Evacuation orders lifted for some properties in Grand Forks BC

first_imgGRAND FORKS, B.C. – The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, B.C., has begun lifting evacuation orders on some properties, after cooler temperatures and less rainfall spared the area from an expected second surge of catastrophic flooding last week.By Sunday afternoon, the regional district had rescinded evacuation orders on 175 properties, which affects about 350 people in Grand Forks and some nearby communities.Residents at all 415 properties at Christina Lake had their evacuation orders lifted by Sunday evening.“I’m excited to say the forecast is improving and the river levels are dropping faster than anticipated,” said Dan Derby, fire chief for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.About 20 rapid damage assessment teams comprising 47 firefighters are going door-to-door, putting placards on homes with minimal or no damage that they deem safe to return to.Amid the devastation, they have found a small piece of good news.“There’s been a higher number of [homes] than we anticipated that are what we call ‘green’ or safe to re-enter,” Derby said.While about 1,000 properties remain under evacuation orders in the region, Derby said the goal is to have as many orders lifted as possible by the end of the day Monday.That includes opening up the downtown core, while acknowledging that some individual businesses may require damage repair, he said.Several hundred homes evacuated due to loss of road access will also have their orders rescinded once access is restored, but officials warn that doesn’t mean the community is in the clear.The district says waters could rise again later in the week if there is heavy rain, so it’s encouraging residents to keep sandbags in place until more high-elevation snow finishes melting in the coming weeks.The rising water levels in the Kettle River watershed have also increased the risk of sloughing, erosion and bank instability in several locations, so 39 addresses in the Grand Forks area have been issued hazard notices.The Red Cross is setting up a “resiliency centre” in the community, as a place of support for residents whose properties are unsafe to enter and as a source of information for all those affected.About 100 members of the Canadian Armed Forces, who had arrived to help prepare the area for the forecasted second surge by sandbagging and reinforcing dikes, left the area Sunday and were redeployed to other parts of the province, officials said.While that second surge never came, regional district chairman Roly Russell said the military provided vital psychological support to residents and emergency crews already exhausted by the disaster.“We knew we would have the capacity to respond Friday, Saturday, to the surge that was predicted,” Russell said.Other parts of the province remain on alert, but are also hoping to avoid major damage.Langley’s emergency program co-ordinator, Ginger Sherlock, said officials there are monitoring dikes and are ready to deploy sandbags if necessary.But she said the area has been lucky so far to avoid a projected rise in the Lower Fraser River that would have displaced hundreds of people.The gauge at Mission was projected to reach 6.0 metres by the end of the day Friday and rise to 6.4 metres by Monday, which would prompt evacuations in areas unprotected by dikes. It was hovering just below 6.0 metres by Sunday afternoon.“We were prepping in case we needed to evacuate people, but we got good news (Saturday) that the levels were not as high as anticipated,” Sherlock said.“Nobody wants to be displaced and nobody wants to displace people. So we’re hoping and crossing our fingers and toes that Mother Nature continues to be co-operating with us for the next couple of weeks.”Meantime, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will visit Lake Okanagan on Monday to observe flood relief efforts.There are currently 300 Canadian Army soldiers assisting with flood relief efforts in the region, while other military assets and personnel are on standby.Sajjan will receive briefings from military operations staff and meet with Canadian Armed Forces personnel assisting in flood relief efforts.He will be accompanied by senior military staff co-ordinating the military’s relief efforts in the province.On Sunday, members of the military worked alongside B.C. wildfire contractors and municipal staff in the Green Bay area of West Kelowna to install sandbags and other flood protection measures.Kirsten Jones, public information officer for the Regional District of Central Okanagan, described Green Bay as a spit of land coming into the lake that is particularly vulnerable because it hosts lots of public infrastructure.She said Okanagan Lake is currently at 342.54 metres — six centimetres above “full pool,” the target set by the province to ensure adequate water supply through the summer.“Full pool doesn’t necessarily mean flooding, and it’s not a terrifically unusual occurrence in the Okanagan. But it is something we mention as sort of a measure,” Jones said.Only two properties are under evacuation alerts at the moment, she said, however the lake is expected to keep rising.Private property owners are responsible for protecting their own property and should put the same flood-protection measures in place as last year, the regional district said.Jones said last year’s historic flooding rose higher than 343 metres.Region-wide flood protection measures that had been put in place for possible creek flooding, including bladder dams and sandbags, are now being redeployed to areas vulnerable to lake flooding.Boaters are also being asked to avoid creating wakes near vulnerable shorelines, and to watch for debris and other hazards.— by Amy Smart in Vancouverlast_img read more

