Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

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Evanston school absences high on waived holiday


Updated: March 29, 2012 4:15PM

Evanston-Skokie School District 65 has seen a high rate of absenteeism among teachers and students on the Monday in October designated as Columbus Day, a reason the district’s teachers’ union would like the holiday reinstated.

In the three years since District 65 opted to hold school on Columbus Day, absenteeism among District 65 teachers has run 43 to 69 percent higher than the following Monday. The highest rate occurred last fall, when 65 teachers were absent on Monday, Oct. 10, compared to 39 the succeeding Monday.

Fewer students also attend school that day. Districtwide attendance has run about 91 percent all three years, or five points lower than the following Monday.

The District 65 School Board will hold a public hearing at 7 tonight (March 12) on the general subject of school holiday waivers.

Evanston Township High School didn’t change its calendar three years ago, but now is proposing to hold school on two Monday holidays: Columbus Day on the second Monday in October and Casimir Pulaski Day on the first Monday in March. The school’s calendar committee has recommended waiving both holidays starting with the 2012-13 school year. The District 202 School Board is set to vote on the proposal tonight, the same night as District 65′s hearing.

“Attendance on Columbus Day would secure a three-day Thanksgiving break every school year, which many ETHS families value,” noted Assistant Superintendent Oscar Hawthorne. “Attendance on Pulaski Day will ensure three consecutive days of school leading up to parent-teacher conferences the first week in March.”

College visits

High school administrators in past years have said Columbus Day in particular is a popular time for college visits. But Hawthorne noted last month that students are not penalized for absences related to college visits.

Evanston Township High School does not plan to increase the number of student attendance days, which would remain at 176.

School districts once had to submit all waiver requests to the State Board of Education, and those waiver requests required approval by the Illinois General Assembly. As a result of the high volume of requests, however, the legislature gave school boards the authority to approve waivers for Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Lincoln’s birthday and Casimir Pulaski Day without state approval. The school districts must first hold a public hearing, and then recognize those honored by the holiday through instructional activities.

Rhonda Present, founder of the advocacy group, ParentsWork, said Evanston parents have registered support for a uniform calendar between the districts and fewer disruptions in the school schedule.

“There is strong support for reducing the overall number of school holidays in order to minimize disruptions to learning and ensure a more cohesive schedule for students and families,” said Present.

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Oliveira Lisboa Shoes – Perfect Holiday Shoes!


What girl doesnt love a good pair of shoes? I know I do! Ive got a fair amount of shoes to my name – although I have to say, I do spend most of my spare (and not so spare) money on beauty products, so my collection isnt as large as Id like it to be – yet! ;-)

I have to admit, I love a bit of animal print, and these fabulous shoes from Oliveira totally satisfy my animal desires, without going over the top. The mixture of the animal print with the bronze-y brown works perfectly and would flatter any skintone, in my opinion.

I also think that these are perfect for taking on holiday, firstly because I think theyd look even more amazing against tanned skin (dont forget your SPF though, girls), but also as theyre quite lightweight, and wouldnt take up lots of your precious suitcase space.

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Property transactions at 18-month high as stamp duty holiday ends


Property transactions are at their highest level for 18 months as first-time buyers seek to complete home purchases before the stamp duty holiday expires at the end of March.

The latest snapshot of the residential property market from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed estate agents expecting stronger activity to translate into higher prices later this year.

For the first time in almost two years, Rics said its members were no longer expecting house prices to fall and were seeing transaction levels edge up.

Alan Collett, Ricss housing spokesman, said: With the recent upturn in activity brought on by the end of the stamp duty holiday, it seems that a renewed sense of optimism may be slowly returning to the property market. Chartered surveyors price predictions were more optimistic in almost every area of the country in February.

However, with affordable mortgage finance still out of reach for many potential first-time buyers, it remains to be seen whether the more optimistic outlook for future sales can be sustained beyond the expiry of the stamp duty holiday.

In January, Rics said the net balance of surveyors expecting prices to fall was -14 percentage points, but that in February as many estate agents were forecasting increases as were forecasting further declines.

Transaction levels edged up with the average amount of sales per surveyor (by branch) moving up to 16, an increase on last months figure of 15.7. Although still historically low, Rics said this was the most positive reading since September 2010.

