2020 Kenai River Beer Festival Has Been Cancelled

first_imgThe rotary has begun making arrangements and have initiated planning for the 2021 Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival for Saturday, August 14, 2021. The Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Soldotna. The profits from the event are used for local Rotary projects. Photo provided by: Jennifer Williams, KSRM News The rotary issued a statement saying: “We will miss all of the participants and hope everyone is healthy and safe this summer. Thank you for your ongoing support.” FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The 2020 Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival hosted by the Rotary Club of Soldotna has been cancelled due to the ongoing concern and future uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In lieu of the 2020 Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival, rotary members, suggest everyone support their local microbreweries on the day the festival would have been held, on August 8.last_img read more

Video Game Addiction Is Now Officially a Mental Health Condition

first_imgThe World Health Organization has officially classified video game addiction as a mental health condition for the first time ever.  They’re calling it “gaming disorder,” and it’s included in the 11th edition of their “International Classification of Diseases”. That gives the addiction a significant boost in credibility, and could help make it easier for people who have it to get the proper treatment. But some psychologists aren’t convinced it should be considered on the same level as other additions, like drugs or even gambling . . . because they say video game addiction rarely stands alone, and it’s usually a side effect of anxiety or depression.center_img And they’ve found that when those get treated, the amount a person plays video games tends to drop.last_img read more

Horseback safaris in South Africa

first_imgHere’s your guide to horse riding trails in South Africa.Horse riding trips range from an hour or two on the outskirts of cities to multi-day treks in the wilderness; in some places you can even do moonlit rides at full moon. (Image: South African Tourism, Flickr)Brand South Africa reporterHorse riding trails in South Africa are as diverse as the terrain. You can take a brisk canter along a beach, an amble through vineyards, a fast ride across sweeping grasslands or a meander through magnificent mountain scenery.If you’re comfortable on a horse, you can ride among some big game. If you’re not, there are some easier options where the game is not likely to consider eating you (or your mount).Trips range from an hour or two on the outskirts of cities to multi-day treks in the wilderness; in some places you can even do moonlit rides at full moon.If you’d like to get in some hunting while you’re in South Africa, note that we only offer drag hunts. Everything – dress, formalities, hounds – is traditional but the “fox” is a jackal-scented bag dragged by a hunt member. Drag hunting is run by the Rand Hunt Club near Johannesburg, and by the Cape Hunt and Polo Club in and around Cape Town.Organisations, portalsCape Nature Conservation administers a number of horse trails in the Western Cape. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife offers horse riding in the conservation areas and parks of KwaZulu-Natal.The KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Authority lists some of the better known horseback adventures in the province.Linx Africa provides a comprehensive list of horse trails in South Africa.Operators, trailsAdventure Purists offers various adventure package tours across South Africa, including horse trails.African Horse Company offers short outrides and 2- to 10-day overnight trails in the Cape Town, Hermanus, Stanford and Overberg areas of the Western Cape. Through the fynbos of the Cape Floral Kingdom – a world heritage site – the rides cover rugged mountain terrain and kilometres of wide beach and dune coastline.Amadiba Trails is a community project on the Eastern Cape Wild Coast, running trails with a few days’ horseriding, a bit of paddling, some hiking, lots of scenery and close interaction with the local community.Badsberg lists a number of horse-riding trails in the ‘do’ section.Bare Hoof Horse Trails offers trail rides just outside Stellenbosch, over wine farms, through the vineyards and fynbos, to the top of the historical Bottelary hills. It is based at the Bellevue Wine Farm.  There are magnificent views of Stellenbosch, its mountains, False Bay and even Table Mountain. Special outings include picnics, wine-tasting or watching a spectacular sunrise or sunset.Berg Trails, on the Sans Souci Farm in the Kamberg Valley, features a short one-day trail or a two- day trail in the Drakensberg that includes overnighting in tents in the mountains. Tailor-made trails are also available.Bhangazi Horse Safaris offers day and multi-day rides around Lake Bhangazi and Lake St Lucia in northern KwaZulu-Natal. You can also combine a horse ride with a paddling trip.Biggarsberg Horse Trails on Larksend Farm near Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal offers the novice and experienced rider the opportunity to combine the excitement of horseback riding and the comfort of first-class accommodation in an area of great natural beauty.Bokpoort Cowboy Ranch has short rides near a farm in the eastern Free State or multi- day trails that hug the Lesotho border and head up into the mountains. Choose between comfortable, affordable accommodation and budget, backpacker-style accommodation.Colin’s Horseback Africa Safaris, based outside Pretoria in Gauteng, offers riders the chance to see game on short day rides. Beginners will feel particularly secure, while experienced riders may have a short canter when the terrain permits.The Danielsrust