Clarissa: My day with Michelle

first_imgIt was quite secretive – I was told not to tell anyone about it so I didn’t. I got an email from the White House just asking whether I’d be interested in meeting the First Lady and when the White House comes aknockin’ you don’t say no! It was very West Wing.It was quite secretive – I was told not to tell anyone about it so I didn’t. I got an email from the White House asking whether I’d be interested in meeting the First Lady and when the White House comes aknockin’ you don’t say no! It was very West Wing.It was bizarre being held up as a role model, nobody thinks about themselves in that way. But I think it was such a good experience for the girls. There’s so much in the press about the type of background university applicants do or don’t come from, but when I was speaking to them it was great to hear that they thought their grades were the issue, rather than where they were from. That wasn’t even a factor. They were so curious about Oxford. We visited some renowned female professors and there was a real focus on female leadership. I think Mrs Obama translated that into her speech when she talked about solodarity amongst women. I couldn’t get over the symbolism of the day: Mrs Obama behind a podium with all these portraits of dead white men hanging up behind her and such a strong female gathering in front of her.When I spoke to Mrs Obama,  she was gracious and loving and told me how amazing and interesting she thought I was. I just thought ‘No, I’m the one who’s amazed!’ What I really took away from the day was what she said about deconstructing labels. There’s so much stress on how it doesn’t matter what background you’re from and that’s true – obviously, people like her and her husband are testimony to that – but she was so interested in what people think about themselves as opposed to what other people say about them. That message of solidarity, being confident and believing in yourself was the most important. thing. Once you know who you are you can do anything. It was quite secretive – I was told not to tell anyone about it so I didn’t. I got an email from the White House asking whether I’d be interested in meeting the First Lady and when the White House comes aknockin’ you don’t say no! It was very West Wing.It was bizarre being held up as a role model, nobody thinks about themselves in that way. But I think it was such a good experience for the girls.There’s so much in the press about the type of background university applicants do or don’t come from, but when I was speaking to them it was great to hear that they thought their grades were the issue, rather than where they were from. That wasn’t even a factor. They were so curious about Oxford.We visited some renowned female professors and there was a real focus on female leadership. I think Mrs Obama translated that into her speech when she talked about solodarity amongst women.I couldn’t get over the symbolism of the day: Mrs Obama behind a podium with all these portraits of dead white men hanging up behind her and such a strong female gathering in front of her.When I spoke to Mrs Obama,  she was gracious and loving and told me how amazing and interesting she thought I was.I just thought ‘No, I’m the one who’s amazed!’ What I really took away from the day was what she said about deconstructing labels.There’s so much stress on how it doesn’t matter what background you’re from and that’s true – obviously, people like her and her husband are testimony to that – but she was so interested in what people think about themselves as opposed to what other people say about them.That message of solidarity, being confident and believing in yourself was the most important. thing. Once you know who you are you can do anything.last_img read more

Audience walk out on Anna Fendi’s translated Union talk

first_imgA large proportion of the crowd walked out during Anna Fendi’s talk at the Oxford Union last Friday due to the event over-running, and the Union not publicising that she would be speaking Italian with a translator.One student also told Cherwell that she was invited to meet Fendi before the event but could not ask any questions as her translator was not there.Many students attended Fendi’s talk, hoping to hear her speak about her rise to fame as an Italian fashion designer and entrepreneur. Fendi created the luxury fashion house Fendi with her sisters and was the first Italian woman to win the IWF Hall of Fame Award.A large proportion of the crowd walked out towards the end, after Fendi’s speech overran by 20 minutes. Her translator told her to conclude her speech when the event was supposed to end.This meant that many of the crowd left before the Union President asked if anyone had any further questions. Speaking to Cherwell, students said that it was “unfair” that no one told her to stop her speech sooner.Students leaving the event early were also angered that Fendi spoke entirely in Italian. The Union did not publicise this fact beforehand on their event or on their term card. Although there was a translator, there were short intervals of silence in order for her translator to translate her speech.One student who attended the event told Cherwell that the use of a translator, “made it harder to focus. I wouldn’t have gone if I had known, because it wasn’t particularly a relaxing break!”The Oxford Union has been contacted for comment.last_img read more

