Island value – Robins Island Tue, 10 May 2022 18:25:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Island value – Robins Island 32 32 At ACC meetings, confusion persists amid NCAA NIL guidelines Tue, 10 May 2022 17:57:31 +0000 ]]>

NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan, seen in this 2020 file photo, spoke about NIL after ACC meetings on Monday, May 9, 2022.

NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan, seen in this 2020 file photo, spoke about NIL after ACC meetings on Monday, May 9, 2022. ‘Hopefully it will be integrated on some level’ , Corrigan said. “I think we all do. I think all of us watching this support the image-likeness ability of the name, but I don’t know if that’s what the idea behind it was.

Football coaches and athletic directors from ACC schools had been meeting for about two and a half hours here on Monday when the NCAA finally issued long-awaited guidance regarding name, image and likeness. The news quickly spread behind closed doors during the ACC’s annual spring meetings at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island.

Coaches and DAs displayed the NCAA press release on their screens. The “NCAA guidelines are intended to provide clarity,” the statement said, “in a rapidly changing NIL environment.” The guidelines had been “developed by a working group of national leaders” with money-making opportunities for athletes “at the forefront” of all discussions.

It took the NCAA nearly three full paragraphs and 159 words to begin to get to the point: “NCAA recruiting rules prevent boosters from recruiting and/or providing benefits to potential athletes,” says the release, and now the NCAA has provided guidance to schools that supposedly made clearer what was and wasn’t allowed regarding NIL.

The problem: the instructions were not at all clear.

By the end of the first day of the ACC’s spring meetings, most coaches and athletic directors weren’t lingering. Most of the football coaches moved quickly past a small group of waiting reporters.

Pat Narduzzi, Pitt’s head coach, might have a lot to say about NIL and what he’s become. Narduzzi looks likely to lose his best returning player, receiver Jordan Addison, who entered the transfer portal.

Addison perhaps unwittingly represents this “rapidly changing” NIL landscape: Here’s a player who had great success at Pitt but is about to leave amid seemingly more lucrative financial opportunities off the pitch elsewhere. Reports and rumors abound that Addison will likely be heading to Southern Cal, but it’s not official yet. If that happened, it would be the kind of first move for players that many would applaud in this new era of college athletics, but one that would come in stark contrast to the intent of the NIL-related allowances the NCAA conceded there. almost a year old.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) takes a selfie with fans after a win over Syracuse in an NCAA college football game in Syracuse, NY on Saturday November 27, 2021. Adrian Kraus PA

Did Narduzzi have anything to say about NIL, the incentives, or the NCAA’s belated attempt to curb the predictable free-for-all that turned things into pay-for-play by any other name? Did he have anything to say about the specter of losing his best returning player due to an inability to match the value of a NIL deal that the player might be able to secure elsewhere?

Narduzzi probably had a lot to say about all of these things. But not publicly. Not now.

“You know I’m not talking about anything“, Narduzzi said, as he walked past reporters early Monday night. “Come on.

Those who stopped and spoke expressed skepticism about the NCAA’s ability to control a NIL environment that has blossomed into college athletics’ latest arms race.

Since the beginning of time, or at least since the beginning of the television rights deals that have bloated the coffers of athletic departments at major conferences everywhere, schools have clashed as fiercely outside the lines as between them. Trainer salaries and endless facility wars are the basis of traditional battlegrounds. The new frontier includes NIL collectives and agreements designed to not only market athletes and improve their brands, but to keep them happy and registered.

College athletes have never had as many rights as they do today, and that’s widely accepted as a positive. Yet the rampant NIL market has quickly overshot its original purpose and entered an area that will likely prove difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.

“Hopefully that will be integrated on some level,” Boo Corrigan, NC State’s athletic director, said after Monday’s meetings. “I think we all do. I think every one of us watching what’s going on supports the ability to name, to look like the image, but I don’t know if this that was the idea behind it all.

Earlier today, NC State backers launched what they call “Pack of Wolves,” a NIL collective that, according to its website, is “a community of passionate fans, alumni, and supporters” of Wolfpack Athletics who are “committed to empowering “NC State athletes” to maximize their personal brand value “through NIL” while creating meaningful and lasting connections” with supporters.

Pack of Wolves is not unlike the NIL collectives that exist elsewhere, including in North Carolina. Schools that do not have such collectives now run the risk of falling behind in the NIL game. Or maybe now the collectives are discouraged, given Monday’s news and the NCAA’s impending attempt to crack down on boosters who use NIL as a pretext to lure athletes to a particular school.

“The guidelines,” the NCAA statement said Monday, “defines as a booster any third-party entity that promotes an athletics program, assists in recruiting, or helps provide benefits to recruits, registered student-athletes, or members. The definition could include “collectives” set up to channel name, image and likeness deals with future student-athletes.

What did that mean, exactly? That boosters couldn’t be involved in a NIL deal at all? That a top-tier booster with, say, a pig farming empire, longtime NC State mega-supporter Wendell Murphy, wouldn’t be allowed to make a NIL deal with an NC State athlete?

Corrigan considered the hypothetical, first noting that boosters were not allowed to be involved in recruiting “for 100 years”.

“It was kind of a part of that,” he said, “that an encore couldn’t be involved. And now they can, from that perspective, right ?” he asked, referring to the ability for boosters to sponsor NIL offers.

“I think part of the challenge with all of this is that there is no market value associated with (NIL), is there? You know, the way it’s set up right now. And I think, for me, that’s been the challenge from the start.

Without a market value standard, it has been impossible to definitively separate a legitimate NIL arrangement from one that might exist solely to persuade an athlete to go or stay at a certain school. And even if such a distinction could be drawn, who would make it and how would the NCAA enforce the guidelines it communicated to members on Monday?

These are questions that no one here could answer on Monday. An ACC football coach, speaking off-the-record as he walked to dinner, rolled his eyes at the thought that the NCAA might end up in front of a masked pay-for-play like NIL, or even be on the point to stopping an onslaught of offers that look more like professional sports free agency than anything else. Nearly a year has passed since the NCAA reluctantly granted NIL rights to athletes, after battling the possibility for years, if not decades.

What resulted is the so-called “Wild West,” which has already become a memorable cliché to describe what’s going on in major college athletics these days. The Addison case is, in a way, Exhibit A.

“I’m thrilled that the NCAA is, you know, apparently ramping up enforcement plans — the priority of this one,” Clemson’s first-year athletic director Graham Neff said Monday. “Just, I know there’s been so much uncertainty with (NIL) over the last 10, 11 months.”

So how would these new NCAA guidelines be interpreted, Neff asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied.

At Clemson, he said, he and other administrators engaged in regular discussions with coaches about “what the rules are.” Those coaches, Neff said, told him, “I want to play by the rules.” But then there’s the inevitable follow-up, “Like, what are the rules?”

About an hour after the NCAA’s new NIL guidelines became public on Monday, it made no more sense at the ACC’s spring meetings than anyone could answer that question with any authority.

