first_imgLetterkenny showjumper Shannon Ramsey was crowned Ulster Region League 1.10m Champion this weekend in Cavan. Shannon was up against some of the top showjumpers in Ireland and internationally, but they were no match for the 17-year-old. She was riding her gelding Bracken, show name Brown Bollybawn King.Shannon is no stranger to Ulster shows, coming first place four times before. She was placed in five other shows. Bracken is a 17hn sport horse. His dam is a National Hunt mare. His sire, Flagmount King, was an Irish Draught.Shannon is beginning her Leaving Certificate year at Errigal College Letterkenny. She is the daughter of Joe and Jean Ramsey.Shannon is committing to her studies this year, so Bracken is now for sale. Anybody interested can contact Joe Ramsey at 0863495387.SHOWJUMPER SHANNON IS ULSTER REGION LEAGUE 1.10m CHAMPION was last modified: September 5th, 2013 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:shannon ramseyShowjumpinglast_img read more

Buncrana Tidy Towns shares fruits of labour with local autism centre

first_imgParent-run autism support organisation iCARE received a €700 donation cheque from Buncrana Tidy Towns after a fruitful apple selling fundraiser.Each year Buncrana Tidy Towns volunteers pick and sell apples to raise money for local charities. 2017 has been a bumper year with a grand total of €700 collected and donated to the autism support organisation iCARE and Sonas Youth Club.Buncrana Tidy Towns Volunteers apple stall at the Town Clock, Buncrana Main Street.Buncrana Tidy Towns Spokesperson Sinéad Ní Bhroin said: “We are incredibly grateful to the local community for donating their apples to this worthwhile endeavour by Buncrana Tidy Towns to raise money for local charities. “Our volunteers pick the apples and then sell them at the Town Clock on the Main Street in Buncrana throughout September and October. This year we even supplied some great homemade recipes and Rosemary Butler kindly donated homemade apple jam and chutney to the stall.“iCARE and Sonas Youth Club make a real and valuable difference to the children and young people with autism who rely on their services. In addition to the various supports and care they provide for the children and young people iCare have provided training for parents, support mornings and daily respite. We are in awe of all that iCARE do and are delighted to support the work they do with this donation.”Buncrana Tidy Towns volunteers Karl and Dolores presenting iCare with €700 donation cheque.Buncrana Tidy Towns shares fruits of labour with local autism centre was last modified: November 13th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:autismBuncrana Tidy TownsiCAREsonaslast_img read more

Annual Letterkenny Busking Festival to take place next week

first_imgIt’s less than two weeks until the Letterkenny Busking Festival takes place, along Letterkenny’s Main Street on Saturday the 25th of August.Now in its fourth year,  this year’s event is set to be really competitive and entertaining. Entries are rolling in for the annual affair but there’s still time to register.If you’re a group, musician, street entertainer or performer of any type, you could be in with a chance of winning amazing cash prices from the €1000 prize fund. On the day, Saturday 25th all entrants will be allocated a slot and will perform from 11am to 2pm and the judges will anonymously critique all the performers and choose their winners.(Via Letterkenny Chamber) Leonard Watson, President of Letterkenny Chamber, said: “Bringing music on to the street on a Saturday afternoon always brings a feel-good atmosphere, especially in the summer.  With the prize fund on offer we know we’ll have a high standard of acts and we encourage everyone to come out and support the buskers on the day and maybe even join in”. This year a special guest will announce the winners at the Shack at The Brewery Bar and the winning act will have the chance to perform there afterwards. Everyone is welcome to join us for refreshments and entertainment at the Shack.“ShopLK is all about enjoying the best shopping experience in Letterkenny and we want our regular customers and visitors to the town to really enjoy what Letterkenny has to offer,” Watson said. “This type of event that is funded through the Retail Promotion initiative from Donegal County Council makes happy shoppers and creates a real buzz and we know there will be tight competition for the top spot.”To pre-register for the competition and get more information on the rules and competition format, check out our Facebook page at alternatively email Annual Letterkenny Busking Festival to take place next week was last modified: August 14th, 2018 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:buskingEntertainmentletterkennylast_img read more

