Sample donors’ charter

Sample donors’ charter Howard Lake | 23 March 2000 | News What can a donor expect from your charity when making a donation? A donors’ charter can help reassure existing and prospective donors of your professionalism and accountability.For an example, read The University of Manchester’s Donors’ Charter. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving. Advertisement  65 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis read more

A Tiny Indiana Town Saw Promise In Virtual Charter Schools. Then Things Started To…

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare By Stephanie WangDecember 29, 201When Indiana’s largest charter network collapsed earlier this year after an enrollment scandal that triggered state and federal investigations, the resulting mess left hundreds of students scrambling for transcripts, dozens of teachers unpaid, and $40 million still owed to the state.The downfall of Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy also placed under the microscope Daleville Community Schools, a tiny rural district that runs just two brick-and-mortar schools serving fewer than 1,000 students in total.Despite having no experience as a charter authorizer, Daleville took on an oversight role when Indiana Virtual School opened in 2011 and, over the years, accepted more than $3.2 million in state funding to monitor them and ensure their success.When Indiana’s largest charter network collapsed earlier this year after an enrollment scandal that triggered state and federal investigations, the resulting mess left hundreds of students scrambling for transcripts, dozens of teachers unpaid, and $40 million still owed to the state.The downfall of Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy also placed under the microscope Daleville Community Schools, a tiny rural district that runs just two brick-and-mortar schools serving fewer than 1,000 students in total.Despite having no experience as a charter authorizer, Daleville took on an oversight role when Indiana Virtual School opened in 2011 and, over the years, accepted more than $3.2 million in state funding to monitor them and ensure their success.Daleville officials saw it as a unique opportunity to help students who were failing in traditional schools or those who had medical conditions and needed flexible schedules. But the district struggled to rein in the fast-growing, low-performing virtual charter schools, which in July were found by auditors to be artificially doubling their enrollment and collecting state funding for thousands of students who they weren’t educating.A Chalkbeat review of thousands of pages of charter records and multiple interviews with the authorizing school district show that, until recently, Daleville relied largely on informal or undocumented conversations to monitor Indiana Virtual School.“Call us naive, but I think we were trusting educators to do the right thing,” Daleville Superintendent Paul Garrison said in a recent interview, referring to the charter operator.“We were working with people that we trusted, that had the same love and outlook and concern for the kids that they were serving that we had,” Garrison explained. “Well, that’s how we looked at them. We assumed — maybe falsely.”Virtual school officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story. They have previously denied wrongdoing through an attorney. That attorney also didn’t respond to requests, and it is not clear whether she is representing the schools anymore.Daleville’s inability to prevent the alleged abuse of public dollars has become a cautionary tale for charter authorizers, and for small districts with ambitions that exceed their expertise or bandwidth. The situation has led to a new state law this year that prevents districts from being in charge of virtual charter schools and has prompted state leaders to call for more safeguards.Marcie Brown Carter, executive director of the Indiana Charter School Network, criticized the district for letting problems persist for too long, leading to the schools’ sloppy shutdown: “That’s inexcusable. It’s been horrible for the students and families and employees involved.”Daleville officials say they did the best they could in uncharted territory. In defending their oversight, they pointed to their data analysis that uncovered the schools’ alleged misdeeds and called on the state to better regulate virtual schools, including defining what virtual attendance should look like.The district says it raised concerns about academics with the virtual school from the start. But emails show Daleville administrators brushed off concerns raised in a 2017 Chalkbeat investigation into how Indiana Virtual School was spending little on teachers while pumping public dollars into lucrative contracts with businesses tied to the school’s founder and his son —  financial arrangements that are now being investigated by state and federal agencies.Daleville’s first formal evaluation of Indiana Virtual School later flagged those same issues and raised several others, prompting the district to create a school improvement plan. However, it wasn’t until early 2019 — three years after the virtual schools allegedly inflated enrollment — that Daleville took steps to shut down Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy.An Optimistic But Troubled StartSituated about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis, Daleville is a quiet rural railroad town, home to fewer than 1,700 people. Those driving along I-69 might notice it as an exit on the highway, offering gas stations and fast food. Its own residents have described Daleville as a place that “lacks an identity.”The Daleville school district offices are inside a converted house with front windows looking out onto the junior-senior high school, home of the Daleville Broncos. A C-rated district, Daleville serves almost all white students, and just under half of them qualify for free or reduced-price meals.Four out of five school board members have served in their roles for at least 15 years; two of them have been on the board since the 