This story was originally published May 10, 2022 11:26 a.m.

Raleigh News & Observer related stories

Andrew Carter spent 10 years covering major college athletics, six of them covering the University of North Carolina for The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer. He is now a member of The N&O’s and Observer’s statewide corporate and investigative reporting team. He attended NC State and grew up in Raleigh dreaming of becoming a journalist.

Taking possession of condos – AMI Sun Sun, 08 May 2022 18:02:48 +0000 Termination of co-ownership. These are fighting words for condo owners who live in prime Florida waterfront locations. However, it’s happening right now in Southeast Florida, all because of the collapse of the Champlain South condos in Surfside. Developers from the Miami Beach area and all along the barrier island north are swarming the area to […]]]>

Termination of co-ownership. These are fighting words for condo owners who live in prime Florida waterfront locations. However, it’s happening right now in Southeast Florida, all because of the collapse of the Champlain South condos in Surfside.

Developers from the Miami Beach area and all along the barrier island north are swarming the area to acquire older waterfront condominiums, and there are plenty of them. Hundreds of condominiums, representing more than two-thirds of condos in the Miami area alone, are approaching 40 years old or have reached that age and gone beyond. At this age, the county requires recertification to ensure the property is still structurally sound.

Although the Surfside collapse is still under investigation, engineers determined that a combination of issues was likely to blame. They confirmed design flaws, poor construction and delayed maintenance because owners were reluctant to spend the money needed to renovate the property.

The Miami Herald recently reported in its e-edition that an investigation of court records after the collapse revealed as early as five years ago that contractors for a new building nearby were concerned about vibrations affecting the South Champlain building. . At that point they stopped drilling and then resumed, but engineers say that alone could not have been the cause of the collapse five years later.

It was recently reported by the Wall Street Journal that at least eight Miami-area waterfront condominiums are in talks with developers for sale. These buildings are in prime locations and developers frequently offer to pay owners above the market value of their condos. The buildings will then be demolished and high-end residences will be built to accommodate the wealthy buyers who are moving to Florida in droves.

The developers of one of the condos being terminated are offering more than $750,000 for studio apartments that sold for around $55,000 in the late 90s. Terminating a condo isn’t easy, however. , even when developers are offering more than these owners ever dreamed of. In addition, the condominium regulations for each association are different and can sometimes be ambiguous. Some buildings require as few as 75% of its residents to vote in favor of termination; others may require 100%. And of course, each resident has a different view of what is best to do; many are faced with the prospect of having to move from an area they may have lived in for 30 years and are unlikely to be able to replicate what they had and certainly not the sight.

Developers take the position that they are offering a private sector solution to the problem by buying out residents who are unlikely to be able to afford the assessment to bring the building up to recertification level. Homeowners have their equity and can move on and builders are offering high-end new condos built to today’s standards, revitalizing the industry.

In March, Florida’s legislative session ended without any new building recertification requirements. Holmes Beach takes it in hand and plans to create its own security measures. Commissioners will again address the issue of recertification of older buildings on the island in a bid to protect both owners and visitors.

The real estate market is simply fluid. Who would have guessed not so long ago that condo termination would be a phrase the average waterfront homeowner would add to their vocabulary? So goes Florida, you never get bored.

No more castles in the sand

Is it worth the detour?

Does anyone know what is going on?

Mother awaiting heart transplant shares her story Sun, 08 May 2022 09:01:17 +0000 Share on PinterestAfter giving birth to her second child, Zuleyma Santos was diagnosed with a rare form of heart failure and placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Photograph courtesy of Padilla Co Mother of two, Zuleyma Santos, works with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the dangers of heart disease […]]]>

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After giving birth to her second child, Zuleyma Santos was diagnosed with a rare form of heart failure and placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Photograph courtesy of Padilla Co

Mother of two, Zuleyma Santos, works with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of the dangers of heart disease in young adults.

On paper, one would think Zuleyma Santosnow 37 years old, had it all.

Two new children born in as many years. A retail career she loved. A devoted and loving husband who, despite cancer, was always there for her and a huge, close and supportive family.

This should have been the time of his life.

But within those events came a blockbuster: Santos developed a rare and often fatal heart condition caused by the pregnancy.

That’s why today, she smiles as she adjusts the still-there backpack on her shoulder that holds 10 pounds of batteries, constantly working to keep the device that keeps her heart going while she waits for a heart transplant.

Although there were signs – and a diagnosis – after the birth of her second child in 2019, no one understood the gravity of the situation, and Santos, immersed in the beginning of his life as a parent and concentrating on her husband’s cancer treatments, did not push.

“I think there were symptoms that went unaddressed,” she told Healthline. “I have always been a strong person. You will never hear me say “oh it hurts”. It is not me.

This “go for it” attitude could have proved fatal with the birth of her second child.

But it also launched her into a space she never thought she would be in – spokesperson for the American Heart Association.

“I felt I needed a way to reach people. To help them know how to speak for themselves.

“I never thought I would have heart failure or my partner would have cancer, at least not when our kids are babies with dirty nappies lying between my hospital bed. But I’m here. And if I can be the voice they hear – knowing there are resources out there – then so be it.

Santos was holding her then two-day-old baby in the hospital when suddenly she could barely breathe.

“I called the nurse and said ‘hold baby, something’s wrong with me!” she remembered. “I couldn’t breathe and thought I was losing my life.”

She was examined, tested, and then diagnosed. It was peripartum cardiomyopathy, they told her, a form of heart failure that occurs in the last month of pregnancy or the first few months after giving birth.

The baby went home, but Santos remained in the hospital for four more days. She was stabilized and told to rest and see a follow-up cardiologist once home.

She did, but as at every cardiology visit she was told that she had passed all the exams and that she had been given medication that stabilized her, she made a decision.

“It was time to get back to normal life,” she said. “I was like ‘I feel fine. Why are you telling me I have this? So I went back to my life: working, taking care of the kids and taking care of my husband.

No one blinked or tried to steer her in another direction, she said.

In March, the pandemic shutdown hit, a “blessing”, she said, because although it was hard to lose her job, it was great to be “home and s ‘taking care of the children’ while her husband returned to the hospital to fight his cancer. As stressful as it may seem, she said, she felt good at home and confident in her health.

Then summer came. In July, she was struggling,

“I felt tired, exhausted and couldn’t eat well,” she said.

But the postpartum heart diagnosis didn’t cross her mind.

“I didn’t really think it was my body,” she said. “I thought it was the summer heat. And you know, taking care of two babies and a husband battling cancer. It’s wreaking havoc. »

Then it got worse. “I couldn’t even lift my daughter’s legs to change a diaper,” she recalls.

She went to the emergency room – in the middle of the pandemic – with swollen legs, nausea and exhaustion. Although she was told of the earlier diagnosis, she says, they sent her home and told her to try eating differently.

Worried, she tried to get in touch with a cardiologist, but the pandemic shutdown also made that difficult. She got an appointment for the end of October and was hoping for the best.

