After all is said and done, it came to one thing: give the former stars a chance to prove themselves. And for three weeks, Team Debbah went through rigorous coaching seminar recently held in Monrovia.Among the participants were the Miracle Man, James Salinsa Debbah, Joe Nagbe, Janjay Jacobs, Kervin Sebwe, Christopher Wreh Oliver Makor, and the legend himself, George Manneh Weah.“It was an incredible experience as these former soccer stars sat through the seminar day after day,” said an eye-witness. The coaches were CAF Elite instructors, Henry Browne and Francis Tamba, assisted by former national Coach J. Kaetu Smith.Among the subjects discussed included the philosophy of coaching or how to turn an ordinary player into a quality footballer. “This was important because a coach must understand how to mold and impart quality knowledge into unsung players,” said an official who was at the program for all the twenty one days.With James Debbah in the lead, the coaches asked many questions and they got answers. It was an interactive discussion as the former soccer stars posed many questions and the elite coaches provided them the required answers.The would-be coaches, in their illustrations, identified certain situations that happened when they were actively playing abroad.“It was a shocking experience as the former super stars who played across Europe examined the information given them,” said another eye-witness.A member of the coaching staff told the Daily Observer yesterday, “We were impressed that these former super stars were brainstorming and drawing up their own conclusions.” He said by allowing them to manage the various national teams as coaches does not mean that all is well with Liberian football.“At least we have begun the process and only time will show us how right our decision is,” he said, “we now have people handling the national teams who have had firsthand experience playing abroad under varied coaches and they are bringing those experiences to help those young players that they would be developing.”That the newly appointed coaches demonstrated rigid determination for a better soccer program in Liberia was the fact that they were able to, during the early interviews conducted by the technical department of the LFA, convince officials why they are the best to lead the change that Liberian football needs presently.“It will be unfair to declare that there will be absolute success to lour football program because we have former players as coaches,” one of the Elite coaches told the Daily Observer, “what we’re doing is we are moving in the right direction with people who can and are able to transform their experiences into our players for a better performance.”The Daily Observer learned that the transformation of former soccer stars into firs class coaches is a process, being developed by the LFA to ensure that there is a pool of players to help the national effort.“The LFA is impressed by the commitment of those appointed,” an official said, “and we hope the general soccer public will support the process to use former players who are able to deal with local and professional players when it is necessary.”The general deportment of the participants, their interactive involvement and the effective manner they provided answers to why they are capable for the job, convinced the LFA that the exercise is worthy.“We are satisfied that all the participating coaches understood the philosophy of the game,” an Elite coach said. “That is fundamental in successful coaching.”The process now continues on December 4, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium at 9a.m. with practical application of the knowledge so far gained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest When someone asks me if buying organic is worth the extra cost, I tell them, “It depends.” To simply issue a blanket statement that organic production is better for the environment and better for you is simply inaccurate, though it is a message regularly touted as gospel by many in the organic industry. But, of course, we all know that “it depends” is a poor marketing ploy.The truth is, though, that “it depends” is a necessity of working with Mother Nature. Every factor of production on every farm (organic or not) has a wide range of complex components that make any claims or consumer-held beliefs that organic food is more nutritious, safer and better for the environment very misleading.Demand for organic production continues to grow. In recent years, organic food sales have risen by double digits annually and organic food revenue has tripled over the past decade to a record $36 billion in 2014. Organic sales are predicted to increase 12% to 15% annually for the next couple of years.With more options to choose from than ever before, which-food-label-is-better-for-my-family type questions are becoming increasingly prevalent. As the growing season starts to take off and the battle for consumer dollars in farmers markets and grocery stores heats up, there will be countless shoppers out there wondering while wandering the aisles: “Is organic really better and worth the extra cost?”Unfortunately it is hard for them to get a straight answer. At the farmers market, the guy selling the non-organic produce tells them his product is the best quality, and it is cheaper. At the next booth over, the organic guys says his is better for the environment and healthier. An Internet search will lead to more of the same. With such muddled facts at their disposal, concerned shoppers can be very tempted to err on the side of organic with the hope that