Walcott tightens grip on Northlands title

first_imgWINNIPEG, Canada (CMC):Four-time defending champion Rico Walcott further strengthened his hold on a fifth Northlands Park title when he rode a triple at the western Canada racetrack here Saturday.The Barbadian reinsman won race two with favourite Secret Way, race five with another favourite, Eight Ender, before wrapping up the eight-race card with a handsome victory aboard 4-1 chance Skimmer Jim.Walcott, the brother of former Northlands champion Ricky Walcott, now leads the standings with 93 wins – almost double the tally of the second-placed Scott Williams, who has 48.He opened his account on Saturday over 5-1/2 furlongs when he made all the running with two-year-old bay gelding Secret Way, to beat the two-year-olds by seven lengths.Walcott then returned in race five with a carbon-copy ride, to carry Eight Ender to a resounding 12-1/4 length gate-to-wire win over the three-year-olds, who have never won two races.Going six furlongs, Walcott was through the quarter with the gelding in a time of 23.12 and was three lengths clear at the half run in 47.06.They then drew off in the stretch to reach the wire unchallenged.Walcott returned to the winners’ enclosure in the day’s final race when he guided the five-year-old bay gelding, Skimmer Jim, to the wire by a length.Going a mile for three-year-olds yet to win three races, Skimmer Jim lacked early speed, but Walcott got the best out of him in the stretch run, and he hauled in favourite and pace-setter Lucky Ed to take the win.The Northlands title wraps up October 24.last_img read more