Five days after that ER visit, she suddenly plummeted and realized she was in trouble.

“I told my husband to call an ambulance,” she said.

The last thing she remembers is being intubated. She woke up on November 3 and was told she had stage four heart failure and needed a heart transplant.

“It was very hard to hear,” she said. “I didn’t understand how I, at my age, got to this.”

It’s not an uncommon way for someone his age to think.

“This underscores the importance of recognizing this condition and heart disease in general,” Dr. Eugene DePasqualea cardiologist with USC Keck Medicinewho treats Santos, told Healthline.

“The leading cause of death in the United States [based on data gathered pre-COVID-19] is heart disease,” he said. But when people look [based on their symptoms] they search for ‘cancer,’” he said.

He said the data suggests that less than three per cent of people looking for symptoms search online for heart disease.

The media, he said, reports on suicide, terrorist deaths and cancer, but not so much on heart disease.

Also, he said, younger heart patients tend to have different symptoms that are more focused on the gastrointestinal tract.

“Younger patients, in particular, can be missed,” he said of the cardiac diagnosis. “Not only by the patient but by the [medical experts] as well.

That’s why he and his team are thrilled to have her share her story while working on a heart transplant.

“She’s a special woman,” he said. “We are very grateful to him. She’s been through a lot, but she still does things like that. She is part of our family and vice versa.

Santos came home with this backpack loading her HeartMate Pumpwho will do the work of a heart until she receives a transplant.

DePasquale said because Santos developed antibodies during that second pregnancy that spurred heart disease, making her pool of donor hearts very small. The Friday before Mother’s Day, they were supposed to start working on getting those antibodies out of her.

She came home hopeful about it and grateful to be alive, as well as ready to take over from her ailing husband, who had taken care of the children with the help of his family during his recovery. to the hospital.

“I could feel he was waiting for me – clinging to his health to take care of things until I could,” she said.

She was right. She arrived home on December 29. On January 16, they threw a happy third birthday party for their son.

A week later, her husband went to the hospital. On February 27, he was at home in hospice care where he died shortly after.

Still, Santos is grateful and positive.

‘He gave me the strength to do it,’ she said of raising two children as a widow, battling heart disease while waiting for a transplant and being a doorway. -word of heart health.

“He did it for me, and now it’s my turn to do it for him. I’m going to support this family, keep these children happy.

She works hard with her doctors to get the heart transplant and speaks out.

Says DePasquale, she makes a difference in more ways than she realizes.

“We are very grateful to him,” he said. “She helps put this into perspective and encourages others to be proactive and fight for the symptoms to be recognized.”

It also, he said, gave visibility into how heart pumps work. The HeartMate pump has been used by people as well-known as former Vice President Dick Cheney, he said, but the powerful image of an ordinary woman living with someone could help many.

“It’s not as scary as some people think,” he said. “She can help people to accept that better.”

Santos looks to the future and a new heart with hope.

Doctors told her she probably had signs of heart disease after the birth of her first child. And while that might have meant avoiding some of the extreme illnesses, it would have changed something else as well.

“They would have told me not to have any more children,” she said. “I might not have had my daughter. And you know, I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Best Direct Online Payday Loans In America | Best No Credit Check Loans With Guaranteed Approval | Same day and installment loans Fri, 06 May 2022 18:41:16 +0000 find a loan for bad credit with a low interest rate is everyone’s first priority. After all, while having bad credit, who would like to pay extra interest on emergency loans. So are you looking for a bad credit loan with a low interest rate? Want to know who to turn to if you need […]]]>

find a loan for bad credit with a low interest rate is everyone’s first priority. After all, while having bad credit, who would like to pay extra interest on emergency loans. So are you looking for a bad credit loan with a low interest rate? Want to know who to turn to if you need an emergency loan? Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we are going to discuss the top 3 companies offering bad credit loans on flexible terms.

With advancements in digital technology, lending has become easier than ever with the growing number of online lenders. However, with the increasing options come the technicalities to be aware of in order to get the most out of a bad credit loan.

Online lenders must ensure that borrowers will be able to repay the loan on time. To get a rough estimate of this, they analyze your credit score to gauge your financial performance. As a firm credit inquiry lowers the credit rating, many people try to avoid this. So what if a credit check is not possible and a loan must be taken out at all costs? The answer is short and simple; search for a loan without a credit check. Gone are the days when a good credit score was the necessary condition for taking out a loan. You can now find several online lenders offering loans for bad credit without the need for a credit check.

The best thing about the online loan is that it not only helps you get emergency funds but also boosts your credit score. If you repay the loan on time, you can improve your credit score. Besides, you can also avail different financial services such as debt relief and credit repair.

After extensive research, we have selected and reviewed the top 3 loan for bad credit lenders in America for the year 2022. These lenders are rated positively by their customers and our surveys have shown them to be the best at their game.

Top 3 Best Bad Credit Lenders in America

In this article, we have briefly discussed the 3 best no credit check lenders in 2022. Starting from their detailed descriptions for a quick summary of their main features and ending with the pros and cons of dealing with them, we have tried to put it all in one word. So without further ado, let’s go!

  1. MoneyMutual : Best in all aspects

  2. FondsJoy : Fastest bad credit loan provider

  3. BadCreditLoans : Best lender without credit check

Whenever we talk about bad loans, MoneyMutual is the first name that comes to mind. With over a decade of experience in this industry, they have helped over 2 million people by providing emergency loans and various financial services. One of the main reasons for their growing popularity is that they do not require a full credit check from loan applicants.

MoneyMutual: It is completely free to submit the application and receive a loan on MoneyMutual, their profit only comes from the lender on their website. One important thing to remember is that MoneyMutual only serves as a link between borrowers and lenders; therefore, they do not guarantee you a loan offer. It is up to the lenders to decide whether they want to deal with you or not. Therefore, whatever your requirements, be sure to discuss them in detail with the lender so that they can provide you with a loan offer accordingly.


The main features of MoneyMutual are:

  1. Serves as a bridge between lenders and borrowers

  2. Full credit checks are not required

  3. The application form and the loan process are fully online

  4. Short term loans of up to $5,000 can be obtained

  5. Detailed information is provided about both parties so they can decide whether or not to proceed with the transaction


  1. Has been continuously ranked as the best bad credit lender for the past few years

  2. Reputable organization with excellent customer service

  3. Short application process that only takes a few minutes to complete

  4. Transfer of funds is provided within 24 hours

The inconvenients

Doesn’t work in a few states like New York

Client experience

As evidenced by MoneyMutual’s consistent positive rating, customers love the services they provide. Their fast application process, instant approvals, and fast fund transfer are some of the many features that their customers love.

=> Visit the official MoneyMutual website now for more information!

FondsJoy : One of the fastest and most reliable emergency loan providers in 2022 is FundsJoy. It is a relatively new company, but many people have started using it as a referral lending platform whenever the need arises. Their short and easy application process is their main highlight feature and is appreciated by their clients.