Sitole brings adventure to education

first_imgAdventurer Monde Sitole pictured here on Mount Everest. Sitole is combining adventure with education to provide world-class education. (Images: Monde Sitole Facebook page)South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) or Vision 2030 makes provision for quality basic education for all, but it is always better when individuals or corporates get involved too.Monde Sitole, an adventurer and social entrepreneur, is doing just that. He started the Monde Sitole Educational Strategies Foundation to develop a culture of achievement and excellence by promoting an impactful, meaningful, comprehensive, holistic, world-class education and training system that is engaging and integrated.“Innovation and ingenuity are the missing links needed to inject life into today’s education and for youth to spearhead solutions towards solving our many troubles and challenges we face as country,” he said. “Serious change needs to take place in order to produce the quality of individuals needed to lead our country forward.”Sitole grew up in East London but his foundation is based in Khayelitsha, in Cape Town. Through it, he is fighting to get some of the country’s 700 000 children back into the classroom.Sitole is also a Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School. The organisation and its network of ambassadors do grassroots education work in 85 countries.BECOMING AN ADVENTURERHe did not set out to become an adventurer but, as he puts, it “one thing led to another”.“I have always said that there is no formula to how I’ve turned out. One thing led to another and it’s evident of the fact that when you aspire and prepare well and always avail yourself to opportunities they will come.“I first got an opportunity via Cape Wind Jammers Sailing Trust to join the first Africans to attend school on board a tall ship on a voyage from Cape Town to Bermuda via St Helena, Ascension Island, Fernando Island, Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago.“It was on that trip that a friend introduced me to bouldering. After returning from the voyage I was chosen to take part in the Mike Horn Young Explorers Camp in Switzerland, where I was further engrossed in high altitude mountaineering and responsible exploring,” he said.“After that I set off on my very own expedition to scale the highest peaks on each continent, which I succeeded with climbing Kilimanjaro twice; Mount Elbrus, the highest in Europe; Mount Denali in Alaska, the highest in North America; and now I am prepping for Mount Everest without bottled oxygen.”BECOMING A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURThe vision to make society a better place for all prompted Sitole to become a social entrepreneur.“I realised that if we were to make relevant, meaningful and core strides towards impacting and developing our country and Africa, we needed to have genuine interests and part of that is approaching all the challenges we face with urgency.”East London-born Sitole believes preparation and making himself available to life’s opportunities made him the adventurer he is today. He is hoping to pass on these same lessons at his educational foundation. WHAT HIS FOUNDATION NEEDSSitole’s foundation is in need of young volunteers and workshop space. “We host a series of educational and innovation showcases for the public because our other goal is to create a relationship between school and community,” he said. “As Africans say, a child is raised by a whole village.”Its next school showcase will include the future of education and learning institutions.“We will have exhibitions and stands of youth pioneers, innovators and inventors, for example: Thato of Repurpose Schoolbags; Shalton Mothwa of Epoch Microchips, who invented a charging laptop bag; and Ludwich Marishane of dry bath, to name just a few,” said Sitole.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part in developing South Africa and its citizens? If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Gov. DeWine outlines H2Ohio water quality initiative

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio Governor Mike DeWine outlined his H2Ohio water quality initiative, which he is introducing as part of his proposed budget for the 2020-2021 biennium.“Water is vital to everyone, yet communities throughout the state face real and different challenges, such as algae blooms, failing septic tanks, nutrient pollution, and threats of lead contamination,” Governor DeWine said. “We cannot continue to lurch from water crisis to water crisis. I am proposing an H2Ohio initiative that would allow us to invest in targeted, long-term solutions to ensure safe and clean water across the state of Ohio.”During an event in Toledo, Governor DeWine announced that his proposal would create a special H2Ohio Fund that would be used to protect Ohio’s water quality over 10 years and could amount to approximately $900 million.“Rather than borrowing to pay to fix our water problems, we want to create a special account, where we can deposit funds to be used specifically for water quality across Ohio,” Gov. DeWine said. “We believe that this is a responsible approach to address a critically important issue.”H2Ohio funding would be used for water programs across the state, including for Lake Erie and other rivers, lakes, and waterways in Ohio, for efforts such as:Prevention and land-based management programs, such as funding efforts to minimize the introduction of nutrients and other runoff into Ohio waterways, additional staffing at soil and water conservation districts, and more aggressive action to address failing septic systems and other water treatment needs across Ohio.Water-based restoration programs, such as the creation of more wetlands in targeted areas to naturally filter out nutrients and sediment and utilizing emerging technologies to minimize water quality problems and treat polluted water.Science, research, and measurement, such as supporting ongoing research and data collection to advise on metrics and measurable goals, and to stay updated on and utilize new prevention and treatment technologies.“We are so excited to be a part of it,” said Dorothy Pelanda, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “This is going to provide resources to every county in Ohio and we’ve been working hard with ODNR and EPA to consider what farmers need most across the state in terms of help from our state to move forward with their own initiatives to help with water quality.”The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is supportive of the effort.“The Governor’s approach to water quality is refreshing for Ohio agriculture,” said Adam Sharp, OFBF executive vice president. “The H2Ohio initiative and its extensive resources shows an understanding of the complexities that come with this issue. This funding is a great example of how this governor is fully committed to work with farmers throughout the state toward the common goal of clean water. We look forward to working with the administration as the initiative moves forward.”last_img read more

