Bubble Dribble: What it’s like at Disney for the NBA Restart

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the Monday, July 13 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.I can’t remember the last time I felt this much anticipation for an e-mail.On Sunday night at 10:15, three people gathered outside my door, and a man dressed head-to-toe in a protective suit swabbed the insides of my nose and mouth. The swabs were placed in a tube, which were placed in a crate, which were whisked off to a private laboratory to test for coronavirus.The NBA, which ordered the tests on my behalf, tell me the results via e-mail if everything goes right and I test negative. By the end of the week, I’ll have been tested seven total times while locked down in this fourth-floor hotel room with a crystal blue pool close enough to gawk at from my window but not to use any time soon. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersI’m at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for the NBA Restart, and at the time of this writing, I’m about 48 hours into a weeklong quarantine during which I will be tested for coronavirus every day. If I’m able to clear that screening process, I’ll be one of a handful of on-campus media members (around a dozen or so writers) in the “bubble” who will bear witness to perhaps the most ambitious experiment the NBA has ever attempted — and one which I think it’s safe to say everyone hopes to never have to try again.The bubble is an exercise in layered emotions and motivations: Like the players, coaches and other assorted staffers who compose the NBA, I’m thrilled to get back to work. Like just about everyone in this country who has watched the toll of COVID-19 rise and rise, I’m filled with anxiety and a lurking sense of doubt I just can’t quash. But whatever happens, I’m here to tell the story — which could be about the power of resilience in the face of a pandemic, or about the hubris of trying to host sports while the world around us continues to struggle.This all came to a head about a week ago, when I learned Southern California News Group’s bid to cover the bubble had been accepted. While players and staff were tested in late June to begin their screening process, media was advised to self-quarantine and withdraw from socializing in July. There were no tests required before we traveled to Florida, which meant a more restrictive quarantine upon arrival.The opportunity forced me to examine a mental wall I’d constructed during the previous four months: While I wear masks and carry hand sanitizer everywhere I go, on some level I had tried to make peace with the idea that I would be exposed to coronavirus somewhere in the course of my everyday life. Suddenly, the desire to be a part of the bubble brought a renewed sense of urgency to my precautions, and underscored the sacrifice I would have to make to leave my life in California up through October. I relate to something Danny Green said on his podcast: “You never really plan for a road trip like this one … it’s like you’re going away to war or something like that, it’s weird.”I’ve attended 72 of 73 Lakers’ road games in the last two seasons, and I fly a lot. But I hadn’t flown since March 2, and while going through airport check-in, security and boarding was familiar, wearing masks and physically distancing ourselves from one another brought an edgy undercurrent to the whole process. Everything we know about coronavirus so far is that it can spread more easily in indoor environments with limited ventilation. While airlines have taken great pains to sanitize and filter the air, it was impossible to spend nearly five hours on a plane without asking myself: Is this worth it?center_img To be clear: The NBA is going to extraordinary lengths to try to shield bubble participants from COVID-19. At a reported expense of $170 million according to The Athletic, the league has brought its stakeholders to Disney, which can enforce its own protocols since it is privately owned.In-and-out traffic is heavily monitored on the campus. Employees wear masks and often have face shields. Participants are asked to keep track of their health signs, including taking their temperature and using an oximeter. There are multiple apps designed just for this campus to help navigate and monitor health. Wristbands (adorned with the silhouette of Mickey Mouse) give you access to highly trafficked areas, and if you have failed to follow some measure of the protocols — forget to fill out your survey, for example — then you will have to complete all steps before being allowed to these work areas.It has an uncomfortable feel of Big Brother, but precaution is king in an environment built to insulate from COVID-19.NBA games and practices will be both blessedly familiar and yet marked with precautions that will make them feel a little bit alien. No fans will be present at all. We will physically distance from players and staff while wearing masks. We will have close seats, but no work rooms, in order to limit the amount of places we go and potentially expose. Many facets of media access will be through Zoom, even for those of us who are literally in the same room.Even though we are on the same campus and will run into players and staff frequently, we’ve been asked not to approach the very people we see and work with every day