Air quality diminished Acquinas monitoring

first_img No arrests likely for landfill fire, says Minister Related Items:#airqualitylowatAquinasCollege, #magneticmedianews, #NassauDumpFire, #smokecausingpoorairquality Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you We March not going to PMs home Dump fire burning, deliberate act says Minister Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, April 3, 2017 – Nassau – The fire at the New Providence dump also affected students at the Aquinas College in New Providence, Nassau.   A representative from the school reported to Magnetic Media that some students, mainly those who are asthmatic, were absent from school when the fire took place.The large blankets of smoke affected the entire area of New Providence. The Aquinas College has been proactive in cleansing the environment of the school.  An environmental system has been in place for over a year, testing the air in and surrounding the school; making sure that it is conducive to human well-being.#MagneticMediaNews#Nassaudumpfire#smokecausingpoorairquality#airqualitylowatAquinasCollegelast_img read more

Aspiring to be amongst worlds top 200 universities

first_imgAn overcast sky, breeze in the air, sprawling green gardens and a state of the art university standing tall amidst its environs beckoned us into O.P. Jindal Global University in Sonepat. In a conversation with the Vice Chancellor, C. Raj Kumar, we discovered that the fresh air that surrounds the university also pervades inside; it is palpable in his ideas, approach towards education and a vision to build a globally recognized private university in India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Considering in India we all have a very condescending view of our private universities, even you happened to mention it, what was your motivation behind establishing Jindal University?The inspiration for me was Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU and MIT. All these world’s great private universities reinforce my belief in private higher education. I was consciously looking at how to replicate a similar model in India. But I was also mindful of the institutionalised private education in India that started somewhere in late 1980s. In that process, we didn’t end up creating great private universities, but education largely became a mediocre endeavour. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFrom the standpoint of an educator, if I identify why it happened, the heart of it lies in taking up educational ventures as a business itself without any vision for education in India. Our model focuses on the best practices from around the world in a bid to connect them to the challenges that India is facing. And how did you get involved in the project and go about implementing your ideas, back in 2009? Share the impediments that you have faced during this journey. Envisioning a global university, we laid down the foundation of our university that comprises five schools now – Law, Business, International Affairs, Public Policy and Liberal Arts & Humanities.  It is a philanthropic initiative by an Indian billionaire, Naveen Jindal. It’s not a family run institution and I am not related to Jindals. I come from Kanyakumari and Naveen Jindal is from Haryana. It is an important model for private initiatives in India because most of the private initiatives in India are either not philanthropic or are family-run, which has many adverse consequences. That model promotes nepotism and internal breeding, undermining academic freedom that is critical for growth. The institution building in this case was important from this point of view.In India, private universities are pejoratively talked about. The best Indian institutions have been public institutions and there is a prestige that comes with history. In that context, establishing a private university and keeping it away from the concept of other run of the mill private universities; hiring faculty and giving them the aspiration of a great university is the biggest challenge in institutional building. We overcame that challenge as outstanding Indians and global faculty live on campus here as we have been able to provide them an intellectually stimulating experience. In a sea of mediocre private institutions, it was a challenge to convince parents and students to come here. But that was only limited to the first year. With the reputation of our faculty, the vision of our university and through the word of mouth, we have created a strong impresssion among people in the last four years. What sets Jindal University apart?The central distinguishing aspect of our university is our strongest commitment to providing the best quality education through the most outstanding faculty members who are committed to maintaining the highest standards in teaching and research. We have a residential campus that provides an ecosystem for the growth of our students and faculty. I have my own memories of hostel life in Oxford, Harvard and DU; there’s a lot of freedom coupled with responsibility that comes with a hostel life. We wanted to give that experience to our students.Besides, we collaborate with universities around the world including, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Michigan Cornell, and UC-Berkeley in a range of collaborative programmes including, faculty and student exchanges, joint teaching and research, joint conferences, joint publications, and double degree programmes. Our faculty members are from around the world. While 20% of our faculty are foreign nationals, almost all of them are globally trained – either by way of education or work or both. We ensure a globally oriented education in our campus. It’s not just a foreign identity that we look for, our idea is to get people who have gained education abroad and have come back to India to work and people who have attained professional working experience in multiple countries- in short, to have a world class faculty on board that has greater sensitivity towards global practices, celebrate diversity and, of course, recognize and appreciate the process of globalization. These our tumultuous times for education in India as a premier university in the country goes for an overhaul in its system. What is your take on it and does it impact you anyway?I welcome the Delhi University’s four year programme for a number of reasons. One can agree or disagree upon whether sufficient time was allotted to the consultative process or if the courses have been structured in the right way or not, that is a separate, yet an important debate. But, in principle, I am in favour of a four year long degree. To start with, educators across the country understand that the range of options in liberal art courses or for that matter courses in sciences and other disciplines are not enough that a university ought to provide. In fact, in universities around the world, one needs to learn subjects beyond one’s core discipline as well as related disciplines. For instance, I wish I had the opportunity to study a bit of political science, history, philosophy while I did Commerce degree (B.Com) in Loyola College, Madras but almost all my courses were connected to economics, accountancy and commerce. The curriculum and the pedagogy didn’t provide for it. The time span of three years couldn’t provide the opportunity, hopefully the four-year programme can. One can argue if the DU exit model will create a new pool of people with different levels of inferiority and superiority in education, we need to be mindful of that. DU system should not create superiority -not just in terms of qualification, but also in terms of perception and standards. If we can take special efforts to overcome this, I do believe that this will be a paradigm shift in our efforts to strengthen the undergraduate education in India. We are launching our four year integrated programme in the newly established Jindal School of Liberal arts and Humanities in 2014. Here a student is expected to study two years here and two years outside the country leading to two degrees.What is the road ahead for the university?As an educator, one of the challenges for us in India is the growing recognition that India doesn’t have a single university in the top 200 in the world. Our policymakers, educators, ministers, and even President and the Prime Minister have been talking about it frequently. We have about 625 universities in India and 35,000 colleges but none of them are globally regarded as world class institutions of excellence. We would have to dream high and fulfil our aspirations to become one of the leading institutions of excellence in the years to come. We want to prepare ourselves in the next decade, essentially to be a better university in Asia if not the world.last_img read more