Samba, reflections and pride in final Rio Olympics party

first_img Britain’s athletes wore shoes with soles that lit up in changing colours of red, white and blue, while Tongan taekwondo athlete Pita Taufatofua danced onstage in a grass skirt as a DJ performed, reprising a moment that captured attention when he carried the flag for his country during the opening ceremony. The show widened its lens to greater Brazil, a massive country with a land mass slightly larger than the continental United States. There was a tribute to cave paintings of some of the first inhabitants of the Americas, in Serra da Capivara, in northeastern Brazil, today one of the nation’s poorest regions. Spectators watched performers shake it to frevo, a frenetic dance that – if it’s even possible – makes high-octane samba seem like a staid ballroom affair. Holding small umbrellas, dancers jumped and marched while performing acrobatics. They shook it to “Vassourinhas”, which means “small brooms”, a popular song that was also the name of a famous club in the northeastern city of Recife. The show also built performances around “saudade”, which means anything from longing for someone to sadness to remembering good times. It is one of the most important words in Brazilian Portuguese. Lights flashed translations for the word in many languages and a group of women sang “Mulher Rendeira”, or “Lace-making Woman”, a nod to the country’s African heritage. Brazil was the last country in the Americas to outlaw slavery, in 1888. The Games had many memorable moments, both for Brazilian competitors at home and athletes from around the world. Soccer-crazed Brazil got partial payback against Germany, winning gold two years after a 7-1 World Cup semi-final shellacking that left Brazilians fuming. American gymnast Simone Biles asserted her dominance with four golds, swimmer Michael Phelps added five more to up his staggering total to 23 and the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, put on his usual show with three golds just days before turning 30 years old. But there were also ugly episodes, like American swimmer Ryan Lochte’s fabricated story about a harrowing robbery that was actually an intoxicated-fuelled vandalism of a gas station bathroom, and bizarre issues like Olympic diving pools going from crystal blue to gunky, algae green – at a time when Rio’s water quality in open waters is one of the biggest local environmental issues. With the Games over, Brazilians now return to problems that have long consumed the country of 200 million people. The economy is mired in its worst recession in decades and later this week the Senate is expected to begin the trial on whether to permanently remove suspended President Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached in May for breaking fiscal rules in her managing of the federal budget. There’s widespread expectation that the Games in Tokyo, one of the world’s richest, most recognisable, cosmopolitan cities, will run more smoothly than they have in Rio. But there’s also worry in Japan over whether the Olympics will eventually further drag down an economy that has been struggling for decades. The governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, accepted the flag from Bach and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, signalling the transition. Many people, from Brazilians to IOC members, will analyse how things went for the Rio Games in the months ahead. But on Sunday, one strong sentiment was relief – that despite some problems, overall the Games went well. That wasn’t a given going in. The Zika virus scared away some competitors and tourists, rampant street crime in Rio and recent extremist attacks around the world raised fears about safety and Brazil’s political crisis and the economic angst behind it, threatened to cast a pall over the competitions. “We are very resilient, we didn’t leave anything important unaddressed,” said Augusta Porto, 36, a translator and Rio resident. “We can welcome people despite the serious problems that we have faced in the recent past.” RIO DE JANEIRO (AP): Shaking to samba and expressing a sense of longing with uniquely Brazilian words, Olympians and fans said goodbye to the Rio Games with one last big bash that was both revelatory and a sigh of relief. The closing ceremony Sunday celebrated the 16-day spectacle that was the Rio Games, which combined numerous highlights with ugly and even bizarre episodes that sometimes overshadowed competition. Cariocas – as Rio’s residents are known – weren’t swayed by the issues that led up to these Olympics and braved rain and strong winds on the final night to cap their moment in the worldwide spotlight. While South America’s first Olympics are over, safely and with a grandiose finale, many problems remain. Still, Brazil showed Sunday it still definitely knows how to party. “These were marvellous Olympic Games in the ‘marve’lous city’,” said International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach, playing off the “cidade maravilhosa” nickname of Brazil’s postcard city of inviting coastlines, year-round sun and lush tropical vegetation. While the stadium erupted in applause at that declaration, a few minutes later there were boos of sadness when Bach announced: “I declare the Games of the XXXI Olympiad closed.” The closing ceremony in iconic Maracana Stadium was also meant to take care of some business – formally signalling the transition to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. But Sunday’s party was all about Brazil, designed to be more low-key than the opening, which focused heavily on Rio. The ceremony featured original footage of Alberto Santos Dumont, the man that Brazilians recognise as the inventor of the airplane. The theme, “Brazilians can do with their bare hands”, was a nod to the emerging economy of the world’s fifth most populous nation. Dressed in colourful feathers, dozens of dancers formed in the shape of the arches of Lapa, a popular area of Rio akin to Roman ruins, then morphed to make the shape of iconic Sugarloaf before quickly changing again, this time to the official 2016 symbol. Samba legend Martinho da Vila, whose tunes make their way into many popular telenovelas, sang “Carinhoso”, or “Affectionate”. Olympians poured in under light rain, waving their flags while many shook their bodies to samba-infused pop that made the stadium feel like a carnival parade. UGLY EPISODES MASSIVE COUNTRYlast_img read more

Bolts claim top spot, rally past Beermen

first_imgJake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tempers flare in SMB-Meralco duel The loss put the Beermen in a tough situation as they will have to beat Barangay Ginebra twice in the quarters.The scores:MERALCO 104 – Durham 35, Dillinger 16, Newsome 14, Amer 13, Hodge 8, Tolomia 8, De Ocampo 6, Nabong 2, Hugnatan 2, Lanete 0.SAN MIGUEL 101 – Fajardo 26, Lassiter 18, Watson 18, Cabagnot 16, Ross 10, Santos 6, Rosser 4, Espinas 3, Heruela 0.Quarters: 19-32, 39-51, 69-81, 104-101.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments “It’s a big win for the Meralco program. I think it’s probably the first time we finished number one at the end of the elimination round, and now it’s on to the playoffs where things are a little more difficult,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.The Bolts, who wound up with a 9-2 card, will face the No. 8 Blackwater Elite. as his side now braces for eighth seed Blackwater in the quarterfinals armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogJared Dillinger chipped in 16 markers, five coming in the fourth quarter that triggered the endgame uprising as Meralco fought back from a 96-87 deficit with 3:19 remaining.Chris Newsome added 14 points, six assists, and four boards, while Baser Amer had 13, none bigger than his game-tying three that knotted the score at 98 with 1:28 left. LATEST STORIES Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene The Bolts stared at a 32-19 deficit in the first quarter that ballooned to 18, 71-53, midway in the third quarter.“That was just a great second half for our team. We tried to make some adjustments at halftime and we tried to implement adjustments that the players went out and executed,” Black said.“It was still very difficult and it took us a long time to really get our bearings and get on a run, get some momentum, but towards the end of the game, the lineup we had on the floor really worked out for us. We played better defense, and of course, AD picked it up offensively which helped us a lot,” added Black as Meralco beat San Miguel for the first time in six conferences.June Mar Fajardo led San Miguel with 26 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks, but his floater in the final 10 seconds could not find its mark.Terrence Watson added 18 markers and 10 boards, while Marcio Lassiter also got 18.ADVERTISEMENT In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson DAY6 is for everybody How to help the Taal evacuees PBA IMAGESAllen Durham scored the go-ahead basket and Meralco clinched the top spot with a 104-101 comeback win over San Miguel Beer Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Durham made the game-winning shot with 27.1 seconds left that capped off Meralco’s 16-5 finishing kick. He finished with 35 points and 13 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacsonlast_img read more

