Rivera, his brother and a friend were staying in the Palmdale area and had been working on the Wal-Mart store being built in east Palmdale, officials said. firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – A mistrial has been declared in the case of a 22-year-old Palmdale man accused of murdering an Orange County construction worker in November 2001. Antelope Valley Superior Court jurors deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting Victor Ortega, who was 17 when the slaying occurred. A retrial is scheduled for Aug. 18. The mistrial was declared Friday after jurors deliberated for about three days. The jury convicted Ortega of a drug charge before deadlocking on the murder charge, officials said. Ortega is accused of murdering David Rivera, 25, of Santa Ana, whose body was in an alley behind the 300 block of East Palmdale Boulevard on Nov. 10, 2001. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Under Proposition 21, prosecutors were permitted to charge Ortega as an adult. He also was charged with committing the killing during a robbery, a special circumstance that could have made him eligible for the death penalty if he had been 18 or older at the time. The prosecutor and defense attorney could not be reached Monday for comment. One of Ortega’s previous attorneys had said Ortega was at the home of friends when the shooting occurred. Ortega and Rivera met the night before Rivera was found dead in the alley and had been drinking together and with others, authorities said. They had met at Palmdale motel room rented by a woman who lives in Ortega’s neighborhood, officials said. The woman testified at a preliminary hearing in 2002 that she saw Ortega and the victim walking down a dark alley and five minutes later heard a gunshot in the general direction of the alley, officials said. An autopsy indicated Rivera was shot in the head. His wallet and jacket were taken.
Share This!There’s something about the magic of a Disney vacation–that extra little pixie dust that makes a trip go from good to great. The idea behind Adventures by Disney is what if you could take that vacation experience that you have when visiting the parks and take it with you as you travel to destinations around the world. Of course all magic comes with a price, dearie. Adventures by Disney trips typically cost more than similar trips offered by other tour group companies, and far more than planning a budget-conscious trip on your own. The marketing for these trips does make them look impressive, and I’ve rarely heard anyone have anything negative to say about the actual trip. Is it something that many people have done, however? Last week, we asked you:Have you ever taken an Adventures by Disney trip?Here’s your results:Yes (55 votes, 5%)The variety of Adventures by Disney trips is impressive. The activities you can do on them are amazing. You can cruise down the major rivers of Europe, or go dog sledding in Wyoming. You can look for wildlife while hiking in the Galapagos Islands, or on safari in South Africa, or snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s coast. You can take a vacation without a Disney park experience, or you can set up your vacation to make a stop at Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland, Walt Disney World, or Disneyland Paris. While the trips are more expensive than if you booked events on your own, Disney often adds little extras to make the trips memorable. The guides on the trips come with a wealth of knowledge that you may not get with another tour company or on your own. Even better, these trips tend to have minimal outside costs. The price you see, aside from transportation to the start of your trip and home at the end, includes most of your activities, meals, and lodging. Many people who responded yes to this question mentioned that they’ve been on more than one Adventures by Disney trip. It may require eating instant noodles when you get home and rolling pennies for the next one, but people seem to want to keep coming back for more.No (1,031 votes, 95%)At the end of the day, no amount of marketing and hype can hide the fact that these trips are expensive. Even a short, three-night Disneyland Adventures by Disney trip will set you back more than $2,000 per person. Different trips can run $5,000 or more per person–the one to China that I’ve been dreaming of is more than $9,000. (And that doesn’t include the airfare to get to and from your destination.) Some people mentioned that this is a Bucket List or Powerball dream–if the money appeared, they’d go in a heartbeat. Others have a hard time justifying the price even if money was no object. In the end, it takes a lot to make the leap to plunk down the money on this. It is no surprise that most people who responded haven’t taken one. (You can count me in the number of people who haven’t been parted with my money for this trip yet. Maybe when I’m an empty nester?)So there you have it–this week’s results. Next week’s question is live on Twitter and on the blog here. In the meantime, if you were given one wish from Genie, but you had to use it to take an Adventures by Disney trip, which one would you wish for?
