The Florida Department of Transportation has announced that toll collections will be reinstated Thursday, after they were suspended ahead of Hurricane Dorian.On Thursday, tolls on the following roads will be reinstated:– Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike (SR 821)– I-95 Express Lanes– I-595 Express Lanes– I-75 Express Lanes– Alligator AlleyOn Friday, tolls on these roads will be reinstated:– The Turnpike Mainline (SR 91)– Beachline Expressway (SR 528)– Sawgrass Expressway (SR 869)– SR 417– SR 429The Central Florida Expressway Authority will also resume collecting tolls on Friday on the following roads:– SR 408– SR 414– SR 451– SR 453– SR 538– SR 551On Saturday, toll collection will resume on the following roads:– First Coast Expressway (SR 23)– I-295 Express Lanes
Submitted by Thurston County Enjoy a fun and free tour of north Thurston County on Saturday, May 16 where water quality experts will help you see your neighborhood through the lens of a drinking water glass.The “Dive into Your Neighborhood Tour” will depart aboard a luxury tour bus at 10 a.m. and will include free local food, a scenic tour of spots where you can witness water quality issues in action, plus lots of tips and information about how you can help protect the quality of the water in Puget Sound, in our lakes and streams, and in your very own home.The free “Dive into Your Neighborhood Tour” is hosted by Clear Choices for Clean Water, a partnership between Thurston Conservation District and Thurston County Environmental Health. Residents who live in the Henderson or Nisqually Shellfish Protection Districts are encouraged to register for the tour. Residents who live outside the shellfish protection districts will be placed on a waiting list and will be notified a few days in advance if space is available. All interested residents are encouraged to register as early as possible. To register for the tour and to find out if you live within one of the shellfish protection districts, visit www.thurstoncd.com/clearchoices or call Melissa Sanchez at (360) 754-3588 x105.The tour will begin with refreshments and check-in at the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services building at 412 Lilly Road NE in Olympia. After a presentation on the underground mysteries of septic tanks, the tour will visit several locations in the Henderson and Nisqually Watersheds to understand where our water comes from, where it goes, and how our everyday choices affect the health of the water and the ecosystems it supports. The tour will end with local beverages, free shellfish tasting, music and more! Tour participants will also get to take home free native plants, fertilizers, compost, and other items to help protect water quality for all of us.Not able to join the tour? Henderson and Nisqually Watershed District residents can still learn about local water quality, get tips, tricks and tools to help you protect water quality, and sign up for the Clear Choices for Clean Water rewards booklet with coupons and discounts worth more than $300. Just visit www.thurstoncd.com/clearchoices for more. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0
Khanyi MagubaneI am a fully fledged and proud citizen of the concrete jungle.The noise pollution, bumper-to-bumper traffic, bright city lights, the fast-paced life, a quick lunch here, a Long Island ice tea cocktail after work with a friend, which makes way for a book launch at 6pm and soon after that I have to dash for a dinner appointment at 8pm, get home around 10, check e-mails, Facebook and send messages, watch a bit of late-night TV and, before I know it, it is after midnight on a work night. I am a self-confessed city-slicker.When I recently had to travel to East London, or eMonti as it is popularly known, for a friend’s wedding, I was initially excited at the prospect of leaving the home for a few days, but also panicked at the thought of being bored stiff in a small town where, I had been forewarned, nothing happens.When I arrived there I was pleasantly surprised to see my name scrawled across a board held by a smiling airport shuttle driver. In the car Luvuyo wasted in no time telling me East London was great fun, and I was going to enjoy it. I didn’t want to offend him, but I wasn’t so sure.Driving through the town and watching the locals going about their business, it was wonderful to reminisce about the carefree joys of small town living. Having grown up in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, I know it too well. Although no-one could ever tell, now that I’m completely urbanised.I decided I would put away my city snobbishness and explore