1980s. Garrison, the longtime superintendent, sometimes signs emails with, “Blessings.”Daleville is not the kind of district that would usually attract statewide attention. Critics would later argue, too, that it wasn’t the kind of district that had the capacity or the knowledge to effectively monitor such large and unconventional charter schools — schools without walls and with students scattered across the state taking classes online.Back in 2011, Daleville had “a natural interest” in helping to launch Indiana Virtual School, Garrison said because officials could see from its own schools how some students needed an alternative to traditional classrooms. Enthusiastic about pioneering a new way of learning, Daleville administrators wanted to be part of the growing national conversations on virtual schools. Across the country, virtual schools — where students take all or most of their classes online — were becoming increasingly popular options, even as they were linked to poor academic outcomes.Indiana Virtual School also provided another benefit: money. The district wanted to use its oversight fees to upgrade its technology and provide supplemental online courses for students at its two district schools — perks that administrators said also helped them monitor Indiana Virtual School.But Indiana Virtual School experienced problems from the start. There were operational issues, such as occasionally missing teachers’ paychecks and administering state exams incorrectly, and there were academics ones, including consistently low state test scores. Virtual school officials have in the past publicly contended that those results were a reflection of its unconventional students, many of whom had fallen behind at other schools. Online schools, they said, shouldn’t be judged by the same metrics as traditional ones.Beginning in 2011, Daleville had checklists to evaluate Indiana Virtual School’s academics, finances, and operations. Daleville officials said they were concerned about the school’s academic performance and were constantly pressing for improvements. But there’s little documentation of these efforts or the issues they brought to light.In 2015, despite its reservations about weak academics, Daleville renewed Indiana Virtual School’s charter for five years. No public document explains how they assessed the school’s performance or their decision to renew the charter, though Daleville officials say they were optimistic after the longtime Indiana educator Percy Clark signed on to lead the virtual school.Optimism aside, Indiana Virtual School wasn’t showing significant academic improvement by 2017. Its statewide enrollment had grown substantially, but passing rates on standardized tests remained far below state average. The school had the lowest graduation rate out of all public schools in the state that year. It had received two consecutive F grades from the state and was about to earn its third.That’s when virtual school officials came to Daleville with a plan to open a second school.Ballooning ProblemsThe second school, Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, was supposed to fix the problems at the first school. It would provide alternative education pathways through internships and industry certifications, which officials hoped would re-engage struggling students who had grown disenchanted with the school.The school board unanimously approved the proposal in 2017, making Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy the second virtual charter school under Daleville’s oversight. Meeting minutes don’t describe any discussion on the matter prior to the vote.Garrison said he had been hopeful that Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy would solve the academic issues. Even now, he still thinks the model could prove the potential of online education: “Our thought process at the time was, wow, if they do all of this, in our best guess, this is going to succeed. And I still believe that.”A few months later, Chalkbeat published an in-depth investigation into Indiana Virtual School. It highlighted the school’s academic problems and raised questions over the school’s spending of millions in state funding.In emails to the virtual schools, Daleville officials discounted the story.Garrison praised Clark, the virtual schools superintendent, for sending an email to the staff calling the investigation an attempt to “smear us.”“I applaud you on your message,” Garrison wrote to Clark, asking for student success stories to send to the Daleville school board to “expose a totally different view of the school” than what the Chalkbeat investigation had described.Around the same time, Daleville conducted its first formal evaluation of Indiana Virtual School. It paid a Fort Wayne company to develop a customized rubric to fit the nontraditional school, weighing factors like the personalization of education, not just test scores.The review raised many of the same issues as the Chalkbeat investigation. But it also revealed more significant concerns, according to documents, including that Indiana Virtual School wasn’t regularly checking which students were inactive despite knowing many students were habitually truant.Daleville officials, while publicly supportive of the schools, say behind the scenes, they were growing increasingly skeptical of Indiana Virtual School’s rosy claims about how their students were flourishing. They wanted to know how many credits students were earning, and emails show they campaigned for access to the school’s data.“As we look back, you got a lot of different excuses and reasons, and the difficulties in doing this or that were explained pretty heavy,” Garrison said.Daleville officials have often portrayed their relationship with the online schools as one of uneven power. They said they were bound by their contracts with the schools — and their requests for more data were ignored.