Jetblack’s Latest Statistics Are Practically Meaningless – Forbes

Jetblack's Latest Statistics Are Practically Meaningless - Forbes nevin manimala
Jetblack's Latest Statistics Are Practically Meaningless - Forbes nevin manimala

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 14: A view of the store during the Jetblack Summer Shopping Cocktail Night event on May 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Jetblack)

Getty Images for Jetblack

The hits just keep on coming. At the recent Walmart associates and shareholders meeting a few weeks ago, Marc Lore, President and CEO of E-Commerce Walmart U.S., got up on stage and shared some new statistics on the performance of Jetblack, Walmart’s concierge commerce initiative for wealthy Manhattanites.

While Lore’s comments were only seconds in duration, the media, as is typical with anything Walmart-related, made short work of producing some enticing clickbait off of his words.

Headlines abounded like:

All sounds amazing, right?

Wrong.

Dig deeper and one finds that the data Lore shared was so charcoal grey in clarity that even Robert McNamara would rollover in his grave.

The shared statistics and the subsequent reports conjured up memories of McNamara’s famous claim, after he returned from an early trip to Vietnam. “Every quantitative measurement we have shows we are winning this war,” McNamara once said.

On the surface, McNamara’s words likely sounded great and reassuring at the time, but in reality his claim said quite little.

It is the same situation with Lore’s recent Jetblack announcement.

The piece of information that the media used as source material was that of one single line Lore uttered at the meeting, specifically him saying, “More than two-thirds of Jetblack members engage with us weekly, spending on average $1,500 per month.”

That’s it. In the entire speech, that was Lore’s summation of Jetblack. Yet, the headlines make it sound like Jetblack is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Read the statement carefully though, parse it out, and ask yourself, “What does it really say?”

Just like McNamara’s purported statistics about the Vietnam War, Lore’s statement about Jetblack is constructed in such a way that it too reveals nothing.

The headlines would have you believe that the average customer is spending $1,500/month with Jetblack, which is incorrect.

The above statement only says that two-thirds of members are spending that much money. It says nothing of the full size of Jetblack’s total user base, the dispersion of average spends within the identified population segment, month over month customer growth, or even how many Walmart products customers are purchasing (yes, fun fact, Jetblack is a concierge service, so customers are not even required to purchase Walmart products).

Reporting a statistic like this onstage is the same as a basketball coach saying, “In the fourth quarter of games, we outscore our opponents by a whopping 15 points!”

Well, yeah, because the other team always pulls its starters.

There has to be more to it, right?

Nope.

In order to find out and to gather as much supporting information as possible, I reached out to a Walmart spokesperson with the following questions:

  • Is the average monthly spend $1,500 or is the $1,500 the average spend for the two-thirds of the membership base that engages with the brand weekly?
  • If the above is the latter, what is the real average monthly spend across the membership base?
  • What percent of the items requested on average or amongst the engaged members on average are purchased from Walmart vs. other retailers?
  • How many monthly members does Jetblack now have?
  • If you cannot tell me how many members, can you tell me a range? Like 1,000? 10,000 to 20,000?
  • I noticed there is still mention of a waitlist – how big is the wait list? (author’s note — many of the articles stated above mentioned a waitlist)
  • How has membership increased month-to-month or on an average basis per month since Jetblack’s launch? (author’s note — Jetblack is now approximately one year in existence)
  • Any plans to roll Jetblack out more broadly beyond NYC?

All the above are legitimate questions that would shed amazing light on Jetblack and also bring no negative repercussions in answering them either, especially since the headlines have already drawn attention to the initiative anyway!

Yet, the response I received was tepid. The spokesperson did confirm that my reading of the sentence structure was indeed correct — i.e. that only two-thirds of Jetblack members spend $1,500 on average — and then directed me to minute 54:00 of the below video of Marc Lore’s presentation at the shareholders meeting where Lore gives the same single line about Jetblack mentioned above.

I was also told an additional piece of information that I did not ask, namely that Jetblack members purchase an average of 10 items per week, but that piece of information is just as problematic as Lore’s statements at the meeting because it also has no other context surrounding it. It says nothing of the average retail per item, the type of item, the retailer of origin for the items, or again the total user base size. It too is surface level at best.

Ultimately, no answers were provided to any of the questions I asked above. The only gain was the confirmation of my suspicions about the factual basis of Lore’s statement itself, and therefore the fog of war surrounding Jetblack is still about as thick as chunky peanut butter.

No further clarity was shed on questions like —  if Jetblack is so successful, why is there still a waitlist? Or, why is Jetblack still only in Manhattan, when, ironically and in the very same week, Lore also announced a new in home grocery delivery pilot, with an equally grey amount of detail, that is starting in three cities right out of the gate?

Or, is it that the economics and the outside Manhattan potential of Jetblack just aren’t there?

There is no way to know either way.

Taken together, the non-answers to these questions, along with the announcement of Jet.com’s absorption into Walmart last week, combined with other questionable Lore-supported niche plays like training your dragon VR in Walmart parking lots (also highlighted in the video above) and wildly ludicrous ideas like Lord & Taylor being the poster child for a virtual mall strategy, all raise red flags and also point to a much greater potential issue down the road — the possibility of a growing “credibility gap” for Lore.

A credibility gap is what formed between McNamara and the public over time. No one knew what to believe in his statements as time passed. The same could easily happen here with Walmart, both with employees and investors, if it is not careful.

McNamara did not own up to his mistakes until 1995, when he admitted in his memoir that his decisions were “wrong, terribly wrong.” At what point will Lore do the same? Is that time now? Will it come? Is there even anything for which Lore should own up?

No one really knows amid all the masterful spin.

As they say, pride comes before the fall, and transparency always wins the day. This piece is therefore in no way an indictment. Just a call to action for plain language and a chance to clear the air and to set the record straight.

Further silence and additional cryptic phraseology will only widen the credibility gap and make the case stronger over time. The case that maybe, just maybe, the bite of Lore’s innovation initiatives is nothing compared to the bark.

Portugal Fixed Broadband Market Statistics and Analyses 2019-2023 – ResearchAndMarkets.com – Yahoo Finance

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The "Portugal – Fixed Broadband Market – Statistics and Analyses" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.” data-reactid=”12″>The “Portugal – Fixed Broadband Market – Statistics and Analyses” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

This report profiles Portugal’s fixed and fixed-wireless broadband markets, providing key statistics on the retail and wholesale sectors as well as subscriber forecasts to 2023.

