Quincy >> The Los Molinos Lady Bulldogs ended their Northern Section Division 5 playoff run Thursday night on the road against the Quincy Trojans in four sets.The Bulldogs took the first set and hung in there in each of the following three sets, but came up short, 20-25, 25-21, 28-26, 25-20.The Bulldogs still qualify for the state playoffs, which begin next week. The top four teams from each section automatically qualify for the state tournament, so the Bulldogs will be joined by the …
Corning >> For the first time in school history, the Corning boys are headed to the section finals in basketball for a third year in a row after beating the University Prep Panthers Wednesday night 54-40.The Cardinals will square off against the No. 1 Gridley Bulldogs, who beat Corning 61-48 back on Feb. 6 in Gridley. The Bulldogs also beat the Cardinals in the 2016 section final, by just three points.“It’s the two best teams in our division if that’s the way it goes,” coach Kurt Wilkins said …
Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in When I began working at the Journal of Light Construction in 1999, I was assigned to edit the magazine’s Q&A column. At all of my various jobs since then, I’ve been called on to help answer questions submitted by residential designers and builders.Over the last twenty years, I’ve been asked the same three questions again and again:No matter how many times my colleagues and I try to wrestle with these issues, the questions persist. I feel a little like Phil Connors in the movie Groundhog Day. If I was effective at my job, you might think that these questions might taper off in frequency — but they don’t. These stubborn questions return again and again, and experts’ efforts to answer them are ineffective.So why are these questions so thorny? As I began to ponder these issues, I wondered:After mulling these issues, I realized that I don’t have any simple answers. But it’s worth untangling a few threads to figure out what’s going on.These problems elicit a variety of reactions from builders, including some shoulder shrugs. But these aren’t trivial problems. Imperfect knowledge can result in expensive mistakes — and these are not victimless mistakes. Every month of the year, GBA hears from homeowners facing $20,000 and $30,000 repairs for avoidable problems.The residential construction industry inexplicably accepts a high rate of defects — defects that include damp basements, moldy insulation, persistent ice dams, and grossly oversized HVAC equipment. Our industry needs to start seeing these defects as unacceptable. The auto industry would never accept this level of defects.Right now, the residential construction industry is failing to consistently build good houses. We need a paradigm shift.Let’s look at these three questions, one at a time.Poorly insulated cathedral ceilings… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members
Ahmedabad police on Monday booked the Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and 59 others in a “rioting” case following a complaint by a local BJP councilor in Ramol area of the city. Mr. Hardik Patel and his supporters are accused of vandalising BJP councilor’s house in the city. Following this, the police arrested 11 people after filing an FIR. “They have filed a case against Hardik and others in connection with a complaint by a local BJP leader. This is meant to harass us because the BJP government is using the state machinery to break the agitation ahead of the assembly polls in Gujarat,” said Varun Patel, a media convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS). The Patel quota agitation leader, who is already facing two sedition cases in Ahmedabad and Surat and is currently out on bail, allegedly trespassed into the house of Paresh Patel, BJP’s municipal councilor in Vastral, in the city, at around 2 am along with 59 others, as per the complaint filed by Mr. Patel. According to the police, Mr. Hardik and his group were upset as one of their members, Kunal Patel, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly posting an objectionable message on the social media. An FIR was filed against Mr. Hardik and others under sections 147 (rioting), 142, 143, 149 (unlawful assembly), 435(mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) and 120 (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. The quota agitation, launched in 2015 to seek quota for the Patidar community, is spearheaded by the 23-year-old Hardik, who was earlier arrested and spent several months in jail before he was granted bail. His agitation had turned violent in August 2015 during which over a dozen persons were killed in police firing, forcing the state authorities to call in army to restore law and order situation in the state.
