Detroiters to rule citizens’ powers over spending, decriminalizing psychedelics

Detroit – City voters will decide on Tuesday whether to decriminalize psychedelic plants and whether the Detroit charter needs to be amended to allow citizen voting initiatives that impact city spending.

Voter-initiated Proposition E asks residents of Detroit if they believe personal possession and therapeutic use of entheogenic plants like psilocybin mushrooms or peyote should be decriminalized to the fullest extent permitted by Michigan law.

If passed, the measure would not legalize the use and possession of psychedelics, but it would make them the city’s lowest law enforcement priority.

A second measure, Proposition S, seeks to amend a section of the City of Detroit charter to allow voters to push orders that include the allocation of money.

The initiatives are among three decided by voters in Detroit in the general election. Voters in the city will also decide on November 2 whether a task force should be created to consider repairs for residents.

Proposal E is being sent to voters in Detroit after Democratic State Senators Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor and Adam Hollier of Detroit last month introduced a bill to decriminalize two popular psychedelic drugs in an attempt to make them. make available for therapeutic purposes.

Under Senate Bill 631, the possession and use of psilocybin, commonly known as magic mushrooms, and mescaline, found in cacti comparable to LSD, would be “exempt from criminal prosecution in certain circumstances.”

Michigan’s Citizens Research Council, a nonprofit dedicated to improving state government, neither endorses nor opposes the city’s proposals. But he noted that without the regulated use of psychedelics, individuals could expose themselves to practical and psychological risks.

Proposal E could increase the use of and access to potential therapeutic uses for various conditions as well as a reduction in public resources devoted to the enforcement of criminal sanctions, said Eric Luper, chairman of the research council, in Detroit. News.

People who advocate decriminalizing psychedelics, he said, “believe there are redemptive qualities to help with certain illnesses, but this is usually done under supervision.”

“Just decriminalizing it and telling people to go ahead and use it might come with its own dangers,” Lupher said.

The Detroit Decriminalize Nature group helped shape the poll initiative. Moudou Baqui, a member of the effort that worked to educate voters, noted Wednesday that there are similar nature decriminalization groups in the state, including Mid-Michigan, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids.

Baqui said he suffers from trauma related to poverty, stress, struggles with overweight, insomnia and knows he is not leading a healthy or happy lifestyle. This led him to psychedelic plants, he said.

“What he did was besides giving me answers to deep spiritual questions, it helped me find practical lifestyle solutions that solved those spiritual issues,” said Baqui, 45. . “It has absolutely improved every aspect of my life and I have had the chance to share it with other people.

Baqui said supporters of the measure hoped the decriminalization of factories in the state’s largest city could create momentum for future statewide decriminalization efforts.

The Detroit Voting Initiative coined the S Proposition would amend a section of the city charter to allow Detroit voters to push orders that include money credits.

These powers do not currently extend to the budget under the city charter.

“You could do a petition order saying we want the city to do this and now. If the S proposal passes you can now say they should spend the money for whatever purpose,” said Lupher, adding that there would be issues raised in the charter which states that the budget process and the appropriation process are inseparable.

“This raises many questions about how an order initiated for credits would fit into this process,” Lupher said. “How does the mayor or the city council fit in? Should there be a right of veto per article? What if that puts the city in deficit? What is the recourse for our elected officials? All of these types of things are not resolved. “

Todd Perkins, a lawyer who founded People’s Voice, a nonprofit advocating for a task force on reparations and the S proposition, called the S proposition a “gateway” to reparations that empowers voters. .

“And for a lot of people, I think that scares them,” Perkins said. “Especially the politicians who don’t want to be told how to control the purse strings.”

Deputy Mayor Conrad Mallett Jr. told the Detroit News on Wednesday that the mayor’s office does not have a position on the E or S proposals. He noted that city council is going through a deliberative budgeting process to maintain fiscal responsibility.

“The budget for the initiative is very complicated. People could have a very good idea and then leave it to us who do not share their enthusiasm to pay for the effectiveness of the campaign they have led,” he said. he declares. “Should the drivers of the proposed ballot be the drivers of the overall financial health of the city of Detroit?” I would answer no.