“We had nothing available except what they gave us,” Garrison said. “That was our frustration that whole time — getting information that we could check out and verify.”Charter experts say such a dynamic could signal a weak charter contract. It also shows one of the disadvantages of small or inexperienced authorizers, who can feel overpowered by lawyered-up charter operators.When the district finally obtained the information it had been requesting last year, officials were alarmed to see just how few students were completing courses and how hundreds of students on its rosters weren’t enrolled in classes at all.Meanwhile, huge numbers of Indiana Virtual School students had switched to Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, with some 7,000 students statewide reportedly enrolled at the two schools. It wasn’t clear whether students were being shuffled between schools without parent permission, but Daleville noted the suspicious timing of the transfers partway through the year. Because they spent part of the year at each school, students’ test scores wouldn’t count toward either school’s state grade.But the first year of Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy wasn’t going as planned. The extras it was supposed to offer — such as internships and individualized support — never came through.Now, instead of one troubled school under Daleville’s purview, there were two. A Tiny Indiana Town Saw Promise In Virtual Charter Schools. Then Things Started To Unravelcenter_img Picking Up The PiecesMany of Daleville’s critics are charter supporters who say the district wasn’t paying enough attention to red flags, and because of that, it failed to protect students and taxpayers.“There are some portion of closures that happen across the country because authorizers are asleep at the wheel,” said Karega Rausch, acting president and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, speaking broadly about charter oversight. “Authorizers need to do their job, because they do have incredible power and responsibility in this space.”Daleville officials point out that they sought guidance from national and local groups on both virtual education and charter authorizing. Online schools add a layer of complexity, because it’s harder to see how students are learning, and states across the country are still trying to figure out the best way to run these institutions.In light of the school scandals and criticism of Daleville, state lawmakers have prohibited all school districts from overseeing virtual charter schools. But Daleville officials don’t think larger or more experienced authorizers would have identified the schools’ wrongdoing any sooner than they did.Daleville officials took their data analysis to state officials. In February, citing the high numbers of enrolled students who weren’t attending or completing classes, the district started the process to revoke the virtual schools’ charters — which ended up extending over seven months.Virtual school officials largely evaded having to publicly answer to the controversy. They struck a deal with Daleville for a three-month wind-down without having to publicly respond to the allegations against them. And when the state took action over the alleged enrollment fraud in July to recoup the $47 million it determined the virtual schools received in overpayments, it was Daleville that had to stand up and explain how this could have happened.While Garrison weathered the criticism from the state board of education members, Clark, the virtual school superintendent, watched from the audience without saying a word.When Chalkbeat reached Clark by phone for this story, he hung up on the reporter.The virtual schools’ closures didn’t go smoothly. Despite the deal with Daleville, the schools didn’t properly notify students and families of the closure. Thousands of students and teachers were left in limbo when, months before they were scheduled to close, the virtual schools slowly pulled services and stopped answering calls.At one of the Daleville district’s final board meetings on the virtual school closure, a Muncie couple showed up, frustrated after they said Indiana Virtual School lost their daughter’s records. Going to Daleville felt like their only recourse, they said.“We think that Daleville is trying to do the right thing,” Becky Gregory said.In the end, Daleville took responsibility for wrapping up student services at the schools, processing transcripts after Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy abruptly closed in September and immediately disbanded their boards.During the two years of public controversy, Garrison said he felt the most betrayed when he saw virtual officials “walk away from the kids” when it was clear that the schools would shutter. His voice broke, and his eyes teared up.“And then we’re just left to pick up the pieces,” Garrison said.The virtual school saga isn’t over yet. No results have been released from a federal inquiry and a state audit. The state only recovered about $7 million from the two online schools before they closed, and it’s not yet clear whether the state education department will pursue the remaining $40 million.State lawmakers are already pledging to pass more regulations on virtual education, concerned that students still aren’t learning enough and too many aren’t engaged in online coursework.In an interview with Chalkbeat this month, state schools chief Jennifer McCormick suggested that the state should review the same course completion data that revealed problems at Indiana Virtual School.“That needs to be monitored closely,” McCormick said. “I feel like we’re letting [virtual education] just continue down a track that isn’t productive, and it’s not going to lead to student success.”Despite the scandal, many education leaders see virtual schools as a critical option in a sector that will only continue to grow. Even Garrison remains staunchly supportive of online education, although Daleville’s foray into virtual schools is over.“If we were doing it again, would we do things differently than we did, as far as evaluation and all of that? Sure we would,” Garrison told Chalkbeat. “We’ve learned enough that I think we could do it very well now, but we’ve also learned enough that I think we don’t want to venture another try, either.”last_img read more

