More than 700 evacuated in Guanacaste due to flooding

first_imgEmergency response officials in the canton of Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, set up 11 overnight shelters to aid more than 700 people who were forced to leave their homes due to flooding from strong rains that hit the region in the last 72 hours. At least 300 more are staying with relatives or friends.The National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Thursday issued a green alert for the entire Pacific coast and the Central Valley, and set up warehouses with food supplies in Guanacaste’s cantons to assist affected families.Local authorities reported 34 communities are affected, with at least 200 houses flooded throughout Santa Cruz. Municipal engineers are assessing the condition of three bridges in cantonal routes at: Portegolpe, Hacienda Santa María and Santa Rosa.A swelling Andamojo River, which had isolated the communities of Lagarto, Marbella, Venado, Ostional and San Juanillo, now has begun to subside, which will allow rescue brigades from the Red Cross, firefighters, public security forces and CNE officials to deliver assistance to affected residents in those communities.A forecast from the National Meteorological Institute states that the low pressure system affecting the country remains stationary in front of the Costa Rican Caribbean coast, but is expected to weaken through Saturday. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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first_img – / 69 Patrick Peterson walks onto the field for a mini-camp practice June 8, 2016. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Your browser does not support the audio element. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo LISTEN: Patrick Peterson, AZ Cardinals cornerback Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires In 2014, the injury-ravaged Cardinals went into Charlotte with Ryan Lindley as their starting quarterback, and fell to a seven-win Panthers team by a score of 27-16. That day, the Cardinals set an NFL record for fewest yards in a postseason game, with 78.Things were supposed to be different last season, though, as the Cardinals once again visited the Panthers only this time with a mostly-healthy roster and with a berth in Super Bowl 50 on the line. It did not take long for things to go sideways, however, as the Cardinals went down 17-0 in the first quarter, trailed 24-7 at halftime and eventually lost 49-15.The first loss, while disappointing, was sort of expected. The second defeat, at least in terms of how it happened, came out of nowhere.“I don’t know how this happened, but all the five-star players did not play their best,” Peterson said. “And that’s unusual, for every top guy on your team to not play their best football.“I think a lot of it was once we got down, that 17-point deficit, a lot of guys started to press; a lot of guys felt that they needed to make a play to get us back in the game.”Peterson included himself in that group, pointing to a muffed punt in the second quarter. Trailing 17-7 but having built a little momentum after following their first touchdown by forcing a three-and-out from the Panthers, he raced toward mid-field trying to catch the ball while on the run with hopes of turning it into a big return. Odds are Patrick Peterson is not the only Arizona Cardinal who feels this way about the Carolina Panthers.He just happened to be the one who was asked about them Thursday morning by Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.“We owe ’em,” he said. “We owe those guys. The first time they got us without our best shot, the second time they got us with us fully-loaded.”Peterson, of course, is referring to the Cardinals’ last two playoff exits, both of which came courtesy of the Panthers in North Carolina. Instead, he overran the ball some, it bounced off his shoulder and then was recovered by Carolina’s Teddy Williams. Six plays later the Panthers were in the end zone, making the score a less-doable 24-7.“That punt return, I believe if I would have just fair caught the ball, and gave the offense back the possession right there — I believe it was at the 50 — that could have got things going,” he said. “And the next drive (after Carolina’s touchdown) I end up getting an interception; who knows if that would have happened or not, but now it’s a 10-point game and those guys were known for giving up leads, and that still was in the first half.“So I just believe a lot of guys were just pressing once we dug ourselves in that deep hole, but at the end of the day this team is so ready to get 2016 kicked off. I believe we’re a much better all-around football team than we were last year, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us.”last_img read more

Rep Chatfield hosts first responder for Sept 11 Memorial Service

first_img07Sep Rep. Chatfield hosts first responder for Sept. 11 Memorial Service Categories: Chatfield News,News State Rep. Lee Chatfield, of Levering, today was joined by Cheboygan County Sheriff Dale Clarmont for the Michigan House’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The ceremony remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year. “It is important that we pay tribute to the men and women who are on the front line protecting and serving our communities every day. We should show gratitude and honor them at every opportunity.”last_img read more

Arizona political leaders heartbroken over Notre Dame Cathedral fire

first_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home U.S. Sen. Martha McSally and Rep. Ruben Gallego both called the situation “heartbreaking.” PHOENIX – The shock of seeing flames destroying the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday spread all the way to Arizona, as the state’s political leaders expressed sadness and sympathy.Gov. Doug Ducey sent the state’s prayers to Paris while retweeting a video of people solemnly singing “Ave Maria” as the architectural treasure burned in the distance. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick called Our Lady of Paris, the English translation of the cathedral’s French name, “a symbol of France.” 9 Comments   Share   Rep. David Schweikert recalled the joy of attending mass at the famous tourist attraction. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes The exact cause of the blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is “potentially linked” to a $6.8 million renovation project on the church’s spire and its 250 tons of lead. The Paris prosecutors’ office ruled out arson and possible terror-related motives.French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the church.The Associated Press contributed to this report. 1 / 9(Getty Images Photo) (Getty Images Photo) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Monday’s blaze collapsed the cathedral’s spire and spread to one of its landmark rectangular towers, but Paris fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet said the church’s structure had been saved after firefighters managed to stop the fire spreading to the northern belfry. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Appeals Court Rules Controversial LA Water Power Trusts are Subject to City

