misinformation about vaccines “the most morbid form of voter suppression.” She adds, “If you don’t trust your government to take care of you and keep your family healthy with a vaccine, what’s the possibility that you can convince someone to vote?

The group is also in a privileged position to deliver its conclusions on the fight against far-right disinformation during the 2020 campaign. During this cycle, bad actors aimed to suppress the vote among certain blocs, and Voto Latino retaliated with strategies that ended up registering 426,964 voters, a record for the organization. They ran explanatory ads to educate people about the registration process, used peer-to-peer texting where volunteers sent personalized texts to people from local numbers, and encouraged people to contact likewise their friends and family. The idea was that receiving messages from people like them, whom they could relate to, would be more compelling than receiving impersonal, generic memos.

Now, the group is adopting similar behavioral techniques for the immunization campaign, with an ad campaign focusing on messages from people like them, rather than an unknown healthcare professional, for example. One of the two best-tested ads features a sixth-grade teacher expressing feelings of returning to school safe after being immunized, which Kumar says touches both educational and economic reasoning. The other features a woman who admits to being scared at first, “because it was new”, but who eventually received the photo and said it felt liberating. Importantly, both also point out that shooting is free, which a lot of people either don’t know or are told otherwise. Overall, the message is “optimistic but practical” and focuses on getting back to normal. As with his electoral strategy, Voto Latino does not laugh at any idea, however absurd it may be. “If you make fun of someone for their beliefs, they tend to turn around because they don’t mean they’re wrong,” Kumar says. “It’s the worst way to chat with someone.”

Voto Latino targets the 28% of people who said they were hesitant about the vaccine, rather than those “who are at the bottom of the rabbit hole” and more difficult to convince (again, a strategy similar to the election ). “We are entering the nooks and crannies of people’s internet,” Kumar says, referring to the targeting technique of showing their ads to people who have previously watched disinformation videos. They are currently running the ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

So far, they’ve been effective in calling for action: According to Google results, released last week, people who saw the ads were 54 times more likely to search for ‘get a covid vaccine’ than those who did not; and there was an overall spike in that search term of 7,171% in Florida, 5,856% in Texas, and 4,330% in California, the three states with the largest Latin American populations. And vaccination is increasing: As of July 4, 34% of people who had started their vaccination in the previous 14 days were Latin American, even though they represent only 17% of the population. Kumar says she believes the same methods could be used on other hesitant population groups, such as older whites and immigrant enclaves.

Success so far suggests that simply showing people care – to “give them love, attention and information in a non-judgmental way” – is a strategy. effective persuasion, both to promote vaccines and to maintain an active growing political voice in the long term. With her mother, what ultimately worked was the personal message of “Why wouldn’t someone want you to be healthy?” Why wouldn’t someone want you to see your grandchildren? “

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U.S. Muslim Leaders and Activists Tackle Opposition to COVID-19 Vaccines

Shaikh Rahman, business systems analyst in Chicago, was not a supporter of COVID-19 vaccines because he did not believe that credible information about them was being disseminated effectively and distribution appeared rushed.

“Our faith says to investigate a matter before passing it off as the truth,” he said.

But Rahman’s sentiment changed after his local imam, Shaykh Jamal Said of the Foundation Mosque in Bridgeview, Illinois, began suggesting that those who were not vaccinated could be barred from entering the mosque.

Rahman was concerned about this potential restriction on prayer services and he considered getting the vaccine. He had tested positive for the virus prior to this potential restriction. So he decided to get the vaccine to boost his immunity after the Mosque Foundation organized a Pfizer vaccination campaign.

“With the country reopening, I don’t want my family or loved ones to risk being exposed through me,” Rahman said.

While vaccine hesitancy trends continue to evolve Across the United States, a change is also underway in some Muslim communities. Vaccination rates among Muslims had been among the lowest in the country during the first months of the pandemic. But the outreach programs of mosques, community organizations and cultural centers that work with immigrant communities help dispel misinformation and promote immunization.

As they hear from trusted figures, such as imams, some Muslims are now choosing to be vaccinated.

Virtual meetings

Among the organizations making an impact is the Somali Family Service of San Diego (SFS). It has a program called the Ihsan Health Initiative, which includes a team of community health workers who provide direct outreach through events such as virtual town hall meetings.

“The virtual town hall meetings have helped to combat some of the skepticism by allowing us to invite respected community leaders, such as doctors, nurses and Masjid imams,” says Balqiso Hussein, a community health worker of SFS, which works primarily with Somalis. population. “When we were presented with scientific evidence in a culturally competent manner, we saw changes in ideologies regarding the vaccine. Many in the community even scheduled vaccine appointments for the same day.”

SFS has hired community health workers who speak Arabic, Swahili and Somali. There are plans to reach out to the Afghan community.

“Using the same [native] language to speak to my clients, coupled with Friday khutbahs [sermons] issued by local imams, had a significant impact in trying to change the mindset of people in their willingness to be vaccinated, ”said Aous Alhabbar, a health worker who engages with the Iraqi community. “While there was a lot of fear at the start of the pandemic, that is slowly changing thanks to awareness. “

Part of the hesitation stems from the racism experienced during medical visits.

“Many feel that the health care system is not working to promote their well-being,” says Hussein. “Many members of the community, especially the older groups, felt very hesitant when the vaccines were fully administered nationally. Much of the reluctance comes from personal experiences with healthcare professionals who have failed to welcome community members due to language and cultural barriers. “

Religious beliefs have also been a factor for some who are still reluctant to get vaccinated. The question of what is halal, or permitted under Islamic law, has been raised repeatedly in the Muslim community.

“At first I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure about the science, and validity was a question of the ingredients,” says Shaykh Amin Kholwadia, a Muslim scholar and founder of Darul Qasim, an institute of Islamic teachings. Traditional based in Glendale Heights, Illinois.

Following reports that at least one of the vaccines used cell lines derived from fetal tissue, many Muslims questioned whether it would be halal to be given the vaccine. Kholwadia signed a statement issued by his organization that said, “The use of cell lines, originally developed from aborted fetuses, to develop vaccines is against Islamic bioethics. Muslims cannot take vaccines that are developed in this way given the permitted alternatives. “

Kholwadia explained that under Islamic law, “No part of the human body (including fetuses) can be used for the purpose of experimentation.”

While the ruling by the Darul Qasim organization legitimized the reluctance of some Muslims, especially for vaccines related to the first vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson, it also served as an incentive for vaccinations developed by others. companies.

“Why wouldn’t I prefer mRNA vaccines, especially if it’s not go put my akhira [afterlife] in danger? ”asks Akber Ali, attending physician at an Illinois hospital, who works with Darul Qasim.

Persistent doubts

Not everyone is convinced.

Bint Aden, a recent graduate from Southern California who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, says she and her family still have questions about the vaccine’s ingredients and whether they’re halal.

“Although mosques have authorized the vaccine, with my roots in Somalia, it is not clear what is authorized,” she said. “We believe in qadr [fate], what is supposed to be is destined to happen by the work of Allah (God), which involves both disease and health.

“I always want to wait and see,” Aden says. “I still don’t feel comfortable taking the vaccine. “

The National Geographic Society, committed to illuminating and protecting the wonders of our world, funded Tasmiha khanwork. Learn about the Society’s support for explorers who work to inspire, educate and better understand human history and cultures.



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