first_imgLast week’s unannounced dinner with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci was not the only contact Disy leader Averof Neophytou has had, and he will continue his efforts to help revive the dialogue between the two communities, he said on Saturday.Following a barrage of criticism from opposition parties and part of the press since Friday, when it was revealed that he had had dinner with Akinci in the north earlier this week, Neophytou defended his actions with the need to “talk with and listen to each other, rather than speak publicly about each other”.“This was not the only contact or dinner I have had,” he said at a news conference on Saturday.“I’ve had other important contacts, with Turkish Cypriot politicians, foreign diplomats, and Espen [Barth Eide] himself. Always in my effort to talk and understand each other.”Neophytou’s dinner with Akinci, organised by the Greek and Turkish Cypriot chambers of commerce, was designed to help resume the intercommunal dialogue for a solution to the Cyprus problem, which was disrupted after the Turkish Cypriot leader withdrew from the talks in mid-February.Among other things, Disy’s leader received flak for going rogue and talking to the Turkish Cypriot leader without informing President Nicos Anastasiades.“Anyone following politics in this country knows my excellent relationship with the President,” Neophytou said.“We have complete cooperation on all issues, and I couldn’t keep him in the dark on the most important of all.”He said it was everyone’s “duty and obligation” to make every effort possible for the talks to restart.“There is an ongoing effort to resume the dialogue,” Neophytou said.“Do we want to send the message that we are comfortable with the impasse? Never. We have made, are making, and will continue to make, every effort at all levels to help resume the dialogue for a proper solution to the Cyprus problem.”Earlier, the Citizens’ Alliance demanded that Neophytou make public what was discussed at the dinner, but Neophytou remained tight-lipped because “I am not authorised to disclose what [Akinci] said, I can only tell you what I said”.In a statement, the Green party said Neophytou “crossed the line” by discussing a possible roadmap for the resumption of the talks.“We call on President Anastasiades to rein Mr Neophytou in and denounce his meddling in the talks,” the party said.Meanwhile, socialist Edek said it would oppose a legislative proposal tabled by Disy to bring decision-making privilege over school celebrations to the education ministry instead of parliament, a move aiming to address Akinci’s concern over a House decision to commemorate the 1950 Enosis (union with Greece) referendum in state schools.“Edek will not back Disy’s proposal at the House Education committee,” the party said.“Education matters were transferred to the House of Representatives in 1965 and could not possibly be transferred to the education minister just because the Turkish side is demanding it.”You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsThe Early Signs Of Heart Failure. Search Acute Heart Failure TreatmentHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsUndoFigLeaf Beta AppFigLeaf brings You 3 Easy Steps to Privacy on Your Terms…FigLeaf Beta AppUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgBy Sinead Kelly8 tips to add to your new house project checklistSo you have made up your mind to build a new house. You have also created your first checklist. Confident and proud you proceed, but there are a few things that might have slipped your attention. Without further ado, make sure you add the following to the checklist.If, again, you need to finance your project first, you can click here and find out the amount you “can afford” to borrow and the exact amount of your monthly instalment.1. Go for safety first: Hardwired smoke detectors are usually required by law and are important for protecting your family. Sprinklers may be a viable option, especially in the kitchen. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, fires, or flooding, additional safety measures should be in place. Speak with your builder about it. Hi-tech apps have also come a long way regarding house safety, consider using them.2. Overestimate: For example, you’re supposed to order 10% extra of the floor and wall tiles to cover breakage, but we suggest ordering 15% for breaks down the road.3. Look at the roof: The materials and the type of your roof can affect or even determine a lot, such as the house temperature, the energy costs, safety and many more. Therefore, choose and invest wisely.4. Do the floor power sign: Radiant heat method, for example, keeps floors the perfect temperature so you don’t need to turn on the heat as much. Plus, you get to walk barefoot anytime during winter!5. Create storage: When planning the house, find unused nooks and use them for storage.6. Think small: Well-designed small houses can be more cosy, practical and experiences-rich than exuberant mansions. Furthermore, this might give you and your children the chance to enjoy a bigger garden-playground.7. Be like Inspector Clouseau: Don’t forget to do some investigation before buying the land. Are there any plans for future constructions where your current beautiful view is? What could change in that environment that would affect you?8. Remember that