Just before retiring for the morning nap, we heard the faint throb of bass rumbling within the RV campgrounds. We stumbled upon the unthinkable, a mobile nightclub in full effect at 7am. I followed the sound of thunder, until we embarked upon the renegade Venus Tour Bus. What transpired played out like a dream; a crunkalogic surround-soundsystem thumping beneath the vessel, as the steeziest individuals on the festival grounds raged a bamboo dancefloor, outfitted with a stripper pole, crawling with beautiful bodies, all of whom strutted the sunrise up over the horizon. DJ Guidance was purveyor of the tectonic soundtrack, ushering in the haziest shade of morning beneath a warm California sun. In what might be my single favorite forward of the weekend, dude dropped Buju Banton’s “Champion” atop some brutal booms n’ claps, the natives were once again restless; and I had to tip my Kangol to Rich Cruz and the Venus Tour Bus crew, for they had heroically harvested the truly epic. Photography courtesy of Jacob AvanzatoGoing back to its embryonic 2005 incarnation, Symbiosis Gathering has evolved exponentially in scope, attendance, and celebration. Over fifteen thousand participants flocked to the picturesque Woodward Reserve in Oakdale, California to revel in a carnival of music, art, community and debauched fun. Surrounded by this breathtaking natural expanse, the people of Symbiosis became an afghan of electric and organic styles, this Mad Max reality born of an ancient tribe, with frenetic fireworks of unabashed artistic expression exploding into the stratosphere. Symbiosis marks the end of the long and winding summer festival season that, by the end of four days on the lake, almost forgets where it might have began.The beginning of the event could be described as a nightmare, with disorganized infrastructure, and entry lines up to ten hours, causing this writer and his team to miss a considerable amount of Thursday’s daytime activities. Getting things started has never been this event’s forte, but this year it seemed particularly difficult. That said, throwing an affair of this magnitude is an ambitious endeavor, and the producers should be commended for focusing on the art and the experience, even if it means a struggle to turn the engine over. Because once the motor started purring, this festival revealed itself to be an ensorcelled expedition deep into the annals of this counter-culture and its ceremony. The many tentacles of this musical community diaspora seemed to coalesce in a beautiful symmetry. Artists, builders, producers, movers, shakers and shamans from Bass Coast to Envision Festival and all points between, united the clans to erect and ignite this grandiose gathering.Like any “transformational” event worth its coconut oil, Symbiosis is so much more than the tunes. In addition to an eclectic, gargantuan musical menu, several hulking art installations from Burning Man reappeared on the sprawling festival grounds in stupendous grandeur, as well as art cars like The Front Porch, and baby dragon Hssiss, of Abraxas lineage. The marvelous music stages were galaxies all their own, massive displays of imagination and empirical execution. There was education, inspiration, and a more than a bit of indigenous appropriation strewn in any direction, the mark of Burner tradition was an indelible imprint. For the final year at Woodward, it was again the festival’s landscape that was the diamond in the rough, a choking dust and its desert environs combined with a freshwater lake to create a definitive juxtaposition, and beneath the illuminating moonlight and within jubilant sunwater could be found the apex in West Coast festivaling. There was anarchy, there was spirituality, psychedelic adventuring, and high-brow dialogues, all amidst some good, old fashioned rabble rousing. Symbiosis showed the world that it is among the best in arenas of revelry, celebration, and shenanigans.Outside of the music programming and big art, the jewels abound were innumerable and nearly impossible to catalogue. The Village was dedicated to progressive workshops and education, every Yoga practice imaginable, discussions on sustainability, community building, and pertinent global issues. With areas like The Hub, Nourishment Lab, The Parlor, Hacktivist Village, Movement Shala, Placemakers Teahouse, Elemental Altars, and Permaculture Plaza, the opportunity to level up was ubiquitous. Entire worlds of culture and participation were created and then enchanted. From Ayurvedic consultation to a vibroacoustic sound lounge, Cranialsacral Therapy to womb massage, The Village left nary a stepping stone unturned. We learned of “Music as Medicine of Our Time“, or about “Re-inhabiting the Village“, of “Conserving Biodiversity” or “Drugs, Sex, and Arachnids.” These type of offerings often prompt the use of the term “transformational” when discussing West Coast festival culture, much to the chagrin of Symbiosis organizers, yet this event offered myriad options for self-improvement, self-awareness, and there is no shame in the game of bettering one’s self, and our planet. It would be naive not to acknowledge the immense influence that Burning Man has on this so-called transformational festival culture. Both Lightning in a Bottle and Symbiosis