first_imgSome of the highlights and challenges of last year are included in the City of Dawson Creek’s 2010 Annual Report that was released recently. The report is a detailed summary of the corporation’s operations in 2010, including the goals and objectives set by city council and each of the city’s departments and the performance standards by which those goals were measured, and the goals and objectives going into this year. It also includes audited financial statements for 2010.The report will be presented to council for approval at its annual meeting on July 18, but council is seeking input from residents prior to the report being approved.“We put out this annual report so people can learn more about the community they live in, and we encourage everybody to go online and read it – or if you want a hard copy, you can come down to City Hall – and take a few minutes to see how great your community really is,” said Mayor Mike Bernier.- Advertisement -He said one of the highlights for him in the report is the amount of private investment and new construction that happened last year – 276 new business licences were issued and the value of building permits totaled a record-setting $59 million.“When most of the country was still trying to get out of an economic downturn, it was one of our busiest year’s on record,” said the mayor.He said it also encouraging to see all the new houses going up and the new residents moving into them – new residential housing starts totalled 76 units in 2010.Advertisement “We’re seeing a lot of new families move in, and it’s really great to get out and meet them and start to hear their issues and concerns and get them involved in the community,” said Bernier.Of course, a prolonged drought caused the City to implement Stage 4 water restrictions – the highest level possible – last August. The mayor said while the city can`t control the weather, the water shortage did emphasize the need for a new water reservoir to increase the city`s stored capacity, and for the council to implement changes to the city`s water and sewer rate structure.Those changes were approved late last year and implemented at the beginning of this year, and they have caused quite a bit of controversy, as many residents and business owners are irate over substantial increases to their water bills. City council has maintained the new rate structure is necessary to ensure the physical and financial sustainability of the city`s water and sewer systems, and Bernier said he is not worried about the political consequences of that decision heading into a civil election later this year.“I don’t make my decisions based on if it’s going to be popular in the community and get me re-elected – it’s is this going to be the right thing for the citizens of Dawson Creek and to make sure the city runs properly. We worked for three years to get all of the information and come up with a plan to have our water fund sustainable so we can continue running the water system.”Advertisement Preliminary work begun in 2010 on the new Calvin Kruk Centre for the Arts, being constructed inside in the old post office building downtown. The project hit a snag last October after bids for construction came in substantially over the approved budget, forcing council to seek voter consent to borrow up to $4 million to cover any shortfalls once the project was re-tendered.Bernier said it was clear from the town hall meetings held and the counter-petition process that the majority of the community supported the project and wanted to see it move forward.“The arts community is a big part of Dawson Creek, and obviously they were 100 per cent behind this. If you look at any community, they need to have an arts centre, it’s kind of an anchor and all part of our well-being of life.”Council also pursued another ambitious project last year, finalizing a deal with Shell Canada in September that would see the company fund the majority of the construction cost for a facility to treat the citys effluent water in exchange for a large proportion of that treated product over 10 years to use in its natural gas operations. Councils goal was to provide local oil and gas companies with an alternative to using potable water in their operations.That project was also met with controversy, as some residents questioned whether it was the best deal the city could have got to build the facility, some business owners expressed concerns about there not being enough product available to them once Shell took its portion, and even local pilots were concerned about the resulting reduction to their floatplane base at the airport.Advertisementcenter_img Bernier said council remains firmly behind the agreement.“It just makes sense when you’re trying to save water in your community and trying to reduce the amount of water industry is using to do something like this. Somebody else is paying for it, it’s going to save our water, it’s keeping the industry in town – there’s just so many positives with it that it made sense from council’s perspective that we had to pursue this.”For those interested in providing feedback on the annual report, written comments received before July 12 will be included in the agenda for the July 18 annual meeting, though comments will still be received at the meeting prior to the final approval of council. For enquiries about the report, contact Brenda Ginter, director of corporate administration, by fax at 250-782-3202, by email at bginter@dawsoncreek.ca or by mail at Box 150, Dawson Creek, B.C., V1g 4G4.The full annual report has been attached here for your convenience.last_img

