This year, 70 members of USC’s class of 2013 opted to teach for two years in low-income school districts across the country through Teach for America. USC is now the second largest contributor to the program in the country, according to rankings released last week.“USC has a perfect storm for Teach for America corps members,” USC Recruitment Manager Carrington Bester said. “It’s already one of America’s top institutions, and then you add that they are being educated in South Central Los Angeles, one of the poorest communities in the state. You have this interesting dichotomy of wealth and privilege and academia and surrounded by kids who are just blocks away who will never be able to enroll in ’SC for no other reason than their zip code and tax bracket.”Throughout Teach For America’s 23-year history, more than 465 USC alumni have taught as corps members, and about 5 percent of USC’s 2013 graduating class applied to the program. USC has ranked as a top contributing university for the past six years.“Students are interested in playing a role in the movement to reform,” Shawnee Cohn, manager of regional communications for Teach for America, said. “Over 60 million children grow up in poverty, a majority not getting the education they deserve. Where the child is born changes their educational destiny. I think the ranking is a testament to the fact that [USC] students are really looking to have an immediate impact on future generations.”More than 57,000 people in total applied to Teach For America this past year, and 5,200 were accepted to work as corps members for at least two years. Corps members are full-time employees at high-needs schools.“There is no ideal applicant except for one that believes they can make an impact and really enjoy leadership and a challenge,” Bester said. “We recognize that the problem is so complex that we literally only want the best and brightest and nothing less. We seek to engage young people who are going to make a transformative impact around the world and are really making sure they’re making that impact in the classroom and the life of kids.”The application process involves a written statement, several rounds of interviews and the creation of sample lesson plans. They receive one-on-one coaching through an instructional adviser. Two-thirds of Teach For America alumni work in the educational field at the conclusion of their two-year contract.Teach For America accepts students from across all majors. Rikiesha Pierce, an alumna who majored in sociology at USC and began her first year with Teach for America this fall, said her major relates to her work as a teacher, even though she teaches other subjects.“Sociology is not directly related to teaching but it does help me understand my surroundings,” Pierce said. “Having the sociological environment helps me understand the people that I interact with. I am able to view my community from a sociological lens, which gives me an advantage.”Pierce is teaching third and fourth grade self-contained special education students. She said she never considered teaching as a career, though she volunteered at schools in Downtown Los Angeles before considering joining Teach for America. The pull of the highly competitive program, Pierce said, is that it gives corps members the opportunity to get paid to positively impact underserved communities.“She painted a picture of the opportunity to give back in one of the most real ways, being on the front lines of the education,” Pierce said.Founded in 1990, Teach for America’s goal is to end education inequity. Today, more than 11,000 corps members teach in rural and urban areas throughout the country.Erik White, a business entrepreneurship and Spanish double major who graduated in 2013, said he identifies with the children he now teaches.“I grew up in a single-parent household in a low-income community,” White said. “I always thought that education was a place to do well, no matter what my situation might be like — it’s a great equalizer. Even though these kids might have the same potential that someone saw in me, no one is there to see that. The kids will have at least one more advocate, one more person who knows what they can achieve and knows that they can do that.”White teaches at Camino Nuevo High School, a new charter school minutes from the USC campus.“The first day of teaching is very intense,” he said. “It’s a lot of learning on the go. I’m trying things for the first time. It might go well, it might go badly.”Because this is the school’s first year, there is no established curriculum or lesson plans. Therefore, White has more personal control over the education of his students.White says he plans to stay on as a teacher at Camino Nuevo for at least four years.“I want to see my freshmen this year go to college,” he said. “Even if I don’t do education forever, given my socio-economic background, I understand.”Pierce said that she sees a common thread throughout the students that entered the corps.“The people that I know from USC who went on with Teach For America were the most active people on campus in terms of service and leadership in the community,” Pierce said. “These are the people that want to innovate and invigorate in societies and communities.” Follow Camille on Twitter @camilleshoosh
