Motorist Crashed Into Anchor Point Post Office

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska State Troopers responded to the Anchor Point Post Office after reports that a motorist drove through the front of the building Friday afternoon. In an email from Megan Peters, spokeswoman with the Alaska State Troopers: “We got the report at approximately 1:53pm. An employee and someone nearby called it in. Initially fire went out because they thought the driver may need to be extricated, but the driver got out on their own.” According to Peters, as of 4pm Troopers are still on scene investigating and arranging a tow. There were no reported injuries.last_img

Traffic Lights Turned On At Gas Well And Ciechanski Road

first_imgShannon McCarthy with the Department of Transportation: “The traffic signals have been turned on so be aware of that, and be ready to stop on red.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Kalifornsky Beach Road users may have noticed that the new traffic lights were switched on at both Gas Well and Ciechanski Road. DOT, in cooperation with Knik Construction Company, installed two new signal systems at Gas Well and Ciechanski Road, and updated the signals at Bridge Access and Poppy Lane. The roadway has been resurfaced, striped and new signs installed. Upon project completion, speed limits in the area will remain the same. Work on K-Beach will continue to be carried out on weekdays between 8:00pm and 6:30am, until the end of October, weather permitting.last_img

Amazons facial tech shows gender racial bias MIT study says

first_img Amazon Share your voice Roberto Machado Noa / Getty Images Amazon’s facial technology had a harder time recognizing the gender of darker-skinned women and made more mistakes identifying gender overall than competing technologies from Microsoft and IBM, according to an MIT study published Thursday.Amazon’s Rekognition software incorrectly identified women as men 19 percent of the time, according to the study. In addition, it incorrectly identified darker-skinned women as men 31 percent of the time, it says. Software from Microsoft, by comparison, identified darker-skinned women as men 1.5 percent of the time.Matt Wood, general manager of artificial intelligence at Amazon Web Services, said that the study’s test results are based on facial analysis, not facial recognition. Analysis, he said, can find faces in videos or images and assign generic attributes, such as the wearing of glasses. Recognition, he said, matches an individual’s face to images in videos and photographs. The Rekognition technology includes both of these functionalities. “It’s not possible to draw a conclusion on the accuracy of facial recognition for any use case – including law enforcement – based on results obtained using facial analysis,” Wood said in a statement. Wood added that the study didn’t use the latest version of Rekognition. Amazon, using an up-to-date version of Rekognition with similar data, found no false positive matches, Wood says.Deborah Raji, an author of the study, said she and co-author Joy Buolamwini understand the distinction between facial recognition and facial analysis. “We make it clear in our paper that the task we chose to evaluate is the facial analysis task of binary gender classification,” Raji said. “That means, given the number of faces detected, how well does the model understand what it sees?”In a Friday blog post, Buolamwini cautioned people to be skeptical when companies say they have completely accurate systems.”Wood states the company used a large benchmark of over 1 million faces to test their facial recognition capabilities and performed well,” Buolamwini wrote. “While their performance on the benchmark might seem laudable, we do not know the detailed demographic or phenotypic (skin type) composition of this benchmark. Without this information we cannot asses for racial, gender, color, or other kinds of bias.”Amazon has provided Rekognition to law enforcement agencies, though civil liberties groups, members of Congress and Amazon’s own employees have raised concerns about privacy. Earlier this month, a group of shareholders also called on Amazon to stop selling its Rekognition technology to government agencies. In light of the MIT study, Buolamwini said it’s “irresponsible” for Amazon to keep selling the technology to law enforcement agencies. Facial analysis technology can be abused and could lead to mass surveillance, she said. In addition, inaccuracies could result in innocent people being misidentified as criminals.Raji echoed that sentiment. “If the system falsely identifies a suspect due to its reduced accuracy on a particular demographic,” she said, “that could be seriously harmful.”First published Jan. 25, 3:54 p.m. PT.Update, 11:14 p.m.: Adds comment from Buolamwini and Raji. Comments 6 Tags Tech Industrylast_img read more

Lightning kills 2

first_imgA man and a woman were killed in lightning strikes in Pirojpur and Barisal districts on Thursday, reports UNB.In Pirojpur, Md Abbas, 42, son of Moazzem Hawlader, was killed as a thunderbolt struck him at Dabgachia village in Indurkani upazila.Police said that the thunderbolt struck Abbas when he was bringing his cattle from field around 12:30pm, leaving him dead on the spot.In Barisal, Hanufa Begum, 30, wife of Riyad Hossain of Badalpara village in Bakerganj upazila, was killed as a lightning hit her around 1:00pm when she went out of house for bringing her cattle, said Md Maksuduzzaman, officer-in-charge of Bakerganj police station.last_img

