Cerrado: traditional communities win back land from agribusiness firm

first_imgTraditional communities, which have inhabited rural lands sometimes for centuries but without land deeds, are protected under Brazilian law. However, a variety of elite land grabbers, ranging from cattle ranchers to large agribusiness companies, have used intimidation and other methods to seize community lands.Rural communities in Formosa do Rio Preto in Bahia state are a case in point. They are in conflict with Agronegócio Estrondo, an agribusiness firm which the communities say illegally seized their lands on the Black River. A state court has now ruled in the communities’ favor, ordering the land returned and fines paid.However, the communities say Estrondo, which has a documented history in Bahia as a land grabber, has continued its tactics of intimidation, recently digging a 1.8-mile trench to hinder movement of local people and livestock, and using a private security force and police to seize the rural community of Cachoeira’s cell phone tower.Also, in Cachoeira, in June, local police and private security, allegedly from Estrondo, entered the home of Adão Batista Gomes, arrested, then released him. He is the community leader whose name appears first on the judicial action against the agribusiness firm. Estrondo seems likely to appeal the court ruling. Catarina Lopes Leite has lived in a rural portion of Formosa do Rio Preto since being born there 59 years ago. She is one the geraizeiros who is resisting the encroachment of agribusiness on the traditional communities’ land. Image by Flávia Milhorance.Traditional communities in Western Bahia state, Brazil, have won a major legal victory, allowing them to remain on a tract of land claimed by Agronegócio Estrondo, a large agribusiness firm.As Mongabay reported in March, rural communities in the municipality of Formosa do Rio Preto accused the large farm of illegally expanding its operations onto their land. The communities had also denounced the firm for employing armed men who blocked local roads with security checkpoints to intimidate local people and to impede their passage to city markets.On 6 May, a Bahia state court of appeals upheld a preliminary decision safeguarding the communities’ territory and imposing a fine on the company of R$50,000 (US$13,000) per day, for each day that the court’s decision was not carried out. The firm still has the right to appeal the decision.The disputed land is within the threatened Cerrado savannah biome, Brazil’s second largest biome after the Amazon. The Cerrado plateaus, or the chapadas, are preferred by mechanized agribusiness because they are flat and can easily be plowed up for soy, cotton and corn crops. Image by Flávia Milhorance.“This victory is extremely important to these communities,” said Mauricio Correa, a member of the Association of Lawyers of Rural Workers in Bahia state, who oversaw the case. “We are all thrilled with it. Estrondo is very influential and got rid of a number of [other] judicial actions. The chances [that] this decision [will be] reversed is quite limited now.”The small-scale farmers are known as geraizeiros, and their traditional communities have occupied the region for up to two centuries. The geraizeiros have farmed and grazed the land, while preserving the surrounding biome, the Cerrado, the richly biodiverse Brazilian savannah. These traditional communities are recognized by the Brazilian government as having sustainable livelihoods rooted in their territories, and as worthy of protection.But Western Bahia state recently became a target for rapid agribusiness expansion, leading to fast-paced deforestation and an increase in agrarian conflicts. Formosa do Rio Preto, with approximately 22,000 residents, is now one of Brazil’s biggest soy producers, with 1.4 million tons harvested last year, and projections of 23 percent growth by 2027, according to the Ministry of Agriculture — which means that agribusiness conflicts with traditional communities are only likely to escalate.Estrondo Agronegócio, a large-scale agribusiness company, has placed signs at the edge of property it claims in rural areas of Formosa do Rio Preto. But the traditional communities say some of the land is theirs, a contention to which a Bahia state court recently agreed. Image by Flávia Milhorance.Historically, the traditional communities built their homes in the savannah lowlands, the baixões, and allowed their cattle to roam freely in the natural pastures of the plateaus, the chapadas. However, the chapadas are valued by mechanized agribusiness, because they are flat, allowing for use of heavy farm equipment, and because they receive plenty of rain, needed for water-intensive soy, corn and cotton monocultures.Because the traditonal communities typically lack legal deeds for these uplands – a common situation in rural Brazil – most of the plateau around Formosa do Rio Preto was taken over in recent years by large-scale industrial agribusiness. But the small communities still resist in the lowlands.Agronegócio Estrondo came to Western Bahia in the 1970s. Today, it occupies a 305,000-hectare (1,177-square mile) area, almost four times the size of New York City. The enterprise is owned jointly by 24 companies which produce soy, corn, and cotton. The land area claimed, and now won back, by the 62 families in seven communities is a portion of a 55,000-hectare (212-square mile) tract in the lowlands along the Rio Preto, or Black River.The 1.8 mile ditch dug by Estrondo Agronegocio stretches is up to three meters deep, with the excess soil piled high beside it, and is meant to prevent movement by people and livestock from the traditional communities in Formosa do