Gathering espouse the ideas, ideals, values and ethos of That Thing in the Desert, but it is the latter, which normally takes place in the weeks after the Burn, that feels like the truest extension of Burner civilization. At Symbiosis, you bring your own food, booze and supplies en masse, self-reliance is crucial, especially given this disorganization and chaotic energy that permeated the event.As for the inevitable waste created at such a gathering, the idea is to pack it out – and leave the land as it were upon arrival. Sadly, like LIB, the Symbiosis massive let the garbage get away from them, and the grounds were often in disgusting conditions from the refuse that lay about. Too many people left too much behind, despite the fact that there was a sorting facility set up on the way out of the event. Many participants were disappointed in the disaffected approach some took to the “pack it out” directive. It goes to show that despite it’s best intentions, this community has a long ways to go as it pertains to “walkin’ it like they talkin’ it.” Saturday was bright and beautiful weather, with a breeze coursing through the dusty air. It was astonishing to take in all of the visual stimulation and art on display in the glorious sunshine. Among my favorite creators were The Wood Vibe Tribe, located at Silk Road, represented by Brad Rhadwood, and hailing from British Columbia. Their progressive form, called intarsia, uses reclaimed or salvaged wood to create paintings without using any ink, paint or stain. Android Jones‘ digital art galaxy dome hosted his transcendental project Samskara, which wowed folks with virtual reality and fractalizations that dwarf anything most of us had ever seen. But the most impressive works of art for this writer were the jaw-dropping music stages: headliner area The Fringe, created by Vita Motus, the floating Lighthouse on Atoll, by Drift Crew, and the astro-turfed dance rage Juke Lagoon by Dalabil. Sensational installations like The Luminescent by Hybycozo, and Empire of Love by Brent Allen Spears consistently stopped people in their tracks.Early Saturday afternoon, as rays glistened the scantily clad, we ventured down to The Other Stage, a different floating art-boat, while Bay Area producer on-the-rise Aabo delivered a tasty set of future sounds, before giving way to his pal, the enigmatic Lafa Taylor, who DJ’d a set of classic golden-era hip-hop joints. From there we did about as big of a 180* as possible and returned to Silk Road for the fantastic Fanna Fi Allah. The Sufi Qawwali devotional music was majestic at midday, the most authentically spiritual songcraft we encountered underneath the family tree.Random Rab is among the most revered and celebrated artists in this festival’s storied history, an integral part of its fabric and family; his Saturday sunset serenade at Swimbiosis was yet another scintillating journey for the ages. Pulling out classics like the now-elusive “The Reflections” while a goddess mermaid, naughty princess, and yoga empress pranced the stage; the sun raced over the horizon, and Rab delivered a mammoth set of mystical proportions, a harbinger of the magic by moon to come. At about 2am, he reappeared in the Family Circus tent, soundtracking the Vau de Vire performance troupe while they left jaws agape. Mr. Clinton blessed the dancers and the gawkers with “Transmissions from the Moon,” and a MOUR track satiated even the most jaded West Coast vets.As night fell on Saturday, globalized swashbucklers Delhi 2 Dublin went head to head with Rising Appalachia (who’s first engagement featured a choice sit-in from members of Dirtwire). At The Fringe, Perth, Australia’s post-trip hop autuer Ta-ku dropped an astonishing set, eschewing the traditional DJ setup for a live-band transmission system, a welcome respite from the norm. Regan Matthews built some of his set around the (m)edian EP, employing a sparse yet effective keyboardist, drummer, and vocalist; Ta-ku himself was no slouch on the singing either. After a brief-but-enthralling run of seminal Go-Go funk that played over the PA, Santigold took the stage in full regalia and surrounded by bumping live band. She came out of the gates with a fury, unleashing a riotious “Chasing Shadows” that was gurgling Bhangra-crunk, yet from there her satirical blend of indie-rock and model-shtick lost more than a few. Young NorCal lion CharlestheFirst was sizzling at Silk Road, and our krewe was forced to double-back for a few psychedelic, hip-hop inspired jams from this kid, who is now definitely on the vibrational radar.Oakland masked mavens Dimond Saints commandeered the Family Circus tent at the stroke of midnight, and what transpired was positively phantasmagorical. Continuing the development of their enrapturing live-instrumentation, in concert with the duo’s magnetizing, occultish, future-moon music, Releece and an-ten-nae cemented their meteoric ascent to the pantheon of avant-garde with a demonic ritual. Tuba, trombone, Sica drum, and haunting violin (courtesy of HÄANA) were lavish layers to the Prism in the Dark, embellishing the dark magus duet. Vocalist Yaarrohs, full time magician/part time panther, induced the spells in matrimonial white, coalescing with the stygian aura that hovers above the Saints. Later she