Urban Rustic: The Cedar Siding Is Here — Let’s Burn It

first_imgTools for the jobAs far as the tools involved, the “Inferno” torch — available through and at our local Home Depot — proved to be a real workhorse.We were planning to use the typical 40 lb. propane tank that’s used for grilling. Fortunately, my wife was smart enough to look around online for us, and she found 100 lb. tanks instead. They have worked out great — no trips to a big box store for refills on the smaller tanks. And by buying the gas in bulk, we’ve saved some money as well.You can follow the level of the tank by looking for condensation. The only downside to these larger tanks is once they hit this level, about 1/4 full, pressure drops significantly, so it takes twice as long to burn a board.The Inferno comes with a 10-foot hose. That works okay, but we bought a 25-foot extension hose on Amazon that definitely makes life easier by allowing you to get farther away from the tank for a wider range of motion. If you decide to use an extension hose, you’ll need the correct sealant to make proper sealed connections. (We used RectorSeal T Plus 2.) If you’re lucky, someone in the tool repair section of your local hardware store will do this for you.Buy a pair of welding gloves.In terms of safety, in addition to a pair of sunglasses or construction safety glasses, proper hearing protection is a must. If you’re doing just one or two boards, the noise level of the torch isn’t a big deal. However, if you plan to do dozens of boards at one time, we would definitely recommend some kind of hearing protection. The torch is undeniably loud. (We’re lucky we have patient, forgiving neighbors.)Welding gloves also have been a real help. On windy days, the boards tend to stay lit longer, but it’s easy to just pat or rub out the small areas of flame with the welding gloves. And they’re a must for moving the boards around right after charring. We found ours in Home Depot’s tool department.We also keep a couple of 5-gallon buckets around, partially filled with water, so it would be easy to toss it at someone who’s just burst into flames. (Let’s hope this never happens.)In addition, we have a 6-foot step ladder set up as a station to hold the torch when not in use, and it’s a convenient spot to drape a garden hose with a nice spray nozzle, so it’s in easy reach if something should go wrong. We also occasionally spray down the concrete, hoping this discourages any stray embers from landing and then floating away to ignite something in the surrounding area.To be honest, the only time I got myself in trouble was when the 100 lb. tank was 1/4 full and the pressure had dropped. Normally, we barely have gas running through the hose and coming out of the torch because the boost switch on the torch is so effective. Because of the pressure drop, I turned up more gas, hoping it would counteract the loss of pressure, but instead I just managed to catch my jeans on fire at the knee (momentarily, thanks to a handy 5-gallon bucket of water). I was extremely lucky, and lesson definitely learned.Right as the sun is going down is the most exciting time to burn — the flame becomes vivid, and it’s really fun to watch as it dances across the surface of the board.The 1x material, whether 1×6 or 1×8, takes longer to burn since we found it impossible to get the face and the edge all in one pass. You can definitely pick up more of a rhythm with the 1×6 tongue-and-groove boards. And we haven’t gone for a gator appearance on the back (smooth side) of each board, instead going for a lighter char, which also helps to speed things up for each board. Looking for a range of char levelsMost of the siding will be 1×6 tongue-and-groove. The remaining 1x material will be for areas of trim.Once charred, the wood can be installed immediately, or, as we’ve chosen to do, treated with oil. After experimenting a little back in 2015, applying an oil finish seems to bind the char to the wood better than leaving it just “as is” (regardless if the level of char is light or heavy).Also, if you don’t oil, then the surface remains like a charcoal briquet, so any time it’s touched some of the char will rub off — just imagine the reaction of friends or family the first time someone leans against the siding, or if you have kids running around and they touch the char. It could be a real mess.In addition, if you choose not to oil, then every time the charred wood is cut during installation, black dust will go flying. (Whoever does the installation will not be pleased when their hands, bodies, and lungs are covered in a layer of fine soot — picture a 19th century Welsh coal miner.)So for durability, looks, and ease of installation, we’ve decided to take the extra step of oiling each piece as well. (More about this process in our next post at GBA).Charred wood can take on silvery tones (see Image #2, below). There is a range in the level of char we want to achieve. While most boards will have the gator finish, much lighter boards will be part of the mix as well. We think this will make for a more interesting overall look, but it also takes the pressure off, slightly, if you have more than one person doing the charring. (Each person will have a