Rio Preto, Bahia. Image courtesy of 10envolvimento.Ongoing conflictDespite the court’s ruling, the geraizeiros say that intimidation by Estrondo is ongoing. Within weeks of the decision, and in apparent defiance of the verdict, the company dug a 1.8-mile trench to hinder movement of local people and livestock. “We can’t take the cattle to pasture in some areas anymore, and a few families are more isolated,” says Jossone Lopes Leite, who lives in the Cachoeira rural community, 60 miles from paved municipal roads.Cachoeira is one of the best-organized geraizeiros villages along the Black River. During Mongabay’s visit last February, the community boasted a small mobile cell phone tower, built by the families themselves at a shared cost of R$10,000 (US$2,600), which connects them to the world.In May, however, community members say that Estrondo’s private security detachment, along with local police, dismantled the tower, which was then taken to the farm’s headquarters. No reason was given for the theft.Lopes reported to Mongabay via a WhatsApp call made 30 miles away from Cachoeira: “Today, if we need to talk to someone, I come here to a farm where the owner allows me to use the Internet.”The geraizeiros traditional communities have harvested small-scale crops and raised cattle in Formosa do Rio Preto, Bahia, for as much as two centuries. Image by Flávia Milhorance.Also, in Cachoeira, on the night of 6 June, the local police and private security men, allegedly in the employ of Estrondo, entered the house of Adão Batista Gomes, the community leader whose name appears first atop the judicial action against the agribusiness company.According to Gomes, the men lacked a warrant on charges of illegal weapons possession and destruction of the company’s security cabins. In March, Mongabay reported the geraizeiros tore down fences and two cabins erected by Estrondo because they blocked a road used to regularly travel to the city of Formosa do Rio Preto. The road remains open to traffic and armed men were no longer seen in that area, according to the community.Gomes spent the night in jail and talked to Mongabay the day after his release. He denied taking part in the destruction of the cabins and fencing, and explained that he did own an old gun which he uses to scare away wild animals from his backyard. “I was released at noon after being heard.… I believe this was only an excuse to incriminate me, as they [Estrondo] are being defeated in court. I know I’m targeted, but this won’t intimidate me.”Mongabay’s reporting team visited Estrondo’s security cabins, destroyed in February. Community leader Adão Gomes was accused by police and private security men of taking part in the destruction, but he denies his participation. Image by Flávia Milhorance.Martin Mayr, from the NGO 10envolvimento, says that these recent incidents have been reported to the Public Ministry’s Office (the MPE, Brazil’s independent Public Prosecutor’s Office, which operates on the state level). The NGO filed a formal complaint, stating “these forays disrespect the geraizeiros traditional communities’ territories at upper Rio Preto and will result in serious environmental damage.” Mauricio Correa adds that the court was also informed about the latest developments, but it has yet to fine the company for these new infractions.Agronegócio Estrondo was contacted by Mongabay and acknowledged the request for comment, but made no further response. In its court filling, the company alleged that it “has always respected” the communities, but argued that the geraizeiros based their claims on “biased” documents and oral accounts that could not “support the aforementioned area delimitation.” Mongabay also contacted the local police, but the police chief could not be reached, and law enforcement has not responded to multiple requests for comment.Judicial battle continuesThere have been two further developments in the judicial battle – both of which support local traditional communities against the large agribusiness company.In late May, a legal opinion issued by the state Public Ministry’s Office supported the geraizeiros’ land claims. There is “strong evidence” that the families are “the actual owners of the land in question,” the document attests. It also acknowledges that there are “a number of complaints of blockaded passages” through the local area, which “prevents them [community members] from conducting their activities.”NGO 10envolvimento warns that the ditch dug by Estrondo is intensifying soil erosion and causing environmental impacts. Image courtesy of 10envolvimento.In a second development, the government’s agrarian department (CDA), issued a report contesting Estrondo’s land titles. The document points out that the company’s behavior in the past was described by Brazil’s agrarian institute (INCRA) as being a “serious case of alleged grilagem [land grabbing] in Bahia.” CDA also supports the legal position of the court ruling: that the geraizeiros of the Black River “fit perfectly into the definition of traditional people” protected under Brazilian law.The CDA’s report was forwarded to the State Prosecutor’s Office (PGE), asking it to “promote the land regularization of the historically occupied area (about 55,000 hectares) by the geraizeiros communities of the upper Rio Preto.” PGE was contacted but did not respond as of time of publication.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Glenn Scherer agribusiness, Agriculture, Controversial, Corporate Responsibility, Corruption, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Farming, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforests, Social Justice, Soy, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

