State of the Nation 2010

first_imgInside South Africa’s Parliament duringPresident Jacob Zuma’s State of theNation Address on 11 February 2010.(Image: The Presidency)MEDIA CONTACTS• Vincent MagwenyaPresidential spokesperson+27 72 715 0024RELATED ARTICLES• Zuma welcomes world at Davos• Jacob Zuma on World Aids Day• Medium-term budget: full textThe full text of South African President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, delivered to Parliament on the evening of 11 February 2010:Honourable Speaker;Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces;Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP;Deputy President of the Republic, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe;Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa and all esteemed members of the Judiciary;Isithwalandwe President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela;Former President FW de Klerk;Our father, Former President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia;Former Deputy Presidents;Distinguished Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces;Chairperson of SALGA and all local government leadership;Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders;Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions;The Governor of the Reserve Bank;Special international Guests especially the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Jean Ping;Former political prisoners and veterans;Members of the diplomatic corps;South African and foreign media;Fellow South Africans,Dumelang, molweni, goeie naand, good evening, sanibonani nonke emakhaya!Siyavuya ukuba nani ngobubusuku bubaluleke kangaka.I stand before you this evening, 20 years since President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela walked out of prison.We have chosen this as the day to call this Joint Sitting of Parliament to deliver the State of the Nation Address, to celebrate a watershed moment that changed our country.The release of Madiba was brought about by the resolute struggles of the South African people.You will recall that the masses of this country, in their different formations, responded with determination to the call to make the country ungovernable and apartheid unworkable.We are celebrating this day with former political prisoners who we have specially invited to join us.We welcome in particular those who have travelled from abroad to be here, Helene Pastoors, Michael Dingake from Botswana, Mr Andimba Toivo ya Toivo of SWAPO in Namibia.We are pleased to be joined by members of the legal team in the Rivonia Treason trial – Lord Joel Joffe, who is now based in London and Judge Arthur Chaskalson.We also remember and pay tribute to Mr Harry Schwarz, who sadly passed away last week.He was amongst other things, a member of the Rivonia defence team.We extend our gratitude to our friends and comrades in the international community, for fighting side by side with us to achieve freedom.We extend a special welcome to the Mandela family.They became a symbol of the sacrifices of many who bore the brunt of apartheid.We greet the leadership of the ruling party and Alliance partners, for whom this is an extra special occasion.Compatriots and friends,On this special day, we must also acknowledge the contribution of those within the leadership of the National Party, who eventually realised that apartheid had no future.Allow me to mention the role played by former President PW Botha.It was he who initiated the discussion about the possible release of political prisoners.President Botha worked with the former Minister of Justice, Mr Kobie Coetzee, who was in turn assisted by Dr Neil Barnard and Mr Mike Louw.They played a significant role in the process leading to the release of Madiba.Honourable Members,South Africa is yet to acknowledge in full, the critical role played by the former President of the ANC, Comrade Oliver Tambo, who laid the foundation for this country to become a shining example of freedom and democracy.It was his outstanding leadership, foresight and clarity of vision that led the ANC to intensify the pursuit of a negotiated settlement.His wisdom was also displayed in the Harare Declaration which he wrote and championed.It was this that laid the groundwork for the historic announcements by President FW de Klerk, 20 years ago.In this, President de Klerk demonstrated great courage and decisive leadership.On this great day, let me also acknowledge the role played by the late Ms Helen Suzman.She was for a long time, a lone voice in Parliament, calling for change.We also recognise the role of the leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who also called for Madiba’s release, as well as that of other prisoners and the return of exiles.We reiterate our heartfelt gratitude to the international community for its unwavering support to our struggle.These moments in our history demonstrate our ability to come together, even under the most difficult of circumstances, and to put the country’s interests first above all other interests.Deur saam te werk, kan ons meer bereik.Honourable members,During the course of this year, we will mark the centenary of the establishment of the Union of South Africa.This created a unitary state.Significantly, the exclusion of black people from this Union was one of the chief reasons for the formation of the African National Congress in 1912.As we mark this centenary later in the year, we should reflect on how far we have travelled as a country.Honourable Members,We recall the words of Madiba on his release, when he said:“I stand before you, not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people.Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today.I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.”These words inspire us not to rest, until we achieve the ideals of a society free of poverty and deprivation.In the two decades since the release of Madiba, our country has changed fundamentally.President Mandela united this country behind the goal of a non-sexist, non-racial, democratic and prosperous South Africa.As we celebrate Madiba’s release today, let us recommit ourselves to building a better future for all South Africans, black and white.Let us pursue the ideal for which Madiba has fought his entire life – the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.Honourable Members,We called a joint sitting in the evening so that the majority in our country, workers and school children, can be part of the occasion.We are impressed by the enthusiasm of the youth about the occasion.Two hundred and sixty six children from all provinces participated in the pre-State of the Nation debate on the role of the youth in the fight against poverty.We congratulate the overall winner, Charlotte Le Fleur of Worcester Secondary School and all the participants for the hard work.Compatriots and friends,We are meeting against the backdrop of a global economic crisis.Last year, we experienced our first recession in 17 years.The crisis cost our economy about 900 000 jobs.Many of those who lost their jobs were the breadwinners in poor families.In February last year, government, business, labour and community representatives agreed on a package of measures to reduce the scale and impact of the crisis.We have put many of these measures in place.We have implemented decisive anti-recession spending by government, especially on infrastructure.To ensure a safety cushion for the poor, we brought social grant increases forward, and extended the child support grant to children over 14 years of age.In the next three years, an additional two million children from poor households, aged 15 to 18 years, will benefit from the child support grant.The Industrial Development Corporation has put aside R6 billion to help companies in distress.Government introduced a “training lay-off scheme” to allow workers the option of a period of training instead of retrenchment.These efforts were enhanced by our public works programme.The nation will recall that during the 2009 State of the Nation Address, I announced that the Expanded Public Works Programme would create 500 000 work opportunities, by December 2009.Let me reiterate that these are not jobs in the mainstream economy.These are job opportunities created to provide unemployed people with an income, work experience, and training opportunities.Honourable Members, Fellow South Africans,We are pleased to announce that by the end of December, we had created more than 480 000 public works job opportunities, which is 97% of the target we had set.The jobs are in areas like construction, home and community based care, and environmental projects.We have identified some areas of improvement which we will effect going forward, including ensuring more labour intensive projects.We know that these and other measures cannot fully mitigate the effects of the recession.We are grateful for the spirit of family, community and voluntary work that inspires many people to help those most affected by the crisis, through these difficult times.Honourable