slightly different definition of “gator.”)We’re also curious to see how the lighter boards will age with time: Will the lighter undertones of raw cedar turn gray and blend nicely with the char? Or will the natural color, peeking through the black surface, stick around longer than we think? RELATED ARTICLES The charred wood will also be unappetizing to insects or rodents, and once covered in its attractive black armor, the surface can face decades of sun and rain (80-100 years is the usual claim for its longevity) with little or no maintenance, apart from an occasional fresh coat of oil (every 15 years or so?).Our wall assembly will utilize a fairly substantial rainscreen, meaning there will be significant air movement behind the siding, so one could argue it should be unnecessary to char the back of each piece, but we’ve chosen to do so for the added peace of mind (and not a really significant amount of additional time — and the charring is fun to do anyway).For cut ends and mitered joints, we will use tung oil to help seal these areas (similar to painted wood siding that gets a swipe of oil based primer in these same spots just before installation). BLOGS BY ERIC WHETZEL An Introduction to a New Passive House Project Editor’s note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The first blog in his series was called An Introduction to a New Passive House Project. For more details, see Eric’s blog, Kimchi & Kraut.center_img NEXT: Finishing the cedar Siding ChoicesAll About RainscreensShou sugi ban: Siding and Soffits at the Blue Heron EcoHausShou sugi ban: Zip Sheathing TipsShou sugi ban: Prescott Passive House How much does it cost, and how long does it take?For our single story, just under 1,700-square-foot house (outside dimensions), with an attached two-car garage, these are how our numbers break down:Time to burn (per board): about 1-2 minutes a side.In 6-8 hours, 40-80 boards is realistic (depends on level of char, and if it’s 1x or T&G).Total time to burn all the boards we should need: ±80 hours.For torch, hearing protection, welding gloves, extension hose: $100-$150.Per 100 lb. tank: $80-90 (8 total tanks to finish).1x2s, or similar material, for stacking the completed boards: $100-$200.#3 or better Cedar (1×6 T&G, 1×6, and 1×8): approx. $8,000-$10,000.Keep in mind, this doesn’t include the time or expense required to oil each board (again, more on that later).One final, additional challenge was getting quality boards.Our first order of cedar, via a big box store, came from Mary’s River. (They’ve either gone out of business, or their manufacturing plant burned down — depends on who you ask.) Their rate of waste was about 10%-15%, so not bad at all. It felt like I had to go looking for bad boards (boards bending to the left or right at the end, U-shaped from the middle, broken or missing tongues/grooves, or cracked/split boards).In subsequent orders, with a company called Tri-Pro, the rate of waste was about 40%. Luckily, the big box stores are okay with returns; nevertheless this gets frustrating. And even with the big box stores themselves, there can be significant differences in quality from one location to another. Our first couple of orders were poorly packed and just wrong. Then, after going to a second location to order, we got a neatly packed pallet that had been protected by plywood.I can’t tell you whether the person (or persons) who put this specific pallet together actually enjoys their job, but what I know for sure is that they cared enough to do it right. Unfortunately, this level of quality and pride in workmanship is exceedingly rare — anywhere, in any occupation — so when you see it, it can’t help but stand out and grab your attention. For our siding, we’re using an old Japanese technique for preserving wood called shou sugi ban (a.k.a. charred cedar — although any number of species of wood could work).There’s some flexibility in exactly how it’s done, and there are various looks that can be achieved. We’re going for mostly a “gator” finish, meaning the cedar will have an alligator skin-like appearance. This is considered a heavy burn.An alternative way of doing it would be to “gator” it first with fire, then scrape the excess char off, leaving behind a smoother, lighter, but still charred and protected finish. (Here’s a link to a video showing the difference between the dry and wet brush process.)There are companies in the U.S. that are exploring the limits of what can be done with shou sugi ban, including the use of various species of wood, a range of options in the level of char, and potential areas for its installation. These companies include Delta Millworks in Texas and the reSAWN Timber Company in Pennsylvania.Either way, the char doesn’t go very deep into the wood, and it doesn’t have to in order to be effective — either for looks or durability.For instance, once the wood has been charred, it will be fire-resistant. The charred surface actually protects the wood from further burning. I had to see this to believe it, but if you char a piece and then hold the torch in one spot it really does resist burning. (You can eventually reduce the wood to ash, but it takes a surprisingly long time.)last_img read more