the town.With only 880 000 residents East London, I discovered, boasts the best of rural, cosmopolitan and coastal beauty.This makes it easy for visitors with eclectic tastes like myself to find something appealing which, in this case, was a type of contemporary country living.First all, I learned that East London is not a town, as I had patronisingly called it, but is, in fact, the sixth largest city in South Africa.It has an interesting history. The British set up the city in 1836 as a military post, used during the frontier wars with the Xhosa people. The arrival of German settlers gave the area a much-needed economic boost.In 1873, East London was given town rights, which have since been upped to city status. Lying on the coast of the Eastern Cape province, it now forms part of Buffalo City, one of South Africa’s six metropolitan municipalities.It is South Africa’s only river port, set on both the Buffalo and Nahoon Rivers with the Gonubie River flowing around it.The local township of Mdantsane is reputed to be the second-largest in South Africa after Soweto.Many of Mdantsane’s inhabitants are people who were forcibly removed from what was then known as East Bank in East London. East Bank was a multiracial residential area, similar to Sophiatown in Johannesburg.When apartheid laws forbidding people of different races to live together came into effect, the blacks of East Bank were moved to Mdantsane, which was situated within the former Ciskei “homeland”.My home for three days in East London was a brightly red painted bed and breakfast guesthouse called the Red Pepper River Lodge.Overlooking the Gonubie River, the lodge was first class … a city slicker like myself finally felt at home. I had all the amenities I deem necessary for basic living: an ADSL line for internet, a wide flat-screen TV, a cellphone charger adapter, a feather-soft bed, clean towels and top it off, a beautiful view.By now, I had to admit it, I was relaxed. My host was gracious and left me to my own devices. I took the opportunity to swim and read an epic novel had I started many months ago, without considering time. I chastised myself for underestimating the calming effect this city would have on me.The day of the wedding, I was hungover and could hardly wake up. My cousin and I, accompanied by two good friends also attending the wedding, had managed to find a nightclub for “a drink or two” and some music. What was meant to round off a nice quiet dinner ended up being a nightlong extravaganza. We danced and drank until four in the morning to extremely good music – a mixture of new songs and old ones we hadn’t heard in a long time.At one point we decided to get disciplined and leave the club, but no sooner had we reached the car park than an old favourite tune came on and, without even discussing it, had to go back. We were hopeless and happy.Fast-forward to the wedding, there we were, the four of us standing outside the wedding chapel, hiding behind our sunglasses, feeling extremely tender and wishing for no sudden movements.After what seemed to be forever, our friends were eventually pronounced man and wife and we were only to happy for the reception to start so we could sit down and get some food and drinks into our dehydrated and famished bodies.On the flight back home the following day, I reflected on the past three days in East London. It felt like I had been there for a really long time. It’s funny how time can take on a different dimension when there is no pressure to be anywhere or do anything.I must spend more time outside of Johannesburg. I get so entangled in its hustle and bustle that I forget that there is a world of beauty in my country, waiting for me to discover it.There’s one thing I would change, though. I couldn’t find a single place that made Long Island ice tea in East London, so next time I’ll travel with a blender and a book of cocktail recipes. A girl needs her comforts.Khanyi Magubane is a journalist, published poet, radio broadcaster and fiction writer. She writes for MediaClubSouth Africa, and brings with her an eclectic mix of media experience. She’s worked as a radio journalist for stations including Talk Radio &702 and the youth station YFM, where she was also a news anchor. She’s been a contributing features writer in a number of magazines titles including O magazine and Y mag. She’s also a book reviewer and literary essayist, published in the literary journal Wordsetc. Magubane is also a radio presenter at SAfm, where she hosts a Sunday show. She’s currently also in the process of completing the manuscript of her first novel, an extract of which has been published in Wordsetc.