outside of practice and game environments. That means restraining a very human part of yourself that simply wants to walk up to someone you know and say hello.None of these are meant as complaints — but these subtle differences add to the disorientation that this is both like the NBA we typically cover, and somehow not like that at all.It’s worth noting that in just 24 hours, I’ve noticed that being in the bubble is an exercise in patience. I arrived on campus on Sunday morning, expecting to be briskly tested in assembly line format like I’ve seen happen with some of the players. But instead, I was sent to my room after waiting in a lobby for about 20 minutes, then some 10 hours later, I finally was tested in my doorway. I had hoped to hear early Monday morning what the results were — if I test positive for coronavirus, there is an off-campus procedure to isolate from the rest of the bubble — but through Tuesday, I’ve had two negative results. That is welcome news, but given that the virus can take several days to become detectable, I’m far from out of the clear.There have been other small hiccups or gaps in communication as well: Food delivery times were pushed back a few hours once we were sequestered inside our rooms (as others have attested, the NBA compensated with substantial portions). We received an e-mail that we should have received a health monitoring kit with our MagicBands, but later received clarification that they would be delivered to us in our rooms. I received mine roughly 24 hours after arrival. We also learned Sunday evening that we would change rooms following our weeklong quarantine, which was a little disappointing to those of us who had already unpacked (in retrospect, it’s kind of funny).Again, all of this is not to complain about circumstances, but rather to observe safety takes time and effort to coordinate. And many of the delays have been a direct result of trying to do things in a safe way. That translates to teams, too, who will have to practice in strict three-hour windows so playing areas can be sanitized, or have to take the bus back to their hotel rooms without showering — ironically in the name of hygiene.While NBA players and staffers are already out of their 36-hour quarantine, they’ve been tested regularly for weeks. In fact, people in the bubble are tested so often that it’s worth noting the ethical gray area of test sourcing and laboratory resources used by pro sports perhaps at the detriment of the outside world. Testing glitches like the one that kept Danny Green out of Saturday’s practice could happen again, or the NBA could see a backlog in tests that render results less and less meaningful — especially as Florida in particular becomes one of the biggest viral epicenters in the world with 15,300 new cases as of Sunday.While all indications I’ve seen is that the NBA has the raw resources to pull this off, the best they can do is try to control the timing. You can’t rush along test results, or the time it takes to put on protective gear, or (more urgently) speed up how long it takes someone to recover from COVID-19. Because the campus concept was described early on as a “bubble,” the label stuck, but given especially that it is unfeasible for Disney employees to be tested en masse, the campus can’t really be considered a bubble. And an outbreak at the wrong time could send the entire experiment crashing down.But there’s something, too, that I need to admit: I want this to work. The NBA represents my livelihood, and if the restart fails, then there will be a lot of uncertainty about the league, which could see more than a billion in revenue shortfall. That feeling of wanting to see basketball again, and wanting my role to feel secure, is sometimes at odds with my role as a clear-eyed observer of the league and its challenges.At the same time, that’s something I want and something I miss: deadline writing, the thrill of telling the story the right way, finding the right details and ordering them just so. I’m glad to tell the stories of the NBA from inside the bubble, and I hope you follow along for the next few months of chronicling not just the games, but the safety, the anecdotes and the emotions from here at Disney.Being a part of the restart at all begins with that e-mail. If you need me, I’ll be in my hotel room for the next week — refreshing my inbox.— Kyle GoonEditor’s note: This is the Monday, July 13 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.From the BubbleRondo hurt – The Lakers veteran fractured his thumb at Sunday’s practice, meaning he’ll be out for likely six to eight weeks.Partying alone – The Lakers have apparently been slow to embrace bubble entertainment, resulting in Dwight Howard as the only attendee for a DJ on Saturday night.Wearing own his name, but supporting his causes – LeBron James won’t wear a social justice message on his jersey, but has some other things planned.A shifting standard of safety – Here’s how the NBA’s messaging has changed on how safe the “bubble” is.Bracing for positive tests – What Adam Silver said about the level of caution and the capacity for cancellation.Dwight’s in – Dwight Howard went on TV to say he was coming to the bubble.JR’s journey back – How the Lakers’ new signee dug out of a “depressed state” to get back in the league after almost two years.last_img read more