The main features of FundsJoy are:

  1. Loans up to $5000 can be borrowed

  2. Application form that only takes 5 minutes to complete


  1. Automated software for processing requests

  2. The application form can be filled on all types of gadgets

  3. Fast processing of requests is ensured by electronic signatures

The inconvenients

  1. Not as famous as other lenders such as MoneyMutual

Client experience

Customers report that compared to other lending websites, FundsJoy’s designed application form is quick and short. The user interface is perfectly designed to ensure that it is understandable by all types of users. Due to the flexibility of the electronic signature, the request is quickly approved and the transfer of funds is ensured within 24 hours.

=> Visit the official FundsJoy website now for more information!

BadCreditLoans is the third most popular lending platform among people with bad credit. Much like MoneyMutual, they provide free services to borrowers and connect them to a large network of lenders, each offering loans on varying terms.

Since people with bad credit scores cannot afford to have a firm credit check, BadCreditLoans does not require them to have one. Hence, it is easier for such people to get cash when needed.

The lenders on this platform are independent and have the power to design the loan offers themselves. Therefore, be sure to negotiate with the lender to customize the deal to suit your needs.

This company provides detailed information about lenders and borrowers so that both parties can decide whether or not to deal with each other.


The following points will give you an overview of the main features of BadCreditLoans:

  1. Provides detailed information on lenders and borrowers

  2. Company-standard encryption technology protects your personal data

  3. Free Services

  4. Negotiation with lenders is allowed after completing the application form


  1. Free services for lenders

  2. Analyzing the credibility of a lender is easy thanks to the detailed information provided by the platform

  3. Credit requirements are not high

  4. Loans of $500 to $5,000 can be borrowed

  5. It is possible to compare the loan offers of several lenders

The inconvenients

  1. Only people with good credit scores can get huge loans

Client experience

Like everything in our lives, we don’t want a complicated application form to apply for a loan. BadCreditLoans understands this! Customers love the short and easy application form that only takes a few minutes to complete. If you are looking for a no credit check loan, BadCreditLoans is your place to go!

= > Visit the official BadCreditLoans website now for more information!

We hope that after reading our review of the best bad credit loan lenders, you now have an idea of ​​where to go in case you need an emergency loan. Whatever your needs, make sure you understand all aspects of the loan offer and have the ability to repay it on time.

If we talk about a best emergency loan provider in 2022, MoneyMutual has no match. Their extensive network of lenders, simple application process, and excellent customer service are popular with borrowers across America. You can obtain several types of loans on this platform with varying conditions. So if you are looking for an emergency loan, visit the MoneyMutual website, submit an application, compare loan offers, negotiate with the lender and have your funds transferred within 24 hours!

You might also be interested in reading: Best loans without credit check for May 2022

Expensive homes on the market in Fredericksburg | Local News Fri, 06 May 2022 18:00:00 +0000 The Hampshire by DR Horton is a stunning new construction home plan featuring 3,230 square feet of living space, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a large attic and a 2 car garage. When you are welcomed into the home you are greeted by the spacious formal dining room, the perfect space to entertain your guests on […]]]>

The Hampshire by DR Horton is a stunning new construction home plan featuring 3,230 square feet of living space, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a large attic and a 2 car garage. When you are welcomed into the home you are greeted by the spacious formal dining room, the perfect space to entertain your guests on those special occasions. The foyer opens to a highly desirable open concept living area, highlighted by a spacious kitchen with plenty of counter space and a large modern island overlooking the casual dining area and living room. Tucked away in the living room is a downstairs bedroom and full bathroom, the perfect guest suite or home office. Upstairs you will find a large attic, an upstairs laundry room and three additional bedrooms, including the owners suite, which showcases a comfortable sitting area, a huge walk-in closet and a luxurious bathroom. Finally, there is a huge finished recreation room for your family to spend time in and an additional room to expand! This home sits on 3 beautiful wooded acres in a private enclave with no through streets. Some homes have views for miles. Compare our finishes which include quartz, granite, 42 cabinets, tile, luxury vinyl plank, 2 x 6 construction, 9 ceilings, stainless steel appliances to the competition. We are located approximately 45 miles south of Washington DC, 15 miles north of Fredericksburg and 70 miles north of Richmond. short. Beautiful forests surround our homes and give the community the feel of an enchanting country setting. Aquia Overlook is close to VRE, DMV, Stafford Regional Airport, Hope Spring Marina, Augustine Golf, Club Aquia Harbor Golf and Marina, Lake Anna State Park, Potomac Point Winery and a host of other outdoor parks and recreation. With Americas Smart Home, DR Horton lets you stay close to the people and places you love most. Simplify your life with a dream home featuring hands-free communication, keyless entry and a SkyBell video doorbell. It’s a house that adapts to your lifestyle. And mind

Book Brawl: RISD decides which books are appropriate Wed, 04 May 2022 20:58:52 +0000 Aafter the board meetingRISD reviewed the list of books and decided that two of the books, Burn baby burn by Meg Medina and Everyone sees the ants by AS King, were inappropriate for junior high school students. They were removed from the classroom and RISD apologized for offering them in the first place. Mikulas says […]]]>

Aafter the board meetingRISD reviewed the list of books and decided that two of the books, Burn baby burn by Meg Medina and Everyone sees the ants by AS King, were inappropriate for junior high school students. They were removed from the classroom and RISD apologized for offering them in the first place. Mikulas says they also checked to see if those titles were available at another high school.

“It wasn’t just a blanket, ‘we’re removing books,'” says Tabitha Branum, RISD’s acting superintendent. “It still allowed those books to be available where we think they were age or developmentally appropriate.”

Both titles were supplementary materials and chosen by the teacher. These are different from adopted materials, which are used as the main source of information in courses after a year-long review process, an opportunity for parents to preview, and presentation to the board.

Some books that had been approved by parents were removed right after the council meeting, but were later returned. Branum says the district followed the parents, who agreed to allow their children to finish reading the books.

“If the parent has given permission, who are we to take those books away from them?” Mikulas said.

RISD assembled a committee of educators and parents to begin developing a set of criteria for district employees to consider when selecting additional materials.

“What questions, what are they thinking about to make sure that these resources are developmentally appropriate, in terms of maturity, and really closely aligned with the curriculum,” Branum says.

Committee members do not create a checklist; rather, it is a lens through which employees can look or a guardrail to help guide decisions. They also don’t want this process to become a way to eliminate or suppress the diversity of materials available to students, Branum says.

“We always want to have a range of books that reflect the diversity of our student body,” says Branum. “We always want students to have a lot of choice. We want them to have books and characters that they can connect and identify with.

RISD wants to make sure parents have confidence that teachers have thought critically about the materials they provide to students, Branum says, and that the materials will be a “good choice” for their children.

But parents still have “full choice,” Mikulas says, and the district has found that when students select their own texts, they read more.

Parents in RISD and other places challenge the books because of their content.