KFC and kebab takeaway fined for breaking coronavirus regulations

first_imgKFC and Bodrum Kebab takeaway on Cowley Road have been hit with fines from the Oxford City Council after breaking COVID-19 restrictions. Since receiving the fines there have been no further reportsof either business breaching the regulations. Both businesses are also still inoperation, with advertised opening hours at KFC at between 11:00-22:00, withdelivery extending to 23:45. The Oxford City Council said: “Although takeaways cancontinue operating after 10pm using a delivery service, click-and-collect ordrive-thru, the law forbids them from taking orders and serving food in theirpremises or at their door after 10pm”. Image credit: Steve Daniels Both businesses have been charged £1,000 after enforcementofficers from the newly formed COVID Secure Team witnessed the companiescontinuing to serve customers after 10pm. Councillor Upton also states that city-centre pubs and bars have “gone above and beyond” to protect their staff and customers. She added: “The vast majority of businesses are complying with the new rules.” The Council said that both takeaways were visited aftercomplaints from the public. When officers visited, they saw KFC continuing toserve customers on three separate occasions after 10pm, while Bodrum Kebabstaff were seen serving customers and taking orders at the door at 11:59pm on Friday2nd October. The City Council is able to fine businesses up to £10,000 for breaking the COVID-19 regulations, but given that it was the businesses’ first infraction, chose to set the fine at £1,000. A manager at Bodrum’s Kebab told the BBC when contacted that they “served customers who have a car outside” and that they “are allowed to sell to customers with vehicles outside”. She went on to say: “Some people are jealous that we are getting customers.” KFC and Bodrum’s Kebab have been contacted for comment. Councillor Louise Upton said: “Any businesses that break the coronavirus rules are irresponsibly making the city less safe for everyone, and they should know that we will take action against them.”last_img read more

Sullivan Honored As AIM Legislator Of The Year

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare State Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) was recently named an Accelerate Indiana Municipalities Legislator of the Year for her work to pass a long-term road funding plan.“We were committed to remaining fiscally responsible while passing the largest road funding plan in the state’s history,” Sullivan said. “Local communities maintain 86 percent of our roads and bridges. I would like to thank AIM for its work to continually improve Indiana’s cities and towns, and for supporting our road funding plan. This push to upgrade our state’s infrastructure will have a positive effect on our community and state for many years.”In addition to Sullivan, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) and Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) were honored by AIM for their work to fund a long-term plan to improve Indiana’s roads and bridges. As a result of the legislation, cities and towns across the state are now ramping up for major road maintenance projects that have been long-delayed, according to Matt Greller, AIM CEO.“It’s a true honor to thank House Speaker Bosma and Representatives Brown, Soliday and Sullivan for their unwavering dedication this past legislative session,” Greller said. “They worked tirelessly to ensure that 2017 was the year Indiana began re-investing in our infrastructure in a meaningful, sustainable way. Hoosiers will reap the benefits of this investment for decades to come.”Sullivan serves on the House Committee on Roads and Transportation and the House Committee on Ways and Means, which makes recommendations to the Indiana General Assembly on any legislation dealing with the expenditure of money.last_img read more

Dr. Bucshon Calls on Senate Democrats to Allow Vote on Gorsuch

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Eighth District Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. released the following statement after Senate Democrats established enough votes to filibuster – procedurally block – the President’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch:“Judge Gorsuch is an impressive jurist who will undoubtedly uphold the rule of law. His record clearly demonstrates he understands his role on the court is not to legislate from the bench, but rather to apply the law as written by elected representatives of the people. There’s not a more qualified judge to replace the late Antonin Scalia,” said Bucshon. “Unfortunately, Senate Democrats today made clear their intent to block a vote on Judge Gorsuch. This obstruction flies in the face of the will of the American people. I call on Senate Democrats to put politics aside and allow a vote on this qualified nominee; and I support Leader McConnell’s intent to confirm Judge Gorsuch using all options available to the Senate if this political theater continues.”  last_img read more