Dem club to meet

first_imgEditor’s note: It’s Politics reports Saturdays on the ins and outs of Whittier-area politics and city government. Carlos Illingworth of Montebello has long been interested in politics. Illingworth was student body president at Cal State Los Angeles, did an internship with the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and now is a field deputy for Assemblyman Ron Calderon, D-Montebello. So, it was only natural that Illingworth help form the new Montebello Democratic Club with a group of his friends. Valencia is secretary on the UTLA board. She also received $1,000 from the California Teachers Association. TWAIN PARTY: Rep. Linda Sanchez will speak at the Mark Twain Democratic Club’s annual party from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Mimi’s Cafe, 15436 Whittier Blvd., Whittier. The club will be collecting unwrapped toys to donate to the Women’s and Children’s Crisis Shelter of Whittier. For more information, call Ruben Espejel, (562)484-0206. ELECTION REPORT: Steve Kinney of Public Opinion Strategies will provide an in-depth analysis of the Nov. 8 special election at the 7:30 a.m. Friday meeting of the Whittier-San Gabriel Valley chapter of the Los Angeles County Lincoln Clubs. The event will be held at the Pacific Palms Conference Center, One Industry Hills Parkway, Industry. Cost is $25 per person. For reservations, write LACLC, 6055 E. Washington Blvd., Suite 228, Commerce, or call Peter Bylsma, (323) 215-4500 or e-mail [email protected] INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE: Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea, is accepting internship applications from college students and recent college graduates to work in his Brea and Washington, D.C., offices from January to June 30. Responsibilities would include providing phone support, assisting district residents, processing mail, conducting research and working with the staff on special projects. For more information and how to apply, visit Mail items for It’s Politics to the Whittier Daily News, P.O. Box 581, Whittier, CA 90608; fax to (562) 698-0450; phone (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022; or e-mail [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals The new club already has 15 members and will hold their first meeting today at 1 p.m. at the Montebello-Commerce YMCA, 2000 W. Beverly Blvd., Montebello, where its officers also will be installed. “We’re going to be promoting the principles of the Democratic Party – safe schools, more jobs, clean environment and a safety net for seniors,” he said. The club is expected to meet on the last Saturday of each month. A location still has to be set. LOS ANGELES INTRUDERS?: The United Teachers of Los Angeles was the biggest campaign contributor in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District school board race. The union that represents teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District gave Ana Valencia, who was re-elected to the board $12,000. last_img read more

Round-up: QPR eye double deal and sign Anastasiou, Whites want Mancienne, Oskan-Clarke reaches final

first_imgQPR are close to signing two players who helped Watford win promotion to the Premier League last season.Rangers are poised to bring in Italian centre-back Gabriele Angelli, 26, from the Hornets, while 30-year-old midfielder Daniel Tozser (pictured above), who was on loan at Vicarage Road from Parma, is due to undergo a medical on Friday.The R’s today signed 17-year-old midfielder Michael Anastasiou, who was previously on Tottenham’s books, on a contract until the end of the season.And Sandro is finally returning to the club after being issued with a work permit – but Chris Ramsey says the Brazilian will not walk straight into the team.Sandro is due to arrive back in London on FridayFulham are also looking to add to their squad – they’ve made a bid for Nottingham Forest’s former Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne, who spent two seasons at QPR on loan.As for Chelsea, boss Jose Mourinho will make a return to Porto after the Blues were drawn against his former side in the Champions League.Mourinho will return to Porto in the Champions LeagueThere continues to be speculation over the future of Chelsea’s John Mikel Obi, with Turkish side Besiktas reported to be interested.And West Drayton’s Shelayna Oskan-Clarke produced the finest performance of her career to make the final of the women’s 800 metres at the World Athletics Championship.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