Gender Queer: A Memoir was published in 2019 and received the ALA Alex Award and Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award in 2020. But what some parents may have found problematic are its depictions of sexual situations, as well as discussions about determining gender identity and sexuality. In an interview with NBCauthor Maia Kobabe said the book was not intended for elementary-aged children, but was appropriate for high school students.

However, Gender Queer is not included in any of RISD’s campus libraries, according to an online search.

The word F appears in Burn baby burn 10 times, and the book refers to sex and drug use. The libraries of all four RISD high schools have this book, but no other campuses have it.

Aanother book, Everyone sees the ants, deals with suicide and bullying. The question “If you were to kill yourself, which method would you choose” is presented at the beginning, and the characters provide answers throughout the book. In another part of the book, a boy is held up in a locker room, stripped of his clothes with his legs apart, and is photographed. To like Burn baby burnit is only accessible to RISD high school students.

class act, the first graphic novel to receive the John Newbery Award, is available at elementary, middle and high schools in the district. It was written by Jerry Craft, an African-American author who grew up in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York. Craft said he “wanted to illustrate the things kids like me have to deal with on a daily basis – like teachers who mistake you for another kid of color, or classmates who are afraid to come to your house because they assume you live in a bad neighborhood.”

Craft’s book was challenged at Katy ISD, among others, where some parents had objected to it because they said it promoted critical race theory (CRT), which they say is “toxic, dangerous and should have no place in our schools at all.”

RReading increases our experiences of others, our emotional experiences of others,” says Ann Batenburg, associate clinical professor of gifted education at Southern Methodist University. “It helps us empathize with others who are not like us.”

It’s an idea picked up by RISD parent Jennifer Tidmore, who has a junior at Richardson High School and a sixth at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet. Tidmore says she doesn’t believe any group or individual should be able to dictate what information is available to others. She also says that it is not possible to become a critical thinker without being exposed to opposing perspectives..

None of Tidmore’s sons have read any of the 17 books on the list circulating on Facebook, but that’s not because she banned them from taking those texts.

“They have complete freedom to read whatever they want to read. Always done,” Tidmore says. “If they want to commit time and work to reading, they are welcome to whatever they would like to choose.”

Banning the books is unnecessary, says Batenburg. Students can delay reading certain books until they are older. In addition, parents have the right to request alternative material for their children, and schools generally comply with this request, unless it is particularly burdensome for the school. In RISD, parents can decide which books their children can borrow from school libraries.

And Batenburg says the book bans really don’t achieve their goal.

“Every time you ban a book, it’s instantly more popular,” she says.

At Kobabe Gender Queer is an example. In an interview with SlateKobabe said the book was selling better than ever, despite being contested in several states.

JThe judiciary has weighed when parents, school boards and students fight over who gets to choose which books students can access and when.

In 1975, board members of the Island Trees Union Free School District in New York City obtained a list of books they deemed inappropriate for certain students. They removed the books from high school and college libraries, with some parents claiming the books were anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic.

The school board convened a committee of parents and school staff to review the 11 books and determine whether they should remain in libraries. The committee recommended that five books be in libraries, two be removed and one be allowed only with parental permission. The committee had no opinion on another and could not agree on one.

But the school board decided that nine of the books had to be removed, we could go back to the libraries, and one could only be read with parental permission. Island Trees students sued the board, and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 1982 that the New York School District and other school boards “cannot withdraw school library books simply because they don’t like the ideas in those books. .”

The court also cited the 1943 case West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, ruling that school boards cannot “prescribe what must be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.”

However, the court ruled in Island Trees v. Pico that school boards “might justifiably claim absolute discretion over curriculum based on their duty to instil community values ​​in schools.”

Five years after the New York case, parents in Tennessee have claimed that the content of a series of required readings offends their religious beliefs and those of their children. The court ruled in Mozert v. Hawkins County Public Schools that the school district could require students to use the reading series. Exposure to ideas opposed to their faith did not mean that students had to believe them or act on them.

National and local school authorities have considerable influence over curricula, which they can use to “transmit community values” to teach students to respect authority and social, moral and democratic ideas.

But it’s a different story when it comes to school libraries, where students can test or deepen the information they learn. In this case, the courts limited the ability of officials to remove books. The exception is that school boards may block students from accessing certain books if they contain offensive language or are psychologically or intellectually inappropriate for the age group.

This is what happened at RISD, and the lingering discussion permeated the school board election.

At a RISD District 2 Candidates Forum on April 10, incumbent Eron Linn said he was against the removal of the books, that he believed all students should have access to as much information as possible to learn about different topics.

“As a student of history, I don’t know of any society that has profited from the prohibition of knowledge,” says Linn.

Vanessa Pacheco, another candidate for the District 2 spot, says she is not in favor of removing books and trusts librarians to select the right materials.

“They should be filled with all kinds of books for all kinds of children,” she says.

When Sherry Clemens addressed the issue at the April forum, she said she was not in favor of banning books and appreciated freedom of speech, but thought the council RISD Board of Directors should establish guidelines for book selection.

“We need to protect the minds of our students,” she says.

The issue has not been resolved statewide or nationwide, let alone RISD. But Branum offers common ground.

“The most important thing I hear over and over again is that there is absolute agreement that we want to have a variety of texts for our students to choose from,” she says. “We want our libraries to have books that reflect what our children are going through, that have characters that look like them, that are materials that relate to our children and help develop a love of reading. I think our whole community agrees on that.

Civil War revolvers owned by US Grant set to fetch $1-3 million at Rock Island auction Mon, 02 May 2022 22:05:00 +0000 DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) — Civil War artifacts are highly prized by collectors. Anything gifted, owned, or used by U.S. President and Union General Ulysses S. Grant is even hotter. That’s why next week’s auction at Rock Island Auction Company is making headlines. Seth Isaacson, Historian at Rock Island Auction Company, explains the significance of the […]]]>

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) — Civil War artifacts are highly prized by collectors. Anything gifted, owned, or used by U.S. President and Union General Ulysses S. Grant is even hotter. That’s why next week’s auction at Rock Island Auction Company is making headlines.

Seth Isaacson, Historian at Rock Island Auction Company, explains the significance of the Civil War, why these items are so popular among collectors, and how almost any interested party can afford to build a collection of Civil War era items. civil war. Many models of guns and swords are relatively inexpensive, especially working replicas which are usually priced below $500.

On the other hand, some of the most valuable items sold at the auction house are Civil War artifacts. A pair of Ulysses S. Grant’s Remington New Model Army Revolvers To Be Featured In May’s First Event and have an estimated auction value of between $1 million and $3 million. the the ivory handles of these beautifully engraved masterpieces feature carvings that honor the future 18th president.

This first auction of May — taking place May 13-15 — will also feature some very rare Confederate guns and swords and other collectible artifacts. See the full catalog HERE. The public is invited to view these special items in person on “Preview Day,” Thursday, May 12 at Rock Island Auction Company.