NBA: Cavs star James opposes playoff changes

first_imgUK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours “If you start messing with seedings and playoffs and then you start talking about, ‘Well, if this team would have played this Western Conference team, what …’“It’s cool to mess around with the All-Star Game — we proved you can do that — but let’s not get too crazy about the playoffs.”James has been to seven straight NBA Finals, winning three titles with the Miami Heat and the Cavaliers.He isn’t concerned about the recent dominance of the West.“In the ’80s you had the Lakers who dominated the league at one point, then you had Boston. In the ’90s you had Chicago.ADVERTISEMENT Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES Jarencio lightens up Batang Pier mood amid playoff chase; Elite stay in quarterfinal hunt Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kingscenter_img Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano LeBron James warms up during the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. AFPLOS ANGELES, United States — Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James thinks the NBA playoffs format is just fine, and talk of tweaking it is misguided.“I think our league has been built the right way as far as when it comes to the post-season,” James said Wednesday after the Cavaliers’ first practice since the All-Star break.ADVERTISEMENT It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Western Conference teams have won three of the last four NBA titles, the Cavaliers the only Eastern interlopers in 2016.The Golden State Warriors won in 2015 and 2017 — beating the Cavs both times — and the San Antonio Spurs won in 2014.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkDuring the All-Star break NBA commissioner Adam Silver said there had been discussions in the league office about changing the format — perhaps by taking the top eight teams from each conference but re-seeding them 1-16 by overall record or, more dramatically, taking the top 16 regular-season teams regardless of conference.“It just changes the landscape of the history of the game,” James said. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “San Antonio also had its run. We had our run in the East with Miami, Golden State is having their run.”In discussing possible changes, Silver said the big concern, in his mind, wasn’t tradition but travel — if Eastern and Western teams are facing off in the early rounds.“We are concerned about teams criss-crossing the country in the first round, for example,” he said. “We are just concerned about the overall travel that we would have in the top 16 teams.” /cbblast_img read more

Community Turns Mangrove Swamps into Money Bank

first_imgInitiative visionary Fubbi HenriesResidents of Fedrick’s Island in New Matadi, Monrovia are transforming mangrove swamps into sources of income by introducing “cage aquaculture.”Mangrove swamps are home to a variety of fish, crab, shrimp and other species; and they serve as an important source of food and income generation.However, mangrove swamps in Liberia suffer from high volumes of waste including plastic bags and bottles, human feces and other substances that affect mangrove species.But despite the misuse of mangrove swamps, Fubbi Henries, a resident of the Matadi community in Monrovia is working with low income community members to make mangrove swamps a source of income.Through his agro program, Henries has introduced “cage aquaculture” as an income generating opportunity for Fredrick’s Island residents in New Matadi. A view of some of the cages“Cage farming is a form of aquaculture practiced in Asia and other parts of the world,” Henries told the Daily Observer. “This aquaculture farming helps farmers spend less and gain more. It has the potential to increase farmers’ incomes throughout the year.“We have built seven cages purposely to test this system and if fishes are reared without high mortality percentage, we will increase the cages on the island. We will also replicate this form of aquaculture in other communities around the country.”Henries disclosed that the program costs US$25,000, saying it is meant to alleviate communities from food insecurity and create employment for community members.He added that the program will officially be launched after the testing period.“We are committed to looking for opportunities to improve the lives of people in many communities as we obtain the available resources.”Ben Fredrick, chairman of Fredrick’s Island, said that the program will start full operation after the testing stage, and will benefit mostly youth and women.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Two commissioners toss hats in council race

