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first_imgOn Thursday, USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative hosted Gene Simmons at the University Club as a guest speaker for 60 students currently in the program.Path to success · Former KISS star Gene Simmons speaks to Neighborhood Academic Initiative participants at the University Club on Thursday evening about his own experiences facing adversity as an immigrant. – Austin Vogel | Daily TrojanOthers in attendance included Pavel Krapivin, vice president of Warner Bros. and former student of the USC Math, Science and Technology High School, and Kim Thomas-Barrio, executive director of NAI.NAI is a college access and success program with neighborhood students in grades six through 12 in conjunction with the university.“[This program] allows the academic rigor students need and the support families need for first generation college-goers from underrepresented minority groups,” Thomas-Barrios said.Since its first graduating class in 1997, NAI has  graduated more than 700 students. Forty percent of those graduates attended USC with a full four-and-a-half year scholarship package, not including loans.“All of this is in a neighborhood where about 50 percent of the students who attend neighborhood high schools drop out before graduating from high school,” Thomas-Barrios said.Thomas-Barrios said the decision to have Gene Simmons speak to a group of NAI students was an easy one for her and colleagues, who knew that students could relate well to Simmons, who immigrated to the United States from Israel with his mother when he was only 9 years old.“I am you; you are me,” Simmons said. “I wasn’t born here … when I first came to the United States of America, I heard the words, ‘What are you, stupid? Can’t you speak English?’”Simmons, like many of the students at the USC magnet schools, did not speak English as a first language. Simmons encouraged every student to do what he did: work as hard as possible each and every day, rather than giving up in the face of adversity.“When you take a look at the most powerful people in the world, they’re not the prettiest, they’re not the tallest … they may not be the smartest. They worked the hardest,” Simmons said.Pavel Krapivin, a colleague of Simmons’ and a former student of Thomas-Barrios’, was also able to relate to the current students of NAI as an immigrant who did not speak English as his first language, but taught it to himself by reading science textbooks.Krapivin, who attended USC after high school, has stayed close to NAI and his former professor and principal. His success story is one of the many inspirations current NAI students have.“When the school opened, I wanted to come here to learn, and I am very happy to come back here because all of you are going to do great things and once you do, you’ll want to give back,” Krapivin told the students. “It feels good to come back and to do things for other people.”Simmons, known for his role in the rock band KISS, encouraged students to ignore unsupportive people and to always believe that they are extraordinary.“Anybody that makes you feel bad, get rid of them — get them out of your life,” Simmons said. “You don’t have time for them, because they’re just vampires — they’re going to suck the life out of you.”One of the things Simmons emphasized to the students was that nobody was stopping them from succeeding except themselves.“All the information in the world, finally, for the first time in history, is available to you and to the richest and the most powerful, for free. … There’s nothing preventing you from scaling the heights — nothing — except you. All the opportunity you’ve got here, you’ve got to take advantage of it.”last_img read more

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first_imgMaxwell Konadu’s Ghana side for Tuesday’s clash against Ethiopia at the African Nations Championship shows four changes from the previous starting line up. Mohammed Sulley, Theophilus Anobaah and Godfred Saka are forced out with injuries while Yahaya Mohammed is however suspended for this fixture. They have been replaced by Paul De-Vries Asare, Latif Mohammed, Francis Morten and Seidu Bancey as Konadu shuffles his team for the final Group C game in Bloemfontein at 17:00 GMT. Asare and Latif earn their first starts after coming off the bench in previous games while Morten and Bancey get to make their tournament debut. Morten has been drafted in to take the place of Saka, who picked up an injury during training on Monday. Ghana, who are pushing a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament exclusive to players based in their home countries. Ghana Line up: Stephen Adams, Francis Morten, Tijani Joshua, Nuru Sulley, Kwabena Adusei, Michael Akuffu, Richard Mpong, Jordan Opoku, Seidu Bancey, Paul De-Vries Asare, Latif Mohammedlast_img read more

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first_imgThe English football season returns on Sunday when Premier League champions Chelsea meet FA Cup winners Arsenal in the FA Community Shield at Wembley.The match comes 64 days after the Gunners ended the domestic season with their 4-0 FA Cup win over Aston Villa.Neither side have added significantly to their squads over the summer – though goalkeeper Petr Cech will make his Arsenal debut against his old side.Chelsea could hand a start to new signing Radamel Falcao.Falcao, 29, spent last season with Manchester United but endured a poor campaign, scoring just four goals in 29 games. He signed a season-long loan deal from Monaco earlier this summer, while Chelsea’s only other signing is goalkeeper Asmir Begovic from Stoke.He replaces Cech, 33, who played 494 games in 11 seasons at Stamford Bridge before his £10m move in JuneChelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that striker Diego Costa (hamstring) and defender Gary Cahill (nose) are both fit after pre-season injury concerns.A rivalry renewed: Wenger v MourinhoSunday sees two Premier League giants collide, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hoping to beat a side managed by Jose Mourinho for the first time. Wenger is yet to taste victory against Mourinho in 13 attempts and the two managers have already been involved in one disagreement this summer.Mourinho suggested that Arsenal had spent more money than Chelsea over the last few years, with Wenger responding by saying he “does not listen to what people think or say”.On Friday Mourinho repeated his belief that Arsenal can mount a serious title challenge this season but played down his rivalry with Wenger.He said: “It doesn’t matter about Arsenal, it doesn’t matter about the manager. “I never made it an explosion of happiness or special pride in my victories over Arsenal. I do not make a drama if one day we lose.”In return Wenger light-heartedly suggested the media favour Mourinho: “I’ll leave your love story with him to continue without interfering.”I wouldn’t like to interfere in that.”When challenged that Mourinho believes it is Arsenal who receive preferential treatment, Wenger replied: “So it’s all about love.”Arsenal – who have not scored against Chelsea in over eight hours of play – did win last season’s Community Shield – beating Manchester City 3-0 at Wembley. –last_img read more