Death toll in Brazil nursery arson attack rises to 9

first_imgA girl who was burned in an arson attack at a nursery school in Brazil succumbed to her wounds on Saturday, bringing the overall death toll to nine people.The four-year-old girl had been transferred to a hospital in Belo Horizonte , the state capital of Minas Gerais, some 370 miles (600 kilometers) north of the small town of Janauba where the attack occurred, according to Folha de Sao Paulo, a local newspaper.A security guard at the nursery sprayed his young victims with alcohol before setting fire to the building. He himself died from burns a few hours later.According to local authorities, he had suffered from mental health issues since 2014.In total, eight four-year-old children were killed, along with a teacher aged 43. Another 40 people were treated at three hospitals in the region.Dozens gathered for the first funerals of victims at a cemetery in Janauba on Friday afternoon, according to an AFP photographer.Small white coffins were opened for a few minutes as devastated family members wept.”What has happened is inexplicable. I have no words. When I heard about the fire on the radio, I immediately thought of my grandchildren. I was sure something had happened to them,” said Antonio Pereira da Silva, who buried his granddaughter.The mayor of Janauba declared seven days of mourning, while Brazil’s President Michel Temer expressed his solidarity with the victims of the “tragedy.”last_img read more

Surge Of Candidates Leaves Texas Democrats Struggling To Recruit Qualified Staffers