first_imgTrautman, selected by Mayor Marsha McLean, is serving her second term on the Planning Commission since being appointed in 2002. She operates a local tutoring business. “It’s important to have council members who are knowledgable about what’s going on in the city, and I have a strong working knowledge as a planning commissioner,” she said. “I have demonstrated I’m willing to educate myself continually so I can make informed decisions.” She said the choices voters make in the coming years will dictate what the city looks like when it’s built out and the population has doubled. In December, after winnowing a field of 15 candidates to five, the council appointed Tim Ben Boydston to fill the 14 months left in the term of Cameron Smyth after Smyth took a state Assembly seat. Ender was third in the top tier of candidates the council interviewed. Boydston’s selection hinged in part on his promise not to run in 2008. Councilman Bob Keller will run for re-election to his third four-year term. In March, Bob Spierer, who served 32 years in the Sheriff’s Department before retiring in 2001, and chemical engineer Maria Gutzeit, who is vice president of a local water board, said they would run. Boydston said he may run in 2010 or seek a different seat. judy.orourke@dailynews.com (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – With one year left before the Santa Clarita City Council election, a scramble already is under way for the two open seats. Santa Clarita Planning Commissioner Diane Trautman and Parks Commissioner Laurie Ender – who were among hopefuls to fill a council vacancy earlier this year – have tossed their hats in the ring, joining a sitting councilman and two high-profile community members. Ender held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to announce her candidacy. “Santa Clarita is a growing community, and it’s important to provide representation to everyone who lives here, whether you’ve lived here for 50 years or if you’ve just moved in. I believe there’s a disconnect between some of the leaders in our community and many of our residents.” Commissioners serve four-year terms. Ender, who was appointed to the Parks Commission 41/2 years ago by Councilman Frank Ferry, served as president of the Santa Clarita Valley Council PTA for two years and was a TV producer for 14 years. She became a stay-at-home mom – “who’s never home,” she said – and put her energy into local issues. last_img read more

College to help address shortage of inspectors

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – College of the Canyons is establishing a building-inspection program that will allow students to receive a certificate of achievement and prepare them to take building code certification exams typically required for employment. The new courses come a year after the college introduced its Land Surveying and Construction Management programs, both in response to a local need for trained professionals to keep up with development. The Employment Development Department has identified building inspection as an occupation with high employment potential, said Audrey Green, dean of Program Development and Community Extension at the Valencia college. “Both the city of Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County Department of Public Works have indicated a need for qualified individuals in this area,” Green said. “With the explosive growth in the Santa Clarita Valley, public agencies find themselves without an adequate number of building inspectors.” Building inspectors are employed by government agencies, private companies, contractors and lending institutions. Inspectors must observe, evaluate, judge and enforce laws and regulations pertaining to building construction and must have a broad base of knowledge in all aspects of construction including plan reading, specification interpretation and legal requirements. The program includes courses in blueprints and state construction, plus mechanical, plumbing and electrical codes. Classes begin in the fall. For information, check the college’s Web site at www.canyons.edu. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Lingard and Kane score to put England on verge of semi-final place