you become your environment: What goes around comes around. Choose materials, processes and energy sources that protect our environment and your health.You May LikeTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFigLeaf Beta AppGet Maximum Privacy with Minimum EffortFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgTHE Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has slammed the Turkish Cypriot authorities for distributing citizenships contrary to the “legislation on good governance” and to the principles of quality and justice.In a written statement issued by the party on Friday, CTP said despite their warnings, the National Unity Party (UBP) and Democrat Party (DP) coalition recklessly granted citizenships to people without looking into whether they resided in the north or not, and without any reason, despite the fact that there were many foreigners who have been working more than ten years and waiting to become citizens of the “TRNC”.Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis reported that following a ‘cabinet’ decision on July 31, a total of 57 citizenships were approved, with their names printed out across 19 pages of the ‘official’ gazette, according to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).According to the rules in the north, a person who obtains a working permit for ten consecutive years is eligible to apply for citizenship.“If no case is opened against the illegal decision of the Council of Ministers, an attempt will be made to gain votes in return for citizenship. If the decision is challenged in court and the court cancels them (citizenships), the legal decision will be covered by the sauce of nationalism and they will claim that those who opened the case are against TRNC citizens who are of Turkish origin. It is time for everyone to acknowledge this tactic and the loss it causes on the people,” the CTP statement said.The party said that it will do whatever it takes within the rule of law when it takes office.Turkish Cypriots, in the meantime, took to social media demanding the ‘government’ explain itself and questioned the criteria in place, CNA reported. You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementTop Yale Doctor: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgDiko vice chairman Christos Patsalides on Friday resigned his post, citing disagreement with decision-making procedures adopted by the leadership and unelected officials representing the party publicly.In a letter to leader Nicolas Papadopoulos, Patsalides said that under the circumstances resigning would be “the honourable, honest, dignified, and politically proper thing to do”.“The current lack of communication and complete lack of responsiveness to political thoughts I submitted to the party’s bodies leave me with no choice,” he said.He went on to list examples of such non-responsiveness, starting with the party’s decision on collaboration in the upcoming presidential election.“You might recall that at the executive office session that discussed the issue of collaboration with other parties in the presidential election, I stated the view that our party’s key principle for a solution to the Cyprus problem based on the bizonal, bicommunal federation model should remain unchanged,” he said.“I also expressed concern that its denouncement by other collaborating parties would create a major issue that should be addressed by a specific political agreement. […] I expected that my views would attract some attention prior to the announcement of your strategy. Instead, no party bodies were convened to discuss the issues, and no dialogue between us was initiated.”In April, Diko teamed up with socialist Edek and Solidarity to jointly run Papadopoulos for president.Edek and Solidarity have publicly denounced the bizonal, bicommunal federation as a model for the solution of the Cyprus problem.Further, Patsalides complained, “the sense of disregard, as well as contempt, toward elected party officials, regardless of disagreements or differing approaches, cannot be justified”.“Particularly by paid associates who effortlessly express themselves as elected representatives and officials of the party with no such justification,” he charged.Patsalides’ resignation was the latest incident in an ongoing war between the so-called ‘official Diko’ under leader Papadopoulos, and the ‘unofficial Diko’ wing represented by his predecessor Marios Garoyian.Earlier this week, other members of the faction inside the party spoke out about the “new ethos” introduced by Papadopoulos and pointed fingers at people “parachuted” into the party, naming Papadopoulos’ campaign manager Chrysis Pantelides and party spokesman Athos Antoniades as examples.“My decision to resign the post of vice-president is for me an act of political responsibility, dignity and respect to the party’s collective bodies,” he said.