first_imgPu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneCampaign volunteers for Sri Kulkarni, a Democrat vying to unseat U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, work the phones before a primary runoff in May.Jana Lynne Sanchez had a surprise waiting for her when she returned home from a business trip last July.Sitting in her office were boxes filled with supplies for her campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives: 5,000 push cards, 5,000 door hangers and a banner — all with her name misspelled. A staffer working for the fledgling campaign in Texas’ 6th District, which covers an area south of Dallas, had spent $1,500 — around 15 percent of the campaign’s monthly budget — on unusable merchandise that added an extra “n” to Sanchez’s first name.The staffer who made the mistake had no experience working on a congressional campaign, said Sanchez, a first-time candidate herself. She hired that employee and another inexperienced staffer — both of whom she declined to name — out of desperation, she said, unable to find anyone more qualified to run her campaign.“One of the most shocking situations that I had not expected was how difficult it would be to find qualified campaign staff,” Sanchez said last week. “If you have no one applying for the jobs, you’re begging people to apply. I had to stretch my imagination to believe that people could do the job I was hiring them to do.”With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Democrats have more candidates competing in congressional and state legislative races in Texas than the party has seen in years, as a wave of liberal enthusiasm fueled largely by opposition to President Donald Trump sweeps across the country. But the uptick in Democratic candidates has exposed a weakness in the party’s statewide apparatus, according to interviews with more than a dozen candidates, consultants and political experts: a shortage of experienced operatives equipped to run so many campaigns.The origins of the problem date back to the 1990s, when Republicans swept Democrats out of the state’s major offices, making it harder for many Democratic campaign staffers to find work between elections.“It’s a problem that has been around for a while,” said Colin Strother, a longtime Democratic strategist in Texas. “It’s just more pronounced this cycle because we have more competitive Democratic races than we have had in a generation.”At the time of the misspelling fiasco, Sanchez was one of several candidates running to challenge longtime U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis. Later that year, Barton decided not to run for re-election after a graphic photograph of him appeared on social media.By the March primaries, Sanchez had recruited a new team of staffers through connections at her alma mater, Rice University, and went on to win her party’s nomination in a runoff, setting up a showdown with Republican Ronald Wright, whom she has narrowly outraised in recent months. But for many Democrats competing in lower-profile races — particularly legislative contests in districts typically dominated by Republicans — recruiting qualified campaign staff has proved nearly impossible.Without dedicated staffers, these Democrats — many of whom are first-time candidates — are forced to spend valuable time writing their own press releases, drawing up fundraising plans and cobbling together lists of street addresses for volunteers to target during neighborhood block walks. The problem is partly financial. Candidates in low-profile races often have trouble matching the salaries offered by better-funded campaigns in districts widely viewed as more competitive. But this cycle, even Democrats who can afford to hire staffers say they have struggled to find people qualified to lead their campaigns.“I’ve had a terrible time hiring. I just don’t get that many applicants,” said Allison Lami Sawyer, a Democrat challenging state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the state Legislature. “All the ones with experience are going to federal and statewide races. And it’s not even a salary difference. Even if you’re matching salary, they’re going to the federal races.”In Texas, political experts say, a competitive state House campaign should generally have three full-time staffers: a campaign manager, a fundraising director and an official who oversees volunteers working in the field. Sawyer has one part-time staffer on her team.In less competitive races, many Democrats rely entirely on volunteers. Meghan Scoggins, a Democrat vying to unseat Republican state Rep. John Zerwas in a Fort Bend County district that has not seen a Democratic challenger in three election cycles, said she has had to “build an infrastructure from the ground up.”“A lot of the time that we’d normally be able to focus on voter contact, we’re having to focus on training volunteers,” Scoggins said.A range of factors — from decades-long political trends to quirks of the current election cycle — are responsible for the dearth of Democratic campaign staffers in Texas.Since Republicans took control of every statewide office in 1998, a number of experienced Democratic operatives left Texas after struggling to find consistent employment between elections.“Finding them a gig after a campaign is not always easy,” said Jeff Crosby, a Democratic consultant in Texas. “Back in the day, when we had a bunch of statewide offices, those folks could flow into jobs over there.”In 2010, when a wave of Republican victories cut the number of Democratic seats in the 150-member Texas House by a third, Dallas native Kirk McPike managed the state House campaign of Democrat Loretta Haldenwang, who lost to the Republican incumbent, Linda Harper-Brown of Irving. The election result left McPike with a difficult choice, he said: “Either go down to Austin and compete with my 20 best friends for the five jobs that were left working for Democrats in the Texas House, or look for employment out of state.”McPike chose the second option and now works in Washington, D.C., as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, a California Democrat who McPike helped elect to office in 2012.In recent years, other Democratic operatives in Texas have left the campaign circuit to work for progressive advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood Texas Votes and the Workers Defense Project. “There’s a lot of really quality staff who are working in those organizations, which just reduces the overall pool for campaigns,” said Jeff Rotkoff, the campaigns director for the Texas branch of the AFL-CIO, another organization that has attracted experienced political operatives.On top of those long-term trends, the unusually high number of competitive congressional races this cycle has exacerbated the staffing shortages faced by Democrats running for seats in the Texas Legislature.Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University, said only one Texas Democrat challenging a Republican congressman in 2016 – Pete Gallego, who failed in a bid to reclaim his old seat from U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes – ran a professional, competitive campaign, compared to four such candidates this year.“The real difference this cycle is that the congressional candidates are sucking up all the talent that wasn’t all that deep to begin with,” Jones said.By contrast, he added, Republicans generally have a surplus of campaign talent for the general election, as staffers who worked for losing primary candidates look for new jobs in the run-up to November.The shortage of Democratic staffers has put strain on volunteers working for legislative candidates in Texas. Nancy Bean, a Democrat challenging state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, said her volunteers have struggled to master the intricacies of the Voter Activation Network, an online database that the Texas Democratic Party maintains to help campaigns target individual voters.“It’s been a real uphill battle,” she said. “Because my volunteers are volunteers, it takes a long time to get people to be trained. Learning to do the VAN and all the ups and downs of the VAN is quite a steep learning curve.”Bean appears to have little chance of defeating Krause, whose district is solidly Republican. But even in historically uncompetitive districts, staffing shortages could hinder the party’s broader efforts to foster collaboration between local candidates and better-funded statewide campaigns, said Strother, the Democratic strategist.“We can’t get better unless we have these coordinated efforts, and we can’t have these coordinated efforts if we don’t have good staff,” he said.Crystal Perkins, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, acknowledged that the sheer number of Democrats running for office in Texas has made it “a little bit harder for folks to find staff.” But she brushed off concerns that the staffing problems might hurt the party’s chances this year, praising the work that local advocacy groups like Battleground Texas have done to improve Democratic turnout.And Perkins emphasized that the state party provides online training modules designed for candidates and volunteers, as well as in-person workshops to help campaigns make the most of the voter database.“We’ve really gone to a more training-focused organization,” she said. “We’ve tried to figure out how we could meet that challenge.”For some inexperienced candidates, however, webinars and occasional training sessions can only help so much.“If you’ve never run a campaign and you’re maybe not top of the class, then going to a training that’s offered by the party is probably not enough,” said Sanchez, the Democrat running for an open congressional seat in North Texas.“My initial impression was that it’s not rocket science,” she added. “Well, I changed my mind about that.”Gwenn Burud, a Democrat challenging state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, said she tried to hire staffers but found that most qualified operatives had already agreed to join higher-profile campaigns. Over time, however, that setback has become one of her campaign’s strengths, she said, because the volunteers she has recruited are talented and enthusiastic.In addition to developing volunteer networks, many female candidates in Texas have also made use of another resource: each other. In group chats and Facebook exchanges, Democratic women running for office this year share tips and anecdotes, turning to their fellow candidates for advice on everything from raising money and recruiting staff to deflecting sexist comments on the campaign trail. Scoggins, the state House candidate in Fort Bend County, said she got to know other female candidates earlier this year, when they were interviewed for a documentary about women seeking elected office across the country.“We talk policy, we talk strategy,” she said. “We talk all of the things that you might normally be paying staff to bring to the table.”Disclosure: Rice University and Planned Parenthood have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here. Sharelast_img read more

