Could Federal Chatham School District Relief Funding Help Save Klukwan School? | Radio KHNS

Lori Lambert with students from Klukwan School in 2019 (Claire Stremple for KHNS)

The Chatham School District received more than $ 700,000 in federal COVID relief funding this year. It was then that the district debated whether to close the Klukwan school due to the low enrollment rate and the loss of state funding. But as KHNS’s Corinne Smith reports, questions remain as to whether this will be used to help fill the void for Klukwan’s school.


Chatham School District received $ 1,104,917 in federal COVID relief funding, most recently $ 706,428 in US bailout funding, according to the state’s education website.

The federal aid money went unrecorded during nearly three months of very emotional and often tense public negotiations between the district school board and Klukwan’s leadership over the future of his school. Enrollment at Klukwan fell to six students in October, below the threshold of 10 – the minimum to receive state funding.

Federal funding is aimed at supporting districts during the COVID pandemic, with a wide range of eligible spending guided by stakeholder feedback. The district is supposed to collect public comments, develop a plan and report to the state.

Superintendent Bruce Houck confirmed via email that the district is working on the state’s request to receive the grant of more than $ 700,000, but he did not respond to repeated requests for comment on whether funding could be spent to help fill the void in Klukwan.

Klukwan’s school currently has six students in Kindergarten to Grade 5, the community says more families would be interested in attending if there was a full-time teacher, a reliable bus and a hot meal program ( Photo courtesy of Frances Leak)

The five-member Chatham School District Education Council did not respond to requests for comment.

Grant Robinson, spokesperson for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, or DEED, said applications are being reviewed as they arise and there is no deadline set. Robinson said it was awaiting approval from their CFO and superintendent and then would be reviewed by the state within 14 days. The funds are available until September 2024.

At a special roundtable discussion on November 17, board members estimated the Klukwan School’s budget deficit at around $ 268,000 this year. The superintendent told council that the state is awarding about $ 22,000 per student.

“We have to supplement their budget at the expense of other sites,” Superintendent Bruce Houck told the board. “And the board agreed to do it. And so, but now that we’re below the 10, that puts a different point on that. “

The district budgeted for a full-time teacher in Klukwan at $ 64,000 per year, but could not find a teacher this fall. The six elementary school students in Klukwan have been taught by substitutes since August. Over the past few weeks, the board has debated whether to hire a teacher for the next term, given ongoing discussions about whether to close the school.

Principal Bradley King confirmed on Tuesday that the district hired a teacher, Laura McIndoe, but only from January to March.

This is after urging the Klukwan community. They say a teacher is essential in getting students back to school and increasing enrollment. Shanah Kinneson is on the Klukwan School Advisory Board.

“It’s just a little embarrassing to keep asking people, do you want to come back to school? Do you want to come to Klukwan school? And they say: do you already have a teacher? So we’re a little bit at a standstill when it comes to recruiting, ”Kinneson said.

According to the state website, Chatham School District received $ 83,998 in CARES Act funds in 2020, but failed to spend it, so it was later canceled. So far in 2021, they’ve only spent $ 58,443.87 of that price.

In 2021, they received an additional $ 314,490.99 in COVID relief funding and to date they have spent only $ 103,103.65.

The grant of $ 706,428 would provide an increase of approximately 22% in the district budget. This represents more than $ 3.2 million for 2021 to support four school sites and 136 students.

In the meantime, the Chilkat Indian village of Klukwan decided to fill the gap – when the district failed to repair the Klukwan school bus, CIV loaned the village van for pickup and return to school. for last year, covering the cost of gasoline, and recruited volunteer drivers. The school bus returned from Juneau in November, but its interior was moldy because he was sitting outside and he had mechanical problems. So it still does not work or is still not in use.

The tribal government organized volunteers to provide on-site support for tutoring and special events, a hot meal program – which was cut by the district last year – and provides a free snow plow service for the ‘school.

More recently, it has been proposed to cover expenses related to water, sewerage, waste and some heating fuels from the school building to help the district reduce costs and continue to provide transportation. Dan Hotch is a member of the Klukwan School Advisory Board and a member of a tribal village, and told Chatham board members that he will be put to the tribal council for a vote this week.

“We’re trying to find different ways to really help the district,” Hotch said. “The village (Indian chilkat) bends over backwards to try to figure out what we can do to help and at our next meeting we are present to try to help a little more on the cost of fuel just for the building, but it has to be voted on by the council.

The next special meeting on the future of the Klukwan school is scheduled for Thursday, December 9 at 6 p.m.


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Giyani announces filing of final prospectus for $ 10 million

Not for distribution to United States news services or for distribution in the United States

TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Giyani Metals Corp. (TSXV: EMM, GR: A2DUU8) (“Giyani“or the”Society“), announces the filing of its final prospectus for its previously announced takeover bid to raise approximately $ 10 million (the”Offer“).

The offering is managed by Cormark Securities Inc. and Beacon Securities Limited (the “Co-leader“) under which the co-lead managers have agreed to purchase 22,727,300 shares (the”Units“) from the Company’s cash, priced at $ 0.44 per unit for total gross proceeds to Giyani of approximately $ 10 million. Each unit will consist of one common share of the Company (a”Ordinary share“) and one-half of the Company’s common stock purchase warrant (each full common stock purchase warrant, a”To guarantee“). Each warrant will entitle its holder to acquire one common share of the Company at a price of $ 0.60 per common share for a period of 24 months after the closing of the offering.

The placement is now scheduled to close on or around December 3, 2021.