“I clarify that with my decision I do not place myself outside the party, I remain and continue to serve its principles and values as one of the thousands of party members.”In a venomous postscript, Patsalides half-joked that “it seems that it is in the fate of our party for its vice-president to resign on the eve of presidential elections”.This was an allusion to Papadopoulos’ resignation from the post of vice-president a month before the presidential election in February 2013, in protest to the party’s decision to back President Nicos Anastasiades.Papadopoulos had then gone on to challenge Garoyian for the leadership, eventually replacing him in a contentious election in December 2013.In a brief statement on Friday, Diko said Patsalides’ resignation was accepted, although the party rejects the reasons and claims he made in his letter.You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgBy Annette Chrysostomou A new book looks at a largely forgotten aspect of Cyprus’ history, how its sturdy mules and their riders played a serious role in during World War I.‘Serving the Empire in the Great War: The Cypriot Mule Corps, Imperial Loyalty and Silenced Memory’ by Andrekos Varnava is a wide-ranging look at the two-year existence of the mule corps, from the mules to muleteers during and after the war to why these events have been forgotten.There is much that is surprising about the book, firstly that there was a Cypriot mule corps in the first World War at all, secondly the sheer size of it.According to the author, around 25 per cent of the male population of military age, or more than 12,200 men aged 18 to 35, were recruited as muleteers by the British between 1916 and 1918.Varnava provides various reasons why the existence of the corps – affecting so many thousands of Cypriots at the time – has become an obscure part of Cypriot and British colonial history.One of them is that the enlisted men were mainly peasants and farmers, most of whom were illiterate at the time, and those who could read and write were more intent on survival after the war than on writing down an account of their muleteer days.Varnava’s other explanations are rooted in the history and politics of Cyprus. Turkish Cypriot Muslims and Greek Cypriot Christian Orthodox men were both recruited and got on well, which did not fit what later politicians would like to be the history. As the author put it ”it would have been hard to explain it with the struggles for enosis (union) and taksim (partition) and the violence that gripped the island in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.”Varnava also explains why so many men volunteered for a war from which as Cypriots they could have stayed away.Recruitment of the muleteersThe book also explains exactly why there were so many Cypriots without jobs at the time, why the British recruited Cypriots for what was actually known as the Macedonia mule corps, and how both mules and muleteers were treated by the colonial power.The well-researched book explores both the pull and push factors. The British introduced legislation which made it impossible for the young men to emigrate at a time when unemployment was rife, while offering a tempting salary, plus, they ordered the population to sell their mules, all of which together did the trick.This was not supposed to be a military job, far from the front, and according to the British “a way to see the world.” In reality, however, it involved hauling supplies to the front and returning with dead or wounded soldiers in rough terrain, usually during the night.Serving the Empire in the Great War: The Cypriot Mule Corps, Imperial Loyalty and Silenced Memory’ by Andrekos Varnava, 272pp., Manchester University Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-5261-03673, GBP75.00Andreas Varnava is Associate Professor in Imperial and Military History at Flinders University in Australia. Transporting two wounded men on a mule during the warOf Mules and MenIn the darkness of the freezing night,They drove their mules with no light,To the sounds of bombs and gunfire,All in the service of this, our old Empire.– A stanza from Andrekos Varnava’s poem, 2015You May LikesafestThe Safest Countries To TravelsafestUndoPsychicMondayTake A Peek Inside Tom Selleck’s New Epic MansionPsychicMondayUndoHealth & Human Research7 Things That Happen To Your Body If You Eat A Banana Every DayHealth & Human ResearchUndo Two of serial killer’s victims buried in PhilippinesUndoProperty owners price themselves out of the marketUndoMorphou bishop now claims gay men have a ‘nasty smell’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgPolice on Wednesday said they arrested a 52-year-old man in Nicosia after guns and explosives were found in his home.According to a statement, the man’s house was searched on Tuesday where officers found a taser, handcuffs, grenade and gun.Further investigations on his property yielded another taser, an airgun with a scope, laser and silencer, a plastic air pistol, a paintball gun and 21 crackers.The items were seized and the man was held in custody.You May LikeIdealHer7 Human Foods That Are Toxic To DogsIdealHerUndoKiwiReportRemember Linda Evans? Try Not To Smile When You See Her NowKiwiReportUndoHealthZapHe Donated His 80-Year-Old Monkey Toy To A Museum And Met His Long-Lost CousinHealthZapUndo Bale’s China move called off by Real MadridUndoUrgent work planned on collapsed section of Nicosia wallsUndoProperty owners price themselves out of the marketUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgThe discovery of substantial hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean can transform the region, driving growth and progress and promoting peace and stability, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday, adding that Cyprus is ready to co-operate with neighbouring countries in pursuing these goals.Accepting the credentials of Israel’s new ambassador to Cyprus Yael Ravia-Zadok at the Presidential Palace, Anastasiades said the bilateral co-operation between the two countries is “advanced and in the right direction”, noting that Cyprus is “committed to further strengthening the two countries’ co-operation on energy”.