first_imgSENIOR members of Donegal Fianna Fáil were in the Árd Fheis audience tonight to hear their party leader Michael Martin apologise for the mistakes of the last Government.In his leaders address, Mr Martin accepted that it was not enough to blame the global recession or problems in the eurozone for Ireland’s economic problems.He said mistakes were made and the party should have acted differently in Government. Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP, Charlie McConalogue TD and several county councillors and Donegal party supporters were there.Here’s the speech in full:“Thank you for your warm welcome and for the spirit that has made this such a successful Árd Fheis.As we meet tonight, there are people throughout our country who are experiencing very hard times. They are struggling with finding a job, paying their mortgage or losing a loved one to emigration. The problems facing people are too serious for tired, old political games.I believe that people in public life have a responsibility to chart a way forward and to work to find solutions to the challenges facing Ireland.This party is determined to play a constructive and central role in Irish public life.  And our focus is very clear – we will do all we can to promote credible solutions to promote growth and job creation.This government of broken promises must be held to account for its bad decisions.  But we will tackle them responsibly.When something is right for Ireland, we will support it, when it is wrong we will oppose it. Let no one be in any doubt about where Fianna Fáil stands – we believe that politics must be about solving problems not exploiting them.We are a progressive party, which believes that the State can do a lot to help people, but it must also empower them to help themselves.We are a republican party which believes in listening to the people.  We believe in showing them respect by not pretending that there are easy solutions to even the hardest of problems.We are also a party which understands the need for profound change in both our organisation and throughout Irish politics. This is the first time I’ve spoken to an Árd Fheis as leader.  It’s a great honour and responsibility to hold this office.I first got involved in Fianna Fáil because we were a party of community, of integrity and of decency.We stood for social solidarity and were on the side of people trying to make ends meet.When Europe was falling to fascism, our founding leader Eamon de Valera introduced a democratic republican constitution for this state.We created social support schemes to help the weakest in society, gave a priority to pensioners and opened up Irish education.We secured investment in new industries, built vital infrastructure and supported all regions.That is the great party we all joined and it is the party that Fianna Fáil must become once again.I am determined to get us there.  But I need your help.I am the first person in my family to hold elected office.My parents taught us to respect different political views but, for them, republicanism came first and at its core was a duty to serve the community.I chose to join Fianna Fáil because of the progressive patriotism of the great revolutionary generation who fought for our freedom and founded this party.Those leaders were true radicals because they were willing to learn from their own failures and to listen when the people demanded a fresh start.Over the course of 86 years, our party has led progress for Ireland which has been sustained to this day.We have every right to defend our achievements.  Equally, we have a clear duty to admit our mistakes.It’s not enough to point to the worst world recession in 80 years and the Eurozone crisis.  Nor to point to the fact that other parties were demanding policies which would have made things worse – that’s for them to answer for.We were in government and we should have acted differently.We made mistakes.We got things wrong.And we are sorry for that.No equivocation.No half-apology.Just the plain, unvarnished truth.Last year the people did what they were right to do – they held us to account. People were angry and they showed it, delivering a historic defeat for us.We fully acknowledge the scale of the defeat.That is why we must now work for a deep and real renewal of both our party and of politics as a whole.This is a crisis which is just too serious to think it can be solved without a complete reform of our public life.For too long, this has been a political system which only discusses fundamental issues when they become a crisis. It concentrates nearly all power in the hands of 15 people sitting at the cabinet table. Dáil Eireann is becoming more irrelevant and ineffective.And it’s not just a national problem. In local government there are many examples. Just recently bin collections for half a million people in Dublin have been privatised with no consultation, inadequate tendering and disastrous results. The people of Dublin have consequently been treated disgracefully.If we are really to learn the lessons of the past, if we are to have a political system which can deliver long-term growth and stability, then reform isn’t an optional extra – it’s absolutely essential.Since the election things have actually got worse.  In the Dáil, the government’s control has increased and accountability has decreased.  Laws and budgets are being rammed through with less scrutiny, committees are less effective and important questions are not being answered.We believe that the Constitutional Convention to be formed in the next few months must consider changes which touch on every aspect of the political system.Every day we all deal with the impact of powerful bodies, like regulators, who set prices for basic things we need to run our homes and live our lives.  It’s time for them to be subject to proper parliamentary and consumer oversight which is independent of governmentIf politics is ever to change, then political parties have to change the way they work. Today Fianna Fáil implemented the most radical series of changes to its organisation since our foundation. Our members have been empowered to take a leading role.Fundraising has been changed so that nearly all money raised is now coming from small contributions. And we have also implemented the toughest ethical rules of any Irish political party.The next stage is to give members a real say in developing policy and to rebuild the connection with communities which was always our greatest strength.With the energy and idealism I have heard from talking with thousands of members in the last few months, I know they are taking the lead in renewing this party.I would like now to talk about our economy. First, I would like to acknowledge the courageous work our late colleague Brian Lenihan did in laying solid foundations for Ireland’s economic recovery.In fixing the economy the room for action is limited. I’m not going to pretend that there are easy options.  