‘Not Our President’: Protests Spread After Donald Trump’s Election

The demonstrations, fueled by social media, continued into the early hours of Thursday. The crowds swelled as the night went on but remained mostly peaceful.

Protests were reported in cities as diverse as Dallas and Oakland and included marches in Boston; Chicago; Portland, Ore.; Seattle and Washington and at college campuses in California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

In Oakland alone, the Police Department said, the crowd grew from about 3,000 people at 7 p.m. to 6,000 an hour later. The situation grew tense late Wednesday, with SFGate.com reporting that a group of protesters had started small fires in the street and broken windows. Police officers in riot gear were called in, and at least one officer was injured, according to other local news reports.

It was the second night of protests there, following unruly demonstrations that led to property damage and left at least one person injured shortly after Mr. Trump’s election was announced.

The protests on Wednesday came just hours after Hillary Clinton, in her concession speech, asked supporters to give Mr. Trump a “chance to lead.”

One of the biggest demonstrations was in Los Angeles, where protesters burned a Trump effigy at City Hall and shut down a section of Highway 101. Law enforcement officials were called out to disperse the hundreds of people who swarmed across the multilane freeway.

In New York, crowds converged at Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue at 56th Street in Midtown Manhattan, where the president-elect lives.

They chanted “Not our president” and “New York hates Trump” and carried signs that said, among other things, “Dump Trump.” Restaurant workers in their uniforms briefly left their posts to cheer on the demonstrators.

The demonstrations forced streets to be closed, snarled traffic and drew a large police presence. They started in separate waves from Union Square and Columbus Circle and snaked their way through Midtown.

Loaded dump trucks lined Fifth Avenue for two blocks outside Trump Tower as a form of protection.

Emanuel Perez, 25, of the Bronx, who works at a restaurant in Manhattan and grew up in Guerrero, Mexico, was among the many Latinos in the crowd.

“I came here because people came out to protest the racism that he’s promoting,” he said in Spanish, referring to Mr. Trump. “I’m not scared for myself personally. What I’m worried about is how many children are going to be separated from their families. It will not be just one. It will be thousands of families.”

Protesters with umbrellas beat a piñata of Mr. Trump, which quickly lost a leg, outside the building.

The Police Department said on Wednesday night that 15 protesters had been arrested.

Bianca Rivera, 25, of East Harlem, described Mr. Trump’s election as something that was “not supposed to happen.”

“We’re living in a country that’s supposed to be united, a melting pot,” she said. “It’s exposing all these underground racists and sexists.”

After Mr. Trump’s victory speech, more than 2,000 students at the University of California, Los Angeles, marched through the streets of the campus’s Westwood neighborhood.

There were similar protests at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles; University of California campuses in Berkeley, San Diego and Santa Barbara; Temple University, in Philadelphia; and the University of Massachusetts.

High school students also walked out of classes in protest in several cities.

As U.C.L.A. students made their way to classes on Wednesday, they talked about how to make sense of an outcome that had seemed impossible a day earlier.

“I’m more than a little nervous about the future,” said Blanca Torres, a sophomore anthropology major. “We all want to have conversations with each other, to figure out how to move forward. There’s a whole new reality out there for us now.”

Chuy Fernandez, a fifth-year economics student, said he was eager to air his unease with his peers.

“I’m feeling sad with this huge sense of uncertainty,” Mr. Fernandez said. The son of a Mexican immigrant, he said it was difficult not to take the outcome personally.

“We’re all just kind of waiting for a ticking time bomb, like looking around and thinking who will be deported,” he said. “That’s the exact opposite of what most of us thought would happen.”

On Facebook, a page titled “Not My President” called for protesters to gather on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, in the nation’s capital.

“We refuse to recognize Donald Trump as the president of the United States, and refuse to take orders from a government that puts bigots into power,” the organizers wrote.

“We have to make it clear to the public that we did not choose this man for office and that we won’t stand for his ideologies.”untitled-2

New York Times

Students seeking sugar daddies for tuition, rent

SARAH SKIDMORE SELL, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Candice Kashani graduated from law school debt-free this spring, thanks to a modern twist on an age-old arrangement.

During her first year, she faced tuition and expenses that ran nearly $50,000, even after a scholarship. So she decided to check out a dating website that connected women looking for financial help with men willing to provide it, in exchange for companionship and sex — a “sugar daddy” relationship as they are known.

Now, almost three years and several sugar daddies later, Kashani is set to graduate from Villanova University free and clear, while some of her peers are burdened with six-digit debts.

As the cost of tuition and rent rises, so does the apparent popularity of such sites among students. But are they really providing financial relief, or signing women up for something more exploitative and dangerous than debt?

Kashani believes such sites are a “great resource” for young women, but others say these arrangements smack of prostitution and take advantage of women in a vulnerable situation.

Lynn Comella, an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies at University of Nevada Las Vegas, said that it is not unusual for students to turn to sex work such as stripping, prostitution or webcam work to pay for school. But the sugar daddy sites are relatively new, and she says not entirely upfront about what they are really about.