“Our countries co-operate extensively on a number of issues, including energy, strategy, tourism, and culture,” Anastasiades said.“My visit to Israel, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s subsequent visit to Nicosia, are proof of the strong bonds between the two countries.”Israel’s new ambassador assured Anastasiades that she will make every effort to expand the current relationship into energy, tourism, culture, education, agriculture, defence, and security.“We can foster stronger regional co-operation in the areas of security, energy security, tourism, and economic growth,” Ravia-Zadok said.“The challenges of terrorism and Islamic extremism necessitate such regional co-operation more than ever.”The diplomat described Cyprus as a “friend”, recalling that its people played an important role in establishing the state of Israel and offered help to the thousands of Jews who fled the horror of the Holocaust during World War Two.You May LikeDirectExposeWorld’s First Surviving Octuplets Are All Grown Up. Look At Them 9 Years LaterDirectExposeUndoIcePopMan Notices A Strange Hole In This Lake, So He Gets A Drone, Flies It Inside And Captures ThisIcePopUndoSenior Living | Search AdsCheap Senior Apartments in Rowland Heights Are Turning HeadsSenior Living | Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgThe attorney-general’s office (Law Office of the Republic) needs to put mechanisms in place to properly report payments overdue, the auditor-general has said, after it was found that some €2 million in unpaid legal costs awarded to the office had accumulated over a period of 24 years.In a special dossier compiled on the attorney-general’s financial reporting, for the year ended December 31, 2017, the auditor-general said the attorney-general was due €1.983m in legal expenses awarded.The amount owed concerned the period 1994 to 2017. It represents payments due to the attorney-general’s office for legal costs awarded to it by the courts. This related to 2,685 persons or companies owing moneys to the office.Although not part of the scope of this report, subsequent investigations – covering the period up to July 2018 – brought the moneys owed to €2.105m.The auditor-general said the attorney-general had failed to produce a detailed report on delayed payments, owed by individuals (Cypriot and non-Cypriot nationals) and corporations for cases that went to court.Moreover, the Law Office was displaying considerable delays in collecting amounts due or taking the necessary steps to collect.Although records are on paper, their transfer to an electronic system has not been completed. The computer system is still missing data on payments due, such as for the amounts and dates.For example, for the period 1995 to 2007, the dates of rulings awarding legal costs to the attorney-general were missing for 384 cases.In certain cases, the dossiers on appeals filed by the attorney-general could likewise not be tracked.The attorney-general said that his office has serious understaffing problems at the department in charge of collecting legal expenses; the department is currently manned by a single person. Measures are being taken to hire more personnel. You May LikeSUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Will Take Your Breath Away. Research 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsSUVs | Search AdsUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgFormer president Demetris Christofias was buried on Tuesday in Nicosia in a state funeral that saw thousands of people attend the funeral, walk with his coffin to the church and pay their last respects earlier in the day at the building of left wing union PEO, where his body was in state.Christofias, born in the village of Dikomo in the north, died last Friday, he was 72 years old. He served as the sixth president of the Republic of Cyprus from 2008 to 2013, and officials from both sides of the divide in addition to politicians and officials from abroad attended the funeral.One Turkish Cypriot woman, Fatma Kismir, brought dirt from Christofias’ village to put in his grave. The woman told CyBC that he deserved to be buried with the dirt of his birthplace.His son Christos speaking at the funeral said his father died longing for his village, which he left with his wife Elsi in 1974 and their then baby-girl Marianna.Three rifle shots were fired during his burial to honour the former president, whose coffin was carried into the church by the men of his security service. It had been taken there in a gun carriage procession.The funeral was held at the Ayia Sophia church in Strovolos where the coffin covered in a Cypriot flag was greeted by thousands gathered inside and outside the church.President Nicos Anastasiades, house speaker Demetris Syllouris, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the cabinet, political party leaders, military officials, and other government representatives were all present. Unficyp head Elisabeth Spehar also attended the funeral.Officials from the north