CyncHealth, Nebraska’s Designated Health Information Exchange, Joins Gravity Project to Create Better Standards to…

first_imgLocal NewsBusiness Pinterest Previous articleBucs fans set to cheer inside, outside Super Bowl stadiumNext articleApple Reports First Quarter Results Digital AIM Web Support WhatsApp Pinterest Facebook By Digital AIM Web Support – January 27, 2021 Twittercenter_img TAGS  CyncHealth, Nebraska’s Designated Health Information Exchange, Joins Gravity Project to Create Better Standards to Effectively Address Social Determinants of Health Nationwide Twitter WhatsApp Facebook OMAHA, Neb., Jan. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — CyncHealth has joined the growing collaboration of health care systems, digital health companies, community-based organizations, government agencies, and consumer advocacy groups leading national efforts to accelerate social determinants of health (SDOH) data interoperability through the Gravity Project. The Gravity Project convenes a nationwide collaborative of subject matter experts to develop national standards for SDOH data collected and exchanged in electronic record systems. The initiative brings together a diverse community to identify and review terminologies, conduct a gap analysis, and develop recommendations to address the gaps using nationally recognized data standards. Initially, the project focused on the domains of food insecurity, housing insecurity (including housing instability, homelessness, and housing quality), and transportation insecurity. In partnership with CyncHealth, Gravity is expanding to additional domains such as financial strain, material hardship, stress, and social isolation, as well as demographic attributes. Standardized codes better enable the use of data for patient care, as well as understanding current gaps in services or needs in communities. There is growing recognition across healthcare clinicians of the importance to capture and access data on the needs of social care. In August 2019, the Gravity Project became an HL7® Fast Health Interoperability Resource Accelerator (FHIR®) Project with the goal to accelerate the development, testing, and adoption of the FHIR specification for SDOH data exchange. FHIR is a nationwide standard for certified health IT and API interoperability. “CyncHealth is proud to partner with the Gravity Project in this important domain of healthcare interoperability,” said Jaime Bland, CyncHealth President and CEO. “Creating better data to address social needs helps reduce barriers and improve access to care, which ultimately improves the health of our communities.” The Gravity Project’s efforts closely align with the work CyncHealth is doing through Unite Nebraska, a community information exchange. Partners in the exchange are connected through a shared technology platform, Unite Us, which enables them to send and receive electronic referrals, address people’s social needs, and improve health across communities. Unite Nebraska is part of a groundbreaking multi-state initiative that includes Nebraska and six other states across the central region, with funding support through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Unite Us also is involved with the Gravity Project and supports the mission to standardize SDOH data and create a common language for the industry to connect health and social care. “CyncHealth’s participation in the Gravity Project is ideal in more than one way,” said Taylor Justice, President and Co-founder of Unite Us. “We know the Gravity Project will benefit from CyncHealth’s visionary leadership and expertise in cross-sector collaboration. And we’re eager to support CyncHealth, CyncHealth’s customers, and other Gravity Project partners in the demonstration and practical application of these concepts to models of care, payment, interoperability, and analytics, and in turn, share these learnings with the industry,” Justice added. Two CyncHealth leaders serve on the Gravity Project’s advisory committees: Joy Doll, Chief Academic Program Officer for the Nebraska Healthcare Collaborative and Vice President, Academic Programs, NEHII Shared Services; and Naresh Sundar Rajan, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Technology & Operations. “We are excited to partner with CyncHealth on advancing the work of the Gravity Project and accelerating the development of nationally recognized interoperability standards for social determinants of health. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the need to address health disparities and individual’s social needs,” said Evelyn Gallego, CEO of EMI Advisors LLC and Program Manager for the Gravity Project. “Now more than ever, health information exchange entities like CyncHealth play a critical role in facilitating interoperable data exchange between clinical settings that may first identify the social need and community-based organizations that help to address the social need.” About the Gravity Project Initiated by the Social Interventions Research & Evaluations Network (SIREN), with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and in partnership with EMI Advisors LLC, the Gravity Project creates consensus-driven standards that address social care in clinical settings, integrate SDOH data into a digital infrastructure, and enable the collecting and exchanging of individual-level SDOH data across and in between clinical and community-based organizations. Follow the Gravity Project on LinkedIn and Twitter. About CyncHealth (NEHII is now CyncHealth) CyncHealth’s mission is to bring trust and value to health information technology by creating solutions for moving health data forward. CyncHealth is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a public/private governance model that includes health care providers, payers, and the State of Nebraska. CyncHealth is the designated statewide Health Information Exchange designed to share clinical and administrative data among providers in Nebraska and neighboring states. CyncHealth’s purpose is to achieve health care transformation through community betterment collaboration while protecting the security and privacy of medical information. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. View original content to download multimedia: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cynchealth-nebraskas-designated-health-information-exchange-joins-gravity-project-to-create-better-standards-to-effectively-address-social-determinants-of-health-nationwide-301216675.html SOURCE CyncHealthlast_img read more