first_imgShareTweetShare2Email2 SharesOctober 22, 2015; Los Angeles TimesThe Los Angeles Times reports that an appeals court in California has upheld the right of the City of Los Angeles to inspect the financial records of a controversial pair of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) nonprofit trusts.The trusts, which have received more than $40 million in ratepayer money, are co-administered by the union representing most of the DWP’s employees and managers from the city-owned utility. For the past two years, union leaders have waged a “bitter legal and political battle” to keep the records secret.While the case was winding its way through the courts, a compromise allowed L.A.’s city controller limited access to five years’ worth of records. The controller’s auditors found that the nonprofits had paid millions of dollars to vendors without competitive bids, overpaid top managers and let them charge hundreds of thousands of dollars on publicly financed credit cards for things such as expensive dinners and travel.This week, a panel of three judges from the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles ruled that the controller has the right to perform annual audits of the nonprofits.—Larry KaplanShareTweetShare2Email2 Shareslast_img read more

Facebook Censorship and Public Discourse

first_imgShare33Tweet22ShareEmail55 Sharesfacebook business / Sean MacEnteeSeptember 9, 2016; Washington PostFacebook received another barrage of criticism last week over charges of censorship, adding more bumps to the road traveled by the preeminent social media platform on its ride to global dominance. As of the afternoon on Friday, September 9th, more than 40,000 people were talking about the “Napalm Girl Protest” on Facebook after the historic photo was removed by moderators due to its content and #NapalmGirl was trending on Twitter. (We won’t comment about this turn of phrase, which carries its own discomfort.)Facebook was quickly forced to reverse course and allow the image on its platform, according to the BBC:The tech giant said it had “listened to the community” and acknowledged the “global importance” of the photo.“Because of its status as an iconic image of historical importance, the value of permitting sharing outweighs the value of protecting the community by removal, so we have decided to reinstate the image on Facebook where we are aware it has been removed,” it said in a statement.“It will take some time to adjust these systems but the photo should be available for sharing in the coming days.The controversy began several weeks ago after Norwegian author Tom Egeland shared an iconic photograph of the Vietnam War—“The Terror of War,” by Nick Ut—on his Facebook page. Egeland was notified that the post violated the site’s nudity policy and was subsequently removed. The image, which features a young girl running from a napalm attack, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.Then, the story gained global attention when a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerman from Aftenposten newspaper editor Espen Egil Hansen went viral and Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, spoke out against what she described as censorship.As social media platforms gain users, companies like Facebook are struggling to balance the technical side of content creation with human idiosyncrasies that can defy algorithms. The issue came to a head this spring, as NPQ looked at whether Facebook was manipulating the news after former contract workers accused the company of political bias. But despite the ongoing controversies, nearly half of users said they were comfortable with social media companies controlling what news appears on their sites and Zuckerberg continues to insist Facebook is a tech, not media, company. So, even as accusations of censorship and bias increase, there’s no indication that Facebook will change its practice and standards.NPQ has argued that as Facebook’s organic traffic disappears, nonprofits pay the price. Egil Hansen makes a case along similar lines, following Facebook’s policy reversal. And his words, written in Norwegian on Aftenposten’s site, are a call to action for every citizen to serve as a watchdog to today’s Big Brothers.When it comes to this photo specifically I would say that it was a sensible decision by Facebook. That’s what we editors have to do sometimes—realize that we made a mistake and change our minds. But the main point of my article, and the point that I have asked Mark Zuckerberg to engage in, is the debate about Facebook’s power that results from so much information going through its channels. And that still stands. He should begin to take part in this discussion, for there are no simple solutions. Facebook must recognize that it has become an information filter—and that raises problematic issues.—Anna BerryShare33Tweet22ShareEmail55 Shareslast_img read more