returned sans bridal veil, and blessed the assembly with an impassioned “IDGAF.” This evening would be yet another dose of pure, unrivaled, intravenous sexy in what is quickly becoming the Dimond District tradition, and the Symbiosis dance-massive responded in biblical fashion.After the brief, secret Rab set blew our minds and infused our wearying souls, we mosied on back over to Silk Road for a rollicking live-band performance from Dirtwire. Beats Antique’s David Satori, Stellamara’s Evan Fraser have combined to deliver a fresh take on electro-folk, and the wild wild West never felt so much like home. The squad they assembled for this pair of performances at Symbiosis only furthered the buzz that has surrounded Dirtwire for the past couple of years, and we lapped up the gris-gris they served from the back porch of Americana’s future. At the stroke of 4am, there was only one game on our minds, and that was BOGL; the venerable Soundpieces bossman is among the most thorough and forward-thinking artists in bass music today. Despite the Funktion-One volume being turned down a bit in the circus tent, Griffin March will not lose, ever. Piling on heaping portions of high-falutin’ womp, the underground dance community showed and proved en masse, while BOGL put heads to bed with domineering authority.Bed? This posse was nowhere near ready to rest, and instead it would be British wizard-king OTT who would broadcast atypically over-the-top content to bring in the Silk Road morning. The jolly giant’s mix of psybient dub, ethnic electronica, and rotund, elastic grooves were squishy lily pads for the multitude of cosmonauts looking rest their wings. Still not satiated, at about 7am our now-swollen squadron again arrived at the infamous Venus Tour Bus, where Oaktown’s dread necromancer TreyZilla was conjuring up the renegade rage, as he’s guaranteed to do whenever he steps on the set. Putting nails in the Trap coffin, and banging it shut with galactivated rebar, Trey Martinez danced on the grave of what’s tired and played, and cracked a window open to new and alien galaxies. After glorious morning spent tip toeing in some Jordans, mad spunions running through the six with no woes, it finally dawned on me: Venus is life.Somehow, the dancehall gods delivered me to Swimbiosis minutes after high noon on Sunday; just in time for the rugged yardie sermons of Portland soundbwoy du jour, PRSN. Mixing bangin’ hip hop drums and samples with rudie swagger, at once something serious and sincere, Bryce Howell ushered in the final day of Symbiosis in proper hot-skull style. There was no shortage of strong music options on Sunday afternoon, no matter what your flavor palette or funky preference. Women ruled the roost at The Other Stage as HÄANA shared her Nordic femtronica elixirs, while Tara Brooks and Rachel Torro pumped the beach full of sweltering, divine deep house. The Fringe welcomed New French House phenomenon FKJ, who dripped his scrumptious juices all over the keyboards, saxophone, and electro drums, the silky smooth, luscious grooves went down the hatch. Next up on this main stage was A Hundred Waters, an eclectic band from Gainesville, Florida that combined organic and electronic elements for an ethereal sound, their vibe wrought with a tangible emotional quotient. The audience danced in a hushed reverence, as Nicole Miglis‘s charming flute melodies and saccharine vocals were spectacular.Late in the hottest afternoon of the festival, Rising Appalachia appeared in the circus tent, and it was at once revelation and revolution. Sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith, and their trusted compadres Biko Casini and David Brown led the congregation on yet another Second Line parade through the filthiest and dirtiest of Southern hymns and harmonies. Anthony Flowers Ward crafted his usual kaleidoscopic visual accompaniment with a vast array of floral splendor, as flow artists and dancers atop aerial silks enraptured an awestruck audience. By the time Rising Appalachia had concluded a Bayou romp through the gospel traditional “I’ll Fly Away,” there was nary a dry eye in the circus. The closest thing to jamband vibes were found within the guitar-driven, rubber-band jams of OTT & the All-Seeing I, while over at Juke Lagoon, Gaslamp Killer was bringing a gritty and aggressive brand of psychedelic dance energy to a raging contingent of night owls.Among the most discussed headliners booked this year, FKA Twigs did not disappoint in her Sunday night slot. At times meticulously choreographed, others wild theatrics with reckless abandon, the vocalist, soothsayeress, and movement icon pranced around The Fringe stage with prismatic grace. Her music could be somber, plodding, and also electrifying and excitable. Almost as impressive as her musical art was the visual stimulation that dominated her performance. Meanwhile, at the Family Circus, another epochal artist was leading a veritable séance of sorts. The Desert Dwellers Live Experience was a prodigious display of spirituality through sound, song, synchronicity and emotion. Meditative, palpitating beats from Treavor Moontribe and Amani Friend were augmented by the breathtaking Marlowe Bassett (of Metamorphosis Ballet), HAANA, Tammy Firefly and Soul Fire, among other