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first_imgOil and gas sector As the time draws closer for first oil, which is expected in the first half of 2020, Government has been making plans to prepare for this new sector, which has the potential to transform the economy, improve infrastructure, and advance the social services in the country.However, much has been said about the Government’s slothfulness in looking towards implementing key pieces of legislation that would guide the sector beyond that critical year.Adding his voice to that argument is former Government minister and political analyst Dr Henry Jeffrey, who feels Government’s approach is questionable.A drill ship offshore Guyan“From the little that I read in the press, I am not impressed that we (Guyana), or the Government, has its hands on all the major pulses,” Jeffrey told Guyana Times in a recent interview.He opined that the coalition Administration has not inspired in the Guyanese populace any significant hope that it knows what it is doing in this sector.He said, “We have now set up an Energy Department. We have a head who doesn’t know anything about oil, and we will have to depend on somebody as the chief technical head who worked with a foreign Government for 6 months.”Dr Jeffrey was referring to Dr Mark Bynoe, who is experienced in the area of climate change and other environmental issues.On the other hand, the technical head he referred to is Matthew Wilks, who was appointed Oil and Gas Adviser in the Department of Energy within the Ministry of the Presidency. Wilks has worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, among several other countries.It was, however, reported that Wilks had, in January of this year, joined a company called Spring Stone Energy Limited, and had worked there until he took up the post at Guyana’s Department of Energy.There has been great suspicion that the company lists Matthew Edmund Wilks as its director and Amanda Catherine Wilks as a director, finance manager and secretary of the company. The company also has two shareholders, it has been reported.“You can have hundreds of years working for the industry itself, but you have to know the ramifications with working with pressures, particularly a place like Guyana. And what does that mean? If you work with the Government of Australia, the relation with them and the Opposition might be a normal democratic thing. It’s not here,” Dr Jeffrey stated.Local contentOn the issue of local content, the political analyst also expressed disappointment at the manner in which this issue is being dealt with by both the Government and those within the local private sector, whom he feels should be demanding certain benefits.“I think the local content was perhaps one of the first legal documents we should have had. Up to now we are still messing around with it. And people are saying, ‘Don’t worry we’ll look after you’. There is no rule that you have to use services in Guyana,” he added.The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) had submitted a model local content legislation to the Government, saying that the move is part of safeguarding the rights of Guyanese businesses. The Chamber has expressed disappointment that there has been no legislative framework since 2015, when the first oil discovery was made here.President of the GCCI, Deodat Indar, has contended that the draft Local Content Legislation, if adopted by the APNU/AFC Government, would fill that gap and correct the wrongs being done to Guyanese businesses.The draft Local Content Policy has in recent months been criticised for lacking provisions which would safeguard against exploitation by companies, especially since there have been intensified reports of local companies being bypassed for contracts and services.While Dr Jeffrey recognises the work the private sector has been doing in regard to the draft Local Content Policy, he said, “I see they are doing things, but they have always been relatively weak. If it were a case of Jamaica, it would have been a different game. Yes, they are pressing, but they are still in that initial stage; and maybe the entire political structure has made them so. They are not as vocal, pressing and pushy as they would have been normally expected to be.”The second review of the local content policy is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year. Government has said it is important for the new legislation to be ‘balanced’, since a ‘too strongly national’ local content policy can jeopardise the efficiency or the viability of the company being relied on to harness the resource.Guyana is now home to the world’s biggest new deep-water oil discovery. United States oil giant ExxonMobil has been keen to push development of the oil reserves. Production could begin in 2020 with production of some 500,000 barrels of oil a day. (Samuel Sukhnandan)last_img read more

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first_imgFor the last 30 years, Ronelle Tibbits has passed by a nondescript building that spans almost an entire city block and wondered what it was.The building sits just west of Vancouver’s Fire Station 3 on Mill Plain at Devine Street. It’s fenced off and barely visible from the street. The only clue nearby is a water tower.It’s a big clue. The building is a city water reservoir that holds up to 8 million gallons. It’s one of several reservoirs storing 24 million gallons of water citywide. The specific number of reservoirs and their locations isn’t something the city readily divulges, though, because of national safeguards implemented after the 9/11 attacks, according to Loretta Callahan, public information officer for Vancouver Public Works.“It’s something we remain mindful of,” Callahan said.While their exact locations will remain a mystery, she did say there are a total of 10 water reservoirs in the city.In addition to the water reservoirs, Vancouver boasts 40 wells and nine water stations. The city’s water system serves 240,000 customers and boasts 1,000 miles of distribution pipe.Tyler Clary, Vancouver’s water systems and engineering program manager, said the reservoir was built by the Vancouver Housing Authority in the early 1940s to support the needs of housing built alongside the World War II shipyards.last_img read more