Portugal’s broadband penetration has grown steadily in recent years, largely the result of joint efforts between the regulator and the key market operators which have invested in significant infrastructure upgrades. These operators are also focussed on fibre-based services, resulting in a migration of subscribers from DSL infrastructure to fibre. Under the ownership of the Altice Group, Portugal Telecom is focussed on FttP, aiming to cover 5.3 million premises by 2020, providing national coverage. The cable sector has also shifted towards fibre, with the principal cableco NOS investing in fibre rather than cable upgrades.

In addition, Vodafone Portugal provides fibre to about two-thirds of premises. Vodafone and NOS recently signed an agreement to share fibre infrastructure, which pushed Vodafone’s addressable market to some four million premises. As a result of these efforts DSL is no longer the dominant platform for broadband access.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Key Developments:” data-reactid=”16″>Key Developments:

  • Meo ramps up fibre roll out, aiming for 5.3 million connected premises by 2020;
  • Vodafone signs fibre-network sharing agreement with NOS, retails 1Gb/s devises for customers;
  • Fibre subscriber base grows 2.88% in 2017;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to Q4 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2018, recent market developments.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Key Topics Covered:” data-reactid=”22″>Key Topics Covered:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="1 Introduction and statistical overview” data-reactid=”23″>1 Introduction and statistical overview

1.1 Market analysis

1.2 Broadband statistics

1.3 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2019; 2021; 2023

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks” data-reactid=”27″>2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks

2.1 NOS

2.2 Nowo (Caboviso)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks” data-reactid=”30″>3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks

3.1 Portugal Telecom (Meo)

3.2 Sonaecom

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)” data-reactid=”33″>4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="5 Other fixed broadband services” data-reactid=”34″>5 Other fixed broadband services

5.1 Broadband over Powerline (BPL)

5.2 Wireless broadband

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Companies Mentioned” data-reactid=”37″>Companies Mentioned

  • Portugal Telecom (Meo)
  • Sonaecom
  • Caboviso
  • Vodafone Portugal
  • NOS (Zon Optimus).

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/h7ycmx” data-reactid=”44″>For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/h7ycmx

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Vietnam Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband Statistics and Analyses to 2023 – ResearchAndMarkets.com – Yahoo Finance

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The "Vietnam – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.” data-reactid=”12″>The “Vietnam – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

As a communist state and a centrally planned economy Vietnam has undergone significant structural change over the years. The government has progressively introduced some competition into the market place, building what it describes as a socialist oriented market economy’.

After peaking in 2009 the fixed line market in Vietnam has seen a significant decline. This trend is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2023.

Fixed broadband penetration in Vietnam remains low mainly due to a limited number of fixed lines and the dominance of the mobile platform. However, the market has grown strongly over the past five years driven by the FTTH market.

The fixed broadband access has been built on the back of an extensive Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) network, with the more recent focus being on fibre-based services. Subscriber growth in fibre continues to be strong.

Data sovereignty is a key driver for local data centres. Indonesia, Vietnam and China are among the Asian countries tightening requirements to store citizen and consumer data locally for the purpose of data protection.

Growth has been flat in Vietnam’s mobile market over the past five years. Market growth has been restrained due to a mature and saturated market. Mobile subscriber growth is also expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2023.

In 2019 the first MVNO in Vietnam, Indochina Telecom Company (Itelecom) was launched.

Vietnam’s mobile infrastructure has a proven track record of keeping pace with more developed countries such as South Korea and Hong Kong.

Vietnam is well on the path towards rolling out 5G services. Vietnam has begun to award 5G test licences to the nation’s mobile operators with a view to launching commercial networks in 2020.

Ho Chi Minh City is set to become the first smart city in Vietnam, focusing on cloud computing infrastructure, big data, building data warehouses / data centres and security-monitoring centres, and developing an open data ecosystem to achieve its 2020 goal.

Fixed broadband penetration in Vietnam remains low mainly due to a limited number of fixed lines and the dominance of the mobile platform. However, the market has grown strongly over the past five years driven by the FTTH market. Over the next five years to 2023 strong growth is expected to continue to be driven by rising fixed line penetration, in particular the rollout of fibre access.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Key Developments:” data-reactid=”24″>Key Developments:

  • Vietnam intends to launch 5G services by 2020.
  • The fixed line market in Vietnam has seen a significant decline over the past few years.
  • VNPT-Vinaphone completed the conversion of its fixed network from copper to fibre-optic access.
  • Fibre-based broadband (FttH) subscribers have been growing rapidly.
  • Over the next five years to 2023 strong growth is expected to continue in the fixed broadband market.
  • Vietnam has seen a very rapid increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Key Topics Covered:” data-reactid=”32″>Key Topics Covered:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="1 Key statistics” data-reactid=”33″>1 Key statistics

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2 Country overview” data-reactid=”34″>2 Country overview

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="3 Telecommunications market” data-reactid=”35″>3 Telecommunications market

3.1 Market Overview and Analysis

3.2 Regional Market Comparison

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="4 Regulatory environment” data-reactid=”38″>4 Regulatory environment

4.1 Regulatory authority

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="5 Fixed Network Operators” data-reactid=”40″>5 Fixed Network Operators

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Vietnam Post & Telecommunications (VNPT)

5.3 Viettel

5.4 FPT Telecom

5.5 GTel

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="6 Telecommunications infrastructure” data-reactid=”46″>6 Telecommunications infrastructure

6.1 Fixed Line Statistics

6.2 Cross VietNam Cable System (CVCS).

6.3 International infrastructure

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="7 Data Centres” data-reactid=”50″>7 Data Centres

7.1 Regional Overview

7.2 Market Drivers

7.3 Local data centre providers

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="8 Fixed Broadband Market” data-reactid=”54″>8 Fixed Broadband Market

8.1 Market Overview and Analysis

8.2 Fixed Broadband statistics and forecasts

8.3 FTTH service providers

8.4 Fixed Broadband Technologies

8.5 Other fixed broadband services

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="9 Digital economy” data-reactid=”60″>9 Digital economy

9.1 E-Government

9.2 E-Health

9.3 E-Education

9.4 Smart Meters

9.5 Smart Cities

9.6 Technology parks/focus areas

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="10 Mobile Market” data-reactid=”67″>10 Mobile Market

10.1 Market Overview and Analysis

10.2 Mobile Statistics and Forecasts

10.3 Mobile Broadband Statistics and Forecasts

10.4 Mobile Regulatory Issues

10.5 Mobile infrastructure

10.6 Major Mobile Operators

10.7 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Companies Mentioned” data-reactid=”75″>Companies Mentioned

  • VNPT
  • Vinaphone
  • Mobifone
  • Viettel
  • S-Fone
  • EVN Telecom
  • Vietnamobile
  • GMobile
  • FPT Telecom
  • VTC
  • GTel

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/rgf2ox” data-reactid=”88″>For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/rgf2ox

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Vital statistics – News – Akron Beacon Journal

Vital statistics - News - Akron Beacon Journal nevin manimala
Vital statistics - News - Akron Beacon Journal nevin manimala

Municipal Court

WAYNE COUNTY

� Alexas Black, 21, 821 Wilson Ave., Wooster, was fined $100 for no operator’s license.