Concurrent with the filing of the final prospectus, Giyani filed an updated and amended technical report, prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“Regulation 43-101“), on its K. Hill manganese project in Botswana entitled”A mineral resource estimate for the Kgwakgwe Hill manganese project in Botswana. The amended and updated technical report is re-filed to reflect comments received from staff of the Ontario Securities Commission as part of the prospectus review process in connection with the offering. The amended and updated technical report now includes an additional Qualified Person for the use of the Company’s products, work programs and budgets disclosed in the final prospectus.

About Giyani Metals Corp.

Giyani is a mineral resource company aiming to become one of Africa’s premier low-carbon producers of high purity electrolytic manganese precursor materials, used by battery manufacturers for the expanding electric vehicle market, through the advancement of its manganese assets in the Kanye Basin in south-eastern Botswana (the “Kanye Basin Outlook“), through its wholly owned Botswana subsidiary Menzi Battery (Pty) Limited. The company’s Kanye Basin outlook consists of 10 exploration licenses and includes the Kgwakgwe Hill mine and producing project, referred to as the K. Hill project, the Otse prospect manganese deposit and the Lobatse manganese prospect, all of which have had historic mining activities.

Additional information and corporate documents can be found at www.sedar.com and on the Giyani Metals Corp website. at https://giyanimetals.com/

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Giyani Metals Corp.

Robin Birchall, CEO

Contact:

Robin Birchall CEO, Director
+44 7711 313019
[email protected]

George Donne
VP Business Development
+44 7866 591 897
[email protected]

Judith Webster
Corporate Secretary and Investor Relations
+1 416 453 8818
[email protected]

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSXV”) nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. hurry.

The securities described in this document have not been registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “US Securities Act”), or any state securities law and, by therefore, may not be offered or sold to, or on behalf of or for the benefit of, persons in the United States or “United States persons” as that term is defined in Regulation S promulgated under the US Securities Act (“US Persons ”), except in accordance with the registration requirements of the US Securities Act and applicable state securities obligations or under exemptions therefrom. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of the Company to, or on behalf of, persons in the United States or US Persons.

Forward-looking information

This press release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, that deal with events or developments that Giyani expects to occur, are “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements are statements which are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words “expects”, “does not expect”, “anticipates”, “anticipates”, “does not expect”. not anticipate “,” believe “,” consider “,” estimate “,” projects “,” potential “,” planned “,” forecast “,” budget “and similar expressions, or that events or conditions” will “, “would”, “could”, “could”, “should” or “could” occur. The specific forward-looking statements and forward-looking information contained herein include the completion of the Offer.

All of these forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of relevant management as of the date such statements are made and are subject to certain assumptions, significant risk factors and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Giyani’s ability to control or control. provide. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based on estimates and assumptions which are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, level of activity, performance or performance. achievements are materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. forward-looking statements. In Giyani’s case, these facts include their planned operations in future periods, the planned exploration and development of its properties, and plans related to its business and other matters that may arise in the future. This information relates to analyzes and other information based on future performance expectations and planned work programs.

Forward-looking information is subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information, including, without being limited to: the dangers and risks inherent in exploration; risks associated with the exploration and development of natural resource properties; uncertainty about Giyani’s ability to secure funding; fluctuations in commodity prices; recent market events and conditions; risks associated with the uncertainty of mineral resource calculations and the inclusion of inferred mineral resources in the economic estimate; risks associated with managing the global economic and social impact of COVID-19; risks related to government regulations; risks associated with obtaining the necessary licenses and permits; risks associated with their business being subject to environmental laws and regulations; risks associated with their mineral properties subject to prior unregistered agreements, transfers or claims and other defects of title; risks associated with competition from large companies with more financial and technical resources; risks associated with the inability to meet financial obligations under agreements to which they are party; ability to recruit and retain qualified personnel; and the risks associated with their directors and officers associating with other natural resource companies, which may give rise to conflicts of interest. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect Giyani’s forward-looking information. If one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking information or statements.

Giyani’s forward-looking information is based on the reasonable beliefs, expectations and opinions of their respective management at the date the statements are made, and Giyani assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information if the circumstances or beliefs, management’s expectations or opinions change, except as required by law. For the reasons set out above, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. For a full discussion of Giyani and the risks associated with forward-looking information and forward-looking statements, please refer to Giyani’s Annual Information Form, all of which are filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.


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TPCO Holding Corp (The Parent Company) Adds Two Key Hires to Strengthen Management Team and Social Capital Investment Program

The cannabis company has appointed former Docstur COO, Tiffany McBride, Managing Director of Social Equity Firms and Kerry Arnold, Cannabis Human Resources Veterinarian, as Director of Human Resources.

TPCO Holding Corp (the parent company (OTCQX: GRAMF, NEO: GRAMU)) announced two key hires to strengthen its share capital investment program and employee experience.

The cannabis company has appointed former COO of Docstur LLC, Tiffany McBride, as Managing Director of Social Equity Companies and added Kerry Arnold, Cannabis Human Resources Veterinarian, as Director of human ressources.

McBride will oversee the Social Equity Business program and operations that focus on uncovering the industry’s future colored cannabis entrepreneurs, helping to ensure the program delivers the capital and mentorship needed to build wealth. generational and part of a more equitable and diverse cannabis industry.

READ: Parent Company Launches Expansion Of Its Fun Uncle Cruisers Vape Cartridge To Celebrate Green Wednesday

“It’s an exciting time to join The Parent Company (OTCQX: GRAMF, NEO: GRAMU) as Managing Director of Social Equity Enterprises to continue to ensure that minority communities have a place at the industry table. cannabis, ”McBride said in a statement.