We have always supported a strategy of bringing the deficit down to a sustainable level.But let no one have any doubt there are still important choices to be made which will define Ireland’s future.We believe that the government has made many wrong ones.Some of these choices, such as the raid on personal pensions and the 2 per cent VAT hike,are costing jobs and reducing budget revenue. It was also their choice to introduce the most unfair budget in recent years.This is not a political claim, it’s a simple fact.  The ESRI and others have confirmed that this Labour/Fine Gael Budget fell hardest on ordinary families.There is a credible alternative.  There are affordable policies which can make the recovery faster, fairer and more secure.I am convinced that Ireland will come through this crisis. But to get there as quickly as possible we need to make the right strategic calls. You don’t need to sell off state assets at fire-sale rates in order to be able to afford to invest in the economy.We’ve published a detailed proposal that would generate €5.6bn for job-creating investments. This would involve a partnership between private pensions, the National Pension Reserve Fund and small investors to provide the capital necessary for vital projects. This would give pension funds a good rate of return – securing both the future of pensions and creating jobs.This is a practical solution which should be done and done now.After three years of recession, tonight at least 100,000 families are facing severe pressures in meeting their mortgage and household debt commitments.Many others feel trapped by mortgages which far outweigh the value of their home.Worst of all, the situation is not stabilising; it is getting worse month by month.Behind these figures is an enormous social and economic impact. It is being felt by many of you here tonight and watching at home.  Every one of us has a friend or family member who is in despair about how to manage and provide for their loved ones.If we want the economy to recover and to prevent a much deeper social crisis then the time has come for more radical action to help home owners in trouble.But what can we do? Well, for a start, we have published a series of measures to protect family homes and prevent repossessions. The government, by contrast, has taken a much more timid approach.At the centre of our proposals is the creation of a statutory debt settlement office. It has to be genuinely independent, not controlled by the banks as Fine Gael and Labour are proposing.Our Debt Settlement Office would secure binding agreements between homeowners and banks, reducing the debts of those under most pressure, to sustainable levels.Of course some banks have warned against being forced to help homeowners in trouble. The answer to them is simple; the help you got from every citizen of this Republic already includes provision for the write-down of domestic debt.They must act and if they will not they must be forced to.The cost of leaving things as they are – of letting the problem grow – is just too high.  The Irish public has a right to demand action, and action now.The foundation of progress and growth in this country has always been education.I am part of the first generation in my family to have been given the chance to finish second level and go on to college.  Throughout the working-class community I grew up in, education provided real opportunities which would otherwise have been impossible.Fianna Fáil has been responsible for every significant expansion in access to education in the history of this state. I am proud of that.  I want to be clear: supporting education is a core value for us and it always will be.We can’t be complacent.  There are still weaknesses in our education system, but equally it has many great strengths.There is no justification for the decision by current Ministers to use one survey to spin the worst possible picture of Irish schools.Ireland is very lucky to have a high-quality teaching force and they have achieved great things in often difficult circumstances.The choices this government has made on education are amongst its worst and they must be fought.Small rural schools are the heartbeat of their communities.  They should be cherished not attacked.  The cuts they are facing will impose the maximum damage for the sake of tiny savings.The targeting of cuts on the successful DEIS programme for disadvantaged communities are a disgrace. A half reversal is not enough. We will not stop campaigning until they have been completely reversed.At this time of great uncertainty for young people, the ending of all dedicated support for guidance and counselling is also just plain wrong.These cuts defy all logic and are unnecessary given the other funding options available to government.There are many areas where reforms have to be implemented in our schools.  Society keeps changing and so must they.  The agenda should be one of common-sense development, which is focused on the core skills of literacy and maths.For Ireland to recover it needs to value its education system and we will be second to no one in seeking to protect it.Agus leanfaimid orainn ag tabhairt cosaint daingean don Ghaeilge. Don chéad uair ó bunaíodh an Stát, tá an Ghaeilge ar tí dul chun cinn suntasach, buan a dhéanamh. Anois, le dea-obair TG4 agus Raidió na Gaeltachta, tá cláracha le hard-chaighdeán Gaeilge ar fáil. Ní hamháin sin ach mar thoradh ar an obair chrua atá ar siúl inár scoileanna, go háirithe sna Gaelscoileanna, tá an Gaeilge anois á labhairt in áiteanna sa tír don chéad uair ó aimsir an Ghorta.Ní hé seo an t-am chun gearradh siar ar an tacaíocht atá ar fáil do scoileanna atá ag múineadh trí mheán na Gaeilge. Agus ní hé seo an t-am chun ceisteanna a chur maidir le stádas speisialta na Gaeilge ar an gcuraclam. Botún stairiúil a bheadh ann, agus leanfaimidne orainn ag troid go láidir ina n-aghaidh.I know that education by itself is not enough to deliver the jobs Ireland needs. There are too many unemployed people with good qualifications for that to be the case.Government isn’t the whole answer, but it must do more. It has to help companies to compete.  