R827bn infrastructure funding ‘in place’

first_img27 February 2013 Financing of R827-billion for South Africa’s infrastructure projects over the next three years, to be drawn from the fiscus and state-owned enterprises, is in place, says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Presenting his 2013 Budget Speech in Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Gordhan said financing for the country’s infrastructure projects was not affected by the spending cuts in the Budget.Schools, hospitals, clinics, dams, electricity… The government had spent R642-billion on infrastructure over the last three years. Of the R827-billion to be spent over the next three years, R430-billion would come from the fiscus, and R400-billion would be drawn from Eskom, Transnet and other state- owned enterprises, Gordhan said. The R430-billion from the fiscus has been allocated to build schools, hospitals, clinics, dams, lay out water and sanitation projects, expand electricity networks and supply electricity to over a million new homes, build more courtrooms and prisons and construct better bus, commuter rail and road links. Most of the spending falls under provinces and municipalities. Funding R400-billion from state-owned enterprises would be drawn from their respective balance sheets and from additional borrowing over the next three years, backed by guarantees from the National Treasury. This would fund the ongoing building of power stations and the rolling out of new electricity transmission lines, as well as new rail, ports, pipelines, water-transfer schemes and various airport upgrades. Gordhan that said though some agencies and departments had struggled to spend their full infrastructure budgets, particularly as funding levels had increased, progress was being made. “Records show that government’s ability to spend has been steadily rising from year to year, but it is not yet fast enough,” he said.R3.6-trillion in projects on the table The Budget Review points out that R3.6-trillion in major infrastructure projects are in progress or under consideration. Ongoing programmes or construction on new projects accounts for almost a quarter of the total expenditure, with most of this being spent on new power generation projects (R537-billion), transport (R151-billion), new schools (R52-billion), hospitals and clinics (R37-billion), and dams and pipelines (R35-billion). Several private-sector projects are also contained in the government’s Strategic Infrastructure Projects, bringing the total value of projects to over R4-trillion. South African public and private-sector capital spending increased in real terms by 4.3 percent and 4.6 percent respectively in 2011 and by 11.1 percent and 4.3 percent in the first three quarters of 2012. However, as a percentage of GDP, capital spending has not yet recovered to the level reached in 2008, before the onset of the global financial crisis. Source: read more

Obama To Hold “Fireside Hangout” On State of the Union Address

first_imgRelated Posts nick statt Tags:#Barack Obama#Google#Hangout 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s radio series of 30 “fireside chats” was a key way to connect the presidency to homes across the nation in 1933 and 1934. More than 75 years later, President Obama is using Google+ to “Hangout” with his constituents. In his ongoing series paying respect to the New Deal broker, Obama’s “Fireside Hangout” starts Thursday at 4:50pm ET (1:50pm PT). The President will answer questions from Americans nationwide concerning his fourth State of the Union address, which took place Monday night.Obviously no stranger to the Internet, Obama has a history of digital prowess and social media savvy. He knows how to captizlize on a viral meme, can overload Reddit with an AMA, and has long trounced his political opponents in Twitter outreach (even his best fake Twitter account has an unreasonably high number of followers).To be sure, the President’s culturally attuned staff is helping him every step of the way. After all, it was unprecedented  social tools and data crunching that helped him secure his second term.So if you have something you want to say about the President’s State of the Union address, or just want to watch the dialogue in real time, be sure to jump in the Hangout this afternoon. You can also see it at As of publication time, the number of confirmed attenddess of the virtual Q&A is nearing 24,000 Google users, and that number is likely to keep climbing as the kickoff time nears.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Lens Tips: Doing the Work of Four Lenses with Only Two