“The social venture capital fund and the recent opening of the first black woman-owned dispensary in Los Angeles, Josephine & Billie’s, are just a few of the ways we are already moving towards a more equitable future in cannabis. While we have made progress, there is important work to be done, and I look forward to breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for diverse people and communities to thrive in this industry, ”she said. added.

For his part, the new Director of Human Resources, Arnold, will oversee all aspects of human resources, including equitable inclusion in the workplace, employee and workplace operations, learning and development and talent acquisition. Arnold previously held the same position at CANNDESCENT, a luxury cannabis brand.

“After seeing the company operate and continue its commitment to its values ​​and its promise of innovation, I am delighted to join a truly forward-thinking management team… I hope to develop not only our company, but a culture that matches to the values ​​of our organization as we move forward. to become the most influential cannabis company in the world, ”said Arnold.

Parent company CEO Troy Datcher – himself the first black CEO to run a major U.S. cannabis company – greeted the new hires.

“As our influence as an organization grows, the appointment of Tiffany and Kerry is imperative to our mission,” said Datcher. “Tiffany’s work as Managing Director will only complement and accelerate our efforts in the equity arena, while Kerry’s expertise and ability to develop an inclusive culture will be paramount. I am really looking forward to working with both of them. “

Contact Angela at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @AHarmantas


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The 21-year-old devoted to trash talk

Impressive. That’s one of the favorite words of Nigerian-Israeli environmental activist Sharona Shnayder, and when I told her we could meet for lunch at one of her favorite cafes in Tel Aviv, a block from her office, that’s what she said.

Coffee is Instagram ready. And Shnayder, in her black sweater and incredibly long, colorful braids, fits perfectly. It’s a photoshoot that’s just waiting to happen. In fact, she’s a politician just begging to arrive.

“My focus is on politics because without legislation nothing can change,” said Shnayder, 21.

Shnayder, who moved to Israel last May, is the co-founder and CEO of Tuesdays for Trash, a global environmental movement that encourages people around the world to devote at least one day a week to garbage collection.

Sharona Shnayder throws the garbage she has picked up on a street in Tel Aviv. Photo by Diana Bletter

Shnayder started the movement during a Covid lockdown in May 2020, as she was eager to get out of her room at Portland State University and “do something.” Putting on masks and gloves, she and a friend, Wanda McNealy, began collecting trash.

They did it the next week, then the next, and the initiative became Tuesdays for Trash. In just over a year, Shnayder has expanded the movement to 23 countries with 10 chapters.

And since arriving in Israel, Shnayder has immersed himself in a mind-boggling assortment of environmental activities, including speaking at high schools and protests and sowing seeds for his political future.

Like an apocalypse

The young environmental activist was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to a Nigerian mother and an Israeli father. When she was eight, she moved with her father to Tualatin, a small suburb of Portland, Oregon, where she grew up.

Sharona Shnayder cleans a beach. Photo by Kseniia Poliak; makeup by Paula Fay; styling by Lilya Kubrick

She was in college when she watched Greta Thunberg from Sweden speak to the United Nations. At the time, Shnayder was studying accounting.

“I was good too,” Shnayder said, “but I realized I don’t want to spend my life figuring out numbers if there isn’t a planet. As much as that is a cliché, so much is it? ‘is right.

She didn’t have to look far to see the disastrous effects of climate change. All around her in Oregon, forest fires were spreading.

“I was looking at the red sky and all the smoke and it almost felt like we were in an apocalypse,” she said.

“The weather was 116 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hotter than the Sahara. The cable lines were melting. Sweating is not even healthy. Your body cannot regulate, so you can suffocate. Breathing outside for an hour was like smoking a pack of cigarettes.

She told me all this before I even looked at the cafe menu. After deciding what she wanted to eat, she spoke about her new position at Albo Climate.

“I’m basically trying to ask people to let me live. I would like to be a part of this planet that I call my home.

“It’s like my dream job,” she says. “It’s a high-tech startup that uses satellite imagery and A1 to map and monitor carbon sequestration.”

She paused to take a quick breath. “It’s a way of removing carbon from the air and putting it back into the ground. Our company works with projects in Africa that work on forest management and regenerative agriculture.

I asked her how she got the job.

“Like everything that works in Israel, through a WhatsApp group,” she said.

A strategic move

Shnayder had never been to Israel when she considered settling there. At university, she became involved with the Union of Jewish Students. “The students there were so funny and made me feel so welcome,” she said.

Although her father is Israeli, this was the first time she began to explore her Jewish roots. She took a Birthright Trip last year and then continued with a Masa Israel Journey program as an intern at UBQ Materials, a company that promotes recycling and waste management. She decided to stay in Israel.

“It was a strategic decision for me,” she said, no longer sounding like a spirited college graduate but more like the CEO of herself.

“I know, I think about everything too much,” she said. “But in Oregon, I was scared. I thought, how am I going to live? What do I have to do to survive? “

Israel, she explained, is the country where innovation occurs. “Israel can be a leader in the world in setting standards for a sustainable society. We have the ability to implement widespread change if we can get people to care. “

Why is this important?

Shortly after Shnayder’s arrival, she started the Israeli chapter of Tuesdays for Trash and held weekly cleanups in Tel Aviv.

Sharona Shnayder and her friends do a Tuesday Cleanup for Beach Trash. Photo courtesy of Sharona Shnayder

Her group will be participating in the National Beach Cleanup Day on December 3, and she hopes to organize cross-cultural cleanups in Tel Aviv and Jaffa with HaBayit (TheHome), which sponsors the Israeli-Palestinian dialogues and garbage cleanup “Cleaning the Hate “.