Senator O’Domnhaill backs party leader as Fianna Fail decide not to contest election

first_img Google+ Pinterest 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Facebook Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Google+ Pinterest Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th WhatsApp News Twitter Senator O’Domnhaill backs party leader as Fianna Fail decide not to contest electioncenter_img WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR The Fianna Fáil leader is denying the party’s finished as a political force, after deciding not to contest the Presidency in October – the first time in its history it won’t contest a national election.The Parliamentary Party agreed not to run a candidate – and the leader says the focus has to be on renewing and rebuilding Fianna Fáil and regaining the trust of the people.Party leader Micheal Martin says he will advise members how to vote in the election once nominations close, at the end of next month.And Donegal Senator Brian O’Domnhaill has agreed with his party leader, and he says Fianna Fail are certainly not finished……[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/bri1pm.mp3[/podcast] Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal By News Highland – September 1, 2011 Twitter Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Facebook Previous articleTwo more golden eagle chicks born in Donegal this SummerNext articleNo agreement to sell Donegal Creameries’ dairy division as talks continue News Highland last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgIn other Tuesday NBA action:—The short-handed Dallas Mavericks rallied from a 22-point deficit in the second half to stun the Utah Jazz 122-114 on Monday. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Mavericks with 27 points and Seth Curry added 22. Boban Majanovic had 20 points and nine rebounds. It was the biggest comeback for the Mavericks since 2016. The win means Dallas still has a slim shot at earning the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. In NBA news:— Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) will miss the Milwaukee Bucks’ game Monday with the Toronto Raptors after undergoing oral surgery. Bucks coach Mike Budehnolzer said Monday it was uncertain whether Antetokounmpo would play in the team’s final two seeding games Tuesday against the Washington Wizards and Thursday against the Memphis Grizzlies.VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTS Three of the top seven women in the rankings, including No. 1 Ash Barty, have pulled out of the U.S. Open. So has defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal.PRESIDENTS CUPRoyal Montreal Golf Club to host 2024 Presidents Cup.MONTREAL (AP) — Royal Montreal Golf Club, the oldest golf club in North America, will host the 2024 Presidents Cup.The club was founded in 1873 and held the Presidents Cup in 2007. The U.S. won that edition in which Canada’s Mike Weir beat Tiger Woods in a Sunday singles match. PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Cardinals haven’t played since July 30 because of virus concerns and now will have to wait even longer before getting back on the field. The entire three-game series between Pittsburgh and St. Louis at Busch Stadium has been postponed. There have been 27 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of the coronavirus, 13 of them involving the Cardinals. Eight St. Louis players in total have tested positive, including star catcher Yadier Molina.MLB-INDIANS-FRANCONAFrancona returns to Indians bench TuesdayCLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona will return to the team Tuesday after missing more than a week so he could rest while dealing with a gastrointestinal condition. The team says Francona will be in the dugout when the Indians open a two-game home series against the Chicago Cubs. Francona has missed Cleveland’s past eight games with the gastrointestinal issue, which has bothered him since spring training. The 61-year-old skipped the Indians’ weekend trip to Chicago to get extra rest. Francona is in his eighth season with Cleveland. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNBA-SCHEDULE-THUNDER-SUNSBooker’s 35 help Suns top Thunder, remain perfect in restartLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Devin Booker scored 35 points, and the Phoenix Suns rolled past the short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder 128-101 on Monday to improve to 6-0 in the restart and improve their playoff chances. The Suns have surged in the Western Conference standings. They entered the day just 1 1/2 games behind eighth-place Memphis and a game behind ninth-place Portland in the race to qualify for a spot in the play-in series. Tallon’s contract as president of hockey operations and general manager expired July 1, and was extended by Panthers owner Vincent Viola to get through the remainder of a season that was stretched out by the coronavirus pandemic. The Panthers were eliminated from the playoffs on Friday, falling to the New York Islanders in four games. In other NHL news:The New York Rangers won the second phase of the NHL draft lottery, giving them a shot at selecting Alexis Lafreniere. The Rangers were among eight teams that lost in the qualifying round of the playoffs with a chance to claim quite a consolation prize Monday night. The league was forced to make a lot of changes after the COVID-19 pandemic paused the season. The league’s bottom seven teams ended up not winning the first phase of the lottery in June. — The Hockey Hall of Fame has postponed its 2020 induction because of the pandemic. The ceremony was to have taken place Nov. 16 in Toronto.The 2020 class was announced in June and featured forward Jarome Iginla, winger Marian Hossa, defensemen Kevin Lowe and Doug Wilson, Canadian women’s goaltender Kim St. Pierre and longtime general manager Ken Holland.— The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Reilly Walsh to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 21-year-old Walsh, a 2017 third-round draft pick, played the past three seasons at Harvard. The puck-moving defender had 27 goals and 51 assists in 96 games. TENNIS-US OPEN WITHDRAWALSFormer champ pulls out of US OpenNEW YORK (AP) — 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova is adding her name to the growing group of players withdrawing from the Grand Slam tennis tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic.Kuznetsova wrote on Instagram that she is pulling out of the U.S. Open and the tournament preceding it at the same site in New York. The Western & Southern Open starts Aug. 22. The U.S. Open begins Aug. 31.The 35-year-old Russian also won the 2009 French Open and has been ranked as high as No. 2 in singles. She is currently No. 32, which would have put her in line to be seeded at Flushing Meadows. Royal Montreal will become the second international venue to host the Presidents Cup more than once, joining The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.The Presidents Cup is held every other year and features a team of U.S. players against players from the rest of the world minus Europe. Associated Press Update on the latest sports August 10, 2020 In other MLB news:— The Tampa Bay Rays have placed right-hander Charlie Morton on the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his pitching shoulder. The move comes one day after Morton was removed from a start against the New York Yankees in the third inning. Morton is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts this season. He was an All-Star in 2018 and 2019. NHL-PANTHERS-TALLON OUTDale Tallon, after 10 seasons, out as Florida Panthers’ GMUNDATED (AP) — The Florida Panthers will have a new general manager next season, making the announcement that Dale Tallon is leaving the franchise after 10 years. — President Donald Trump has joined a U.S. senator and a number of coaches in the push to save the college football season from a pandemic-forced shutdown. A growing number of athletes have spoken out in support of saving the season. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says the Wolverines have shown players can be safe after they return to school. And in a letter to the presidents and chancellors of Big Ten schools, Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse wrote that players will likely be safer with football than without, because of the “structure and discipline of football programs.”— Old Dominion is canceling its fall sports season because of the coronavirus pandemic. President John Broderick made the announcement Monday, saying he knows student-athletes and fans will be disappointed, but playing “posed too great a risk.” — SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has weighed in on the powerhouse league’s situation regarding a decision on the football season. Posting on Twitter, he said he doesn’t know if college football can be played during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the best advice he has received since the pandemic started was to be patient making decisions.MLB-PIRATES-CARDINALS-POSTPONEDMore cancellations for the Cardinals Mountain West delays football seasonUNDATED (AP) — The Mountain West has become the second FBS conference to postpone its football season, punting on the fall with an eye toward playing in the spring.A person involved in the decision told The Associated Press the Mountain West would not play any sports in the fall. The Mountain West’s decision comes less than a week after it announced plans to play an eight-game conference football season and allow its members to pursue two nonconference games. Now the 12-team Mountain West, which includes Boise State, Air Force and San Diego State, joins the Mid-American Conference as leagues from the highest tier of NCAA Division I football to bail on the fall season and hope to make a go of it in the spring.In other college sports developments:last_img read more