“From the ruins of a racially polarisedorder, we have built a nation driven by astrong commitment to the values of justiceand equality,” President Jacob Zuma saidon Freedom Day.(Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)MEDIA CONTACTS• Vincent MagwenyaPresidential spokesperson+27 72 715 0024RELATED ARTICLES• Zuma speech in UK parliament• State of the Nation 2010• Zuma welcomes world at Davos• Jacob Zuma on World Aids Day• Medium-term budget: full textFreedom Day on 27 April 2010 marked 16 years since South Africans of all races went to the polls to vote in the country’s first democratic elections, in 1994. This is the full text of President Jacob Zuma’s speech to the nation at celebrations marking the event at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.I am deeply honoured to address the nation on this historic day, on which South Africans buried racial oppression, and ushered in new non-racial democratic order.On this day we remember all the brave men and women whose struggle and sacrifices made it possible for us to enjoy the benefits of democracy today.It is a day to reflect on how far we have advanced in building a new, united and democratic nation.Importantly, it is also a time to consider the extent to which the freedoms articulated in our Bill of Rights find expression in the daily lives of our people.From the ruins of a racially polarised order, we have built a nation driven by a strong commitment to the values of justice and equality.As taught by our icon, President Nelson Mandela, we must remain steadfast in our determination that never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.And so with freedom, came the responsibility of building a non-racial, united and reconciled nation.And we learned from the greatest, our national heroes Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Ahmed Kathrada, Walter Sisulu and many others.We recall the wise words of our icon, Oliver Reginald Tambo who said:“It is our responsibility to break down barriers of division and create a country where there will be neither whites nor blacks, just South Africans, free and united in diversity.”This powerful vision can be achieved, in line with the preamble of our Constitution which states clearly that: “South Africa belongs to all those who live in it”.Compatriots,When celebrating the notion of a country that now belongs to all who live in it, we recall that on this day, sixty years ago, the apartheid government introduced the Group Areas Act.This marked the institutionalizing the racial partition of our cities and towns.That law and the impact it had on our society, illustrates the legacy we have to deal with. And there are many others.Sixty years later, and nearly 20 years after it was repealed, our people still have to daily confront the impact of that law. Many still live in areas once designated for black people on the periphery of our towns, far away from economic opportunity and civic services.The cost of transport alone takes a heavy toll on the lives of the poor. This is only one example among many of the work we still need to do to ensure that our people enjoy the fruits of freedom.These laws may have disappeared from the statute books, but their effects are still felt across the country. Freedom imposes on us a responsibility to work together in the process of changing such conditions.And we must do this fast, because in four year’s time we will have been free for 20 years. We will not have much sympathy for any reasons advanced to explain the failure to make a difference in the lives of our people.When I spoke in Parliament earlier this year I stated that we are entering a new era, an era of doing things differently. It is an era of ensuring that our work is determined by clear outcomes.It is an era of increasing the pace and form of service delivery.That is what we have begun to do during this term of government. We are changing the way government works to improve the lives of our people.As we work to increase the pace and quality of delivery, we must also together acknowledge the progress we have made thus far as a nation, working together as government and the people.We must note that despite numerous challenges and backlog, South Africa has provided over 2.8 million housing opportunities since 1994.We are currently on target in terms of delivery of new housing stock in the various provinces.We must still work further to get our human settlement model entrenched, as we now do not see housing in isolation in this administration. The provision of social services in the communities in which we provide housing is also critical.In this regard, I have convened a special Presidential Coordinating Council meeting on the 18th of May, to discuss with all nine provincial premiers, the need for habitable human settlements throughout the country.Together as national and provincial governments we should find lasting solutions.In extending social services we are building on current successes.Over 91% of households had access to piped water. South Africa has passed the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people without sustainable water.We are likely to achieve the 2014 goal of universal access to potable water, despite the challenge of ever-increasing number of households.As of March 2009, more than 10 million households had access to sanitation compared to about 5 million in 1994. South Africa has moved closer to the target date for universal access to sanitation which is 2014.We do not deny that there is still much more to be done, but a lot has also been achieved already.Fellow South Africans,If we are to make a difference in the lives of future generations, we must pay special attention on the development of our youth.According to Stats SA, nearly 70% of all South Africans are under the age of 35, making South Africa a youthful country.For any developing country, animportant step towards reducing poverty and inequality is to invest in education.We want an education system that will provide opportunities