18 January 2008South Africans Alex Harris and Sibusiso Vilane made history on Thursday when they became the first South African team to walk unassisted to the South Pole.The duo set out on their epic 65-day journey on 10 November, dragging 130-kilogram sleds almost 1200 kilometres across some of the most hostile terrain on the planet.Antarctica generates much of the bad weather in the southern hemisphere, and storms there can be fierce. Temperatures range from an ambient of about -8 degrees to about -40 degrees Celsius.They completed their journey without the help of support teams putting out food or rigging up tents, and without using wind power or sled dogs, in what Harris described as “the purest form of getting to the South Pole”.Harris and Vilane are no strangers to extreme feats, with Harris becoming the second South African to summit the highest peak on each of the seven continents, the so-called “seven summits”, in 2005 and Vilane becoming the first black South African to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, in 2003.The two men spent almost a year training for the trek, dragging tyres requiring a pulling force of 30-40kg every second day, covering a distance of about 17 kilometres per training session.The trip was premised on covering at least 20 kilometres a day – they carried only an extra five days’ worth of emergency fuel and food – meaning that any mileage lost in a day would have to be made up for, or they would risk running out of supplies.They just made it, taking exactly five more days than planned – one day more and they’d have been running on empty.The physical and mental toughness it took to achieve this is hinted at in some of the extracts from Harris’s trip journal …No painkillers– extracts from Alex Harris’s journal21 November 2007have only covered distance of 45kms so far, but the last 6 days we have been stuck in our tent with high winds, so it is very frustrating23 November 2007finally on the move again. whiteout today so tough going. broke a ski in the wind the other day. did a repair job, just hope it lasts27 November 2007hi. only managed 14km in 8hrs. weather was perfect but it was the toughest day yet. soft snow made pulling desperate. but we finally made it to 81 degrees!01 December 2007at last. day 18 and did 20.48km in 8.5hrs. felt good, weather perfect and snow improving all the time. 42 more days!02 December 2007another good day. day 19. did 19.4km. my heel is starting to act up. there is a monster bank of clouds rolling in from the east.04 December 2007day 21. i battled today. heel burning like a hot poker. trying different things. sibu is fine11 December 2007day 28. last two days have been desperate conditions. zero vizibility and thick snow. only managed 15km today. heaviest the sleds have felt!13 December 2007this place deprives us of the luxury of nightime but the gloom of the day robs us of the light. instead we move through a grey twilight that knows not dawn nor dusk. it is fit for neither the living nor the dead. battled for 10hrs in the same conditions just for 15km04 January 2008day 52. feel exhausted. did 22.3km but getting colder measured -25.9 in my pocket! done 800km12 January 2008day 60 comes at last. perfect weather. still -22. did 25.4km in 10 hrs. tomorrow its on to emergency rations some juicy tidbits not mentioned before for fear of freaking the folks out. in that very windy spell in the first week, i got frostbite on my inside left thigh, about the size of my hand. not serious though as there is nothing to freeze solid and fall off. unless it was higher up my leg! anyway i have had to doctor it every day and make sure it doesnt go septic. but it is finally healing and forming scabs.14 January 2008day 62. mon 14th. gloomy day but still did 25.4km. countdown! 3 more days. 67km. unbelieveable! JTB #3. In the first week sibu and i had a huge argument about whether it was acceptable to do a #2 in the bell of the tent if conditions outside warranted it! thankfully it never came to that!15 January 2008day 63. JTB #4 We have had no painkillers on this trip. zip! must have fallen out when i was consolidating 2 kits into 1 at home16 January 2008day 64. wow, we have only 15km to go. listen to 702 thurs 4to6. you might catch us. i cant believe this day has finally come!SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
12 March 2010The staff at Durban/eThekwini Municipality’s Revenue Call Centre have launched their own version of Football Fridays, wearing different football jerseys each week to represent the different countries that will be participating at the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Click arrow to play slideshow.Then click bottom right button for fullscreen (ESC to exit).To view captions in fullscreen, click “show info”.They are also planning to have their meals coordinate with whatever country they are supporting that week.“We will be representing each country with food, arts and culture”, says eThekwini Municipality’s Jade Estelle Chetty.Football Fridays News Desk