Ghana Ocean Racing outdoors logo

first_imgThe Ghana ocean racing has outdoored its logo at ceremony at Hilburi Resort at Aburi in the Eastern Region.The event was to honour Peniel Kobby Boateng who emerged the winner of a contest for design of the logo for the Ghana Ocean Racing team.The Ghana Ocean Racing team joined the world of ocean racing in 2012 after the National Sports Authority gave approval for the team to represent the country as the new national team.The Ghana Ocean Racing team is currently working to enter the Amateur Clipper World Race in 2015/16 to prepare the team for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017/18 and the IMOCA race series.last_img read more

Ninety Seconds: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s Story

first_imgThe concept of athletes expressing political perspectives more generally has also been on the agenda in basketball specifically, with LeBron James being told by a Fox News host to ‘shut up and dribble’. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum or your  personal views towards the divisive issues above, sports also have a universal and powerful ability to bring people together. We are going to look at a story from the 1990s that explored these same issues and resurfaced in popular discussion more recently. It begins with contentious political discourse and leads to the other side of the world, community and lifelong friendships.90 SecondsNational Anthems last about ninety seconds. Taken in isolation, such a small amount of time may seem trivial. But that was enough time to change Mahmoud Abdul Rauf’s life. His offensive stats were almost unheard of in college basketball, and something that new Atlanta Hawk and former Oklahoma Sooner Trae Young managed to emulate recently.In his first NBA years, though, Abdul Rauf’s mood at any particular time tended towards “annoyed”. He didn’t play as many minutes as he would have liked and he didn’t shoot well when he did play. The Nuggets are playing fast for that time period (99.8 possessions per game, third in the league – in 2018, they’d be dead last) but they fail to accommodate his style of play.Quoting Phil Jackson in 2016, who in some way triggered the Abdul Rauf conversations more recently, said he was “Steph Curry before Steph Curry”. Never seen anything like SCurry? Remind you of Chris Jackson/ Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who had a short but brilliant run in NBA?— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) 28 February 2016A well-behaved playmaker didn’t dare to be such a volume shooter off the dribble, and much less from three point range, and yet he did. Even ten years later, Steve Nash didn’t grasp how valuable it could be to run the ball looking for individual offense and play the position that way. Speaking about his career retrospectively, Nash said “I wasn’t smart enough to see that maybe I should shoot 20 times a game”.Abdul Rauf’s beliefs dictated that his lifestyle was very different from many of his teammates. That number 1 he wore on his jersey told that very story: all by himself, against everyone else. You won’t find many stories about him partying into the early hours or spending much time in nightclubs for example. While traveling through the country with his Nuggets, Abdul Rauf instead chose to spend his time on the road by visiting low-income communities and praying at local mosques.Ramadan fasting challenged his already thin frame, seeing him slim down to just 145 lbs. In Denver they asked questions and they grumbled. Neither did they understand his muscular spasms, his tics, or his manias: all of them symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome. The condition had been a torment through his childhood before he received a late diagnosis and finally, some answers. To fight these symptoms as a player he had developed some coping strategies, like focusing on the perfect free throw shooting technique. Abdul Rauf boasts the second best all time (single season) free throw percentage (behind Calvin Murphy) when he shot .956 on 229 attempts in the 93-94 season.Shooting statistics from this time period often don’t compare to current players due to the ways in which the game has changed. For comparison though, Abdul Rauf for his career shot .905 from the free throw line. For comparison:Steph Curry – .904Steve Nash – .904Mark Price – .904Peja Stojakovic – .895Ray Allen – .894JJ Redick – .891Klay Thompson – .852In fact, the only reason Mahmoud Abdul Rauf does not appear as the all time leader in free throw percentage is due to his shortened NBA career. In order to qualify for the all time list he would need to have made 1200 attempts. He finished on 1161 attempts.The people around him saw his tourettes coping mechanisms like the obsessions of an alien. Then, suddenly, love blossomed. A 51 point career high against John Stockton’s Jazz in late 1995. A 39 point and 10 assist outing against Jason Kidd’s Mavericks. Two playoff runs, and the historical 1994 campaign where the Nuggets, owners of the last spot in the Western Conference, beat the odds and sent the Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp-led Seattle Supersonics packing. Those were the iconic Nuggets featuring Dikembe Mutombo, Brian Williams and Laphonso Ellis, clad in the navy jersey with golden numbers and logo – a fresh start after the (likewise remarkable) jerseys sporting the Mile High City’s skyline.After that March 10th discussed earlier however, there was no love lost for Abdul Rauf. A loophole and a compromise allowed him to listen to the anthem standing up, but with his chin facing down and his hands gathered in prayer. Denver didn’t like the continual political  discussion about it and they didn’t want him around by the end of the season, shipping him to Sacramento. Displaying what an issue the subject had become, four men stormed into a Denver mosque playing The star-spangled banner with their trumpets. Through Abdul Rauf’s actions, Islam more generally was being associated with ‘unpatriotic’ perspectives.Suiting up for the Kings, Abdul Rauf’s numbers went down and rookie Anthony Johnson surpassed him in playtime. He started to feel abandoned. “It was close to impossible to play in the U.S. after that. The doors were shut, but I said the NBA wasn’t the only show in town and I was going to make use of my God-given talent – even if it meant playing in Timbuktu”. Not Quite TimbuktuAbdul Rauf moved to play in Europe. Furthering his detachment from mainstream US society even further, came the tragic events of September 11th 2001. After this date, to be an American Muslim that criticized the USA and the government, was like walking around with a target drawn on his back. So Abdul Rauf was to stay in Europe. Every trip became a pilgrimage at heart, leading him closer to Mecca, which he finally visited while playing in Turkey, for Fenerbahce.For most professional basketball players, leaving the NBA means bidding farewell to a certain lifestyle, a job and a home that welcomed you. In Abdul Rauf’s case, it was arguably the first place he ever really called home. The place where he was born, in humble and humid Gulfport, Mississippi, was (quite literally) falling apart. While he was pondering whether to enroll for his third year at LSU or to declare for the NBA Draft, he climbed the stairs to the bathroom, opened the faucet and the sink came crashing down on his feet. He decided he would never walk through that door again before having earned enough money to give his family a better life.He built a new house outside town, but it was vandalized, then burned down. Hurricane Katrina also stormed through Gulfport, wreaking havoc. LSU’s campus was not always a happy space for Mahmoud either. The more he delved into the books and thoughts of Malcolm X, thanks to his coach Dale Brown and the history and civil rights classes he was taking, the more he became uncomfortable with being a student athlete. He didn’t like the dynamic of the University gaining money thanks to his athletic prowess, but him getting nothing (financially) in return.In Europe, the recent Abdul Rauf revival wasn’t as shocking as it was in the US. It’s no surprise to see him competing at fifty years old in the BIG 3 League, still in great shape and quick, because he played throughout Greece, Italy and Russia well into his forties, ending with a Japanese appearance for Kyoto Hannaryz. It’s perhaps also less of a surprise in Europe that