first_img MONEY ADVICE 3 REVEALED Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? BEST OF If England win they will top the group with seven points, ahead of Spain on six points and Croatia will be relegated with four points.If England and Croatia draw 0-0, Spain will top the group with six points, with England and Croatia on five points. However, Croatia will be relegated due to the Three Lions’ superior goal difference.If England and Croatia play out a score draw, Spain will top the group with six points with England and Croatia on five points. However, England will be relegated due to the Croatians’ better head-to-head record.If England lose, Croatia will top the group with seven points and Spain will finish second on six points, while England will be relegated from the top tier with four points. It’s set to be a tense game at the national stadium Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won RANKED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade England could finish top, second or bottom of their Nations League group after they face Croatia at Wembley – a game that is live here on talkSPORT right now.The two sides drew 0-0 when they last played in front of an empty Stadion Rujevica in Rijeka last month. What has happened so far?England’s players will be disappointed to have gone in at the break level considering the chances they had.There was an uncharacteristic miss from Harry Kane, who also had another shot on goal denied.It wasn’t all one way traffic, though, as there were scares close to Jordan Pickford’s goal, too. Have a listen to what the experts are saying on talkSPORT here.The hammer blow, though, came when Andrej Kramaric twisted and turned inside the box to fire his side into the lead, thanks to a deflection. However, England fought back thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane.Where you can listenFull commentary of England vs Croatia is live on talkSPORT now. Click here for the England vs Croatia live streamConfirmed line-upsEngland: Pickford; Walker, Gomez, Stones, Chilwell, Dier, Delph, Barkley, Rashford, Sterling, KaneSubs: Alexander-Arnold, Butland, Lingard, Dunk, Keane, Sancho, Shaw, Winks, Alli, McCarthy, Loftus-Cheek, WilsonCroatia: Kalinic, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Jedvaj, Modric, Brozovic, Rebic, Vlasic, Perisic, KramaricSubs: Livakovic, Letica, Milic, Mitrovic, Brekalo, Caleta-Car, Bradaric, Pasalic, Rog, Badelj, Pjaca, PivaricClassic England v Croatia meetingscenter_img Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions 3 Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade REVEALED England were unlucky not to claim all three points away to Croatia Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card huge blow In this winner-takes-all clash, Croatia took the lead in what has been an intense contest in front of a packed Wembley, but England’s lions roared back to score twice in the final 15 minutes.All the teams in the group can make it to the finals of the inaugural Nations League, however, England and Croatia are also playing to avoid relegation to the second tier. Below you can see what England, Croatia and Spain’s fate will be after the match.What are the Group A4 permutations following the England v Croatia game? This will be the third time England and Croatia will have played in 2018 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury no dice Latest Football News 3last_img read more

New figures highlight huge incidence of drug driving on Donegal roads

first_imgRecent figures have highlighted the ongoing spike in drug-driving in the county with the number of drivers arrested for the offence at an all-time high. Locally, 28 drivers have been arrested in the first two quarters of this year alone. A huge spike when compared to the same period in 2018 when 19 people were arrested in the entire year.The news comes following the annual Road Safety Authority academic lecture in Dublin on Monday. Since April 2017, when the Garda deployed new roadside drug-detection equipment nationally, some 68 per cent of drivers who tested positive for drugs had a positive test for cannabis.After cannabis, cocaine was the next most popular drug, showing up in 37 per cent of positive samples.Other drugs which he said were appearing in analyses were benzodiazepines such as diazepam and flurazepam, opioids such as heroin and codeine and stimulants such as flephedrone.Others noted were pregabalin or gabapentin, used in the treatment of epilepsy and generalised anxiety disorder; and zolpidem or zopiclone, used in the treatment of insomnia. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross said: “Driving under the influence of drugs has been a statutory offence since 1961 but it wasn’t until 2017, with the introduction of Preliminary Drug Testing, that we had a drug testing device capable of testing for the presence of drugs in drivers at the roadside and in the Garda station.“It’s clear that its introduction has resulted in an increase in drug driving detections, but the results presented today show that continued enforcement and education effort is required to tackle this killer behaviour.”However, despite the huge incidence of drug driving, alcohol remained the most frequently detected drug in the county.189 people have been arrested for driving while over the legal alcohol limit in Q1 and Q2 of this year, 23 more when compared to the same period previous.Assistant Commissioner, David Sheahan, Roads Policing, An Garda Síochána, said: “Since 2017, Gardaí have been given powers to conduct Preliminary Drug Testing at the roadside or in Garda stations. “This has allowed the Gardaí to establish roadside checkpoints for testing drivers for drugs. with similar powers to mandatory alcohol testing.As a result, detections for drug driving have risen significantly. Drivers need to realise that the days of avoiding detection for drug driving are over and that we are determined to stamp out this killer behaviour.”The importance of road safety and the dangers that exist on a daily basis on our roads will be highlighted to Donegal students at the Road Safe Show in the Aura Leisure Centre Letterkenny over the next two days.New figures highlight huge incidence of drug driving on Donegal roads was last modified: October 11th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Local Wikipedia chapter is African first