And in this age of rapid change, government has to help create new industries if it wants to create new jobs.The right investment by the State can have a huge impact.Today, there are tens of thousands of jobs which are in industries that barely existed a few years ago.Ireland is a world leader in many areas like software, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food. This is because of the right choices taken by Fianna Fáil a decade ago to invest in research.There are a lot of people who think that research is something which concerns only a few people wearing laboratory coats. In reality, companies and colleges directly employ over 20,000 researchers, and many times that number in the wider community.Ireland’s research base has been transformed in a decade. It is now a great national resource which is only beginning to be exploited.Put simply, Ireland’s recovery needs the government to renew its commitment to research.Research and innovation can help every business and every single community in Ireland. Fianna Fáil believes this must be supported all the way from Blue Sky work to the factory floor.The right way to start would be to reverse the decision to abolish grants which help students from modest backgrounds to study at post graduate level.  It’s a socially regressive and economically foolish decision.The majority of jobs in this country are created by people running small companies.  There are many of you here, and watching at home tonight.  You don’t get on the evening news every time you create jobs, but you will be the engine of employment growth if you’re given the chance.The challenge today is to ensure that you get that chance.Every day I talk to small business owners who say that their single biggest problem is access to credit. The banks have received enormous funding from the state and the ECB specifically to help business survive and grow. But they have been holding the funding back in order to sit on unnecessary reserves. This is undermining business and costing jobs. If the banks won’t release the funding then it’s time to introduce legislation to force them.The government’s proposal to land millions in extra costs for sick leave on those we need to create more jobs makes no sense. It will increase unemployment and cost the State money.A better policy would be to reduce costs, particularly for businesses under pressure. Taking a lead on this, we will introduce legislation to allow an ability to pay clause for commercial rates. Locally, our councillors will also support reduced commercial rates as a way of stimulating local job creation and revenue.These are practical, innovative solution which can be implemented immediately – helping thousands of small businesses. Supporting job creation is going to be central to our work in the years ahead.Exactly fifty years ago Seán Lemass and the Fianna Fáil government submitted Ireland’s application to join what is now the European Union.  Jack Lynch, Paddy Hillery and others built this tradition further.Today, hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on our being a full and active member of the European Union.For Ireland’s economy to create jobs we need Europe to return to growth and investment.This has always been a pro-EU party and we are not going to change that now.We have taken the lead in setting out a detailed series of reform measures which Europe needs to get through the crisis.It reflects the policy we have consistently supported and because it is the right thing to do for Ireland, we will be true to our tradition and we will support this new treaty.We were founded as a republican party and republicanism remains our core belief.We will always believe in a united Ireland. We will work day and night to fulfil the republican ideal of uniting protestant, catholic and dissenter.In the last 14 years we’ve led the absolute victory of constitutional republicanism on this island.As far as I’m concerned the heroes of the peace process are the Irish people who were willing to open a place for the men of violence to abandon their illegitimate campaign of death, destruction and unrest.The end of violence is not the end of the peace process – it’s just the first stage of realising the great potential of this island.Our country cannot afford engagement between North and South to be reduced to a level of formal exchanges between official institutions – it needs to be stepped up. The all-island agencies should be expanded and strategic investment in integrating North-South links can and should be delivered in full.Fianna Fáil will never agree to step back from or wind down this process. For the sake of generations to come we need to realise its full potential.Ireland was very lucky to have such a wonderful President through these vital years. Tonight let us acknowledge the historic presidency of Mary McAleese and her role of building bridges on this island.The people of this country have told every party that they want a new politics.They want solutions not an endless election campaign.I’m determined that Fianna Fáil under my leadership will lead the way.This is a government making many unfair and damaging decisions, and we will never shirk from challenging them.But let me be clear, if you want destructive opposition, if you want a replay of the deeply cynical opposition politics seen before the election, then go elsewhere.If you believe in renewing the progressive republican tradition which built up this country, then join us.If you believe in building a future for Ireland based on supporting education, new industries and small businesses, then join us.If you believe in opening up politics to new people and new ideas, then join us.If you believe that politics should be about helping people not exploiting their fears, then join us.If you want to make a positive contribution to the future of our country, then join us.Fianna Fáil will not retreat from the fray.Ireland needs a viable and vibrant republican party.To renew our work and to regenerate our society is a huge national task.Join us in that great endeavor and let’s all play our part in getting this country back on track.”SPEECH IN FULL: SENIOR DONEGAL FIANNA FAIL MEMBERS HEAR LEADER APOLOGISE FOR MISTAKES was last modified: March 3rd, 2012 by BrendaShare 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)Tags:SPEECH IN FULL: SENIOR DONEGAL FIANNA FAIL MEMBERS HEAR LEADER APOLOGISE FOR MISTAKESlast_img read more