Women in the private sector have away to go to catch up with the progresstheir peers in the public sector have made. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jeanette Hern Partner, Grant Thornton Johannesburg +27 11 322 4562 • Lesley Ann Foster Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre +27 43 743 9169 or +27 83 325 2497 RELATED ARTICLES • Empowerment for SA’s women• Women’s rights in SA to advance • Towards gender equality in SA • NGO fights for gender equality in SAShamin ChibbaSouth African women are making strides in the country’s private sector in terms of taking up senior positions, according to a recent international survey.The 2012 Grant Thornton International Business Report, which surveys trends in privately held businesses in 40 economies around the world, stated that 28% of senior management positions in South Africa were held by women.This is higher than the global average of 21%.Grant Thornton’s corporate finance head in Johannesburg, Jeanette Hern, said that this strong representation is indicative of the country’s progress towards gender equality.The percentage actually indicates an improvement from 27% last year. However, it falls just short of 2007’s figure of 29%.Creative ways to accommodate womenHern said, however, that more needs to be done for that figure to increase.“We need more innovative solutions in order to make a significant dent in the number of women still excluded from senior management,” she said.This includes finding more creative ways to accommodate women in the workplace. Hern said that just 39% of women surveyed in South Africa said that their businesses offer working conditions that accommodated flexible hours and alternative working locations.Also, the research found that women were not represented across a spectrum of management roles. Most were either human resource or finance directors.Just 8% of CEOs and 9% of COOs were women but according to Hern, this is an improvement from 2011, when only 3% of women held positions at these levels.Women have progressed, but can progress moreAccording to Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre’s executive director, Lesley Ann Foster, the exact number of women in leadership roles should be taken into consideration when analysing such statistics.Foster says that taken in context, the figures leave much room for improvement – but acknowledged that women have progressed in the past decade and they have occupied many senior positions, although not yet to a satisfactory degree.“Women make up 53% of the population so they should at least take up 50% of leadership positions but this is not happening,” she said.Foster was clear about the benefits that equality between men and women will have on society. She said that in a society where women are on an equal basis with men progress is quicker, the standard of living is higher and quality of life improves.“Women bring a lot of expertise and value to life,” she said. “If a woman works, the whole family and the community benefit. To be on par with men, women should receive decent work, decent pay.”Private sector must catch upFoster referred to studies done by the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa (BWASA) in 2010, which stated that there are millions of women who are either unemployed or earn very little.The BWASA research indicates that 64% of women earned less than R1 000 per month, 80% earned less than R2 500 and more alarmingly, only 45% of women were employed. In addition, 53% of black women are currently unemployed.She also said that there are not enough women from previously disadvantaged backgrounds in leadership positions.BWASA East London’s chairperson, Lizelle Maurice, agreed with Foster’s sentiments, saying that while women have progressed tremendously in the public domain, with 47% being represented in government, they are still lagging within the private sector.When speaking of ways to ensure women are given a greater chance to participate within business, Maurice said: “Black economic empowerment status should also have a gender component.”
At the end of last year, Facebook ramped up its advertising strategy. Every user has access to their own personalized Facebook adboard, which shows recently viewed ads, and the current selection of sponsored stories. In the fight for the social Web, some say Google’s latest addition of “Search, plus Your World” threatens Facebook. But if Facebook can steal eyeballs and clicks that would have normally gone to websites, will it win the battle of the social Web? Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification alicia eler A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts Tags:#advertising#Facebook#web If Facebook had it their way, users would come to the site and stay. Ads would send users to other areas of the social network. No one would ever leave. So it comes as no surprise that Facebook’s latest ad strategy focuses on subtle ways to keep users in the network. In the second quarter of 2011, Facebook’s advertising department offered an interesting incentive to advertisers: If your ad kept people on Facebook, it would cost you 29% less than an ad that sent users out to another website. For the fourth quarter of 2011, Facebook offered the same deal and pushed the number up to 45% off. Given that Facebook does as much as possible to keep you on the site, will it eventually become your one true social network?According to a the TBG report, some brands are responding to the lowered ad costs by building a presence within Facebook. Boston-based CraveLabs, whose tagline is “rethinking local advertising,” focuses on getting customers to a business’ Facebook page. “Why make your customers that find you on Facebook have to search for your website to find out what your best dishes are?” says CraveLabs, next to an example of why users should visit a restaurant’s Facebook page instead of the actual website. A targeted ad that drives users to the restaurant’s Facebook page would cost nearly 50% less than an ad that sent users out to the restaurant’s website. At the same time, Facebook ads that send users out to a website are getting more expensive. The report notes the average cost per click (CPC) has increased 10% versus other countries that only saw a 1% increase. The cost per thousand impressions (CPM) rates have increased by 8%, on average. The most clicked-through categories for Facebook ads are food & drink and beauty & fitness are the top categories for most-clicked through, trailed only by retail, home & garden and not for profit.