Two Teens Shot on Southeast DC Basketball Court

first_imgPolice are still searching for suspects in a Dec. 10 shooting of two teenagers on a basketball court in Southeast D.C., said a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department on Dec.13.Lt. Sean Conboy said the offense took place in the 4400 block of F Street, SE. The shooting happened in the evening outside of the Benning Terrace housing complex. According to the spokesperson, a group of young people were playing basketball when they heard gunshots, and fled the court.The victims struck by gunfire are believed to be 14 or 15 years old, according to the Washington Post. Both victims were breathing and conscious when police arrived and were transported the hospital.Police are currently looking for two Black male suspects last seen in a burgundy car with unknown paper tags.Despite the 58 percent increase in homicide cases, and the 3 percent rise in robberies, “there is not a rise in crime in the District as a whole,” Conboy told the AFRO, in an email, on Dec.9. He said that violent crime, which sat at 5,526 as of Nov. 17, has only increased by 1 percent, and is still lower than 2014’s total of 6,194.However, the total violent crimes reported between Alabama Avenue SE and 46th Street SE, within 1,000 feet of this shooting, doubled since last year, according to a D.C. police crime map. Last year, this area had 22 violent crimes as compared 44.Deji Ayoku, 22, said youth live in fear of being harmed, even in locations that should be safe play areas. “If people are getting shot at least three times out of seven days then, yeah, I would be scared,” Ayoku said. He played soccer growing up in Prince Georges County, Maryland and his parents sent him to school in Buffalo, New York so he could get away from “bad areas” and trouble.Ayoku still visits his aunt and cousins who live and work in the District. He said he hopes something will be done about the crime so his family will be safe.last_img read more

Shuvaprasannas annual art fair cultural fest on its way

first_imgArts Acre Foundation announced on Wednesday the second edition of its annual festival – Art Haat, 2017 – organized in association with Emami Art is going to be held at the Arts Acre Museum of Bengal Modern Art and International Centre for Creativity and Cultural Vision at Rajarhat from November 11 to 14. Eminent artist, Shuvaprasanna, acclaimed artists, Himmat Shah and Prabhakar Kolte, filmmaker, Gautam Ghose and prominent artists from Germany were present at the inauguration. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThis year, the majority of the stalls at the Art Haat festival are being given to the emerging artists who are full-time practitioners of fine arts like painting and sculpture while some stalls are reserved for various handicrafts. Besides the fair, there will be performances at the open-air amphitheatre every evening during this four-day event. Last year, it was a mix of Baul and other forms of folk music like Rainbenshe, Chau, and traditional dance of Purulia and performances by Belgian Bluegrass band named Louvat Brothers. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis year there will be a performance by Folks of Bengal – a folk band performing songs and instrumental, folk songs by Swapan Basu, Raibenshe – traditional acrobatic dance form of Bengal, Chau – Dance form of Purulia and contemporary dance performance by Bittu Mondal and group.Present on the occasion, Shuvaprasanna said, “This is the second edition of Art Haat and I am extremely hopeful about its success. Last year, it was an interesting spread of experience. We have extremely talented artists across the city and state who have participated in this year’s art fair and festival and it is going to be big this year. From the last year’s success, we have been inspired to increase the number of stalls to 65 against last year’s 55. We will continue to hold this festival to exhibit the artistic excellence of our city and the country”. Different forms and types of affordable painting, sculpture, folk art, crafts, organic clothes, designer jewellery and handloom products would be exhibited at this unique fair. “The idea is to enable every family to carry back a piece of art with them. We have also tried to offer each artist and artisan an inexpensive platform for selling their creations”, added Shuvaprasanna. This year, the fair also offers delectable food items from K C Das, Biskfarm and Mukhorochak. They will be offering their delicacies besides food from the in-house cafeteria. There will also be stalls selling popular street foods in the festival. Arts Acre is the brainchild of the renowned artist Shuvaprasanna which has developed into a sprawling facility for fine arts. It is a self-contained mini-city for artists and art lovers providing world-class facilities for creating a model platform for the practice and propagation of art, craft and culture.last_img read more