“READERS FORUM” FEBRUARY 20, 2018

first_imgWe hope that today’s “READERS FORUM” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays“Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel its time for the Evansville City Council to adopt an ordinance to have the Ford Center management put under the direction of a “Board Of Control”?Please go to our link of our media partner Channel 44 News located in the upper right-hand corner of the City-County Observer so you can get the up-to-date news, weather, and sports.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected]:  Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

MEET ALEX SCHMITT THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY CANDIDATE FOR CITY COUNCIL

first_imgMEET ALEX SCHMITT THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY CANDIDATE FOR CITY COUNCIL FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Alex Schmitt is running for the  Evansville City Council At-Large in the Republican primary. He’s a proud 4thgeneration Evansville native, West-sider, and F.J. Reitz graduate, who loves his hometown. He said, “that he was raised to give back to his community, serve his neighbors, uphold his Christian values, and preserve and respect the history of Evansville.”He currently serves on the EVSC Foundation Board of Directors, Reitz Home Museum Board of Directors, Leadership Evansville Executive Board and Board of Directors, and is the Vice President of the Vanderburgh Humane Society.  Alex also volunteers for Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana, SMILE on Down Syndrome and Habitat for Humanity, to name only a few.  In 2018, he was recognized by the Evansville Courier & Press–Tri-State Business Journal 20 Under 40 as one of the top 20 young professionals in the area, and received the Leadership Evansville Alumnus of the Year Award.He’s a practicing attorney and owner of a small local law firm. In his campaign literature, he states “that he understands the “importance of local economic growth, and will strive to ensure a better quality of life for the citizens of Evansville by being an advocate for the needs of our community.”  He says “If elected one of his personal goals is to finally fix our traffic and road problem.”center_img Alex says “he wants to make it easier for small and local businesses to not only get off the ground but to succeed and flourish”. He also feels “that we have outdated municipal ordinances that act as a great hindrance on the success of local businesses.”Finally, “he wants us to think of our community as an investment and that investment takes patience, sacrifice, and hard work, and the only way to get more out of your investment is to put something into it”.  “If you want your investment to prosper, you have to put something into it.”FOOTNOTE: Any candidate running in the upcoming City Council primary can send their election profile to the [email protected] to C/O Justin Phillips, Editor and we will publish it at no cost. last_img read more

City-County Observer Announces New Managing Editor

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare The City-County Observer announces the appointment of Timothy Justin Phillips as the new managing editor, effective immediately. Over the last several months, Mr. Phillips has been assisting with the revamping of the City-County Observer website while enhancing our social media presence.Timothy is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Journalism from Indiana University Southeast. He is currently working on his Master’s Degree at IUS. While at Paoli Senior high school, he was actively involved with the school newspaper and served as the yearbook editor. His college coursework included mass media communications and photojournalism.When not fulfilling his editing responsibilities with the City-County Observer, Timothy spends his leisure time hiking and playing competitive chess.It is common knowledge that the 75 year old publisher of the CCO is posturing to retire soon. Mr. Phillips is being groomed to be his replacement in the very near future. Timothy has shown the ability to manage the complex publishing and marketing challenges that are required to be a competent editor for an online publication.During the next several weeks, we will be introducing Mr. Phillips to the movers and shakers of this community so that they will get an idea of whom they will be working with at the City-County Observer in the future.Finally, we expect that once Timothy gets acclimated to the cultural, political, and social climate of this region, he will take the City-County Observer to the next level of publishing.In closing, Timothy states that he is committed to upholding the mission statement of the City-County Observer by focusing on principals of journalistic integrity. He understands that the role of the media should be to inform and educate our readership. He will serve as the community watchdog by sounding the alarm when citizens’ rights are in danger of being violated by elected and appointed officials.In conclusion, his hiring will ensure that the City-County Observer will maintain its position as this area “True Watchdog” for years to come.last_img read more

