A.V. women’s conference expected to draw 1,200

first_imgLANCASTER – Inspired by an annual state conference, local business women, professionals and others are organizing a women’s conference expected to attract 1,200 participants. The Antelope Valley Women’s Conference 2006 will include seminars on women’s health, business finances, self and family, home and children, vendors offering services and products for women, and a book fair featuring the works of authors speaking at the conference. “The goal … is to celebrate, inspire and empower women in the Antelope Valley by highlighting information and sharing resources in all areas of interest to women,” said Fran Paolinelli, a journalist and one of the organizers. Added public-relations agency owner Ingrid Chapman, another organizer: “The key word is inspiration, … inspiration to do great things, inspiration to go after your dreams.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The all-day conference is scheduled for April 7 in the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds’ two main pavilions and two smaller meeting halls. It will open with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m., will include a buffet lunch with entertainment and will close at 5 p.m. Registration fees will be $75 per person before Feb. 1 and $95 after Feb. 1. Registration fees for full-time students and seniors age 62 and older will be $50 before Feb. 1 and $70 after Feb. 1. Speakers will be announced later, organizers said. Chapman said she has attended for six years the California Governor’s Conference on Women and Families. A delegation of 30 or 40 local women is expected to attend the 2005 conference Thursday in Long Beach. “I found that so inspirational. It’s our model,” Chapman said. For Antelope Valley Women’s Conference information, call (661) 951-1717, e-mail [email protected] or visit the Web site at www.avwomensconference.com. Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 [email protected] 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

Commercial farming ‘key to land reform’

first_img14 January 2011The establishment of successful black commercial farmers was key to land reform in South Africa, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson told black and white commercial farmers during a visit to a farm in the Free State province.Farmers such as Pitso Sekhoto, owner of the farm Makolobane Farmers Enterprise, had shown that land reform did work and that black farmers could become successful commercial farmers, Joemat-Pettersson said.The farm in Senekal supplies milk to Woolworths retail stores nationally and also apples to fresh produce markets in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg.Sekhoto employs 34 farm-workers who own a 28 percent shareholding of his farm. During the apple harvest, the farm creates employment by hiring 66 additional workers for a three-month period from January to March.During her visit, Joemat-Pettersson tried her hand at apple harvesting. After placing a few apples in a bag around her shoulder while standing on a ladder, while photographers clicked away, she asked: “How many apples does the man want in the bag?”“Hy moet vol! (It must be full),” a choir of farmers answered almost simultaneously.Joemat-Pettersson commended Sekhoto for giving workers shares in his farming enterprise without approaching the government for “equity money”.“If a black commercial farmer can give 28 percent shares to workers and all farmers do that, we would go far in the country.”The minister also commended Sekhoto’s neighbours and the Senekal community for “being one”.“He is a successful farmer. You do not see him as a black farmer.”Senekal farmer Marius de Jaeger described Joemat-Pettersson’s visit as “informative” and a high point for the region.“She shows interest in farming, and it seems not to be another case of being heard but not seen for farmers.”De Jaeger said farmers also had to make a living, and it seemed that the government realised that there had to be people producing food.“People must be kept on farms; I can do nothing else,” he said, adding that the positive air of the minister’s visit towards agriculture was encouraging.Another local farmer, Jess de Klerk, said the minister’s visit was encouraging, especially her calls for white and black farmers to work together.De Klerk said it was good that the government wanted to stop using the term “emergent farmers” and to talk instead about only farmers.“Pitso is ‘n boer in ons gemeenskap (Pitso is a farmer in our community)”, he said, adding that Sekhoto was an example, not just on the farm, but also in the way he got involved in the community.Sapalast_img read more

Curated Music Playlist: Ultimate Holiday Party

first_img‘Tis the season to party! We’ve curated this playlist with the best royalty free music – the perfect soundtrack to your upbeat holiday project.The time has come to celebrate with friends and family, and our best pop, dance, and chill out producers have risen to the challenge.We’ve got all parts of the party narrative covered. Listen to these tracks and imagine hosting a cozy house party before Christmas, entering a club minutes before the New Year’s countdown, or even starting a drunken singalong with friends.Happy Holidays from PremiumBeat — and keep the music playing all night!last_img read more