first_imgDeputy Charlie McConalogue says a number of measures contained in the Finance Bill will have a detrimental impact on farmers in the county.Charlie McConalogue TDHe claims he Bill must be amended to reflect the changing face of Irish farming, or risk destroying viable businesses.Deputy McConalogue commented, “The clause in the Finance Bill on agricultural relief is not only unrealistic and unworkable, it will act as a major deterrent for the new generation of farmers. Many young farmers in Donegal have to seek work outside of their farms to make ends meet. Government inaction on the beef crisis, which has seen prices plummet over the past year, has added to the financial burden on many farm families, forcing them to take on other jobs where possible to ensure a future for themselves. “If this Bill is not amended, hundreds of part-time farmers in Donegal will be excluded from the reduced stamp duty rates. This could see many younger farmers losing out because they are hit with the high tax rates associated with taking on the farms from their parents or other relatives. The Finance Bill requires active farmers to spend more than 50% of their working time on their farms, however the changing farming landscape has made it a necessity for many farmers to also have an off-farm job to generate a sustainable income.”He added that the Bill should discriminate against farmers who have been forced to take outside work to make ends meet.“It is extremely important that the Finance Bill does not discriminate against genuine part-time farmers, who because of the Government’s failure to invest in agriculture and support farming communities, are forced to take on outside work to make a living.“Fianna Fáil will be tabling an amendment to the Bill, which will protect genuine part-time farmers from excessive stamp duty payments”.  YOUNG DONEGAL FARMERS PENALISED IN UNJUST FINANCE BILL – McCONALOGUE was last modified: November 6th, 2014 by StephenShare 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) Tags:Charlie McConaloguedonegalfarmersFinance Billlast_img read more