by Armon GilliamFor New Pittsburgh Courier NFL owners have opted out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players union and locked players out to the consternation of fans. I realize it is hard for the general public to have empathy for what amounts to a battle over millions of dollars being waged by billionaire team owners and millionaire players. The sentiments from various media outlets and comments on my Facebook page suggest that players are greedy, spoiled millionaires that only want more money. Yes, the players are being paid astronomical salaries compared to what the average American is making. Does that mean, however, what the players are negotiating for is an expression of greed? Before you answer that question please consider the following.NFL players spend countless hours developing their bodies, studying the game and honing their skills so they can perform at a high professional level on the field to the delight of fans. I believe the super human effort that players muster up to prepare their minds and bodies for the rigors of a grueling season are fueled by a deep love they have for the game. One cannot give so much of their life, endure so much pain, train so hard, and risk serious injury every time they take the field unless there is an authentic love of the game that is fueling their actions. As such, it is the players that make the NFL such a great spectator sport. Having said this, the contributions of the team owners who invest billions to provide the venues, marketing and to secure television deals that give players many platforms to showcase their talents, cannot be teased out of the equation.The entertainment value that fans get from the performances of the players is immeasurable. Yet on a financial level, there are some tangible measurements that need to be taken into consideration. Let’s face it; fans are paying billions of dollars to feed the NFL animal that continues to grow in size. Since fans are saying with their wallets, even in these very tough economic times, that they greatly appreciate the performances of players, the owners bargaining stance needs to be called into question. After all, an unwillingness to grant players an equitable distribution of ever increasing revenues and demanding that players play two more regular season games while exacting a reduction of pay is not an even handed approach to negotiating with players. Furthermore, the brazen refusal of the owners to fully disclose their books so “substantiated” revenue amounts can be looked at with honest eyes, is clearly an affront to good faith negotiations.NFL football is a sport that has four invested partners; owners, business partners, players and fans. The NFL is a multi-layered business that generates $8.5 billion annually. Therefore, each business partner is deserving of their fair share. Players getting fair market value for services rendered and receiving their fair share of profits from a prospering business is the American way. Although most Americans understand this concept, the stark reality of the great disparity between player’s salaries and what average Americans make, is causing a knee jerk reaction. You would think Pittsburghers, because of the strong union presence here, would rally behind a union that is trying to craft a better deal for its members. Yet from what I gather, the public reaction toward the lock out ranges from a contempt for the players alleged greed to a lack of empathy for the players struggle.The NBA, MLB and NHL have established some precedents in terms of what would constitute a fair CBA. CBA’s from other leagues speak to the subpar nature of the NFL’s CBA. Things like: players not having guaranteed contracts, owners wanting to extend the playing season two games and paying the players less, owners partially disclosing their financial standings, weak pension plan, and reducing the salaries of rookies, to name a few, are only evidenced in the NFL’s CBA process. To add insult to injury, the owners opted out of their contract with players so they could craft a new CBA that would give the players a smaller percentage of the league’s expanding revenue.Players want to be treated as equal partners that receive their fair share of the billions of dollars generated during a NFL season. It is reasonable for players to bargain for a respectable CBA that is on par with other professional sports. In the past the players union leadership bargained for a fair CBA with little temerity. When the reality of players missing paychecks and the public perception problem arose, the union acquiesced and settled for menial advances. The new NFL players union leadership team, led by Kevin Mawae, seems determined not to make the mistakes of the past.They appear to be moving in a new direction that will equate to a semblance of fairness and equity. They are negotiating with a temerity and sound business acumen that was not present in past negotiations. They are also doing a good public relations job which should enable them to stay in good standing with their fan base. All of which suggests that the NFL players union is closer than ever to securing a fair and equitable CBA for its players that is on par with other professional sports.
