Taxi drivers ask crackdown on ‘bandits’

first_imgLANCASTER – United Taxi drivers went to City Hall on Wednesday to ask city leaders for a crackdown on cab drivers working without city permits. The drivers say competitors operating without permits are a growing problem, and estimate that more than half of the roughly 50 cab drivers operating in Lancaster lack city permits. “They are not complying with the rules. They are just putting drivers behind the wheel,” said Martin Shatakhyan, president of United Independent Taxi Drivers Inc., which operates United Taxi in Lancaster. “They are putting the public at risk.” Shatakhyan said their criticism is directed at their permit-less competitors, not at city staff. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2United is asking the city to create a monthly updated public record of legal drivers listed by company. The drivers also want public service announcements encouraging residents to report unpermitted cab drivers. Drivers also want the city to come up with a plan for catching “bandit” cabs – unmarked cars operating as taxis. Drivers would also like to see random checks done at places frequented by cabs, such as the city’s Metrolink station. “The drivers are frustrated,” said Alfredo Pico, United’s manager. “The competition is flooding the market with unpermitted drivers.” The city’s permitting process requires drivers to take a drug test and to go through a criminal background check. The drivers’ estimates of the number of unpermitted competitors is based on their observations of cabs without permits on the dashboards and general conversation among drivers. “They see someone apply for a job on a Tuesday and see them in a cab on Wednesday. They know there was no background check,” Pico said. “They want to draw attention to who the legal drivers are.” Elizabeth Brubaker, the city’s director of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, which includes code enforcement, said the taxi drivers had not approached city staff members with their concerns before making their appearance Wednesday at City Hall. Brubaker said staff could have addressed their concerns. On the idea of a monthly listing of permitted drivers, Brubaker said that information is available to the public and cab companies can request that anytime. In terms of helping make that information public, that is something the city could assist with. “The city is working on getting everything out there to the public,” Brubaker said. The Sheriff’s Department does make checks of areas such as the Metrolink station, Brubaker said. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Garda polar plunge raises a cool €12,000 for Special Olympics!

first_imgBrave volunteers who got chilly in the Swilly last December are celebrating a major fundraising success for Special Olympics Ireland.The grand total of the Rathmullan Polar Plunge was revealed last week, with a cool €12,038.67 raised from the charity event.Mrs Brown’s Boys actor Danny O’Carroll was joined by Team Ulster Special Olympians and students from Little Angels school for the official cheque presentation on Thursday at Milford Garda Station. Gardaí in Milford and Letterkenny and many other local groups got ‘freezin for a reason’ on 15th December 2018 when they did the sponsored dive at Rathmullan.Garda members who took part are dedicated to supporting and raising funds for Special Olympics Ireland along with taking the Flame of Hope across the country to raise awareness of people with intellectual disabilities.Law Enforcement Polar plunge at Rathmullan 2018Law Enforcement Polar plunge at Rathmullan 2018Local Gardaí have thanked all of the different agencies and organisations which got involved in their fundraising initiative, and the general public who supported the event in large numbers.The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics worldwide which includes Garda members from each Garda Division. Danny O’Carroll with Special Olympics Ulster athletes and students from Little Angels School at the Polar Plunge cheque presentation in Milford Garda StationAnd they’re getting ready to go again with another plunge in 2019!Date for the Diary: The 5th Law Enforcement Polar plunge will take place on the 7th December 2019 in Rathmullan!Garda polar plunge raises a cool €12,000 for Special Olympics! was last modified: March 11th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Danny O’CarrollfundraiserGardaiLittle angelsPolar PlungeSpecial Olympics Ulsterlast_img read more