The Centre on Monday held another round of talks with the NSCN-IM, the major insurgency group in Nagaland, aiming to hammer out differences, particularly on the outfit’s demand for a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas, and inch closer to a solution to the seven decades old problem, officials said.A team of the NSCN-IM, led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, and Centre’s interlocutor and Nagaland Governor R N Ravi discussed here the possible ways to find an “honourable” solution by resolving the sticky issue of a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas.As talks were progressing with the NSCN-IM, a grouping of seven Naga outfits which is pushing for an early solution to the Naga issue has urged elected representatives to avoid a “neutral stand” and make clear their position.The issue of a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas has become the main bone of contention between the two sides with the NSCN-IM strongly pressing for it.“The dialogue, which lasted for more than four hours, remained inconclusive and both sides agreed to meet again soon. However, a final agreement between the NSCN-IM and the government is unlikely to take place by October 31,” an official privy to the development said.Mr. Ravi, in a statement, had said last week that a mutually agreed draft comprehensive settlement, including all the substantive issues and competencies, is ready for signing the final agreement.“Unfortunately at this auspicious juncture, the NSCN-IM has adopted a procrastinating attitude to delay the settlement raising the contentious symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and Constitution on which they are fully aware of the government of India’s position,” he had said.Mr. Ravi’s statement bears significance in view of the central government’s August 5 announcement abrogating the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. With the annulment of the special status, the separate flag and the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir cease to exist.The interlocutor said the NSCN-IM has “mischievously” dragged in the framework agreement and began imputing imaginary contents to it.The framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by NSCN-IM’s Muivah and interlocutor Mr. Ravi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland which started soon after India’s independence in 1947.The central government has already rejected the NSCN-IM’s demand for unification of Naga inhabited areas — located in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The three Northeastern states also vehemently opposed it.Noting that the the Centre was keen on finding a solution, the grouping of seven organisations called Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) made the appeal to the elected representatives in a statement released by its media cell on Sunday night. The NNPG has been holding separate talks with the Centre since 2017.In the statement, the NNPG asserted that the elected representatives of Nagaland should not be maintaining a neutral stand on the matter, now that the government was keen on finding a solution.“Unresolved matters should be decided through political and democratic process…. The position and status of elected representatives of Nagaland cannot remain lukewarm. They cannot choose to hide behind the boulders blocking the way,” it said.The Centre had set a deadline for conclusion of peace talks in the wake of the Naga society’s demand for an early solution to the six-decade-old issue, the statement said.“It is time for political parties in Nagaland to clear their stand in the interest of the Naga people…. If the political parties of Nagaland fail in their constitutional duties and obligations, they should resign and allow the Election Commission of India to derecognise the parties,” the NNPG said.The interlocutor, Mr. Ravi is expected to hold dialogue with the NNPG in the coming days too.
I recently read a very interesting article from The New York Times about how social science and behavioral economics was used to get out the vote. The article, “Academic Dream Team Helped Obama’s Effort,” details how experts like Robert Cialdini (whom I covered just this past week), formed a consortium that provided research-based ideas on motivating people to take certain actions (especially voting). Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or of any party, the advice the academics provided is very useful to all of us involved in the work of social change. We’re all in the business of compelling people to do things. So I wanted to pass on the most interesting tips.1. People favor candidates – and organizations! – that exhibit a combination of competence and warmth. You want to seem smart but also likable.2. When countering rumors (or myths), it’s a bad idea to repeat them. People may register a denial in the short term, but they only tend to remember the rumor or myth in the long term. Don’t deny or counter something – simply assert your competing notion.3. Use people’s sense of identity to influence behavior. In the election, volunteer canvassers said, “Mr. Jones, we know you’ve voted in the past,” to prompt future voting. We can do the same with volunteers or donors: “Mr. Jones, we know you’ve supported us in the past.” People want to stick to their past behaviors, so this can work well.4. Informal commitments help. Getting people to sign a card promising to vote increases likelihood to vote, for example. Pledging is also useful in fundraising!5. Tell people to make a plan. People are more likely to follow through on a promise if they have a plan, however simple. Ask people to specify when they’ll help you.6. Use social norms. When people were told others in their neighborhood planned to vote, it influenced them. Never forget the power of peer pressure – call out your supporters to inspire others to jump on board.For more fascinating tips on how this worked during the campaign, check out the article here.
Network for Good is hosting a free webinar this Thursday, March 14 at 1 p.m. ET on neuromarketing – a topic definitely worth your time!The urge to help and give is hard-wired into the human brain. As a champion for a cause, it’s your task to tap into those recesses by appealing to that urge. The simplest things – images, words, gestures, even type fonts – can have a major effect on the potency of your message. Neuromarketing expert, Roger Dooley, has discovered some brain-science-based tweaks you can make to your print, web, and in-person outreach that will boost the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Join Roger Dooley for this free event as he makes neuromarketing easy for nonprofits. Register here.