for children from poor backgrounds to advance economically and socially.The good news is that we are getting somewhere.More South Africans are being educated, and that is because South Africa has one of the highest rates of government investment in education in the world.Our plan is to improve the output and the pass rates through increasing efficiency and accountability in our schools.That is why we say our teachers should be in school, in class, on time, teaching for at least six and half hours a day. If they do that, the results will speak for themselves.Fellow South Africans,We reiterate that a defining feature of this administration will be its closeness to the people it serves. As you are aware, I established the Presidential Hotline last year. It has opened our world to a host of issues that are affecting our people.I know that thousands of South Africans have battled to get through to the hotline due to the high volume of calls.I know too that the response rate from many government departments has been very slow, and that while many callers have been assisted, many others are frustrated.We are working hard to improve the service. You should not battle to talk to your own government. That should be corrected.We will make formal announcements soon on how to improve your access to the Hotline, and how to ensure quicker responses from government departments, nationally and provincially.Compatriots,Earlier this week we launched our new upscaled HIV and Aids prevention and treatment plan.This is an integral part of our broader campaign to improve the health profile of South Africans. I urge all of you to heed prevention messages, and to get tested for HIV.Through testing, you will know your status and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Testing also helps us to deal with the stigma attached to the epidemic.Together we must eradicate the silence and the shame that is associated with HIV and Aids. This epidemic can be beaten if we all decide to play our part and work hard.Ladies and Gentlemen;Freedom Day reminds us that we should all work hard to defend the freedom for which so many have fought and lost their lives.We must work together to build our country and shape its future. We must all work for unity, true reconciliation and cohesion.In February this year, I indicated that there was a need for us to have a dialogue to remind ourselves why our country’s founding fathers and mothers declared us one nation united in diversity.I suggested at the time that we needed to reach out to all South Africans across the class, racial, ethnic, gender, religious and political divides. I said we must engage in a conversation about the true values that underpin our common identity and destiny.My suggestion was motivated by my deep belief and conviction that as a nation, we should yet again draw on the collective South African wisdom to understand one another.I think such a dialogue would help us to live better with one another as South Africans.It will help us to find a common perspective through which we can view the various backgrounds, habits, traditions, customs, cultures and religions that define who we are.It is a modest addition to many other mechanisms we must devise as a nation to arrive at a common understanding over many issues.It will enable us to arrive at a common perspective around the following amongst others:The changing of certain geographical names.The transformation in the workplace and in sport.The songs we sing and the symbols we embrace.Our desire to determine language policy at our schools and universities.The slaughtering of animals to appease an ancestor which is practiced in some cultures.It will assist us with the task we face as a country, to breathe a new life to our nation building efforts.This national dialogue will capture the attention of all our people. Like the 2010 FIFA Soccer World, you will feel it!We will share further information once the initial consultation phase has been concluded.Compatriots,We are just 44 days away from hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup.We have been offered a significant opportunity to share our humanity, heritage and the beauty of this country with the world.We will display the rich tapestry of our culture in dance and music to show that this is a truly African World Cup.We do not spend enough time celebrating our country, and this is an opportunity to show off. South Africa is rich in its cultural diversity. We have produced music that has earned international accolades.We have a varied landscape with tropical, temperate and Mediterranean climate. We grow a variety of food, fruit and flowers.Our mineral wealth is legendary. We have people who are inventors and innovators.Our country boasts eight world heritage sites, and we must familiarize ourselves with them so that we can all become ambassadors and effective tour guides during the World Cup!These are:iSimangaliso Wetland ParkRobben IslandCradle of HumankinduKhahlamba Drakensberg ParkMapungubwe Cultural LandscapeCape Floral RegionVredefort DomeRichtersveld Cultural and Botanical LandscapeThese sites are a source of pride and identity that should unite all of us. Let us make the 2010 World Cup a memorable event. Let us rally behind Bafana Bafana.Let us celebrate our national symbols; and let us show the world that we are one nation, united in our colourful diversity.Ladies and gentlemen before concluding let me extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the 16 people who died in a road crash in the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.Pain suffered by any South African affects all of us. We are one nation, one people.We extend a special happy Freedom Day to the families of four South African peacekeepers who were released after being held captive in Sudan. They are in good health and good spirit.We thank the United Nations and the Sudanese government for working with us to secure their release.Happy Freedom Day and a happy Soccer World Cup to you all!I thank you.