Members,Economic indicators suggest that we are now turning the corner.Economic activity is rising in South Africa, and we expect growth going forward.The labour statistics released on Tuesday, show that the economy is now creating jobs rather than shedding them.It is too soon, though, to be certain of the pace of recovery.Government will therefore not withdraw its support measures.Now is the time to lay the groundwork for stronger growth going forward, and for growth that gives rise to more jobs.Our long-term infrastructure programme will help us grow faster.Our education and skills programmes will increase our productivity and competitiveness.Our Industrial Policy Action Plan and our new focus on green jobs, will build stronger and more labour absorbing industries.Our rural development programme will improve rural productivity, and the lives of people living in rural areas.Underpinning our strategy for economic recovery and growth, is our capital investment programme.Over the next three years government will spend R846 billion on public infrastructure.On transport, we will maintain and expand our road network.We will ensure that our rail network is reliable, competitive and better integrated with our sea ports.To ensure reliable power supply, we have established an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Energy, to develop a 20 year integrated resource plan.Among other things, this will look at the participation of independent power producers, and protecting the poor from rising electricity prices.We will establish an independent system operator, separate from Eskom Holdings.Eskom will continue to build additional generation capacity and improve the maintenance of its power stations.To ensure the promotion of an inclusive economy, to aid growth and development, we have established the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council, chaired by the President.The most urgent focus of policy change must be interventions to create jobs for young people.Unemployment rates for young people are substantially higher than the average.Proposals will be tabled to subsidise the cost of hiring younger workers, to encourage firms to take on inexperienced staff.A further expansion of public employment programmes is also underway.This includes local infrastructure and literacy projects, home-based care, school maintenance and early childhood development initiatives.Last year we launched the National Youth Development Agency.We have directed the Agency to work faster to establish its structures, throughout the country, so that it can assist us to mainstream youth development programmes within government.Honourable Members,When this administration came into office last year, we undertook to work harder to build a strong developmental state.We said it would be a state that responds to the needs and aspirations of the people, and which performs better and faster.This year, 2010, shall be a year of action.The defining feature of this administration will be that it knows where people live, understands their needs, and responds faster.Government must work faster, harder and smarter.We will expect the executive and the public service to comply with this vision.We are building a performance-oriented state, by improving planning as well as performance monitoring and evaluation.We also need to integrate gender equity measures into the government’s programme of action.This action will ensure that women, children and persons with disabilities can access developmental opportunities.We are pleased to announce a new way of doing things in government.The work of Departments will be measured by outcomes, developed through our performance monitoring and evaluation system.The Ministers who are responsible for a particular outcome, will sign a detailed Delivery Agreement with the President.It will outline what is to be done, how, by whom, within what time period and using what measurements and resources.As you are aware, we are committed to five priorities:education, health, rural development and land reform, creating decent work, and fighting crime.In addition, we will work to improve the effectiveness of local government, infrastructure development and human settlements.We will undertake a number of key activities towards the achievement of these outcomes.We have placed education and skills development at the centre of this government’s policies.In our 2010 programme, we want to improve the ability of our children to read, write and count in the foundation years.Unless we do this, we will not improve the quality of education.Our education targets are simple but critical.We want learners and teachers to be in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching for seven hours a day.We will assist teachers by providing detailed daily lesson plans.To students we will provide easy-to-use workbooks in all 11 languages.From this year onwards, all grade 3, 6 and 9 students will write literacy and numeracy tests that are independently moderated.We aim to increase the pass rate for these tests from the current average of between 35 and 40% to at least 60% by 2014.Results will be sent to parents to track progress.In addition, each of our 27 000 schools will be assessed by officials from the Department of Basic Education.This will be recorded in an auditable written report.We aim to increase the number of matric students who are eligible for university admission to 175 000 a year by 2014.We urge parents to cooperate with us in making this a success.We welcome last month’s statement by the three teacher unions, Naptosa, Sadtu and Saou, reaffirming their commitment to the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign from the beginning of 2010.Honourable Members,We need to invest in our youth to ensure a skilled and capable workforce to support growth and job creation.We therefore plan to increase the training of 16-25 year olds in further education and training facilities.This will enable us to provide a second chance at education, for those who do not qualify for university.We are working with higher education institutions to ensure that eligible students obtain financial assistance, through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.We have also set ambitious targets for skills development, to produce additional engineers and technicians, and to increase the number of qualified mathematics and science teachers.We must also increase the number of youth who enter learnerships in the private and public sectors.Honourable members,Another key outcome is to ensure a long and healthy life for all South Africans.We will continue to improve our health care system.This includes building and upgrading hospitals and clinics, and further improving the working conditions of health care workers.We have partnered with the Development Bank of Southern Africa to improve the functionality of public hospitals and their district offices.We are also collaborating with the DBSA and the Industrial Development Corporation, in a Public-Private Partnership programme to improve hospitals and provide finance for projects.Honourable Members,We must confront the fact that life expectancy at birth, has dropped from 60 years in 1994 to just below 50 years today.We are therefore making interventions to lower maternal mortality rates, to reduce new HIV infections and to effectively treat HIV and tuberculosis.We will also reduce infant mortality through a massive immunisation programme.We will reinstate health programmes in schools.We will implement all the undertakings made on World Aids Day relating to new HIV prevention and treatment measures.Intensive work is underway to ensure that this work is on schedule.We will also continue preparations for the establishment of a national health insurance system.Fellow South Africans,We are working hard to ensure that everyone in South Africa feels safe and is safe.We will take further our work to reduce serious and violent crimes, and ensure that the justice system works efficiently.We are implementing plans to increase the number of police men and women by 10% over the next three years.We have identified the fight against hijacking, business and house robberies, as well as contact crimes such as murder, rape, and assault, as top priorities.We all have a role to play.Let us participate in community safety forums.Let us stop buying stolen goods.Let us always be ready to provide the police with information about criminal activity.Tshebedisano mmoho etla lwantsha botloko-tsebe.Compatriots and esteemed guests,Local government must work.Municipalities must improve the provision of housing, water, sanitation, electricity, waste management and roads.We held a meeting with mayors and municipal managers last year.This provided valuable insight into the challenges in local government.We also visited various communities and municipalities, including Balfour in Mpumalanga and Thembisa in Gauteng.After the Balfour visit, we sent a nine member Ministerial team to visit the area to address the issues that had been raised by the