UPDATE FROM STATE REPRESENTATIVE HOLLIE SULLIVAN

first_imgDear Friend,In preparation for the 2017 legislative session, which begins in January, interim study committee members meet to examine assigned topics, gather testimonies and identify potential legislation.I have been selected to serve on the Funding Indiana’s Roads for a Stronger Safer Tomorrow Task Force (FIRSST) and on the Interim Study Committee on Roads and Transportation. The FIRSST committee will be researching and identifying long-term solutions to state and local road funding needs. A comprehensive list of topics assigned to each summer study committee can be found here.Interim study committee hearings, which typically occur at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, can be viewed live online at iga.in.gov. This site also provides committee calendars and meeting agendas. Members of the public are also welcomed to attend. If you have any input on the topics, please join us for these meetings.Please contact me at [email protected] or 317­-232­-9648 with any questions.Please keep in touch,State Rep. Holli SullivanFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Did Donald Trump Violate Palm Beach Ordinances

first_imgDid Donald Trump Violate Palm Beach Ordinances By Putting Up Outsized Flag And Poleby David MikkelsonDid Donald Trump violate Palm Beach ordinances by putting up an outsized U.S. flag and pole, then donating the money he was fined to veterans’ organizations?Claim: Donald Trump violated Palm Beach ordinances by putting up an outsized U.S. flag and pole, then donating the money he was fined to veterans’ organizations.I’ve seen a couple of articles about Donald Trump and a 50 foot flag pole and a city ordinance placing a $1000 fine per day until he made it a 30 foot flag pole. Here’s what is being said and would like to know whether this is true or not:When Trump purchased and rebuilt Mar-A-Lago the Grand mansion and estate in Palm beach, Florida he got into a dispute with the city, who are well known for being strict on zoning regulations. Trump put up a 50 foot flag pole even though 30 foot is the maximum allowed. The city imposed a 1,000 dollar fine per day. While Trump and the city argued back and forth, finally when the fine had reached 120,000 dollars Trump proposed a solution. He would donate that amount to veterans organizations, would move the flag and pole to a different location in front of the mansion and would only use a 30 foot flag pole. The city agreed. So Trump brought in the company who does Golf course construction had them build a 20 foot high grassy hill and put a 30 foot flag pole on top of it.Origins: This anecdote about Donald Trump and his outsized U.S. flag and pole neatly encapsulates what so many people find either most appealing or most distasteful about the business magnate and 2016 Republican presidential candidate: to some he’s the no-nonsense take-charge type who has the power and influence to thwart those who would insist on allowing the enforcement of petty rules or “political correctness” impede the progress of business and the course of “making America great again”; to others he’s a wealthy blowhard who thinks the rules don’t apply to him and habitually bullies others into submission to feed his lust for self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment.The basic facts are these: In 1985, Donald Trump paid $10 million for Mar-A-Lago, the name of the Marjorie Merriweather Post estate in Palm Beach, Florida. On 3 October 2006, Trump had an outsized American flag (variously described as being either 15×25 feet or 20×30 feet) installed on an 80-foot-high flagpole at Mar-a-Lago, in violation of local zoning regulations that established a maximum size of 4×6 feet for flags and a maximum height of 42 feet for flagpoles. Trump put up his regulation-violating flag and pole without obtaining either a building permit permit or a variance from local authorities, and the Palm Beach town council accordingly fined him $1,250 (or, in some accounts, $250) for every day the flag remained in place (apparently citing him only for the pole but not the flag itself). Trump in turn filed a $25 million lawsuit against Palm Beach, claiming that the town was selectively enforcing its rules (by not fining other properties that were flying flags in violation of town ordinances) and infringing his constitutional right to free speech.Six months later the two sides finally reached an agreement during “secret, court-ordered negotiations,” with the town agreeing to waive all fines against Trump for his code-busting flagpole and to “review its ordinances and codes dealing with flagpoles and flags during the next zoning season,” and Trump agreeing to drop his lawsuit, lower