Rock Island Auction Company / 7819 42nd Street West / Rock Island, Illinois / 1-309-797-1500 / 1-800-238-8022 / / FACEBOOK

Copyright 2022 KWQC. All rights reserved.

LA Riot: Moving forward 30 years later with determination and HOPE | News Mon, 02 May 2022 16:16:29 +0000 Three decades ago, Los Angeles erupted in some of the worst urban violence America has ever seen. People were furious that the LAPD officers who were filmed beating Rodney King would not be punished. It was a fuse that ignited a keg of gunpowder, the effects of which still reverberate today. A few days after […]]]>

Three decades ago, Los Angeles erupted in some of the worst urban violence America has ever seen. People were furious that the LAPD officers who were filmed beating Rodney King would not be punished. It was a fuse that ignited a keg of gunpowder, the effects of which still reverberate today.

A few days after the start of the violence, John Hope Bryant, a young entrepreneur, decided that it was not enough to give speeches or make statements in front of the press cameras. He got to work mobilizing the public and private sectors to create opportunities that did not previously exist in this community. The result was Operation HOPE. Now based in Atlanta, the organization has secured $2 billion in investments to support its financial literacy and empowerment mission. He sat down with for a look back at the events of 1992 and why bands like his are still needed today. It hardly seems like three decades have passed since that day, and many people will argue that Los Angeles has never been the same. But are they right? Is the spirit still there?

John Hope Bryant: The spirit is actually stronger because we made a bet on ourselves in the community and the bet paid off. But for those who took part in the struggle in 1992, and in the 30 years since, we have made a bet inspired by the mayor Tom Bradley and [organizations like] rebuild LA, Operation HOPE, the first AME church, FAMOUS Renaissance and West Anglia Church of God and Christ, and so many heroes and sheroes of this partnership between government, community and the private sector. The bet was nobody tearing up their own stuff, nobody burning down their own house.

By giving people an ownership mentality, we made a bet that would change the tone and texture of the community and help us make revitalization sustainable. The shopping complexes that have been built are bustling. The office buildings that have been built are filled. The service stations that have been built have customers and create jobs. The loans that have been given to people to become owners have paid off… which proves that we are a good investment. We are just an untapped asset base and in many cases we don’t even recognize our own value proposition.

LA Riot: 30 years after the fire – Then and Now

A lot has changed since the Los Angeles riots of 1992. But the spirit is still there.

La Brea Ave. was one of many streets where businesses burned during the Los Angeles riots of 1992.

Blacks and Latinos in Los Angeles had a very real fear of the police in 1992, which fueled frustration against them. Even before Rodney King, complaints about police brutality by a majority white LAPD were commonplace.

Much of the area destroyed by the violence was in marginalized black communities with few opportunities. Many resources and jobs burned along with the buildings.

Many community members affected by the violence simply wanted to know why the officers who beat Rodney King would not be punished. We’ve talked about what happened in 1992 before, and the media tends to focus on Rodney King, racial tensions, or the billion dollar damage. But you were there, boots on the ground. What do you think we should focus on?

Bryant: I’m focusing on the little old lady who just wants to refinance the mortgage on our house. I focus on the young entrepreneur who could be next Steve Jobsor Bob Johnson. Or whoever the hero or the shero is… who’s probably sitting in one of the school classrooms just not getting the time and attention.

The burning buildings, an unjust arrest that led to an unjust verdict – these are the stories that are known to everyone and they are dramatic and they are adapted for television, so they are there, that is what is broadcast.

It’s much less sexy to Craft sexy smart. It’s much less sexy to educate a child in the local school and do it on a large scale. It’s a lot less sexy to go block to block and pull the data and find that it’s 500 credit score neighborhoods that have high levels of crime, murder, chaos, drugs, single-parent families, etc. a credit score of 600, a credit score of 650 or a credit score neighborhood of 700? And we both know that 700 credit neighbors don’t riot.

What we have done is help give people something different to see which is the promise of individuality to become a real estate professional, to become a banker, a businessman, a leader community, an architect or an engineer. I mean, this stuff isn’t sexy, but it’s durable.

RELATED: Rep. Karen Bass recalls the Los Angeles riot of 1992 – and the work it took to heal a community

VIDEO: The Los Angeles Riot of 1992: A Visual Timeline of a Devastating Event

RELATED: The often overlooked injustice: Latasha Harlins’ sister reflects 30 years after the 1992 LA riot Some of the same economic challenges still exist in Los Angeles today. Do you feel like the same things are causing the same problems?

Bryant: The problems of disinvestment and misunderstanding of our value in our neighborhoods have always been the same. The only time we were truly valued was when we were profiting from, that is, slavery. It’s interesting to me that these communities that we call “city centers”, in a country like France, the city center is Paris. In the UK the city center is London and in Switzerland it is Geneva. Only in America do we consider inner cities somewhat bad.

New York has Harlem, which is nothing more than Upper Manhattan. You couldn’t give Atlanta 25 years ago. In Anacostia [Washington D.C.]., which is really a waterfront property, and now you have FEMA headquarters there. African Americans were really kicked out of that community. We didn’t give them the opportunity to come up, we just asked them to leave. I’m afraid in inner cities across the country we don’t get the memo. We are moving away from these communities and others are not investing in them because they see them as poor neighborhoods. When they invest, what you see is a check casher, a payday lender, next to a rent-to-own store, next to a title lender, next to a liquor, next to a pawnshop, then a church down the street trying to make you feel a little better.

In that respect, nothing has changed because you don’t have financial literacy, you don’t have financial coaching, you don’t have access to large-scale capital, and you also don’t have the capitalist system at work in these urban neighborhoods. They are simply hollowed out, in many cases.

In South Central LA, and other places where we operate, you have these little pockets of hope that you can point to where the economy is working, people have jobs, contracts, opportunities. But overall, we are still far from the promised land. Since the riot, a whole generation has been born, raised and become adults. Do you think they understand what happened?

Bryant: I think the answer is probably no. But it’s no different from someone thinking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and remembering only the speech “I have a dream”. Or someone trying to understand Nelson Mandelabut just know that he was president of South Africa, not knowing that he was a prisoner for 27 years.

The story here is the journey and transition of what has happened over the past 30 years. But probably the image in people’s minds is that Rodney King was a black man beaten by police officers and then riots happened after that which is a narrative that has replayed over and over again, most recently with George Floyd. I fear that the true message of investment, revitalization, recovery and stability is being lost with the hard work that organizations like ours and others have done for 30 years. Your organization, Operation: HOPE has come a long way since then. It is now a nationally recognized organization. What are some of the things you do these days?

Bryant: the 1 million black businesses initiative. There was a lot of $52 billion investment from the private sector, after the murder of George Floyd. Some of that money went to organizations like ours. and we got $130 million from Shopify to create a million new black businesses over 10 years. It started about a year and a half ago, and we’ve made incredible progress in that regard. This creates e-commerce businesses, websites, fulfillment systems, and delivery systems for people to connect and take advantage of this technology-driven business boom.