3 being questioned by Police

first_imgMc Doom gas station robberyThe Shell Service Station at Mc DoomThree persons have been arrested and are being grilled in connection with the early morning robbery committed on a Shell Service Station at Mc Doom, Greater Georgetown.This was according to Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum who stated that the Police are questioning the men in an attempt to get additional information about the planning the execution of the robbery. He noted that investigators have several clues that they are working on to solve the crime.However, owners of the service station have boosted security at the gas station to avoid a reoccurrence. They are also of the view that the 911 emergency systems should be reexamined since the cashier on duty on the morning of the robbery called the number several times but the calls went unanswered. The Police however, have received the surveillance footage of the robbery and are continuing their investigations.According to information received, at about 02:30h on Friday, three armed men went to the gas station and held up three employees, relieving one of them of $51,000 and a mobile phone before engaging Police in a high-speed chase and exchange of gunfire. One of the gunmen was shot during the exchange and was apprehended by the PoliceHowever, the men managed to escape into the village after the exchange of gunfire. The Police, however, went in search of the men and based on information received, the ranks went to a house where they found an unlicensed 9mm Glock Pistol and 35 matching rounds and twenty-six .32 rounds of ammunition.The occupants of the house has since denied that the police retrieved the gun and ammunition in the yard and are of the belief that the police might have planted the weapon since they arrived at the house with a bag similar to the one that the contained the gun and ammunition.However, the Police are continuing their investigations into the robbery.last_img read more

Lindsay Lohan’s parents fighting over her siblings

first_imgThe parents of troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan are fighting in a Long Island court over visitation of their younger children. Estranged father Michael Lohan claimed at a hearing Friday that Dina Lohan failed to make payments as part of their separation agreement. The two also are arguing in Nassau Family Court whether Michael Lohan has the right to visit their younger children. They have three other children in addition to Lindsay: Michael, 19; Ali, 13; and Dakota, 10. Lindsay, who turns 21 next month, checked into rehab after a wild Memorial Day weekend during which she crashed her Mercedes-Benz into a curb. Police also found cocaine in the car. She was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and was photographed slumped in the passenger seat of a friend’s car. Michael Lohan was released from prison in March after serving nearly two years for attempted assault and driving while intoxicated. – Associated Press 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Watch/listen/download: Check out episode 1 of ‘The Championship’