the game has evolved in a direction he foresaw in the 90s. Maybe because Europe was detached from the associations that Abdul Rauf had in the US, clubs were able to value Abdul Rauf’s (at the time) peculiar approach to playmaking without the same controversy attached to him. In a less politically charged atmosphere, it was simply his play and not his beliefs that shaped the assessment of him as a basketball player. In just one Italian season, 2004/2005, Abdul Rauf left a lasting memory among Roseto’s fans. Abdul Rauf is still considered to this day one of the best foreign players to star in the Italian League.Roseto is a small town of 25,000 people, near Teramo by the Adriatic Sea, a community glued together by an enthralling passion for basketball: despite the limited market. The local team had successful campaigns both inside domestic borders and in international competitions. As a nod to his faith, he is affectionately known as  “Il Califfo” (the caliph) and the love is mutual. In 2015, ten years after he played there, Abdul Rauf was called back to Roseto by local authorities to perform a tour of schools, squares and gyms. A veritable celebration that made him spill a few tears and inspired some fresh thoughts on the strong bonds basketball can create. “I love this place dearly. When noone wanted to give me a chance anymore, Roseto was one on the few places that granted me one last shot. The town and the fans treated me like I was one of them. Since I left the town, there’s always someone in touch with me, asking me how my family is faring, how am I doing. I’ll always be thankful to this town, from the bottom of my heart. I’d gladly live here one day”. On the other side of the world, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf found a home.RetrospectiveQuestioned about today’s political scenario in sports and the role of athletes as spokespeople for a community, Abdul Rauf has mixed reactions. On the one side, he’s comforted by the example of other athletes showing up for the beliefs they stand for: their stances gain a resonance that was impossible to imagine in 1996, and obtain a rate of approval that was unavailable to him. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/f3/b3/mahmoud-abdul-rauf-denver_1fc7dzcbihee712urqcs5pz1tf.jpg?t=-1581771329&w=500&quality=80 Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the political views of outspoken athletes like Abdul Rauf, his career in particular counterintuitively speaks to the ability of basketball to bring people together. The fact that even someone as controversial as he was considered in this time period was able to plant new roots, find a new home in a new culture and share some of his greatest professional memories demonstrates this point.The “Steph Curry before Steph Curry” as Phil Jackson immortalised him, both in style of play and through his overt political perspective predicted future trends. But he wasn’t stagnant as a person or in his views. From Abdul Rauf’s perspective, his journey has been one of striving to continually improve. “I strive to be the best person I can, the best human being, although I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. This is my battle. Being the best I can under many perspectives: intellectually, spiritually, morally, socially. I fight every day”.The National Anthem lasts just 90 seconds. That was enough to change Mahmoud Abdul Rauf’s life. He had the chance to meet with Colin Kaepernick and the conversation excited him. “There’s a verse in the Quran that says, ‘Be in the company of the righteous,’ Money doesn’t matter. Family doesn’t matter,” Abdul-Rauf said. “I don’t mean that in a bad way, but you get to the point the truth means more to you than anything. That’s powerful. It’s nice to be in the presence of people like that”. The National Anthem is a ritual that you’ll notice before international sporting competitions. It serves the purpose of stirring national pride in both the audience and the participants. Many countries, such as the US, also observe the practice before domestic sporting fixtures too.As a musical expression of national identity, many people will view the anthem as something that should always sit above political discourse and disagreement. Completely separate. The conversation around athletes’ conduct during the national anthem and how it relates to national and personal identity has been revisited recently around the figure of Colin Kaepernick. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d7/c7/abdul-rauf-michael-jordan_vspkk7kqarko1wf695sgd6hu5.jpg?t=-1580771713&w=500&quality=80 https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ac/d/chris-jackson-lsu_92jvowbcl9x21udz5m8907wp9.jpg?t=-1581879393&w=500&quality=80 Mahmoud Abdul Rauf was originally given the name of Chris Jackson. But just like a politically-driven athlete before him (Muhammad Ali), in 1993 he chose to go by the name that he perceived God to have given him (Mahmoud Abdul Rauf). Abdul Rauf came to Islam through the writings of Malcolm X and his faith continued to shape his path both as a person and as a basketball player.In his own words, during those ninety seconds whilst the anthem played, Mahmoud claimed to feel like he was disrespecting his beliefs. Listening to the anthem with his back straight and his shoulders squared, while the star spangled banner was being lifted up and waved by a uniform-clad trooper. The flag is held as a symbol of freedom, but Abdul Rauf claimed that in certain other parts of the world, it represented something different. Abdul Rauf also began to question the strict wording that athletes should “stand and line up in a dignified posture” He thought this contradicted the very freedom that the lyrics spoke of.In 1994 Mahmoud Abdul Rauf began questioning the rule. He stayed in the locker room, entertaining himself, warming up or strolling along the sidelines. He hid himself from sight. That was until March 10th, when he decided to behave according to his beliefs and for everyone to see. He made his way to the hardwood earlier than usual and when the music started, he sat; the only one, ostensibly, among the 17,171 that packed McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado that night.Ninety seconds, and the elephant in the room had emerged from its hiding spot. For both the media and the audience, all hell broke loose.“My duty is to my creator, not to nationalistic ideology”, he said.“In Greece they’d stone him”, one newspaper replies.“One cannot be for God and also be for oppression”, he argued back.Looking retrospectively, Abdul Rauf explained his decision.That was a gradual process. It came through my reading. I began to read more, I began to think about issues more. And the more I read and the more I thought, I said… Why am I doing this? I don’t want to be like some type of robot, just doing things because other people are doing it. I began to question, why am I doing what I do? Do I believe that this is the right thing to do? So I came to this decision. I said, “No.”“Go back to Africa”, read one of the many letters sent to his home address. “I am glad that you finally decided to stand for the national anthem because you have a lot of young children looking up to you, wanting to be like you. You would have probably ruined their future because they would have grown up and disrespected our country like you did”.With less polished prose, someone simply slams a “F*** you, Mahmoud”. He keeps those letters to this very day, stored in a trash bag, and sometimes he pulls them out to read them once again. The hate still hurts, but it reminds him of the reasons behind his choice.Ninety seconds to change a life. A one-game suspension, to go along with the fine he received, was no big deal in comparison to the accusations and stigma that eventually pushed him out of the league.Abdul Rauf the PlayerMahmoud Abdul Rauf was a restless prodigy, walking the thin line between love and hate wherever he played. This was partially because his style of play was twenty years ahead of its time and many struggled to decipher it. Denver welcomed him warmly in the 1990 NBA Draft, trading All Star Fat Lever in order to select him. His two-year stint at LSU had been an absolute blast, playing alongside the irrepressible Shaquille O’Neal. Jackson (as he was known then) had a 48 point outburst in just his second game with the Tigers, a feat that earned comparisons to the great Pistol Pete Maravich.last_img read more

Virat Kohli reminisces his early career as DDCA unveils a stand in his name

first_imgAdvertisement sojNBA Finals | Brooklyn VscnfWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ec4guwr( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 5zWould you ever consider trying this?😱vh6a6Can your students do this? 🌚bgwdkRoller skating! Powered by Firework The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) unveiled the Virat Kohli pavilion in their annual awards function and the Indian skipper couldn’t help but reminisce about his early days at the stadium. The DDCA also renamed the iconic Feroz Shah Kotla as Arun Jaitley Stadium in a homage towards the late politician and sports-administrator at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday.Advertisement “Never thought I would be honoured at such a grand scale. Don’t know how to address this as my family, wife, brother, sister-in-law are here,” said a nostalgic Virat Kohli.Advertisement “It was in 2001 (2000) during a match against Zimbabwe, my childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma gave me two tickets. I remember clinging to the gallery grill asking for Javagal Srinath’s autograph. I was telling my brother how far we have come. So today to have a pavilion in my name at the same stadium is surreal and a great honour,” he added.A short video on Kohli’s journey from his U-19 days to being the Indian captain was shown in the ceremony, in the presence of the entire Indian cricket team along with the support staffs.Advertisement On his relation with the late Arun Jaitley, Kohli said, “I told Arun Jaitley ji’s family that the world knew him differently but I have known him just as a human being.”“He came to my residence after my father’s death and gave me courage and strength. It’s a momentous occasion today” he added.The Indian team along with their skipper was felicitated by Sports minister Kiren Rijiju while former sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and India legend Kapil Dev, were also present. Advertisementlast_img read more