Innovative theatre for young minds

first_img15 June 2012 The African Research and Educational Puppetry Programme Trust, or arepp:Theatre for Life, is adding some spark to life skills education in South African schools, using humour and music in its interactive performances to demystify taboo subjects and enabling young people to make informed lifestyle choices. There is a great sense of orderliness ahead of arepp’s performance at the Rhodesfield Technical High School on Johannesburg’s West Rand. The familiar sound of the school bell signals the end of each lesson, prompting pupils to walk briskly along the corridors to their next class, and in the reception area there is serious talk of reports, averages, tests and results. But as soon as the play starts, the school hall – with a group of about 300 grade eight pupils neatly seated in rows on the floor – explodes with laughter, whistling and cheering. Even the teachers who are supervising the noisy group of teenagers can’t help but smile. The performance that follows will undoubtedly be the highlight of every pupil’s day. Targeted at grades eight to 12 pupils, the focus of the Look Before You Leap play series is on choices, problem solving and self-image. It explores how ideas of gender and sexuality affect perceptions of self and society. Arepp’s approach to educational theatre is all about making learning fun and, through the different characters, help pupils make an emotional connection with the content of the play. The award-winning educational theatre group takes learning out of the classroom onto the stage, and there is nothing high-brow about these performances. Instead of sidestepping the serious issues affecting young people in South Africa, arepp’s candid approach and innovative use of theatre highlights difficult social and personal issues such as sexuality, relationships, pregnancy, substance use, HIV/Aids, physical and emotional abuse and gender equality.Learning can be fun Brigid Schutz, director at arepp, says the structure and character development of the plays help pupils to identify closely with the situations portrayed. Unlike traditional theatre, the audience are not passive observers, as the play mirrors their personal experiences on stage. One of the actors, Ruan Zed, says that theatre is a powerful medium that helps people to see issues from a different perspective. “Theatre puts your own life story on stage,” he says. This particular play, Look Before You Leap: Oh Yeah! deals with issues that all high school pupils can relate to – peer pressure and temptation, not fitting in and being different. It also examines the uncertainty of early relationships, being true to one’s identity and self-esteem. “The characters in the play go through an emotional process and because it becomes a personal experience for the pupils, they can identify and connect with it,” Schutz explains.Making life orientation relevant The productions, which run for an hour – the first half is the play, which is then followed by a 30-minute problem-solving discussion with the audience – are specifically designed to be performed as a life orientation (LO) lesson within the school’s daily schedule. LO is a compulsory subject in South African schools for all grades. This new area of learning replaced subjects such as career guidance, physical training and religious education. The point of LO is to enable pupils to make wise choices, understand healthy living, get career direction, learn study skills and become aware of environmental, community and society issues. Although it covers non-academic skills needed in life, Rhodesfield’s LO teacher Elliot Faku says there is a perception in schools that LO is not as important as the more academic subjects like maths or science. “The subject is highly relevant as it deals with what life is like after school,” he says. He is a great supporter of using theatre as a learning tool. “It further entrenches the concepts that the pupils learn in class,” Faku says. “Even though the kids see it as a break from their normal school routine, they are still learning.”Problem-solving through discussion After each performance pupils have an opportunity to ask questions, talk about the issues raised in the play, contextualise the content and debate the decisions made by the characters. The discussion time is important because it encourages open communication. “It shows the pupils that their opinions are valued,” Schutz says. Most of them are not scared to ask difficult questions that they might not usually want to discuss with other adults such as their parents or teachers. Throughout the discussion, the group is encouraged to offer answers themselves, which builds confidence and problem-solving skills. Zed notes that in all the discussion sessions they’ve noticed that the questions and opinions of the pupils are closely related to their own lives. By sharing their understanding of the issues, pupils become more confident to talk about them in the classroom, on the playground and at home. “Arepp doesn’t give right or wrong answers,” he says. “What we want to do is develop resilient youth who can deal with any challenge and know what they stand for,” Zed says.Reaching as many kids as possible Arepp’s life skills and self-efficacy development programmes reach all age groups in schools with four series of shows: Look Before you Leap, aimed at groups between 13 and 22; About Us for 10 to 13 year olds; No Monkey Business and the Monkey Tales series for the groups between six and nine and three and five respectively. “There is a need to do more of this type of theatre in South Africa,” Schutz says. “There are many theatre education initiatives that start up, but keeping it going is difficult because it is very costly.” The organisation relies entirely on external funding to continue its work. Currently it receives support from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the STARS Foundation and a foreign donor agency in the Netherlands. Established in 1987, arepp reaches about 120 000 pupils between the ages of five and 18 in 350 schools each year. Feedback from teachers last year showed an increase of 81% in the audience’s knowledge, skills, ability and confidence to deal with issues directly affecting them. The reported percentage of physical and sexual abuse cases in those schools halved from the previous year, to just under 4%, and reported pregnancies declined from 9% to less than 1%. Reported suicides decreased and overall, 80% of audiences indicated changes in their feelings of worth, competency and control with regard to the issues presented in the plays. “This shows that our performances are helping to make a difference,” says Schutz. Last year the company was selected from 976 applicants from 60 countries to receive the 2011 STARS Foundation Impact award in education. The foundation offers awards to charities in the Africa-Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions working with children in the areas of health, education and protection. The award is allowing arepp to fund additional theatre projects and perform about 200 more presentations, which will benefit 30 000 additional pupils. Schutz describes the award as an important accolade as it validates the organisation’s work and recognises arepp’s contribution of 25 years to the promotion of human rights in South Africa. “It highlights the vital importance of assisting young people and children to understand, engage with, and contextualise the notions and practical applications of their rights,” she says. Edited version of photograph by Andrew Aitchison, reproduced with kind permission. Article first published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Oyama Matomela flies South Africa’s friendly skies

