first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare We hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?IS IT TRUE according to At-Large Evansville Councilmen and Finance Chairmen, Jonathon Weaver it looks like members of the Winnecke Administration kept the Evansville City Council in the dark by withholding material information prior to a vote that commits ECHO Housing Corporation money that the City is supposed to be providing financial stewardship over?IS IT TRUE the first time this happened was when members of the Winnecke Administration snuck Earthcare Energy LLC a $200,000 advance against and anticipated $4M gift that they hoped the City Council would okay?…in that particular case the wheels fell off the bus when the whiz bang contraption that some of the technical dimwits did not understand turned out to be junk science and Earthcare Energy LLC couldn’t produce a patent that they claimed to have had?…the advance payment was hidden from the City Council and all looked like fools by the time the taxpayers of Evansville had been fleeced for $200,000?IS IT TRUE this time members of the Winnecke Administration kept the facts about a quiet investigation of an alleged theft at Echo Housing a secret before City Council voted to approve a $400,000 plus funding request?…Councilman and Finance Chairmen Jonathan Weaver and 5th Ward Council member Justin Elpers are baring their political fangs and threatening to withhold all future support for Echo Housing and part of the reason for this manic disappointment is that fact that they got the wool pulled over their eyes again?IS IT TRUE that an Echo Housing Board member has now responded to the claims by the Evansville Police Department that the board of directors was not cooperating with law enforcement to investigate the alleged theft?…the response basically claims that they have always cooperated with the EPD and never resisted an investigation?…the also acknowledge that they are required to have an annual audit conducted by an outside CPA firm and that the audit is available at Guidestars which is a non-profit information clearing house?…we suspect this audit and past ones will be dissected thoroughly in the coming weeks?…with funding from federal, state and local government plus plenty of philanthropic dollars, Echo had better have their act together or something that smells is going to hit the fan?IS IT TRUE a recent grant application submitted to the City of Evansville listed the current Board of Director members of the Echo Housing Corporation? …the names listed on the grant application were: Roy Dane Chandler of Banterra Bank-Evansville, Reverend Gerald Arnold, President of the local NAACP, Tom Moore, Director of the Vectren Foundation and former EHCO Housing Executive Director, Stephenie TenBarge?  …we are amazed to find out that no one knows who appointed the above individuals to the current ECHO Board of Directors?  …one thing we do know for certain is that many people feel that above individuals have not been good stewards of the public trust and should be immediately replaced with new board members?IS IT TRUE that a groundbreaking has now occurred for a downtown Hyatt Place hotel that is being completely financed by private money?…this hotel will have 139 rooms and is expected to cost $18 Million which is less than the City of Evansville gave away to subsidize the downtown Doubletree Hotel?…years ago the City-County Observer opined that the IU Medical School would attract hotels without a handout and that just came true?…one can only imagine what could have been done with the $20 million plus in subsidies paid to the Doubletree owners to put a hotel in downtown Evansville?…patience could have saved all of that money?…neither the Weinzapfel or Winnecke Administrations have been known for  good financial judgement when it comes to city subsized capital projects?IS IT TRUE that the University of Evansville seems to have pulled off a coup de tats to hire Walter McCarty away from the Boston Celtics to coach the Purple Aces?…according to Celebrity Net Worth, Walter has a net worth of over $10 Million and earned a good living when he played in the NBA?…Walt is a great example of a hometown boy who did very well and we are glad to see him coming home to give back to his hometown?…we are pretty sure that McCarty is not getting NBA dollars from UE since they have consistently been the lowest paying college in the Missouri Valley Conference?…if Walter can win 25 games a year and get the attendance at home games back up to 10,000 per game he will be worthy of a 7 figure salary from UE and we hope he earns it?Todays “Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that the current ECHO Housing board members were not good stewards of the public trust and should be immediately replaced?Please take time and read our articles entitled “Statehouse Files, Channel 44 News, Law Enforcement, Readers Poll, Birthdays, Hot Jobs and “Local Sports.” You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us [email protected]last_img read more

‘It’s fun!’: Underrated TVRI becomes students’ favorite during stay-at-home orders