“I know a lot of people ask, ‘Why is this important? “Because there is so much garbage,” Shnayder said. “But if billions of people in the world pick up a piece, that’s seven billion pieces. “

There is also an important aspect of awareness. “It makes you think, ‘Hey, this is going back to a landfill. Then you think, “Who is responsible for the waste? It is an educational tool. It is a gateway to action.

In a recent interview with a high school in Zichron Ya’akov, Shnayder explained to the students what they could do. “The high school kids can be very bratty, but the students were captivated,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know how they can help. “

The plastic problem

Sharona Shnayder eats lunch at Citizen Garden, Tel Aviv. Photo by Diana Bletter

After snapping a photo of his dish when it arrived at our table (“It looks so good I don’t want to eat it”), Shnayder pricked up his ears as a song started playing backwards. -plan at the cafe.

“I love this song,” she said enthusiastically. “It’s Milky Chance! This is the first concert I attended. They try to organize concerts in a sustainable way; they don’t use bottled water.

She ate some of her food and continued, “Recycling makes people feel more comfortable buying plastic products. But most manufacturers don’t buy recycled plastic. It’s much easier to buy virgin plastic.

She said businesses “don’t want to make the change and our governments allow them to keep making money. As much as I would like to think that companies care and would be ethical, they are not.

Israel needs laws that “hold big business – producers and manufacturers – accountable for the plastic pollution created,” she said.

Shnayder would like the government to implement incentives and subsidize environmentally friendly materials that can replace plastic, as well as tax breaks for using renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels.

No safe place

Although a newcomer, she was one of the speakers at an October 25 protest with Extinction Rebellion and other environmental activists outside the residence of Israeli President Isaac Herzog as the Israeli delegation to talks on the climate of the United Nations COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, met the President inside. .

Shnayder said she felt, in some ways, that she and other environmental activists gave up their childhood to force governments to make changes.

“I don’t like to wake up and think about these issues,” she said. “I would love to follow my dreams and live my life, but if we continue, as usual, for the next seven years, we are not going to survive.”

A Tuesday meeting for trash cans in Tel Aviv. Photo courtesy of Sharona Shnayder

She points out that forest fires are becoming more intense and that sea level rise has accelerated rapidly.

“By 2050, we will have 200 million climate refugees,” she said. “It’s unavoidable. There is no place that is safe.

In Israel, she would like to see a “stronger education system around climate and environment so that our society can be equipped with the knowledge and understanding to work towards a sustainable future.” We are in a generational battle to determine the quality of life for our future on this planet. “

This planet we call home

When she doesn’t have “strategic thinking,” as she puts it, Shnayder enjoys spending time in the Israeli national park near her home in Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv.

“I’m just sitting there and in this space, where there is a lot of water and trees. It’s really cool to be so still and to be part of nature, ”she said. She believes Jewish values ​​should lead Israelis “to take concrete steps to take care of their homes.”

Starting in January, every Birthright trip that comes to Israel can put Tuesdays for trash on its itinerary.

“It could be influential and impact as part of your lifestyle of taking care of the environment and loving your community,” she said. “Much like Shabbat for the soul, Tuesday could be the day for sustainability.”

“Do you still speak through sound clips?” ” I asked.

“Well, I write a lot about these issues so I’m good at them,” she said. “I just have to learn Hebrew to get the point across.”

She is now in an ulpan, a crash course in learning Hebrew, so she can get into politics. She saw learning the language as one more obstacle, a minor challenge, as opposed to saving the planet, let’s say.

“Do you feel a bit like Chicken Little, may the sky fall on you?” I asked.

“There is something called climate catastrophism that is affecting environmental activists. It’s easy to maintain a mindset of negativity, “she admitted, but she has a remarkably optimistic aura even when she makes apocalyptic statements:” Ultimately, if we don’t face it. reality and don’t even make small changes, then we’re going to die. “

She paused before continuing.

“I’m basically trying to ask people to let me live. I would like to be a part of this planet that I call my home.

Speaking of home, she plans to visit her mother in Lagos, Nigeria in December. She said her mother had already given her a list of what to bring.

“Like what?” I asked.

She smiled and said, “Nutella and Bamba.”


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Saghdejian family donation expands reach of ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway program

Father and daughter Apo Saghdejian (center) and Nayiri Saghdejian with ANCA President Raffi Hamparian. The Saghdejian family generously donated over $ 250,000 to ensure the success of the ANCA Capital Gateway program named in memory of their son and brother, Hovig Apo Saghdejian.

WASHINGTON DC The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway (CGP) program continues to grow with the help of generous benefactors Apo and Nayiri Saghdejian, who have donated over $ 250,000 to the program since 2004. On November 23, 2021, the Saghdejian family presented a donation of $ 20,000 to NAFC President Raffi Hamparian for the expansion of this unique public policy career development program in Washington, DC. named after their late son and brother Hovig Apo Saghdejian.

“The NAFC is proud to honor the legacy of Hovig Apo Saghdejian by delivering a world-class public policy career program at our national headquarters in Washington, DC,” Hamparian noted. “We are grateful to Apo and his daughter Nayiri for putting in place a program in line with Hovig’s spirit of service and sacrifice,” he added.

“Our family is dedicated to the ANCA and its work to advance the Armenian cause,” said Nayiri Saghdejian. “The ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway program does a great job in providing ladders of opportunity to young Armenian Americans. Our family is proud to keep Hovig’s legacy strong by inspiring a new generation of emerging leaders, ”she added.

The deadline for the Winter 2022 session of the Gateway program, starting in January 2022, is November 30.