first_imgTHE 2019 Michael Murphy Sports Donegal club football championships get underway this weekend – and we have launched our new preview show, ‘The Championship’.Over the course of the club championships, ‘The Championship’ – broadcast in association with Kelly’s Centra, Mountain Top, Letterkenny – will air each week across Donegal Daily and Donegal Sport Hub platforms.This week on ‘The Championship’, host Charlie Collins was joined by Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub Sports Editor Chris McNulty as well as Termon coach Francie Friel and former St Eunan’s player John Haran to assess the form guides ahead of the opening series of games. The Championship is produced by Full Tilt Studios and sponsored by the award-winning Kelly’s Centra at Mountain Top, Letterkenny.‘The Championship’ is also available to listen/download as a podcast: Watch/listen/download: Check out episode 1 of ‘The Championship’ was last modified: September 5th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Double delight: Gallagher, McCole reach senior finals

first_imgCAROLINE Gallagher and Matthew McCole sealed their places in the finals of the National Senior Championships last night.The Illies Golden Gloves duo won their semi-finals on unanimous decisions on a night when it was a case of two out of three ain’t bad at the National Stadium.There was disappointment for Illies middleweight Oran Shields in his semi-final. Gallagher (pictured above) defeated Karolina Jaglowska from Celtic Eagles in a welterweight semi-final. Gallagher was an impressive winner on the scorecards as she booked a spot in next Friday’s final.All-rounder Gallagher will meet Rosie Doherty from St Francis in the decider.Dungloe man McCole, fighting in these Championships for Illies, defeated Sean Butler from Riverstown. McCole swept the boards to claim a unanimous win and eh now meets Martin Sammon from the Olympic BC in Galway. Shields lost out, on a 4-1 split decision, to Daniel O’Sullivan from Lucan in one of the middleweight semis.Double delight: Gallagher, McCole reach senior finals was last modified: November 2nd, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2019 National Senior ChampionshipsCaroline GallagherIllies Golden GlovesMatthew McColeOran Shieldslast_img read more

Man who caused €66k damage to hotel to pay €5k compo or go to jail

first_imgA man who caused €66,000 or damage to a hotel while naked has been ordered to pay the hotel €5,000 compensation or face 20 months in jail.Eamon Devlin blamed a combination of drink and prescription medication for his rampage at a Co Donegal hotel. Devlin a marketing manager at a software company, pulled the taps off walls in his hotel bedroom at the Ballyliffin Lodge and flooded four bedrooms.The 41-year-old had earlier arrived in the lobby of the hotel holding his son while completely naked and claimed “gypsies” had wrecked his room.His lawyers had pleaded not guilty on his behalf claiming his consumption of the tablets with alcohol had led to a case of “involuntary intoxication.”However, a jury found him guilty and yesterday (Fri) he appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court before Judge John Aylmer for sentence.The two-day trial heard how Devlin booked into the hotel with his three-year-old son as he was going through a divorce and wanted to spend time with his child.The father and son had enjoyed a day out playing pitch and putt at Ballyliffin Golf Club before having a swim and some bar food at the hotel.The Ballyliffin Lodge Hotel in which the damage was caused.Around 5am, Mr Devlin arrived in the reception of the hotel naked carrying his son who was in