Heavy rain batters Haryana, Punjab

first_imgHeavy rain remained unabated in Haryana and Punjab on Sunday causing floods in some parts, while authorities sounded high alert in the two States.In the Yamuna river, water level rose dangerously at the Hathni Kund barrage in Yamuna Nagar.In view of heavy water discharge in the rivers in Haryana, the State government has requested the Armyto be on the standby.Following heavy rains in Aol village of Punjab, three members of a family were killed when the roof of their house collapsed.Eleven people, including four women, have been rescued after they got stuck when the overflowing water of the Beas flooded their village in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.In Uttarakhand, three people were killed and around 22 went missing as heavy rain lashed the State on Sunday, razing houses to ground and uprooting trees, State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC) said.Cloudbursts in Mori block of Uttarkashi district wreaked havoc in several villages, damaging several houses in Arakot, Makuri and Tikochi villages. A woman was also washed away in Dehradun district when her car fell into a seasonal river, they said.Uttarkashi District Magistrate Ashish Chauhan is monitoring the situation while senior administrative and police officials have left for the rain-hit villages.Char Dham Yatra routes are also blocked by debris of landslides at various points affecting the yatra partially, the SEOC said.The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway was blocked at Lambagad and Tangri, the Kedarnath highway at Banswada and Jamu Nursery, Gangotri National Highway at Harshil, Badeti and Helgugad and Yamunotri Highway at Dabarkot, they said.Landslide on the Kailash-Mansarovar route has also affected the pilgrimage with devotees being moved to safer places, the SEOC said.Water recedingIn Rajasthan, water has started receding and there was no flood-like situation anywhere in the State. State government official said forty-nine people have died in rain-related incidents in the State since June 15 and 500 people have been evacuated from the rain-affected areas.last_img read more