collaborators. The result was nothing short of spine-tingling, as many shared in a final dance shwirl to close out the festival.This krewe was in need of a soft landing, so we dragged a horde of blankets, pillows, and juicy vibes up to Silk Road. We chose to collapse in an enormous cuddle puddle, as the psychedelic soundscapes of Tropo, led by Tyson Leonard, assisted us in circling the runway. To bring it on home, Silk Road was blessed appropriately enough by Vir Jam, a vigorous, spiritualized world music session that employed the talents of Hamsa Lila frontman Vir McCoy and beloved Santos y Zurdo/Patterns bassist Luigi Jimenez. After a weekend spent swimming in a freshwater lakes of Funktion-One thump, it was only right to shut it down with an organic sound, and these boys brought it, from faraway funk-to-table by way of our hearts.And so comes to a close the 2016 West Coast festival season, another one for the history books, and apparently the music blogs, too. Symbiosis Gathering 2016, despite the hiccups and frustrations at the start, remains the stardog champion of this festival scene and culture. Clearly, the producers are not motivated by profit, but instead empowered by the epic, and for better or worse, it shows. It is abundantly clear that this community remains vibrant, and the event is still very relevant to the movement and its missions. We can only daydream as to what may happen next summer when Symbiosis pulls up stakes and hops a northbound train, all aboard for Oregon Eclipse 2017.Thank you Symbiosis Gathering. Your intent is our delight.words: B.Getzphotos: Jacob Avanzatovideos: Dan LaDue, Galactic Seabass, WRD Media, Dr. Bruce Damer, jJice Early in the evening, we ventured over to the Movement Shala, where the Boss-of-Bosses [Clever Alias] was holding court. From dubstep to the dancehall, Dan Laureano blessed up the masses with his bracketology, a potent and primordial blend, sending us off into the night with ample pep in our step. Headlining sets from Gramatik and Beats Antique at the magnificent The Fringe drew enormous crowds, and served to release the festival’s aready pent-up energies. Festival-wide, it was a clash of the titans, as Claude Von Stroke went head to head with Ivy Lab, before Atish hijacked the concupiscent whip with deep housequake into the night.Just before the clock struck midnight, Baltimore’s super heady spiritual gangster SOOHAN dropped a Silk Road set that will not soon be forgotten. Mashing up two decades of pop music culture atop a bombastic blend of 808s and ancient sounds, the rising star laced a libidinous dance session that sent the teaming masses into a maniacal tizzy. Morillo hit at Silk Road late Friday after 4am, and the charred remains of SOOHAN’s seismic slaying were still smoking. The Miami based producer soaked the people in drippy, glitchy, galloping movements, gurgling basslines beneath patios mantras and obscure samples, tribalizing riddims amidst snake-charming melodies. Anytime there is a new-agey, “transformational”, Burner-centric event, some comic relief is certainly in order; Symbiosis had no shortage of such hilarity, places like The Living Room were central to such shenanigans. Elsewhere, exploring the guru phenomenon with some tongue-in-cheek humor, JP Sears and Kumare had people in stitches with their convoluted yogi-isms and pseudo-spiritualized rhetoric. “Man-Tease”, a mobile stripping container, was Magic Mike on acid, brought to you by the folks who delivered Psychedelic Friendship Bingo in years passed. Fed up with the flat-earth nonsense? Dr. Bruce Damer hosted a panel discussion that belittled this silly scientific detour, a controversy that has prompted much derision and made for great guffaws aross the globe. Despite the plethora of non-music options at our fingertips, for the final festival of this season, I consciously broke from the usual modus operandi, and focused my experience almost solely on music and dancing, making space for human connection and conversation, but little else. Every so often I reminded myself to hydrate, and for nourishment, as we strategically planned naps as to maximize the opportunities to achieve dance Zen one last time this Indian summer bloom. I recognize that this reflection is in no way a complete rundown of this titanic event; instead, here is a small sampling of the music enjoyed at Symbiosis Gathering 2016: Family Tree.Thursday was a wash for a large portion of the festival, as many people were stuck in the snaking traffic lines for the entire day. With the music ending at midnight, we were lucky to catch a portion of world renowned deep house champions Bedouin at Silk Road, a real life anachronism built by the folks behind LIB’s The Grand Artique. In lieu of Frontierville, the creators manifested a Middle Eastern bazaar of sorts, with merchants serving tea, elixirs, and period specific art and aesthetics. Silk Road would be the site of several remarkable music performances over the course of the four days. From Bedouin’s pulsing Persian rumblings it was on to The Grotto for a set of primarily new music from an-ten-nae. The Oakland bass-boss delivered a series of slow, throbbing jams from his forthcoming solo album Medicine.Friday afternoon saw a Desert Hearts takeover at Swimbiosis, and it