Rics said the slight increase in activity had yet to translate into higher prices, although the evidence of lower prices in February was the weakest for more than 18 months. Regionally, London was again the only part of the country to see prices increase, while surveyors in the West Midlands and Northern Ireland saw the least positive readings.

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Briefly In Public Safety: Holiday weekend has police on high alert


LAPD officer accused in theft from hotel

A Los Angeles police officer who moonlighted as a security guard at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach has been charged with grand theft and burglary from the hotel.

Jeffry Paul Quinton, 48, of Anaheim Hills faces three years and eight months in prison for one felony count each of grand theft and commercial burglary, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorneys office. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

On Oct. 17, hotel staff logged $2,000 into its online lost and found system. Quinton is accused of accessing the system and changing the log to say it was a gold watch that was found. He then changed the room number where the money was found, falsely logged that the watch had been returned to its owner and stole $960 from the hotel safe, prosecutors allege.

On Dec. 26, he is accused of blocking the view of a surveillance camera and stealing $680 from a safe deposit box in the security office, according to the release.

On Jan. 24, prosecutors allege that Quinton stole $290 in bedding from a hotel storage room.

Quinton is a 21-year LAPD veteran assigned to the Central Division, according to the Los Angeles Times. The LAPD has placed him on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigations.


Holiday weekend has police on high alert

The Laguna Beach Police Department announced it will be increasing patrols over the St. Patricks Day weekend.

Police saturate the city with extra officers during certain holiday weekends to help identify and remove DUI offenders from the roads, according to a statement from Police Chief Paul Workman.

The Police Department hopes that publicizing the increased enforcement will deter holiday revelers from drinking and driving.

In order to stay safe this weekend, police recommend: planning a safe way to get home before heading out for the night; designating a sober driver; taking a taxi; calling 911 if you see a drunk driver; and taking the keys away from a friend who might be impaired.

Funding for the DUI saturation patrols is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.


Man gets six years for child molestation

A Laguna Beach man was sentenced to six years in state prison for the molestation of a boy in a public restroom.

Nicholas James Needham, 28, is currently in custody after being sentenced to nine years in federal prison for possession of child pornography. He will serve both sentences concurrently, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorneys office.

On June 15, 2010, Needham approached a 5-year-old boy at a urinal inside a bathroom at the Outlets at Orange, formerly known as the Block at Orange. He reached over and touched the boys penis before fleeing the scene.

The boy told his mother, who reported the incident to the Orange Police Department.

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While the Easter Holidays are approaching, promotes interesting Easter Day hotels for every person who wants to take off and experience the spirit of the holiday. Numerous places are attractive to visit in this period of the year and has made a special discount for Easter hotel deals for Paris, London, Rome, New York, Orlando and many more that will be mentioned.

(PRWEB) March 12, 2012

Easter is the most important Christian religious holiday and a day when Christian Orthodox believers celebrate the resurrection of their God Jesus Christ. A number of people all around the world use these free days from work to travel to some of the finest cities where they can learn about the local traditions, culture and the heritage of every native citizen.

The United States of America and Canada are always interesting and visited places by the tourists that come from all around the world. In New York many Easter 2012 events will be held and one of them is the Easter Bonnet Festival that is taking place at the famous 5th Avenue. It is expected that this year of 2012 the festival will bring even more guests than 2011. Toronto follows this example by organizing this kind of event where ones who attend it have to wear clothes that associate with the past and history of the city and it gives really interesting spirit to the event. Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and Boston have also interesting exhibitions for the Easter holiday such as cultural events organized by the young, traditional Easter egg hunt and little street markets that have collection of products with Easter motifs.

In this period of the year, European cities are also very attractive and in correspondence to that has made many interesting Easter hotel deals available. Visitors can visit and book accommodation under notable discounts. Paris, Barcelona, London, Milan and Prague are among the places that are mostly visited by people coming from different places. Barcelona is known for the colorful carnivals that are held during the Easter holiday and all the locals and tourists go to see the innovative costumes that parade on the streets. Easter Sunday events will make Milan and Paris even more attractive. Easter holidays in both places are known for their delicious local dishes and restaurants try to provide at least one more free table for the incoming tourists. Rome has a lot of hotel capacities for which has discounts. The festivals and other events begin with the start of the Holly Week and end on the day when Easter is celebrated.