EPA Proposes Cuts to Programs that Protect Children from Lead Poisoning

first_imgShare53TweetShare3Email56 SharesBy Pdpics (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsApril 5, 2017; Washington PostIn the Washington Post, an ominous headline: “Trump’s EPA moves to dismantle programs that protect kids from lead paint.” The story explains how proposed funding cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency will undermine state and local efforts to address childhood lead poisoning. This could portend a change of strategy for lead poisoning advocates who depend upon federal financial support.The funding cuts identified in the memo would reduce the ranks of EPA employees and somewhat reduce the capacity of state and local government to address lead poisoning. However, the impacts will not be a death knell for the federal government’s efforts to reduce childhood lead poisoning. One of the two programs featured in the Post article, the Renovation, Repair and Painting program (RRP), has regulations that are deeply embedded in the regulatory regimes of other federal agencies, most notably Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). HUD has even announced a plan to modestly expand funding for lead abatement.The article’s authors, Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin, note that “Fourteen states—Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin—run programs to train contractors how to properly handle renovations involving lead paint, according to the EPA’s website. The rest rely on the federal government to provide training.”The article’s authors don’t mention that thousands of contractors and industries that bid on federal, state, and local government contracts already have RRP certification and will probably continue along with little interruption. Unless these other federal and state agencies decide to change their regulations, the demand for RRP-certified contractors will continue, and someone will figure out a way to get them trained. While the Washington Post article points out some industry resistance to RRP, a Trump administration survey of industries did not find resistance to lead regulations as a problem area for the industries surveyed.The more serious changes are in proposed cuts to state and tribal governments. These funds are used for a wide variety of programs at the state and tribal level, from public education to tracking down houses where children have been poisoned. The EPA memorandum argues that these are “mature programs” that can be handled by the states. Advocates, like the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), claim “the evidence is clear that this is simply wishful thinking at best. If these programs are eliminated, training, consumer education, compliance assistance, and enforcement will falter, and children will be harmed needlessly.”Advocates for lead programs are right to fight for full funding for these efforts; they might even convince Congress to continue reduced funding or enact match requirements. But while fighting for continued funding for state and local programs, advocates also have a chance to reshape lead poisoning policies.The EPA’s proposal to devolve lead poisoning control and prevention to the states could have a transformative effect on communities. The current EPA strategy for fighting lead poisoning is based on a secondary prevention model, which requires a child to be poisoned before state action begins. Without EPA funding to implement a secondary prevention strategy, states may be willing to innovate. The CDC writes:In theory, primary prevention has always been the goal of childhood lead poisoning prevention programs. In practice, however, most programs focus exclusively on secondary prevention, dealing with children who have already been poisoned. As programs shift the emphasis to primary prevention, their efforts must be designed to systematically identify and remediate environmental sources of lead, including, most importantly, dwellings containing old lead paint.HUD standards for federal housing programs may offer a starting point for a new primary prevention approach that focuses on poisoned houses, not poisoned children. Though HUD standards currently fall short of providing truly “lead-safe” housing, they do provide an alternative to the EPA-funded programs. One example of a new approach is Toledo’s Lead Safe Housing program, which takes another step away from government funded programs. Under Toledo’s ordinance, owners of pre-1978 proprieties are required to hire a state-certified lead clearance technician to identify and remediate lead risks before the property is offered for rent.Unanswered questions remain. As with any federal or state regulation, there’s always a temptation to save a buck by cutting corners or earn a side payment by colluding with unqualified contractors. Will local governments continue enforcement without federal funding? For example, if the EPA stops enforcing the RRP rules, will Cuyahoga County take over enforcement efforts at the East Cleveland landfill site, where contractors have been dumping demolition debris into a residential neighborhood? Here’s where a broadly based coalition or network of nonprofits with a variety of skills, tools, and interests will be essential to support new initiatives to protect children and communities from lead poisoning and other environmental hazards.—Spencer WellsShare53TweetShare3Email56 Shareslast_img read more