Horse Trails cross some of the last remaining big farms in Gauteng. Situated in the Kromdraai Conservancy, 40km from Johannesburg, one can view over 700 head of game from horseback. Trails take you through the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, and you can also visit the spectacular Wonder Cave.Far and Ride is a UK-based horse riding tour operator with a range of destinations in South Africa, including the Wild Coast, the Western Cape, and a couple of options in the Waterberg region of Limpopo.Fynbos Trails specialises in a variety of horse trails and adventures near Cape Town, varying from half-day trails to a three-day trail through the Berg River Valley. Grootbos Nature Reserve, an upmarket lodge near Hermanus in the Western Cape, offers scenic horse rides for guests.Harties Horse Trail Safaris is located on the beautiful Groot Verlange Stud Farm in Hartbeespoort, alongside the Zilkaatsnek Nature Reserve. It a scenic setting for an enticing variety of individually-tailored outrides, which are also fantastic for viewing wildlife.The four-star Hog Hollow Country Lodge is a great getaway for all ages. Set on the edge of the Matjies River gorge in the pristine Tsitsikamma near Plettenberg Bay on South Africa’s Garden Route, it offers wonderful surroundings for horse trail riding.Horizon Horseback Adventures and Safaris is based in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. The Horizon Horseback Lodge is set on a picturesque lake with the 2 500 acre reserve, which includes animals such as hippos, giraffe, kudu, eland, zebra, and impala. Safaris also take place further afield, including in the Waterberg and in Botswana.Horse About Trails is an-hour-and-a-half’s drive from Cape Town, in the picturesque Witzenberg Valley, between the towns of Tulbagh, Wolseley and Ceres. There, horse riding for all abilities is on offer, with horse trails and activities starting from the home base in the beautiful Fable Wine Farm.Horse Trail Safaris operates out of Cape Town and offers trails of up to 14 days in duration. They explore the natural beauty of various areas of the Cape, and also take place in Namibia.Horseback Riding in South Africa provides information on a number of different safaris, including in the bushveld, at the coast, and across the border into Swaziland.The Imhoff Equestrian Centre is located in Noordhoek, not far from Cape Town. Noordhoek is well known for its beautiful, amazingly wide beach and the Imhoff Equestrian Centre offers guided two-hour beach rides alongside the beautiful ocean, with Chapman’s Peak in the background. There are three rides daily.Kaapsehoop Horse Trails runs day and multi-day trips in the mountainous area of Kaapsehoop in Mpumalanga province. A big attraction is the opportunity to link up with the wild horses that roam the area.Khotso Adventure Farm is a working horse and sheep farm, 1 300 hectares in size, located at the foot of the southern Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal. Experienced guides lead trails of varying lengths and for various levels of riders, including swim and ride and Sundowner options. Apart from horse trails, Khotso also offers self-catering accommodation, which is ideal for backpackers and families.Klein Paradys Equestrian Centre is located in Bot River in the Western Cape. They have a variety of trails, raning from a one-hour vineyard trail for those who have not ridden previously up to five-day packages that explore the scenic Overberg, including beaches, mountains, apple orchards and vineyards. Wine tasting trails are another exciting option.Mount Cedar , at the southern entrance to the Cedarberg Conservancy, has beautiful landscapes and scenery, ideal for exploring on horseback. Rides take in, among others, bushman paintings, waterfalls, ruins, and beautiful valleys.Mountain View Horse Trails is located about 20 minutes from Cape Town, off the N7 highway. Various scenic trails, passing through farm lands and overs hills, are on offer, from an hour in length to full day rides that end at sunset.Off Beat Safaris runs the Horse and Conservation Project, about 12 kilometres from Hoedspruit in Limpopo. It offers opportunities for gap year voulunteers to learn about horses and wild animals through a variety of equestrian studies and horse riding activities, lectures on horses and conservation, and individual study guides.The Oribi Gorge Hotel, Conference and Adventure Resort, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, has a wide variety of exciting adventure experiences to offer. Horse riding takes place at Lake Eland Game Reserve and the Oribi Gorge Hotel in beautiful surroundings.Riding South Africa operates from Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill Private Bush Homes and offers excellent game viewing in the Waterberg in Limpopo province. From horseback you are able to get closer to the wildlife, blending in with the bush.SA Horse Trails feature over 1 600 hectares of outrides right on Joburg’s doorstep. With no set route, every horse ride is an adventure. Spectacular routes through the Northern Farm Nature Reserve offer both challenging and technical outrides and gentle bird watching meanders. Training for various objectives is also available. Contact Debbie on (Tel +27 (0)82 5334545).Saddle Creek Adventures is located in the Hekpoort Valley, in the foothills of the beautiful Magaliesberg Mountains. Horseback riding, western style, is offered on well-trained trail horses, with a variety of rides into the bushveld and mountain foothills. Trained trail guides and a trained staff member accompany all rides.Southern Comfort Ranch is located halfway between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna on the picturesque Garden Route. It offers two daily rides in the Knysna Forest, accompanied by experienced guides. If four-legged rides are not enough for the adventurous, quad bikes and 4×4 driving are other options. Accommodation is also available for backpackers, campers, and in self-catering cottages.Thornview Horse Trails near Potchefstroom in North West province offers horse trails across more than 4 000 hectares of rolling grass plains. Ranch outrides, pleasure rides, horse training using natural horsemanship methods, mounted game days, horse camps, tented camp safaris … or just riding across the veld for the sheer joy of it.Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, a luxurious Relais Chateau resort deep in the Northern Cape desert, offers riding for guests.Wait a Little Horse Trails, based in the Karongwe Conservancy, a Big Five reserve in the Limpopo lowveld, offers big game trails for a maximum of four guests. Choose between staying in luxury tented accommodation and riding out each day, or moving from one spot to another, alternating between camping and lodges. Guides speak English and German.Wild Coast Horse Trails operates from Sunray Farm, on the Kei Mouth Road, in the Eastern Cape. They offer day rides in and around Kei Mouth and Morgan Bay. Horseback safaris range from two nights and three days to eight days and nights. Personalised safaris can also be arranged, as can beach riding adventures. For those on a gap year, working riding holidays, ranging from four to six weeks, are on offer.Wine Valley Horse Trails operates on the Rhebokskloof Estate and up into the surrounding Paarl Nature Reserve, about 60 kilometres north of Cape Town. They offer different trails in the beautiful winelands, including a special three-hour beach ride in Cape Town, on request. Trails may also include wine tasting.Xplora Tours, based in Hermanus in the Western Cape, offers custom-designed adventure tours and coast-based activities, including horseriding.Source: South African TourismWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Tennis SA overhauls its Fed Cup system

first_img18 March 2014Earl Grainger, South Africa’s newly appointed Fed Cup captain, is on a mission to improve women’s tennis in the country. On Monday, Grainger, together with Tennis South Africa, announced a complete overhaul of the Fed Cup system in the country.A Fed Cup squad comprising of 15 of the country’s top senior and junior players has been confirmed for 2014, and for the first time in years it includes South Africa’s highest ranked women’s singles player, Chani Scheepers, who last made herself available for Fed Cup duty in 2005.Grainger said that he had held long discussions with Scheepers, who was very excited by the new plans.‘Totally committed’“Chani assured me that she is totally committed to South African tennis,” Grainger said in a statement.“We spoke about her not being available for Fed Cup in the past and we discussed the future. Chani wants to help us in every possible way and I was delighted that she agreed to be part of the Fed Cup squad.”SquadTwelve of the 15 squad members were announced on Monday. They are: Chani Scheepers; Chanel Simmonds; Natasha Fourouclas; Madrie Le Roux; Natalie Grandin; Ilze Hattingh; Michelle Sammons; Lynn Kiro; Zani Barnard; Lee Barnard; Theresa Van Zyl; and Janet Koch. Three more players will be added to the squad shortly.The players in the squad were selected according to their world rankings and participation on the WTA Tour. Juniors with potential were also considered and players that supported the TSA tournament programme were given added consideration.Euro Africa Group 2 tournamentGrainger said that he would announce his Fed Cup team on Friday to play in the Euro Africa Group 2 tournament in Lithuania from 16 to 19 April.“I will be monitoring the players, their progress and their schedules at all times,” Grainger explained. “I will also be at all major local and international tournaments to watch the players compete and be on hand at these events to offer them advice.”ConsultantsTennis South Africa also confirmed that two consultants – seasoned doubles specialist Natalie Grandin of Durban and leading coach Allan Karam of Pretoria – would work with Grainger on the Fed Cup project. Grandin and Karam would be on hand not only to advise Grainger but also to work with the players in the squad.Karam said that the aim was to build for the future. “Let’s not be fooled, there is plenty of talent in our country. All we need to do is identify players, nurture and develop their skills, and look at long term success for our country.“I am optimistic about this new look Fed Cup project. As long as we give the girls every opportunity available to enable them to progress and develop, this added support will for sure assist them in becoming successful professional players, which will in turn be good for our Fed Cup hopes,” Karam added.He warned, however, that the road ahead would be a big challenge. “It’s not going to be easy, but Earl has some really great and positive vision, and Natalie and I look forward to the challenge.”‘This is a great idea’Grandin shared a similar view to Karam, and was feeling positive about her involvement with the project. “I am and have always been happy to help Tennis South Africa,” she said. “I think this is a great idea and I am sure that with all my years of experience playing in the Fed Cup team, and on the pro tour, I will be able to help South Africa move up to Group 1. The team definitely has enough talent to move up and be a strong contender in years to come.”Free of charge training squads for the players are planned to be held at least four times a year, with the players in the squad being given top class technical, physical and mental training to prepare them for the professional tour.‘Hard, dedicated work’“Hard, dedicated work will enable the girls to earn a place in the squad. My plan is to give the girls something that they have never experienced before and after each squad session I really want the girls to have gained enormously from the technical, physical and mental sessions we will offer them,” Grainger said.He warned, though, that the players would have to work hard and win matches to keep their spots in the squad. “I need a hard working bunch of players that are totally committed to their game, to Tennis South Africa and the country as a whole. If they are not committed and show signs of poor performance they will stand a chance of losing their spot in the squad,” he said.The first squad session will be held at Johannesburg’s Bedfordview Tennis Club from 9 to 12 April.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Retail Crime in Los Angeles