As in the last year of 2011, in this 2012 the cities will organize numerous parades, festivals, cultural manifestations and other interesting events and meets every tourist needs and desires for the upcoming Easter holidays offering them the Easter accommodation specials.

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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The Germantown Jewish Centre on what the Purim holiday means


Its not often a troupe of Star Wars characters enters Germantown Jewish Centres (GJC) Charry Sanctuary. But when it does happen, theres likely only one reason: Purim. The congregation, located at 400 W. Ellet St. in Mt. Airy, celebrated this colorful holiday last week with an evening of costumes, food, holy readings and humorous skits.

Purim is rooted in the biblical Book of Esther. Included in the book is the story of Haman, an adviser to the Persian king who plotted to kill all Jewish people in the empire. When word of the plot reached Queen Esther by way of her relative, Mordecai, she told her husband of her Jewish heritage and informed him of the plan. In the end, the king demanded Haman be hanged and he armed the Persian Jews, enabling their defense against Hamans planned genocide.

Citing the victory of the Persian Jews over Hamans attack, GJCs Rabbi Adam Zeff said Purim is one of the religions happiest and most festive holidays.

Jewish history is full of endless stories of Jews being threatened by an enemy, he said. And, usually, the Jews were destroyed. But, here, the story ends with them not being destroyed, so we have a big party.

Purim usually includes four basic mitzvah, or commandments: giving to the poor, reading the megillah, or story, holding feasts, and exchanging special foods.

Helping the poor continues to be an extremely important element of the Purim celebration, Zeff said. He explained that a thousand-year-old tradition dictates one should give more to the poor than they give to their neighbors or friends. To better embody that tradition, the center created what Zeff referred to as a collective of giving. Members of the synagogue donated money, most of which subsequently went to a number of area charities. A small portion of the donation went to the creation of boxes of treats given to all of the families attending the nights celebration. This was the first year the synagogue offered the program to the centers community as a whole and Zeff said he was enthusiastic about the results.

Every time theres a feast, the poor ought to be able to feast, too, he said.

Discussing what he said is the most important of Purims mitzvah, Zeff said hearing the story of Esther read in its entirety makes Purim a very community-focused holiday.

Traditionally, the commandment is to hear every word of the megillah and to hear the story and to hear every word of the story chanted, he said.

However, given the storys length, Zeff said the reading can be difficult to sit through for children. To ensure the fulfillment of that specific commandment for followers of all ages, the Centre held two readings for the holiday, one featuring skits and readings geared toward younger audiences and a second featuring a traditional reading.

For individual families outside the synagogue, Zeff said the commandment pertaining to feasting is vital. Additionally, he feels the tradition of wearing costumes can be important for families with children because it allows them to bond over the holiday.

They spend time thinking up the costume ideas, gathering of the materials and making the costume. Its an important element of the at-home celebration, he noted.

Rabbi Kevin Bernstein, GJCs education director, said he thinks parental involvement in putting their childrens costumes together was an opportunity to teach them about the holiday while preparing them for the celebration itself.

The custom originated from what Zeff called Purim plays, retellings of the story of Esther. As the visibility of the tradition grew, its appeal spread until masquerading was accepted as a means of celebration in itself.

Zeff suggested that the costumes allow the faithful to break out.

Theres a traditional saying that goes, On Purim, everything is permitted, he said. It lets you shed your inhibitions…its the origin of the Rabbi dressing as Tigger, he said, noting his own costume.

For Bernstein, the enjoyment of the Purim celebration and its customs is important in its ability to encourage an enjoyment of faith and religion at a young age.

We like to build that enjoyment into their memories so theyll remember it fondly, he said. Then, as they learn more about the holiday and they understand more about what it is, we hope that theres an educational or intellectual thing that goes along with the emotional desire to do this because they know more about it.

Bernstein said it is all about engagement and Purim is a unique opportunity to engage children in a way that more stringent holidays may not allow.

The Purim holiday usually falls in February or March. It begins at sundown and continues through the following day.

Becky Kerner and Kris Kitts are reporters withPhiladelphia Neighborhoods/Temple Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab, a content partner of NewsWorks

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Diaverum Offers Holiday Dialysis in Beautiful Spots around the World


LUND, Sweden MUNICH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Diaverum, one of the world’s leading renal care service providers, is
offering dialysis patients a choice of hundreds of clinics in Europe,
Latin America, Australia and Middle East to spend their vacation without
compromising on the quality of their life-saving treatment.