It is not clear whether Proposition S violates state constitution or state law, attorney Peter Ruddell, a partner at Honigman LLP, told The News.

The latest move in Tuesday’s poll is the R Proposal, which asks whether Detroit should form a committee to look at reparations for residents, 77% of whom are black.

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Twitter: @SarahRahal_

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Anthony Kiedis Inspired Me To Say ‘No’ To Intrusive Fans

Becoming a notable figure can be a great adjustment for people, especially when it comes to having a decrease in privacy in public. Nergal de Behemoth explained that Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis taught him to politely say ‘no’ to fans when it comes to certain situations.

On a recent episode of the “h23” podcast (heard below), Nergal referred to a friend of his who met several celebrities in Los Angeles, including Ozzy Osbourne and Kiedis. While the Prince of Darkness agreed to take a photo with the friend, the RHCP singer told him “absolutely not,” and Nergal expressed his attachment for that kind of response.

“I mean, it’s cool if people do that. I used to do that, but on a lot of occasions the fans, they’re just all over you. They don’t know where the lines are – they don’t feel it. You’re in a restaurant and have a date with a lady, and [they ask], ‘Can we take a picture?’ ‘No.'”

The leader admitted that hearing his friend’s story about Kiedis had actually inspired him to say “no” in a “very assertive but polite manner”.

“So I have no problem saying, ‘I’m sorry. This is a private meeting. I have an appointment. Hope next time. “And I’m happy to see their reactions, which nine out of 10 are like, ‘I respect that. Sorry to bother. See you next time. Can I just shake your hand? “‘Of course you can.’ And that’s cool. “

Check out the full conversation below.

Behemoth XXX Years OV Blasphemy The live concert, which celebrates the group’s 30th anniversary and will include three full sets, will premiere this weekend on Halloween. Get details and tickets here.

Nergal from Behemoth on the h23 podcast

10 of Rock + Metal’s weirdest conspiracy theories

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Obituary: Ray Chesson | Beaumont Examiner

The Honorable Ray Sanford Chesson, 66, of Hamshire, passed away on Friday October 15, 2021. He was born January 19, 1955 in Winshire, Texas to Roy Travis, Sr. “Bo” and Onella Chesson.

It is said that all a man really has when he covers his head at night is his honor, his integrity and his character. Ray’s life reflected a life of excellent character, undeniable honor and solid integrity. When Ray entered a room, his presence greeted the others. There were no strangers. You felt loved, loved and valued. His love for justice and truth was balanced with his desire to help others, especially young people, find their way in this world. Several times people have met the judge in less than desirable circumstances, but he never made you feel like you were an inconvenience. He wanted the best for you. He wanted to see you succeed. He wanted to encourage you.

His fatherhood extended to Shane and Justin. He adopted children all over Southeast Texas and beyond – men and women who benefited from his wisdom, guidance, and sometimes justice. As a husband and father, he was faithful. His wife – his best friend. His boys – his pride and joy. Her grandchildren – the light of her life. These were his trophies. These were the golden and shining dots of every day of his life. His name will live on in many of our hearts forever.

After serving his country in the United States Air Force, he began his commitment to his community by becoming chairman of the Hamshire Volunteer Fire Department and then as Fire Chief for many years. He was a driving force in establishing and building the local EMS service, dedicating 26 years as a physician. He dedicated more than 24 years of his life as a justice of the peace for Ward Four of Jefferson County, where he served with honor and compassion. His passion and commitment to helping others made him endearing to all who knew him.

In addition, he served as the co-chair of the Local Emergency Planning Commission and a member of the Pediatric Death Review Team for the Garth House. He served many years at the Texas Rice Festival, including on the board of directors, and 2002 as chairman. Ray has worked with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Environmental Review Team and the Winnie Medical Center and Arboretum Board of Directors. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Hamshire Fannett Education Foundation and was instrumental in the creation of Hamshire Fannett Little Dribblers.