Special election looming

first_img “In a low-turnout election, it’s not who has the most going for them who often wins, but it’s who communicates most effectively what they do have going for them,” said Giarrizzo, who is also a Sacramento-based political consultant. This weekend, the alliance organized teachers, police officers and firefighters to do precinct walks throughout the state, joined by local political leaders. In Los Angeles, about 800 teachers in town for a California Teachers Association meeting were scheduled to break from the meeting to do precinct walking and phone banking in downtown and west Los Angeles. Courtni Pugh, the alliance’s campaign manager for Los Angeles County, said that, on any given weekend, the group will have about 400 to 800 volunteers hitting the streets. Until recently, there were more nonunion member volunteers than members, she said, as the local unions were focusing on campaigning to and mobilizing their own members, but that ratio has just started to change. “For those who think this is just a labor fight, I would ask them to come to our precinct walks and see it’s normal everyday working families that are out there,” Pugh said. “It hasn’t been all labor members.” Meanwhile, the Schwarzenegger campaign also has been focused on grass-roots efforts, including precinct walking and automated phone calls featuring the governor’s voice. This weekend, the governor’s effort kicked off a series of house parties, with plans to host hundreds around the state by Election Day. At the parties, guests discuss the initiatives and watch a DVD provided by the campaign. “(The parties are) a true grass-roots effort,” said senior campaign adviser Jeff Randle. “It’s a way to take the campaign out of Sacramento, away from all these attack ads. Let people discuss the campaign with their friends and neighbors and talk about the issues.” Both campaigns have also been working to target specific demographic groups within California, particularly producing bilingual ads for the Spanish media. To target the Latino community, the alliance has produced a glossy brochure that links Schwarzenegger to former Gov. Pete Wilson, who garnered dislike among large segments of the Latino population for backing Proposition 187, the 1994 measure that sought to deny public benefits to illegal immigrants. The brochure features side-by-side photos of both governors and asks voters in Spanish and English to help “stop the Wilson-Schwarzenegger agenda.” It also prominently features a photo of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa criticizing the governor’s measures. Schwarzenegger has in the past relied on advice from Wilson and several former Wilson staffers to serve in prominent roles in the Schwarzenegger administration and the campaign, though the former governor himself has been out of public view during the campaign. Michael Saragosa, the Schwarzenegger campaign’s ethnic coalitions director, said Schwarzenegger was his own man with his own agenda. “That’s what they’re going to try to do. They try to call him the Bush Republican, the Wilson Republican. The governor is a Schwarzenegger Republican, which means he supports all folks. We’re not tied to Pete Wilson. We’re not tied to George Bush. He has his own ideas and thoughts.” Indeed, when Bush visited California last week, Schwarzenegger did not meet with him, in what some political observers believe was an intentional effort to distance himself from the president, who did not win California in 2000 or 2004. The governor’s campaign also has ads in the Spanish media. They do not feature Schwarzenegger himself, but rather ordinary people speaking in Spanish about why they support his measures. The campaign is coordinating its efforts with the California Republican National Hispanic Assembly and recently picked up endorsements from several Latino business groups, Saragosa said. Both campaigns are also focused on absentee ballot turnout and clearing up voter confusion about polling place locations for an election in which there will be a smaller number of polling places than usual. Los Angeles County, for example, will have 2,172 polling places open on Nov. 8 – about half the number open for regular elections. “This was an unscheduled election,” said deputy registrar Kris Heffron. “We had a limited amount of time to get polling places. People are used to the regularly scheduled elections, and this not being a regularly scheduled election, they didn’t have space set aside for us.” But Heffron said that won’t necessarily mean long waits at the polls because more voters appear to be using absentee ballots. The county has received about 489,000 requests for absentee ballots this year, out of almost 3.9 million voters countywide. The election is expected to cost the county about $11 million, though a small portion of that will be reimbursed by cities and special districts that are having their own elections on the same day. Schwarzenegger has said previously he wanted the state to reimburse local costs, but the Legislature has not passed any such bill. Voters have until midnight Monday to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election. Harrison Sheppard, (916) 446-6723 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week While television ad campaigns are expected to continue at massive levels, groups also are increasingly focused on get-out-the-vote efforts at the local level. While no official voter-turnout projections have been issued, campaigns estimate it could be anywhere from 30 percent to 45 percent. And perhaps nowhere is the battle for voters more pitched than over the governor’s ballot measures. The Alliance for a Better California, the primary group opposing the governor’s reform agenda and ballot measures, is relying heavily on manpower provided by the state’s public unions, which stand to lose influence and funding if some of the ballot measures pass. The governor has backed four measures on the ballot: Proposition 74, which lengthens the time it takes teachers to get tenure; Proposition 75, which requires public employee unions to get members’ approval before spending dues for political purposes; Proposition 76, which would limit state spending; and Proposition 77, which would set up a panel of judges for redistricting. Alliance field director Phil Giarrizzo said the group had mobilized about 6,000 volunteers and personally contacted about 1 million voters since early September. SACRAMENTO – With two weeks left before the statewide special election, campaigns have begun focusing on their ground games, boosting one-on-one efforts to convince Californians to vote amid a flurry of competing messages. With more than $200 million raised for the election, including at least $80 million by the pharmaceutical industry alone, political analysts say the direct contact is critical as voters are flooded with television advertising and face a crowded ballot on Nov. 8. “They’re all using TV in unprecedented levels,” said Barbara O’Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and the Media at California State University, Sacramento. “The ad clutter from that is awful. “The real question is whether or not it’s having an effect on anyone. Everyone I know is tuning them out, TIVO-ing them off or walking out of the room.” last_img read more

Happy Birthday, dear Nelson Mandela!