Is it easy to find you on Twitter and Facebook? Include links to your profiles on your website, email newsletters, and staff email signatures. Always include a short description about your organization and a link back to your website in your social media profiles’ “about” section. Think about social media as a way to open the doors of your organization to new guests and friends. But unlike hosting guests at your home for an hour or two, social media is open to guests 24/7. Because of the constant accessibility of social media, keeping profiles tidy all the time is a must. Here are some tips and ideas for social media housekeeping that you can tackle right now:Your social media avatar/profile pictures should mesh with your nonprofit brand and be recognizable to fans of your cause. Consider creating a special page on your nonprofit website that is solely dedicated to visitors from social media. Don’t let replies and comments linger—use them as an opportunity to engage your community. Set up alerts to use social media as a listening platform: @ mentions, hashtags, keywords about your cause, etc. Start tracking and planning your organization’s tweets. Programs such as HootSuite, TweetDeck and Sprout Social can help you plan tweets in advance and monitor replies, mentions, and hashtags. Is your nonprofit’s Facebook profile picture just as good as your cover image? While this may be obvious, it’s worth stating that your Facebook profile picture will be seen more often than your cover image. Be consistent with your hashtags. One small typo could add your tweets to a hashtag conversation that you didn’t intend to join! Don’t forget to post pictures. Photos help your Facebook posts stand out on your fan’s news feeds. Use compelling images to make an emotional connection and engage more supporters with your cause. Encourage more likes, shares, and comments. More likes and shares increase the odds that your post will be seen by friends and friends of friends. Start analyzing the types of posts that get shared the most by exporting your Facebook insights and taking an hour or two to dive into the data.
Is your nonprofit website sending the right message to potential donors? Year-end fundraising season will be here before you know it. Now is the time to clear away the cobwebs and roll out the welcome mat for prospective donors, volunteers, and those who may benefit from your work. If you haven’t updated your site in a while, you might give donors the impression that your organization is no longer active.Worried your site may say “move along” instead of “come on in”? Here are the top issues that can scare visitors away from your nonprofit website (and how to fix them).Broken linksThey’re not just aggravating and confusing for your website visitors, broken links can also be a big red flag for search engines like Google. Having internal links that don’t work or that don’t point to real content can affect how your site shows up in search.How to fix it: Most website platforms and content management systems have reporting that will show you the top pages that are returning an error. Taking a close look at your Google Analytics can help as well. Do some internal testing on your website to make sure all of your links are taking visitors where they should. Stale content Do you still have information about your “upcoming event” on your home page even though the “upcoming event” took place several months ago? Is the last post on your nonprofit’s blog from 2012? This is a surefire sign that no one in your organization is actually looking at your website. To your visitors, it says: we gave up.How to fix it: Make it someone’s responsibility to frequently review your website and do regular housekeeping. If you have a news feed or blog that shows up on your home page, make sure you’re adding new content frequently. If you don’t have a plan to add new items, remove these feeds from your pages. Dated designThis one is somewhat subjective, but there are certain hallmarks of an outdated web design: crazy animations, hard to read text (usually light text on dark background, or a veritable rainbow of font colors), randomly-placed images, to name a few. Geocities is dead. It’s time for your nonprofit website to move on to better things.How to fix it: A complete makeover would be nice, but if that’s not in the cards, focus on fixing the most egregious cosmetic issues within your current design and platform. Start with your key pages and branch out from there. Make it easy to read and remove anything that makes your site look like this. No contact informationThe lights may be on, but without obvious and current contact information, is anyone really home? Your contact details give people an easy way to ask questions and find out more, plus openly listing this information on your website is a sign of trust and transparency. How to fix it: Add your physical address, phone number, and a way to email you to the footer of your website. Place clear links to your “Contact Us” page within your site’s global navigation. No clear way to donateThis is the first thing I look for when I am asked to review an organization’s website, and it’s amazing how many nonprofits still don’t have a prominently