first_imgPrimes vs. zooms. Four lenses out of two. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when shopping for your first lenses.So, you come up against the great debate — prime or zoom lenses? Primes are sharp; zooms are convenient. Every first-time lens buyer faces this decision. So, what would you say if I told you that it’s possible to get four lenses out of two? Is it too good to be true or a brilliant, money-saving hack?First of all, if you’re new to this debate, a prime lens has a fixed focal length and usually opens up to an aperture of f/1.8 — on higher-end lenses, f/1.4 (even, at times, f/1.2). A zoom lens has a varying focal length — most have a widest aperture of f/2.8 (until recently with Canon’s new RF 28-70mm f/2 lens). Secondly, switching from full-frame to APS-C (Super 35) mode, depending on your camera, will usually multiply your focal length by a crop factor of 1.5. For example, if you’re shooting on a 35mm, the new focal length will be 52.5mm in crop mode.Image via Bhimaphotoworks.The problem with shooting in super 35 mode is that megapixels get essentially cut in half, so if your camera is 24 megapixels, every picture you take in crop mode will be 10.8 megapixels. If you want to figure out what your camera will be shooting at in crop mode, it’s simple: just take the megapixels and divide it by the crop factor squared, then that will equal the megapixel count for every picture you take in Super 35 mode.The main argument against primes is that they’re inconvenient, and in order to go from 35mm to 50mm, you have to change lenses. So, if you’re pressed for time, switching between the two might cause you to miss the shot.The problem with zoom lenses is that they can be massive and expensive — and if you’re a big bokeh fan, depending on the focal length, you won’t get the same creamy, soft bokeh that you would from a wide-open aperture like f/1.4. So, they both have their pros and cons.Image via, is there a solution?First, let me say that if you don’t have a camera capable of switching between Super 35 and full-frame, this technique won’t work for you. If you own a 35mm and an 85mm, you can cover focal lengths ranging from 35mm to an unusual 127.5mm, but you still get a wide range of focal length options. Essentially you can get a 50mm from a 35mm and a 127.5mm lens from an 85mm, so you get to cover 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 127.5mm. This technique is great for new photographers or videographers who want to buy new lenses but can’t always afford it.But how does a 35mm in crop mode compare to a native 50mm? Is it really a viable alternative to buying a 50mm or a 135mm? To answer this question, I went out and compared the two.35mm in crop mode:50mm:Looking at the two pictures, it’s hard to tell which is which. The two look almost identical, which was really surprising to me. You can see the differences when you layer them over each other and turn down the opacity for the top layer to around 50 percent. The 50mm compresses the image slightly more in certain areas, which causes it to wrap differently than the 35mm. I also noticed that the 35mm gave the image some more depth while maintaining the foreground just like the 50mm. It added an interesting look to the image.50mm:35mm in crop mode:When shooting portraits, bokeh and background compression between the two turned out considerably different. With the 35mm, the bokeh were not as large, but they were still pleasing to the eye and had a nice shape. The 50mm’s bokeh were a lot larger, and the background seemed much more compressed. In this case, the 50mm was better, but not by much.So, is using Super 35mm mode a good option if you’re trying to save money? It definitely is, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re pursuing photography as a career, I would recommend spending the extra money on higher-quality lenses at different focal lengths. I don’t see any problems with using this method professionally for architecture or interior photography, but for headshots or creative portraits, a native focal length would be a better option if you want to get maximum results. For beginners though, or even intermediate photographers, this is a great way to save money and invest the extra cash on more gear.Cover image via Djordje Novakov.Looking for more camera tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Video Tutorial: Improving Your Time-lapse Workflow for the GH5Are Quantum Image Sensors the Future for Video Recording?Video Gear: Is the Fuji X-T3 a Viable Option for Filmmakers?5 Things to Consider When Buying a New CameraHands-On Review: The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4Klast_img read more