first_img18 July 2011 At 08:05 on Monday morning, around 12-million school children all over South African sang “Happy Birthday” to Nelson Mandela as he celebrates his 93rd birthday – echoing the sentiment of people across the world. From “Happy birthday dear Tata, we love you Tata,” to “Nelson Mandela there is no one like you”, the little voices sang on the cold winter morning. The occasion was televised by the national broadcaster. In a birthday message by President Jacob Zuma, broadcast before the kids’ song, the President said Mandela had laid a solid foundation for this country and it was now up to South Africans to continue his legacy. “From the moment Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela strode out of prison on the 11th of February 1990, we knew that South Africa would be a different place,” Zuma said. “He showed us that despite the divisive racial oppression and hardships that this nation had gone through, it is not only possible, but necessary to embrace one another and to reconcile the South African people. “We have achieved a lot, but we must still work further to eradicate poverty and improve especially the lives of children, because Madiba loves them so much. Most importantly, we must spread love, ubuntu, humility and selflessness around us.” Mandela fever is expected to grip South Africans today, but no place will feel the spirit as much as the former Transkei region in the Eastern Cape, where Madiba was born. Unlike in previous years, where the community used to join in the birthday celebrations, this year it will be a private affair as the grandfather of the nation spends the day quietly with his family in Qunu. Pictures sent out by the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Sunday showed a frail but happy and content Mandela with his immediate family around him for a small gathering. However, this has not deterred the world from celebrating his birthday. Birthday messages are coming in from all corners, with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter flooded with well wishes to the beloved old man. Many of the messages recount his life’s achievements, while encouraging people to take a page out of his book by making a contribution to changing the world. Facebook user Barbra Vhengedza wrote: “A true blessing to a mother, an honour to a family, nation and continet as a whole … We thank the Lord for his mercy, grace and love to us through you. You are the father of Africa … the unity of many nations. May God bless you and your family. Enjoy your day. Happy birthday!” Christian Mbuyisa wrote: “Madiba, a hero, a man who led South African society from diversity, taking the road ahead in unity. You are a hero because you won. May God richly bless you from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Happy Birthday Tata Madiba.” Similar treads were also on Twitter, with Shashi Tarror writing: “Happy birthday to Nelson Mandela, statesman, nationalist &humanist, who guided South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy.” Some retweeted his famous quotes like: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall,” and “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” South Africans and the world are standing up and making a difference in their communities, and in the process, continuing the legacy of Madiba. People have been urged to donate 67 minutes of their time doing good for others in his name. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Greening Bank-Owned Homes

first_imgBefore a bank puts a foreclosed property back on the market, typically the bank does some bare-bones repairs on the property. What if, instead of doing the bare minimum, the bank decided to look at the foreclosed property as a challenge and opportunity?While I completely understand the economies of scale in which banks operate — and that most appraisers don’t recognize green improvements as a true value added in the appraisal value of a home — I think this is the most opportune time for banks to re-examine their process. I mean, honestly, it’s not like properties are selling quickly in this market — and what if the properties started selling faster because of the newly, bank-added green elements in the homes? So, if I were a bank and couldn’t do a full green rehab, here is what I would do…The Quick and EasyI would focus on the easiest and quickest things to change that would have the greatest impact. I would examine my typical process and then find a green alternative to each of the steps along the way. For example:Typical Steps in Prep Process1) New Carpet2) Paint3) Professional CleaningNew Green Process1) Laminate hardwood floors installed using low-VOC adhesives/sealants. If carpet is a “must have,” use carpet, padding and adhesives that are Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label certified. Do not install carpet in basements, bathrooms and laundry rooms — places where moisture problems are more likely to occur. Use resilient flooring.2) Paint with no-VOC paints, using lead-safe standards.3) Hire a cleaning crew who uses green cleaning supplies and techniques.What if the former owner, or a home invader, busted all the toilets and stole all of the appliances? Look at this situation as an opportunity: replace the toilets with low-flow or dual-flush toilets and install Energy Star appliances.Also instead of putting an unhealthy house back on the market for the next homeowner to have to deal with those issues, implement lead, mold and radon mitigation techniques prior to listing,Your turnThese are my thoughts… What are some thoughts you have on the subject? What else could banks do to cost effectively green their foreclosure stock?last_img read more