Facebook30Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Boggs Inspection ServicesDwayne Boggs, owner of Boggs Inspection ServicesA friend of mine, Gary Altman of Altman Construction, is building a duplex to serve as a rental unit and is installing radiant heated floors. Gary is always looking at ways to save himself and his renters on electric and heating bills.Gary, unlike many builders and investors, looks at the long term. He understands that including upgrades, such as radiant heat, will provide him a better return on investment when the time comes to sell the property. Several of his rentals include solar panels as well.His newest idea, which I fully support, is to install the A. O. Smith Vertex 90 % efficiency hot water heater. It is a 76,000 BTU conventional tank-style water heater that promises a thermal efficiency rating above 90% giving you nearly endless hot water. This is done by replacing the standard vertical flu with an internal helical heating coil. This increases the heated surface area where heat is transferred from the element to the water within the tank.By increasing the surface area of the heating coil, the tank can provide the 76,000 BTUs while maintaining 90% thermal efficiency and still providing an estimated 127-gallon first hour delivery and a 93 gallon per hour recovery rate. All of these statistics translate into continuous hot water all the time no matter how many teenagers are taking showers or loads of laundry you run.The great part about this style of conventional tank is that unlike the tank-less models, most existing homes are already set up for this style water tank so there is no need for expensive alterations. When changing from a conventional water heater to a tank-less heater, there are often changes required to the plumbing of the home. Gas lines may also need to be changed, venting can be a major consideration, and water lines may need to be re-routed.For home owners and landlords alike this is a great alternative to the trend of upgrading you old hot water tank to tank-less. It’s a lot less expensive and a lot less hassle.For more information on Boggs Inspection Services, click here or call 360-480-9602. Boggs Inspection Services conducts home inspections throughout Thurston County.
Some of the custom-made rifles and shotguns can take months to create, requiring a series of fittings to ensure it fits the unique needs of the owner/shooter. Bignell explained it was comparable to an expensive automobile or wristwatch – something that increases in value over time and can be handed down from generation to generation. “These are the things you look for when you’re looking at the quality of a gun,” he said.“I see the craftsmanship,” of the guns that come to the shop for work, said riflesmith Bill Supple. “We’re trying to keep this alive.”The shooting school offers all levels of shooters the skills to become more proficient in shotgun and rifle shooting.“This is a school with a curriculum,” said head shooting instructor Kevin Sterk. “It’s no different than any other school.”For Sterk, sporting clays, trap or skeet shooting, is a sport, really not unlike other sports in the ability that is needed to become good at it. “The eyes tell the hands what to do,” he said.Sterk is a National Sporting Clays Association (the governing body for the sport) level III instructor. He’s been working for Griffin & Howe for many years, starting as a part-time instructor. Seven years ago, he took over as a full-time instructor after retiring from a career in the automotive industry, becoming the head instructor two years ago.He works with all age groups, from young adolescents to people in their 80s, offering instruction on how to shoot and break clay discs, or introducing someone to the sport, offering them a day outside with family and friends and the fun that comes with learning to do something well.“I can be 80 years old and still do this,” he noted, “if my eyes hold up.”Increasingly, “The long-range stuff is big right now,” Polanish said. Griffin & Howe has recently designed a long-range precision rifle on both an aluminum frame chassis for target shooters and a lightweight version on a synthetic stock for sportsmen and women, both models shooting under a 1⁄2 MOA. Shooters can get instruction with their rifles and optics to prepare for any type of hunting trip around the world or enjoy a few hours shooting steel targets with its school rifles. The school’s rifle range is a state-of-the-art 700-yard range, the longest range in New Jersey, with covered shoot house, electronic targets and heating during the winter months.The school offers a number of marksmanship instruction packages for shotguns and rifles, for individuals and groups, as well as for corporate and private events.All staff members are trained in first aid, trauma and are National Rifle Association-certified in numerous courses such as basic pistol, rifle, shotgun, range safety and NSCA Level 1 and 2 Instruction, according to Polanish. By John Burton |ANDOVER – Removed from the hustle and bustle of traffic and industry associated with northern New Jersey, nestled in the rolling forested hills of Sussex County is the Griffin & Howe Shooting School at Hudson Farm Club.On the grounds of the sprawling 3,800 acres, Hudson Farm Club offers bucolic landscaped farmland with several ponds and lakes, a foundation that supports various charities within the community, and one of the most attractive shooting layouts in the country.“There is a lot of rich, deep history with us,” said Steve Polanish, who manages Hudson Farm and serves as CEO for Griffin & Howe Firearms and Shooting School, a 94-year-old firearm company that operates at the location offering its clients tradition, history and services for the sportsperson, whether accomplished or just beginning.Steeped in local history, Hudson Farm was once a dairy farm, and in the early 1900s railroad magnate John P. McRoy commissioned the New York architect Clarence Curter to design the 20-room estate house. The property was donated to The Hudson Guild, a charitable organization who ran the property as a camp in 1920. Among its acclaimed triumphs, the creation of the Appalachian Trail was conceived in the estate house in 1921.In addition, the location has a strong commitment to the area communities, Polanish said. One-quarter of membership dues are allocated for the farm’s charitable foundation, which provides support to a number of community-based, educational and environmental organizations, such as Birth Haven, Project Self Sufficiency, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity and the New Jersey Audubon Society, among others.“We give a lot of consideration to what we support,” he said.But for many members and the general public, the Griffin & Howe Shooting School is the draw.Griffin & Howe has provided a variety of services for decades, allowing neophytes to learn the basics about shooting and hunting, and for the more experienced, to hone their marksmanship skills with Griffin & Howe’s Shooting School, featuring accomplished shotgun and rifle instructors.For those in the market to increase their collections, Griffin & Howe offers a gun shop with a wide array of choices, especially for high-end shotguns, many with elaborate and decorative engravings in the bulino (Italian) or blackleaf (often seen on British makes) style and highly polished wooden stocks – some retailing for mid-six figures, such as the extremely rare triple barrel Boss & Co. shotgun that recently sold. Griffin & Howe has an extensive 5,500-square-foot gunsmith shop, with five gunsmiths on-site for repairs and upgrades for owners; and for the truly discerning, clients can construct custom and unique rifles and shotguns, built specifically to the owner’s requirements and needs, highlighting the smiths’ craftsmanship.“The best of the best in that specific price point,” said Guy Bignell, Griffin & Howe’s past president and CEO.“Every one of our guns is completely different,” said Polanish. And the work done by the smiths represent “craftsmanship and a legacy,” hallmarks of the company’s heritage, he stressed. Griffin & Howe was founded by New York cabinetmaker Seymour Griffin in 1923, who became interested in improving his own hunting Springfield rifle after reading President Theodore Roosevelt classic book “African Game Trails.” Shortly after, Griffin joined forces with James V. Howe, who was managing a Philadelphia metal machine shop.The two began operating out of a New York City loft, offering custom-made and customized rifles and shotguns. The company was eventually purchased by Abercrombie & Fitch, when it was an outdoor outfitter and a prominent one. The gunmaker attracted the attention of celebrities and outdoorsmen, such as author Ernest Hemingway and Hollywood stars like Clark Gable, and U.S. Army General and future President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who relied on the company for hunting trip requirements.The Griffin & Howe Shooting School at Hudson Farm Club offers ammunition, equipment and clothing for clay, wing shooting and big game hunting needs.Hudson Farm Club, which has been operating since 1997, provides a year-round outdoor experience for its members and Griffin & Howe clients. Covered shooting facilities are available during inclement weather.There are any number of members and clients who use the shooting school for relaxation with family, colleagues and friends with overnight accommodations to get away from the everyday hustle of work. The farm has the ability to sleep up to 44 people on-site in comfort with a full time chef. The location is in the process of constructing its own 6,000-square-foot greenhouse, which will contribute vegetables for the club’s farm to table dining services.“We’re not gun dealers,” Bignell said, pointing out the services and environment provided go beyond a simple retail transaction. “We are in the luxury lifestyle business,” he explained, “with an emphasis on firearms.”To book a shooting lesson or corporate event with the Griffin & Howe Shooting School please call 973-398-2670 or visit www.griffinhowe.com.This article was first published in Sept. 28 – Oct. 5, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
ATLANTA — The Warriors entered Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks with an ideal opportunity to earn a much-needed win. Instead, they didn’t give themselves a chance.The Warriors (4-18) lost to the Hawks, 104-79, Monday at State Farm Arena. Coming off a tightly contested game against the Orlando Magic that came down to the final shot, the Warriors also welcomed back center Kevon Looney against a Hawks (5-16) team that had previously lost 10 straight games. They believed they were showing …
Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal, who had a disappointing Asian Games campaign ending up without a medal, rose a rung to reclaim her career-high second spot after 13 weeks in the latest Badminton World Federation rankings.Saina, who crashed out of the Asian Games in the quarterfinals, has 63211.2637 points in the recent list released by BWF.China’s Xin Wang held on to the top spot with 66152.4017 points.Another Chinese, Yihan Wang, occupied the third spot with 62488.9106 points.Denmark’s Tine Baun (60400.0982) is fourth with Chinese Shixian Wang (60400.0982) completing the top-five.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd defender Maguire fears dodgy club form hurting Englandby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United defender Harry Maguire fears club issues are having a negative effect on England’s beleaguered defenders.Maguire concedes that club struggles may be hurting international form.He said: “Maybe it is a confidence thing because we bring our club football to the international level.“It was a difficult game. We started sloppy and we took the lead in the game when we probably didn’t deserve to.“In the second half, we controlled the game a lot more but we gave them a sloppy goal to win the game.“So we do need to improve on that. It’s hard to lose any football game, but we were not at our best and got punished.”