first_imgMore than 45 million Indonesians students are holed up at home for the rest of the academic year, as schools close to curb the spread of the COVID-19 disease.Much like the rest of the world, these children face some of the longest no-school days in history, without much certainty of when it all will end.Some schools in big cities are blessed with better access to technology, allowing them to shift to doing schoolwork online during the quarantine. But most students, especially those who live in rural areas or come from low-income families, are stuck in limbo; some struggle with slow internet, while others can’t even afford it. But a new educational program airing on public broadcaster TVRI might provide a good opportunity for more students across the archipelago to do their schoolwork from home.On Thursday morning at around 7:30 a.m., cousins Bagus, 8, and Nail, 11, are already glued to the television set in their room in Cipete, South Jakarta, while devouring a bowl of warm chicken porridge for breakfast. It has been around a month since their school has closed down, but these days, they still have a reason to wake up early.Read also: Studying from home: Seven online learning platforms for studentsThat morning, they showered early and got ready to study.While their mothers, who work as housemaids, had already gone to do morning chores at their employers’ house, the two children were settled in front of the TV with books and pencils in hand. TVRI was on.Bagus shifted closer to the TV when the program Belajar dari Rumah (Study From Home) started airing at 8.30 a.m. Pak Ridwan, a teacher for grades 1 and 3 who instructed them that day, popped up on-screen wearing traditional Betawi clothes.He said it was math class that day. Soon, colorful triangular animations began outlining real-life objects on the screen.Bagus correctly guessed several names of objects that Pak Ridwan pointed at enthusiastically.“It’s fun! I like studying from TVRI. And there are cartoons, too,” he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.Before Belajar dari Rumah aired, Bagus’ teachers at school would send schoolwork over through his mother’s WhatsApp chats and ask him to snap pictures of the finished task to send back. Once in a while, they would have video conferences with other classmates and teachers.The program had brought some much-needed color into the monotony of their quarantine study routine.“After I finish watching, the program gives us tasks. I will finish it right away and send it to my teacher,” Bagus said. The teacher will then check his work and they will discuss it via WhatsApp.The Belajar dari Rumah program, which began airing on Mondays to give students a change of pace during the COVID-19 quarantine, is the brainchild of the Education and Culture Ministry and is welcomed by many parents and children alike.The program features 30-minute blocks on a certain school lesson for different levels of instruction, beginning at 8 a.m. and finishing at 11 a.m. from Monday to Friday.It covers six groups of instructional levels: kindergarten, grades 1-3, grades 4-6, junior high school, senior high school and a program for parents and teachers.Read also: COVID-19: Central Java students demand ‘creativity’ amid boredom of remote studyingFelicia Lia Oktora, 42, a mother of two from Serpong, South Tangerang, Banten, said her children were also excited about the program. It was the first time they had watched TVRI, having mostly relied on western TV or DVDs for learning activities at home.“They miss school, their friends and teachers […] but they are really excited about studying from home because they can wear their everyday clothes and watch while enjoying breakfast,” Lia told the Post on Thursday.She hopes it will continue beyond the pandemic.The ministry recently announced that the program would air for three months until July.“Belajar dari Rumah is an effort […] to provide education for all during these COVID-19 emergency days,” Education Minister Nadiem Makarim said recently.However, some regions were still unaware that such programs were airing. Cicilia Mamman, a senior high school teacher from Nabire, Papua, said she did not get any information from the local education agency.“We are still struggling to study every day because we generally still use WhatsApp groups and we cannot track all of our students as some of them don’t have smartphones,” she said.“We also can’t do any video-conferencing because of the poor internet reception here.”TVRI acting president director Supriyono said the broadcaster made sure the program aired on 29 local TVRI stations across the country.With the largest coverage nationally, the station can reach more than 78 percent of the Indonesian population — three times higher than any private TV channels.”This is the time for us to once again become the public’s television station, serving students in this emergency situation. Not every household has money or the conditions to provide a stable internet connection,” he told the Post on Thursday.A study from the Indonesian Internet Providers Association shows that 64.8 percent of the total population of 264 million Indonesians were connected to the internet in 2018.The Indonesian Teacher Unions Federation (FSGI) applauded the government’s decision to launch the educational TV program. FSGI deputy secretary-general Satriwan Salim said it would hopefully help students in remote areas that have difficulty with distance learning.“But we have to remember this is only a supplementary material; this is not the main source of learning for students. Teachers must also prepare various materials for students […] Don’t make too many assignments that end up weighing on them,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19: ‘Mudik’ ban catches travelers flat-footed