were also in attendance, including the spokesman of Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Baris Burcu, who laid a wreath on behalf of Akinci’s family. The deputy head of the coalition in the north, Kudret Ozersay also attended the funeral, along with his wife Aliye, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, and the heads of other political parties.During his eulogy, Christofias’ son, Christos said the former president was a man of the people, and that he was easily moved. “You would tear up, dear dad, because you always remained a good-hearted and sensitive person. This is the best thing you have bequeathed to us.”He wished his father a good rest and comfort, and said that he and his siblings would always honour their humble beginnings, noting that his father grew up in poverty, and rose to his position with the same humility.During his eulogy, Akel leader Andros Kyprianou said that the most important thing Demetris, as he said the people called him, did was that he struggled and dreamt with the people.Kyprianou said that led to Christofias’ rise in the party and then to the position of president, noting however that the former president always remained humble, and honoured his poor beginnings in Dikomo.“It is an undeniable truth that comrade Demetris Christofias taught all of us what it means to overcome our limits and to work as he did, day and night, and what it means to push away tiredness and sickness,” he said.Kyprianou also commented on the convergences reached with the Turkish Cypriot community during his presidency, saying that they gave hope that the two sides could peacefully coexist in the Republic of Cyprus.Writing in the book of condolences that was opened for Christofias, Tsipras wrote: “It is with great grief that we bid farewell to former President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and honor his contribution to his country, Cyprus, in his capacity as a Member of Parliament, President of the House of Representatives and President of the Republic.”Approximately 8,000 visited PEO to pay their respects and give condolences to the former president’s family.The church service was conducted by Bishop Nikiforos and the body was buried in the cemetery of Engomi.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgNothing suspicious has so far been found in mine clearance efforts at targeted hazardous locations south of the green line in cooperation with the UN, a Cyprus News Agency source said on Saturday.The clearance of mines from 18 hazardous areas along the green line – nine on each side of the divide – was one of several confidence-building measures (CBMs) agreed by the two leaders in February.According to the latest report by UN secretary general Antonio Guterres earlier this week, “cancellation [of 18 suspected hazardous areas] began in May 2019 with support from UNFICYP and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).”Three to four locations have already been scoured for mines on territory of the Republic, the CNA said citing an unnamed source, who noted that nothing suspicious has so far been found.The Guterres report added that “further to a subsequent request by the Greek Cypriot side to conduct a combination of technical and non-technical surveys on the suspected hazardous areas, the work is now expected to be completed in early 2020.”  You May LikeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityEarthquake coverage that comes with optionsCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityUndoSUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Will Take Your Breath Away. Research 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsSUVs | Search AdsUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndo A new way of doing businessUndoAuthorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoCyprus and Italy in hot water over tax breaks for yachtsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares June 25, 2014; Chicago Sun-TimesIt seems like there was a little due diligence shortcoming in Illinois with the $15,770 grant from the state gave to address prisoner re-entry issues in Thornton Township.Project Hope isn’t in Thornton Township, but in suburban Dixmoor.The nonprofit operates out of a day care center, which one might say isn’t typical for prisoner re-entry programs.Apparently, Project Hope doesn’t have a re-entry program and hadn’t delivered any re-entry services for the state grant.Project Hope, a subcontractor of the Healthcare Consortium of Illinois, stumbled along for some time until HCI came down on it for having done little or nothing in the state’s anti-violence initiative. HCI might have been deficient in its selection and monitoring of Project Hope, but the Sun-Times reports that the state’s Violence Prevention Authority (IVPA), designed by the state government to administer the program, played an active role in vetting and signing off on subcontractors. The administrator of the Healthcare Consortium in charge of the program in the Township happened to be the spouse of a state legislator, which may be a factor in the insufficient due diligence. The Sun-Times implies that the qualifications of Project Hope for the work may be difficult to discern from the outset.While there were clearly problems with the Project Hope initiative, if the Sun-Times reporting is accurate, the