The Hovig Apo Saghhdejian CGP, established in 2003, helps Armenian American students and recent graduates from across the United States pursue careers in public policy with three-month grants for free housing at ANCA Aramian House , access to the ANCA network of contacts and resources. , and hands-on training on how to find work in government, politics, politics and media. With the vital support of the Saghdejian family as well as the leadership of Program Director Alex Manoukian and the CGP Advisory Board, the ANCA Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway program has extended its reach through personal visits and social media through the United States, raising awareness of the program and the unique career and internship opportunities it offers.

The program is dedicated to Hovig Apo Saghdejian, the 23-year-old student from Fresno, Calif., Whose life of community leadership and public service was interrupted in July 2004 by a tragic car accident.

The Saghdejian family’s support for the Capital Gateway program has long been a labor of love, starting with the establishment of the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Memorial Fund in 2004, which raised over $ 50,000 for the program in just a few months. . Since then, family and friends have honored the memory of Hovig’s late mother, Rosine Saghdejian, who died in 2006, and Apo’s mother, Sona Saghdejian, who died in 2010, with additional contributions to the fund. With their most recent donations of $ 20,000, the fund now exceeds $ 300,000. These funds will be held in perpetuity, with only the proceeds being used to finance the participation of young American Armenians in the Gateway program.

Hovig Apo Saghdejian: Inspirational Young Leader and Community Activist

Hovig Apo Saghdejian was born on December 31, 1980 in Fresno, California. Very early on, Hovig became a member of the General Athletics Union and Armenian Scouts Homenetmen, and he joined the ranks of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), contributing to the welfare of the Armenian-American community and strengthen his commitment to his homeland.

He breathed life into the ideals of his youth by working to preserve and reinvent Armenian identity in America, while bringing a sense of optimism to the Armenian people for a better future. As a volunteer with the Land and Culture Organization, Hovig traveled to Armenia in the summer of 2003 to work as a volunteer in Ayrum, developing infrastructure and self-sufficiency for the impoverished population of this village. . Beyond the value of hard work which has contributed significantly to the well-being of the villagers, Hovig’s efforts have helped restore hope to all those he came in contact with that the future held better things for them. the Armenian people. Commenting on his time in Ayrum, in a testimonial on the Land and Culture website, Hovig explained, “I know that when I look back on this experience, I will be delighted with the work we have done, the things we have seen and the things we have seen. links that we have forged. “

Hovig attended Fresno City College, California State University at Fresno, and the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in interdisciplinary studies, with an emphasis on economics, philosophy and film studies. He has fulfilled his civic duties by getting involved politically, not only with the NAFC but also with Congressman George Radanovich and State Assembly Member Steve Samuelian on campaign and public policy projects.

Hovig Apo Saghdejian and other volunteers from the Land and Culture Organization (LCO) with the children of Ayroum where they worked during the summer of 2003.

Hovig loved life, his family and his friends. He had a special bond with his parents Apo and Rosine and his sister Nayiri. He spent his free time helping his mother in adult day care and his father in the family business.

Hovig Apo Saghdejian (right) and another LCO volunteer, Shant Minas, with the village chiefs of Ayroum.

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The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots organization. Coordinating with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters across the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a wide range of issues. To learn more, visit www.anca.org.

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Kansas Democrats and their supporters propose more issues for special session focused on COVID-19 mandates

TOPEKA – Democratic lawmakers criticized the Kansas Special Legislative Session last week, calling the measures a waste of taxpayer dollars and highlighting issues such as the food sales tax and the criminal justice system in need of review more in-depth.

Lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill to review and ultimately approve legislation that provides moral, religious and medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine requirements and guarantees unemployment compensation to anyone made redundant because of their vaccine status. Any business that refuses to accept an exemption faces fines of up to $ 50,000.

Governor Laura Kelly signed the bill after the House and Senate approved the measure on Monday.

Democratic lawmakers opposed to the legislation argued that the issue of federal vaccine mandates would be decided by the courts, rendering the issue unnecessary. Rep. Boog Highberger, D-Lawrence, invited taunts from supporters of the bill when he expressed disappointment that the House was even considering the measure.

“Waste taxpayer dollars and ignore other real crises in the state like the crisis in our prison system,” Highberger said. “We have a personnel crisis in our prison system. So, are we talking about it today? No, we are talking about something that we will ultimately have no capacity to handle. “

Many in the gallery who had gathered following a rally against the anti-vaccination mandate held before the special session booed and coughed at lawmakers opposing the law. After being repeatedly asked to calm down, those in the gallery raised their hands in silent protest.

“We appreciate that people are in our gallery, but we ask that you remain silent and do not yell or react,” said Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe. “To continue to be here, please be respectful of our room and our speaker.”

Outside the prosecution, more Democrats have raised issues they believe need to be addressed in place of the anti-mandate law. Leavenworth Senator Jeff Pittman pointed to a provision in the bill offering state unemployment benefits to people made redundant for refusing to be vaccinated.

He said instead of focusing on such a narrow scope, lawmakers should consider extending the benefits to others in need.

“We are only talking about COVID-19, but we could have talked about collective bargaining, employee rights, maternity and paternity. All kinds of reasons why people are made redundant in this rule of law at work.

Representative Jo Ella Hoye, D-Lenexa, said focusing on reducing or eliminating the state’s food sales tax, a plan supported by Republican and Democratic leaders, would better serve the state .

Last month, Governor Laura Kelly announced a bill she would introduce in the next session to “chop” the sales tax on food, joining Attorney General Derek Schmidt in calling for the reduction or l elimination of the tax.

Kelly’s proposed exemption would save a family of four about $ 500 a year on their grocery bill and cost the state an estimated $ 450 million in lost revenue.