Bentley bliss

first_imgThe Mulsanne with its 505 bhp of max power and 1020 Nm of max torque, besides superb road holding, revels in the Scottish Highlands with short straights, gentle curves and breathtaking viewsThere is a fairytale castle in the background on the banks of a long lake surrounded by lush green,The Mulsanne with its 505 bhp of max power and 1020 Nm of max torque, besides superb road holding, revels in the Scottish Highlands with short straights, gentle curves and breathtaking viewsThere is a fairytale castle in the background on the banks of a long lake surrounded by lush green rolling hills. It’s that part of the country where, on a sunny day, the locals tell you that you are blessed because you’re enjoying one of the two sunny days of the season. I am trembling with anticipation. The locals think it’s because the lake behind me is the Loch Ness and I’ve already had nightmares about the creature haunting its depths.The actual reason, though, is quite different. The trembling can be attributed to two incidents, one that has just occurred and the other that is about to. I have just been out for a ride in W. O. Bentley’s personal 8-litre car, the second of the hundred ever built. This was Bentley’s flagship car; the largest, most luxurious and most expensive car made by the marque before it merged with Rolls-Royce back in 1930! And now I am about to set off in the spiritual successor to the original 8-litre: Bentley’s new flagship, the ultramodern Mulsanne.From the banks of the Loch Ness, I am going to drive north to Inverness, the famed setting of Macbeth, and look upon the North Sea before crossing the breadth of Scotland to the western shores at Loch Ewe before returning to the Glen Ord distillery to sample the best known produce of Scotland). The town of Inverness does not quite fit in with its pristine surroundings; it is an ugly jumble of modern buildings juxtaposed with ancient ones, narrow streets and industrial areas. But I have the V8 under the hood of my Mulsanne and over a thousand newton-metres of torque to call upon. I put the power to good use and let the concrete jungle of the capital of the Scottish Highlands disappear behind me. It is perhaps the picture postcard country that Scotland otherwise presents that makes me want to get away from Inverness. If you ignore the looks, it’s a pretty decent city, and ranks in the top 10 in the quality of life index of British cities.By now, I’m climbing the narrow mountain roads which, after a heavy downpour, are glistening in the harsh sun, a ribbon of sunlight upon the bright green Scottish highlands (to misquote the famous British poet who drew his inspiration from the Welsh mountains). Is this all wrong, I wonder.For roads like these, one needs a superagile, fast-accelerating light car that can play the straights, pirouette around the curves and accelerate hard till the next turn. The Mulsanne, on the other hand, is huge and it takes a lot to get the nearly three tonne mass of steel, alloy, fluids and flesh up to speed before bringing it to a near stop for the tight corner.The stateliness of the Mulsanne makes it fit for the driveways of castles such as the Aldourie, on the banks of the Loch NessThe roads all seem to edge valleys with smoothened out hills on either side with a river or lake keeping the road intermittent company. The countryside looks a lot like Austria; only these hills are lower and more rounded and the greens brighter than that seen on the continent. The men working in the countryside are all wearing netting around their faces. I’m told it is to keep at bay the midgets that breed in the hundreds of thousands in summer and cause huge discomfort when they bite.The Mulsanne, meanwhile, is proving to be quite a nimble vehicle, belying its size. It’s as if the jumbo jet has learnt the tricks of an MIG-29 and is intent on showing off to all and sundry. The car gets up to 100 kmph from a standing start in just over five seconds and, though I am yet to look up the dimensions, the ventilated brake discs in the 21-inch wheels seem awfully large. Indeed, they bring the Mulsanne to a complete stop with just a tremor.Agility coupled with nimbleness, which in itself is stunning for a car of such mammoth proportions, is not the only selling point. After all, a Bentley isn’t a Bentley until it is opulent and stately and luxurious as well. The Mulsanne feels like a barrister’s library from the days when wood and leather were the norm in the lair of every successful man. It is sheer opulence on wheels. While my own indulgence is complete as the twin-turbochargers whirr their way to the car’s unmatched performance, my co-passenger-a gentleman from Dubai-revels in the sound of the 20-speaker, 2200-watt Naim Audio music system.We stop for mid-morning coffee at the house of a gentleman who has already made his millions and now indulges his twin passions: riding classic motorcycles in India and philanthropy. His house is situated on the side of a hill which forms part of a bowl made by mountains.The only way to get here is to follow a river up a valley which ends in the bowl. Only a few families live in the neighbourhood and our host’s closest neighbour is a family which made its fortunes from something called Lego. So it’s quite normal for them to have a series of Bentleys drawing up into their driveway and turning their front yard into the most expensive car park in Scotland, perhaps.The interiors are a mix of fine materials and exclusive equipmentOur lunch stop is at The Pool House, an exclusive hotel overlooking the bay which sheltered many allied convoys during the World War II. Run by a family, it caters to authors and artists as well as the occasional pop star or two. I savour the lunch but am the first one to get back into the car. Not because our next destination is the Glen Ord Distillery, whose biggest client is Johnnie Walker, but because I have just been told something amazing: there are no speed limits over the next hundred kilometres or so, because these roads are seldom used.The road hugs the coast for a bit, before turning inland over the Scottish mountains as the Mulsanne gets its wind, proving its mettle as a Bentley and living up to its name, derived from the famous straightaway and village at Le Mans.Glen Ord is one of the finest distilleries in Scotland, offering two types of single malts, one matured in sherry casks and another matured in bourbon ones. After learning how simple it is to make single malts, I think up the distillery that I will set up back in India. And then I am told the secret to the flavour and quality of each of whisky is the water. Each distillery here has its own source of water, which makes each of its malts unique. Dreams die fast.It’s time to head back to Aldourie Castle and this time I am