‘Government being totally dishonest about home help’ – Mac Lochlainn

first_imgDONEGAL Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has accused the government of being being dishonest about home help.Senator Mac Lochlainn was reacting after his colleague and Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Louise O’ Reilly received a Parliamentary Question reply from the HSE which shows the number of home help hours promised in Budget 2020 is less than half of what is needed.“The government have had a freeze on home help hours due to their recruitment embargo for most of the year and it has meant that the waiting list for home help has exploded to 7,225 across the State with hundreds waiting in Donegal,” Senator Mac Lochlainn. “Fine Gael then tried to pull a fast one in Budget 2020 by making out the provision of one-million hours of home help would clear the whole waiting list. “Sinn Féin called them out on this trickery at the time and we now have proof from the HSE that one-million hours will barely cover half the people on the waiting list and thousands will be left without home help.”The numbers provided to Sinn Féin by the HSE show that some 2.5million home help hours would be needed to clear the waiting list in 2020 and give everyone 6.5 hours of care per week, at a cost of €59 million for the year.Senator Mac Lochlainn said: “Instead of delivering for those who need home care, we had a cynical attempt by the government to try and trick the public. “This situation is ridiculous- supporting people to be cared for in their own home rather than in care homes or nursing units actually saves the State money. “And on top of this, government are further wasting huge sums of money on private home help providers instead of investing in a working public home help system.“It would have only taken €59m to ensure everyone on the home help waiting list got the home help they need, but Fine Gael again chose otherwise- their actions for the last 8 years show that.”‘Government being totally dishonest about home help’ – Mac Lochlainn was last modified: November 21st, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare 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

Fishing the North Coast: Bumpy ocean predicted for holiday weekend

first_imgOn one of the most popular holidays for anglers looking for a little offshore adventure, it looks like the ocean may be a little lumpy for the weekend. Inland anglers who are considering making the long trek to Humboldt to enjoy our beautiful, coastal weather and to hit the ocean will want to pay close attention to the marine forecast just in case it changes for the worse. Saturday marks the re-opening of the Pacific halibut season, but conditions are looking less than ideal with seven-foot …last_img read more

Electronic teddy bears the latest target for hackers

first_imgRecorded messages spoken to teddy bears could be the latest target for hackers, according to a report from security researcher Troy Hunt.CloudPets toys, the maker of electronic stuffed animals, left the personal information available for anyone to see. This included details of the child and recorded messages.See Also: Smart cities will soon buzz with drones prone to hacking, conflictsThe data was indexed by Shodan, a search engine that publicizes data from insecure devices. Over 800,000 account details and 2.2 million recorded messages were available.Hackers and data miners used the personal information for ransom, some asking the parents for Bitcoins in exchange for the data. Others may use the account details, which include the password, to hack into more valuable online accounts.Because you can doesn’t mean you shouldCloudPets has taken the personal information offline since the leak, but did not inform its customers that their information had been made available online. This is in breach of state law in California, and CloudPets may face serious charges for failure to inform its users.Spiral Toys, the makers of CloudPets, was unavailable for comment.“This is the perfect example of why just because you can connect a device to the Internet, it doesn’t mean you should,” said Steven Malone, Director of Security Product Management at Mimecast.“Additionally, if you’re going to trust a company with your sensitive data – be it email, files, web traffic or in this case, highly personal content – doing so without checking the security credentials and practices of the cloud provider in question is simply asking for trouble.”It is not the first toy company that has shown poor authentication practices, Cayla dolls in Germany were found to have serious security flaws. Hunt also found the same security flaw in VTech gadgets for kids. Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… David Curry Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#authentication#CloudPets#data#encryption#hacking#ransomware#security#Spiral Toys#toys center_img Related Posts Follow the Puck Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