their higher dollar purchase is really what is best for their family. After all, it costs more so it must be better, right?If shoppers are willing to pay more for their food and it benefits the farmer’s bottom line, then that is wonderful. The problem, however, is that amid the muddled information available to them, most consumers I have talked with do not really understand the realities of the differences between organic and non-organic food. They just don’t.How is it that in an era of the expectation of ever-increasing transparency in our food system, consumers (especially those paying more for their organic food) are more confused than ever? Most organic buyers I have talked with have the perception that organic food is more nutritious, safer and better for the environment. Is this true? Well, sort of, maybe, or a flat no depending on the specifics of the farm situation.Every farm I have visited (and I have been to more farms than most) is an intricate balance of working with the realities of Mother Nature and the realities of maintaining a profitable business. Without these two vital components, there is no viable farm. There are inevitable trade-offs between these two often-competing factors that vary widely based on the specifics. A great online resource for science-based answers to food-related questions is: www.bestfoodfacts.org.Weed control, for example, can be done with chemicals, tillage (cultivation), hand weeding or some combination of the three. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of the environment and the economic realities of the farm.Organic production tends to rely more upon tillage and hand weeding, while conventional production typically relies more on chemicals.Tillage leads to carbon release from the soil and dramatically increases the potential for soil erosion and decreases in soil health. Chemical control introduces something synthetic into the environment, but saves fuel consumption and reduces soil erosion from tillage. Hand weeding takes a huge amount of labor, which reduces the viability of the farm. The realities of weed control can be positive or negative for the environment, the farmer, and the consumer depending on the specifics of each individual operation.I have the unique and wonderful opportunity to work with all types of farms. And, honestly, some of my favorites through the years have been organic operations due to the ingenuity, incredible work ethic, dedication to the land, and success in terms of profitability of the operation. But I must say that I have met wonderful people with fantastic, environmentally sound operations of every type, size and scope. I have also seen failed attempts, mistakes and poorly run farms of every type, size and scope.I believe that anyone (organic or non-) who dedicates their life to combining seed and soil or harnessing the lifecycle of livestock to produce something deemed of value by society is participating in a miracle granted to mankind by God. I often get frustrated when we lose sight of this miracle while getting caught up in the mire of politics, marketing battles and opposing PR campaigns within agriculture.It is the responsibility of consumers to do the research (from reputable sources) to understand the details and, I believe, it is the responsibility of those in agriculture to transparently participate in that process. There are many ways to bring a high quality product to the marketplace and all of them have pros and cons. The various combinations of those pros and cons add up to a different value based upon the food purchasing goals of the consumer. So is organic worth the cost? It depends.
The DJI Phantom 4 (priced at $1399) has more built-in cameras and sensors, twice as many as the previous Phantom 3. Not only do these advanced electronics help avoid obstacles, they keep the Phantom 4 absolutely still when holding its position.The new magensium core makes the Phantom 4 a stronger, more rigid drone without compromising weight. The new shell is more aerodynamic, allowing you to cut through the sky. The weight and flight advancements have allowed DJI to increase the Phantom’s flight time to an average of 28 minutes. That’s 25% longer than the Phantom 3.The new Phantom 4 camera features 4K video up to 30fps and 1080p up to 120fps. The aspherical lens offers a 94-degree field of view, reduces distortion by 36% and chromatic aberration by 56% versus the Phantom 3. The shorter hyperfocal length will allow you to get closer to an object and keep them in focus.TapFlyImage via DJI The DJI Phantom 4 doesn’t even require the pilot to use the sticks on the radio controller anymore. In its simplest TapFly mode, you can just tap on your tablet and the Phantom 4 does everything for you.Want to fly between some trees, but you’re not confident in your piloting skills? Just open the live video feed, double tap a location on your tablet, and the Phantom 4 will start flying autonomously. The new Obstacle Sensing System will maneuver the Phantom 4 on its own, avoiding people, trees, buildings, etc. The new DJI Phantom 4 drone almost flies itself. Take a closer look at the the fastest and smartest Phantom yet.Top image via DJIThe leader in drone production, DJI, has packaged many of their best features (and those of competitors) into a new ultimate aircraft. If you are a beginner, this drone is perfect for you. If you are an advanced pilot, this drone still makes you want to reach for your wallet. Let’s take a look at the newest features. Image via DJIThe Verge got to talk to the DJI Phantom 4 development team about many of the