Thomas MIddleditch – Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin Instead of starting his career here and then moving to the U.S., the Nelson, B.C., native went south first about a decade ago and is finally finding his footing on this side of the border with the new Canadian film “Entanglement.” TORONTO — Emmy-nominated “Silicon Valley” star Thomas Middleditch has taken the opposite career path of many Canadian actors. “But I’ll never stop doing comedy, I’ll never stop performing live.” Opening Friday in select Cineplex theatres, the drama stars Middleditch as a divorcee who’s lifted out of his depression after a chance encounter with an adventurous woman, played by Jess Weixler. Twitter “But I think this season has been great and the writers are very good writers and they have figured out a way to deal with the Erlich plotline and fill in its absence. I think we’ve done a really good job.” “I do love me a little quality time with the old Sir P. Stew.” “Certainly when people feel like they need to move on, it’s best that they do and we all wish him the best,” Middleditch said. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “It was just one of these scripts that caught me by surprise,” Middleditch said. Indeed, the film includes some fantastical elements as it touches on the theme of how one’s choices in life lead to a tapestry of connections with others. “Believe it or not, that’s the first thing I’ve ever shot in Canada,” Middleditch said in a recent phone interview. Login/Register With: “I don’t really get too many opportunities to do A: dramas, or B: films that feel ethereal or trippy or experimental. Those are things that are on my watch list and if they start to fit, then I would like to be a part of them.” Middleditch said he’s hoping to do more dramas like “Entanglement.” Facebook “He and I just got along really well, so we’ve hung out from time to time and despite the age gap and despite him spending a lot of time in England, we’re good friends,” Middleditch said. Middleditch is soaking wet in a number of scenes, which were shot in a river in November in Vancouver. “It was very, very, very cold, but you can’t get me out of the water,” he said. “I’m from Nelson, man, where it’s lakes and rivers. I’m a water rat. I was a lake kid.” Through his work at The Improvised Shakespeare Company in Chicago, he’s also become good friends with veteran actor Patrick Stewart. “I’m kind of like, ‘Canada, why won’t you cast me? I’ve got to come down to the United States to work. I’ve got to steal these people’s jobs over the border.’” “Even though every single time I do them I’m like, ‘Why am I doing this? I want to do comedy, I want to make people laugh,’” Middleditch said. Advertisement Advertisement “I auditioned for Second City in Toronto and was not accepted,” he said. “Silicon Valley” returns for its fifth season on March 25 without cast member T.J. Miller, who played entrepreneur Erlich and left the show after last season. Vancouver-based Jason James directs “Entanglement,” which was written by Jason Filiatrault of Calgary. Advertisement “After a year and a half of doing the indie sketch-comedy world in Toronto, I was like, ‘You know what? I think they were wrong. I’m going to try (Second City) Chicago,’ and I was right.”His Second City Chicago stint was followed by a slew of film and TV comedy roles, most notably as a software designer in HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” for which he was nominated for a best actor Emmy. As Middleditch explains, it was out of necessity that he had to look to American projects for onscreen work.