first_img“Crime is up.” “How should I protect my employees and customers from increasing violence?” “More and more shoplifting incidents escalate into physical assaults.”Comments or questions of this nature have certainly increased in frequency within the retail environment in the past two years or so. Is it just retail though? Certainly not. I have encountered similar statements in my work with the banking, restaurant, and other industries. We may not get to the bottom of all of this until experts study the situation in retrospect. The one thing we can do now is better understand the nature of these new trends and how different areas of the country are affected. Most importantly, how are your stores affected? Let’s start with a nationwide perspective.The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) reported upward trends in violent crimes in the United States in 2015 and 2016, following many years of declining patterns. Property crimes, on the other hand, continued to decline at the nationwide level. A closer look at some of the regional statistics shows that these trends vary fairly significantly across the country. For instance, the District of Columbia was subject to an 8.6 percent increase in larceny-theft even though the FBI reported an overall decrease for the nation. While law enforcement trends began to emerge, media reports sounded the alarm about crime increases for many cities across the country. Some reports were supported by factual information, but many were somewhat sensationalized and often misleading. What does all this mean? Well, the results are mixed. It is not clear that we have reached a floor and that crime rates are heading back up nationwide. It is important to examine local and regional trends to determine exactly what is going on. It does seem clear, though, that the old, decades-long narrative of endlessly falling crime rates may need to be updated.- Sponsor – Fiction versus Fact: A Closer Look at DataIn addition to changing crime trends, new crime-reporting practices have emerged. Police departments began making more comprehensive crime statistics available to the public. Chicago, Baltimore, and Houston are just some examples of agencies that provide access to impressive data portals. They are shifting from displaying aggregate information for a city or a district to providing address-specific data. Incident date, time, precise crime designation, and even premises-type information are becoming increasingly available. Some of it can be accessed through online portals, while one must submit an official data request in other jurisdictions. It is important for the retail industry to take advantage of this information and conduct address-specific and retail-specific assessments. Each issue within this series will examine a different city, and the individual analyses will be customized to data available for that location. The goal is to provide you with information that will allow for informed benchmarking of crime at your stores against what your peers may be experiencing.Why Los Angeles?Los Angeles, the second-most populous city in the United States, has been the subject of many conversations among retailers, with many concerned about recent upward crime trends. Proposition 47, an initiative that reduced certain felonies to misdemeanors, is often mentioned in the context of these debates. It was passed in California in November 2014 and, according to many, resulted in unintended, negative consequences. This article looks at retail crime trends before and after the institution of Proposition 47, but there are a multitude of factors at play. We cannot make a definitive causal determination of Proposition 47’s impact.The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is one of the agencies that has made comprehensive, site-specific crime statistics available to the public, and that is another reason why that particular city in California was chosen to open this series of assessments. CAP Index’s analytics team obtained 2011–2017 LAPD crime data from an online portal. Premises-type information allowed crimes reported at retail locations, including department stores, gas stations, and liquor stores, to be subsetted from all other offenses. We cannot take responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this information, but we found it to be valuable in this high-level assessment of retail crime trends.