These arrangements are more vague than prostitution— there is an expectation of material benefit but it is not always specified and sex is not guaranteed.

Ron Weitzer, a professor of sociology at George Washington University and criminologist with an expertise in the sex industry describes it as “prostitution light.”

“Sugar Daddy” arrangements have existed for ages, and it’s unclear if they are becoming more common because the phenomenon is not well studied. But experts say at the very least the internet has made these transactions far easier to arrange and negotiate. “It allows you to hone in on what you want,” said Kevin Lewis, an assistant professor of sociology at University of California San Diego who studies online dating. “You could argue it is just making the market more efficient.”

Kashani says she sifted through many potential suitors before finding one she clicked with. She says she considers her sugar daddy one of her best friends and that they care deeply for each other.

“The people who have a stigma, or associate a negative connotation with it, don’t understand how it works,” she says.

But unlike most relationships, she is paid a sizeable monthly allowance that helps her pay for school.

U.S. undergraduate students last year finished school with an average of $35,000 in student debt — a figure that has risen steadily every year, according to Mark Kantrowitz, a financial aid expert. The average graduate debt load is $75,000, and some longer programs force students into much deeper debt.

Many students say their loans don’t cover the cost of living, and with rent skyrocketing in most major cities, they are left scrambling to make up the difference.

One graduate student at Columbia University in New York had a scholarship that covered almost all of her tuition, but not her living expenses. She spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the potential impact on her job prospects. She tried to make do — sharing a room with a classmate and working a minimum wage job, plus any freelance work she could get. But still she struggled to pay her rent and utilities, and her grades suffered.

“That’s just not why I am here,” she said. “I wanted to find the most amount of money I could make for the least amount of effort.”

So she found herself surfing Craigslist and Backpage.com and later, SeekingArrangement.com, the largest of the sugar daddy websites. Now she has two sugar daddies, one she sees occasionally and another who is more like a conventional boyfriend, except that he pays her a monthly allowance and helps rent her an apartment closer to him.

SeekingArrangement.com said it is most popular in Los Angeles and New York. The average rent in both areas is well over $2,000 a month, according to Zillow research.

The Columbia student says she plans to continue “sugaring” after she graduates to buy herself time to find a more traditional job and remain officially unemployed so she can defer repaying the roughly $70,000 in loans she had already racked up.

“There is a lot of moral panic about it,” she said. “But what are the real estate and academic funding situations that led to this?”

Brandon Wade, creator of the site, touts it as an “alternative to financial aid” but says the company did not set out to target students when it launched in 2006. It stumbled on this niche and began in 2011 offering students a free premium membership, which usually costs $30 a month. It charges sugar daddies $70 to $180 a month, depending on the membership level.

Seekingarrangement.com also offers to connect same-sex couples looking for such arrangements, or “sugar mommies” for men. But the male-female “sugar daddy” dynamic makes up the bulk of its business.

It’s difficult to pin down exactly how many students are involved in such situations, because they are private transactions. And it’s a niche rarely studied by academics.

SeekingArrangement.com says student users on the site jumped from 79,400 worldwide in 2010 to 1.9 million this year and students make up one-third of its users. And while it sees thousands of signups on any given day, the company says enrolment jumps during August and January when tuition is typically due, sometimes to more than double its normal levels.

Women who have used the site report experiences that run the gamut — from respectful chaste dates all the way to aggressive solicitation online, even though it is forbidden on the site. Sex is not guaranteed although most users say it is implied. The company says a few arrangements have even led to marriage, although it is rare.

Some of the women say they feel respected and cared for, but remain aware that it is an arrangement, not traditional romantic love.

“It benefits me in many ways — we have a healthy relationship, we travel together, I’m able to enjoy the city more,” said the New York graduate student.

Still, she said, it is a job.

“It does kind of rub me the wrong way that some people don’t see it as sex work,” she said.

Comella warns that unlike sex workers, many women doing this put their true identities online, and that could put them at risk. While Seeking Arrangement runs background checks, there have been reports of violence against both men and women stemming from sugar daddy websites.

Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center says that violence is common any time money is exchanged for sex. “You need to pay attention that there is a power imbalance,” she said.

Wade says there are risks inherent in any dating website. He should know; he runs several, including one that allows users to bid on dates and another focused on open relationships. He said he created SeekingArrangement.com out of his own frustration with women. An MIT graduate, he had difficulty meeting women and realized a site such as this would highlight what set him apart — money.

“Money and sex are things that people want,” he said. “I think the controversy comes into play on seeking arrangement because we are so upfront about it.”

British Columbia’s education by the numbers

BC- A snapshot of facts about the British Columbia’s education system, shows that BC  has 1,581 public schools and 350 independent schools and there will be estimated 521,038 full-time public school students this September.  Following are the facts as to how the funding, enrollment, achievements, capital, healthy schools and  what the class sizes are in the current school systems.