� Robby L. Blanchard, 40, 9786 Martin Road, West Salem, was fined $500 for attempt to commit assault. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail and may have no contact with victim or victim’s property. He must complete the MRT-DV program and complete an alcohol assessment

� Cara L. Boggs, 37, 44 Salt St., Rittman, was fined $250 for falsification. She must perform 20 hours of community service.

� Amanda J. Brownfield, 34, Mansfield, was fined $200 for driving under suspension.

� James A. Carr, 33, 385 Liberty St., Shreve, was fined $100 for driving under suspension.

� Victoria Cook, 21, 2633 Eastwood Drive, Wooster, was fined $500 for petty theft. She must perform 40 hours of community service and obtain/maintain employment or full-time schooling. She must complete the TARP program.

� Kayla M. Crawford, 20, Westerville, was fined $500 for prohibitions for minors under 21 years of age. She must perform 60 hours of community service and complete an alcohol assessment.

� Michele E. Croskey, 47, 4400 Melrose Drive, Wooster, was fined $100 for having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

� Jose J. Diaz, 31, 350 E. Henry St., Wooster, was fined $150 for no operator’s license.

� Mickey Eagle, 27, 1772 Normandy Drive, Wooster, was fined $150 for possession of drug paraphernalia and must complete a drug assessment.

� Jonathan B. English II, 25, 153 Billiar St., Wooster, was fined $350 for domestic violence. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for three days served. He may serve the remaining 57 days under electronically monitored house arrest. He must perform 80 hours of community service, complete an alcohol assessment, anger management counseling and obtain/ maintain gainful employment.

� Michael D. Evans, 21, 1684 Mechanicsburg Road, Wooster, was fined $300 for a wildlife violation.

� Sebastian T. Facemire, 19, 555 Nold Ave., Wooster, was fined $100 for no operator’s license; $35 for fictitious license plates; and $35 for a turn/ stop signal violation.

� Nicholas F. Fazio, 23, Streetsboro, was fined $150 for reckless operation and $100 for speeding. His driver’s license was suspended for one year.

� Kevin D. Fields, 59, 205 Massaro Ave., Wooster, was fined $150 for driving under suspension. On a separate charge of driving under suspension, he was fined $150.

� John A. Gajovski, 32, 14740 Oak Grove Drive, Doylestown, was fined $150 for domestic violence and a $100 fine was waived for disorderly conduct. He must complete an alcohol/ drug assessment, anger management counseling and obtain/ maintain employment.

� Tia M. Gajovski, 34, 3012 Armstrong Drive, Wooster, was fined $150 for possession of drug paraphernalia. She must write an obituary and a letter to a child. She must complete an alcohol/ drug assessment.

� Juanita R. Good, 47, 106 Peake Court, Creston, was fined $100 for driving under suspension/ revocation. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail. She was fined $100 on each of two additional charges of driving under suspension/ revocation and was sentenced to 30 days in jail on each of those charges. The jail terms are to be served consecutively on the three charges.

� James W. Graham Jr., 39, Ashland, was fined $100 for criminal trespass. He must perform 20 hours of community service and may have no further incidents at the Palm House apartments.

� James E. Graham, 50, 209 Chateau Circle, Orrville, was fined $150 for driving under a Financial Responsibility Act suspension.

� Cody E. Hann, 30, 161 E. Park St., Rittman, was fined $200 for criminal damaging. He must pay $250 restitution. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and may serve 27 of those days under electronically monitored house arrest. He must perform 100 hours of community service. He must complete an alcohol/ drug assessment and obtain a mental health assessment.

� Erik P. Hanna, 20, 9049 County Road 318, Shreve, was fined $100 for speeding.

� Derrek M. Hershberger, 25, 13089 Burton City Road, Orrville, was fined $150 for failure to reinstate his license and costs only for no operator’s license and driving under suspension.

� Trent L. Hyer Jr., 26, Grafton, was fined $125 for turn/stop signal violation.

� Michelle Kellwood, 38, 1440 E. Smithville-Western, Wooster, was fined $150 for disorderly conduct.

� Debra L. Kuneman, 59, 2175 E. Messner Road, Wooster, was fined $250 for arson. She may not use or possess alcohol or be in any places alcohol is served. She must perform 25 hours of community service and must complete an alcohol assessment.

� Kristal N. Lawrence, 26, Mansfield, was fined $400 for speeding. She must perform 40 hours of community service, complete a remedial driving course and have no moving violations for one year.

� Keyontae J. L. Legette, 24, 978 Mindy Lane, Wooster, was fined $150 for driving under a FRA suspension.

� Jacinto M C. Marcos, 21, Dover, was fined $600 for driving under a FRA suspension.

� Dean R. Markley, 51, 511 S. Walnut St., Orrville, was fined $250 for obstructing official business. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail, which may be served under electronically monitored house arrest.

� Madison M. Markley, 21, 265 Meadow Ridge Trail, Doylestown, was fined $150 and her driver’s license was suspended for one year for a non-waiverable speeding offense.

� Candace J. Martin, 42, 8533 Emerson Road, Apple Creek, was fined $250 for failure to reinstate a license; $200 for failure to reinstate a license (fine waived); $200 for driving under a FRA suspension (fine waived); and $50 for turn/ stop signal violation.

� Leona A. Mast, 33, 10131 Non Pariel Road, Fredericksburg, was fined $200 for obstructing official business and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. She may not use or possess alcohol or be in an places where alcohol is served. She will be subject to alcohol monitoring. She must complete an alcohol assessment.

� Kaylen E. Matos, 24, Columbus, was fined $125 for possession or marijuana. He was fined $600 and his driver’s license was suspended for 12 months for driving while intoxicated; $100 for following too closely; and $50 for no operator’s license. On the DWI charge he was sentenced to three days in jail. He must complete an alcohol/ drug assessment.

� Paul F. McCoy, 46, 14981 Seville Road, Sterling, was fined $150 for driving under suspension/ revocation.

� Mary G. McLean, 59, 2700 Cleveland Road, Wooster, was fined $100 for possession of marijuana.

� Roy Nolan, 72, 1806 Gasche St., Wooster, was fined $250 for failure to confine a dog.

� Crystal G. Osborn, 42, 1466 Secrest Road, Wooster, was fined $200 for driving under suspension.