first_imgIn East Java – another province hit hard by the virus, with at least 785 confirmed cases – the provincial administration has set up eight checkpoints to monitor people who leave or enter the province.Seven checkpoints have been established along its western border with Central Java, located in Tuban, Bojonegoro, Ngawi, Magetan, Ponorogo, Pacitan and in a toll road in Mantingan district, Ngawi. On its eastern border, a checkpoint has been set set up at Ketapang Port in Banyuwangi regency, the main access point to East Java from the neighboring island of Bali. East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa, however, said the checkpoints were not aimed at preventing people from participating in mudik, but to check people’s travel documents, body temperature, and to make sure they obeyed the physical distancing policy during their journey.  In Surabaya, East Java, a husband and wife were stranded at Juanda International Airport on Friday following the suspension of domestic and overseas flights – commercial and chartered – from and to airports managed by Angkasa Pura I.”I already bought the tickets, but I just recently found out about the ban. My wife and I don’t know what to do as we couldn’t fly home,” Andro Liem, a resident of Batam, Riau province, said on Friday as quoted by Tribunnews. The couple, who came to East Java for business matters, were offered a refund or reschedule by the airlines. However, with no relatives in East Java, both are anxious about the financial cost of staying longer in the province.”I have a 10-month-old child at home in Batam. I will be very worried if I can’t go home. The regulation to curb COVID-19 shouldn’t be like this,” Andro Liem’s wife, who refused to be identified, said.In East Kotawaringin, Central Kalimantan, some travelers were surprised to find that all commercial voyages to and from Sampit Port had been stopped.”I thought the mudik ban would be implemented later,” said Yogi, a resident of Temanggung, Central Java, as quoted by Antara news agency.Yogi said he arrived in East Kotawaringin two months ago for business matters and had planned to come back to his hometown for Idul Fitri. The father of two now has to spend Ramadan and Idul Fitri away from his family as Sampit Airport has been closed as well.In Bali, however, some West Nusa Tenggara residents were allowed to leave the province via Padangbai Port and return to their hometowns, under certain conditions.”West Nusa Tenggara residents with ID who have been terminated from their jobs and have nowhere else to go are still permitted to come back to West Nusa Tenggara,” Padangbai Port Authority head Ni Luh Putu Eka Suyasmin said on Saturday as quoted by Antara News Agency.Annually, some 20 million people from Greater Jakarta travel to their hometowns to celebrate Idul Fitri with their families.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo earlier announced his decision to ban mudik after reviewing a Transportation Ministry survey showing that 24 percent of respondents had plans to travel home.The same survey indicated that around 7 percent of respondents had already left on mudik trips.Asip Hasani contributed to the article from Blitar, East Java.Topics : Thousands of travelers across the country have been stopped, turned back, or otherwise stranded as the government’s mudik (Idul Fitri exodus) ban comes into effect. The Transportation Ministry restricted all passenger travel starting on Friday as the government attempts to prevent citizens from participating in mudik to curb the spread of COVID-19.Within the first five hours after the Transportation Ministry’s travel restrictions were officially enacted, the Jakarta Police had stopped over 1,000 motorists attempting to leave Greater Jakarta. “From 12 a.m to 5 a.m, a total of 1,181 motorists were asked to turn around,” Jakarta Police traffic director Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo Yogo said in a written statement on Friday.Some 498 motorists were stopped at the Bitung tollgate heading toward Merak, Banten, while 683 motorists were stopped at the Cikarang tollgate heading toward West Java.Sambodo said vehicle checkpoints had been set up in 18 posts around Jakarta’s border and that police would start issuing fines to motorists who persisted in trying to leave the city starting on May 8.Jakarta is considered the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, with at least 3,798 confirmed cases and 353 deaths as of Sunday. last_img read more