latest features.It’s the first consumer unit that can see the world around it and adjust accordingly, the next big step towards a truly autonomous aircraft. Try and drive it into a wall, the Phantom 4 will put on the brakes. If you ask it to fly from your position to a spot across a river, and there is a bridge in between, it will make a judgement call: increase speed to clear the obstacle or, if that isn’t possible, stop and hover in place, awaiting your next command.The Phantom 4 accomplishes this feat with the help of five cameras: two on the front and two on the bottom, plus the main 4K camera that has always been onboard to capture video. The images captured by these cameras are run through computer vision software which constructs a 3D model of the world around it that the drone can intelligently navigate. Sport ModeSport Mode gives the Phantom 4 incredibly responsive controls. Using the controller, easily speed through the air and maneuver your craft with ease. The built-in gimbal and new battery are positioned near the aircraft’s center of gravity, offering more precise movements. The new raise motors increase torque, and offer a more reliable flight control and safer flight at high speeds. ActiveTrackImage via DJIThe new ActiveTrack feature allows the Phantom 4 to track a subject automatically. With your tablet, trace around the subject you want to keep in frame. The onboard computer then builds a 3D model of the subject and begins following immediately.You can then use the remote controller to make small adjustments to the focus, framing, or camera settings. The Phantom 4 perfectly executes a 360-degree orbit with this new feature. Set the ActiveTrack border around your subject, and then just throttle the stick to the left or right. For more specs and more info, check out the Phantom 4 page on DJI’s website.
A stakeholder working group has been formed in the St. Catherine North Police Division in an effort to sustain the positive results of the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) in the area.The group, comprising members of the security forces, political representatives, business leaders, community leaders and the church, was formed at a meeting of stakeholders organised by the joint security forces with responsibility for the SOPE.The meeting, which took place at the Church of God of Prophecy Convention Centre on Old Harbour Road on Thursday evening (April 12), was held to facilitate discussion and collaboration among the various interests within the division on a plan to maintain the gains once the SOPE ends.Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Clifford Blake, who was the main presenter, implored persons to participate in the discussions with solutions in mind to improve the division’s outlook. He noted that while the gains of the SOPE were good, the security operations could not and would not last forever.He reiterated that sustainable peace needed to be maintained and that the next two months were critical in arriving at solutions to achieve this. “We want to leave here this afternoon with a working group and a resolve that the security forces, politicians, members of the business community and all of us combined are going to work together to sustain peace, not only in St. Catherine North but in Jamaica,” he said.“While the security forces take the lead to sustain and keep the peace, building the peace is everyone’s responsibility,” DCP Blake noted further.He said he was pleased with the afternoon’s turnout and indicated that there were sufficient persons present “to start a good thing”.For his part, Commanding Officer of the St. Catherine North Division, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Beau Rigabie, welcomed the group and expressed confidence that it would arrive at some workable ideas on how to sustain the positive results that have, so far, been achieved.“The concept that I would want them to embrace is to look calculatedly at the nuances that affect the division. We would also want them to look at whatever measures they think can create the avenue for change,” he said.SSP Rigabie pointed out that much of the gang-related crime in the division is driven by extortion and that when that source of revenue is removed, it would leave a void that needs to be filled with legal sources of income.“I want them to look also at the various agencies that can come in and give alternatives to these persons, because whilst we remove one avenue of revenue, there will be the need to replace it. So, I am hoping that this committee will be looking towards the various alternatives to the revenue that they normally have,” he said. The SOPE in the St. Catherine North Division began on March 18 for an initial two weeks. It has since been extended to July. Story Highlights The meeting, which took place at the Church of God of Prophecy Convention Centre on Old Harbour Road on Thursday evening (April 12), was held to facilitate discussion and collaboration among the various interests within the division on a plan to maintain the gains once the SOPE ends. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Clifford Blake, who was the main presenter, implored persons to participate in the discussions with solutions in mind to improve the division’s outlook. He noted that while the gains of the SOPE were good, the security operations could not and would not last forever. A stakeholder working group has been formed in the St. Catherine North Police Division in an effort to sustain the positive results of the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) in the area.