� Keontae R. Owens, 21, 1700 W. Church St., Orrville, was fined $200 for driving under a FRA suspension

� Gail E. Peck, 31, 8104 Fulton Ave., Sterling, was fined $250 for driving under suspension/ nonpayment.

� Grady W. Perry, 37, 48 Maple St., Apple Creek, was fined $150 for possession of marijuana and $150 for possession of drug paraphernalia.

� Kristy L. Renner, 42, 281 North St., Rittman, was fined $100 for unauthorized plates.

� Brooke C. Riley, 25, 1407 Lafayette Drive, Orrville, was fined $150 for driving under a FRA suspension.

� Geronimo M. Rodriquez, 33, 8273 Pleasant Home Road, West Salem, was fined $250 for driving without a valid license and $35 for failure to yield at a stop sign.

� Christina D. Rouse, 40, 507 West Liberty St., Wooster, was fined $350 for driving under suspension/ nonpayment.

� Michael D. Schemrich, 20, 2830 E. Easton Road, Creston, was fined $150 and his driver’s license was suspended for one year for a non-waiverable speed offense.

� Robert L. Starkey, 31, 513 Spink St., Wooster, was fined $250 for driving without a valid license.

� Patricia K. Steiner, 65, 10760 Porr Road, Marshallville, was fined $150 for speeding in a school zone.

� Nicholas A. Stevens, 24, 8189 State Route 83, Holmesville, was fined $250 for driving under a FRA suspension and $36 for speeding.

� Peter J. Swank, 40, 1118 Kieffer St., Wooster, was fined $500 for domestic violence and another $500 fine for domestic violence was waived. He was sentenced to 90 days on each of the two charges, to be served consecutively, and was credited for one day already served on each of the charges.

� Joy G. Venegas, 38, Lancaster, Ohio, was fined $150 for speeding.

� Tanner J. Wagner, 30, 454 Park Drive, Wooster, was fined $350 for petty theft. He must make $599 restitution. He was sentenced to 153 days in jail with credit for 53 days already served.

� Emerald S. Webb, 39, Canton, was fined $100 for speed, non-waiverable.

� Rancy G. Wharton, 58, 4232 Eastern Road, Doylestown, was fined $150 for attempted domestic violence. He must continue counseling and may not use or possess alcohol.

� Donald W. Woodrum, 36, 17 Electric St., Seville, was fined $350 for obstructing official business. He was sentenced to 80 days in jail. For disorderly conduct he was fined $50.

� Juan Zambrano, 51, 110 N. West Lebanon Road, Dalton, was fined $250 for driving under a FRA suspension.

DUI

WAYNE COUNTY

� Prairie A. Abbott, 33, 849 N. Main St., Shreve, was fined $750 and her driver’s license was suspended for 18 months for driving with a breath alcohol content over 0.17. She was sentenced to six days in jail and may serve three of those days in a 72-hour treatment program. She must complete an alcohol assessment, obtain/maintain employment and may not use, consume or possess alcohol or be in any place where the primary purpose of the business is the distribution of alcohol.

� Hayden J. Banbury, 26, Perrysville, was fined $1,000 and his driver’s license was suspended for four years for driving with a breath alcohol content over 0.17, second offense in 10 years. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail and may serve 40 of those days under electronically monitored house arrest. He must perform 80 hours of community service, complete an alcohol and drug assessment and obtain/ maintain gainful employment.

� Eddie Dorsey, 57, 110 N. West Lebanon Road, Dalton, was fined $50 and his driver’s license was suspended for two years for driving while intoxicated. He was sentenced to 20 days in jail with 10 of those days to be served under electronically monitored house arrest. He must perform 80 hours of community service and must complete an alcohol assessment and must obtain/ maintain employment. He was fined $50 for failure to obey a traffic control device and $50 for failure to operated on the right half of the road.

� Hannah M. Lauro, 22, 15214 Hametown Road, Doylestown, was fined $600 and her driver’s license was suspended for one year for driving while intoxicated. She must perform 20 hours of community service and must complete an alcohol/ drug assessment. She may serve a mandatory three-day jail sentence by attending a 72-hour treatment program.

� Leslie L. Long, 36, 5122 Ogden Road, West Salem, was fined $600 and her driver’s license was suspended for one year for driving while intoxicated. She was sentenced to three days in jail, which may be served in a 72-hour treatment program. She must perform 20 hours of community service and complete an alcohol assessment.

� Cody A. Mickna, 21, 8046 Cleveland Road, Wooster, was fined $700 and his license was suspended for 18 months for driving with a breath alcohol content over 0.17. He was sentenced to six days in jail and may serve three of those days in a 72-hour treatment program. He must perform 40 hours of community service and complete an alcohol assessment.

 

Divorces

WAYNE COUNTY

� Brandy E.L. Pressler, 6887 Dover Road, Apple Creek from Emillee A. Pressler, St. Marie, Montana. They were married in 2018.

� Penny J. McFadden, 1876 Normandy Drive, Wooster from Steven J. Sticklemaier, Dunlap, Illinois. They were married in 2013.

� Heather Kennedy, 11563 Back Massillon Road, Orrville and Harold Kennedy, 1150 S. Kansas Road, Orrville. They were married in 1995.

� Christine A. McConahay, 3636 Crater Road, Wooster from Paul T. McConahay, same address. They were married in 1982.

 

Dissolutions

WAYNE COUNTY

� Cristy M. Portis, 5974 Cleveland Road, Wooster and Gregory W. Portis, 13752 Kaufman Ave., Sterling. They were married in 2007.

� Brian Sweigert, 14285 Kauffman Ave., Sterling and Christine Sweigert, same address. They were married in 1992.

� Clayton R. Evanich, 7178 Chippewa Road, Orrville and Angela M. Evanich, same address. They were married in 1997.

� Emily M. Carroll, 146 S. Market St., Wooster and Patrick Carroll, Ashland. They were married in 2017.

� Mary L. Speelman, 8558 County Road 373, Big Prairie and Jason P. Speelman, 4120 Columbus Road, Wooster. They were married in 2006.

� Jeffrey L. Pelot, 294 Decourcey St., Rittman and Rebecca L. Pelot, Wadsworth. They were married in 1993.

� Douglas R. Zimmerly, 8738 Fulton Road, Sterling and Genne R. Zimmerly, 599 Stonesthrow Drive, Wooster. They were married in 2003.

� Randy C. Butts, 6297 Cleveland Road, Wooster and Joan R. Butts, 3872 Todd Lane, Wooster. They were married in 1988.

 

Marriage licenses

Wayne County

� Jesse G. Weaver, 26, East Earl, Pennsylvania, teacher and Kristen E. Sommers, 25, 18738 Withrich Road, Dalton, unemployed.