safely tucked into the rear seat. (Of course I prefer the front right seat of cars in the UK, but the fumes of the single malts from the maturing rooms could have found their way into my blood stream and I cannot drink and drive after all.) To my surprise, the rear seat is actually a good place to be in. I see our chauffeur for the evening, the head of PR for Bentley, quietly turning the knob from Sport to Bentley, a setting that most favours the car and I can immediately feel a cushiness in the ride, thanks to the quickreacting, adaptive air suspension.Ensconced in British luxury at its best, single malt fumes swirling around in my head, before I know it, the car is drawing up to the castle and a bagpiper striking up a tune as the village lasses gather in the main hall to welcome back the lord and dance away the evening Stripping the Willow, a Scottish Highland fold dance where couples weave through a line up of other couples. Did I fall asleep?Indeed dozing off is not difficult in the Mulsanne, the ultimate statement on wheels. Of course, if you want just a luxurious statement, you could buy a Rolls-Royce. But then you wouldn’t get the thrills that come with driving an exotic car. For speed, you could put your money on a Bugatti, but that’s not allowed on a regular road, or a Ferrari, which is downright impractical.Although more refined, the engine has the same configuration as the flagship of the 30sTo make a perfect statement, you need a car that has presence, a powerful engine and unparalleled luxury. In keeping with the times, it should be green as well. And last, but definitely not the least, the marque should have heritage. The Mulsanne, which replace the aging Bentley Arnage, therefore, is the perfect statement to make. Well, as perfect as can be in our imperfect world.To create its new-age car, the company decided to use things from its past as the basic building blocks. After all, a large part of a Bentley is the heritage of the marque.The new car looks a trifle slab sided from the front, more like one of the large American cars rather than a British one. What this front does is give the car a mammoth presence that you’d be hard pressed to find in some of the other exotic cars available around the world. The rest of the car is pleasing with smooth flowing lines that are traditional as much as modern, strong haunches and a rear dominated by large exhaust pipes. The shape of the headlamps are reminiscent of the original Bentley 8-litre. Then, large headlamps were needed to increase visibility and help the driver see better in the dark. Now, on the Mulsanne, it is the smaller, lower pair set towards the outside that performs the function of the main headlamps.The cylinders on the Mulsanne engine number eight and have a basic configuration that is the same as the engines built 50 years ago at Crewe. Although the six- and three-quarter litres of displacement may be the same as that of its predecessors, the engine on the Mulsanne houses cutting edge technology. Basically, the engine consumes less fuel depending on the load situation and can even shut down four of its eight cylinders under 2000 rpm so as to be about 5 per cent more fuel efficient overall. And although the car itself is heavy, much like the elephant or hippo of cars, the 1000 Nm of torque can propel it to over 100 kmph in just over five seconds and to a top speed of nearly 300 kmph.The weight comes not so much from the body as from the fixtures and fittings in this luxury liner of cars, because though the main body is of high-grade stainless steel, the doors and the bonnet are made of alloys, in the interest of shaving off some weight. The bootlid, meanwhile, is made from composites and houses the sat nav antennae. Ingenious methods have been used to make the car cutting edge in performance while preserving the Bentley look and keeping technology away from the occupants. For instance, although the car has a keyless entry, the door handles are made of solid stainless steel-providing the feel one would expect from a Bentley.The car is surprisingly easy to drive. Electronics help keep it stable under hard acceleration and the emergency braking that was often required on the drive on the scenic roads near Inverness. advertisementadvertisementadvertisementThe slab-sided front gives the car enormous presence. It is the smaller pair of lights that form the main headlampThe 6.75-litre V8 engine has oodles of power on tap and the eight-speed conventional automatic gearbox works very well on the Mulsanne. The gearshifts are seamless and, with eight ratios, there is no perceptible jerk when they change. And keeping in touch with its sporty nature, the Mulsanne has gearshift paddles on the steering wheel as well.The drive experience is good and the rear seats even better, but what stands out is the earlier mentioned Naim Audio 20-speaker, 2200-watt music system. Even to an untrained pair of ears, it sounds like the best sound quality experienced in a car to date.The Mulsanne’s suspension is adaptive and you can choose between Comfort and Sport and Bentley modes, depending on your requirements or driving style. You can also design your own custom set-up in case you’re not satisfied with the presets on offer. On the move, the loudest noise comes from the tyres on tarmac, and that itself is slight enough for you not to notice.Although people may have mixed opinions on the looks, there is no denying that Bentley has achieved what it set out to do. The Mulsanne is more than a generation ahead of its predecessor, the Arnage, and yet retains the old world charm of the earlier cars with the technology hidden away behind wood and leather. Not surprising then that the production for next year is already sold out and all you can do is join the queue for a car in 2012. SpecificationsEngine: 6752 ccPower: 505 bhp @ 4200 rpmTorque: 1020 Nm @ 1750 rpmTransmission: 8-speed autoTop Speed: 296 kmph6. 0-100kmph: 5.3 secondsLxWxH: 5575 x 2208 x 1521 mmWheelbase: 3266 mmCrewe cutCrewe is a legendary place. Legendary because the engines built here powered a generation of aircraft from the world wars; because its racing teams have won the most difficult and arduous of races; and because its craftsmen painstakingly craft the interiors of Bentleys and pass their skills with wood and leather down from generation to generation. Close to 200 hours of work goes into the making of each Mulsanne interior. Oxen hide for the interiors is sourced from Scandinavia, where the skins are cleanest and have no insect or bite marks. And then there is the customisation. Buyers can pick what materials they want in their car, and the colours they want it in. It is totally possible to make the Bentley entirely your own and not have another like it in anywhere in the world.last_img read more