the height of his flagpole from 80 to 70 feet, obtain a permit for the pole and move it farther inland, and donate $100,000 “to charities dealing with Iraq War Veterans, [the] American Flag, or the local VA hospital.”So, the example reproduced above is true in its broad strokes, although all of the numbers it cites (dollar amounts and dimensions) are inaccurate, the issue was resolved via court-ordered mediation (not by Trump’s “proposing a solution”), and the money Trump agreed to donate to settle the matter went to organizations selected by both sides (although Trump had previously stated that if he won his 15×25 feet or $25 million lawsuit, the proceeds would go to military members returning from Iraq). We also haven’t been able to verify whether Trump connived to maintain (or even exceed) the height of the original pole by installing a 10-foot-shorter pole on a 20-foot-high hill — pictures of the estate show the flagpole rising from a mound, but the height of the mound is difficult to estimate from photographs:Trump’s lawsuit maintained that he couldn’t bring his flag and pole into compliance with regulations because “A smaller flag and pole on Mar-A-Lago’s property would be lost given its massive size, look silly instead of make a statement, and most importantly would fail to appropriately express the magnitude of Donald J. Trump’s and the Club’s members’ patriotism.” In his statements to the news media at the time he typically framed the issue as being one of his standing up to anti-American, anti-flag, anti-patriotic forces, while acknowledging that he hadn’t even bothered applying for a permit first (because he didn’t think he’d get one) and stating that he didn’t believe rules should apply to the American flag (and therefore to him in this instance):“Well, I put up an American flag on the front of the Mar-a-Lago Club, which is a great house, probably the greatest house in America that I turned into a private club very successfully in Palm Beach, Florida. And the flag is very proudly waving, and the town wants me to take it down. Because they say I put it up without a permit and, frankly, had I gone to the town for a permit they wouldn’t have given it to me, probably. But more importantly, I say that you don’t need a permit to put up the American flag.I don’t think they know what their beef is. I’m not sure they really understand what their beef is. They don’t talk about the flag. They only talk about the flagpole because they’re afraid politically to mention the word flag and the American flag and take it down.And I’ll say it’s probably one of the most popular things I’ve ever done because we’ve had hundreds and hundreds of letters and thousands of requests for everything supporting the flag. Everybody wants it. Everybody wants it up. But the town wants me to take down the American flag, and I told them I’m not doing that.This is probably the wealthiest town — it is the wealthiest town in America, in the United States, and frankly it’s a town that wants me to take down a flag and they shouldn’t be asking for that.So it’s been a very, very problematic situation. I’ll be responding to them very shortly. And you know, I’m a big — I’m a very patriotic guy. I’m very proud of the country, and I don’t want to take down the American flag. And I don’t believe you need permits to put up the American flag.”Long-time Palm Beach Post correspondent Frank Cerabino opined that the Palm Beach flag brouhaha had little or nothing to do with patriotism, but rather was part of a pattern of Trump’s using lawsuits to bend local authorities to his will — dredging up excuses to sue them for exorbitant amounts of money, then offering to drop the suits in exchange for agreements that provide him with significant business advantages:Oh, he knew what he was doing. Trump, after all, had been fighting with the town poohbahs from the very moment he’d crashed into the complacent, clubby world of Palm Beach to buy Mar-a-Lago, which turned out to be one of those great deals he couldn’t afford.Trump knew from experience that Palm Beach was a stickler for adherence to its ordinances. He had once paid a $5,000 fine to the town for replacing a section of dead hedges with replacements that weren’t quite tall enough.But Trump had bigger changes in mind than merely out-flagging his neighbors. He was plainly inviting a lawsuit. The town council took the bait, citing the oversized pole and flag as violations of the town code, and fining Trump $250 a day for every day they remained on the estate.Tucked into his patriotic posturing was a completely unrelated legal matter that he made part of his multi-million lawsuit: a complaint about the town code that requires large commercial enterprises to be “town serving.” The