first_imgCatch Oyama Matomela and other inspiring South Africans playing their part to build a strong South Africa in the Play Your Part TV series on Sundays at 9pm on SABC2. Matomela was born in 1991 in Port Elizabeth and it was there, in the friendly city, that her aunt would take her and her cousins to the Port Elizabeth International Airport to watch aircraft take off and land. • Brand South Africa +27 11 483 0122 info@brandsouthafrica.com • Ellis uses sport to build a better world • Ginwala helped shape South Africa’s history • Mam’ Khanyi rescues Hillbrow’s forgotten children • Graça Machel is a heroine in her own right • Bassie is a beauty with heartMelissa Jane CookAt just 23 years old Oyama Matomela is flying high as a female pilot in South Africa.Matomela was born in 1991 in Port Elizabeth and it was there, in the friendly city, that her aunt would take her and her cousins to the Port Elizabeth International Airport to watch aircraft take off and land.“These Sunday afternoon visits unveiled an incomparable passion and love for flying at a young age. Research and extensive hard work in my high school years led to me being awarded a bursary by the Department of Roads and Transport of the Eastern Cape to begin my flying training at the renowned 43 Air School [in Port Alfred],” she says.“I chose this career because it’s unlike any other. I’ve had these aspirations from a young age…” she says.The Collegiate Girls School alumnus is the fourth student to have been awarded the provincial department bursary, and the first woman.“The year and eight months I spent training was probably one of the most difficult yet rewarding things I have ever done,” she says. She adds: “The training was challenging and 110% effort was required – which is what I was willing to give to reach my goals at this age.”After passing her Private Pilot Licence (PPL), she later obtained an instrument-rated commercial pilot licence in August 2011. An instrument rating grants her licence to fly across international airspaces.Matomela passed the PPL in just 20 months; the average time to complete the course is between one and five years, depending on how frequently, and what aircraft, students fly, and in what weather.In March 2012 she wrote and passed all the airline transport pilot licence examinations, which then upgraded her licence to a frozen airline transport pilot licence. She commenced training towards a Grade III flight instructor rating in September 2012 and successfully completed the course in December 2012.Oyama Matomela on inspiring new waysMatomela then moved to Johannesburg in June 2013 to begin work as a flight instructor at Superior Pilot Services at Grand Central Airport in Midrand, where cadet pilots from South African Express airline are trained.A few months later she was invited for an interview with South African Express for a junior first officer position. The interview was successful and she joined the team in January 2013. She is currently training to fly the Bombardier Dash Q400 aircraft.Matomela hopes to earn a command on the jet fleet and become a training captain, and says her family, especially her mother, is proud of her accomplishments in such a male-dominated field. She gives special thanks to her mother, who she says “has been with her every step of the way throughout her training, in good and bad days”.last_img read more