placed donation button on every page of their website. Without a clear and highly visible way to donate, you’re effectively telling donors: we don’t need your money. How to fix it: Make your donate button big, bold, and above the fold of your website. Make sure your donate button actually says “Donate Now”, “Donate”, or “Give”. Fuzzy language won’t cut it here. Slow to loadOne Mississippi, two Mississippi … by three Mississippi your website better be finished loading, or most visitors will simply leave. It may not be fair, but people are impatient. They have better things to do than to wait for your carousel of images or Flash presentation to load. How to fix it: Start by confirming there are no technical problems with your website’s platform or hosting service. Then, take a hard look at your website’s key pages and see how you can streamline them by removing extraneous images, code, or other files that are bogging down your site. A reputable web developer can also provide suggestions for other improvements that can speed up your site. (Bonus: Decluttering your site will have a positive effect on potential donors, making it easy for them to figure out what it is you do and why they should care.) Not mobile friendlyWhen your nonprofit website is difficult to load (or completely dead) on a mobile device, you may as well not exist for that smartphone user. 56% of US adults are smartphone users, and they’re becoming more and more likely to read your emails and social media outreach on a mobile device. If your links take them to a site that’s non-functional on their phone, you’ve missed out on another opportunity to connect.How to fix it: You don’t need a complete overhaul to make your website more mobile friendly. Focus on a handful of key pages (think: home page, donation page, contact page, any other pages you point to regularly from emails or social media) and improve them with these 8 tips for making your nonprofit website mobile friendly. (Bonus: Most mobile-friendly website tweaks will improve usability overall.)What are your biggest website challenges? Have you made a recent change to your site that’s made a big difference? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.
Crunch time!Can it be…Labor Day weekend is really behind us? 2014 is in the home stretch and that means it is crunch time for nonprofits.In fact, 30% of the projected $300 billion in total annual donations to charities are made in December — and 10%, or $30 billion, come during the year’s last 48 hours. (Source: NY Post, December 2013)For most nonprofits, it’s make or break time. And for donors, whether they are motivated by making an impact or by the tax year, December underlines the urgency of giving.Countdown to #GivingTuesdayThe movement that has changed the December giving season since 2012 is #GivingTuesday. It started with a simple idea – to be a counterpoint to the consumerism of Black Friday and CyberMonday. From a couple hundred nonprofits in 2012, #GivingTuesday has grown into an international day of giving with organizations and donors around the globe joining the movement.Traditionally, year-end givers to nonprofits are loyal supporters or those with personal ties to an organization. Now, nonprofits can harness the energy of #GivingTuesday to engage new donors, and to extend and amplify the giving season. We know first hand. Last year we led BMoregivesMore, the campaign to make Baltimore the most generous city in America on #GivingTuesday. Nonprofits that participated in BMoreGivesMore reported that between 20% and 60% of donors on that day were new. And more than 80% who shared their results said that they had a comparable or better December overall!13 Tuesdays to go: We’re here for you.Despite all the excitement and opportunity of #GivingTuesday, your team has a full plate planning for year-end already. So how do you capitalize on #GivingTuesday?Network for Good is launching N4G Gives, a national campaign to launch the giving season on #GivingTuesday.Beginning this week, we’re offering a combination of free and client-only resources to get your team ready. We’re arming ALL nonprofits with the tools, tactics, training and motivation to make this your best December ever.And for Network for Good clients, we’ll also be offering:• Two great platforms: • DonateNow – your customized online giving page to maximize donor conversion• GiveCorps – a cutting-edge giving platform that offers donors a superior online giving experience, plus crowdfunding and peer-to-peer.• Exclusive toolkits, expert webinars, specialized coaching, and communications resources• Matching funds to make your gifts go further• Visibility with Network for Good donors What’s the first step? Start by downloading our comprehensive Giving Days eBook. According to nonprofit thought leader Beth Kanter, it’s a “terrific, free eBook with lots of tips and planning templates to help your organization decide whether to participate.”Then every Tuesday, we’ll bring you new resources to get ready for #GivingTuesday.It’s time to plan for your best December ever!Ready to get started? Our team can help you get your site ready for #GivingTuesday. Set up a time talk with a fundraising consultant today and get a free demo.