India secrets: Himachal Pradesh

first_imgSpars lodgeThis charming lodge on Museum Road is not just a great place to stay, but also has a small but terrific restaurant. Even if you don’t stay here, visit the restaurant for fantastic smoked chicken and trout as well as the local food. If you’re happy being a little away from it all, spending leisurely hours on the terrace enjoying the view, then you probably this is the place for you. Museum Road, Chaura Maidan; Tel: (0177) 265 7908Pappi da DhabaAs you drive beyond St Bede’s College on Cart Road, you will see a bunch of students waiting to get inside a small roadside dhaba. This is Pappi da Dhaba, where the aroma of delicious aloo paranthas will make you drool. The place is also famous for its fantastic cold coffee and keema paranthas, but if you are in the mood for something really different then go for chowmein samosa that is stuffed with noodles instead of the usual potato filling. If you go by the word of students, this dhaba serves the best breakfast in town. Cart Road, SanjauliSanjiv’s aira holme The charming cottage was built in 1920 as a billiards room and guesthouse in a sprawling estate called Morefield Grange. It is now the residence of Sanjiv and her artist husband, Birendra Singh, better known as Billy. Their home is full of oil paintings that Billy did in his early days. They have extended the cottage with locally available material such as wood and stone, and offer a couple of rooms for a homestay. Wooden flooring, fireplaces, large windows and balconies which overlook a garden filled with flowers and foliage and a green valley all add up to a very tranquil, restful stay in Shimla. There is no television in the rooms and the home is a no-smoking area, but no one’s complaining. Tel: 274 9374Hike to catchment sanctuaryClose to Kufri and around 12 km from Shimla, lies the catchment sanctuary. To hike in this area, go down to the Seyog Forest Rest House, in the middle of this silent forest and follow the trail. This is a fantastic place for birdwatching. You can also see pugmarks of various animals and on a lucky day might spot a few deer. It’s a pretty area with nine streams flowing. There is one rest house inside, and three outside the sanctuary. 12 km from ShimlaDimsums at Krishna bakersIt should not come as any surprise that this bakery makes amazing cookies, and the cakes and pastries are equally delicious. However, what many don’t know is that Krishna Bakers also makes the best dimsums in town. They are as good as the ones you will get at a Tibetan joint, and come along with chicken soup. Another unique product of this bakery is the sticky toffee. If you are looking for a quick snack, stop by and you will be happy with whatever you choose to eat. 4, The Mall; Tel: 280 6991Shali tibba hikeThe trek up to Shali Tibba, the highest peak in the vicinity of Shimla, is a lovely trail that winds its way through dense forests and beautiful meadows. You can go to Mashobra (13 km away) and then begin the climb, but this will be long and tiring. Those who prefer to trek a shorter distance (just five km), should go further up to Gultani. When you reach up, you’ll see a small Kali temple there, and views of the towering Himalayas around and the valley down below are absolutely stunning. If you want to spend a night, there is a guesthouse at Khatnol, the nearest village to Shali Tibba. But the trek is worth the effort for the views are spectacular. The hike begins from Mashobra, 13 km awayKalyani helipad Chharabra, a small village 13 km beyond Shimla, is home to the Kalyani helipad located on atop a hill. The helipad gives one the feeling of being on top of the world and the views of the mountains and the valley covered with thick pine forests are absolutely stunning. It is the perfect place to watch the sun go home. There are many trails going down to the valley if you want to explore this beautiful area. 13 km from ShimlaDargah Shareef Getting to this dargah that is visited by people of all religions and all walks of life is certainly not an easy task. You will have to go down 100 steps to get here. It comes alive on Thursdays when scores of people come here to offer prayers. More than 90 years old, it one of the most peaceful places to visit in this lovely hillstation. Ghora Chowki, close to Sankat Mochan templeTaka benchTaka Bench is located just above The Ridge. Locals visit this place whenever they want to apply mehndi or have their fill of lip smacking chaat and golgappas. As you climb up from The Ridge towards Jakhu temple you come across a few artistes, who are adept at intricate henna designs. Their charges are very reasonable. The chaat and golgappas sold by hawkers are delicious. Combine all this with the brilliant view of the Himalayas you get from the Taka Bench, and this becomes a place well worth a dekko. 3 km from the RidgeadvertisementadvertisementShimla: Tarun GuptaRaised in this charming hillstation, avid reader and travel enthusiast, Tarun, is convinced that there is no better place in the world. Tarun’s professional role as a strategy consultant keeps him in Gurgaon, though he yearns to return to Shimla and open his own B&B.Outside Shimla: Adventure sportsThe mountains of Himachal offer a number of adventure sports–from heli skiing, rafting, rappelling to rock climbing. Spend between five and seven days on an expedition of approximately 100 km, which combines river running and driving along Spiti and Pin rivers. You’ll go through some of the most sparsely populated parts of India. The rapids range from Class II to Class III, making this a trip everybody can undertake, while the minimum altitude of 3,000m adds an interesting twist. The route starts from the Paldhar Plains and runs to Rangrik (river), Langza (drive), Attargo Bridge (river), Mikkim (drive), Gulling to Poh (river), Tabo (river) and Sumdo (river). From here, drive along the old Hindustan-Tibet road to Shimla. At Manali, you can go heli skiing. A chopper transports you to the top of a peak making it convenient to ski down some of the finest slopes in the country. The choices lie in Hanuman Tibba, Deo Tibba, Rohtang Pass and Chandrakhani Pass. A key feature at Manali is the compact heli skiing area and all it requires is a flight time of around ten minutes to carry skiers to the top of peaks that are as high as 14,000 ft. From there it’s a thrilling ride down the slopes, their smooth ridges promising an adrenaline boost for the skier. There is opportunity for beginners too with gentler gradient slopes. The best time to go for rafting is from April to September                                                                          Must do: Himachal PradeshStay: Nalagarh Heritage ResortThis splendid Mughal-style fort has been built on five different levels with terraces and stairways connecting the entire structure. Surrounded by 20 acres of orchard and forest, it offers sweeping views of the Shivaliks. With its large spacious suites–some even have private balconies–Nalagarh makes a great romantic hideaway. Tel: (01795) 223 179; www.nalagarh.in Eat: German Bakery, Old ManaliManali is second only to Dharamshala when it comes to foreign tourists and this probably explains the immense popularity of the German Bakery located on Mission Road. One of the best places for a breakfast, it is known for such baked goodies as cakes, cookies, muffins and doughnuts. Shop: Kangra paintingsIf you’re artistically inclined, you might like to pick up some Kangra and Basholi miniatures from the Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba and the Kangra Art Museum in Lower Dharamshala.See: Pragpur VillagePragpur holds the unique distinction of being India’s first certified heritage village. Everything in this charming Himachali village is as it was over 300 years ago: the cobbled streets, slate roofs, mud-plastered walls, ornamental tanks, carved doorways and even the quaint little shops. Walk around the village, shop for shawls, enjoy a sumptuous meal at Judge’s Court, or just laze in the winter sun–it’s the perfect weekend break for city dwellers.advertisementlast_img read more