Ray is survived by his wife of forty-seven years, Kathy Chesson; sons, Shane Chesson and his wife, Aimee and Justin Ray Chesson and his wife, Courtney; grandchildren, Madison, Braxton Ray and Austyn; brothers, Roy Travis Chesson, Jr. and his wife, Fonda, of Bandera; Jay Chesson and his wife, Jan, of Hamshire; and John Chesson and his wife, Beverly, of Hamshire; sister, Carla Woodyard and her husband, Matt, of Hamshire; and several nieces and nephews.

Ray is predeceased by his parents, Roy Travis “Bo” and Onella Chesson; and grandson, Trevor Chesson.

His passion and commitment to helping others made him endearing to all who knew him. Throughout endless hours of dedication to his community, he has always remained a devoted husband, loving father and adoring papaya.

Memorial contributions for Mr. Chesson can be made to the Trevor Lee Chesson Memorial Foundation, PO Box 186, Hamshire, Texas 77622 or Hamshire Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 153, Hamshire, Texas 77622.

A gathering of Mr. Chesson’s family and friends will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, October 20, at First Baptist Church, 25304 Hwy 124, Hamshire, under the direction of Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont . A shuttle service for additional parking will be available from 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the North Parking lot of Hamshire-Fannett High School. Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 21 at the First Baptist Church, with her interment to follow in Fairview Cemetery, Winnie.

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Game company donates technology to Schenectady program

Sixty middle and high school students will have access to new cutting-edge technology that will expose them to more opportunities in scientific, technological and mathematical engineering.

International Game Technology, a multinational games company, and Rise HIGH, Inc., a nonprofit organization that engages students in the town of Schenectady in STEM experiments, cut the ribbon on a new computer lab on the campus of Clarkson University Capital Region.

“We are extremely grateful to IGT for the generous donation which will help us be in a better place to create content that remains relevant to students in an ever-changing and ever-changing world,” said the Executive Director of Rise HIGH , Omayra Padilla De Jesus. “We want our students to become aware of these growing fields and develop marketable skills. “

The new lab has 22 additional computers and technology valued at around $ 24,000, De Jesus said.

Of the 22 computers, 10 will support virtual reality, according to a statement from International Game Technology.

The gift of technology is part of the company’s After School Advantage program, an initiative “dedicated to providing young people with access to technology in a safe and nurturing extracurricular environment,” the statement said.

“IGT is proud to support the youth and members of the Rise HIGH community with this After School Advantage donation,” said Paul Stelmaszyk, account development manager for IGT New York, in a statement. “For over 20 years, IGT has witnessed the tremendously positive impact our After School Advantage program has had on young people around the world. This program provides young people with access to a combination of the most advanced technology and powerful learning resources to prepare them for future success.

The program takes place on Saturdays during the school year and students follow the program every school year, De Jesus said.

“That’s what sustained exposure means,” she said. “It’s not a one-time experience or a few days, but an experience they can grow with. Our inaugural 2018 cohort is now in grade 10.

There are currently three cohorts of 18-20 students in Grades 8, 9 and 10. They started in 6th grade, De Jesus said.

“We stopped recruiting new groups when the pandemic started, which is why we currently don’t have a grade 7 group, but we will eventually resume recruiting younger groups,” she said.

Students are recruited from one of the city’s schools, but if a child who was already in the program moves to a nearby district and is still in good standing, they will still be able to participate in the program, De Jesus said.

Rise HIGH provides transportation to students involved in the program, which is also free for students.

Depending on the grade level, students learn different subjects. Grade 10 students work as a team to create a virtual reality game, Grade 8 and 9 students work with Tech Valley Space to design a computer game, and Grade 9 students learn about additive manufacturing and take this information and create 3D objects .

De Jesus said the organization works with various instructors in universities and STEM industries. The program also helps university students.

“Members of the education programs at Clarkson University are delighted to be working with Rise HIGH and our business partners on this valuable initiative,” said Catherine Snyder, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Education on the University’s campus. Clarkson. “Our Master of Arts in Education applicants gain valuable experience working with Rise HIGH students and the experiences they will take with them to the classroom. This multi-faceted partnership not only helps middle and high school students discover the world around them through the prism of science, but it also helps prepare future teachers in our schools.