Planning for your Child’s Special Needs: Animal Therapy

first_img Image is provided by blog writer: Lakshmi Mahadevan and is of her therapy dog. This image was purchased by MFLNMC from under member ID 8085767. Return to article. Long DescriptionWritten by: Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension ServiceIt is well-known that well-behaved pets such as cats, dogs and rabbits provide comfort, reduce stress and help alleviate depression among individuals. The principle benefits of animal therapy however are also particularly applicable to children with special needs and disabilities. For instance, animal therapy aids children with disabilities by:Establishing a safe and social environment in which children can practice verbal interactions with animals.Delivering tactile stimulation through touching, petting, hugging and stroking an animal.Offering physical therapy by brushing, giving a bath, or measuring out food for pets at home.Allowing for access to someone to “trust” and a friend.Supplying an object of responsibility that needs to be cared for thus encouraging well-being skills such as daily hygiene, recognizing signs of distress or illness, taking medicine, providing first aid, being physically safe, understanding of boundaries and asking for help.Providing opportunities for physical exercise such as walking or running with a dog, riding a horse, swimming with friendly dolphins, performing simple farm chores (picking up eggs or raking).Improving intellect by reading to a dog, observing physical anatomy of animals, understanding biological processes such as puberty, pregnancy and death.center_img Return to article. Long DescriptionParents and guardians can create opportunities for children to experience animal therapy in the form of riding horses, interacting with friend’s dogs, playing with cats, petting animals at a zoo,  visiting an aquarium or having a pet at home. There are three types of animals that can be used for support in different ways:Service Animals: Service animals, majority of whom are dogs guide individuals who are visually or hearing impaired, help with physical tasks, detect diabetic episodes and are considered “medical equipment” and not pets. Service animals are allowed to accompany their person at all times and are specifically allowed for under the Americans with Disabilities Act.Emotional Support Animals: Emotional support animals can come in different species. They are not strictly trained but provide a great deal of comfort and support to their person. Emotional support animals are usually prescribed by a medical doctor and are thus with documentation often allowed on planes and into other facilities.Therapy Animals: Typically “visiting” in nature, therapy animals (dogs, cats, rabbits or even miniature horses) are brought to a facility by someone for therapeutic purposes. These animals are trained, registered and insured under a specific program (for e.g. Canine Good Citizen).Learn more about Animal Therapy for Children with Special Needs.last_img read more