problems were embedded into the state’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative under which these grants were made. The state auditor’s report on this program is devastating, excoriating “pervasive deficiencies in IVPA’s planning, implementation, and management of the NRI program”:Overly hasty implementation of the NRI which adversely affecting the IVPA’s ability for planning and deployment of NRI resourcesNo documentation on IVPA’s selection of NRI communitiesFailure to select and appropriate resources to all of the most violent neighborhoods in Chicago, odd given that the program was an anti-violence programAs in the case of HCI, deficiencies in IVPA’s due diligence in selecting lead agenciesFailure to approve contracts with community partners in a timely manner.Substantial modifications of lead agencies’ budgets and late and frequently modified quarterly reports from lead agencies and community partners“Contractually required staffing levels were not met by community partners,”“IVPA did not adequately monitor the expenses incurred by lead agencies and community partners”The details behind these findings are actually worse than the items sound. IVPA’s implementation of the program started out of control and seemed to get worse over time. Here are two lessons from this sad story for nonprofits:The nonprofit sector has a stake in programs like the IVPA’s implementation of the NRI, not simply in seeing that they exist and provide dollars to contractors. Programs that are constructed and run like a shambles do damage to the nonprofit sector because they create the conditions for incidents like the Project Hope story in the Sun-Times. When state or federal programs rely on nonprofits, the nonprofit grant or contract recipients have an obligation to make sure that they advocate that they work. When entities like IVPA or HCI muck up the works, the reverberations extend far and wide and often negatively on nonprofit service deliverers.Much of the intended content of the IVPA/NRI program reads like a description of some of the program thinking behind the My Brother’s Keeper collaborative initiative of the White House and private foundations. The auditors summarized the four major touchpoints of the program: “1) Mentoring Plus Jobs – provide youth with part-time jobs, mentoring, and social/emotional skills and support; 2) Parent Leadership – provide parents with skills that would enable them to be community leaders, educators, and mentors for other parents; 3) School-Based Counseling – provide funding for community providers to provide school-based early intervention and trauma-informed counseling services for students; and 4) Reentry – provide Reentry services for youth and young adults returning to the community from youth and adult correctional facilities.” In a way, the muck-up in Illinois undermines the serious thinking going on in this country on what to do to help reverse the negative trends for black men and black boys. The Illinois state government should be condemned for its pathetic implementation of an important resource, and other state governments and their nonprofit partners should be strenuously distinguishing their serious efforts in this realm of work from the embarrassing program design and implementation in Illinois.Project Hope, HCI, IVPA, and the NRA all seem to have been terribly troubled. But their problems in this case emanated from the top, from the highest levels of Illinois state government that did a lousy job with an important program initiative. When state governments get concerned with making nonprofits work better, sometimes part of the solution is making state governments work better.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare28TweetShareEmail28 SharesSeptember 23, 2015; The Hill Apparently GOP leadership is beginning to cotton on to the fact that if they shut down the government in an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood they may be shooting themselves in their collective foot. In fact Republican strategist Karl Rove in a op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday  declared that the move would be a “disaster for the pro-life cause.” For Rove, it is the right cause but the wrong tactic in that recent polls have indicated that most of the public not only does not want funding to Planned Parenthood cut and also oppose a government shutdown for that purpose.“Republicans in Congress who want to risk a shutdown over Planned Parenthood have an obligation to spell out how they would get it done. They can’t,” Rove wrote. “That’s why any Republicans who engineer a shutdown will be unwitting allies of the abortion movement,” not to mention that they would be risking a descent in the polls similar or worse than the 28% plummet they experienced after  the last shutdownHe called the advocates of the strategy a “suicide caucus” bent on self-promotion and acknowledged Planned Parenthood’s widespread support albeit in a backhanded way, saying, “A shutdown would give Planned Parenthood an opportunity to play the victim, and the majority of taxpayer dollars it receives are from mandatory spending programs like Medicaid, which is not subject to a shutdown.” he said.Meanwhile the Senate did block the bill yesterday, but House Speaker John Boehner apparently may have plans to advance a bill separate from the budget that would proceed with the attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. Any action like that would likely be vetoed by the President. Reportedly GOP leadership is also considering ramping up investigations of the nonprofit.