De Jesus said the hope is that the program will give students an experience for future careers in STEM fields.

“Access to such technology is essential not only for learning STEM concepts, but also the actual tools used in the given field,” said De Jesus. “We are targeting a generation for whom technology is not a luxury as perceived by past generations, but a daily tool necessary to be competitive in the job market. These experiences not only inspire, but expand awareness and prepare. More importantly, when working with a population for which community and personal access to technology and rewarding learning experiences (formal or informal) vary so widely, have the tools necessary to support their learning experience. is imperative for equitable access.

To apply for the program, visit

Journalist Shenandoah Brière can be reached at 518-478-3320 or [email protected].

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Categories: News, Schenectady County

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Thatcher Baker-Briggs makes his mark among private collectors – Robb Report

As Wais Jalali approached his 49th birthday last year, the collector with a 60,000-bottle cellar spread across 11 countries didn’t have the wine he really wanted. Jalali – only the third American to be knighted by the prestigious Burgundy wine company Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin – had in mind one particular bottle from the most coveted region of France. As the date for his birthday party at Michelin-starred Aubergine in Carmel, Calif., Approached, the chairman of private equity firm Cerebrus hired former world-class sommelier turned private wine consultant, Thatcher Baker-Briggs. , to travel the world. in pursuit of a Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1943 La Tâche.

Baker-Briggs set to work. He tapped into his network to find not just any La Tâche from 1943, but one of genuine provenance in a market rife with fraud, and neat enough to have stood the test of time. A private collector on the east coast had the DRC in his possession. After interviewing the owner, Baker-Briggs had the wine packaged and shipped to his San Francisco office for a closer inspection. He made it over and the Baker-Briggs team drove the bottle three hours south to Carmel to hand deliver it to Aubergine’s wine cellar in time for the big night. More importantly, La Tâche also met Jalali’s standards. “It was phenomenal,” he says. For the $ 20,000 he paid, he had to, and that’s why he turned to Baker-Briggs.

“He has a very good palate and he is a gentleman. A lot of people in the wine business are fake, they pretend to be something they’re not. People like me who have been collecting for a long time appreciate a simple shooter, ”says Jalali. “There’s only one other person doing what Thatcher does in terms of finding rare wines you can trust.”

Baker-Briggs left his career as a restaurant sommelier to hunt wine for the most demanding connoisseurs, like Jalali, but also to build and manage wineries for collectors seeking advice. His company, Thatcher’s Wine Consulting, has resonated with an elite of wine lovers, because even in our on-demand digital economy, there are still some extremely elusive treasures that are not just a click away. And at only 30 years old, he has already built the network and the palace to hunt down these rarities.

Traveling across France, Baker-Briggs forges relationships with winegrowers who help him secure allowances for his clients.

Laura Stevens

Baker-Briggs’ path to wine began in the kitchen. He began his restaurant career at age 13 in his hometown of Windsor, Ont., Washing dishes before moving onto the line to cook. At the age of 18, he learned that the former executive chef of legendary English chef Marco Pierre White had a restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia, so he headed west.

His ambition then led him to San Francisco in 2011 to cook at Daniel Patterson’s two Michelin star Coi, where he met waiters around wine, throwing himself headlong into learning and found an obsession that has eclipsed. his passion for food. In 2013, Baker-Briggs helped a friend in Toronto restart his restaurant. He worked 16 hours a day but devoted all his free time to wine. “I was studying in the basement for 12 hours, opening ridiculous amounts of bottles, trying to get my knowledge to a point where I wasn’t embarrassed to have a conversation with someone about wine, and that just stuck. ”

Returning to San Francisco in 2014, he worked at Saison and gained valuable on-the-job training in elite wine, which deepened further as he became head sommelier at Tokyo’s ultra-exclusive Takazawa. Inside the 10-seat restaurant, the well-to-do clientele feasted. “In Saison, we were completely spoiled – people were drinking from the DRC and Bordeaux from 59 and 82 – and I didn’t think it was possible to drink so well, but Takazawa gave Saison a bad image”, Baker-Briggs said with a chuckle. “We open DRC at least once a night there. He also formed relationships with guests, to the point that some of them took him by plane to their homes in Asia to show their cellars.