first_imgStudents translate Wikipedia content on Software Freedom Day, held in Pretoria in September 2010. The local Wikimedia chapter will look to develop all of South Africa’s indigenous languages on Wikipedia. The South African Wikimedia chapter logo as proposed by Wikipedian Bence Damokos. (Images: Wikimedia SA) MEDIA CONTACTS • Kerryn McKayDirector, the African Commons Project+27 11 486 0211 RELATED ARTICLES • New website for rural community • Internet revolution for Africa • Google Earth zooms in on SA • Open access to SA journals • Ubuntu software for schoolsShamin ChibbaNext time you search for South Africa in Wikipedia, you may do so in any of the country’s 11 official languages. That’s because South Africa is getting its own Wikipedia chapter, the first of its kind on the continent.A group of local Wikipedians, as they are known, have made it their mission to make Wikipedia more accessible and relevant for South Africans.Kerryn McKay, director of the non-profit African Commons Project, said the chapter is a bringing together a number of Wikipedians to represent the goals of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the massive online encyclopaedia.“We decided there needs to be an organisation to help formalise the process locally. These chapters are very independent and can do their own thing. But they have to further the goals of Wikipedia.”One of those goals is for each country to establish its own chapter and increase representation of all the world’s languages. South Africa, with its wealth of indigenous languages, is perfectly placed to lead the African continent in reaching this goal.Geared towards empowering people The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation, according to its website, is to “empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain and to disseminate it effectively and globally”.McKay said one of the benefits of having a local chapter is that it can help community projects by providing resources or even funds.“Other chapters get funding locally that they then distribute to community projects in their area,” she said.The South African chapter will also look to develop the local languages on Wikipedia and subsequently translate content, promote awareness of projects and their proper academic use, support the creation of local free knowledge and media, and offer scholarships for promising local students.A long processThe South African chapter itself is still in the early stages of development. The group have decided upon the legal structure and are currently developing a constitution and appointing five directors, who will take the process further.“It’s been a very long process. It started with a kick-off workshop last September that pulled together Wikipedians from around the country. We are now finalising the by-laws and are awaiting approval from the Wikimedia Foundation,” said McKay.Other procedures still awaiting finalisation are the registration of the chapter locally; approval from the Wikimedia Foundation for the constitution; and development of a Wiki presence – all of which could take a further two months.The group have agreed upon establishing the chapter as a non-profit organisation and are set to begin operating by the second quarter of 2011.No longer a dubious sourceWikipedia, which prides itself on being a free but comprehensive encyclopaedia, has always allowed users to add their own content. This garnered the website a poor reputation amongst scholars, who felt the information could be inaccurate if it was not developed by qualified individuals.The foundation is now working towards earning a name for itself as a more credible source for the academic world.“We have a few academics in the group who are looking for ways to make the website work in an academic environment,” said Mckay.She added that references play a large role in determining the accuracy and legitimacy of a post. “There are lots of watchdogs on Wikipedia. It is difficult to write rubbish on topics as it needs citations. There is a strong discipline of monitoring on the site,” said McKay.DirectorThe African Commons Projectlast_img read more