first_imgMillions of Instagram users have had their photos, videos and locations secretly breached by strangers, it has been revealed. Worryingly, content downloaded included Instagram Stories – which are supposed to vanish after 24 hours.But marketing firm Hyp3r made copies of “millions of posts every month”, according to an investigation by Business Insider. The pics, clips and location data was all taken in violation of Instagram rules.Hyp3r is a marketing company that tracks your social posts tagged to locations.Customers can then use this data to target you with relevant ads.In a statement, Hyp3r CEO Carlos Garcia said: “Hyp3r is, and has always been, a company that enables authentic, delightful marketing that is compliant with consumer privacy regulations and social network Terms of Services.“We do not view any content or information that cannot be accessed publicly by anyone online.”Instagram breach exposes personal data of millions was last modified: August 10th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_img11 May 2012Some of the most expensive properties in South Africa have been bought by foreigners, it’s true. It is also true that the Western Cape especially is home to small colonies of Germans, French and British expats. You can even buy proper Austrian meatloaf and German magazines in Constantia in Cape Town.Currently there is a small, but notable, trend establishing itself: British retirees are increasingly looking to South Africa in their golden years. It turns out that it’s not just due to the fantastic climate or amazing scenery – it’s about saving their pensions.‘Solvency-II for pensions’Due to the worldwide economic crisis, there have recently been a number of proposals – dubbed the “Solvency-II for pensions” – made by the EU that directly affect pensioner’s pockets. The Telegraph reports that the country’s biggest companies (6 850 companies with final salary pension schemes) could see their liabilities skyrocketing to more than double what they are now, and analysts warn that this could force them to close.The bad news continues; according to the Alexander Forbs National Pension Index, retirement incomes in the UK have fallen by £13 000 since 2000. Richard Evans illustrates the real term implications of this in The Telegraph with the analogy that a 30-year-old could expect two-thirds of his or her final salary in 2000. That number has gone down to 39 percent.SA one of seven ‘places to retire’What does any of this have to do with the South African property market?Quite a bit in fact; due to the weak local currency, a British retiree can live well in South Africa – even on a diminished pension. Shelter Offshore, an international expatriate advisory website, indicates that South Africa is currently rated among the seven places to retire for an affordable lifestyle, along with Argentina, Northern Cyprus and Slovenia.Importantly, foreign pensions are not taxed here, whereas a tax-free income limit of £9 205 only will apply as of 2013, after which a tax of 20 percent to 45 percent will take effect in the UK.Craig Featherby, Cape Town-based regional manager of deVere Group, a UK financial advisory firm, recently revealed that “over-55s have lost faith in the UK’s economy, tax and pension system; last year 252 000 people left the UK, and 24 000 of them came to SA.“Certain fears may remain as far as currency fluctuations are concerned, but retiring here must be an attractive option, I think interest might well increase,” believes Jan le Roux, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.It is safe to assume that many of these retirees will invest in the local property market in their favoured areas: Cape Town, the KwaZulu-Natal coast and, occasionally, in Sandton, Johannesburg.Local market to benefitIt is true that foreign investment makes a small contribution to the local property market.According to the FNB Property Barometer, the impact remains unchanged at four percent. The report does look back at the heydays of 2008, where these investments comprised 20 percent of the market. It is safe to say that such peaks will not soon be repeated.“That being said, four percent may sound low but, one must keep the domino effect in mind; today’s sellers are often tomorrow’s buyers,” says le Roux.As such, South Africa isn’t set to become another Mallorca, where over 60 percent of properties are not owned by local Spaniards but by other nationalities. But it does seem that the local property market could benefit from British pensioners moving here.Sapalast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As National Pork Month draws to a close, the Pork Checkoff is launching a new national awards program to recognize, inspire and connect the next generation of American pig farmers. Through Nov. 22, the National Pork Board is seeking applications from young producers to become one of the 2017 Pig Farmers of Tomorrow at www.pigfarmersoftomorrow.com.The new award will recognize future farm leaders, ages 18 to 29, who intend to make pig farming their life’s work and are committed to the U.S. pork industry and to raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles.“One of the National Pork Board’s primary responsibilities is to train and motivate future pork industry leaders,” said Jan Archer, National Pork Board President, a pig farmer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “The award is designed to recognize and inspire youth who are investing their time and energy into responsible pig farming.”Up to three award recipients will be selected in the program’s inaugural year. Winners will be invited to speak at National Pork Board events, including the March 2017 National Pork Industry Forum in Atlanta. They also will be responsible for providing content via the pork industry’s social media program #RealPigFarming. To apply, applicants must be actively involved in raising pigs in the U.S. on a full- or part-time basis and be between the ages of 18 to 29 as of Jan. 1, 2017. Students currently enrolled in a college program also are encouraged to apply.Applicants must have a completed Common Industry Audit or be willing to have one conducted and paid for by the National Pork Board. Applicants also must submit social media content defining a “day in the life” on their farm and upload up to 10 photos with 140 character descriptions. The National Pork Board selection committee will name up to eight semi-finalists who will be interviewed by a panel of judges to select the finalists. Three winners will be chosen based on a combination of all application materials.“It is important for youth in our industry to make the right connections at the right time as they build a career in agriculture,” Archer said. “As the winners share their personal stories, the program will not only recognize these future leaders, but will introduce them to experienced producers and networking opportunities.”last_img read more

first_imgThe clever use of silence can help you guide your audience’s reaction to your film. Let’s take a look at how to pull it off.Cover image from Raging Bull (United Artists).While films like Baby Driver may be the peak of creative sound design, films that know how to make use of quietude and silence are another way to move audiences. Either approach depends on what the story and style dictate. As a filmmaker, it’s up to you to understand how to bring your story to life. So, let’s explore how silence can be an important filmmaking tool.Force the Audience into the MomentIn this video essay by Every Frame a Painting’s Tony Zhou, he breaks down how Martin Scorsese will often use silence in key sequences of his films to create heightened awareness. The audience feels the soundtrack disappearing beneath them, forcing them to focus on the moment — often before Scorsese punches it back in abruptly for a knock-out blow.Give Action Extra PunchIn 2011, two stylized modern western films premiered to widespread acclaim. While both PT Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and The Coen brothers’ No Country For Old Me are memorable as perhaps the greatest films in their respective directors’ filmographies, they stand apart in one key arena: soundtracks.Audiences appreciate There Will Be Blood, for many reasons, among them the film’s stark, abrupt, and chilling soundtrack, composed by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. No Country For Old Men is equally renowned for its directors’ decision to forgo a soundtrack altogether.The absence of non-diegetic composition can give an extra level of “realness” to your sequences. Emphasis on brutal actions, like car crashes or gun shots, seems more abrupt, and these sequences hang in the air longer as the audience lingers with the echoes throughout an entire scene or film.Convey IsolationSilence can also be powerful when it conveys the inner isolation of a character. This is famously apparent in Mike Nichols’s The Graduate, when a young Benjamin Braddock isolates himself in the deep silence of his family’s swimming pool, escaping the pressures of the real world. As an audience, we enter the character’s isolation in the scene as we experience the stillness — only to come back, tongue-in-cheek, with Simon and Garfunkel’s recording of “The Sound of Silence.”Add Emotional DepthAs a filmmaker, you can use many different techniques to cue emotional responses in your audience. One of the most powerful, as we see in the above clip from Peter Jackson’s original Lord of the Rings, demonstrates how simply removing the sounds of the characters’ cries of despair can seemingly make them that much more emotional and deep.While Gandalf may be lost to the Balrog, the audience feels the emptiness of grief with the characters, creating a much more meaningful scene. This is a powerful tool that you can use to similar effect in your own films and projects.For further inspiration, here’s a great top ten video by Cinefix on some of the most famous uses of silence in film history.last_img read more