Senate GOP Releases Draft Healthcare Legislation that Pleases Nobody

first_imgShare8Tweet3Share2Email13 Shares“Angry Face” by Graeme MacleanJune 22, 2017; Washington PostThe GOP caucus in the U.S. Senate has released its version of legislation to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, passed in 2010. The House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in early May and sent it over to the Senate, which used it to develop the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.” NPQ has followed the AHCA and reported on its introduction and evaluation (“scoring”) by the Congressional Budget Office.The Senate Republicans’ 142-page bill is still actually in the “discussion draft” stage and is an “amendment in the form of a substitute” to the AHCA, technically known as H.R. 1628. The Congressional Budget Office is expected to issue its scoring of the bill early next week. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are contemplating a vote on the bill, including numerous amendments, as soon as next week, in order that it be passed before Congress’s scheduled July 4th recess.The Washington Post has developed an excellent graphic comparison of key aspects of the ACA, the AHCA, and the Senate draft. Some aspects of the Senate draft legislation are less draconian than the House version, such as insurance subsidies being calculated using income, age, and geography, as the ACA currently does, rather than using the AHCA formula, which relies primarily on age as a criterion. However, the income levels required to qualify for subsidies would be lower than those under the ACA.The Senate bill retains the AHCA language that effectively makes Planned Parenthood ineligible to receive Medicaid reimbursements for one year. It also provides the option for states to change the definition of “essential health benefits” required to be covered in plans sold in their states. The annual or lifetime caps on coverage included as part of the AHCA are not removed in either the AHCA or Senate GOP bills, but because the AHCA allows states to make changes in essential health benefits, some insured people may see their coverage limited. The Senate version goes further, allowing states to opt out of the ban completely.Both the AHCA and the Senate GOP draft bill repeal most of the taxes imposed by the ACA to fund the legislation’s costs. One key exception to this is the so-called “Cadillac tax” on low-deductible comprehensive health insurance plans. Both bills allow for insurers to charge up to five times more to some customers than they do to others, up from three times more under the ACA. (The House bill may allow states to change this ratio, but it’s unknown whether this means the ratio could be greater than 5 to 1 in some states). Both bills expand the use of health savings accounts (HSAs) and increase the pretax amount that can be placed in these accounts.How Medicaid is affected under the proposed legislation is critical, because about 20 percent of Americans receive Medicaid-paid services. In addition, much of the expansion in health insurance coverage since the ACA was passed was achieved as a result of Medicaid growth. While the ACA identified Medicaid as “an entitlement program with open-ended, matching federal funds for anyone who qualifies,” according to the Post, the AHCA and the Senate draft both would give states “a per capita or block-grant amount.” This is expected to dramatically decrease federal Medicaid spending. Technical provisions in the House and Senate bills differ, with the Senate bill starting the block grant program in 2021, later than the AHCA, but the annual increases in the Senate proposal would be smaller. This means that in the longer term, the Senate bill cuts more from federal Medicaid spending than the AHCA proposes to do.Initial reactions to the proposed legislation have been almost uniformly negative and often harsh. A “die-in” outside McConnell’s Senate office Thursday morning by people with disabilities resulted in the arrest of 43 protesters, some in wheelchairs, who object to the proposed bill’s Medicaid cuts. Paramedics were called to the scene and there were Twitter reports of blood on the hallway floor.Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said,The way this bill cuts health care is heartless. The president said the House bill was mean. The Senate bill may be meaner. The Senate Republican health care bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Only this wolf has even sharper teeth than the House bill.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called the bill “mean and heartless.”“The Senate bill creates an illusion of being less draconian than the House bill, but is arguably more so” on Medicaid, said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University. Association of American Medical Colleges President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, said in a prepared statement:We are extremely disappointed by the Senate bill released today,” the medical school association wrote. “Despite promises to the contrary, it will leave millions of people without health coverage, and others with only bare-bones plans that will be insufficient to properly address their needs.Some Republicans are uneasy about the bill for different reasons. Referring to the draft released today, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said, “It needs to look more like a repeal of Obamacare rather than that we’re keeping Obamacare.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would like the bill to “do more to ensure consumers have the freedom to choose among more affordable plans that are tailored for their individual healthcare needs.” Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) joined Cruz and Paul, issuing a joint statement saying they cannot support the bill in its present form, but they plan to work to negotiate changes to gain their support.Virtually alone among Democratic legislators, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Tester (D-MT) have signaled a willingness to participate in the amendment process. Tester said, “We’ve got to have a solid debate on it, with as many amendments as we can to improve access to affordability.”—Michael WylandShare8Tweet3Share2Email13 Shareslast_img read more

Small Foundation Gets a Huge Purse and a Bigger Charge Save the

first_imgShare6Tweet5ShareEmail11 SharesBy Camille Gerstenhaber [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia CommonsMay 31, 2018; Science AlertIn an unprecedented move, Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull recently announced that AUS$500 million would be invested in programs that work to save the Great Barrier Reef. In a subsequent move that bewildered politicians, however, it was announced that AUS$444 million of this was promised to a tiny nonprofit organization, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Politicians are now questioning why the government chose to distribute the funds to a private foundation rather than allocating the funds to government agencies.Senator Peter Whish-Wilson argued, “So many questions remain unanswered into how this small foundation…has been granted hundreds of millions in public funding and why the government bypassed the specially designed public bodies that are already doing this work.” Though only vague answers have been provided by the government, there are many benefits that private foundations have over government agencies when it comes to solving certain types of large, systemic issues.To start with, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation was founded after the United Nations World Heritage Convention with the main goal of bringing in donations to protect national heritage sites. Thus, one main benefit is that a private foundation’s narrower charge allows it to focus on raising awareness of the issue and may serve to get additional donors invested in saving the reef as well.Another concern is that the Australian government has taken actions in direct opposition to saving the Great Barrier Reef. For instance, Prime Minister Turnbull’s government has been lax on industries that burn fossil fuels and has also supported plans for one of the largest coal mines in the world. Both are clear obstacles to saving the Reef; arguably, the Turnbull administration is adding to the problem, which is exacerbated by global impacts like the United States leaving the Paris Agreement. By allocating the funding to a private foundation, perhaps the government can avoid taking a stand or getting involved in messy global politics. This is, of course, a benefit for the government, not for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, which will face an uphill battle.Lastly, private foundations, unlike government agencies, can remain nimble and respond to the latest innovations in the field. Private foundations can partner across industries, form collaborations, and engage with stakeholders at all levels. (In fact, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation says it specializes in precisely this.) Moreover, private foundations can quickly disburse funding to try out a new idea without going through layers of bureaucracy. With the Great Barrier Reef declining almost 50 percent in just the last two years, time is of the essence if the reef is to be saved.The Turnbull government has indicated that the Foundation will have seven years to spend down the funding and that there will be clear conditions set on how the money can be spent.— Sheela NimishakaviShare6Tweet5ShareEmail11 Shareslast_img read more

USbased online video service Hulu and UK public b

first_imgUS-based online video service Hulu and UK public broadcaster the BBC have joined forces and will co-produce the fourth season of The Thick of It. The satirical British comedy will then air simultaneously in the US and UK.The deal marks Hulu’s first international co-production deal as it ramps up its investment in original content. The BBC’s US cable channel BBC America will also air the series in the US, but Hulu will show it first.last_img read more