Acting up

first_imgComing as one of the biggest treats for the theater lover,  Sparsh Natya Rang presents their theatre festival Hriday Manch – a celebration of colour, warmth, laughter and emotions, where four plays will be staged by various groups in Shri Ram Centre. Kicking off the festival comes Bechara Bhagwaan on 8 August at 7 pm. Written by  Late. Purshottum Laxman Deshpandey, music and direction by Ajit Chowdhury, performed by Sparsh Natya Rang, adaptation by Sudhir Kulkarni. A self-explanatory play, Bechara Bhagwaan is about the typical Indian society and its funny way of expressing their devotion. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’9 August showcases the Urgent Meeting, written by Jaywardhan, directed by J.P.Singh and performed by Rangbhoomi. Urgent Meeting is a satirical piece reflecting upon the ills prevailing in the world of art and culture depicting the interlude of push and pull of internal politics, leg-pulling and nepotism in a very lively way. Mote Ram ka Satyagraha will be staged on 10 August. Written by Munshi Premchand the play has been directed by Arvind Gaur. The adaption has been done by the  Late. Habib Tanvirand Safdar Hashmi and will be performed by the Asmita Theatre group.  The play is a comic-satire with all the elements of a musical. On the surface, the play appears to be a simple story about a Brahmin from Banaras. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix11 August will witness the last play Koi Baat Chale. Directed by Ramji Bali and performed by Theater Wala the story of the play, Koi Baat Chale, revolves around the protagonist, Kanhiya Lal Bansi Prasad. He is a 35 years old school drama teacher and yet unmarried. A romantic comedy, the play shows Bansi seeking help of a marriage bureau to help him find a suitable life partner.In the meantime, Bansi meets the beautiful Supriya. On his search for his soul mate, while going to the marriage bureau, he sees Supriya enter the same bureau. When the owner of the bureau, PyaareLal asks Bansi about his preferences, Bansi mentions the enchanting features of the magnificent Supriya he had earlier met. PyaareLal introduces many girls with a mole on their cheeks to Bansi, except Supriya.last_img read more