community.A number of issues have already received attention.I have directed the Ministers to attend to the outstanding matters.We reiterate, that there are no grievances that can justify violence and the destruction of property.We have directed law enforcement agencies to take a tougher stance on lawlessness in Balfour and other areas.In December 2009, Cabinet approved a turnaround strategy for local government.This will ensure that local government has the correct management, administrative and technical skills.During this year of action, let us work together to make local government everybody’s business.We are working to upgrade well-located informal settlements and provide proper service and land tenure to at least 500 000 households by 2014.We plan to set aside over 6 000 hectares of well-located public land for low income and affordable housing.A key new initiative will be to accommodate people whose salaries are too high to get government subsidies, but who earn too little to qualify for a normal bank mortgage.We will set up a guarantee fund of R1 billion to incentivise the private banking and housing sector, to develop new products to meet this housing demand.Bakwethu,Ngonyaka odlule sathi, abantu basemakhaya nabo banelungelo lokuba nogesi, amanzi, izindlu zangasese ezigijima amanzi nemigwaqo.Sathi kufanele babe nezindawo zezemidlalo kanye nezindawo zokuthenga ezinkulukazi eziphucuzekile njengasemadolobheni.In this regard, we launched the first pilot site of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme in Giyani, Limpopo in August last year.Since then, 231 houses have been built.Progress has also been made in providing infrastructure to support agricultural development, and training for community members.Access to health and education facilities has improved.We are implementing similar programmes in seven sites across the country, benefiting 21 wards.By 2014, we aim to have sites in 160 wards.We want 60% of households in these sites to meet their food requirements from own production by 2014.Kancane kancane kuze kulunge, phela bakwethu, kuthiwa nempandla iqala ngenhlonhlo.We also need to better integrate land reform and agricultural support programmes.Our success in this area will be measured by the increase in the number of small scale farmers that become economically viable.Honourable Speaker and Chairperson of the NCOP,We are not a water rich country.Yet we still lose a lot of water through leaking pipes and inadequate infrastructure.We will be putting in place measures to reduce our water loss by half by 2014.Honourable Members,As part of our efforts to encourage greater economic growth, we are working to reduce the cost to communicate.The South African public can look forward to an even further reduction of broadband, cell phone, landline and public phone rates.We will work to increase broadband speed and ensure a high standard of internet service, in line with international norms.Fellow South Africans,This government will ensure that our environmental assets and natural resources are well protected, and are continually enhanced.Together with Brazil, India and China, and joined by the United States which represented the developed world, we made a significant contribution to the accord adopted at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December last year.Although it does not go as far as required, it is an important step forward as it commits all countries to respond to climate change.We will work hard with our international counterparts towards a legally binding treaty.As South Africa we have voluntarily committed ourselves to specific emission reduction targets, and will continue working on our long term climate change mitigation strategy.Honourable Members,We will intensify efforts to promote the interests of South Africa globally.We will support efforts to speed up the political and economic integration of the SADC region, and promote intra-regional trade and investment.South Africa continues to play a leading role in continental efforts to strengthen the African Union and its organs, and to work for unity.We will focus energy on revitalising the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, as a strategy for economic development on the continent.Fellow South Africans,The public service has to respond to the call to make this term one of faster action and improved State performance.We require excellence and hard work.We need public servants who are dedicated, capable and who care for the needs of citizens.Government is already working on the development and implementation of a public service development programme, which will set the norms and standards for public servants in all spheres.Honourable Members,We continue our efforts to eradicate corruption and fraud in procurement and tender processes, and in applications for drivers’ licences, social grants, and identity documents, among others.We are pleased with the progress government is making in some areas.This week, we terminated 32 687 fraudulent social grants payments, valued at R180 million.Our Inter-Ministerial Committee on Corruption is looking at ways to decisively defeat corruption.Nga u shumisana rothe ringa bveledza zwinzhi.Compatriots,As you are aware, we introduced the Presidential Hotline to make government and the Presidency more accessible to the public, and to help unblock service delivery blockages.The Hotline represents our determination to do things differently in government.It has made a difference in the lives of many South Africans.We can mention Mrs Buziwe Ngaleka of Mount Frere, whose call about her late husband’s pension was the first we took on the first day of the service.She is with us here tonight.We also have among us Mr Nkululeko Cele, who was helped to obtain identity documents which allowed him to enroll at Tshwane University of Technology.These are just two among many success stories.From these and other examples, we identify weaknesses that should be rectified by various spheres of government.Through the Speaker, we have invited a multiparty delegation from Parliament to visit the call centre, so that MPs can get a first hand account of the work done.Compatriots and friends,I have outlined the main elements of our plans for 2010, our collective commitment as government to the people of South Africa.The State of the Nation Address provides a broad overview of our action plan.Ministers will provide the detail in their respective Budget Vote speeches.Honourable Members, Fellow South Africans,In November this year, we will mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in South Africa.It provides an opportunity to recognise the important contribution of the Indian community in the fields of labour, business, science, sports, religion, arts, culture and the achievement and consolidation of our democracy.Compatriots and friends,Let me take this opportunity to once again extend our heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Haiti on the monumental tragedy that has befallen them.We are pleased that our rescue teams were able to go and assist.I would like to especially recognise one South African who never fails to assist in times of disasters, and helps us to promote the vision of a caring society.We welcome Dr Imtiaz Sooliman of the Gift of the Givers in this House.Ladies and Gentlemen,Fellow South Africans,The hosting of the FIFA World Cup makes 2010 truly a year of action.We have spent many years planning for this World Cup.We only have three months to go.And we are determined to make a success of it.The infrastructure, security and logistics arrangements are in place to ensure a successful tournament.As a nation we owe a debt of gratitude to the 2010 Local Organising Committee for their sterling effort.We wish the LOC Chairperson Irvin Khoza, CEO Danny Jordaan and Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira all the best for the months ahead.President Mandela was central in assisting the country to win the rights to host this great event.We therefore have to make the World Cup a huge success in his honour.Compatriots, let us also stand behind the national team Bafana Bafana.Most importantly, ithikithi esandleni bakwethu!Let us all buy tickets timeously to be able to attend the games.Fellow South Africans,As we celebrate Madiba’s release today, we recommit ourselves to reconciliation, national unity, non-racialism and building a better future together as South Africans, black and white.We are guided by what Madiba said in the dock, that:“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people.I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony, and with equal opportunities.It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to achieve.But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.Inspired by our icon Madiba, it is my honour to dedicate this 2010 State of the Nation Address, to all our heroes and heroines, sung and unsung, known and unknown.Let us work together to make this year of action a successful one for our country.I thank you.last_img read more