Want to make your digital video footage look more like film? In this post we share a quick tip for getting a film look in Adobe Premiere Pro!Film is a chemical process. A frame of film has color evenly distributed over the whole plate.Video on the other hand, is a digital media, and is made up of scan lines. HD video for example is made up of 1080 lines from top to bottom. This means, that by its very nature, there are spaces between these lines and making video somewhat less ‘full’ than film. At times it can seem as if your video is a little ‘thin’ and needs ‘filling out’. In this post I’ll demonstrate a Premiere Pro technique to use in those instances when your video needs to seem ‘fuller’ and ‘pop’ like film.Giving your video a film look in Premiere Pro will add to render time, so be sure you have the time to spare!Image before Filmic BlendThe first step is to make two copies of the clip you want to use. This is done in Premiere Pro by hold the ‘Alt’ key and dragging the clip up to the next track in your timeline. If you don’t have a spare track just drag the copy up to the grey area at the top of the timeline and Premiere Pro will automatically create a new video layer. You should end up with something like this:Three Copies of the Video Clip in the TimelineNotice that I have the eyeball turned off for Video 2 & 3 – this is because these are the layers we will be working on and we need to deal with them one at a time (or else we won’t be able to see the changes we make).Apply Fast Blur to Video 2 & 3Fast Blur SettingsWe start by applying the ‘Fast Blur’ Effect to both the copies in Video 2 & 3. What we want to do is blur in the vertical (up & down) dimension to ‘fill in’ the gaps between the lines. I have chosen to use 2 for ‘Blurriness’ although you may be able to get away with less. I have also selected the ‘Repeat Edge Pixels’ option because if you don’t the edges of your image will start to have transparent lines around it (and we don’t want that!)Now, you may think that by adding a blur we will simply be making the image unusable. However, the beauty of this technique is that we will be looking at the bottom layer with the top two layers ‘blended’ over the clip in Video 1. What this means is that we still see the sharpness of the clip in Video 1 but with the richness and brightness of the clips in Video 2 & 3…giving a composite image which still looks sharp even though we have been using a blur.Once we have set up the fast blur for the copies in Video 2 & 3 we need to turn on the eyeball for the clip in Video 2 and go to our ‘Effect Controls’ Panel. With the clip selected, open up the ‘Opacity’ disclosure triangle to find the ‘Blend Mode’ drop-down.Finding the Blend ModesBlend modes are a way of blending the pixels of the image in one layer with the pixels of the image in layers below. They are split into different sections to show the general operation of the modes. These include options that ‘Add’ pixels in various ways or ‘Overlay’ or ‘Darken’ pixels etc.What we are trying to do with the clip in Video 2 is to blend in such a way that we add film-like color depth to the overall image. Note, that this will cause the image to darken but we will deal with that in the next step.Choose a blend mode that works with your image. This will usually be from the ‘Darken’ or ‘Overlay’ categories with common choices being ‘Multiple’ and ‘Overlay’. You can see from the picture above that for this image I felt ‘Soft Light’ from the ‘Overlay’ category gave me the best results (but all images will vary so take your time to choose the one that works best for you).To finish with the copy in Video 2 you need to ‘dial back’ the blend mode by reducing the ‘Opacity’ value for the clip. You can see that I ended up with 47% for this clip.‘Soft Light’ at 100%‘Soft Light’ at 47%As you can see from the above the ‘Opacity’ value is akin to a ‘volume’ dial for the strength of the effect.Now we have a richer color to our clip we are able to turn on the copy in Video 3. Because the clip doesn’t presently have a blend mode selected it will look like the original image with a slight blur.Select the clip. In the ‘Effect Controls’ open up ‘Opacity’ again and choose from the ‘Add’ category – I used ‘Screen’ which is a slightly less powerful version of ‘Add’ and dialed back ‘Opacity’ to taste!‘Add’ on Video 3 with ‘Opacity’ at 100 %‘Add’ on Video 3 with ‘Opacity’ at 37% – Final Version Original For ComparisonWell, that’s it! To see the difference you’ve made to your clip turn the eyeballs off for Video 2 & 3 and then turn them back on again and see the richness you have added. This is a handy trick for getting a film look in Premiere Pro.If you aren’t satisfied with the end result try changing the blend modes and opacity values you’ve chosen to increase or decrease the ‘power’ of the effect on the color layer in Video 2 and the brightness layer in Video 3.With this film look technique applied it can make a massive difference in your work…and that leads to happy clients!