� Perry A. Lanham Jr., 40, 5660 Force Road, Shreve, CNC machinist and Bernadine J. Koval, 50, same address, cleaning service.

� Benjamin L. Rood, 36, 2340 Cardinal Court, Wooster, fork lift operator, and Sarah E. Lake, 31, 2078 W. Smithville-Western Road, Wooster, store manager.

� Leon W. Yoder, 22, 7272 S. Carr Road, Fredericksburg, woodworking and Rosanna A. Kuhns, 22, 5719 Buss Road, Apple Creek, homemaker.

� Charles M. Russell, 28, 257 N. Honeytown Road, Wooster, logger and Abigail A. Thompson, 30, same address, counselor.

� Walter E. Meyer III, 25, Ashland, U.S. Army and Hannah A. Raber, 20, 3777 Spring Run Drive, Apple Creek, cosmetologist.

� Jeffrey A. Quinn, 25, Albuquerque, New Mexico, engineer and Anastasia M. Demor, 25, same address, teacher.

� Sean R. Sweeney, 31, 401 N. Buckeye St., Wooster, sales/ client management and Rachel A. Lewis, 22, same address, server/ student.

� Henry L. Zimmerman, 23, Greensburg, Indiana, lawn care and Jolene K. Steiner, 25, 12683 Emerson Road, Apple Creek, homemaker.

� Christopher L. Bennett, 24, 9 Jasmin Court, Rittman, truck driver and Kayla E. Shue, 21, same address, assembler.

� Monroe E. Miller, 22, 7872 County Road, Fredericksburg, wood worker and Anna R. Hershberger, 20, 6750 E. Moreland Road, Fredericksburg, homemaker.

� Eric D. Horst, 33, 2457 Ruble Drive, Wooster, sales associate and Jesse A. N. Gatchalian, 32, same address, RN.

� Steven A. Miller, 21, 7796 Frease Road, Fredericksburg, roofer and Kaitlyn R. Hochstetler, 19, 2700 Kidron Road, Orrville, secretary.

� Matthew L. Bender, 31, 327 1/2 N. Bever St., Wooster, warehouse worker and Jessica M. Perret-Welty, 25, same address, customer service rep.

� Blair T. Harper, 25, Lodi, banker and Monica R. Wacker, 24, 112 W. Buckeye St., West Salem, bank teller.

� Julius D. Woods, 35, 735 1/2 Spink St., Wooster, heavy equipment operator and Sarah A. Stelmarski, 33, same address, powder coater.

� Michael T.J. Morrison, 31, 11301 Hackett Road, Apple Creek, sales and Hannah M. Crosby, 27, same address, analyst.

� Charles R. Edgell, 227 E. South St., Shreve, CDL driver and Kelsey L. Buren, same address, office. (No ages given.)

� Brandi L. Ferrebee, 25, 6095 Back Orrville Road, Wooster, shift lead and Bethany R. Williams, 23, same address, customer service rep.

Martin clarifies statistics on crime trends; one rape is too many – Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Martin clarifies statistics on crime trends; one rape is too many - Ridgecrest Daily Independent nevin manimala
Martin clarifies statistics on crime trends; one rape is too many - Ridgecrest Daily Independent nevin manimala

My article below is in response the DI Editorial Article June 8 on Rape Statistics showing an alarming 72% jump in rape statistics, and a News Review article on crime trends.

I would like to clarify my position on the rape statistics discussion during a recent budget planning meeting. First, I have a beautiful wife, daughter and granddaughter and I deplore any form of sexual misconduct against women, or men for that matter. I am a big proponent for the excellent job that our Women’s Center-High Desert, Inc. does and particularly their Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). Concerning the meeting, I did not initiate the topic, I was simply following up on alarming stats presented by our Police Chief, followed by several questions by a member of the audience. My concerns during the meeting dealt with clarification of statistics and in no way were my comments intended to minimize sexual assault of any kind. I was trying to determine the cause of this significant jump so that we could try to find a solution.

After the meeting, I asked the Chief to explain. He said, “Historically, rape was defined as forceful carnal knowledge.” In 2013, however, the California DOJ and FBI redefined and expanded the term rape making it more inclusive of many other sexual assaults as well. As a result, the statistics for rape naturally increased significantly nationwide, including Ridgecrest. The FBI article the Chief sent shows an almost 20% increase in reported rapes across the country since the new definition went into effect. But this still does not explain the big jump between 2017 and 2018?

Mayor Pro Tem Stephens during the meeting stated that rape is a rape no matter what, and I entirely agree. She also asked if the “# MeToo” movement could be encouraging victims to come forward leading to increased reporting. And the FBI article confirmed this fact as well. It has increased reporting significantly. In addition, according to the Chief at the meeting, he stated, “of that 31 (reported rapes in 2018) you have to remember that a large portion of those are unfounded…but we have to report it as such…. it’s a high percentage of people meeting people at establishments and the next day coming in and reporting the assault. That’s probably our number one….a large portion are unfounded.” Another point to consider is that high stats also reflect the excellent job that the Women’s Center-High Desert, Inc. and the hospital does in making sure that all rape cases are reported. Many other communities are lax in this area.

During the meeting, a member of the audience spoke up and inquired as to where these numbers come from. He asked, “are these rapes attributed to people the victim knows, or are they from out of town, and are all these claims thoroughly investigated and vetted, and is there a relationship to the homeless population.” I repeated several of his comments in the Mic because he had trouble walking to the podium. I was brainstorming and following up on his comments and considering the option of sub-bullets showing a breakdown of some sort, and this led to the idea of simply showing the percentage of those that were “confirmed” or “founded” versus just posting the larger alarming number “reported.” After the meeting, the Chief said he saw merit to this as well and said he would consider it.

After the meeting, I contacted the Women’s Center-High Desert, Inc. and I spoke at length to Carol Beecroft, CEO and Karin Stone, Director of Client Services to discuss this issue further. I have gained a much broader understanding of this issue and how the increased efforts in prevention have benefited our community. They also mentioned that, ”there are a number of reasons why this number can seem alarming. For example: minors/custody issues, and other medical/mental health issues.” In addition, the Women’s Center-High Desert, Inc. suggested that, “wherever this statistic is presented in the future, that at the bottom of the publication or slide, they would prepare a paragraph that defines this in more detail, so the public fully understands. They would also list a number for people to call their center.” I totally agreed and I asked the Police Chief to please make sure that next year’s slides reflect these suggestions providing a greater degree of public clarification. Lastly, they stated that Women’s Center-High Desert, Inc. and the Ridgecrest Police Department are committed to providing trauma-informed/victim-centered services to any person reporting a sexual assault regardless of the outcome.