was a whirlwind wave of color, dance rage, and undeniable untz, as the entire crew of Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Deep Jesus, Marbs, and Porkchop showed up; the mission was to move the crowd, and it appeared accomplished by day’s end. Imagine relentless, swanky deep house grooves, trippy Playa-tech jams, and some four-on-the-beach beatscience; this was a five hour tour of non-stop pulsating beats and beautiful people frolicking in the water, while an in-the-round stage incorporated a beach landscape and shady grove. All day everyday, the lakefront playground of Swimbiosis went off! Across the way, at the astonishing Atoll lighthouse art boat, British Columbia bass mistress The Librarian was setting things off, and for a moment, the floating stage had to be evacuated. The chaos was apparently due to Ms. Andrea Graham‘s ratio of bounce-to-the-ounce, which had the people going way too hard; this ancient lighthouse structure could not host such a level of rager. Thankfully, shortly thereafter, the boat got things (relatively) together; Andreilien took to the Atoll decks and delivered a hair-raising hour of boom-bap thump. Post-dubstep glitch buried in golden-era hip hop drums, evidence of an exciting new direction for this legend.
By Erik Rojas / Diálogo August 27, 2019 Colombia hosted the third U.S.-Colombia Action Plan (USCAP) Conference for Regional Security in Medellín, July 29-August 2, 2019. During the event, representatives from Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, and the United States discussed ways to address security challenges and prevent international crime in Latin America. Ecuador and Paraguay are USCAP’s two most recent member countries.According to U.S. Marine Corps Major General David G. Bellon, director of SOUTHCOM’s Strategy, Policies, and Plans Directorate, the most important is to “develop a mechanism of regional decision-making that uses our strengths as partner nations and produces results against regional threats.”During the five-day event, participants focused on topics related to teamwork among member countries. Participants worked in groups to develop criteria the military and police forces must take into account when facing common challenges such as cybercrime, narcotrafficking, or arms and human trafficking.USCAP member countries took the opportunity to create a committee with members from each participating country to follow up on cyberdefense and cybercrime prevention results. They also included the human rights component in all actions to be implemented.This will allow USCAP member countries to incorporate shared international standards to facilitate planning and execution of joint and combined operations. In the case of Colombia, this is already in place: The Joint Cyber Command and the Police Cyber Center advise the governments of Ecuador, Panama, and Peru.According to Colombian Army Major General María Paulina Leguizamón, vice chairman of the Legal Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces’ General Command, these human rights actions will have a huge impact. “The ideal [scenario] is for militaries worldwide, in this case those of the Western Hemisphere, to have conceptual unity based on standards for use of force by military or police forces, which should guarantee the legitimacy of our actions under the law.”
continue reading » Andy Reed, CEO of Texas People Federal Credit Union in Fort Worth, Texas, knew his job at a credit union was different than a “regular job” before attending the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Development Education (DE) program.But it wasn’t until he attended the program that he found himself learning lessons and experiences that he intentionally lives out each day.“Through the DE program, I discovered the profound mission at the heart of the credit union movement was vibrant, the rich history of the movement was empowering our future, and the real issues facing global society were being meaningfully impacted by our work,” Reed says.Reed was a loan officer at a large credit union when he attended DE. He credits the program with seeing the role credit unions play in the world a little differently.“Graduation from DE in 2007 left me eager to align myself with like-minded people who were deeply committed to the social mission of credit unions,” he says, adding that he started volunteering to raise money for the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, eventually taking a leadership role in local credit union efforts to support the hospitals. 