BJD symbol promotes folk dance form

first_imgConch, the election symbol of the Biju Janata Dal, has become a catalyst for promotion of a traditional folk dance form named ‘Jodi Sankha’ from Ganjam district.During most of its political activities, especially during election rallies, ‘Jodi Sankha’ troupes are used as identity of the BJD. Now these troupes are much in demand from all over the State.Conch or ‘sankha’ is a salient feature of the ‘Jodi Sankha’ troupes due to which they are much sought after during the BJD rallies. Performers in colourful attire blow two fused conch shells while dancing and creating physical formations to the beats of drums. The accompanying instruments are traditional ‘changu’ drum and ‘mahuri’, the Odia version of ‘shehnai’. The sound of conch shells of the ‘Jodi Sankha’ troupes has become the BJD’s electoral war cry. Most ‘Jodi Sankha’ troupes have now started wearing green dresses to match the party’s colours.Martial artsConvener of the Odisha Folk Foundation Bighneswar Sahu said that this dance form had a martial arts beginning as it needs high stamina. Sound of conch is considered auspicious and these troupes traditionally performed at religious functions, marriages and other processions. ‘Jodi Sankha’ troupes also perform during cultural fests throughout the country, he added.Since the advent of the BJD in State politics, income of ‘Jodi Sankha’ troupes has increased. Politicians of other parties refrain from using these troupes in their election rallies as it promotes the BJD’s poll symbol, said a performer, Subham Kumar Sahu.There are around 100 ‘Jodi Sankha’ troupes in Ganjam district, each having 20 to 40 members. At times, several ‘Jodi Sankha’ troupes are called together for big rallies. The rally organised in Berhampur on March 3 to welcome Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during his visit to inaugurate the Janibili drinking water project was led by around 1,000 ‘Jodi Sankha’ performers. Pabitra Mohapatra of ‘Gangeswar Jugal Sankha Badya’ troupe of Narendrapur said that although there is little scope to show up real artistry during political rallies, yet it provides necessary income to the performers to keep alive the traditional folk form. A troupe member G. Krishna Reddy of Badakusasthali village said that during election season they take the whole payment in advance. Based on the number of performers, ‘Jodi Sankha’ troupes charge between ₹20,000 and ₹40,000 for participation in any political rally.last_img read more

Hockey coach Harendra resigns after India’s loss to Malaysia

first_imgIndian men’s hockey team national coach Harendra Singh on Tuesday resigned from his post after his side crashed out of the Asian Games final with a 3-4 defeat by Malaysia in the second semifinal in Guangzhou, China.India’s hopes of a gold medal and a direct berth in the 2012 London Olympics were dashed by a spirited Malaysia, who rode on Muhammad Amin Rahim’s 75th minute golden goal to progress to their maiden title clash, where they will meet seven-time champions Pakistan, on Thursday.Soon after the unexpected loss, Harendra tendered his resignation to Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra taking full responsibility of the team’s disastrous showing in the semifinal.”Keeping in view of the dismal performance of the men’s hockey team in the semifinal match against Malaysia today, I hereby tender my resignation as the national coach of the men’s hockey team with immediate effect,” he wrote in his resignation letter to Batra.”I accept the moral responsibility for the debacle at the 16the Asian Games,” Harendra added.In his resignation letter, he also thanked the HI and various government bodies apart from the players and his colleagues for their support during his association with the national team.”I am grateful to Hockey India, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of India and Sports Authority of India for all the support and encouragement I received during my tenure as a national coach.”I am thankful to all the officials of the said organisations for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve for the country. I would also convey my gratitude for the kind of unconditional support I received from my countrymen as well as well wishers form various countries during the said appointment,” he wrote.advertisement”I would also like to put on record the support I received from the members of the media. I would fail in my duty If I do not convey my sincere thanks to all my players and support staffs who stood by me in each and every occasion during this eventful tenure. I wish all the luck to the Indian men’s hockey team for the future,” Harendra signed off.However, Batra said, in no way, the federation would accept Harendra’s resignation at this crucial juncture and had asked him to continue with the job.”I had received his mail and also talked with him over phone. I told him that it is not right to be emotional. We have a bronze medal match to play and I asked him to concentrate on that match,” Batra told PTI.”It is good that he has taken moral responsibility but it is not the right time to take this step. All this can be sorted out after returning to India. I asked him to be with the team and work together so that we can return with the bronze medal,” he added.last_img read more

Iqaluit residents tell APTN what they want from Trudeau

first_imgKent Driscoll APTN National NewsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Inuit leadership at the Inuit Tapariit Kanatami offices in Ottawa.It was the first time a sitting prime minister has visited ITK to discuss Inuit issues.APTN went on the street in Iqaluit to ask Inuit what they want from the leaders.last_img