South Africa’s macro-economic environment is resilient and we are open for business

first_img• Our prudent fiscal management and monetary policies have created macroeconomic stability.• According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2015/16, South Africa improved by four places to stand at 85 out of 140 countries in terms of its macro-economic environment.• South Africa is a competitive business and investment destination.• The country recently climbed seven places to take a spot in the top 50 out of 140 countries in WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index.  South Africa stands at number 49.• South Africa is also ranked fourth out of 54 African countries in the Ibrahim Index on African Governance.• Changing global economic conditions will necessitate the strengthening of our policy framework to ensure we can respond effectively.• South Africa is cognisant of the impact of the falling commodity prices, on our economy.   The weakness in commodity prices is a concern for major commodity exporters such as South Africa. The fall in commodity prices is unlikely to reverse and will have a sustained impact on emerging market economies.  This will serve as an impetus to prioritise the further diversification of our economy away from an over-reliance on commodities.• The depreciation of the rand occurs within a broader international context which is currently characterised by a fair amount of turbulence• The implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) remains the cornerstone of our economy.• The NDP is supported by the Nine-Point plan for economic renewal.• In supporting the NDP government is acting to alleviate the most binding constraints to growth and has set out a series of urgent economic reforms to build a more competitive economy. These include:1. Continued investment in economic infrastructure2. Reforming the governance of the State Owned Companies, rationalising state holding and encouraging private-sector participation3. Expanding the independent power producer programme4. Encouraging affordable, reliable and accessible broadband access5. Promoting black ownership of productive industrial assets6. Finalising amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (2002), and continuing dialogue with the industry; and7. Reviewing business incentive programmes in all economic sectors to ensure that resources support labour-intensive, job creating outcomes.Operation Phakisa is a national response to unlocking constraints to economic growth and development.last_img read more