Dutch Maritime Sector Recovers after Difficult Years

first_imgA cautious recovery became apparent in the global shipbuilding industry in 2017, especially over the final months of the year. Also the Dutch maritime cluster sees a positive change. “We can be proud of the many orders that our industry has taken in 2017, despite the many challenges faced,” Bas Ort, chair of the Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT) trade association, said.Despite the beginnings of a recovery that became apparent in 2017, turnover still decreased by some five per cent during the year, from EUR 7.3 to EUR 6.9 billion for yards and suppliers collectively.The total workforce decreased by a little over three per cent, from nearly 29,000 FTE’s in 2016 to 28,000 FTE’ s in 2017. The decline in both figures now appears to have leveled off.“Over the past year we received one of the few large orders made by the global offshore market plus orders for the most powerful cutter suction dredger built to date, several other dredgers, and the first seagoing cruise vessel to be commissioned in years. Moreover, in 2017 we launched several record-breaking super yachts and dozens of smaller cutter suction dredgers for export, while also starting construction of a fleet of fishing boats. The number of orders for inland vessels has also seen a brisk increase,” Ort added.At the end of 2017, the combined Dutch order book counted 93 vessels with a total tonnage of 437,000 CGT.The cautious recovery in the final months of the year was very welcome after the disappointing figures of 2016. However, even though the new orders made in 2017 accounted for more than twice as large a tonnage as in 2016, this was not nearly enough to provide work for all the world’s yards.As a result, the global orderbooks decreased even more, and a number of yards found themselves in difficulties. The effects were especially visible in China and South Korea, while European shipbuilders were the only ones to experience an increase in the order books.“The only way for the global shipbuilding industry to survive is constant innovation and a focus on fair international competition,” Bas Ort says.“This is why NMT continued its efforts to once again get a subsidy for innovations in new vessels up and running in 2017. We remain committed to a level playing field, both outside and within Europe. Meanwhile, more and more companies are also seeing that the Netherlands is in a position to become one of the international leaders in making shipping more sustainable.”A strong Green Deal between the sector and the national government (as announced in the Dutch coalition agreement in 2017) should help in this context.“The coming years will see all kinds of environmental regulations come into force that affect shipping. Our yards and maritime suppliers have the innovative solutions required to supply vessels, and technologies that meet the most stringent requirements. Public authorities, vessel owners and maritime suppliers will have to work together to fulfil our stated ambition of maintaining a level playing field in this context too.”Netherlands Maritime Technology has published a position paper in which the trade association sum up their recommendations.SuppliersThe turnover of the approximately 800 maritime suppliers in the Netherlands amounted to EUR 3.4 billion in 2017 (EUR 3.8 billion in 2016). Total employment among Dutch maritimesuppliers was 16,413 FTEs in 2017 (16,838 in 2016). Additionally, they employed an average of 1,460 FTE’s of temporary workers during 2017.Seagoing vesselsA total of 58 seagoing vessels were delivered in 2017 (compared to 42 in 2016). 56 new vessels were ordered in 2017 (42 in 2016) with a value of EUR 1,143 million (EUR 642 million in 2016). The export share was 57 per cent (79 per cent in 2016).ShiprepairTurnover in 2017 was EUR 381 million (EUR 442 million in 2016). Total employment was 1,710 FTE’s (2,020 in 2016).Smaller vesselsThere were 155 inland shipping, fisheries and small seagoing vessels delivered in 2017 (116 in 2016). The order book contained 198 vessels on 31 December 2017 (126 in 2016).SuperyachtsTwenty-five superyachts were delivered in 2017 (19 in 2016), with a value of EUR 1.2 billion (EUR 1 billion in 2016) and 18 new commissions were received (17 in 2016) worth almost EUR 1.2 billion (EUR 1.3 billion in 2016). The order portfolio at the end of December contained 57 superyachts (66 in 2016) with a value of almost EUR 4.5 billion (EUR 4.6 billion in 2016).This article was originally published in the fourth edition of Maritime Holland 2018.last_img read more