“We are calling everyone back and we are not putting money back in the pockets of families,” Hoye said. “I feel like it was a waste of time that we sat here all day. We could have done something that would have had an impact on families, especially during the holidays. “

Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, said lawmakers’ focus on condemning the vaccine mandate ran counter to public health needs. Instead, they should focus on encouraging their constituents to follow vaccine and social distancing recommendations, he said.

“These Tea Party notions of individual freedom devoid of individual responsibility, I don’t think that’s what it’s all about in this country,” Witt said. “It’s sad to see that otherwise what I’m hoping for are well-meaning people to sink into such madness.”


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How countries are coping with the increase in loneliness induced by COVID

Most worrying of all, chronic loneliness – frequent or unrelenting feelings of loneliness – has also increased. While typically around 5% of the population report feeling lonely or often or always, that figure has climbed to 7% during COVID lockdowns, an increase of around one million adults.

“It’s the most serious end of loneliness that worries us the most,” Hewings said. “It’s harder for people to get out of this. It is more damaging psychologically. And it’s the kind of loneliness that we believe has effects on mental and physical health.

Interventions on loneliness

The science of how to tackle loneliness is still in its infancy when it comes to, for example, ways to reduce tobacco use. In a 2020 report, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine called for more funding for basic sciences related to social connectivity and health. Yet there is growing evidence of effective interventions. Organizations tend to focus on men as they tend to have more difficulty engaging in services, according to Hewings, although there are exceptions such as the Women’s Institute.

One approach is “social prescribing,” in which clinicians identify patients who suffer from loneliness and refer them to local community groups and activities. The UK has been able to embrace this strategy – promising to roll it out nationwide by 2023 – in part because a strong set of nonprofits offer support services throughout. the country.

One of the oldest efforts in the UK to tackle loneliness directly is that of the Cares Family, whose national organization and five urban branches have connected tens of thousands of younger and older neighbors to share time together. According to the organization’s internal metrics, 73 percent of older participants say the program reduces their isolation and 86 percent are better able to appreciate the changing world because of it.

Founder Alex Smith is no stranger to loneliness.

“I have experienced from a personal perspective – both during and before COVID – the insidiousness of isolation and how it can lead to feelings of addiction, loss and bereavement and even anger against it. world, ”he said.

In March 2020, the organization had to suspend many of its in-person operations but, forced out of necessity to experiment, it created new programs online, by phone and by mail to provide remote assistance. While the new programs are not a suitable substitute for everyone, Smith said they allow some people to participate who had not been able to do so before the pandemic, for example, due to the impossibility of being able to participate. ” attend in person. The online program was even praised by Barack Obama.

Another organization in the UK with a slightly different model is Linking Lives, which helps churches and other Christian organizations connect their community members to “friendship bonding” programs. The organization adapted to lockdowns by launching a remote program, “Two’s Company”, which allowed customers to stay connected by phone. The new model of telephone friendship generated over 1,000 new referrals in the first year.

Jeremy Sharpe, the organization’s national director, participates in a friendship program in his own community, making weekly visits to an older man who lives near him. Unlike caregivers who come by daily to help humans dress and eat, Sharpe spends more time bonding there. “He always looks forward to my visits, including some more time with him,” said Sharpe. The link became even more important when the man’s elderly wife died of COVID. But Sharpe stressed that Linking Lives is only one piece of the puzzle.

“Friendship alone will not solve someone’s loneliness,” he said.

Indeed, Hewings emphasizes that various interventions are complementary and can be interdependent. For example, she praised the London-based Southwark Elephant Says Hi !, which launched events and set standards to make their neighborhood more welcoming, but stressed that people cannot engage with local amenities. only if there are safe streets to get there.

“It is not very useful if you have a brilliant service to find people and support them, but there is no bus to get to anything, or there is nothing to do to them because there is no funding for community groups, ”Hewings said. .

As people and governments get used to living in a world with COVID-19, they are resuming their old routines, but organizations and scientists whose work on loneliness preceded the pandemic are hoping that the new focus on question will not fade.

Hewings acknowledged that much attention has been focused on the UK and US, but other parts of the world are also turning their attention to the issue. In February 2021, Japan appointed its own Minister of Loneliness to ease social isolation. In March 2021, the Aspen Institute released a report describing loneliness in India. And attendees at the next conference include researchers working in Brazil, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

Ted Alcorn wrote this for Think Global Health.

About Solutions Journalism Network

This story comes from our partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to rigorous reporting on social issues.



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Will Ferelden’s hero be in Dragon Age 4?

Mike Laidlaw, the lead designer and director of the first three “Dragon Age” games, has repeatedly stated that Ferelden’s hero will not appear in “Dragon Age 4”. “The HoF will not appear in future ‘DA’ products,” Laidlaw wrote on Twitter in 2017. He expanded on this the next day in a Reddit thread, detailing the many reasons why the director’s inclusion in another entry in the series would prove problematic.

“I think it’s important to note that ‘Origins’ was about sacrifice. It was a story where literally everyone gave up something to stop something horrible. One of those options was that the HoF gave his life to stop this horrible thing, and frankly a lot of people took it, ”Laidlaw explained. “Now, quickly move forward to a theoretical moment where the HoF plays a major role in a future game. Suddenly your sacrifice feels like it was the wrong choice, right? Well, it wasn’t. It was a perfect ending to the main themes of “Origins”. ”

Beyond the conflict with BioWare’s vision for “Origins”, the fact that the director is deeply customizable with “hundreds of options to consider” almost guarantees that a “canon” version of the character would disappoint hundreds, even thousands, of players who bonded and represented their protagonist in a specific way. “I firmly believe it wouldn’t live up to expectations unless we put SO MANY resources into it that it would hurt the rest of a game’s potential,” Laidlaw concluded.