South African sprinter Jobodwana takes on the world’s best

first_img28 August 2015South African sprinter Anaso Jobodwana has taken on the best in the world and succeeded. A day after compatriot Wayde van Niekerk won gold in the 400m final at the IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China, Jobodwana won bronze in the 200m final, to share the podium with none other than world record holder Jamaican Usain Bolt.It was the third time Jobodwana raced against Bolt, including the London Olympics in 2012, but this time he finished in the top three. Jobodwana also broke the South African record for the event, finishing in 19.87 seconds, improving on Van Niekerk’s record time set less than a month ago.It’s been 65 years since a South African athlete has won an international championship sprint medal, and in the last two days, thanks to Van Niekerk and Jobodwana, the country now has two.Bolt took the race in 19.55 seconds with American Justin Gatlin grabbing silver in 19.74 seconds.“My coach said if I executed the race the best way that I could, I would be on the podium. And when I was running that’s all I thought of: podium, podium, podium,” Jobodwana said after the race.He knew he was in the best shape of his life when he arrived at the championship, saying he and his coach, Stuart McMillan, had worked hard to get to this point. But it was the presence of Bolt that gave him the edge to fulfil that promise. He told News24 “a race is always elevated when Bolt is in. It’s a great thing just feeling the power of the world record holder.”Before the race, Bolt approached him with some encouragement: “He said, ‘Are you ready for a 19 seconds?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘Oh, you don’t sound too confident.’ And I said, ‘No, no, no, I’m ready to run,’” Jobodwana said. After glancing over at each other in mutual admiration at the finish line, the three podium winners shared a victory lap together. While the focus was very much on Bolt, Jobodwana was equally lauded for his performance.He will be in the running for a second competition medal in the 4x100m relay tomorrow.Jobodwana’s win has been celebrated around the country, with friends, fans and ordinary South Africans taking to social media to congratulate him and sing his praises. It’s been a long road for the 23-year-old from Eastern Cape, who has worked hard on the track to reach this level of competition.But he still has a lot to offer for South African athletics, as he looks ahead to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016. No doubt, he will once again get a chance to face off against the legendary Jamaican super-sprinter – and just maybe beat him to the finish line.“I feel I belong with the other guys. I’m going to build on that momentum,” he told Business Day yesterday. Coach McMillan agrees; he wants Jobodwana to gain some extra competition advantage over the coming year to contend in the Olympics 100m.Source: News24Wire and Business Daylast_img read more

Communicating with your landowner

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rented land is vital to the viability and profitability of our farms. As ownership of rented farmland is changing to individuals more removed from agriculture, establishing a sound relationship with your landowner will be key. Open lines of communication will directly affect gaining, retaining and even improving these important fields. It can also be effective in removing barriers as they relate to soil health and conservation practices that could enhance your profitability on rented land. Please join us to learn more about strategies and tools for communicating more effectively with your landowners. Information to be presented by Alan Sundermeier, OSU Extension and American Farmland Trust staff. A lunch will be provided immediately following the presentations at Luckey Farmers, Inc. 1200 Main St., Woodville, OH 43469. For more information or to RSVP, call the Wood Soil and Water Conservation District at 419-354-5517.last_img read more