We have a Financial Literacy for All movement which is now co-chaired by me and Doug McMillonCEO of Walmart, to embed financial literacy at the heart of business, government and community.

We have 190 HOPE inside locations in 40 states Plus, which increase credit scores by 54 points in six months, 120 points in 24 months. We’ve directed $4 billion in capital for homeownership and small business ownership in underserved neighborhoods, including South Central Los Angeles, since our inception on May 5, 1992. Four million customers of Operation: HOPE, and it goes on and on. It all started with a dream that started on a bus against the backdrop of the Rodney King riots in 1992.

It was hope-less-ness. Now we return to South Central LA with her daughter Mrs. (Lora Dene) King to highlight the hope-full-ness and to fill the cycle where only rainbows follow storms.

Adios, $1 colada and ventanitas boost Cuban coffee prices Sat, 30 Apr 2022 13:10:20 +0000 Preparing cafecito at Versailles restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood on Thursday, April 28, 2022. The average price of a colada at 20 of Miami-Dade’s most popular ventanitas, from Homestead to Hialeah, is now $2.06 , double what it costs in many Cuban cafes the windows. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) Pedro Portal PA MIAMI […]]]>

Preparing cafecito at Versailles restaurant in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood on Thursday, April 28, 2022. The average price of a colada at 20 of Miami-Dade's most popular ventanitas, from Homestead to Hialeah, is now $2.06 , double what it costs in many Cuban cafes the windows.  (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)

Preparing cafecito at Versailles restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood on Thursday, April 28, 2022. The average price of a colada at 20 of Miami-Dade’s most popular ventanitas, from Homestead to Hialeah, is now $2.06 , double what it costs in many Cuban cafes the windows. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)


We had the $1 colada in Miami and we had it all.

We walked around with pocket change and a conscious superiority that we could approach one of the countless Cuban coffee ventanitas in Miami and order a 4-ounce grail of that sweet, dark nectar of the Cuban gods.

For this meager sum, the waitress at the window gave us jet fuel in a small heat-resistant container that we could safely take with us from the hair salon to the meeting room, and share with friends and enemies. It was our birthright, our trophy, topped with a small tower of dice-sized cups to share.

But those days have quietly come to an end.

The average price of a colada at 20 of Miami-Dade’s most popular ventanitas, from Homestead to Hialeah, is now $2.06, double what it costs at many Cuban cafes like the restaurant. Sergio’s Cuban in 2019. The cheapest of them, a tie between El Palacio de los Jugos on Flagler Street and Epicentro de Hialeah, is now $1.50. The highest? Hialeah’s Molina’s Ranch charges a $4.05 Starbucksian.

“You will never see the colada under $2 in the near future. The dollar colada is over,” said Sergio owner CEO Carlos Gazitú, who last sold the dollar colada to his family chain in 2019.

Miami Herald government reporter Doug Hanks tweeted a photo announcing new, higher prices at La Criollita Cafetería in East Hialeah. Responses included everything from “escandalosa!” to the shooting of President Joe Biden. No one thanked Obama.

Miami’s current Cafecito Index registers High. But the end of the dollar colada is just the cafecito in the coal mine.


It’s the smallest indicator of widespread cost increases – from paper products to cooking oil – affecting the restaurants behind these ventanitas.

“Coffee is not the real money,” Jesús Ovídez, 83, one of the last two owners of Chico’s restaurant, said on a recent afternoon.

“Do you want to know what real money is?” he asks.

He unrolls a CVS-length receipt from his pocket of purchases he made for the restaurant that morning. He stretches the receipt across the stainless steel kitchen counter of his stuffy West Hialeah restaurant, tracing the most expensive purchases with his finger.

Three of his restaurant’s flagship products soared: eggs ($22 to $85 a case), sugar ($17 to $24) and frying oil ($17 to $41 a jug).

“What money could we make with everything going on like this? »

Still, Ovídez prides himself on serving what he calls the most filling and cheapest breakfast in town at his 42-year-old restaurant on West 12th Avenue in Hialeah. A plate of two eggs (any style), white rice, fried sweet platanos maduros, is $6.55. He laments that he recently had to raise the price by 50 cents; inflation, says Ovídez, is a tangible problem.

Yet each plate is always accompanied by buttery Cuban toast and the first dose of Cuban coffee in a cafe con leche.

“Coffee hasn’t grown much,” Ovídez said. “It’s just that we’re paying attention now.”


On busy Calle Ocho, arguably the world’s best-known Cuban restaurant, customers at Cuban restaurants in Versailles haven’t seen a dollar colada in eight or nine years, said Felipe Valls Jr., who runs the empire of his father, Felipe Sr., began. Today, a colada costs $1.75.

“A colada, at a dollar, you lose money,” Valls said.

Valls’ company imports beans and roasts its own coffee in Miami, using it not only in its restaurants – including Versailles, La Carreta, La Palma and Casa Cuba – but selling it to grocery stores and restaurants, cafes and miami ventanitas.

Its cost for the unroasted green bean rose from $1 a pound to $2.10 a pound last year, Valls said. The end result means the cost of roasted whole bean coffee could have gone from $5 to $6.50 a bag.

Valls tries to protect his business from price swings by fixing a price with a coffee producer — most recently at $1.50 a pound — for six to eight months and storing unroasted beans in bulk. But even then, coffee growers have been reluctant to lock in a price for more than three months as labor and shipping costs fluctuate, thanks in part to rising fuel prices in the world.

Some of that cost was rolled into your long-lost $1 colada.

The rest? Paper.


The price of the paper cup Sergio uses for his colada (it’s gone from less eco-friendly polystyrene) has risen 30% since 2019, Gazitúa said.

An overloaded supply chain means manufacturers in China and Latin America are even streamlining production by removing custom branding, such as Sergio’s logo and slogan, from mugs.

“We’ve never seen it so high,” Gazitúa said. “It’s getting to a point where cups are more expensive than coffee.”

The cafecito at the window has always been the “value game,” Gazitúa said, “a loss leader to get people in.”

“Everything got so stupid – that’s the only word I can think of. The prices are crazy,” Gazitúa said.

And those little plastic cups? They cost Sergio 10% more than last year, Gazitúa said. The price of sharing the coffee experience has risen for good.

“It’s the end of this era of the $1 colada,” Gazitúa said. “It’s a new world.”

How a powerful dynasty bankrupted Sri Lanka in 30 months | Business and Economy News Thu, 28 Apr 2022 05:20:45 +0000 Ahead of the November 2019 elections, Sri Lankan presidential challenger Gotabaya Rajapaksa proposed sweeping tax cuts so reckless the incumbent government thought it must be a campaign gimmick. Then finance minister Mangala Samaraweera called a briefing to attack the “dangerous” pledge to cut value added tax from 15% to 8% and scrap other levies. For […]]]>

Ahead of the November 2019 elections, Sri Lankan presidential challenger Gotabaya Rajapaksa proposed sweeping tax cuts so reckless the incumbent government thought it must be a campaign gimmick.