Returning to the United States, he joined Saison and eventually took over the role of director of beverages for the restaurant group, opening outposts from Angler to San Francisco and Los Angeles. But a request from a Season regular made him think a new career path was possible. In 2019, the client asked if Baker-Briggs could help him build his collection. So he began not only to help them find a bottle, but also to organize their cellar based on his knowledge of their wine preferences. And after someone else asked him to do the same, he came to understand that such a service was needed.

“It’s one thing to build a cellar that has a few thousand empty wine spaces, but it’s another to know which producers to buy, which vintages and, when they come to you, how to manage them.” , explains Baker-Briggs. .

The journey to acquiring fine wines can be labyrinthine, where you touch your social circle, get a tip when another collector liquidates their cellar, look for auctions and still wonder where the wine came from. And then on the retail side, it can be hard to get the best. “It’s very difficult to get allowances for some of these products. Maybe you buy all of these other things in the hopes of getting the wines you really want, ”says Ryan Nagle, one of Baker-Briggs’ clients. “You end up with all this vendor junk because you’re trying to get something else from them. When you work with Thatcher, a lot of it starts to go away. ”

Nagle, 39, managing director of Sequentis Capital in Boston, met Baker-Briggs through a friend and fellow collector in Beantown. After they hit it off right away, they started working together, with Baker-Briggs assessing Nagle’s collection and preferences. They formulated a game plan from there. “I realized I needed to get a bit more of this premium Burgundy because I was buying it and then drinking it and not building a cellar around it,” Nagle explains. They held auctions to increase his inventory there, but also planned for the future, filling his cellar with young wines that he would drink years later. And in the meantime, Baker-Briggs has suggested other wines to taste right now for daily consumption.

Nagle also wanted to have the kind of cellar he could share with others. And that meant stocking up on wines that weren’t necessarily suitable for his palate alone. “If the cellar was just for me to come down and have something for dinner, yes I would have 99% Burgundy,” Nagle says. Whether it’s dinners for boards he sits on, business relationships, or meeting friends, he wants to bring wines that the people he joins will love. “The cellar becomes a resource, because wine is a social lubricant and a great way to bring people together,” he says. “Thatcher has an incredible talent for meeting people where they are and pushing them a little out of their comfort zone. ”

And in the dynamic world of wine, Baker-Briggs offers invaluable insight by traveling himself and collecting information in the field. “Wine changes so quickly – the producers, the winegrowers, everything changes, even though the dirt underneath really hasn’t changed,” Nagle explains. “He’s incredibly good at staying the course, and he’s an independent thinker – he’s not just going to get carried away by what a handful of market-shifting collectors think, he’s got his own palate.” This allows him to avoid the group thinking that occurs in the wine world to steer people towards unexpected value.

Thatcher Baker-Briggs Sommelier

By visiting popular appellations like Nuits-Saints-Georges, Baker-Briggs stays one step ahead of which producers and vintages are worth checking out.

Laura Stevens

For a recent dinner, Nagle traveled to New York City to hang out with heavyweight collectors, the kind of occasion where you have to do a real job to impress. “By participating in an event like this, you want to be bulletproof,” Nagle says. He consulted Baker-Briggs on what to bring, and one of the bottles he helped find was a 1999 Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru from Domaine Georges Roumier, a wine that had lost its luster to the eyes of some collectors. Nagle was not completely sold, exchanging texts with Baker-Briggs on the selection. But Thatcher was confident. “It’s going to knock their socks off; it’s not what they think it is; they were wrong, ”he told Nagle. He was the star of the night.

“Two collectors at dinner told me that they sold all of their Roumier Bonnes-Mares ’99 because they got it together and it wasn’t good, and they decided they were moving and moving the markets because they didn’t like it, “Nagle says. “And they said at that dinner, ‘Wow, I wish I hadn’t sold that. It is an incredible wine.