“The Unintended Consequences of California’s Proposition 47 on Retail Theft” PodcastBefore we get into the findings of the analysis, I would like to highlight an EyeOnLP podcast from the December 2017 edition of LPM Online, which provided some excellent observations regarding Proposition 47 and recent retail crime trends in Los Angeles.Aaron MorenoThe podcast featured Aaron Moreno, senior director of government relations for the California Grocers Association, and Bill Williams, retired captain with LAPD and also a founding member of the Los Angeles Area Organized Retail Crimes Association (LAAORCA). Also on the panel was Loren Naiman who retired in January 2017 from his last assignment in the Post Conviction Litigation and Discovery Division of the Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney. Finally, Karl Langhorst, CPP, CFI, rounded out the panel of experts with his experience as a retail practitioner, former corporate director of loss prevention for the Kroger Co., and currently executive vice president of ALTO US.The panel started by describing the background of Proposition 47, which was intended to reduce crowding in California’s overwhelmed prisons and provide treatment rather than jail time to qualifying drug offenders. However, the experts quickly moved on to highlight some of the unintended consequences of the new measure that, according to them, contributed to concerning changes in criminal behavior. One of the initiative’s main effects is conversion of many nonviolent offenses, including shoplifting, from felonies to misdemeanors.Karl Langhost“Since the passage of Proposition 47 in California, many retailers have experienced a steady increase of both shoplifting and organized retail crime in their stores. This increase of incidents not only has impacted retailers’ profitability but also, more importantly, has created an influx of recidivist offenders that are more brazen and, in many cases, more hostile to store employees who are trying to deter their criminal activity,” said Langhorst.“Since 2014, we have seen a significant increase in both incidents and in the value of cases as it became known that no matter how many times you’re caught-so long as you stay under $950-you’ll get a citation to show up in court,” added Moreno.Bill WilliamsThe experts talked about the phenomenon of decriminalizing shoplifting with more and more offenders seeing this crime as low risk and high reward. Moreno compared the punishment for these newly established misdemeanor offenses to “a slap on the wrist.” Williams highlighted the fact that there’s even been a shift in shoplifting offender types, with gangs getting more and more engaged in retail theft because they realize that the penalty is now significantly lower.Loren NaimanFinally, Naiman provided his prosecutor’s perspective and stated, “Since Prop 47 was voted into law in 2014, more than 13,500 prisoners were released to the streets, and another 200,000 felony convictions were retroactively made misdemeanors. The real question is whether or not this is a net positive or an extreme negative for the community. And the bottom line is that there are clearly people who should be in jail and are now out.”A lot of very strong and concerning statements were made throughout the podcast, and they echo comments of many retailers with stores in the area. It is evident that all panelists share serious concerns about the potential negative effects of Proposition 47, including upward crime trends and changes in criminal behavior, as well as criminals’ perceptions of the penal system. Let’s shift to results of the LAPD crime analysis to see what is in the data.Shoplifting Trends in Los AngelesThe shoplifting category provided by LAPD is divided into two groups: shoplifting-grand theft ($950.01 and over) and shoplifting-petty theft ($950.00 and under). This breakdown corresponds to the misdemeanor dividing line adopted by Proposition 47 and should be helpful for putting the trends into the perspective of this controversial measure.As is clearly evident in the graphs, both grand theft and petty theft shoplifting have gone up at Los Angeles retail locations in the past few years. Both are relatively flat from 2011 to 2013, followed by large increases through 2016 when the numbers either leveled off or decreased. While both types of shoplifting have increased over the last few years, the magnitude of these changes differs for the two. Grand theft shoplifting went up by 64.3 percent in 2014 versus 2013 and then by another 54.5 percent in 2015 versus 2014. Petty theft, on the other hand, increased by 25.3 percent in 2014 and by 26.4 percent in 2015 when compared to the previous years. Clearly, grand theft increases were more substantial than those for petty theft.A similar assessment was conducted for individual retail segments included within the aggregate retail category. The vast majority of them show upward trends in both grand theft and petty theft shoplifting that follow patterns similar to those reported above. However, there are several categories that differ. For instance, while petty theft shows a drop in 2017 for the aggregate retail group, several retail segments, including cell phone stores, gas stations, liquor stores, and mini-mart locations, continue to show an increase in 2017. Gas stations, for example, reported 71.6 percent more petty thefts in 2017 when compared to 2016, and mini-mart stores show a 64.3 percent increase. Drug stores show a distinctive trend as well. Petty theft shoplifting for drug stores went up by 73.4 percent in 2012 and by 17.0 percent in 2014 but began a consistent downward trend over the course of the next three years.Clearly, there are different patterns for various retail subgroups. However, in aggregate, a marked upward trend in both petty theft and grand theft began in 2014. Did Proposition 47 have an impact? Is increased reporting involved? Did data collection and recording practices change over time? Did organized retail crime skyrocket in Los Angeles? Our study does not allow us to disentangle the causal relationships underlying these upward trends. However, the bottom line is that shoplifting is up for most retail segments. What about other retail crimes in Los Angeles?In order to provide a more well-rounded view of retail crime in Los Angeles, let’s take a look at trends for offenses other than shoplifting. Some of the comments made during the aforementioned podcast touched on the fact that retail criminals are getting more confrontational and violent.