In conclusion, if any of my brainstorming comments during the meeting were misconstrued, my apologies. My comments were intended to reflect a need for clarification, not minimization. In closing I would like to commend our Police Chief and his officers for working diligently to reduce the crime and rape in our town; and the excellent job of the Women’s Center-High Desert, Inc. and SART staff. Regardless of any statistics, ONE rape is too many! As a reminder, if anyone in town has an issue to report, please call the Women’s Center-High Desert, Inc. They are here to help 760-371-1969 (office) and (760) 375-0745 24-hour hotline.

— Wallace Martin is vice mayor for the City of Ridgecrest.

•••

The views expressed are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the official stance of the Daily Independent.

E-13 Police Share May’s Crime Statistics – Jamaica Plain Gazette

E-13 Police Share May’s Crime Statistics - Jamaica Plain Gazette nevin manimala

E-13 Police Share May’s Crime Statistics - Jamaica Plain Gazette nevin manimala

    On Thursday, June 6, Curtis Hall in Jamaica Plain hosted the monthly police and community relations meeting organized by District E-13 of the Boston Police Department (BPD).

    Every month, Officer William Jones from the Community Service Office and Captain John Greland use this meeting to update the community about local crime statistics from the previous month. They also take the opportunity to provide common sense advice for how to prevent crime in Jamaica Plain and to answer questions from community members. Also invited to these meetings are officials from MBTA’s Transit Police and Massachusetts State Police.

    This month, Sergeant John Dougherty stood in for his colleague Officer Jones. Sgt. Dougherty provided copies of a chart comparing the year-to-date Part One crime statistics from 2019 with those from 2018. Part One crimes are those that are more serious in nature, and do not include lesser crimes such as vandalism, drug dealing or possession of firearms.

E-13 Police Share May’s Crime Statistics - Jamaica Plain Gazette nevin manimala

    In order to better interpret the Part One crime statistics, it’s important to know the difference between robbery, burglary and larceny. Robbery is the taking of someone’s property directly from that person using intimidation or force. Burglary, also known as breaking and entering (or B&E in law enforcement shorthand), is unlawfully accessing a building with the intent to commit theft. Larceny deprives someone of their property but it doesn’t include force (like robbery) or breaking and entering (like burglary.) An example of larceny would be shoplifting, stealing items out of a car or picking someone’s pocket on a crowded subway train.

    According to Sgt. Dougherty’s chart, so far in 2019 there were 353 reported Part One crimes in Jamaica Plain, down from 423 this time last year, a 17% decrease. Crimes that saw an uptick in 2019 included rape and attempted, domestic aggravated assault and residential burglary. Crimes that have seen a decrease so far in 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018 included homicide, robbery and attempted, non-domestic aggravated assault, commercial burglary, other burglary, motor vehicle larceny, other larceny and auto theft.

    Sgt. Dougherty also provided a comprehensive list of the individual Part One crimes reported in the area the previous month, including the date, time and location of each incident.

    According to this list, the month of May saw ten burglaries (up from seven in April), six robberies (up from three in April), thirteen aggravated assaults (up from seven in April), five motor vehicle theft (up one in April), and 53 larcenies (up from 36 in April), one arson (up from zero in April). There were no reported incidents of rape, kidnapping or murder in April.

    On his handouts, Sgt. Dougherty wrote notes next to the major incidents, adding more context and detail than is available online. For example, we know that in four of the burglaries, there were no signs of a forced entry, which means that the access to the premises was not properly secured. In the past, Officer Jones has urged residents to properly secure their homes by locking all doors and windows when not home and leaving valuables out of sight from passers-by.

    “Our best advice is to get people thinking about crime as an opportunity and to collectively participate in removing as many opportunities as possible,” he told the Gazette.

            The police and community relations meeting is on the first Thursday of every month at 6:30pm at Curtis Hall at 20 South Street. However, the next meeting will be held on Thursday, August 1, due to the holiday July 4. A Spanish language version of this meeting is also held on the second Thursday of every month at 6:30pm at 155 Lamartine Street. The next Spanish-language meeting is Thursday, July 11. These meetings are open to the public and all interested residents are encouraged to attend.

SF panel takes deep dive into anti-Semitism statistics – The Jewish News of Northern California

SF panel takes deep dive into anti-Semitism statistics - The Jewish News of Northern California nevin manimala
SF panel takes deep dive into anti-Semitism statistics - The Jewish News of Northern California nevin manimala

Rabbi Andrew Baker believes the Jews of Europe today are experiencing a level of discrimination they could not have imagined 20 years ago.

An expert on European anti-Semitism and the director of international Jewish affairs at the American Jewish Committee, Baker addressed the topic at a forum held June 11 at San Francisco’s Congregation Emanu-El.

Notwithstanding some “pockets of Holocaust denial,” Baker said most Jews had “thought anti-Semitism was receding into history. Things are very different. It has re-emerged. And we have to be really clear-eyed, really focused, in understanding its sources, and how it presents itself.”

The forum, titled “The Rise of Anti-Semitism in America vs. Europe,” was organized and moderated by Gunda Trepp, a synagogue member and coordinator of an Emanu-El program that stages forums like this one. It included two short presentations by Baker, who is also a representative on anti-Semitism to the global NGO the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Seth Brysk, S.F.-based regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. 

Brysk used a slide presentation to reveal a number of harrowing statistics, among them that anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. have increased 48 percent since 2016. While the number has decreased over the past 40 years, 14 percent of Americans still hold anti-Semitic views, according to an ADL survey. Globally, the figure is 26 percent, or about 1 billion people.

“Jesus,” a woman gasped from the second row. 

Baker identified three ideological sources of European anti-Semitism today: the far right, Islamists, and the far left. On the right, it’s the populist, xenophobic and nationalist political parties, such as neo-Nazis and skinheads. On the left, Baker described anti-Semitism “wrapped in anti-Zionism,” and among immigrant Arab populations, some European cities like Paris and Brussels see strong anti-Israel sentiment.

In a survey of Jews who live in the European Union, 30 percent said they were afraid of going to synagogue for fear of “having an anti-Semitic encounter” on the way there, Baker said. “The problem is a severe one. It has impacted the way Jews live their day-to-day lives.”

In his work, Baker lobbies European governments to take the threat of anti-Semitism seriously, either by providing funding and manpower for security at Jewish centers, or by securing religious freedoms through legislation. It doesn’t always work.

He said lobbying officials in Copenhagen in 2014 for greater police presence in front of Jewish schools and synagogues was a challenge. “They said to me, ‘Rabbi Baker, we have a relaxed approach to security,” he said. “The public would feel uncomfortable if they saw armed guards. 

Months later, between February 14-15, 2015, a Muslim extremist attacked a cultural center and a synagogue in Copenhagen, killing two.

Anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe takes many forms, and differs based on region and culture, Baker said. In Scandinavia, for example, it may manifest as strongly secular political parties that place circumcision bans or regulations against Kosher slaughter. In Hungary and Romania, it comes from xenophobic, nationalist political parties that are rising to power.

“Here in America,” Baker said, “we would think the basic principles of religious freedom should protect those rights” of ritual slaughter and circumcision. “But you’re really talking in Europe of societies that are quite secular. That really see [religious freedoms] as only something to be balanced by other rights.”

The ADL has used an “attitudinal” survey since the 1960s, called an Index Score, that measures how many individuals hold anti-Semitic beliefs in a given population. Developed jointly with social scientists at UC Berkeley, the survey takes respondents through 11 questions. If they answer 6 or more in the affirmative, they are considered to hold an anti-Semitic attitude. Prompts include, “Jews have too much power in the business world”; “Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind”; or “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the country they live in.”

Brysk said that when the survey was first introduced, about 30 percent of the country held anti-Semitic beliefs. Since then it dropped to between 10-14 percent, which still amounts to “tens of millions of people,” as Brysk noted.

Among anti-Semites, Brysk said, there is a fixation on “Jewish control, Jewish power,” in the Index responses. “It’s part of what we were seeing chanted in Charlottesville – that ‘Jews will not replace us.”

Brysk said anti-Semitism is, “at its heart,” a conspiracy theory based on a lie. “If you think about all of those anti-Semitic tropes, it’s all about a lie that’s being told about Jews, collectively or individually,” Brysk said. “That we control this or control that, or manipulate things in certain ways.”

Despite the bad news, Baker pointed out that across Europe, Jewish communities are thriving.

“There’s an irony,” he said. “In the very places where the problem is real, and where the safety and security concerns have been identified, there’s still a very rich and vibrant Jewish life.”

He mentioned Jewish communities in Hungary and in throughout central Europe, as well as in Germany, where there is now a rabbinical seminary. “If you visit there, it is the most remarkable Jewish community in all of central Europe,” he said of Hungary’s Jewish community.

S.F.-based German Consul General Hans-Ulrich Südbeck was in attendance. He said he attended the event to learn about ways to combat anti-Semitism in Germany. “I think we’re all having a hard time figuring out responses to anti-Semitism,” Südbeck said 

“As for the German government,” he added, “we have been showing over the last 60-70 years that part of our raison-d’être is a certain responsibility for the existence of Israel as a home country for Jewish people, given our horrible history. On the other hand, we also have a large population in Germany which is critical of some of the Israeli policies toward the Palestinian people in the region. Therefore it’s always a very difficult enterprise to divide the one from the other, and to criticize something without including anti-Semitic feelings and tendencies. We’re trying to find a good way through.”

Südbeck said he believes the “main cause” of the rise in anti-Semitism has little to do with Israel, but has more to do with xenophobia, and originates mainly from the far right.

“Most European countries have a deep-rooted tradition of anti-Semitism,” he said. “Which obviously can be revived again and again.”

Broodmare Statistics and a Filly to Watch – BloodHorse.com

Broodmare Statistics and a Filly to Watch - BloodHorse.com nevin manimala
Broodmare Statistics and a Filly to Watch - BloodHorse.com nevin manimala

By J. Keeler Johnson (“Keelerman”) Twitter: @J_Keelerman

With the 2019 Triple Crown in our rearview mirrors, I thought we’d kick off the second half of the racing season with a different type of post than usual.

Summer is just around the corner, and Saratoga is less than a month away, so the focus of racing fans will soon turn to juvenile racing as well-bred youngsters with high-profile connections hit the track and take aim at the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and 2020 Triple Crown.

Therefore, now seems like as good a time as any to address a very old question—are foals produced by graded stakes-winning mares more or less likely to win stakes races than foals produced by less accomplished mares?

Old-time breeders used to believe high-class, heavily-raced mares were less likely to produce stakes-winning foals than mares who accomplished little or nothing on the track. And while we see no shortage of stakes winners produced by unraced or unaccomplished mares, isn’t that to be expected since they greatly outnumber graded stakes-winning mares?

The May 18, 2019 edition of BloodHorse magazine included a BloodHorse MarketWatch section that might be of interest to handicappers. An article by Nicole Stafford included several charts highlighting the produce records of “all mares that produced North American foals from 2000-07,” sorting the broodmares into categories based on their racing accomplishments and detailing the percentage of their foals that achieved stakes-caliber racing class.

The results are eye-opening. The main takeaway? Graded stakes-winning mares produce significantly higher percentages of stakes winners (8.2%), graded stakes winners (4.1%), and Grade 1 winners (1.4%) than all other categories of mares, including stakes-winning mares, which produce 6.2% stakes winners, 2.2% graded stakes winners, and 0.6% Grade 1 stakes winners.

Further down the list, unraced mares produce 3.6% stakes winners, 1.0% graded stakes winners, and 0.3% Grade 1 winners. Mares who won at least one race (but never placed at the stakes level) fare slightly worse, producing 3.2% stakes winners, 0.8% graded stakes winners, and 0.2% Grade 1 winners.

To put it another way, graded stakes-winning mares are approximately 5-7 times more likely to produce a Grade 1 winner than mares who never won or placed at the stakes level. Even stakes-winning mares are 2-3 times more likely to produce Grade 1 winners than those less accomplished mares.

Furthermore, if a graded stakes-winning mare is a half or full sibling to another graded stakes winner or a mare that produced a graded stakes winner, the stats are even more impressive. Mares that fit this category produce approximately 9.5% stakes winners, 5.2% graded stakes winners, and 1.7% Grade 1 winners.

You can argue the reasons behind these stats all day long. Superior genetics surely plays a factor, along with the fact that graded stakes-winning mares are much more likely to be bred to a top stallion than unaccomplished mares.

But if you see a two-year-old out of your favorite graded stakes-winning mare hit the track this summer, you can rest assured this well-bred youngster has a significantly better chance than most runners to become a stakes winner.

One Play for Stephen Foster Day

The Stephen Foster Handicap (G2) might be the highlight of the stakes-packed June 15 card at Churchill Downs, but the horse I’m most excited to play is running in the Regret Stakes (G3), a 1 1/8-mile turf test for three-year-old fillies.

#4 Varenka held her own against high-class company as a maiden last year, finishing second behind Newspaperofrecord in the Miss Grillo Stakes (G2) and fifth behind that same rival in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), where she was beaten just 1 ½ lengths for second place.

Trained by Graham Motion, Varenka took the winter off, but returned to win a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on May 11 at Belmont Park with a terrific rally from off the pace. The early fractions were pedestrian (:25.04, :50.47, and 1:15.28), yet Varenka managed to pass six horses in the final five-sixteenths of a mile, blazing the distance in :27.99 per Trakus to win going away by two lengths.