For Nagle, Jalali and indeed all of his customers, Baker-Briggs continues to hunt for trophy bottles for their cellars. The next step for him is to get what they want even faster. So the wine consulting firm built its own inventory, as Baker-Briggs would for a restaurant, filling it with bottles it believes in. That way, if a customer needs a case for a party on the same day, they can do it. to arrive. In San Francisco, he and his team of former Michelin starred sommeliers have expanded their cellar to over 20,000 bottles with a few thousand selections. And now they’re ready to use their contacts to help top restaurants find the best wines for their wine lists. If he continues, it will be Baker-Briggs who will move the markets.

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Berks County official calls for an end to accusations of error in voting instructions

Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt has heard the gossip and rumors.

He has heard from some segments of the community accusing the county of trying to deprive voters of the right to vote. That an error on 17,000 mailed ballots, where the instructions in Spanish included the wrong date for election day, was made intentionally.

He heard it, and on Friday he said it was time to stop.

“First and foremost, the conspiracy allegations must stop,” he said in a statement. “It was simply the product of human error, not an intentional act to deny voters the right to vote. The County understands the enormity of this issue and we apologize for any inconvenience or confusion it has caused.

“Myself, my fellow Commissioners and our staff are determined to correct the problem for this election and to put in place procedures to ensure that this does not happen again,” he added.

Barnhardt said that as chairman of the county elections board and the only Democrat on the board of commissioners, he wanted to address the “various claims, assumptions and innuendos” that have arisen in the wake of the county’s recognition of the error on the instruction sheet included with some ballots. .

Commissioners said they corrected the error, which incorrectly stated that the deadline for returning mail-in ballots to the county is Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. ET. The correct date is November 2 at 8 p.m.

The date is correct in the English instructions as well as the Spanish instructions that were sent more recently.

The county sent out approximately 21,000 mail-in ballots.

The chairman of the commissioners, Christian Leinbach, explained Thursday that the instructions were based on a model of the May 18 primary. He said the month had been changed for the general election, but not the day of the month.

He said the county pledged to send letters to the 17,000 people who had received the wrong information and published the correct information through various means.

Barnhardt said the most important thing now is to make sure voters understand that postal ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on November 2. He said county employees are dedicated to helping all residents exercise their right to vote and that several efforts are being made to communicate the correct information to voters.

“Our staff must also be able to focus their attention on the many responsibilities they have as we prepare for election day,” he said in the statement on Friday. “We are all humans and mistakes do happen unfortunately, but now we need to focus on the solution to help educate our community on how to make their vote count. “

Barnhardt’s comments come a day after several leaders and community groups issued statements calling for an investigation into how the mistake was made and what changes may be needed to ensure it does not happen again .

One of the most urgent calls was from State Representative Manuel Guzman, who said he understands people make mistakes, but insisted that when that mistake potentially silences the voices of dozens thousands of people, it could have a catastrophic impact on democracy.

“People deserve answers,” he said. “I’m calling for an immediate full investigation into how this massive error could have happened – you don’t slip a finger and type 18 when you want to type 2. And, if it’s more than an accident, we must demand resignations. “

Guzman said he was working with Democratic leaders in the state to convene a policy committee hearing in Reading to get the facts needed to restore public confidence.

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Rangers must be better on LGBTQ + issues

Today is Spirit Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of bullying and harassment among LGBTQ + youth. For the most part, Major League Baseball does a lot to help the cause. As of this writing, each team has incorporated the color purple into their Twitter avatar, tweeted a specific support message, or both.

The Rangers have taken the latter route – with one key distinction:

It’s hard to take this as accidental given that the Rangers are the only team that has never hosted a Pride party, and they have no plans to do so. They also showed no inclination to answering questions about it, as Sam Blum of The Athletic learned when reporting this story last year to The Morning News.

The Rangers should be better at it. It’s not hard for the Rangers to be better at it. All they have to do is watch so many of their peers throughout the game and join in. And their fans keep pointing out that they didn’t.