Eduardo Hauser Scripps Networks Interactive has ap

first_imgEduardo HauserScripps Networks Interactive has appointed former Aol, Venevision and Cisneros executive Eduardo Hauser as managing director, Latin America and the Caribbean.Hauser will be responsible for the strategic direction and daily operation of the company’s LatAm businesses, including Food Network and the company’s distribution across the Caribbean.He will also be tasked with identifying and evaluating growth opportunities in the region – including “potential new network launches, joint ventures and key partnerships across multiple platforms and distribution channels”.“Eduardo’s extensive pan-regional media experience coupled with his astute vision and entrepreneurial spirit will position Scripps Networks well as we look to evolve and expand our business across Latin America,” said Scripps’ president, international, Jim Samples, to whom Hauser will report.last_img read more

HBO and Cinemax has launched on Sonys overtheto

first_imgHBO and Cinemax has launched on Sony’s over-the-top TV service, PlayStation Vue, in the US.At the same time, Sony announced the launch of a new PlayStation Vue plan, Ultra. This includes HBO and Showtime along with all the 100+ channels from Sony’s Elite plan, available for $64.99 or $74.99 per month depending on location.Separately, rival pay TV broadcaster Starz launched its Starz App on Microsoft’s Xbox One console in the US earlier this week.last_img read more

Michael Rasmussen Overthetop video and TV servic

first_imgMichael RasmussenOver-the-top video and TV services company Xstream has upped chief financial officer Michael Rasmussen to CEO.Rasmussen takes over from Simon Høgsbro who left the Copenhagen-based company earlier this year to take up a director of platform and innovation role at Microsoft.Rasmussen first joined Xstream in 2015, prior to which he spent 16 years in a variety of general management and CFO roles at Ericsson in both the US and Europe.“Xstream is already a major player in the VOD market and our forward roadmap is now to broaden our presence and work with many of the new entrants offering over-the-top (OTT) TV and video services to consumers,” said Rasmussen.last_img read more

Linden Lab the company behind Second Life has la

first_imgLinden Lab, the company behind Second Life, has launched in public beta a virtual reality world called Sansar.The VR environment lets individuals, companies and brands create, share, and ultimately sell immersive 3D social experiences.Linden Lab said that Sansar was built from the ground up “to enable everyone to become a creator,” and is available for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows PCs.The public beta launch lets anyone access the “thousands of amazing public and private experiences” in Sansar that were made by creators during a limited-access preview.“Sansar democratizes social VR,” said Linden Lab CEO, Ebbe Altberg. “Until now, complexity and cost has limited who could create and publish in this medium, and Sansar dramatically changes that.“It’s been inspiring to see the thousands of virtual creations that have already published with Sansar during our limited preview, and I’m looking forward to the explosion of creativity we’ll see now that we’ve opened the doors in beta.”Sansar is free to use, with additional capacity and customer support available to creators through paid subscriptions, which start at US$9.99 per-month.The launch comes less than a week after virtual reality social network, AltspaceVR, announced it would close down on August 3, citing “unforeseen financial difficulty”.The venture-backed firm, which allows people to meet in a virtual environment, said that the combination of a failed funding round and the “general slowness of VR market growth” had made most of its investors “reluctant to fund us further”.However, in the wake of the announcement, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey indicated he could step in to help AltspaceVR out of its financial predicament, after he tweeted: “Should I try to save @AltspaceVR? (caveat: may not be possible)”.last_img read more

Former Cardinals OL Desmond Harrison turns himself in to police

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Desmond Harrison mugshot (Greensboro Police Department) (Greensboro Police Department)Former Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Desmond Harrison turned himself in to police Friday after being charged with assault on Tuesday.Harrison, who turned himself in at 6:23 a.m. Friday, according to the Greensboro Police Department, was released by the Cardinals on Wednesday shortly after the charges were made public. The Greensboro Police Department website listed the charge as “assault inflicting serious injury — strangulation.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The undrafted offensive tackle is being held at the Guilford County Jail in North Carolina awaiting his first hearing appearance. The investigation is ongoing, according to police.Harrison started half of his rookie year for Cleveland in 2018 before being waived and picked up by Arizona on June 6.Related LinksOT Desmond Harrison charged with strangulation, released by CardinalsThe 6-foot-6, 305-pound tackle entered the NFL Draft Combine two summers ago after he put up the second-fastest 40-yard dash time for a lineman at 4.90 secondsHarrison went undrafted out of West Georgia in 2017 and began his career at Contra Costa Community College. He earned First Team All-American honors there before he joined Texas for his junior season. Harrison was ruled academically ineligible initially but was eventually cleared.He was suspended multiple times at Texas before leaving the program and spent two years away from football prior to joining West Georgia.Harrison reportedly was cut by the Browns after being late for team activities.last_img read more