In the next
months we will open up a new clinic in this area, to even better serve
the needs of our local and the holiday dialysis patients

“Our mission is to improve the quality of life for dialysis patients.
Taking a vacation is an important element of enjoying life and we firmly
believe that this should also be an option for those who feel restricted
by their medical treatment,” says Dag Andersson, CEO and President of
Diaverum. “We want to make it as easy and secure as possible for anybody
that is in need of dialysis treatments to benefit from a relaxing
vacation – a true revitalising experience.”

The vast majority of Diaverum’s 250 clinics across the world are
receiving holiday patients and are making sure they are treated
according to Diaverum’s highest medical standards while they enjoy their

Popular holiday dialysis sites

Many attractive destinations are awaiting holiday dialysis patients – be
it an exciting city trip to London or Stockholm, a holiday for nature
lovers in Argentina or Eastern Europe or a vacation in the South for
those longing for a beach. The favourite holiday destinations for
dialysis patients in 2011 were the countries in South-Western Europe,
such as Spain, Italy and France with a total of 15,000 holiday dialysis

Andalucía, Spain

The South of Spain enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year and is one of
the main tourism destinations in Europe. “This area is very popular, for
domestic as well as for example English, German and Swedish patients”,
says Marie Sjödahl, Managing Director Diaverum Spain. “In the next
months we will open up a new clinic in this area, to even better serve
the needs of our local and the holiday dialysis patients”.

Lazio region, Italy

The Lazio region in Italy, in the vicinity of Rome, offers 13 km of
beach and a crystal blue sea as well as beautiful sand dunes.

South of France

Marseille, Arles and Draguignan are also highly frequented by holiday
dialysis patients. A city tour in Marseille, a walk through the roman
city of Arles, registered as one of the UNESCO World Heritages, or beach
holiday at the Côte d’Azur – patients can choose their favourite spot.

Travel made easy

Dialysis patients can benefit from the free dialysis booking service and
complete holiday packages that Diaverum offers in partnership with
specialised travel agencies. Patients from across the world select any
Diaverum clinic worldwide to combine individual care and first-class
medical treatment with relaxing days in the sun or the excitement of an
interesting capital city. Bookings for the summer season are starting
now. Patients can either contact info
or choose a location and clinic on

About Diaverum

At Diaverum, our mission is to improve the quality of life for renal
patients by revitalising them both physically and emotionally. Being one
of the world’s leading renal care providers, Diaverum offers a holistic
approach, from preventive and early stage renal care to all renal
replacement therapies. As a product independent provider — the largest
in Europe — we are able to focus solely on caring for the individual
needs of our patients. Our experience in renal care dates back 20 years,
when the first dialysis clinic was established, previously under our
former name Gambro Healthcare. Today, 6,800 employees care for more than
20,000 patients in 17 countries in Europe, Latin America, Middle East
and Australia. The corporate office of Diaverum is located in Munich,
Germany, the head office is in Lund, Sweden. For more information visit

This information was brought to you by Cision

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Florida Sales Tax Holiday may return


The popular Sales Tax Holiday is likely coming back for Florida shoppers.

Its now up to Governor Rick Scott to sign off on a wide range of tax breaks estimated at nearly $80 million.

The Sales Tax Holiday is a big boom for retailers and major savings for shoppers.

The holiday is slated for the weekend of August 3rd August 5th.

During the weekend, stores will not collect state and local taxes on clothing, wallets, and bags under $75. The dates are important because parents can get their shopping finished before summer break ends.

Lee County Schools start August 8th, while students in Collier County head back the 20th, and students in Charlotte County start on August 7th.

State lawmakers hope it will spur economic growth. However, critics say sales tax holidays dont promote growth, they simply shift the timing of purchases.

Either way, this is just one part of a larger economic development package.
Governor Scott still has to sign off on it before it becomes law.

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Holiday keeps Linsanity to a minimum


There was no Linsanity when the Sixers and Knicks first played in January.

There was no Linsanity on Sunday, either.

The worldwide basketball craze over Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin still might be strong, but the Sixers held the undrafted Harvard University graduate in check during a 106-94 win Sunday, leading one frustrated Knicks fan at Madison Square Garden to scream out, “Do something, Jeremy.”