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Environmental group leaves rally for democracy because “Zionist” groups are present

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Washington DC branch of a national climate action group turned down a role at a rally on voting rights because “a number of Zionist organizations” will attend.

“Given our commitment to racial justice, self-government and indigenous sovereignty, we oppose Zionism and any state that applies its ideology,” Sunrise DC said. in a report he posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

The group named the National Council of Jewish Women, the Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs as groups supporting Israel, which Sunrise DC called a “colonial project.”

Saturday’s Freedom to Vote Rally features a bike ride to the United States Capitol from West Virginia, the home state of Senate Democrat Joe Manchin, who sponsors a law on the law vote entitled “Freedom to vote”.

The Jewish Telegraph Agency has asked the Sunrise movement, a youth group that is drawing attention for its advocacy to stem man-made climate change, if it endorses its DC section’s statement. The national group is not among the groups joining the rally, although its West Virginia chapter appears to be participating. The Sunrise movement did not respond.

Sunrise DC called on one of the rally’s main organizers, Declaration for American Democracy, to withdraw the three Jewish groups from its coalition. Two other Jewish groups belonging to the same coalition, Bend the Arc and Workers Circle, are not mentioned in the Sunrise DC statement. Bend the Arc has no position on Israel and Workers Circle supports the two-state solution, but has been very critical of Israel and called on the US government to condition aid to Israel on its record in human rights.

Notably, the Declaration for American Democracy coalition includes at least two groups very critical of Israel, the Arab American Institute and Code Pink; neither group appears to have opposed joining a coalition with the three Jewish groups named by Sunrise DC.

The three Jewish groups cited by Sunrise DC have a long history of pro-Israel advocacy, but in recent years they have devoted much of their attention to national issues. All three groups support the two-state outcome; The reformist NCJW and RAC have sister groups in Israel that advocate for the rights of minorities and women.

Each of the groups said in statements to the JTA that they would not be dissuaded from attending the rally on Saturday.

“The National Council of Jewish Women works for the security and well-being of Americans, Israelis and Palestinians,” said its CEO, Sheila Katz. “We are fighting for access to the ballot, an end to gender-based violence, increased equity and for women to gain power despite systemic obstacles at every turn. All of this work is done within the coalition, often led by affected communities, to focus those with lived experiences. Our commitment to working across the lines of difference includes our willingness to engage in dialogue with groups that challenge our policies. Let us move forward together to advance human rights and dignity for all. “

JCPA, the Coordinating Group for Jewish Public Policy Groups, and the Reform Party’s RAC have in recent years focused on defending voting rights. “In keeping with our 77 year history, the JCPA will continue its continued commitment to voting rights in coalition with interfaith and diverse communities, including our involvement in rallying free voting and for fair elections. , free and accessible to all. Said its senior vice president, Melanie Gorelick.

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of RAC, said it was “unfortunate that an organization refuses to unite to protect voting rights. The work of our coalition to ensure that every American has access to the right to vote is too important not to remain in partnership as we push Congress to act.As an organization committed to social justice and our progressive Zionist values, we will continue to work towards the passage of comprehensive legislation on the right to vote. “

Representative Jerry Nadler, D-New York, speaker of the United States House of Representatives and a leading advocate for voting rights in Congress, also weighed in. justice here in the United States, in Israel and around the world – is misguided, unproductive, offensive and wrong, ”he said on Twitter.

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Okanagan Forest Cleanup Group Receives Conservation Officer Service Award – Summerland Review

A group of volunteers who clean up the backcountry received an award over the weekend.

The Okanagan Forest Task Force (OFTF) received a Special Recognition Award from the Conservation Officer Service on Sunday (October 17).

OFTF founder Kane Blake said it came as a surprise Sunday when he and a group of volunteers had a short meeting before they started cleaning up along Beaver Lake Road in Lake Country. Since the group works closely with the Okanagan Conservation Officer Department, Blake said they briefed officers on the morning meeting, but didn’t suspect anything special was going to happen. .