—Ruth McCambridgeShare28TweetShareEmail28 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare50TweetShare2Email52 SharesCredit: Tom PageJune 14, 2017; New York Times, “The Upshot”As a small group of the Republican senators confer in secret to craft their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), they seem oblivious to the opinions and concerns of their constituents and of anyone outside of their meeting rooms in D.C. Inside the beltway, in Washington, D.C, where its voters have no representation in the Senate, 70 percent of that electorate oppose the AHCA. Massachusetts, Hawaii, and the state of Washington follow D.C. as the states with the next highest levels of opposition at 59 percent. The other 47 states fall into place, all with levels of opposition for the AHCA ranging from 57 to 40 percent. The poll shows that actual support for the AHCA is limited to a high of 38 percent in Oklahoma to a low of 22 percent in Massachusetts. There is no state that supports the secret plan that the GOP senators are currently writing to replace Obamacare.The authors of this polling information, Christopher Warshaw and David Brookman, utilized multiple polls to get to this data.To get a sense of support by state, we combined recent polls to estimate support for the AHCA in every senator’s home state. Our estimates indicate that not one state favors it. Even though very few state polls have been conducted on views of the AHCA, we are able to estimate views on the bill in each state using a statistical method called MRP (multilevel regress and post-stratification) and eight national polls that the Kaiser Family Foundation, YouGov, and Public Policy Polling shared with us on people’s views of the AHCA.Warshaw and Brookman, both political science professors (at MIT and Stanford), cited those findings as a surprising show of unity among red states and blue states. But they also indicated that elected officials (in this case, senators) are not totally oblivious to the opposition to this legislation back home.With AHCA support in the subbasement, Republican senators have indicated they hope to make changes to the law. Although we can’t be sure exactly what they will change or how it might influence public support, the YouGov data indicate that Republicans in the House had little success softening the public’s opposition with their own modifications. In fact, support for the AHCA was even lower in the three YouGov polls after the House made its changes than in the two YouGov polls conducted before it.What is, perhaps, most surprising in all of this opposition is the limited amount of information known about the Senate version of the AHCA. “The bill’s secrecy is garnering more and more attention, and more and more outrage,” Paul Waldman writes in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. “It has become one of the leading complaints Democrats make about it. And as any marketer knows, suspense is a terrific tool to increase public interest in your product. Tell people that your new movie or album is coming out soon, but give them only a taste of what it contains, and you’ll heighten the anticipation.”“By the time we actually get a look at the Senate’s bill,” Waldman writes, “all that waiting may have primed the media to give it a great deal of attention, primed Democratic officeholders to run to the cameras to denounce it, and primed liberal activists to mount an all-out assault on the bill, pressuring potentially wavering senators to oppose it.”How damaging will reelection prospects be for senators who support the AHCA in spite of the lack of support in their home states? A study from March 2012 found that “Democrats who supported Obamacare lost about six percentage points in the vote in 2010, a dangerous omen for the 15 sitting Republican senators who won their most recent elections by less than that number.”The verdict is out as to whether senators will actually pay attention to the objections of their constituents. But sometimes public opinion can be persuasive. As the Times says, the evidence shows that “when politicians learn that a majority of their constituents oppose a bill, many change their votes as a result. In one study, academics randomly assigned some legislators to receive information on public opinion in their districts, and found that legislators were much more likely to vote along with constituency opinion when they were informed of it. Research shows that politicians are surprisingly poor at estimating public opinion in their districts and states, Republicans in particular. GOP politicians tend to overestimate support for conservative healthcare views by about 20 percentage points—meaning Senate Republicans might see their states as just barely supporting the AHCA.”As the Republican leadership continues to huddle behind closed doors, with even members of their own party not privy to any information about the AHCA, they all might do well to pay closer attention to the views and concerns of voters in their home states before they embrace this unknown plan.—Carole LevineShare50TweetShare2Email52 Shareslast_img read more