his pyjamas.He asked staff to come to his room, number 214, claiming there was ‘gypsies’ in his room and he needed to get them out.Night porter, Seamus Henry went to the room but found nothing wrong and that there was nobody else in his room.Around 6am, the night porter received a phonecall from room 215 complaining of shouting in the accused man’s rooms which had been going on for half an hour.Accompanied by another staff member, Mr Henry went upstairs and noticed the corridor was flooded.They used the master key to gain entry to room 214 but had to force the door as it was damaged.Mr Henry said the room was under three inches of water and that sinks had been pulled off the bathroom wall and there was also broken glass everywhere.The court was told that the water later spread to three other rooms and at one stage it appeared that the ceiling of one room almost collapsed.Hotel manager Colm O’Kane said he was telephoned at home to tell him what had happened and he arrived a short time later.He said that Devlin asked him “Did you see them, did you see them? The gypsies? Youse are doing a great job.”Devlin was arrested and interviewed at Buncrana Garda station.He blamed a combination of stress, medication and alcohol for his behaviour on the night and offered to pay compensation for the damage saying he was deeply ashamed of what had happened during the incident in September 2016.He told Gardai “I’m a big boy. If that phonecall to room service hadn’t been made I wouldn’t be here.”He said he recalls going into the bathroom but the room went dark and he could not find a way out and believed the gypsies were in the room taking his son.He also said he was taking tablets for an ear infection which he bought in a pharmacy in Northern Ireland and these were called Day and Night Nurse.The court heard that at the time of the incident, Devlin’s ex-wife had told him that she was planning to relocate to America with her son and he was under severe stress.Devlin said he was now trying to get his life back together and can pay €250 a month back to the hotel for the damage of more than €66,000.He said “I apologise to the court for what happened. I am deeply sorry and ashamed. It was totally out of character and it was meant to be a fun weekend with my son. It was irrational behaviour and it should not have happened.“The last five years have been a nightmare for me personally. I want to be a role model for my son. This is a black mark for me. I have to live with this but I want to rebuild my life,” he said.Passing sentence Judge Aylmer said that Devlin, of Drumintee Road, Killeavy, Newry had been a man of very good character with no previous convictions up until this and who cared for his elderly parents.He said he had suffered a considerable amount of publicity as a result of the case and accepted that he was going through a bitter matrimonial despite during the incident.He said he placed the offence at the upper end of the mid-range for such offences and said it merited a sentence of 18 months in prison.However because of his previous good character as well as the apology and offer of compensation he would reduce this to 12 months in prison.BUt he said he had decided to adjourn the case until next December, 2019 to allow Devlin to pay compensation of €5,000 to the hotel in lieu of 20 months in prison.If the compensation is paid before December 2019 then he would suspend the jail sentence for 12 months.Man who caused €66k damage to hotel to pay €5k compo or go to jail was last modified: December 10th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ballyliffin lodgecourtdamagedonegalEamon DevlinInishowenlast_img read more