“We told them about the morning meeting and they said they wanted to attend,” he said.

“It made sense because it’s hunting season so there are traffic controls and things like that. So we waited for them to show up, did our morning meeting and at that meeting in front of everyone, they presented us with the award.

North Okanagan Conservation Officer Ken Owens said it was a pleasure to present the award to Blake and the OFTF, who helped fight the illegal dumping in the back -country and other wooded areas of Kelowna and the Okanagan.

“In Kelowna, we are very fortunate to have a community group of outdoor enthusiasts, the Okanagan Forest Task Force, who organize volunteer clean-up events and outdoor recreation areas,” he said in a statement.

“Since their formation in August 2016, they have cleaned up over 360,000 pounds of trash locally… I can’t say enough about how lucky we are to have (Blake) and his dedicated group of volunteers who collect the waste. backcountry surrounding Kelowna illegal dumpers which had become a real problem.

For her part, Blake said it feels good to be recognized for the hard work they do.

“It’s not just for one person or anything, this award is for the whole group and all of our sponsors,” he said.

“Without them we would be nowhere. With ABC Recycling, Nor-Val Rentals for our equipment, Ford who got my truck back on track, Canadian Tire who helped with the suspension and tire work on my truck and Dan Carter from Red Cherry Media who helped with our new website.

He added that the volunteers were happy and excited about the award and encouraged them to keep doing the work they are doing.

The new OFTF website now has a page where people can report illegal dumps in the backcountry, along with a map of the reported locations, and Blake encourages residents to report sites in as much detail as possible.

“I just want to thank the community for the support in everything our group does,” he said.

“We’re not going anywhere and we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.”

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Aiven lands $ 60 million investment at $ 2 billion valuation, up from $ 800 million in March – TechCrunch

Aiven, a Finnish startup that helps companies combine a variety of open source technologies with public cloud infrastructure resources, today announced an investment of $ 60 million on a valuation of $ 2 billion. The news follows a $ 100 million investment in March at a valuation of $ 800 million, a big increase in such a short time.

World Innovation Labs and IVP co-led the cycle with input from Atomico, all existing investors. Today’s round, which is seen as an extension of the $ 100 million round C announced in March, brings the total amount raised to $ 210 million, according to data from Crunchbase.

Company CEO and co-founder Oskari Saarenmaa says the company is helping simplify the management of open source projects in the cloud. “We started working on Aiven in 2015 and wanted to create a cloud data platform that we would have liked to use on our own. [when we were working as engineers prior to creating the company]. We created this cloud operations platform that could turn the best open source data technologies into managed services on any public cloud.

The company works with a portfolio of nine open source data technologies, including Kafka, Cassandra, OpenSearch, and Grafana. Saarenmaa stresses that they don’t just commercialize these technologies, they also help communities build these tools. In fact, they recently formed a team of 10 engineers dedicated specifically to writing code for the open source projects that are part of their product portfolio.

If you think that many of these tools already have startups built on these open source technologies, you are right. He acknowledged that they sometimes overlap with companies that have their own cloud services built around open source tools such as Confluent do with Apache Kafka, but they try to package them in a way that makes it even more streamlined for customers by providing the cloud infrastructure to the public, as well as the open source data technology required for any data processing project.

One of the reasons the company attracts this type of investment is that it is growing rapidly and currently has 700 clients in 50 countries around the world. They are also working with some software companies to further increase the company’s reach in the market.

They’ve grown from a 40-person team before the pandemic, adding more than 200 employees since March 2020, with plans to continue building the team. As they do, Saarenmaa says they are making diversity a priority. “It’s very important for us to be able to recruit leaders that candidates can really connect with and identify with. I don’t think there is any other option but to make diversity one of the top priorities, ”he said. That said, he admits that the staff still lean heavily towards men, even as they try to change that.

He says that despite the substantial appraisal, the company sees great value in staying private for the time being. “It makes perfect sense for us to continue to be an independent company and grow on our chosen path, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t plan to become a public company at some point. That’s probably how we think, but we’re not exactly working on the filing of our S-1, ”he joked.

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