town requires proof from local businesses that at least 50 percent of their business comes from town residents. So, for example, when Neiman Marcus opened on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, it was allowed to do so by promising that it would only advertise in the town’s newspaper, and not in publications that circulated to shoppers who don’t live on the island.For Trump, eliminating the “town serving” requirement would mean that he could offer more memberships to his Mar-a-Lago social club to people who had no connection to Palm Beach, making it easier for him to keep his club full. Softening up the town on the flag issue to pursue some other angle was a classic Trump move. Though he has yet to get this particular exemption waived, Palm Beach has learned from experience that Trump’s lawsuits are never settled, just dormant. One of his Palm Beach lawyers said recently that the “town serving” issue is still unresolved and ripe for more litigation.Trump [initially] couldn’t afford [to maintain] Mar-a-Lago as a single family home. His proposed solution was to chop his National Historic Landmark into something he called Mansions of Mar-a-Lago, a development that would put a public road through the middle of the estate, which would lead to the 10 mini-mansions he would build on the property, including one on the front lawn.The Palm Beach Town Council shot down all of Trump’s proposed changes to the property, even when he reduced his mini-mansion plans from 10 to seven. Instead, they encouraged him to find a buyer if he couldn’t afford to keep the estate intact. When the town’s government refused to bend to his demands, Trump sued. The lawsuit against the Town of Palm Beach, which would prove to be not his last, would eventually cause his neighbors to lawyer up against him.After his Mansions of Mar-a-Lago plan was rejected, Trump found another way to salvage his stake in Mar-a-Lago. He offered to drop his lawsuit if council members allowed him to convert his estate into a new private club on the island. The Mar-a-Lago Club.While Trump was playing defense against the town’s constant attempt to rein him in, he went on the attack against the county and its airport. Airlines routinely used a flight path in and out of Palm Beach International Airport in nearby West Palm Beach that brought the planes directly over Mar-a-Lago.This didn’t sit well with Trump, who argued that the noise and fumes were ruining his investment, and that the decent thing for the county to do was to move the airport farther west. Trump had been arguing this for years, to no avail, while calling the airport director Bruce Pelly, among other things, a “moron” and “the worst airport director in the country.”It turned out to be a useful gripe for Trump, one that he could turn into a new business opportunity, because just south of the airport was 214 acres of vacant scrub land owned by Palm Beach County, land he wanted. So Trump sued the county for $75 million over the airport noise, then negotiated to drop that lawsuit in exchange for the county giving him a 75-year lease on the nearby property for $438,000 a year.That land became the Trump International Golf Club, a $40 million, 18-hole, Jim Fazio-designed course that imported nearly 2 million cubic yards of dirt to transform the flat scrub land into hilly terrain with waterfalls, rock formations, and a clubhouse four stories above sea level.This wasn’t the only instance of flagpole bickering in Trump’s past. He also reached a (non-court) settlement with local government in 2014 after having raised Old Glory on a 70-foot flagpole at the Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, without obtaining a permit first:Signaling a possible resolution to Donald Trump’s running flag feud, the California Coastal Commission said the mogul’s oversized Old Glory can stay — as long as Rancho Palos Verdes revises its municipal height rules.While not the victory city officials had hoped for, the decision allows for a way forward to legally allow the 70-foot-tall flagpole, which was hoisted without a permit nearly 10 years ago.Having gained the support of much of the coastal city — as well as two City Councils through the years — the flag now likely can get formal state approval provided the city amends its Local Coastal Program that currently limits structure heights to 26 feet.“I’m disappointed at the Trump Organization for putting up that flag without adhering to the rule of law,” said Coastal Commissioner Wendy Mitchell.Commission staff members had recommended that the flagpole be reduced in height to 26 feet and moved closer to the clubhouse on the 240-acre Trump National Golf Course property.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more