Then finance minister Mangala Samaraweera called a briefing to attack the “dangerous” pledge to cut value added tax from 15% to 8% and scrap other levies. For him, it was a simple calculation: Sri Lanka received relatively less income than almost any other country, and its high indebtedness had forced it to seek money from the International Monetary Fund.

“If these proposals are implemented in this way, not only will the whole country go bankrupt,” the minister warned, “but the whole country will become another Venezuela or another Greece.”

It took about 30 months for his prediction to come true, in what has become a cautionary tale for populist leaders navigating a world of war, disease and high inflation.

After Rajapaksa won the 2019 elections, reviving one of Asia’s most powerful dynasties, he immediately passed the tax cut at his first cabinet meeting. He then swiftly restored the presidential powers held during the 10-year rule of his strongman brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, a period that saw the family end a nearly three-decade civil war before being elected in 2015 by a distrustful population in the face of increased oppression and indebtedness. in China.

Instead of learning to rule with more humility, Rajapaksa rushed to restore the family’s brand of populist authoritarianism fraught with calls for nationalism among Sinhalese Buddhists, who make up 75% of the population.

But this strategy quickly backfired. In recent weeks, Sri Lanka has run out of money to pay for essentials like food and fuel, leading to long petrol lines and daily 1 p.m. power cuts. Furious citizens burned loaves of bread and ransacked the health ministry for medicine. Protesters camped outside the president’s office in downtown Colombo for weeks demanding his resignation.

The Rajapaksa family is now in full damage control mode, rushing to secure basic goods for citizens while seeking emergency funds from the IMF, World Bank, China and other lenders. It has stopped repaying its foreign debt, defaulting for the first time since gaining independence from the British in 1948. The country’s stock market, which had soared after tax cuts, is the worst performer in the world. world this year – even below Russia.

Moreover, the Rajapaksas have also been forced to retreat on the two main policies they implemented after the 2019 elections. Finance Minister Ali Sabry has said that the value added tax must increase to that Sri Lanka can shore up its finances, and the Rajapaksas have proposed reducing presidential powers as opponents seek to remove Gotabaya as president and remove Mahinda as prime minister.

“The Rajapaksas are pulling out, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender,” said Jehan Perera, columnist and executive director of the Sri Lanka National Peace Council, an independent advocacy group. “The Rajapaksas are afraid that if they leave they will be very vulnerable both inside and outside the country. They face human rights abuses, war crimes charges and corruption charges. »

For 12 of the past 20 years, members of the Rajapaksa family have controlled the highest levels of Sri Lankan government. Under their watch, opposition and media critics have branded Sri Lanka a “soft dictatorship” and portrayed the Rajapaksas as characters like those conjured up by Mario Puzo, who wrote the screenplay for “The Godfather”.

Gotabaya, 72, a former defense chief, led a deadly final push to end the war against Tamil separatists, which killed up to 100,000 people before a ceasefire in 2009. His brother, Mahinda, 76, the family’s political brain, has served as president and twice as prime minister. Two other siblings, Chamal, 79, and Basil, 71, have carved out niches in handling ports, agriculture and money. Dozens of relatives hold positions of responsibility.

Milinda Rajapaksha, a government spokeswoman, declined to comment for this article.

Namal Rajapaksa – the president’s nephew, who recently resigned as sports minister – said that while the government inherited a bad economy from the previous administration, it had also made key policy mistakes and did not had failed to pivot quickly when the pandemic hit. The tax cuts, he said, should have been adjusted after a year because the government was losing revenue and not reaping expected investment from local businesses.

“There were some decisions that we disagreed on as a political party in terms of implementation,” Namal Rajapaksa said by phone, adding that the administration should have been more transparent and take the time to educate the public about the challenges. “I don’t blame the public for blaming the Rajapaksa-led government for being in power. The government is in power, therefore the government is responsible.

“The current situation is purely based on the breakdown of supply chain and governance,” he added. “The president must make decisions, firmly, and govern the country. And also put the institutions back on track.

Even before the Rajapaksas took power, the country was in financial difficulty. During the family’s first term, the government took out large loans from China to invest in projects such as a deep-water port in their home district of Hambantota on the south coast of island, as part of an effort to transform the nation in Southeast Asia. Singapore version. But many projects have stalled and the external debt has more than doubled between 2010 and 2020.

On top of that, the country was still reeling from the Easter Sunday terror attacks in 2019, when Islamic State-linked suicide bombers killed more than 250 people in strikes on churches and luxury hotels. Pervasive fear prompted voters to side with the candidate with experience of crushing insurgencies: Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“There was this assumption that the solution to the post-Easter Sunday crisis was tax cuts and low interest rates,” said Anushka Wijesinha, an economist and former adviser to the Ministry of International Trade and Development of government. “It was a mistake.”

Fears of a wider collapse first emerged with the pandemic, which suddenly sapped income from tourism and remittances. Credit rating companies downgraded Sri Lanka. To stay afloat, the government printed money, increasing supply by 42% between December 2019 and August 2021, helping fuel what would become Asia’s fastest inflation.

Last April, Sri Lanka suffered another shock: the government abruptly banned imports of chemical fertilizers. Publicly, officials presented the move as the fulfillment of a campaign promise to embrace organic farming and fight the “fertilizer mafia.” In fact, many saw the decision as an attempt to save money, according to Wijesinha and other economists. Namal Rajapaksa said the timing of the fertilizer decision was a sticking point within the ruling party.

The ban backfired. Sri Lanka’s entire agricultural chain – around a third of the workforce and 8% of the gross domestic product – has been disrupted. The paddy crop failed, forcing the government to import rice and launch a costly food aid program to support devastated farmers. Export earnings from tea, a key source of income, have also dried up. In November, as protests erupted, the government partially reversed the ban.

“So many experts have come forward and said this is a disastrous policy that will affect food security,” said Dhananath Fernando, managing director of Advocata, an economic policy research group in Colombo. . “But unfortunately the government was determined to make its decision.”

In recent weeks, Sri Lanka has run out of money to pay for essentials like food and fuel, leading to long petrol lines and daily 1 p.m. power cuts. Photographer: Jonathan Wijayaratne/Bloomberg

The policy mistakes led to shortages of food, electricity and medicine for the poor, and soon prompted angry protesters to take to the streets shouting “Go home, Gota!” and “Gota is crazy!” The Rajapaksas lost their two-thirds majority in parliament following the defection of coalition members, and they are now trying to resist opposition efforts to oust them from power.

While current financial problems make an election difficult to hold at the moment, opinion polls suggest the Rajapaksas would lose in a landslide. The first “Mood of the Nation” poll conducted in January by Verite Research showed that the government’s approval rating was just 10%.

The Rajapaksa government is “testing our level of patience and perseverance”, said Malik Nazahim, 24, who has attended several protests. “That’s what drives us forward. We want change and we want it now.