Funding

  • This coming fiscal year (2015-16), total funding to school districts will reach $5.06 billion – up 31% since 2001.
  • The average per-pupil funding is now an estimated $8,902, an increase of 42% since 2000-01.
  • Last school year, total funding for all students (public and independent) with special needs was approximately $920 million.
  • This year, school districts will receive $51.7 million through CommunityLINK, which help them fund programs to support vulnerable children and youth. Districts use this funding to fund breakfast and lunch programs, inner-city and community school programs, school-based support workers and counselling.
  • Government has increased the Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) allocation to school districts by more than 66% since 2013-14 – to $100 million in 2015-16. The LIF was established to address complex classroom needs and ensure learning conditions are appropriate for all students.
  • Under the new agreement with teachers, LIF will be maintained at $100 million in each of the next three years, and will rise to more than $106 million in 2018-19.
  • This past school year (2014-15), districts told the Ministry they intended to use the LIF to:
    • Hire 1,100 new teachers;
    • Hire 352 new support staff; and
    • Increase the hours of nearly 2,600 support staff and teachers from part-time to full-time.

Enrolment

  • Estimated 521,038 full-time public school students this September.
  • Since 2000-01, there has been a decrease of nearly 77,000 students.
  • Estimated 58,513 English Language Learning (ELL) students – 640 fewer than last year.
  • Estimated 55,414 Aboriginal students – 252 fewer than last year.
  • Estimated 25,337 students with special needs (eligible for supplemental funding) – 277 fewer than in last year.
  • Estimated 3,415 non-graduated adult students – 103 more than last year.
  • Nearly 78,500 students took at least one online (distributed learning) course in 2014-15. That compares to approximately 33,000 students in 2006-07.

Achievement

  • The provincial six-year completion rate has increased by more than 10% since 2001 and was at 84.2% in 2013-14 (public and independent schools). Over that same period:
  • The six-year completion rate for Aboriginal students has increased by 45.6% and now is at 61.6%;
  • The six-year completion rate for ELL students has increased by 12.5% and now is at 86.6%;
  • The six-year completion rate for students with special needs has increased by 86.2%and now is at 62.2%.

Capital

  • Budget 2015 provides $1.4 billion over three years to replace aging facilities, build more student spaces in growing communities and improve school seismic safety where needed.
  • Since 2001, government has committed more than $4.2 billion in new and improved schools, including $2.2 billion in seismic upgrades.
  • To date, government funding has built 42 new schools, replaced 70 aging schools, added space through 186 schools additions and seismically upgraded 146 schools.
  • New schools that have recently opened include the:
    • $7.4-million NorKam Trades and Technology Centre in Kamloops;
    • $23.8-million École Qayqayt Elementary in New Westminster;
    • $26-million Yorkson Creek Middle school in Langley;
    • $51.6-million Oak Bay High in Victoria;
    • $56-million Chilliwack Secondary.

Healthy Schools

  • The BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional program provides snacks of fruits and vegetables right in the classroom to children, allowing them to sample B.C. produce such as plums, blueberries, apples, tomatoes and carrots. The Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority have provided combined funding of $21.5 million to the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation since 2010-11 to support the program.
  • In May 2015, government announced $3.5 million in new funding for the program to ensure it continues to bring fruits, vegetables and milk to more than 489,000 children in 1,463 public and First Nations schools.
  • The Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools are to be used in every school district to maximize students’ access to healthier options and fully eliminate the sale of unhealthy foods and beverages in B.C. schools.
  • Through the Daily Physical Activity requirements, students in all school districts are required to achieve daily activity targets:
    • Students in kindergarten to Grade 7 will engage in 30 minutes of daily physical activity at school;
    • Students in Grades 8 and 9 will engage in 30 minutes of daily physical activity or 150 minutes of physical activity per week;
    • Students in Grades 10 to 12 will engage in 150 minutes of physical activity per week as part of their Graduation Transition program.

Class Size

  • Class sizes in B.C. remain low and stable. The average number of students per class was near historical lows last school year (2014-15) and well below the maximum size allowed in provincial legislation.
  • Of the 66,596 K-12 classes in B.C. public schools last year:
    • 41% had fewer than 24 students;
    • 57% have between 24 and 30 students;
    • Only 1.6% of classes had more than 30 students and the majority of these are classes such as band, drama and gym where it is appropriate and beneficial to have a larger number of students.
  • Average class sizes:
    • 19.5 students for Kindergarten;
    • 21.5 students for grades 1-3;
    • 25.6 students for grades 4-7;
    • 23.2 students for grades 8-12.
  • There were nearly 9,400 full-time educational assistants working in schools in 2014-15, an increase of 42% compared to 2000-01. Approximately one-in-three classes in B.C. have an assigned educational assistant.

Independent schools

  • Independent schools enrol nearly 81,000 students, which is approximately 13% of B.C.’s K-12 population.

Prime Minister Harper highlights government’s 2014 achievements

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement highlighting some of the Government’s major accomplishments in 2014:

“I am proud of what our Government has achieved for hard working Canadians and their families in 2014. Continue reading “Prime Minister Harper highlights government’s 2014 achievements”