While these statements may give the impression that the situation is settled, it’s important to note that Laidlaw left BioWare a few months after making the above statements (via Twitter). Several other franchise veterans have since left, leaving “Dragon Age 4” in the hands of a mostly different group of people. The remaining developers (or publisher Electronic Arts) could decide to bring back Ferelden’s hero regardless of Laidlaw’s opinion on the matter.



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The game provides livelihoods for some young Syrians

Gambling as a profession has become common among young Syrians, many of whom participate in Arab live streaming platforms. Some compete in local and international tournaments with prizes of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the first place winners.

Lucrative live video game tournaments are held on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, as well as some independent platforms such as Twitch.

Governments in the Arab world have supported certain methods of profiting from these games, turning them into a real profession. Donations from followers have sometimes broken records, with contributions becoming the primary focus of many players.

Video games with shooting are most popular in the Arab world and in Syria, mainly Pugb.

Iyad Ahmed, a Syrian video game player, told Al-Monitor: “In the beginning, we used to make insignificant profits from these games just for fun. Something in addition to our main job. But with the extremely precarious economic situation of the Syrian refugees, he said, “making money with gambling has become a goal for many to be able to earn a living. “

“Some players can make really big money with these games in a short period of time, which prompted me to create accounts on multiple streaming sites and play with other players,” he added, but the bad internet connection in Syria is a problem.

“Some players want to sell their prizes or give them away for free in games, which can be a source of extra money for them, especially if they manage to unlock a rare in-game widget. These operations are similar to the stock market, because you have to wait until the price of a certain widget increases before you can sell it, especially if it is a difficult item that many players were unable to win, ”Ahmed said. .

“The widget is displayed in the Steam store and is sold to the highest bidder. But not all video games allow you to earn cash because in some games you have to sell your prizes from within the game, ”he explained.

The players are divided into three groups: those who play in their free time; those who spend all their time playing without adopting another hobby; and finally, players who win money in international or local tournaments or who broadcast their professional style of play.

But for some professionals and video game enthusiasts as well, games have become addictive, with some gamers spending 20 hours a day glued to their screens.

The World Health Organization lists gambling addiction in the 2018 edition of its International Classification of Diseases. Symptoms include “impaired control of play (frequency, intensity, duration), increased priority is given to play and continuation or escalation of play despite negative consequences”.

But games also have advantages. Mustafa Hamidi, an independent Syrian researcher based in Turkey, told Al-Monitor: “Certain games can be played to break social isolation. Some children in school choose to play video games with their friends, which could create healthy social environments.

In this way, “video games can help develop and encourage children’s social skills, even if they spend time improving their social skills by talking about trivial matters. This is all healthy, ”he added. “Many games are also about strategic thinking, getting players to think carefully about their next move and use logical reasoning.”

But, he added, “In all societies, when there is misery and poverty, people start looking for new ways to make money and make ends meet. The economic situation in Syria is extremely bad. … This situation has prompted many people to turn to gambling for more money. So for many refugees, it is better than to wait for a food basket provided by humanitarian organizations on a monthly basis to rely on themselves and secure an income, however meager it may be. “


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Regional Dentist Champions Program addressing long-term Veterans needs

Less than 10 percent of veterans receive dental care through the Veterans Administration, and those who qualify must have a 100% disability rate, leaving many veterans without access to dental care.

However, a Slaton-based dentist has partnered with a national program to provide comprehensive dental care to low-income veterans in the Lubbock area.

Mary Glasheen is a military wife, and before moving to Lubbock, her husband was stationed in Virginia, where she did a one-year dental residency at the VA, she said.

“There were difficult circumstances, where you wish you could offer more care and services, but that’s not what you are allowed to do,” Glasheen said. “I don’t know who sets the rules, but you have to follow them. And I realized there were huge gaps in care.

Glasheen is a practicing dentist, as well as the chair of public health and outreach for the South Plains Dental Society.

The challenges veterans can face in receiving dental care have not gone unnoticed; in 2008, Theresa Cheng founded Everyone For Veterans in Seattle, which is now a nonprofit organization that provides full and free dental care to veterans, spouses and caregivers by partnering with dentists to volunteer their time and their services.

All services are pro bono, Cheng said. Some dentists will have openings in their schedules to see veterans, while others may stay an extra hour in the office for volunteer work. It is not a major burden on dentists and it makes a huge difference in the lives of veterans.

Many veterans who received dental treatment under the Everyone for Veterans program reached out to Cheng, she said, sharing stories and feelings. One veteran was able to lose weight because his procedure allowed him to eat vegetables again, while others could not have afforded their own procedures.

“It’s amazing that these things aren’t too much work for us dentists,” Cheng said. “I know this is volunteer work and it would have cost him thousands of dollars and (it was) not achievable, but for us, providing the work, it doesn’t seem like a lot (more) of work than We do. But the impact on their lives is just amazing.

Glasheen knew she wanted to use her profession to help veterans in any way she could, she said. She moved to the Lubbock area a year ago and started looking for ways to make a difference. The Everyone for Veterans program stood out for her, so she signed up and started encouraging other professionals to get involved.

“So it’s like a network of dentists who are interested in providing pro bono care to low-income veterans in your area,” Glasheen said. “You know, I as a dentist from Lubbock signed up. I have colleagues who have signed up and I really want to use my platform as Community Outreach Coordinator, South Plains District Dental Society Public Health President to promote the program and connect dentists.