Deep linking is hot, and for good reason: it can make mobile search much more powerful by making it more predictive. In a world governed by small screen sizes and large intent, that’s a huge asset.And it’s why deep linking startup URX recently introduced AppViews, a product with the not-so-modest goal of “understand[ing] what a user is doing and what could make them happier.”See also: Don’t Look Now, But Deep Linking Just Got HotTo better understand not only AppViews but the innovative deep linking marketplace, and whether the increased intelligence buried in deep links will lead to privacy concerns, I sat down with URX marketing chief (and former Googler) Mike Fyall (@mikefyall). Going Deep On Deep LinksReadWrite: Why is deep linking important? And is there more to it than people generally think?Fyall: Deep links help users travel directly inside of an app to the right place, similar to a URL on the web. They help users save time, marketers create better campaigns, and developers build cross app experiences. Deep links will also usher in much needed new tools for app discovery and engagement. The deep link itself is just an address; however, as companies like Google, Facebook, URX, and others build an understanding of the content behind deep links we’ll be able to recommend apps to users when they are most relevant and useful. This is happening today. For example, Google is showing app content in search results, and companies like URX are building products (AppViews) that recommend relevant apps based on a users context. We’ll see lots of innovation here in the coming years, particularly as daily transactions inside of mobile apps continues to increase.Everything Is ConnectedReadWrite: What sort of data does URX glean from deep linking? Fyall: When URX crawls webpages with deep links on them, we capture information about the page content—for example the headline, keywords, images, and other metadata—using similar techniques to how search engines index webpages today. This helps us understand where the deep link goes so we can recommend it at the right time.URX can also check to see if a user has a given app installed before deciding which AppViews is most relevant. ReadWrite: When announcing AppViews, you talked about building an understanding of the entities inside mobile apps and how they relate to each other and the physical world. What does that mean?Fyall: In order to show relevant AppViews for a given context, we need to understand how people, places, things, and concepts relate across apps. For example, the “Beyonce” that you can listen to in Spotify is the same “Beyonce” you can also listen to in SoundCloud, or buy concert tickets for in Stubhub. Without this understanding, “Beyonce” is simply a 7 letter word to a computer and you can’t figure out what a user might want to do next.We’ve have a team of data scientists working on our knowledge graph (short explanatory video) for over a year. We utilized the Freebase project to kick it off and continually enhance it as more data flows through our system. Today, if a user is browsing a story about Beyonce we have a host of possible destinations a user might be interested in visiting.ReadWrite: You talk about suggesting the “next action” to make users “happier,” but how can you discern what they really want from deep links?Fyall: AppViews are about giving users a relevant recommendation for what they want to do next. To them, we aren’t offering a deep link: we are helping them discover content or take action. We named it “AppViews” as the goal is to give the user a glimpse inside other app before deciding to leave their current experience.The higher the user engagement is with AppViews, the better job we’ve done for users.ReadWrite: Who pays for this? Meaning, a developer might want to surface content to me in her app, but presumably you’re not going to show it to me unless it will make me happy, right? How does this work?Fyall: To date, we’ve seen the majority of developers implement AppViews to add functionality to their site and getting paid is secondary. Nexercise, the developer of the Sworkit fitness app, told us they’ve seen a host of positive reviews and feedback when they added the ability for users to listen to music before they workout.In terms of the business model, advertisers will be able to pay for “Promoted AppViews” which will appear alongside related content. For a promoted AppView, the developer receives a majority of the revenue and URX take a cut as well. Developers have complete control over the format and types of recommendations shown.All The Pieces MatterReadWrite: With AppViews you’re getting into big data-type applications, not merely mechanical “Click here to go to the right place in an app.” Where does this lead? (And will it be a privacy problem?)Fyall: Deep links are the required infrastructure to build the new mobile discovery platforms that are so desperately needed on mobile. For as powerful and amazing as apps have become, we’re still stuck browsing through app stores and can’t move intelligently between apps. URX is one of several companies trying to reinvent how we discover and engage with content on our phones.Most mobile ads today, for example those shown on Facebook or exchanges like MoPub, are targeted toward users based on demographics or previous behavior where privacy is a strong concern. However, AppViews are shown purely based what someone is doing right now— it doesn’t matter who you are, just want you might want to do. So privacy shouldn’t be a problem for AppViews now or in the future.Lead image courtesy of PicBasement Related Posts Tags:#Big Data#deep linking#deep links#Mike Fyall#mobile#mobile advertising#URX What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Matt Asay Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces
The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to release draft tax reform legislation on November 1 with a markup beginning one week later on November 6 (TAXDAY, 2017/10/27, C.1 ). The markup is expected to go on for several days, ensuring Democratic lawmakers have “ample time” to weigh-in on the policy proposals in the legislation, according to Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has indicated a Thanksgiving deadline for moving legislation through the House.The Senate is reportedly gearing up to release its own tax reform legislation in the coming days. The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) will mark up its tax reform bill the week of November 13, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Tex., told reporters. “We need to get the tax bill out of the Senate before Thanksgiving,” he said. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., also confirmed on October 26 that Senate Republicans are looking to pass tax reform legislation by Thanksgiving. Under that schedule, House and Senate leadership will likely then move both bills to conference committee negotiation, where members and the Trump administration will try to agree on final bill language, for a vote by the House and the Senate before Christmas recess.Several Democrats, including SFC ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have been critical of the pace with which Republicans are moving forward on tax reform. “They are rushing their tax giveaway to big corporations and the wealthy through the Congress so quickly that nobody catches on,” Wyden said on the Senate floor on October 26.Child Tax CreditMeanwhile, two Senate Democrats are focused on expanding the Child Tax Credit. Sens. Michael F. Bennet, D-Colo., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced the American Family Bill of 2017 on October 26. “The bill would create a new $300-per-month, per-child credit for children under 6 years of age and a $250-per-month, per-child credit for children 6 to 18 years of age—therefore, at least tripling the credit (now at $1,000 per year) for all children and, for the first time, making the credit fully refundable,” according to Bennet’s press release.The White House has also been promoting an expanded Child Tax Credit. Ivanka Trump, a senior advisor to President Trump, has been meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on Capitol Hill over the last several days to rally support for the expansion. The Trump/GOP Tax Reform Framework released in September calls for “significantly” increasing the credit (TAXDAY, 2017/09/28, C.1 ).By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News StaffLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
By Jeffrey MervisMay. 8, 2018 , 9:00 AM Follow our rolling coverage of 2018’s science candidatesPHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA—Before Chrissy Houlahan decided to run for Congress in southeastern Pennsylvania, she made a list of things she felt anyone serving in that body needed to understand. At the top were how to protect the country, how to grow the economy, and how to educate the nation’s children.Houlahan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and a master’s degree in technology policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, realized she was well-suited to tackle all three questions with her experience as a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, an executive with two successful startup companies, and a chemistry teacher in an urban high school. But before throwing her hat into the ring, Houlahan applied one more lesson from her time in the classroom, on the job, and in the military: She gamed out a way to win the election.Some 15 months later, Houlahan has implemented that plan to perfection. Thanks in part to a near-flawless campaign and prodigious fundraising, she is now the only Democrat on the 15 May primary ballot for Pennsylvania’s sixth congressional district (PA-6), an area southwest of here. Because of some good fortune, she’s also a heavy favorite to win the general election in November for what is now an open seat.The 50-year-old Houlahan says she isn’t afraid of competition. “But it’s very draining if there are lots of us [Democrats] fighting among ourselves” in the primary election, she notes. And although she says her ultimate goal is to turn the district “from a red dot to a blue dot,” it’s no secret that she wants to be that blue dot.