The 3 Letters That Could Help Your Business Grow Like Uber

first_imgSeptember 11, 2015 5 min read Enroll Now for Free Uber’s runaway success, which the company more colorfully describes as “seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps,” is a conspicuous source of inspiration for anyone building a business based on the smartphone revolution. But while a compelling app may be one key to a digitally-powered business, there’s another digital tool that may be just as or even more important to growth.Say hello to APIs, or application programming interfaces. Like Uber, every innovator should have a strategy for deploying them.Related: The Three Letters That Could Change Your Business: APIAPIs are everywhere.Application programming interfaces are behind the scenes almost anywhere digital experiences are being created. Every Google map you encounter represents a third party taking advantage of the Google Maps API. With as little as one line of code, developers can embed a customized Google Map into their own websites or apps. APIs enable digital communication.For that reason, in our increasingly inter-connected digital world, APIs have become more than just a convenience that helps developers build apps and websites faster. They have evolved into a strategic tool for companies to exchange value and drive business goals such as brand awareness, market share and increased revenue. APIs deserve a place of their own in your growth strategy.Leverage the power of “pull.”Taking advantage of APIs is all the more important as competition for attention intensifies in app stores. The power of apps to engage consumers is compelling: In the Apigee Institute’s 2014 Digital Impact Survey, nine out of 10 U.S. smartphone owners over the age of 18 expressed favorable feelings toward apps. Nearly one in four (23 percent) of those under 40 said they had started shopping at a new store in the previous year because of apps. At the same time, however, 76 percent of those surveyed agreed that app stores can be “cluttered and confusing.” Here’s where APIs can help.APIs provide an additional option beyond “pushing” marketing communications to potential app users, whether that means customers or partners. By offering something of value to others, their customer interactions do the work and generate “pull” back to your products and services. Let’s consider a few examples, including Uber, and some of the implications for creative uses of APIs.Related: 21 Apps to Boost Productivity, Accountability and SuccessBuild on what’s special about your business.Uber’s API is recognized for providing what many find to be a great customer experience. It makes sense that partners like OpenTable and United airlines are eager to integrate the ability to book an Uber directly into their own branded apps and web experiences. But let’s look at another smart use of APIs by Uber.If a great experience is what “hooks” people as customers, one way to grow that experience is to invest in traditional approaches that convince customers to to try your product or service in the first place. We’re all familiar with advertising, special offers and coupons. But Uber has an API-based alternative: Through its API Affiliate program, the company covers a payment for any new Uber user who completes his or her first trip within the United States. Not only does this offer harness the creativity of others, but Uber pays only if that first trip actually occurs.Awareness, insight, revenue, and more . . . If you have a transaction-based product or service that could complement a third-party digital experience, you may have the opportunity to use APIs for revenue sharing. Walgreens’ Photo Prints API enables app developers to print photos to the printers at Walgreens locations. With every completed order, the app developer gains a share of the revenue.Transaction-by-transaction revenue sharing is one of the API business scenarios that get the most attention, but it’s not the only way to take advantage of APIs. If you have information or insight that enriches content, that can provide the touch point and awareness that builds your brand and wins that first app installation. To be sure, Amazon’s affiliate APIs do include opportunity for revenue sharing. But it’s much richer than simply embedding ads on a page: the My Favorites API, for example, enables a content provider to select, comment on and review a specific product.Whether a purchase occurs or not, this API can provide insight into trends, customer satisfaction and opportunities to build community. If your business is built around professional services staff, art or physical locations like hotels, consider enabling others to embed your assets and their comments anywhere, anytime.APIs may be the “unsung heroes” behind great digital experiences. But like digital natives Uber, Google and Amazon and traditional companies such as Walgreens that have embraced them, they hold tremendous potential for entrepreneurs who can orchestrate them to sing in concert.Related: Technology Is Making it Easy to Put the Personal Touch Into Digital Marketing  Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more