Cardinals precamp preview Zane Gonzalez a special teams question

first_img The Arizona Cardinals report to duty on July 24 and open 2019 training camp with their first practice the following day. To preview the storylines heading into head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s first year on the job, let’s take a look at the roster by position groups.Special teams has continuity with last season, a year in which little went wrong from a team standpoint. But the biggest question-mark on the unit is at kicker, where Zane Gonzalez must prove he’s consistent enough to solidify himself as an NFL leg. Projected startersK: Zane GonzalezP: Andy LeeLS: Aaron BrewerReturns: Christian Kirk (punt), T.J. Logan (kickoff)Related LinksCardinals pre-camp preview: Can interior D-linemen rise above average?Cardinals pre-camp preview: Jordan Hicks quarterbacking from ILBCardinals pre-camp preview: Health, depth concerns loom over O-lineCardinals pre-camp preview: OLBs Jones, Suggs expected to attackCardinals pre-camp preview: Can RBs Johnson, Edmonds become dynamic?Cardinals pre-camp preview: DBs have new and old facesDepthP: Ryan WinslowReturns: Damiere Byrd (punt/kickoff), Pharoh Cooper (punt), Patrick Peterson (punt), Brandon Williams (kickoff)Biggest storylineSpecial teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers is one of a few holdovers from former Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks’ staff, and it’s pretty easy to see why.Last year, amid many ugly football things, nobody noticed that the special teams units looked pretty darn good with the exception of turnover at kicker. Phil Dawson, then 43 years old, went 5-for-8 in 10 games before he ended the year on the injured reserve with a hip issue.His replacement, Arizona State-bred Zane Gonzalez, fared a bit better, going 7-of-9 in five games with Arizona.Coming off an injury that led to the Cleveland Browns cutting him midseason, he hit a 44-yarder with 1:41 left in the Green Bay snow to lead Arizona past the Packers in his first game with the Cardinals. Then, Gonzalez drilled three field goals, including 50- and a 55-yard attempts, in the season finale at Seattle.Gonzalez, 24, appears to have the confidence of the Arizona staff heading into 2019. He’s just 24-for-34 (71%) in his first two NFL seasons and has missed four of 37 extra points. His leg strength is proven, but consistency will be key if he’s going to build a long NFL career. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact X-factor(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)An added benefit of the Cardinals searching far and wide for receivers that fit a spread offense is the options it’s handing to Rodgers when it comes to the return game.It’s too early to know which players are favorites, but for the time being it’s safe to say receiver Christian Kirk and third-string running back T.J. Logan could be respective favorites at punt and kickoff return.But after that, there are intriguing options. Pharoh Cooper, a 2017 special teams Pro Bowler, must either blow the Cardinals away with his returns or improve as a receiver just to make the roster. He’s coming off a season stained by an ankle injury that led to the Los Angeles Rams releasing him last December.Backup corner Brandon Williams got some action as a kick return man for a brief period last year, and starting cornerback Patrick Peterson is an option once he returns from a six-game PED suspension.Maybe lost in all this is Damiere Byrd, who has experience at both return spots and just might fight his way onto the roster as a lightening-fast receiver anyway. Top Stories 8 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Under the radar— Give punter Andy Lee credit for quietly helping Arizona out last season. The Cardinals led the NFL by averaging 48.3 yards per punt and were fourth with a 44.1 net average. Thirty-two of the 94 punts (34%) were inside the opponent 20-yard line. This, despite Arizona leading the NFL with 94 punts required.— Long snapper Aaron Brewer, coming off a clean and healthy 2018! Seattle Seahawks’ Shaquill Griffin (26) watches the path of Arizona Cardinals’ Zane Gonzalez’s (5) field goal as Cardinals holder Andy Lee (2) looks on during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