Grips, Gaffers, and Best Boys: The Grip and Electric Departments

first_imgTo achieve the best looking shot, a cinematographer not only relies on the camera department, but also the lighting technicians, electricians, and grips. But what do they all do on set?A Director of Photography is usually associated with the camera department, but the DP actually oversees the Electrical Department and Grips as well. Before the days of unions, there was not a differentiating line between members of these departments. As job titles have become more solidified, so have the departments.You may also hear the term Lighting Department, but it’s not accurate. Most of the time you will hear Grips and Electric called G&E. Here is a breakdown of the G&E Departments.The Electrical DepartmentThis department is in charge of all electrical needs on set. That covers everything from powering set lights to powering the coffee machine.GafferImage via FM Grip and LightingA gaffer is the head of the electrical department. They may also be referred to as the Chief Lighting Technician. The gaffer is responsible for designing and executing the lighting plan. They work directly with the Director of Photography to achieve the desired look. They will provide the power needed for for the lights, and work with the Key Grip to shape the light.Best BoyThe Best Boy in the Electric department is the head assistant to the gaffer. They are the second in charge, typically watching over the electric truck and rentals, while managing and scheduling the rest of the electricians and lighting technicians. Where the Gaffer remains on set with the Director of Photography, the Best Boy carries out and manages all other jobs in the Electrical Department.They may also be referred to as Best Boy Electric or Assistant Chief Lighting Technician. Before the different departments were established, the Gaffer would ask the Key Grip to borrow his “best boy” to assist in the electric department. It became a common term in both departments, which is why there are two different Best Boys. If a female holds this position, she is still referred to as the Best Boy.Electrical Lighting TechnicianImage via ShutterstockThey are responsible for getting power to the set. They are also called; ELT, Electrician, Set Lighting Technicians, Lamp Operator, Electric, Spark or Juicer. They not only get power to the lights, but also everywhere on set. This includes trailers, catering, offices, and more.Generator OperatorFor location shoots, films will use generators for power. Generators, commonly called a Genny, produce electricity from diesel fuel. The person in charge of a generator is called the Genny Operator.Lighting Board OperatorDepending on the size of the set, or the amount of lights, there may be a Lighting Board Operator. These are not common on small sets with a few fixed lights. They are really only used if the scene being shot requires dimmable lights. All the set lights will be run to a control panel that this person will use to adjust and dim the lights. This position is more common on television sets, especially those with a live studio audience.The Grip DepartmentThis department supports all non-electrical components on set. They set up any gear for the camera, like tripods or cranes.Key GripImage: Key Grip Robert Adams on set of Wild Safari via Fernbank Museum of Natural HistoryThe Key Grip, also called a Key for short, is the chief of the grip department. They work with the Director of Photography to achieve the correct lighting and blocking for shots. They diffuse and cut light on set. They are also in charge of the physical camera movement, covering everything from a dolly, to cranes, to vehicle mounts.Best BoyThe chief assistant to the Key Grip. Also knows as the Best Boy Grip. Just like the Best Boy Electric, they are in charge of the organizing and maintaining the grip truck and all other grips working on the project.GripImage via ShutterstockGrips are specialized as camera and lighting rigging technicians.  They work with the non-electrical components of light and camera setups. This includes setting up tripods, cranes, flagging, overheads, and bounces. They make any adjustments and perform maintenance on production equipments. They will cover all duties from camera movement, focusing lights, and any mechanical rigging like dolly tracks.Dolly GripImage via What If MovieThis grip is specifically in charge of working with the camera dolly. They lay and level the dolly track on set.  They will also push and pull the dolly during filming.Do you now know the difference between a Best Boy and a Best Boy? Want more articles like this? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Easily Create Captions in Adobe Premiere Pro

first_imgStep 1: Create a New Caption FileClick the New Item button at the bottom of the Project Panel and select Captions. The new caption file will be a video file, and the settings will match with the current sequence you have open. You can manually adjust width and height, frame rate, and pixel aspect ratio before creating your new caption file.You have four choices of captions, including three options for closed captions. For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll create a CEA-708 closed caption file. Be sure to Enable the Closed Captions Display in the Program Monitor and select the correct caption type. Drag the Caption video file onto the timeline.Step 2: Adding, Timing, and Formatting Your CaptionsSelect the Caption file and use the Caption Panel to add text, time, or to format your text. If you can’t see the Caption Panel, simply go to the window menu, and select Captions. Click the Plus button to add a new text box. Make sure your In and Out points match up with the spoken word.You can view the captions in the timeline by expanding the video track. You have a few formatting options, including the type of caption (pop-on, paint-on, 2-4 roll-up lines) and some simple positioning options. With open captions, you have a few extra options, such as additional fonts and size adjustments.Step 3: ExportIn the Export Settings dialog box, use the Caption tab to export the captions as Burn-in or as a Sidecar file. A Burn-in will naturally “burn” the captions into the video file, and viewers will not have the option to turn them off. When you export as a Sidecar file, you will be provided with an additional .scc file which you can upload or deliver with your video files.For more helpful walk-throughs and video tutorials, head on over to PremiumBeats YouTube channel! Creating captions can be a tedious process — but with Adobe Premiere Pro, you can easily create both open and closed captions, all from within the program.Top image via ShutterstockCaptions are simply text over video. You can create closed or open captions, the main difference being that viewers can turn off closed captions, while open captions are always on screen. Whichever option you go with, captions are always a good idea.Adobe’s latest update adds the ability to easily create open captions from within Premiere. Let’s take a look at how to add captions in Adobe Premiere Pro with a few simple steps. Watch the video tutorial directly below and then follow the step-by-step directions to add the technique to your skill set.last_img read more