Saying Something About Abuse: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

first_img DV Awareness Month Graphic By: Jason Jowers, M.S. MFT Return to article. Long DescriptionU.S. Air Force [DV Awareness Month by Jessica Hines, October 21, 2011, CC0]October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Talking about domestic and dating violence is one of the hardest subjects to broach when talking with clients. Many times it is kept secretive and elicits feelings of shame for those who have experienced it. How can we make it easier to talk about, not just for adults in abusive relationships, but for children in these families and especially, for teens who might be facing issues of dating violence as well?With this in mind, we wanted to highlight the history of this awareness month, as well as share some resources we found to be helpful in giving teens and parents the tools for support. According to this dating violence blog, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month first began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Since then, the Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994, and this legislation helped to provide programs and services for domestic violence victims and families. Great strides have been made in various realms of society to lessen the overall rate of domestic violence instances. However, it is still an ongoing problem that has only morphed with the times and moved onto the internet and within social media with cyber-stalking situations.Domestic violence affects millions of people worldwide. Here are a few resources and organizations that we would like to highlight when it comes to the important work of preventing domestic violence:The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has this blog series on important topics and therapeutic support in dealing with DV.The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has resources on engaging the media and training links for clinicians.Learn more about ways to take action against DV and preventing sexual assault from the No More Campaign.Futures Without Violence has many great resources on various topics related to domestic violence such as: family violence issues, human trafficking, workplace safety, and sexual assault prevention college campuses.Break the Cycle has lots of great info on how to help and take action against domestic violence.Finally, The Institute for Family Violence Studies at Florida State University has a plethora of resources, research publications, and trainings when working with families to build resilience.Hopefully with the right amount of support, we can all do our part to help raise awareness in helping those who are dealing with domestic and dating violence.ReferencesBreak the Cycle (2019). It’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month! Retrieved from:’s-national-domestic-violence-awareness-monthThis post was written by members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Learn more about us at, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter.  Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.last_img read more

IRS Whistleblowers Have New Remedies for Employer Retaliation

first_imgFile retaliation complaints with theDepartment of Labor, and/orSeek relief in the federal courts. Employees Can’t Waive Whistleblower Remedies An IRS whistleblower has 90 days afteran employer reprisal to file a complaint with the DOL. The DOL then has 60 daysto investigate. If it concludes that there is reasonable cause to believe theemployer retaliated against the whistleblower, the DOL issues a preliminaryorder to grant relief. Administrative Whistleblower Remedy The DOL and the parties canterminate the administrative process at any time by entering into a settlement. Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative. the Treasury Secretary,Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), U.S. ComptrollerGeneral, or Department of Justice;the U.S. Congress; a person with supervisory authorityover the employee; or any other person who works for theemployer and has the authority to investigate, discover or terminatemisconduct. IRS Whistleblower’s Administrative and Judicial Remedies If the DOL does not issue a decision within 180 daysafter the whistleblower files a complaint, the whistleblower may sue theemployer in the U.S. District Court. If the DOL holds a hearing after a party objects toits preliminary findings, the whistleblower or the employer may appeal theDOL’s final order in the U.S. Court of Appeals. The parties have 30 days to objectto the order. If no one objects, the preliminary order becomes final, andcannot be challenged in the courts. An IRS whistleblower may also seekjudicial remedies for employer reprisal in two circumstances: Judicial Whistleblower Remedies Broad Reach for IRS Whistleblower Remedies Kelley Wolf, JD, LLM Inaddition to these judicial remedies for the parties, the DOL can also sue indistrict court to enforce its own orders. Login to read more on CCHAnswerConnect. However, if the DOL concludes thata complaint is frivolous, the whistleblower may have to pay up to $1,000 of theemployer’s legal fees.center_img To challenge employer retaliation,an employeewhistleblower must first file a complaint withthe Department of Labor (DOL). The employee may then seek judicial relief froma contrary DOL decision or the DOL’s failure to act. The whistleblower remedies are notlimited to employees who cooperate with the IRS. They also apply when aninformant provides information or assistance to: Similarly, the employer is notjust the party that employs the whistleblower. Employers include officers,employees, contractors, subcontractors and agents of the informant’s employer. tax underpayments, or conduct that the informantreasonably believes violates internal revenue laws or any federal laws relatedto tax fraud. Any party to the proceeding mayobject to the preliminary order and request a hearing. The DOL has 120 days afterthe hearing to issue a final order that either provides relief to thewhistleblower or denies the complaint. Whistleblower’s Redress After Employer Reprisal These administrative proceduresare based on anti-reprisal remedies for whistleblowers who report violations offederalaviation laws and regulations. Perhaps even more importantly, these new remedies cannot be waived by any agreement, policy form, or condition of employment, including a predispute arbitration agreement. In fact, a predispute arbitration agreement is not valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of an employee whistleblower dispute that arises under these rules. These employer whistleblowerremedies apply to an informant who provides information or otherwise assists ininvestigations and actions related to: An employee whistleblower whoprevails in an employer reprisal complaint, either with the DOL or in thedistrict court, is entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee whole.This relief includes: Finally, employer retaliationincludes discharge, demotion, suspension, threats, harassment, and any otherdiscrimination against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment,including acts in the ordinary course of the employee’s duties. Thesenew rights and remedies do not diminish or limit any employee’s rights, privilegesor remedies under any federal law, state law, or collective bargainingagreement. Some IRS whistleblowers have significant new administrativeand legal remedies against employer retaliation. Employeewhistleblowers can now: These remedies took effect on July 1, 2019.They are largely based onremedies for employer reprisals against whistleblowersunder the False Claims Act. reinstatement with the samesecurity status; 200% of back pay and 100% of alllost benefits, plus interest; and compensation for special damages,including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney fees.last_img read more