Cardinals precamp preview Can interior Dlinemen rise above average

first_img The Arizona Cardinals report to duty on July 24 and open 2019 training camp with their first practice the following day. To preview the storylines heading into head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s first year on the job, let’s take a look at the roster by position groups.When it comes to the interior defensive line, there are familiar faces and a key free agent addition as reasons to be hopeful. Depth might be a concern, but two rookies have the opportunity to grab ahold of reserve spots on the roster. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Rodney Gunter #95 and Corey Peters #98 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrate a defensive stop in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 30, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) “I would expect that he’ll heal up fine. Again, he’s got to come back with a chip on his shoulder. If he wants an opportunity to have a long-term career, he has got to do it on the field.”Whether Nkemdiche will heal up in time — and if Arizona will even require his services — to play for his next NFL contract remains to be seen.Under the radar— Third-round pick and Boston College product Zach Allen might have gone under the radar in a draft class where quarterback Kyler Murray, corner Byron Murphy, plus receivers Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler will likely be relied upon from Day 1. But Allen has a good chance to force his way into playing time as a smart, high-motor defensive end with a unique skillset.“Zach Allen … was one of the players that I may have been most fond of during the evaluation process,” Keim said after drafting Allen. “This guy plays like his hair’s on fire, he’s relentless, he does different things from a pass-rusher standpoint that a lot of defensive ends and five techniques don’t do. So he’s a guy that not only brings the character that we’re looking for, but he brings the toughness and intensity that we’re looking for.” Fellow draft pick Michael Dogbe could also have an opportunity to earn a spot on the roster as a backup end with little else certain on the depth chart.— While Allen and Dogbe give Arizona more youthful bodies at defensive end, Terrell McClain and Vincent Valentine provide more experience at tackle.He said it“I think for me it’s not very much different. It’s really the same technique,” Peters told Bickley & Marotta of the switch back to a 3-4 defense. “I think for other guys it’s probably more of an effect, especially outside rushers, kind of guys like Chandler … As far as the switch, I think a lot of guys are really happy with it for whatever reason. And for a variety of reasons the 4-3 just didn’t work well last year.“I think we went from being a pretty good defense, especially against the run, to being one of the worst defenses in the league. That’s not just on one person. I obviously have to bear some of that as well. We all do. It’s not just a coaching thing, it’s everybody. I’m looking forward to just starting fresh and just getting back to, especially run defense, the way we’ve done it since I’ve been here otherwise.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img Projected startersDT: Corey Peters, Rodney GunterDE: Darius PhilonDepthDT: Vincent Valentine, Terrell McClain, Miles BrownDE: Zach Allen, Robert Nkemdiche, Michael Dogbe, Immanuel TurnerBiggest storylineArizona shouldn’t have to worry about developing a pass-rush with Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs at outside linebacker. A switch back to the 3-4 defense after spending a year in the 4-3 should benefit that group — and when that group is running on all cylinders, that means the switch should also benefit the team’s interior defensive linemen.Corey Peters, 31, returns as the vocal leader and face of stability in the heart of the Cardinals defense. Also back is Rodney Gunter, whose career season in 2018 led to a one-year re-signing with Arizona instead of a payday elsewhere.Gunter, like Peters, has been a healthy body. The 2015 fourth-round pick by Arizona appeared in 16 games in each of his four NFL seasons and last year posted 44 tackles with 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He’d previously not posted more than 19 tackles over a season while playing mostly as a backup.The Cardinals shored up their expected trio of starting interior linemen by signing Darius Philon away from the Los Angeles Chargers. He’s posted two strong years in a row of 64 combined tackles and 8.5 sacks with two forced fumbles. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 10 Comments   Share   That group is reliable in terms of availability and production. For the sake of projecting, Arizona can have hope that Philon, 25, and Gunter, 27, haven’t reached their ceilings quite yet.X-factor(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)It may not impact the on-field product, but Arizona could dream of it.Robert Nkemdiche’s NFL future remains in question for all the wrong reasons.Arizona passed on picking up a fifth-year option for his rookie deal this May after inconsistent performances, a slow learning curve and injuries piled up. And after the athletic lineman flashed his massive potential in 2018, an ACL injury late in the season puts his 2019 season in question. Then came two offseason traffic stops, one of which led to an arrest, for speeding and driving on a suspended license.Cardinals general manager Steve Keim this offseason has acted as if his 2016 first-round pick is a lost cause, signing Philon and bringing back Gunter on a one-year deal, then drafting two more defensive ends in Zach Allen and Michael Dogbe.“I certainly am not going to be one to hide behind anything, and looking at it now based on the fact that (Nkemdiche) was a first-round pick and the limited time on the field and production on the field, you would certainly have to question that draft pick,”  Keim told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station in December.last_img read more

Cardinals precamp preview Tight ends exist so will they be used

first_imgArizona Cardinals tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (86) is hit by Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Mark Barron (26) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) 4 Comments   Share   It’s true that Kingsbury does have tough roster decisions to make regarding tight end and, in relation, receiver.Clay has proven himself with the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, as has Maxx Williams, who with the Baltimore Ravens was primarily used as a run-blocker.Arizona also has Ricky Seals-Jones, a converted receiver, returning, as well as incoming rookie Caleb Wilson, who led all NCAA tight ends with 965 receiving yards at UCLA in 2018.X-factor(AP Photo/Nick Wass)For the first time in his eight-year NFL career, Clay didn’t record a touchdown in 2018. His streak of 500-plus receiving yards ended after five straight seasons as well.The 30-year-old enters training camp on the PUP list, adding more questions about how ready he is to contribute. His status as the de facto starting tight end could be up in the air. His resume goes unchallenged, however.“I’ve always been enamored with the different ways he can be used, whether it’s in the backfield blocking or you can hand him the football or he can be a matchup at wide receiver,” Kingsbury said of Clay at the NFL Combine. “He can just do a lot of different things.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Who is the top option after that?Seals-Jones could make a leap in an offense similar to the one he played in college at Texas A&M, but he will need to improve as a run-blocker.Williams has a shot to be the man as well. He recorded 268 yards on 32 catches (47 targets) as a rookie in 2015 but was utilized less often as a receiver the last two years after missing most of 2016 due to injury.He said it“Part of it was is we just couldn’t find ’em — a tight end, a true tight end,” said Mike Leach, the father of the Air Raid system who joined Doug & Wolf in January. “A lot of people are real stubborn about, they have to have a true tight end. The trouble is God only made a few true tight ends and most of them are playing defensive line.” The Arizona Cardinals report to duty on Wednesday and open 2019 training camp with their first practice the following day. To preview the storylines heading into head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s first year on the job, let’s take a look at the roster by position groups.The tight end position has traditionally been one lacking eye-popping production for the Cardinals. NFL-wide, the position has seen a boom in use for teams lucky enough to find pass-catching talent. It’s one of the great mysteries under Kingsbury: Will a reshuffled room be utilized by its innovative head coach, or is the talent not there to warrant much attention as the wide receivers get all the work? Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Projected startersCharles Clay, Maxx WilliamsDepthRicky Seals-Jones, Caleb Wilson, Darrell Daniels, Drew BelcherRelated LinksCardinals pre-camp preview: Zane Gonzalez a special teams questionCardinals pre-camp preview: Can interior D-linemen rise above average?Cardinals pre-camp preview: Jordan Hicks quarterbacking from ILBCardinals TE Clay: Murray will be ‘special,’ opposes an 18-game seasonRookie tight end Caleb Wilson ‘locking in’ on improving craft with CardinalsBiggest storylinePoint blank: Will the Cardinals use their tight ends?Kingsbury has maintained that the stereotypes about his spread, Air Raid style offense are just that. He’s called some of those assumptions about the identity — about the hyper-speed pace and lack of a run game — misnomers.Regarding whether Kingsbury will often use the 10 personnel packages of four receivers, one running back and no tight ends remains to be seen.Veteran Charles Clay, a free agent addition who enters camp on the PUP list with a knee injury, believes Arizona values versatility and will utilize its tight ends as it does its backs and receivers: to create confusion and target matchups.“I think it’s exactly that, just being versatile and being able to do a lot of good things,” Clay told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “We got a good tight end group of guys who can all wear multiple hats. But you definitely have to be — you’ll see them lining up in all different kinds of places. That’ll pretty much be our role, to just move around and try to find those mismatches.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