Magic Kingdom Hidden Gem: The Wishing Well

first_imgAs charming as the well is to look at, to me the best part is that the well does actually make some wishes come true. A plaque at the base of the well states, “Your wishes will help the Dreams of Children come true.” Any coins tossed into the well will be donated to childrens charities in the Orlando area, such as Give Kids the World, an organization that has helped thousands of children with critical illnesses make “Wish” trips to Disney World.There are benches alongside the well, which make it a relaxing and scenic spot to rest for a few moments. I also think the wishing well area is among the most romantic spots at Disney World for a marriage proposal. Sigh.Have you stopped by the wishing well? Have you tossed some coins in? Let us know in the comments. Share This!Did you know that there’s a wishing well at the Magic Kingdom? You may have walked by it dozens of times and never noticed.The wishing well is located on the path between the Merida meet and greet and the castle.The detailed design is lovely, from the Cinderella typography at the top and cheerful birds in the center, to the sneaky mice at the bottom.last_img read more

One for the record books

first_imgMarshfield gymnastics sets a new school record, looks to continue successBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD — The Marshfield gymnastics team continues to grow, mature, and compete at a high level.After setting a new school record with a score of 129.775 at the Snowflake Invitational in Rhinelander on Dec. 10, the Tigers are poised to continue an upward trend heading toward the postseason in late February and hopefully into March at the WIAA State Meet in Wisconsin Rapids.Marshfield has 11 returning athletes vying for varsity spots in the four events — floor exercise, vault, balance beam, and uneven bar — making it tough on a crop of five talented freshmen that are working hard on the junior varsity.Among those that are back for the Tigers is sophomore Emma Haugen, who won the floor exercise at the Great Northern Conference Meet and qualified for the WIAA State Gymnastics Meet in the vault last season, tying for 22.Junior Macey Smith is back to form after an injury-riddled sophomore season and has a number of top-five finishes on her early-season résumé.“Emma is adding to her difficulty this year with big upgrades on bars and vault,” second-year Marshfield coach Allie Dryer said. “She plans to put in her upgrades on bars in the next few weeks. She has the potential to win conference and sectional titles on any of the four events and the all-around and could very well earn a return trip to state this year in more than one event.”“Macey is back fully from an injury sustained early last season and has already improved upon her previous personal records,” Dryer added. “She is very strong on the vault, where she consistently scores amongst the top of the vault standings. She has a great work ethic and leads by example, constantly working to improve her scores for the team.”Juniors Bailey Schmitt, Makenna Gramza, and Isabelle Jensen; seniors Audrey Horvath and Ciera Neufeld; and sophomores Melanie Hafenbredl, Brooke McGrath, Merrissa Immerfall, and Ally Bakke round out the varsity squad.Jensen and McGrath are two more Tigers that could make noise in the postseason, which begins with the Great Northern Conference Meet on Feb. 18 in Mosinee.“Isabelle is phenomenal on beam, where she typically anchors our varsity beam rotation with a consistent routine,” Dryer said. “Brooke is working a very challenging vault, one which starts out of a 10.0 — one of the most difficult vaults for high school gymnastics. If she can get that vault consistent before the end of the season, she will definitely be contending for conference and sectional titles — as well as state berths — on the vault and floor.”Dryer said she is pleased with the early-season progress, which included a second-place finish at the Snowflake, a dual meet win over Chippewa Falls, and a narrow loss to perennial state power River Falls. She said she hopes it is just the beginning to what will be a great season.“This team has much more to offer, and I expect the school record to continue to increase throughout the season,” Dryer said. “We are hoping to qualify more than one gymnast to WIAA state in March and have dreams of making it to the WIAA state meet as a team.“The girls are motivated to improve upon their team record and are excited to be making new MHS gymnastics school history.”Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at paul@marshfieldareasports.com.last_img read more

Security: Insecure Web Applications Plague Companies

first_imgA new study finds that a large number of web applications are not secure and companies that use those applications either aren’t aware of the problem or falsely believe they are protected.  The study comes from the Ponemon Institute and was sponsored by security vendor companies Barracuda Networks and Cenzic.Grant Murphy, vice president at Barracuda Networks, said that “There is a real disconnect between the desire and the actual implementation of security counter measures that are appropriate for Web application security.” Mandeep Khera, chief marketing officer at Cenzic, said that at many companies the budget for coffee is bigger than the budget for web application security.The most common types of web insecurities include:SQL injectioncross-site scriptinginput validation flawscode injection errorsThe Ponemon Institute found the 41 percent of the organizations surveyed had more than 100 different web application.  The following reasons were cited as to why it is important to secure web applications:62 percent – Data protection51 percent – Compliance15 percent – Job SecurityThe report found that even though 51 percent said that compliance is important to them, 43 percent were not at all familiar with OWASP, the Open Web Application Security project.  OWASP is a key element of the PCI standard.66 percent of respondents do testing for vulnerabilities with less than 25 percent of their web applications.40 percent test only 5 percent of their applications and 20 percent of organizations do no testing53 percent expect their web hosting provider to manage the security of their web applications47 percent estimate that an attack on their servers could cause damages ranging from $100,000 to $500,00073 percent of organizations have applications that have been hacked into at least once during the past two yearsLarry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute, said that “while IT practitioners recognize the criticality of secure Web applications, their organizations do not provide adequate resources and expertise to manage the risk.  Over half of the respondents we polled believe they do not have resources to detect and remediate insecure Web applications, and 64 percent said they believe that their organization have inadequate governance and usage policies.”last_img read more