Six Technologies Poised to Change the Future of Film

first_imgWhat does the future hold for filmmaking? These six new technologies may change things in ways you haven’t imagined.Top image via LytroIn 1885 two French brothers invented the first moving picture machine and filmed a train arriving at a station and everyone lost their minds. Since then, the medium has evolved; film has added color and sound and become digital and three-dimensional. We’ve seen the likes of D. W. Griffith, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Keanu Reeves, and Steven Spielberg all work to redefine what we consider to be movies, film, cinema and good.Now it’s 2016 and we’re over a hundred years removed from The Great Train Robbery. Screens are getting smaller and smarter, while films are getting bigger and more diverse and easier to consume than ever before. At the current rate, what we perceive as films will change much more drastically in the next hundred years than the last. Here are six emerging filmmaking technologies that just might be the instruments of that change.1. Light Field TechnologyImage via LytroCameras are progressing at a rate that can only be described as “whoa” and are even beginning to break the rules of image capture. A new camera by Lytro, the ILLUM, is the world’s first commercially available “light field camera.” What does it do?Well, basically when you take a picture with the ILLUM, you capture all of the image with all of the available information. Not just the parts in focus. Not just the light you see. All of it. Everything. Which essentially lets you decide in post what you want your aperture and focus to be.You can read more about the science here and explore the company’s other high-tech endeavors here.2. Flat LensesImage via Harvard SEASA team of Harvard researchers are working to patent a new type of optical lens that is flat rather than curved. Why you ask? Because a flat, ultra-thin lens can theoretically offer complete accuracy over a wider range of wavelengths and reduce chromatic aberrations usually associated with curved-lens capture. The new technology would certainly re-image how we create and package cameras — possibly resulting in doing away with any connotations of what a “camera” does and looks like.3. iPhone 7 Dual-Lens CameraWhile, the iPhone 7 won’t be the first phone camera to use dual lenses — it’ll probably be the best. Apple’s purchase of LinX Imaging gives the company the technology to give their phones SLR-quality image capturing capabilities, along with the always included fun gimmicks and features. There have already been some celebrated feature films shot on iPhones in the past, so it may not be too long before it becomes less of a gimmick and more of a trend.4. Canon PatentsImage via CanonAs we posted about earlier this month, there have been some hints and patent leaks that point to some major Canon announcements by the end of the summer. Highlights include a new Canon 5D, a camera which has routinely shaken up the world of digital video and photography over the last decade. And a possible Canon C700 to compete with the ARRI AMIRA. Regardless of your feelings about the brand, the breakthroughs seem to be speeding up as pixel counts sky rocket and the high-end bottoms out toward better cameras in the hands of more and more people.5. Computerized Sound DesignImage via MIT CSAILFrom this Washington Post article, MIT researchers have developed a computer system that can analyze silent video and add in realistic sound. While this is a work in progress based on the findings in the report, the notion of computerized algorithms sound designing an entire film could open up a whole world of possibilities for other elements of production.6. AI-written ScreenplaysWhich leads into this eerie and odd look into how a computer’s “mind” works.  New York University AI researcher Ross Goodwin teamed up with director Oscar Sharp to create Benjamin: a self-named recurrent neural network that penned its own screenplay after being fed dozens of science fiction movies as source material.You can watch the finished product (starring Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch) awkwardly unfold above. (Thankfully, it doesn’t appear Benjamin is on the fast-track to taking over Hollywood anytime soon.)There’s no real way to tell what the future holds in store. If the last century has served as any indication (the jump from Buster Keaton silent comedies to fully rendered interspecies adventures), there really aren’t any good ways to predict what will ever be next. As long as artists keep creating stories and audiences keep watching, it’s really just up to us to enjoy the ride. Have any other imaginations on the future of film? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Astomos Kuwait Petroleum to Study LPG Bunkering

first_imgzoom Japan’s Astomos Energy Corporation and oil company Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) have agreed to further study the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as ship bunker fuel.The parties reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the aim to enhance cooperation, share and research information in the fields of consideration of LPG fueled vessels, organizing global supply sites for LPG bunkering and other fields relating to LPG bunkering.For the past years, KPC and Astomos have been forming respectable business partnership in the fields of LPG supply and import. This MOU made the partnership stronger for the two companies and will contribute to expansion of new business fields, Astomos said.The latest MOU comes on the back of an agreement reached with Australian LPG distributor Elgas in late October, aimed at further studying the use of LPG as bunker fuel. Earlier in 2017, Astomos signed a separate MOU with Norway-based oil and gas company Statoil for the same purposes.LPG bunkering concept was shaped as one of the solutions for the approaching SOx Regulation for shipping fuels in 2020.last_img read more

RaidersChiefs Shows That Thursday Night Isnt The NFLs Trash Heap Anymore

When the Kansas City Chiefs host the Oakland Raiders Thursday night, the outcome will go a long way toward determining who wins the AFC West and will influence the whole conference’s playoff picture. But further down the game’s list of notable implications is the fact that it’s one of the best Thursday night games1We’re counting any prime-time game played on a Thursday as a Thursday night game, even though some games played on Thursday nights are marketed as “Sunday Night Football” or “Monday Night Football” and some games marketed as “Thursday Night Football” are played on other days of the week. in NFL history.Just like when I sized up the awfulness of Week 8’s Jaguars-Titans Thursday night tilt, we can measure the quality of a given NFL matchup by taking the harmonic mean of the two teams’ pre-game Elo ratings (FiveThirtyEight’s pet metric for estimating a team’s quality at any given moment). And according to that measure, tonight’s K.C.-Oakland game is the seventh-best Thursday night matchup in NFL history: The best Thursday night NFL matchups of all time 111/29/07DallasGreen Bay166016491655 211/27/14**SeattleSan Francisco166816291648 69/9/04*New EnglandIndianapolis166715911628 310/23/14DenverSan Diego168816071646 99/5/13*BaltimoreDenver162816091618 109/10/09*PittsburghTennessee164515931618 411/26/98**MinnesotaDallas167716101643 712/8/16Kansas CityOakland166215861623 811/24/11**BaltimoreSan Francisco162816101619 DATETEAM 1TEAM 2TEAM 1TEAM 2HARMONIC MEAN 59/8/16*DenverCarolina163716341635 *NFL’s season-opening game.**Thanksgiving night game.In each matchup, “Team 1” is the higher-rated team according to Elo.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com At the same time, Monday night matchups have been getting worse, and now the two days have very nearly pulled even in terms of their average quality.2At least in prime time; I excluded non-prime-time Thursday games such as Thanksgiving day games. Both are still far, far below the level established by the league’s flagship prime-time games on Sunday nights. But with more games like tonight’s Raiders-Chiefs tilt, Thursday night is no longer merely a place for the NFL to stash terrible matchups so it can get every team on prime-time TV.Check out our latest NFL predictions. In fact, if we toss out special Thursday occasions — Thanksgiving and the NFL’s annual opening-night showcase — Raiders-Chiefs rises to third-best among the ranks of ordinary Thursday night games. We haven’t seen a matchup this good emerge organically from the Thursday night schedule since the Broncos hosted the Chargers in Oct. 2014.Good Thursday night games like Chiefs-Raiders are part of a larger comeback trend. Thursday night football has been a perennial punchline, particularly since 2012, when the NFL decided to play a Thursday night game almost every week instead of firing the feature up at midseason for the stretch run, as it did between 2006 and 2011. But after a rocky start, the quality of these midweek games has slowly risen over the past five seasons: PRE-GAME ELO RATING read more