“And you’re starting to see more cases of these thieves becoming more brazen where now workers are in danger. We’ve had incidents here in California where we’ve had some workers assaulted. Last summer, there was a security officer who was killed trying to stop somebody from taking stuff from a store,” said Moreno.“During the past two years, we’ve seen officers shot and wounded and killed by veteran felons who were on the street in times when previously they would have been in custody,” added Naiman. In support of these assertions, you can see some large violent crime increases in the data. Whether this is all due to increased offending or whether it relates to changes in data collection or recording practices remains to be determined.Aggravated assault, other assault, and robbery all went up over the last couple of years. Retail robberies went from 919 in 2011 to 1,752 in 2017, which represents a 90.6 percent increase. Aggravated assaults show an even more extreme upward shift with a 143.8 percent increase from 2011 to 2017. Finally, all other assaults show a 75.8 percent increase. The exact nature of these increases needs to be investigated.Property crimes, on the other hand, show a bit of a mixed trend. Burglary counts fluctuate across the study period, although the last two years show a consistent increase. Fraud and forgery incidents went up significantly in 2015 followed by a downward trend over the next two years. Other retail thefts, meaning any theft incidents not included in the shoplifting categories, actually show a continuous decrease over the last six years. Vandalism is the one property-crime category that most closely mimics shoplifting and crimes-against-persons trends. Again, changes in data collection and recording practices may play a role in these changes.What Does All This Mean? Next Steps.While nationwide crime trends are more ambiguous, there’s a clearer picture for Los Angeles. Retail crime appears to be up, and regardless of the reasons behind this trend, it requires collaboration among retailers, law enforcement, and other experts to determine the best ways to address this issue. Recording and reporting practices, organized retail crime, and potentially increased offending in general may play some role in these concerning trends, but we cannot discount the potential impact of Proposition 47. Based on the persuasive comments made by experts on the “The Unintended Consequences of California’s Proposition 47 on Retail Theft” podcast, stakeholders should address some of the controversial aspects of the ballot initiative.In fact, recently a coalition of retailers, prosecutors, and law enforcement formed the California Public Safety Partnership program. The group is sponsoring a new ballot measure to modify Proposition 47 to correct the negative outcomes of the original initiative. As Moreno said, the only way to amend a ballot initiative in California is by way of another ballot initiative. The “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018” is currently collecting signatures for inclusion on the November 2018 ballot. One of the changes proposed is to charge a felony for theft of $250 or more after two previous misdemeanor thefts. The goal, among other things, is to make prosecuting these cases more effective and to take repeat offenders off the streets.Finally, a lot more can be done with the data used for this high-level assessment. Temporal and spatial analyses can be conducted to determine various “hot spots” across the city. Even more questions could be answered with information collected directly from retailers. While data used in this analysis could be considered a representative sample, some offenses may not get reported to LAPD. Therefore, this assessment could be telling only one side of the story. Bridging the gap between actual crime and reported crime is key to understanding the true magnitude of the issue and determining the optimal response to it.[SIDEBAR] Proposition 47Proposition 47, the ballot initiative passed by California voters on November 4, 2014, reduces certain drug possession felonies to misdemeanors. It also requires misdemeanor sentencing for petty theft, receiving stolen property, and forging/writing bad checks when the amount involved is $950 or less. (Source: cdcr.ca.gov/news)[SIDEBAR] FBI: Uniform Crime ReportingIn 2015, an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes occurred nationwide, an increase of 3.9 percent from the 2014 estimate.In 2016, an estimated 1,248,185 violent crimes occurred nationwide, an increase of 4.1 percent from the 2015 estimate.Property CrimeIn 2015, there were an estimated 7,993,631 property crime offenses in the nation. Property crime offenses declined 2.6 percent in 2015 when compared with the 2014 estimate.In 2016, there were an estimated 7,919,035 property crime offenses in the nation. Property crime offenses declined 1.3 percent in 2016 when compared with the 2015 estimate.Source: https://ucr. i.gov Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Pioli: ‘Milan can learn from this’

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Stefano Pioli believes Milan can learn a great deal from their 2-2 draw with Lecce. “I saw positives, but we should’ve closed the game earlier.” The Coach saw his debut on the Rossoneri bench, and also his birthday, ruined by a stoppage-time Marco Calderoni screamer in this 2-2 draw. There was progress, as both Milan goals were from open play, as many as throughout Marco Giampaolo’s seven games in charge. “I struggled a little with players who I used to work with, Babacar and Calderoni,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s a pity, there were positives, but we wanted the win and didn’t get it because of our mistakes. I saw some good moves, quality and spirit, but if you leave the game open, you can have a nasty surprise at the end. “Milan players are well aware of their capabilities and the fact they are wearing a prestigious jersey. They will be able to judge