“Our system is in desperate straits, and you can either run away and hide or try to be part of the solution,” she says. When asked why she chose Congress for her first foray into politics, rather than a local post, she doesn’t mince words. “I don’t have time for that. The stakes are too high, and I think I’m qualified.” How a Pennsylvania industrial engineer became the odds-on favorite to win a seat in Congress Public health scientist hopes to take his activism to Congress Pennsylvania is a key battleground in the fight for control of the next Congress, and scientists are in the middle of that fight. In February, the state’s highest court threw out a Republican-drawn map of the state’s 18 congressional districts and installed one that, for the most part, eliminates partisan gerrymandering. Those new districts helped push some Republican incumbents into retirement, while at the same time prompting many first-time Democratic candidates to run for seats that now appear winnable.The result is a political free-for-all in which veteran campaign watchers are hedging their bets on who the winners might be. “I haven’t seen a single poll, and without a poll, you can’t begin to make a guess,” says political scientist Terry Madonna of Franklin and Marshall College (F&M) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he directs the Center for Politics and Public Affairs and runs the F&M Poll. A crowded field, he says, simply adds to the confusion. This story is the second in a three-part series on candidates with considerable scientific training who are running as Democrats for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania. 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Kelly Schulz The science candidates: races to watch in 2018 Follow our rolling coverage of 2018’s science candidates Postdoc hopes Pennsylvania voters will help her re-engineer how to run for Congress The science vote No more flying soloAsk Houlahan about her childhood, and her answer—“I grew up everywhere”—reflects her military upbringing. Houlahan’s father and one of her grandfathers were U.S. Navy pilots, and her dad’s job flying P-3 Orion antisubmarine reconnaissance planes meant the family would always be along the water. By the time she was a teenager, Houlahan was a certified scuba diver, an open-water swimmer, and a budding marine biologist. Her easy access to both oceans and sky, combined with a strong parental push to study science, led her to put astronaut at the top of her career choices.In her mind, the process began by becoming a pilot. She won an Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship to attend Stanford. However, the military was not welcome on campus when she arrived there in 1985. So every Friday, Houlahan was one of 20 Stanford undergraduates who would pile into cars and drive 40 kilometers to San Jose State University for daylong training.Hostility to the military wasn’t the only obstacle she had to overcome. Engineering classes were typically offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—and Houlahan said Stanford made no attempt to accommodate the ROTC students who would be absent. “So ROTC meant you were basically missing one-third of your classes, for 4 years,” she recalls. “And that made it pretty hard to be a very good student.”The size of the ROTC class would eventually dwindle to four, with Houlahan as the only woman. And although her military heritage helped her persevere—“I knew exactly what I was setting myself up for,” she says—she made an unorthodox decision when the Air Force offered her one of its highly competitive slots for pilot training.“I turned them down,” she says. “I had already started dating my husband and was hoping that we would end up making a life together. I had grown up in a wandering lifestyle in which we moved every year. He wasn’t going into the military, and I visualized what his life would be like if I were in the military.”Her classmates and Air Force officials couldn’t believe it, she recalls. “I remember the Air Force was pretty disappointed, and my ROTC cadre was stunned. But it was a lifestyle choice. And we’ve been married for 28 years, so I think I made the right one.”After graduation, Houlahan spent 3 years at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts, which focuses on electronic communications systems. There she worked on air and space defense technologies “one or more generations in the future.” The challenges included figuring out “what types of information people need, and in what order, and with what visual displays, when ballistic missiles are raining down on you” and “how to communicate in a postnuclear war environment.”Corner office to the classroomAfter leaving the military, she made use of her MIT degree, which combined business and engineering courses, to help her husband run a fledgling sports apparel company, AND1. The startup, based here, soon grew to rival industry leader Nike. Its socially responsible benefits included 40 hours of paid community service annually for every employee, which Houlahan invariably used to improve educational opportunities for underserved populations. “And for me,” she says, “that meant women and girls in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] and communities of color.”Eventually, she decided that she needed to experience the problems facing the nation’s public schools before she could hope to have any impact. So she left an executive position at another startup her husband had co-founded and enrolled in a program for lifelong learners at the University of Pennsylvania, retaking chemistry and taking biology for the first time. She also was accepted into Teach for America, an