Official ExChelsea star John Obi Mikel joins Middlesbrough

first_imgMiddlesbrough have announced the shock signing of ex-Chelsea star John Obi Mikel on a short-term dealThe Nigeria captain, who featured at last summer’s World Cup in Russia, previously spent 11 years at Chelsea in the Premier League before leaving for Chinese club Tianjin TEDA in a free transfer in January 2017.But Mikel had been keen to return to England with his girlfriend, Olga Diyachenko, and their twin daughters still living in London.This had allegedly captured the interest of Crystal Palace along with a number of Championship clubs.But in the end, two-time Premier League winner Mikel has agreed to a shock move down at Championship promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough.Tony Pulis’ side are currently fifth in the standings and, crucially, in a playoff spot and Boro will now hope Mikel will be able to aid them in their bid for a return to the Premier League after nearly 10 years away from the English top-flight division.“I’m pleased to get him in. He is a man with a lot of experience and quality,” Pulis told the club website.“He has a winning mentality and he wants to be here be a part of what we are looking to achieve.”Boro have also signed Rajiv van La Parra from Huddersfield earlier in the month in a season-long loan deal.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.Mikel managed six goals and 13 assists in 372 appearances for Chelsea across all competitions during his 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge.The Nigerian midfielder won two Premier League titles for the club along with three FA Cups, an EFL Cup, Community Shield, Champions League and the Europa League.Now Mikel will be hoping to make his mark at the Riverside Stadium after making only 31 appearances in the Chinese Super League for Tianjin TEDA, which also saw him claim three goals and three assists.The 31-year-old could make his debut for Boro in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round match against Newport County.🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆Pretty much says it all 👊Facts and photos from @mikel_john_obi’s career so far ➡️ https://t.co/9vIdr7gYoB #UTB pic.twitter.com/JTOOJ2bAKJ— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) January 24, 2019last_img read more

Governor Brown accepts federal funding to add National Guard staffing

first_imgCalifornia responds?? pic.twitter.com/8HCXoGXc87— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) April 11, 2018 Updated: 1:39 PM KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Governor Brown accepts federal funding to add National Guard staffing April 11, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Responding to President Donald Trump’s call for deployment of the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, a defiant Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday he will commit 400 troops to the state’s effort to “combat transnational crime.”In a letter to federal authorities, Brown said the National Guard troops would be added “statewide,” so it was unclear exactly how many of those 400 troops would actually be sent to the border. He said the state’s transnational-crime effort currently includes 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the border.“But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission,” Brown wrote. “This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”Republican governors in the border states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico have already deployed a combined 1,600 National Guard troops to the Mexican border in response to Trump’s call for added staffing. Trump made the request last week, with the federal government paying the cost of the troop deployment. He said the troops were needed because of “lawlessness thatcontinues at our southern border,” and he wanted increased security while he continues his push to build a wall along the entire border.Until Wednesday, California was the only border state that hadn’t responded to Trump’s request.In his letter, Brown took issue with suggestions of chaos at the border.“Here are the facts: There is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California,” he wrote. “Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years, and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California.”He said the federal government funding of 400 National Guard troops will allow the Guard “to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state.”“Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans –Republicans and Democrats,” Brown wrote. “That’s why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.” Posted: April 11, 2018 Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Jerry Brown FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Editors vs Art Directors Part II