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Frank Lampard has revealed his fears for England’s future as young stars struggle for first team opportunities in the Premier League. “I made my West Ham debut at 17 and was a regular a year later. If I was the same age now I wouldn’t be anywhere near the Chelsea or Manchester City sides,” he told The Sun. “Like the other kids I’d have had to go out on loan.” The 36-year-old, who is Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer after spending 13 years at Stamford Bridge, acknowledged that coaching facilities are better than ever but there comes a time when players just need games. “If it was my boy I’d think about sending him to Chelsea to have the best coaching from eight to 15 and, if possible, then send him to a club with less resources to try and get him in the first team at 18,” he added. “Rio Ferdinand and I were fortunate we experienced it at a young age. But the kids these days get lost. “There’s a stagnant patch where we hear of these good players of 15 and 16 and wonder where they are at 21.” Lampard highlights Jose McEachran as an example of this after he was widely tipped for big things but was then forced out on loan due to the plethora of top quality midfielders at Chelsea. “He had his moments but I still think he got a bit downbeat about it,” Lampard said. “From being talked up he was always having to go out on loan – and where do you go from there? if the door’s shut, it can stay shut.” Press Association The Manchester City midfielder, on loan from New York City, feels that the influx of top European talent is a major driving force behind the stagnation of home-grown talent. Lampard, who retired from England duty with 106 caps after the World Cup, reflected on his progression through the ranks at West Ham and believes it is a lot different for English prospects today. However, the seasoned midfielder also thinks young players in this country can often get ahead of themselves to make matters worse. “Then there’s the fact these young lads have to focus and keep their heads when they start to earn very good money,” he said. “They have to realise they haven’t made it just because everyone is talking about them at 18.”
… G/town Quarter-finals, semis to be played on FridayIN an effort to make the tournament more accessible to spectators, Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ National Championship will now be staged at the Jubilee Park tarmac.This was revealed by Lee Baptiste, Guinness Brand Manager. The venue, which will make its maiden appearance, was selected due to its playing surface, size and overall accessibility by the general public.He affirmed, “We anticipate a large crowd for the final and the venue has readily available parking and is accessible to various environs. It is very centralised and public transportation utilise routes that are accessible to its location, so it’s an overall good choice for staging of the national championship. The surface is also ideal for the players.”The national championship will be staged on August 9 and 10 respectively. It will be contested in a knock-out format.The venue will also be used for the Georgetown Championship final on Saturday. Meanwhile, the quarter-final and semi-final rounds of the Georgetown championship will take place on Friday (August 3) at the National Cultural Centre tarmac.The initial date of July 26 for the quarterfinals and semifinals was rescheduled after persistent rainfall rendered the playing area unfit for players and spectators.According to tournament coordinator Three Peat Promotions, “All systems are in place for a thrilling night of action. We anticipate a large crowd because of the quality of the teams who will be competing for a place in the final. Six of the eight quarter-finalists have already lifted the coveted title, which adds to the quality that will be on show.”The matches will remain in the original order, with Broad Street opposing Leopold Street at 19:00hrs and Albouystown-B battling Back Circle from 19:45hrs.In the third and fourth quarter-final fixtures, Sparta Boss will tackle Sophia at 20:30hrs and defending champions Gold is Money face-off with Tiger Bay from 21:45hrs.Victors of the aforesaid contests will advance to the semi-final round which will take place later in the evening. The final is scheduled for the Jubilee Park tarmac on August 3.Winners of the event will collect $500 000 and the championship trophy, as well as automatic place in the National Championship.The second-, third- and fourth-place finishers will collect $300 000, $200 000 and $100 000 respectively and corresponding trophy.Meanwhile, the National Championship starts on August 9 at the Pouderoyen tarmac. The two-day event, which features 15 teams, will end on August 10 at Jubilee Park.The teams who have sealed automatic berths to the event are Gold is Money (National champions), Beacons (Bartica champions), Melanie-B (East Coast Demerara winners), Brothers United (West Demerara/East Bank Demerara winners), Trafalgar (Berbice champions) and High Rollers (Linden champions) have sealed automatic berths.Quarterfinal fixtures:(1) Broad Street vs Leopold Street – 19:00hrs(2) Albouystown-B vs Back Circle – 19:45hrs(3) Sparta Boss vs Sophia – 20:30hrs(4) Gold is Money vs Tiger Bay – 21:15hrsSemifinal MatchupsWinners (1) vs Winners (4)Winners (2) vs Winners (3)
Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Iasia Hemingway’s homesickness finally reached a tipping point.Her 15-year-old cousin, Bassemah, had been sick with cancer since Iasia first went to Georgia Tech. Bassemah wanted to follow in Iasia’s footsteps and play college basketball. The pair saw each other every day when Iasia was home. They were as close as siblings.‘If you fight this cancer,’ Iasia told Bassemah, ‘you’re going to make it.’But Bassemah was struggling to fight off the cancer. Iasia’s mother, Henrietta, tried to keep the news from her daughter. She knew it would tear her apart.But Iasia got updates from another cousin. And at the start of summer in 2008, that cancer cut Bassemah’s life short. It was all Iasia could bear to handle.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat was the final push Iasia needed. She decided then and there that she needed to be closer to home, closer to her family in Newark, N.J. Bassemah’s death brought her to where she is now, a starting forward and the third-leading scorer and rebounder for the Syracuse women’s basketball team.The transfer, though, has been just a small part of Iasia’s journey. And through it all, there has been basketball. Hemingway used the sport to help her navigate the streets of Newark and the hallways of Malcolm X Shabazz High School. She used it to overcome a learning disability, her family’s financial struggles and multiple deaths of loved ones.And as for the next step, she wants to use this basketball-driven journey to inspire others.‘I want to be a motivational speaker,’ she says. ‘Because if I can succeed, then, you know, why can’t you?’Playing with the boysOnce George Briscoe realized his stepdaughter was passionate about basketball, he injected himself into that aspect of her life with unusual methods. Briscoe, who started four years at Division III Stockton College, put Hemingway on the boys’ teams, which he coached from fifth to eighth grade.‘If you want to get better, this is where you have to go,’ he told her.Hemingway hated it. But she knew Briscoe was right. He soon started getting her up at 6 a.m. for runs through the park every day. It wasn’t long before Hemingway began getting up on her own, never complaining, always wanting to work.And that translated to early success on the court.‘She became very dominant,’ Briscoe said. ‘She started off blocking shots and rebounding. Because her physical presence was always there, she became physical with (the boys), just earning their respect, so her confidence started to take off.’Her Orange teammates see that physicality today. When she crashes the boards, someone typically ends up on the floor, whether it’s herself, an opponent or a teammate.SU head coach Quentin Hillsman calls her relentless on the glass. Senior guard Erica Morrow said she occasionally won’t even crash the boards, assuming her junior teammate will pull in the rebound.But for Hemingway, that unyielding persistence has been there from the beginning. Persistence from each rebound to each step in her journey.‘That’s how I was raised,’ she said. ‘Regardless of who’s in my way, I’m going to go after it.’A school without booksKeeping her daughter off the streets of Newark was one of Henrietta’s concerns. Keeping her safe at school was another.‘You know, Iasia, when school lets out, you stay in the gym,’ she used to tell Iasia during her freshman year at Malcolm X Shabazz. ‘You don’t go outside. … You really don’t know anybody. Don’t go out there.’Gangs cost Iasia some of her closest friends. She said in every one of her four years at Shabazz, at least one of her friends was shot. There were fights after school every day. Students showed up to class wearing brass knuckles. Iasia said Shabazz was bad academically. Its graduation rate sits at 38.6 percent.‘Coming from my school, we didn’t have books,’ Hemingway said. ‘We were lucky to find a book in the library that had all the pages. It was a struggle.’Even more of a struggle for Iasia. She always felt she was fighting something when it came to schoolwork. There was always something there, blocking her success. But she didn’t find out until college that she suffered from dyslexia.Still, none of it slowed down her basketball game. Shabazz was among the best in New Jersey during the four years Hemingway spent there. She was named New Jersey Player of the Year as a junior and senior. Scout.com ranked her a Top 25 recruit.Her parents wanted her to make it out of Newark. And basketball was the perfect way to do it.‘I just tried to keep Iasia busy and off the streets,’ Henrietta said. ‘That was my main thing. And she had a love for basketball, so that was just great.’Two Years, Too FarDespite being from a tight-knit family, Iasia wanted to go away for college. With multiple ACC schools recruiting her, she made it out of Newark. And Georgia Tech, 850-plus miles south, was her school of choice.For those first two years, the separation was tolerable. Her parents’ constant trips to home games nullified her feelings of homesickness.But it soon came crashing down.Henrietta was laid off from her job at Lucent Technologies Inc. in 2006, just a year before Iasia left for Georgia Tech. By 2008, it became clear she would not be able to afford the visits to Atlanta. And then Bassemah’s death hit Iasia hard.‘I really wasn’t focusing on basketball (after that),’ she said. ‘It was more thinking about back home. … So I was just thinking about how my family was doing and not really focusing on what was priority.’The separation was too much. And as Iasia’s pleas over several months became consistent, Henrietta knew her daughter needed to come back home.