How fans can attend Cardinals 2019 training camp

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Fans will sit on the east side of the stadium in the lower bowl seats. For the weekend, additional lower level seats will be open on the west side of the stadium.The team shop and concession stands will also be open during practices.Fans will be able to get free admission tickets to any open practices including the annual Red and White practice on Aug. 3.CARDINALS 2019 TRAINING CAMPThursday, July 25 (3:30-5:30 p.m.)Friday, July 26 (1-3 p.m.)Saturday, July 27 (3:30-5:30 p.m.)Sunday, July 28 (1-3 p.m.)Tuesday, July 30 (3:30-5:30 p.m.)Wednesday, July 31 (10:45 a.m.-1 p.m.)Thursday, Aug. 1 (10:45 a.m.-1 p.m.)Saturday, Aug. 3 (1:30-4 p.m.) — Red & White PracticeMonday, Aug. 5 (3:30-5:30 p.m.)Tuesday, Aug. 6 (1-3 p.m.)Thursday, Aug. 8 — preseason game vs. L.A. ChargersSaturday, Aug. 10 (1-3 p.m.)Sunday, Aug. 11 (3:30-5:30 p.m.)Monday, Aug. 12 (10:45 a.m.-1 p.m.)Thursday, Aug. 15 – preseason game vs. Oakland RaidersSaturday, Aug. 17 (1-3 p.m.) Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Kyler Murray works out during an NFL football rookies camp, Friday, May 10, 2019, at the team’s’ training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) The Arizona Cardinals 2019 training camp is just around the corner.Fans can attend the first open practice when training camp starts on Thursday, July 25 at State Farm Stadium.Parking will be free and spots at the green and gray lots will open one hour before the start of practice.The orange lots on the west side of the stadium will open up for weekend practices to accommodate for the bigger crowds.Related LinksCardinals pre-camp preview: Health, depth concerns loom over O-lineCardinals lineman Justin Pugh is OK with his 73 Madden ratingCardinals sign NFL supplemental pick Jalen Thompson to 4-year dealOT Desmond Harrison charged with strangulation, released by CardinalsGates will open 30 minutes before every practice and fans can enter at either gate two or three. Gate one will be open for the weekend practices only. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 3 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Cardinals make multiple roster moves place six players on PUP list

first_img 19 Comments   Share   Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Brandon Williams returns a kick off against the Denver Broncos during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) The Arizona Cardinals have placed six players on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP), the team announced in a press release Saturday.Injured players include LB Dante Booker (back), TE Charles Clay (knee), OL Max Garcia (knee), DL Robert Nkemdiche (knee), LB Brooks Reed (hip) and CB Brandon Williams (back).PUP players can rejoin the team at any point during training camp but can’t participate in any on-field activities until they’re officially off the list. Related LinksCardinals pre-camp preview: Zane Gonzalez a special teams questionCardinals pre-camp preview: Can interior D-linemen rise above average?Cardinals pre-camp preview: Jordan Hicks quarterbacking from ILBThe team also announced a series of roster moves.Offensive lineman Will Holden and defensive lineman Immanuel Turner have been released while defensive lineman Sterling Bailey has been signed by the club.Bailey was most recently with the Carolina Panthers but has also spent time with the Indianapolis Colts, the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings. However, he hasn’t seen any regular season action with either of the four teams.The Cardinals will be holding their first practice July 25 and still have two spots open on their 90-man roster.last_img read more