Sponsored Post: 9 Social Marketing Insights for CMOs from Leading Social Experts

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Editor’s note: We offer our long-term sponsors the opportunity to write posts and tell their story. These posts are clearly marked as written by sponsors, but we also want them to be useful and interesting to our readers. We hope you like the posts and we encourage you to support our sponsors by trying out their products.Brands have evolved from asking “Should we be on social media?” to “How can we improve our social media activities?” At the same, they want to understand “what is the value of social media?”  That simple question of value transcends company size, industry and focus. Three months ago, Awareness set out to answer the question of uncovering the value in social marketing by conducting research and meeting with social media practitioners and experts alike. During the interview process, we asked the group to tell us what advice they would provide Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) as they set out to design, manage and measure their social marketing strategy.  Here are their insights:Have a plan! – Jason Falls, principal of Social Media Explorer: “Go into social with a plan. Social channels are like other marketing channels – treat them with the same diligence. Don’t just test the waters – commit to social. It is the way of the future.  Test and iterate. Integrate social with your marketing and business initiatives – social marketing cannot exist in a vacuum.”Passion is contagious – David Berkowitz, senior director of Emerging Media and Innovation for 360i“Don’t think of social only as a way to drive leads and sales.  Social is about passion – Oreo has over 22 million fans because the brand has given voice to the passion of its consumers.”Focus, test and learn – Paul Gillin, author of “Social Marketing to the Business Customer““Focus on a limited number of tools initially and build your portfolio where you see tangible traction.  Develop a center of social marketing expertise to avoid repeating the same mistakes other brands have made.  Consider hiring social marketing experts to help you develop that expertise.”Think like a publisher – David Meerman Scott, marketing strategist and author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR““In the world of social, companies need to think like publishers. The first thing that companies need to do is understand where they rank in search engine results. Smart companies know what their prospective customers are searching on. They then create social content – blogposts, YouTube videos, webinars, etc. that leverages key words to improve search engine rankings.”Integrate social into your business – Nathaniel Perez, head of social experience at SapientNitro“If your level of maturity with social marketing is low, rely on agencies and consultants to help you succeed. You will need carefully integrated content, processes, and governance in order to succeed. Social is not media-centric, it is customer-centric. Once you have gained experience, work towards integrating social deeper within your business. Plan your resources around the following key functional areas: research and insight, engagement and community building, media planning and integration, and data and analytics.”Understand your goals and tie into existing business processes – Andrew Patterson, manager of new media at MLB Advanced Media“Start with understanding your goals with social. Where and how you want to participate is a business decision. Look at your industry and beyond for best practices.  Choose a social media publishing and monitoring platform that serves your specific needs. Social requires full integration with your current analytics systems – make sure you partner with your vendors for success.”Budget and prioritize – Jeremiah Owyang, industry analyst with Altimeter Group“Allocate your social marketing budget based on your level of social marketing maturity. In our February 2011: How Corporations Should Prioritize Social Business Budgets, Altimeter reported that the average social media annual budget in 2010 was $833,000, but that figure fluctuated based on annual revenue and social marketing program maturity. Use industry benchmarks to allocate your budget.”Commit to social long term – Jonas Nielsen, co-founder and managing partner of Mindjumpers“Go in for the long haul, and don’t put social in the hands of junior brand managers.  Social is one of the one important channels of the future – your own media that will position you to spend less resources over time – for marketing, customer service, and product development.”Start by focusing on existing customers – Erik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business““The best companies understand social touches every aspect of their business. Start with answering why you want to run social programs and what success looks like.  Remember: only a portion of your social efforts can be tracked directly down to sales.  Most of social is relationship-based – it is a longer-term investment in your brand. Focus with your existing customers – they will spread the word for you. Welcome to the world of mouth.”What do you think?  Do you agree with the experts?  What would you add to their list?The complete results of the study are available in the recently released eBook: “The Social Marketing Funnel: Driving Business Value with Social Marketing” and attend the Social Marketing Funnel Webinar on August 18th @ 2PM ET Mike Lewis is a sales and marketing executive who has been at the forefront of leveraging social media for demand generation and customer acquisition.  Mike is the vice president of marketing & sales at Awareness, Inc, where he works with some of the world’s largest brands and agencies to define their social media marketing strategy. Follow him on Twitter @bostonmike or visit his blog Social Episodes.Lead photo by hksusp rww sponsor 1 Tags:#Sponsors#web center_img Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more