on-the-job training program that placed her at Simon Gratz High School, a storied but troubled school here.For someone used to working in a corner office, Simon Gratz was an eye-opening experience. “We had some labs, but we didn’t have access to them for most of the year,” she says. A bigger problem, she soon realized, was that “teaching science to kids who are reading really, really below grade level is an impossibility. And my kids were reading at the third or fourth grade level.”Although Teach for America fellows, who are often fresh out of college, must stay in the classroom for 2 years to earn their teaching degree, Houlahan left the program after 1 year. She had learned enough, she says, to understand the importance of literacy in tackling many of the problems facing urban schools. She then joined Springboard Collaborative, a nonprofit based here that aims to improve literacy by creating a year-round learning environment for students that extends into the home and community.A wall of moneyHoulahan says that she and her husband have emphasized to their three children, now adults, the importance of putting their talents to the “highest, best use.” After Donald Trump was elected president, she says, she applied that imperative to herself.“I was raised to respect the democratic process, and the will of the people, and whoever is your commander in chief,” she says. “And this was the first time that I felt I couldn’t do that.”Anticipating that her response to that dilemma might lead her into electoral politics, Houlahan spent the next 3 months exploring what it would take to run a campaign. One day, she appended a note to a fundraising solicitation from Emily’s List, a nonprofit that supports women running for office and to which she regularly donated small amounts. “I want to run for Congress,” she wrote. “What does it take?”Once she made up her mind, Houlahan hit the ground running. She wanted to learn as much as possible about the district. She also wanted to raise enough money to scare off any challengers.“I wanted to put up as big a defense as I could,” she says, “because it doesn’t do anybody any good to fight among ourselves.” Her strategy has been wildly successful: As of 31 March, Houlahan had raised $2 million, a staggering haul for a political novice in the run-up to a primary.Raising vast amounts is “a necessary evil” for first-time candidates like herself who need to introduce themselves to potential voters, she says. “But it’s also a big part of what’s broken in campaigning.” If voters send her to Washington, D.C., she promises to seek ways “to lessen the role of money and increase transparency in campaigning.”Houlahan has also benefited from forces beyond her control. The two-term incumbent Republican who holds the seat, Representative Ryan Costello, dropped out of the race a week after the 20 March filing deadline. That leaves Greg McCauley, a tax lawyer and neophyte candidate, as the only eligible Republican.In another stroke of good luck for Houlahan, the district in which she is running has become decidedly more Democratic since she declared her candidacy. In January 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out a map apportioning all 18 congressional seats that was created by the state’s Republican-led legislature. The old PA-6 was nearly evenly split between those who voted for Trump and those who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. But Democrats enjoy a 10-point advantage in the newly redrawn district. As a result, political handicappers have shifted the seat from a toss-up to likely Democrat.If Houlahan wins, she will be looking for opportunities to promote her ideas on national security, the economy, and education. She says she’s “pro-business” but progressive on social issues. She’d also like to explore ways to shorten the campaign season—and lessen the incessant need to raise money.“I have been campaigning for 18 months for a job that, if I win, I will hold for 2 years,” she says wearily. “And as near as I can tell, I’ll start fundraising to get re-elected the day after I’m sworn in.”Even so, Houlahan is looking forward to meeting some kindred spirits in Washington, D.C. “I’m hopeful that, if I get elected, there will be a lot of people like me who want to be part of a wave of change. And if there are enough of us, maybe we’ll have the opportunity to make a difference.”*Correction, 9 May, 10:53 p.m.: This story has been updated to correct Houlahan’s age.
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ UEFA have confirmed the seeding for the Euro 2020 draw on November 30, as Italy risk a Group of Death with France and Portugal. Roberto Mancini’s Italy find themselves in Pot 1 after winning all 10 games in Group J, the first time in their history that the Azzurri qualified for a major tournament with a 100% record. There is a nightmare scenario for Italy, in which they could find themselves in a group containing France and Portugal. Pot 1 Belguim, Italy, England, Germany, Spain, Ukraine Pot 2 France, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia, Netherlands, Russia Pot 3 Portugal, Turkey, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic Pot 4 Wales, Finland, Play-off winner A, Play-off winner B, Play-off winner C, Play-off winner D Euro 2020 begins in Rome on June 12.