their own performances and we’ll analyse them carefully, but in a way we paid for our generosity, as we ran after the ball and didn’t keep an eye on other players. I think we had deserved to win it. “Some of the positions we took were positive, others not so much. We tried to build from the back with a three-man defence, but that can change with a different opponent such as Roma next week. “After only a few days of training, I did see some of the ideas we had worked on and that bodes well for the future, even if there is a lot of work to be done. “I had hoped for a gift this evening for my birthday, but I saw some good things and I hope we can learn from these mistakes.” The equaliser for 2-2 was a ferocious Calderoni strike, but Pioli pointed to issues in the build-up. “We lacked a little collaboration on the final equaliser. Calderoni hit it well, but we had several opportunities to close that Lecce move earlier and if we had, we’d be here talking about a deserved victory. “In the Press conference yesterday, I was asked many questions about how I found the team. I tell you after this match, there are many positives. The big error was that a side like Milan has to kill games off. We could’ve even held on for 2-1 and kicked it out of play rather than misplace those passes. “This match will help us learn a great deal, for what we did and what we should’ve done. On the penalty, there were too many of us going after the ball and we left gaps. We weren’t set out well at all.” Rafael Leao started the match and was replaced by Krzysztof Piatek, but will we see them play together for Milan? “I think Leao and Piatek can play together when overall we are a more balanced team and I have a better idea of their characteristics. “I replaced Leao because the medic told me he had a slight muscular issue and we didn’t want to risk any further damage, while Paqueta also seemed tired.”last_img read more

10 months agoMan Utd boss Solskjaer: Players will embrace Arsenal FA Cup test

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd boss Solskjaer: Players will embrace Arsenal FA Cup testby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has welcomed their fourth round FA Cup tie with Arsenal.Solskjaer says his players will embrace the test.He said, “Fantastic. We need these games. These players need the big games to be challenged.”Of course, everyone says we’ve won the last five games but [they have] not been [against] big opposition. But you can only beat the teams you play and, for us to get tested and go to the next level, you need those games. And if you want to win the FA Cup, you have to beat everybody.”Assistant coach Michael Carrick added: “It’s a typically nice draw, just when you want a nice little home game!“But if you want to get to the final or win these competitions, you’ve got to play and beat [the best teams] and we’ll look forward to going down there.” last_img read more

The Sacramento Kings Are Turning Their Games Into Track Meets

You could be forgiven if you didn’t think much of the Sacramento Kings’ chances coming into this season. The club, which was coming off a 27-victory campaign last year, hasn’t posted a 35-win season in more than a decade and is one of the NBA’s youngest teams. Sacramento also had a relatively quiet offseason aside from adding No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley.But the calendar has flipped to the new year, and Sacramento still has more wins than it does losses. This is the first time that’s been the case for Sacramento since 2005. Having a record above .500 this late — even after dropping two very winnable games in a row — is cause for celebration given how dysfunctional this franchise has been the past 10 to 15 years.Yet it’s the way the Kings have gotten out to such a respectable start that makes them so interesting. Sacramento basically turns its games into track meets and runs its opponents to death, gradually wearing them down enough to take over during the most important moments of play.At a blistering 105 possessions per 48 minutes, the Kings play at the league’s second-fastest tempo. In fourth quarters, when teams often slow the pace considerably to get the ball to their best players for 1-on-1s, Sacramento is still averaging an NBA-high 104 possessions per 48 minutes.Here’s the key, though: The Kings, who own the league’s second-worst defensive rating in first halves, undergo a “Thriller”-style transformation in the fourth quarter, when they rank sixth in the league defensively. And maintaining the sprinter’s tempo plays a part in that.The Kings force their winded opponents into a league-leading 16.9 fourth-quarter turnovers per 100 possessions. By contrast, Sacramento often looks most under control when the game is on the line and has by far the NBA’s fewest giveaways per 100 plays in close-game scenarios. That ability to play fast consistently is part of the reason the Kings have won an impressive two-thirds of their games in clutch scenarios, when the score is within 5 points with five minutes to play or less.It’s hard to know whether any of these developments were intentional. Kings coach Dave Joerger came into the season saying he wanted his young team to push the pace in the hopes of creating easier looks on offense — a fairly obvious perspective with so many players on the roster still finding their way. If there were any doubt that Sacramento is committed to the youth movement or the idea of playing faster, consider this: Plodding 37-year-old Zach Randolph, who led the team in scoring last year and is healthy, hasn’t logged a single minute for Joerger and the Kings this season.In any case, Sacramento has shown that it doesn’t care much what the circumstances are — and that it’s going to run no matter what. You scored on us? That’s fine, but you better hustle back on D. The Kings average the fastest possessions in the NBA after surrendering a basket, according to stat-tracking site Inpredictable. Watching their games on television can be a challenge because the camera crews often pan to the player who’s just scored, unprepared for how quickly the Kings are going to take a shot of their own in transition, so a viewer will miss chunks of Sacramento’s fastest scores. It happens a lot: The Kings have scored 41 times within four seconds of an opponent’s make, nearly double the next closest team, per Second Spectrum data.