Glasheen got down to business, starting with colleagues who were in the military or whose family had served. She also reached out to Norman Bearden, the Panhandle and Southern Plains Veteran Resource Coordinator for Workforce Solutions, to help spread the word about fighting veterans in the Lubbock area.

Bearden served 23 years as a submariner in the Navy. He needed dental treatment, but it was not feasible while on active duty.

“My dental problem was actually considered a medical problem for various factors; It’s been a while since I lived this part, ”he said. “But they were actually going to put me in the Port Smith Naval Hospital and break my jaw and push her forward.”

He could have had the procedure performed on a brief command – during which he would be stationed in the same location for three years – but he decided not to. He waited until his retirement to have braces.

“So I waited until I retired after 23 years and finally decided that the time was right and that I was going to do it,” Bearden said. “And it made such a difference.”

Like many Lubbock area veterans, Bearden’s dental work had an extremely positive effect on him psychologically, he said. He was no longer embarrassed by his teeth, which can help many veterans regain self-confidence, from job opportunities to personal relationships.

Under the Everyone for Veterans program and the Glasheen Dental Veteran initiative, each dentist will add a veteran’s case to their caseload. Adding a patient to a dentist’s private practice is a very achievable goal, said Glasheen. This allows dentists and veterans to build relationships, veterans can maintain their oral health and receive the treatment they need.

Veterans do not get the dental care they need because many do not qualify for VA dental care. The needs of these veterans range from basic cleanings and maintenance, to fillings and extractions, to dentures and implants, she said. If left untreated, ailments like toothaches, infections and missing teeth can have a serious impact on a Veteran’s health, confidence and job. Everyone for Veterans aims to help Veterans in any way they can.

“I think that’s going to keep them functional and healthy, where you can eat a healthy, varied diet, and you are able to chew food comfortably and function well,” Glasheen said, “to help l ‘Jobs. “If you have confidence in your smile, can get through job interviews and have a solid job, that does wonders for veterans too. And even just take a little financial burden off their plate as you go. they are trying to get back into civilian life, which would also be an objective.

Everyone for Veterans is one of many dental and oral health programs designed to support Veterans.

Hill & Ioppolo Oral & Dental Implant Surgery of Lubbock has provided free dental care to veterans for years through the Smiles for Soldiers program. Through the program, veterans or members of the military benefit from a free procedure of restoring the complete arch, according to the records of Avalanche-Journal.

Many dental programs aimed at helping veterans are one-time urgent care, Cheng said. Particularly around Veterans Day, many dental offices will be offering free or discounted services to veterans and providing whatever care they can during this visit.

This can be great for veterans who need a problem, but it can leave others with dental disease that cannot be treated in one visit, which is why Everyone For Veterans is putting the emphasis on comprehensive care and integrates veterans into a dentist’s practice.

“We think that for this population of veterans, who have, I think, done beyond their service, being in combat zones, we want to do this comprehensive care because one thing they do not do not have to worry about is dental care, ”said Cheng. “So that’s what we insist on with dentists participating in the program.

Publicizing the Glasheen initiative is a top priority. More than 20 dentists in the Lubbock area have already registered, Bearden said. Now the focus is on reaching veterans and getting them to apply.

Bearden has relied primarily on social media and media coverage, he said. But he hopes that next year, as more dentists and veterans get involved, he can make publicity efforts to help spread the information.

“But if every dentist, if everyone, adopted a veteran to care for – and I have no idea what the answer is going to be,” he said. “Hopefully we would have more veterans applying because obviously not every veteran will be approved, but it would be nice to have the right mix between the number of veterans and the number of suppliers so that any supplier is not overwhelmed with more than he can bear.

Bearden is also working with the Amarillo VA healthcare center to provide veterans with the resources they might need, like transportation or internet access for apps, he said.

Everyone’s application process for Veterans is straightforward, and eligible Veterans only need to meet three requirements: they must have been deployed to a combat zone, need financial assistance, and not receive dental benefits. from the VA, according to Everyone’s Application for Veterans website.

Bearden, Workforce Solutions and Amarillo VA will provide whatever assistance a veteran might need, from computers to applications to helping get to dentist appointments, he said. They will do anything to bring veterans into this service.

There is a huge need for dental care for veterans, Glasheen said. While she can’t solve every problem from day one, she takes a step-by-step approach to giving back to the men and women who have served the country.

Getting the word out to veterans is important, but they will not be able to receive care if dentists do not register to volunteer. Currently, statewide veterans are waiting for dentists in Spring, Waco, San Antonio, Houston, New Braunfels, Livingston, Arlington, Nolanville, Pflugerville, Fort Worth, Commerce, Scurry, Killeen, Montgomery, Brenham and Grapeland, according to a list provided by Cheng.

However, dentists are needed in all states across the country. Those who wish to volunteer their time and expertise can find information here.

“I feel like at the end of the day we relied on these men and women, who are, you know, only one percent of the population, though, to carry this huge burden.” , Glasheen said. “They keep us safe, beyond what we could really understand or understand as civilians. And the sacrifice they make, of course to themselves, but also to their families – it’s really huge, and I’ve always felt an extreme motivation to try and use my skills to give back.

Contact dentist

If you are a dental professional who would like to make a commitment to providing care to a veteran in the next year, please contact Mary Glasheen, DDS, President of Public Health and Outreach for the South Plains Dental Society at 281.750.2439 or glasheendental @ gmail.com.

Veteran Contact

If you are a Veteran interested in our program, please contact Norm Bearden, Panhandle and South Plains Veterans Resource Coordinator, at 806.282.1146


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