How to Capture High Quality Audio for Low Budget Films

first_imgYou don’t have to sacrifice quality when capturing audio for low budget films. Find out how to record pro sound with this collection of educational and informative videos.As we’ve said a thousand times, not everyone has a massive budget. More times than not, you’re trying to squeeze every last penny you can out of what meager funds you do have. Fortunately, there are a lot of great resources out there for filmmakers and videographers with low budgets.  Scary Cow has a great article on their site that gives you the rundown on Recording Amazing Audio for Your Low Budget Short Film. It’s pretty essential reading. We’ve reviewed all of their suggestions and agree immensely with what they are suggesting.Basics of Sound Design and AudioAs filmmakers, we have to be constantly aware of our audio — especially for documentary work, as there are no retakes. To help you get on your way to capturing professional audio, we present you with a few videos and tutorials that you should be aware of. First up is a great lesson on the basics of audio from Filmmaker IQ.Here’s a great sound design tutorial from Lights Film School that goes over the full process of sound design for a film. This tutorial is specifically tailored toward indie filmmakers. You can view Lights Film School’s sound design course here on their website.Dual Audio System and SyncingAs Scary Cow mentions in the first section of their article, DSLRs have the capacity to capture great video. However, capturing audio is a completely different story. A better solution would be to utilize a Zoom H6 or Tascam DR-40 with a Rode NTG2. You can then use the scratch track audio from the camera to help sync up the field recorder audio in a program like PluralEyes 3.5. Here is a video from createasphere on how to shoot using a dual audio system with a DSLR.And for help with PluralEyes, Red Giant has a tutorial on how to get started.Film Riot Audio SeriesRyan Connolly of Film Riot has a great video series set that runs through the History of Audio, the three main types of microphones, and post-production work for foley and ADR. Here’s the video on the history of audio.Next is a breakdown on the three types of production mics. While, as Connolly states, you won’t find a lot of use for the handheld dynamic mic, the shotgun mic and the lavalier mic will be your best friend. I use lavaliers on both documentary and fictional films as they tend to capture the best dialogue audio you can get.Another great thing about lavs is the fact that they’re small and you can hide them in the shot. I like to have my doc subjects or actors hide them just under their shirt, close to the collar. The lav is secured to the clothing by using a piece of gaffer tape, which allows the clothing itself to act as a windscreen. See this video from izzyvideo to learn a few different ways to hide lav mics.Next, Film Riot goes over the process of creating foley for your project. Connolly gives you some tips and tricks on how to get the sounds you want using the editing system you have, provided you don’t have access to software like Pro Tools of Logic X.Now for this last video, Connolly takes us through the process of ADR. It’s going to happen at one point or another. You’re on location and you’re capturing great sound, but when you get into post you hear that something went wrong. If there just isn’t any way to clean it up, you’ll want do automated dialogue replacement or ADR. Be sure to have a condenser mic, pop filter, and headphones at the ready.For more in-depth info on audio for low budget films and the process of filmmaking, take a look at these articles:10 Crucial Pieces of Audio Gear Under $500Audio Tips for DSLR FilmmakersAudio Tips and Tricks: Removing Echo and ReverbKnow of any other tips for capturing professional audio? Sound off in the comments below!last_img read more