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/ACTION.mp400:0000:0002:23Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Speedster De’Aaron Fox is the V8 engine that drives this fast-paced attack, and his jumper is vastly improved from his rookie year, when he was a below-average shooter outside of 15 feet. The lefty makes smart decisions consistently and, like a pitcher with good off-speed stuff, has learned how to leverage his quickness by mixing speeds to keep defenders guessing about what he’ll do next.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/FoxSpeedShift.mp400:0000:0002:23Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.By finding a relative comfort in playing at an unusual tempo, the Kings have gone against the grain. Yet they have also borrowed a tactic from the Grit-and-Grind Grizzlies, who played at the pace of molasses but felt that style better equipped them to compete once opponents moved to iso-only offense in the closing stages of games. For the Kings, a fast game is just their natural environment, almost like fish underwater. Sacramento used their pace to secure huge back-to-back, come-from-behind victories last month, beating both Memphis and New Orleans after trailing each team by 19 points.1During that same six-day span, the Kings trimmed a 27-point deficit to just 3 against the Clippers on the road before eventually losing.“I think in the first quarter, we didn’t realize how fast they play,” Cavs center Tristan Thompson said after his team failed to keep up with Sacramento. “In the second quarter, we figured it out, got it to a tie game. But in the third quarter, they ramped it back up on us, and we weren’t able to recover.”For the time being, there are a number of other things the Kings are doing well to help keep them above .500. Buddy Hield, however old he might be, is efficiently averaging 20 points per game on much higher volume than before. Stretch big Nemanja Bjelica gives them the spacing they’ve needed for years. Bogdan Bogdanovic has been solid since his return from injury, hitting a game-winner to beat the Lakers last week and helping stabilize a bench that lacks depth.There are also cracks in the facade — and some of those may stem from trying to outlast opponents at a breakneck pace the entire game. Sacramento had a 9-point lead on the Blazers in the final three minutes Tuesday night but couldn’t hold the lead and lost in overtime. And the Kings held a 7-point edge in Los Angeles with just over four minutes to play Sunday but then lost to the Lakers (who were playing without LeBron James). And earlier last month, when Sacramento blew a 10-point lead in the last four minutes against Golden State, Fox looked tired, committing turnovers and leaving his jumpers short. Some of this is regression to the mean. But it also makes sense that clubs would be better equipped to run with the Kings for entire games with the season in full swing, as players are in better shape.Other factors also suggest an uphill climb for the Kings. While the team uses pace to its advantage, Sacramento is merely average on offense, and it’s below average on defense across a full game. Sacramento has a winning record, but its net rating, usually more of a truth-teller, ranks in the bottom third of the league. The team isn’t good at protecting the rim — Willie Cauley-Stein, who came out of Kentucky as a dominant defensive prospect, has been arguably the NBA’s worst center in that regard — and its opponents shoot 70 percent from inside of 3 feet. The team hasn’t fared well when it plays its other bigs alongside Bagley, who’s been out with injury the past three weeks. And because of how weak the bench would be without Bogdanovic there, Joerger doesn’t play Fox, Hield and Bogdanovic — the team’s best three-man lineup — together as much as he might like to.FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projection model doesn’t think much of Sacramento, giving the Kings just a 5 percent playoff probability — far closer to the bottom-feeding Bulls, Knicks and Suns than to teams like the Wolves or the Magic — despite their admirable start.The rest of this week will be a test for the Kings, who host the West’s first-place Nuggets and second-place Warriors on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. But the schedule isn’t reason to count them out: Sacramento has kept its head above water despite playing the NBA’s fifth-toughest slate to this point.Any way you slice it, the Kings have been fun, and they’ve found success in an unusual way. Fans should enjoy the ride, whether it lasts for just a few more days, or it’s a full-fledged run into the postseason.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

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Kenai Fire Department Responded To A Vehicle Fire Last Night

first_imgKenai Fire Department responded and were able to extinguish the fire within minutes. At this time the cause of the fire is under investigation. There were no reported injuries. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Fire Department responded to a single vehicle fire last night on the Kenai Spur Highway near the Cook Inlet Viewpoint intersection.center_img According to KFD Captain Mark Anderson the occupants of the vehicle were able to exit the car prior to it becoming completely engulfed in flames.last_img read more