‘Now you’ve made the decision, and you’re going to have to live with that decision,’ she said of Iasia’s transfer. ‘And that’s my biggest thing because kids, a lot of parents like to make decisions for kids — I’m not that type of parent. … I always give her the opportunity to make the decisions for herself.’Home at the DomeIf it were up to Henrietta, her daughter never would have left New Jersey. She would have gone to college at Rutgers, just 40 minutes from Newark.That was too close in Iasia’s mind. She wanted to be close to home, but not right in her backyard.Syracuse was a possible fit. And Briscoe said it was a perfect match.And after sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer regulations, Hemingway is now a full-time starter like she was at Georgia Tech.‘I love it here,’ Hemingway said. ‘I don’t regret any of the decisions I’ve made.’Perhaps more importantly, she is only a four-hour drive away from Newark. Her mom has seen four Orange home games this year. The rest of the family will be at SU’s road contests against Rutgers and St. John’s in February.When she goes home, she often goes back to Shabazz, where her mom occasionally substitutes as a teacher. The school retired Iasia’s jersey after her graduation, and students ask Henrietta about her whenever she subs.When Iasia does visit, she tells the students about how she got to Syracuse, about her basketball-driven journey. And her message is simple: If she could do it, in spite of everything, so could they.‘This isn’t easy,’ Iasia tells them. ‘I came from the same school you’re from, and if I can do it, y’all can do it, too. You just have to stay focused. There’s going to be a lot of distractions, but mentally, you’ve just got to be focused. There’s going to be trials and tribulations. But you’ve just got to fight through them.’[email protected] Published on January 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm
…calls on Opposition to nominate State Board representativesNatural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman has defended Government’s move to place under conservation another 2 million hectares of forestlands, in wake of criticisms from Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.The minister is also calling on the Parliamentary Opposition to take up its constitutional responsibility to nominate individuals to serve on the respective state boards for natural resource management.With the recent signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Guyana Government pledged to put two million hectares of forest under conservation, however Jagdeo had criticised the move, explaining that the productive sector is likely to suffer tremendously as a result.Responding to these concerns, Minister Trotman dispatched a correspondence to the Opposition Leader explaining why the move would be beneficial to Guyana.“Far from closing off development opportunities, the conservation of an additional 2 million hectares will bolster our economic development, rather than hinder it.The world has changed and the value of our forests to mitigate climate change has created a new value for our standing forest.And more than that, by protecting the coastal conservancies and their watersheds we protect our coastal farmers; conserving rivers’ headwaters will help us weather the droughts that we know will be a part of climate change,” the correspondence stated.Trotman explained that the conservation of 2 million hectares not only helps us meet our commitments to emissions reduction under the Paris Accords and our REDD+ agreement with Norway, but also our long-standing commitment to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, (UNCBD) (signed by Guyana in 1992 and ratified in 1994 with bipartisan support.)He noted that Guyana is currently one of the last nations in South America to meet the UNCBD commitment – to conserve 17 per cent of our land area by 2020.“If we include the WaiWai Community Owned Conservation Area at Konashen we currently stand at 8.3% conserved, two million additional hectares will get us to the 17 per cent target,” he stated.The minister reiterated that his government intends to build a truly “Green Economy”, expanding on the previous government’s attempt at a Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), to build a prosperous nation where all Guyanese benefit from responsible stewardship of the country’s national heritage.He further added that President David Granger’s commitment to create protected areas for recreation and education in each of our 10 Regions will contribute to an improved quality of life for allTrotman explained that the expansion of Guyana’s National Protected Area System (NPAS) also provides the basis for expanding nature-based tourism, one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and one in which Guyana has many competitive advantages.In closing, the minister urged the Opposition Leader to nominate its representatives in order to ensure inclusive decision making prevails in the management of the natural resources sector:“Unlike in the past, these boards are fully functional entities that have control and decision-making authority over their respective agencies and commissions. They also provide input on policy, and the Government of Guyana is fully respectful of their critical role and contribution. The general public will be happy to know that, except for the nominees you are still to name, the boards are fully constituted – inclusive of representatives from across the political spectrum.”