Novak Djokovic Hosts StarStudded Charity Gala

first_imgOn Monday 8th July, The Roundhouse, north London, was transformed into a tennis themed gala dinner to mark a spectacular fundraising evening in aid of the Novak Djokovic Foundation.Novak Djokovic and girlfriend JelenaCredit/Copyright: http://novakdjokovicfoundation.orgThe inaugural London gala ball raised over £1,200,000 to support disadvantaged children in Serbia and was attended by Event Chairs, Novak Djokovic, Kate Hudson, Naomi Campbell, Boris Becker, Goldie Hawn, and Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York – who was recently announced as the charity’s Global Ambassador. Milutin Gatsby, the charity’s Global Fundraising Chairman also graced the green and white carpet at the star-studded event.Among the 300 guests were Sir Richard Branson, Gerard Butler, Ronnie Wood, Erin O’Connor, Jeremy Piven, Branislav Ivanovic, Jonathan Ross, Ladies Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli, Tim Henman, Matt Bellamy, and Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.Demonstrating the Foundation’s worldwide support from Novak’s circle of friends involved in fashion, sport, music, entertainment and business, auction prizes included a money-can’t-buy yacht getaway with Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, a signed guitar by Ronnie Wood and a seven day holiday at Sir Richard Branson’s private island, Necker, situated in the British Virgin Islands.In a touching speech before the live auction bidding, Novak thanked his girlfriend Jelena for her love and support, and for everything she’s done for the Foundation.“Love is the greatest driving force in my life, it can create miracles,” the world no.1 said.UNICEF Ambassador, Djokovic, founded the Novak Djokovic Foundation in 2007 with a mission to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children from the lack of nutrition, education, illness or loss of family- especially in his native Serbia.Commenting on the event, the six-time Grand Slam Champion said: “I am delighted to be joined this evening by friends and family to support a cause which is so close to my heart. The Foundation works alongside young children in Serbia to provide support, encouragement and resources so they can fulfill and nurture their dreams. With the help of such generous people, our vision is to expand our work to the UK and America and transform the lives of more children around the world.”The Foundation was also proud to announce a new collaboration to bring MindUP, the signature initiative of The Hawn Foundation to children in Serbia. Commenting on the partnership, Kate Hudson said; “Having seen the extent of how MindUP has changed the lives of so many children I am a proud member of the board and a hugely admiring daughter. I was thrilled to be at this very important event celebrating the new partnership between The Hawn Foundation and The Djokovic Foundation who together are launching MindUP for the kids in Serbia.”Based on positive psychology, educating the heart and mind, MindUP builds resilience and brings overall well-being to children, giving them tools to reduce stress and anxiety, regulate their emotions, find optimism and nurture happiness.Source:novakdjokovicfoundation.orglast_img read more

PM Minnis to Athletes Embrace Commonwealth Ideals in Competition

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, July 20, 2017 – Nassau – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis urged the more than 1,300 athletes, coaches and officials attending the Commonwealth Youth Games 2017 to celebrate the Games in the ideals and values of the Commonwealth.These include the values of peace, freedom and common purpose for progress and a better and more just world.Addressing the Official Opening Ceremony of the Games, July 18, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Prime Minister Minnis further encouraged the athletes, coaches and officials to celebrate the unity of the Commonwealth amidst the diversity of its nations and the vibrant bonds of fellowship and friendship being a part of the Commonwealth of Nations entails.“What a delightful sight this is. As I look across the Thomas Robinson Stadium, I can feel the exuberance of the athletes and the many thousands of spectators who will enjoy the thrill of competition,” Prime Minister Minnis said.“The Bahamas is pleased to host the more than 1,300 athletes and the coaches and officials who have come from around the world to celebrate the vibrant bonds of fellowship and friendship of the Commonwealth.“We are particularly pleased that we can celebrate the unity amidst the diversity of the Commonwealth of Nations. We celebrate the young people and athletic excellence in our community of nations,” Prime Minister Minnis added.Prime Minister Minnis said the Commonwealth Youth Games represents an opportunity for the participants to continue their pursuit of excellence.“For many of you, this will be but a first step to greater glory in the years ahead. Names that will resound around this stadium will, hopefully, be the names that we will hear for years to come.“Indeed this Stadium is named in honour of Bahamian sports hero Thomas Robinson, who won a gold medal in the 200-yard dash and a silver medal in the 100-yard dash at the 1958 British Empire/Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. He also won a silver medal in the 100-yard dash in the 1962 British Empire/Commonwealth Games and the 1996 British Empire/Commonwealth Games.“Athletes, you are here because of the sacrifices that you have made and because of your determination and discipline. This has already made all of you winners and deserving of praise and admiration.”Prime Minister Minnis said The Bahamas is emerging as a place for international sporting events.“This year, in addition to hosting the IAAF World Relays, we are proud to have hosted the FIFA Beach Soccer Competition, the CARIFTA Swimming Championships and now the Commonwealth Youth Games.“You are on a global stage. The world is your audience. Endeavour to do your best,” Prime Minister Minnis added before declaring the Games Open.Press Release: BISlast_img read more