This cry of anguish was in the first quarter.

This was the Sixers’ first look at Lin, who was playing in the D-League two months ago. But, he starting playing in the NBA in early February and led the Knicks to a 9-3 record before the All-Star break. Since then, the Knicks and Lin have cooled.

The Sixers weren’t about to allow Lin to get hot again. Coach Doug Collins put the 6-foot-4 Jrue Holiday on the 6-3 Lin. End of Linsanity, at least for a day.

“Who would want to be a part of the story?” Sixers guard Lou Williams said of Holiday guarding Lin. “I’m sure it was in the back of his mind. If he says he’s not, he would be lying.”

“I think everybody wants the shot if we can be honest about it,” Williams added of covering Lin, “and I think Jrue did a good job of guarding him.”

Holiday downplayed the matinee matchup with Lin, who finished with 14 points, but on 5-for-18 shooting.

“This is a good team, somebody who is in our Atlantic Division, so it is always going to be a big game,” Holiday said.

Indeed, the first-place Sixers pushed the third-place Knicks 6½ games back in the Atlantic Division standings.

In truth, the Sixers can’t take full credit for slowing down Lin. The Knicks are helping.

They are only 2-7 since Carmelo Anthony returned from an injured groin and started played alongside Lin. The Knicks point guard is averaging 16 points and 7 assists in those games with ’Melo.

However, in the nine games ’Melo missed, the Knicks were 8-1 as Lin averaged 25 points and 9 assists.

The two aren’t meshing well.

“Jeremy has to play a certain way,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni explained. “The floor has to be open; he has to play with energy and he has to go. We have to get that way and we aren’t there.”

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Get the Lowdown on This Summer’s Holiday Currency Hotspots With Currencies Direct


More consumers book their summer holiday in February than during any
other month of the year, largely because they want to escape the doom
and gloom of the British summer but also because they have now paid
off most of their Christmas expenses. But where will the holiday
hotspots be this summer in terms of currency exchange?

According to currency exchange specialists Currencies Direct, Spain
and Portugal will be the best value holiday destinations this summer.
The economic trouble in the Eurozone caused by the situation in
Greece has helped to subdue the Euro and the Pound is now at a
three-year high of EUR1.2 to GBP 1.

Of course the recent gains made by the Pound against the Euro can be
felt throughout Europe but Spain and Portugal have also seen costs
and prices fall for a variety of goods and commodities unlike other
parts of the Eurozone, notably Italy.

Exchange rates in other parts of Europe are also rising. Over the
past six months the Pound has strengthened against the Bulgarian Lev,
making Bulgaria’s aptly named Sunny Beach resort a good value beach
holiday option. Despite recent losses, over the past year the trend
has been an upward one for the Pound against the Turkish Lira and
Turkey has itself been investing heavily in its tourism industry,
where new hotels are offering greater choice and flexibility to
British holidaymakers.

Alastair Cotton, corporate dealer at Currencies Direct, makes this
suggestion “It’s not all about simple exchange rates; holiday bookers
need to consider how far their Euros, Levs or Liras will go. In terms
of value for money, taking into account both a favourable exchange
rate with the Pound and purchasing power, Portugal and Spain are the
clear winners.”

“You don’t want to get caught out with commissions fees however, as
this can erode many of the gains you make from a favourable exchange
rate. If you regularly travel to the Eurozone, or simply want a
hassle free holiday, Currencies Direct’s Prepaid Currency Card is
ideal. You just top up the amount of Euro’s you want onto the card
and you can use it as you would a normal debit card. There’s no
loading fee, no commission and a highly competitive exchange rate. If
you really want your holiday money to go further, this is the best
way of doing so.”

About Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is one of Europe’s leading non-bank providers of
currency exchange payment services. Since its formation in 1996
Currencies Direct has evolved and positioned from being an innovative
service provider of foreign exchange for consumers and high net worth
individuals into a dynamic and pioneering ‘business to business’
fully integrated treasury solution service provider. Headquartered in
the City of London (United Kingdom) with operations in Europe, Africa
and Asia, Currencies Direct is part of the Azibo Group, a privately
owned investment company.

Media Contact:
Currencies Direct
Amy Barson
020 7847 92 46

SOURCE: Currencies Direct


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