first_imgCatherine Neill Juchheim, my art director at Southern Breeze, the REAL magazine I edit, says that it is essentially up to the A.D. to ride herd over the material as well as the editors and sales people. “Whether it is a duel with the editor (no, 1,000 words of copy will NOT fit there!) or a fight with the sales guys over those last minute ads (and money always wins), it is up to the intrepid art director to make it work.”Anthony Picco, who served as my art director for four years at a not-for-profit, completely understood and agreed with my comments because we respected each other’s profession as well as each other as people. “My job is to make the information in the magazine attractive, readable, and enjoyable,” Tony says. “I fully understand that there are times that business politics dictate cover choices or lead articles. I have no problem accommodating that. In a healthy working relationship, I am happy to listen to editors’ suggestions.”However Tony admits that he prefers less specific comments from his editors (“The cover looks too busy,” or “This article has to look spectacular”). He adds that nothing annoys him more than when an editor tries to do HIS job with the “Make that type red” or “I want the type justified, not flush right.” Or as he puts it: “Nothing drives an art director crazier than an editor who is a frustrated art director.”Another former cohort, Samuel Fontanez, who worked as a staff artist and is now art director of a magazine I used to oversee, took exception to my seemingly iron-fisted management mantra. “While I agree it’s the editor’s job to reel in the A.D. into reality when he thinks they’ve gone too far, [the editor] is not the only person on staff privy to the magazine’s audience,” he says. “Any art director who doesn’t know the audience or industry he or she is doing layouts for is basically a temp who has overstayed his or her welcome. So I think we deserve a little more credit in that area.”John Scott, another former colleague who worked on two monthly publications where I was the managing editor, feels a lot of the issues between editors and their art doyennes are simply due to ego. “I think all editors and art directors have big egos, whether or not they admit it, so naturally there will always be clashes,” John wrote in his response to my initial post. “However, it is the ones on both sides that know how to control their ego and not let it get in the way that are the most successful. It is a team effort and there must be mutual respect and a bit of humility.” John adds that if those egos get out of control, the end product will suffer and the work situation will be miserable. “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? That’s always gotten me through plenty of situations.” Many of the initial blog responders took issue to the “art director is always the wife” statement comparing the editor/A.D. relationship to a marriage. Sam was no exception. To wit, he says that if art directors are the wife, “then I suggest we make Lorena Bobbit our patron saint!” (Anyone who doesn’t remember Lorena, Google her. And by the way, Sam … ouch!)Catherine was also not a fan of the husband and wife mentality and stresses equality among the players. “It’s the 21st century now, people; how many wives out there are truly subservient to their husbands?” she ponders. “It’s an equal partnership or else it ends in divorce.”John admitted that the “editor has final say,” but added that doesn’t necessarily mean they are always right. I agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. In one of my blog comments, I talked about how my art director and I were seemingly up against the editor-in-chief (who had been in that specific industry for over 15 years) and a mousey associate editor regarding a particular cover design. Jonathan, the A.D., created a stunning, emotional visual from an idea I had. Instead, the EIC opted for tired stock art that did nothing for the magazine. [PS: The magazine folded five months later and Jonathan and I are the only ones still working in the magazine industry.]Unlike John, Tony acquiesced: “The editor is always right, in theory,” he says, “but there are ‘Editors from Hell’ and I have worked for some of them. What does an art director do when an editor has no taste whatsoever—not even bad taste—and yet that editor wants to interfere? What do you do with a micromanager editor who believes you can only do your job properly if your hand is held every step of the way, from concept to completion? Ultimately, I have been fortunate—only about 70% of the editors I worked for were insane.”Whether or not an editor is always right, Catherine agrees that it is the editor—not the art director—who has the first and last word with a magazine. “It is the editor who writes or assigns the stories that sets the tone for the art director to follow,” she says. “It is the art director’s vision that brings those stories to life across the pages, but it is the editor’s determination as to whether the art director’s vision is in keeping with the spirit of the editorial written.”Art directors lucky enough to have good editors basically have free reign with the look and feel of a magazine, which comes from mutual respect, according to Catherine. “It’s also an open communication atmosphere where the editor and art director freely share ideas and perhaps even cross the lines of responsibility at times. Mark listens to any story ideas that I might have for Southern Breeze and I listen to him when he has an idea for an image to go along with something he has written. We also tell each other pretty candidly when we think something isn’t going to work, and why. That way, both parties are invested in all aspects of the magazine, and both are driven to produce the best issue they can, time and time again. That is the only way to a successful magazine.”However, an atmosphere where the editor and art director are constantly at odds will only result in a second-rate magazine and a very tense environment. “There is just no way a publication can succeed if the two ‘parents’ are constantly fighting,” Catherine says. “That will just produce a take-side atmosphere and pretty soon the whole office is in an us-versus-them uproar and nothing good will come from that.”And the final word has to go to Catherine: “To the editor who may consider his or her art director a freak or diva: it takes one to know one. And I think Mark would agree!!”Boy do I! Apparently my last blog post—Editors vs. Art Directors—really struck a nerve, judging by the number of responses (22 by my last count). When the attacks got personal (name calling, questioning the legitimacy of my own magazine, etc.) it made me realize that there are some pretty deep-seeded feelings on this issue.The overall point of the last blog was that while the editor and art director are partners, the burden of responsibility always falls onto the editor. I’ve seen a lot more editors than art directors lose their jobs due to a magazine’s poor performance in my career. However, I have routinely seen art directors get the majority—if not all—of the praise for how great a magazine has turned around while the efforts of the editorial staff go totally unnoticed. That said, many of the art directors whom I sent the blog link to agreed with my comments. Maybe it helped that we worked (or still work) together in some capacity, or that they understood, not only where I was coming from, but my healthy attitude toward art directors.last_img read more