Miscellany

As it says!

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Human-lion Conflict in Kenya film by Alan Toth (South Africa)
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Happy Ethiopian New Year
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A benefit for Operation Respect draws RPCV crowd
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Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes: “Tables Turn under the Olive Tree”
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Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes from refugee camp in Greece
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Fox News fires RPCV Bob Beckel (Philippines)
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F.F. Quigley (Thailand) seeks a way to raise the numbers at Marlboro College
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Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) wins City Council seat in Morgantown, WV
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Lets help Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) win in West Virginia … make a donation to this RPCV!
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Protests greet Charles Murray (Thailand) at Indiana

Human-lion Conflict in Kenya film by Alan Toth (South Africa)

Human-lion conflict in Kenya The lion population in Kenya is crashing. Humans and lions are competing for space. In spring of 2017, armed herders invaded protected lands in Kenya seeking grasses for livestock. Alan Toth (South African 2010-12) recently traveled to Kenya to document the struggles of conservationists and researchers as they work to decrease this human-lion conflict. Watch Video Alan Toth is a filmmaker and journalist. He is educated in journalism, multimedia production, and fine art. He worked for many years in cable television and publishing. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa from 2010 – 2012. He directed and produced the feature documentary Posh Corps in 2013. He’s worked with numerous San Francisco Bay Area media groups including KQED in San Francisco. He studied at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Alan has many years of experience with public speaking. . . .

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A benefit for Operation Respect draws RPCV crowd

  Thanks to a ‘heads up’ from Geri Critchley (Senegal 1971-72) —   A BENEFIT WAS HELD ON JUNE 7th in Washington, DC for Operation Respect.  Created in 1999, Operation Respect offers free resources and training for addressing anti-bullying and respect for differences, and are distributed to schools worldwide. It was co-founded by Peter Yarrow (of “Peter, Paul and Mary” fame). OR was catapulted to success by the song “Don’t Laugh at Me” that was introduced to Peter by his daughter Bethany, and subsequently he recorded it with Paul and Mary. The benefit was chaired by Geri Critchley (Senegal 1971–72), and hosted by  Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, former Ambassador to Portugal. At the benefit, former Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator Harris Wofford (Ethiopia CD 1962–64) were honored for their service. After hearing Yarrow lead a rousing sing-along, Kerry was prompted to remark that he now could “believe in the country’s ability to weather a storm.” (Kerry and Yarrow’s . . .

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Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes: “Tables Turn under the Olive Tree”

  Tables Turn Under the Olive Tree PLEASE EXCUSE English errors and typos as due to time and priorities, I have little editing time 🙂 • Much of today was playing with kids under the olive tree. We brought some books from the warehouse and kids were looking through them. One girl hung on to one at which point a boy grabbed it from her. This sparked them hitting each other and then she burst into tears. It’s so very hard as unless you have the exact same thing for every child there is a fight. Sometimes I find that I lose my temper a bit but mostly it just ruffles my mood when I have to break up a fight or tell the kids repeatedly to stop in as many languages as I can. I once actually stood in between 2 boys who were fighting and closed my eyes as I . . .

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Laurette Bennhold-Samaan writes from refugee camp in Greece

  A “typical” day, serving tea and the toilet: the 3 T’s PLEASE EXCUSE English errors and typos as due to time and priorities, I have little editing time 🙂 I’ve been asked who are the volunteers. Samos Volunteers are a privately funded organization and work with many partners on the island. Samos Volunteers is funded only through private donations and crowd funding which is remarkable to me. What this means is that most (if not all) people are pure volunteers and come to donate their time and energy. Some stay for a month but most stay much longer and most are returnees (have already volunteered earlier and come back). This speaks volumes about the organization. Some volunteers come with their parents or vice versa with their kids. We have 2 sets right now which is inspiring to see. Many are in their 20s and 30s but there are some older volunteers . . .

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Fox News fires RPCV Bob Beckel (Philippines)

Fox News this Friday announced that it had fired “The Five” co-host Bob Beckel (Philippines 1971-72) for a remark he made to an employee of color. “Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” a network spokesperson said in a short statement. Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, lawyers handling a growing racial discrimination lawsuit filed by current and former Fox employees, said in a joint statement that Beckel told one of their clients, a black IT worker, that he was leaving the office while the employee serviced his computer because the employee is black. When the IT worker filed a complaint, Beckel attempted to intimidate him to withdraw it, Wigdor and Christensen said. “As with our other 22 clients, we intend on holding 21st Century Fox accountable for these actions and will be filing multiple other complaints in other matters next week,” Wigdor and . . .

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F.F. Quigley (Thailand) seeks a way to raise the numbers at Marlboro College

Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79 & CD Thailand 2013-15 plus the former head of the NPCA) has a new problem as the president of Marlboro College, in Vermont. A recent study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers is showing that tuition discounting at private colleges and universities is straining colleges and their enrollment is still weak. Colleges are now worried about the sustainability of their tuition discounting strategies. “We offer an incredibly generous financial aid package, and someone else increases it by $10,000 or $15,000,” Kevin is quoted in an interview with Inside Higher Education. “We talk to the students or parents and they say, ‘We love Marlboro, we love what you do there, but they just sweetened the pot by $10,000 or $15,000.’ What can you do about it?” Marlboro is in many ways an extreme example of the pressures placed on small colleges. It enrolls . . .

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Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) wins City Council seat in Morgantown, WV

Post-Election Statement I am proud of the positive, idea-driven campaign we’ve run. We’ve introduced big and essential ideas: expanding our borders in a fair and comprehensive way in order to increase revenue; fixing our roads and sidewalks; preserving and enhancing our recreational and green spaces; pursuing every grant for which we are eligible; and creating a healthy, prosperous city—the kind of great small city that allows us all the best chance at success. Progress is never easy, and there will be obstacles put in the way of our city’s success. With tonight’s victory, however, I am confident that there is a clear path forward for us to create the dynamic, healthy, and successful city we deserve. —Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) A Morgantown, WV referendum on Trump. And he lost.    

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Lets help Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) win in West Virginia … make a donation to this RPCV!

Today I asked Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) how his campaign for City Council was going. He replied: The campaign has gotten a little ugly. The other side tried to red-bait me because of my association with Mountaineers for Progress (an organization that helps poor people)! “Anticipating that they’d go after my mental-health history,” he went on, “I beat them to the punch with ‘Tom Eagleton is my political role model: Voices’” I urge you to take a look at Mark’s column that was published in USA Today. Mark’s campaign site is www.MarkForWestVirginia.com

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Protests greet Charles Murray (Thailand) at Indiana

Tuesday students rallied outside as Charles Murray (Thailand 1965-67), the controversial co-author of The Bell Curve, gave a talk at Indiana University at Bloomington. Scores of faculty members signed an open letter calling the invitation to Murray — by the campus chapter of the American Enterprise Institute — “highly irresponsible and detrimental to the university community.” Police were visible outside the building where Murray spoke. Students shared on Twitter some of the signs and chalkings that opposed his visit. Murray’s talk took place without disruptions, although chants from those outside could be heard. The event was open to all Indiana students and faculty members, but attendees needed to reserve tickets in advance.

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