This was a remarkable performance considering that the race was otherwise dominated by speed horses and was assigned a speed-favoring Closer Favorability Ratio (CFR) of 9 (on a 1-to-100 scale) by RacingFlow.com. An exceptional effort is required for late runners to win races like these, so I give Varenka a lot of credit for overcoming this unfavorable scenario.

As a daughter of Ghostzapper out of a Dynaformer mare, Varenka should relish the opportunity to stretch out to 1 1/8 miles in the Regret Stakes. I’m expecting her to unleash another powerful finish and win with ease on Saturday.

Now it’s your turn! Who do you like in the weekend stakes races?

*****

Want to test your handicapping skills against fellow Unlocking Winners readers? Check out the Unlocking Winners contests page—there’s a new challenge every week!

*****

J. Keeler Johnson (also known as “Keelerman”) is a writer, blogger, videographer, handicapper, and all-around horse racing enthusiast. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He is the founder of the horse racing website www.theturfboard.com.

The human toll: People behind the statistics of meth in Montana – KULR-TV

The human toll: People behind the statistics of meth in Montana - KULR-TV nevin manimala
The human toll: People behind the statistics of meth in Montana - KULR-TV nevin manimala
...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY... AT 443 PM MDT, DOPPLER RADAR WAS TRACKING A STRONG THUNDERSTORM 19
MILES NORTH OF COLUMBUS, MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH. THE STORM MAY REACH
BILLINGS BY 5:30 PM MDT. HALF INCH HAIL AND WIND GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH ARE POSSIBLE WITH THIS
STORM. LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
HALFBREED LAKE WILDLIFE, ACTON, MOLT AND COMANCHE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... TORRENTIAL RAINFALL IS ALSO OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM, AND MAY LEAD
TO LOCALIZED FLOODING. DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE THROUGH FLOODED
ROADWAYS. && 

Small farms produce more food than statistics show – Horizon magazine

Small farms produce more food than statistics show - Horizon magazine nevin manimala

While small farms can play an important role in supporting rural economies, many owners struggle to earn a decent living which can lead to a difficult choice – sell up or try to get more land to become commercially viable. This situation is helping drive up the average size of an EU farm.

According to Dr Teresa Pinto Correia, an expert in rural landscape management at Évora University in Portugal, if the true value of small farms was better understood then they could access more governmental and financial support.

‘Small farms are producing much more than what is in the statistics,’ she said. ‘In some cases the official statistics show (what is) close to the reality, but there are very clear cases showing that the production estimates of small farms are underestimated.’

These farms are an important way to contribute to the food system, she adds, because they support rural food security as well as shorter transport distances and more seasonable production which can have less negative environmental impacts.

Dr Correia is leading the SALSA project which found the production gap after analysing 800 small farms across 25 regions in the EU and 100 small farms across five regions in Africa. Dr Correia says the gap possibly comes from official statistics not accounting for food that is used on the farm to feed family, friends or animals. Food grown on farms often meet between 25% and 40% of that farm’s own requirements.

The farms in the study were mostly defined as those with less than five hectare operations and ranged from potato farmers in Poland to olive farmers in Greece and some growing a variety of crops in France, Portugal and Norway.

The team used satellite images to analyse the land and crop patterns of the small farms, and then interviewed farmers to get an overall estimate of the production capacity for a selected number of crops. They cross-checked figures with agricultural experts and finally compared numbers from each farm against official statistics of production from that region.

Small farms produce more food than statistics show - Horizon magazine nevin manimala

‘There are very clear cases showing that the production estimates of small farms are underestimated.’

Dr Teresa Pinto Correia, Évora University, Portugal

Small farms produce more food than statistics show - Horizon magazine nevin manimala

Paper trail

The production gap unearthed by SALSA could mean these small farms are being undervalued. Dr Correia says their unreported food does not create a paper trail and that means they are producing a lot more food than ends up in certain statistics.

For example, the EU categorises the size of farms on their economic value. They say that small and very small farms make up almost 70% of total farms, but account for only 5% of the total crops and livestock sold from them. The underestimation found by SALSA means the small farms they examined would be unfairly represented in these types of statistics and that could cause them to be undervalued by markets, banks and governments.

In general economic terms, the more produce a farm provides the more value it has to the market, which often means bigger operations can end up getting preferential treatment. Very large farms in the EU already produce 71% of standard agricultural output, but account for just 6.3% of total farms.

‘Small farms’ potential to place more products in the market or increase production is not considered by official (government) regimes which look more at much larger farms,’ said Dr Correia. ‘If there was more support for small farms they could have a much bigger role (in food production).’

Support

Later this year, SALSA will present their findings to the European Commission which is currently planning the direction of agricultural policies from 2020 onwards. Dr Correia hopes the project will help convince decision-makers to see small farms as more of a way to improve food security and the economic resilience of rural communities.

According to Alan Matthews, Professor Emeritus of European agricultural policy at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, small farms can be productive and profitable when they specialise in quality produce. He is referring to enterprises such as vineyards, orchards or farms that add value to their produce – for example turning milk into ice cream, or fruits into jams.

While he acknowledges the important role small farms play in supporting rural households and their communities, he says the strong trend of people leaving agriculture for a better quality of life elsewhere seems to be an inevitable trend. 

‘In every country in the world over a long period of time, half a century or more, we observe people moving out of agriculture,’ he said.

For that reason, support should help those who want to set up or remain on small farms in the most productive and sustainable way, he says.

‘(Support) should go to small farms not because they are small but where they are better at managing the land (than bigger enterprises),’ said Prof. Matthews.

And small farms are not necessarily more environmentally friendly, particularly where there is a high concentration of livestock or if they run intensive horticulture or vineyard enterprises. And with one third of EU farmers over 65 years of age, the adoption of more modern sustainable practices and technology can be a challenge, especially if operating a less productive small farm, according to Prof. Matthews.

‘Their level of skills and education is simply not the same as some of these incomers that start small farms and seem to be able to make a great success at it,’ he said.

When it comes to food security, these farms play very different roles in different EU countries, says Prof. Matthews. For example, eastern and southern European small farms could play a bigger role in feeding households, he says, than those in the west which are often less diverse but plugged into the international cash crop markets. Any support would therefore need to account for a range of factors.

SALSA’s findings could lead to better technology and training assistance for small farmers, while policy could help create a more level playing field on the market.

But the big question, Prof. Matthews says, is how to best support every farmer to be economically and environmentally sustainable, regardless of their size.  

The research in this article was funded by the European Union. If you liked this article, please consider sharing it on social media.