The tourism ministry is preparing a plan to set up 20 mega tourism parks across the country. It has already appointed a consultant to study the business model for setting up these parks, their locations and likely public-private partnerships.These self-contained parks will house hotels, food courts, adventure sports, entertainment avenues, convention centres and small markets.Under the proposed model, each tourism park will require 50 acres of land.An official said the idea behind these parks was to prolong the stay of a tourist, particularly from abroad, in a particular destination and provide them with all avenues for entertainment.Similar parks flourish in Singapore and the US, holidaying destinations popular with Indian tourists.The ministry will prepare a blueprint for setting up these parks and make funds available to the state governments, which will be the executing agencies. The government may have to provide land and related infrastructure, while investments will be made by private players.As international tourists are slowly returning to India after the global economic slowdown and Mumbai attacks, the government hopes to create better and hi-end facilities to hold their attention.
BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was recently elevated as deputy leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and is also the party’s general secretary, has offered to quit one of the posts.Sources said Prasad has informed party president Nitin Gadkari that as he is already the BJP’s general secretary and chief spokesperson, he is ready to relinquish charge of one. The matter is now in Gadkari’s court.
Ohio State sophomore Joey Bosa was a huge part of the Buckeyes’ national championship run this past year. He’s also one of the most popular players on the team – both in the locker room and with the fan base. The combination has apparently led to at least one Buckeyes supporter naming his new puppy after the defensive end.Kit Hartsfield, an Ohio State fan who actually played some ball at Austin Peay, tweeted out a photo of his incredibly cute new pet. He named him “Bosa”, and tweeted a photo at the player himself. Bosa retweeted the photo.Meet Bosa @jbbigbear pic.twitter.com/aDQSPQ0k3v— Kit Hartsfield (@khartsfield2) February 23, 2015This past June, we wrote an article about the baby name “Braxton” seeing a 300% increase from 2011 to 2013. Perhaps “Bosa” will the the equivalent when it comes to naming pets.
It is being organised by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) under the distinguished patronage of Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange. Jamaica’s rich culture and heritage will be celebrated during the 21st staging of the Emancipation Jubilee at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann.The annual event, under the theme ‘Emancipation Jubilee: The Genesis’, will be held from July 31 into Emancipation Day on August 1.It is being organised by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) under the distinguished patronage of Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange.Emancipation Jubilee will honour the contribution of the African ancestors through song, dance, drumming, drama, food and fashion.Activities begin at 10:00 a.m. and will feature a farmers’ market, craft village, and food court offering traditional Jamaican cuisine.The highlight of the day will be the signature cultural concert beginning at 8:00 p.m. with the midnight reading of the 1838 Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to slaves on the island.Executive Director of the JNHT, Dorrick Gray, said the concert will feature an exciting line-up of acts, including 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Winner, Nazzle Man; the Charles Town Maroons; Port Morant Kumina Group; Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) gold medal winners in speech, drama and dance, among others.“We want it to be a big celebration in remembrance of our ancestors and the struggles they endured for our freedom… . We have a wide array of cultural groups that will highlight that message of the genesis and who we are as Jamaicans in the 21st century,” he said.Also on July 31, the JNHT will be hosting an Emancipation Jubilee Lecture at the St. Ann Parish Library commencing at 2:00 p.m.The lecture will be delivered by the Executive Director of the African-Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank, Bernard Jankee.The JNHT, on Wednesday (July 25), opened an exhibition in tribute to the African ancestors at the St. Ann Parish Library, which will run until August 9. Story Highlights The annual event, under the theme ‘Emancipation Jubilee: The Genesis’, will be held from July 31 into Emancipation Day on August 1. Jamaica’s rich culture and heritage will be celebrated during the 21st staging of the Emancipation Jubilee at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann.