January 14

Ebola-Affected Children Face Uncertain Future

first_imgThe children affected by the deadly Ebola Virus appeared to be facing a uncertain future,  due lack of support from unwilling relatives to adopt them.Presently there are about eight children who are said to have  been abandoned or become orphans owing to the death of either their mother or father—or both—from the hands of Ebola virus.The children, most of them below 10 years of age, are said to be sheltering in a building provided by the Ganta Methodist Hospital situated close to the ETU and they are being cared for by the ETU administration.Onenkeh Kokeh, a volunteer, who is heading those that caring for the kids, said beside the food provided from the ETU, there is no other assistance coming to the children.Some of the children are so terrified whenever they see an ambulance coming toward their hostel.“We are three here caring for these children; we are  scheduled by night to sleep here with them,” she added.She explained that some of the children parents died from the deadly Ebola Virus, while still undergoing treatment from Ebola at the ETU either in Nimba or elsewhere in Liberia.Some of the children were seem playing rubber ball and dashing on ground.  As this  reporter entered the compound, they appeared  healthy, but without any good clothing. “This two-year old boy lost his mother and father and is currently infected and undergoing treatment, but whenever, he sees ambulance or the dead body car coming, he will run indoors and stay inside for the rest of the day,” she said.The issue pertaining to Ebola- affected children is creating concern among the Ganta Ebola Task Force and they are appealing to relatives to accept their lost relatives’ children.On Wednesday, October 15th 2014, the Ganta Task Force resettled four children with  their relatives in the town called Sehwee around the Seclapea region after they had spent over a month in a home where their mother was killed by Ebola.President Sirleaf, during her tour of Nimba recently,  appealed to the citizens to accept the children who lost their parents whenever they go through the medical proceeding successfully. “They are our children; we cannot neglect them,” she told the local leaders in Sanniquellie.Because of abandonment or neglect, nobody was willing to adopt them, despite graduating from their 21-day successful completion of quarantine. They were resettled with other relatives after some frantic negotiations.Although, the ETU in Ganta is said to be fully operating, yet  unconfirmed reports reaching the Daily Observer say there is still shortages of PPEs and needed supplies for the running of the facility.Complaints of attractive incentives could be heard among health workers at the center.However, the Medical Doctor at the ETU Dr. Paye N. Gbanmie, is appealing to the public not to underestimate the disease and come to the center whenever they observe and sign or symptom.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

January 14

Will the New Education Minister Change the System?

first_imgBarely a week following the designation of a new Minister of Education, some members of the public are of the view  that the new administration will not be different to change the educational direction of the country.However, others believe that the Ministry under Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell’s leadership will make a tremendous improvement—just as she transformed the Tubman University (TU) in Maryland County, over the past years.Those views about the incoming administrative structure at the Ministry of Education (MOE) were made when this newspaper quizzed some members of the public, particularly those in Monrovia, following the pronouncement of Dr. Russell’s name by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the Minister-designate for MOE.Some of those interviewed told the Daily Observer that the administration of Dr.  Russell will not succeed “unless she approaches the job in the same way she effected reformation of TU to its present status.”“Anything short of that, the education sector will continue to cry for improvement with regards to putting in place of quality education, mainly at the beginner’s level.“We expect that she will constitute a reform and amid her visionary temperament she will bring to bear the same kind of institutionalized tendencies that were manifested in the efficient, mature and responsible, manner in which she ran Tubman University.  There,  she involved the ‘best brains’ that made her administration purposefully workable for the past six years.Like the thinking of President Sirleaf, all other Liberians, including some of the educational partners, have perhaps placed their delicate confidence in Dr. Russell’s ability to lead the dawn of a new educational day in post-war Liberia.Before coming to the MOE, Dr. Russell served the TU for several years, transforming it to be rated as one of the best run institutions of higher learning in the country.Elizabeth Davis-Russell was born in Harper, Maryland County Liberia, to Former Supreme Court Associate Justice O. Natty B. Davis and Diana Dueh. She began her education at the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Day School in Harper, and then transferred to Cape Palmas High School where she completed the eighth grade. She attended Suehn Academy from where she graduated from high school. She continued her studies at London Tutorial College in the United Kingdom (UK), where she completed her ‘O’ Levels. She then went to the United States and attended Oakland University in Michigan where she completed a B.A. degree in Psychology in 1965. Dr. Russell was shortly thereafter accepted into New York University for graduate work. In 1966, she obtained an M.A. in Educational Psychology, following which she was accepted into Yeshiva University where in 1975, she obtained an EdD in Counseling Education.Desirous of fulfilling her dream to become a psychologist, she then matriculated at New York University and completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology in 1987. Upon graduation, she pursued Post Graduate Training and received certification in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the Institute for the Study of Psychotherapy in New York, NY.Dr. Russell is a licensed psychologist in the State of California, where she had a private practice in addition to her passion for the teaching in the profession.In October 2007, Dr. Davis-Russell was appointed president for W.V.S. Tubman College of Technology in Harper, Liberia. She assumed leadership of the institution in July 2008. Prior to this position, she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York College at Cortland. She has spent most of her career in higher education as a faculty member and then as an administrator.Prior to her appointment as the Minister of Education, she served in several other capacities both in government and private sector, the latest being president of TU where the institution now witnessed tremendous transformation.Dr. Davis-Russell is married to Thomas E. Russell. Their family includes daughter Dr. Allison Hader, son-in-law Dr. Daniel Hader, and son Scott Olie Russell.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

January 11

Age, language no barrier for friendship

first_imgHow does someone born on Valentine’s Day a century ago still have that kind of touch? Can’t be coincidence. At lunchtime, Gloria said you always kept the seat next to you empty – waiting for Betty to arrive so she wouldn’t eat alone. You put a smile on her face and happiness in her heart, Maria. You made her feel wanted. That’s a heck of a Valentine’s gift. It’s the same with the children at the center you help baby-sit a few days a week, said Denise Kee-White, social services manager. They gravitate to you, call you grandma, she said. You talk to them with words they don’t understand, but it doesn’t matter. You’re the one they run to hug and kiss. You’re the one they fight over to sit in your lap. None of this surprises your granddaughter, Soraya Almora. She knows the story. How you raised six children on a small farm in Quito, Ecuador, with your late husband, Leopoldo – fed your family a steady diet of homegrown food and love. Your children ate only what you grew, wore only what you sewed with your own hands. And when they were fed and clothed, you gave any extra food and clothes to less-fortunate families. You were spreading those Valentine’s gifts as a young mother 70 years ago, and you’re still spreading them today at 100. Every weekday morning you wake up, dress yourself, eat breakfast and wait by the front door of your granddaughter’s Van Nuys home, where you now live, for the bus to pick you up for school. “That’s what grandma calls going to the ONE center – going to school,” Soraya said. “She can’t wait to see the children and be with her friends, make sure they are all right. “We kid her that she was born on Valentine’s Day because she had so much love to share. But you know what? It’s true.” It was no coincidence Maria Gutierrez was born 100 years ago on a day reserved for love. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. dennis.mccarthy@dailynews.com (818) 713-3749 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The amazing thing is that you do it without knowing how to speak English. “She’s taught everyone here that love doesn’t need language,” Gloria said. Gloria had plenty of examples, but the story about Betty was especially good. How you looked across the activities room one day and saw a lonely, sad woman sitting there alone in her own world. Gloria said the next day she walked into the activities room you were sitting at Betty’s side brushing her hair – laughing and carrying on like you were old friends. “They were talking to each other in different languages, but it didn’t matter,” Gloria said. Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy 100th Birthday, Maria Gutierrez. The people who know you well tell me it’s no coincidence that you were born on a day reserved for love. Your whole life has been one big Valentine’s Day card, they say. Gloria Bianco, a nurse assistant at the ONE Intergenerational Center in Van Nuys, says she’s never met anyone like you in all the years she’s been caring for seniors and children. Since the first day you arrived seven years ago from a little farm in Ecuador after your husband died, you had a special touch when it came to making people feel wanted. last_img read more

January 3

Nearly 200 countries agree to `green’ deal

first_imgThe final agreement is a combination of proposals by a number of countries, including the United States. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “With this plan of an accelerated freeze and accelerated phase-out, we could have potentially significant benefits arising in terms of combating climate change and ozone loss,” Nuttall said. “It’s a remarkable change in how we view the issue of climate change.” The treaty known as the Montreal Protocol was originally established in the Canadian city in 1987 to protect the ozone layer from destructive chemicals. It was negotiated by 191 countries to cut back on chemicals blamed for destroying the ozone layer. The member nations, gathering in Montreal again 20 years later, agreed to freeze production and consumption of HCFCs in 2013. Developed countries have agreed to reduce production and consumption by 75 percent by 2010 and by 90 percent by 2015 with final phase out in 2020 – 10 years sooner than the earlier agreement. Developing countries have agreed to cut production and consumption by 10 percent in 2015, by 35 percent by 2020 and by 67.5percent by 2025 with a final phase-out in 2030. In Washington, the White House said the agreement would cut in half the potential emissions of remaining chemicals harmful to the ozone. By Charmaine Noronha THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TORONTO – Governments of almost 200 countries have agreed to speed the elimination of a major greenhouse gas that depletes ozone, U.N. and Canadian officials said Saturday, describing a deal they said was a significant step toward fighting global warming. The agreement reached Friday night will accelerate a treaty to freeze and phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) which are used in home appliances, some refrigerators, hair sprays and air conditioners, said Nick Nuttall, spokesman for the United Nations Environment Program. last_img read more

December 27

MARK FARREN TO BE LAID TO REST ON FRIDAY

first_imgTHE funeral arrangements have been announced for Mark Farren.The 33-year-old’s remains will leave his home at Mill Glen in Moville at 10.20 am this Friday for 11 am Requiem Mass at St Mary’s Church in Ballybrack.He will be laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery. Hundreds of people, many fans and players are expected to attend his funeral as a mark of respect for the hot shot striker who has been described today as a “legend and a good man”.A huge fundraising campaign was launched to raise the money needed to send Mark for specialist treatment in Mexico in a bid to beat his brain tumour.However, despite this, Mark, who was from Greencastle, passed away this morning.MARK FARREN TO BE LAID TO REST ON FRIDAY was last modified: February 3rd, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

December 21

US Veterans bringing ‘walk for freedom’ to Donegal

first_imgTwo US Army Veterans will be completing a protest walk in Malin Head next week after walking from Limerick to Donegal.Ken Mayers and Tarak Kauff, two former US servicemen, were arrested in March facing charges of trespassing and criminal damage at Shannon Airport. The men were accused of an alleged security breach for attempting to ‘inspect’ a plane.Released on bail, the duo began a ‘Boots on the Ground for Freedom’ walk in a bid to return home to their families and to promote peace. The protest movement began on 7th September. Mayers and Kauff will arrive in Letterkenny on Saturday 21st September and walk in stages to Bridgend and then from Buncrana to Malin Head, They intend to arrive at the “Eire” stone sign at Malin Head on Friday 27 September.  US Veterans bringing ‘walk for freedom’ to Donegal was last modified: September 17th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

December 21

Penza: Five takeaways from the first four weeks of the high school football season

first_imgIf it feels like time is flying by, don’t worry, you’re not the only one.Following this weekend, all nine of the Humboldt-Del Norte League football teams will either be right at the midway point of their 2016 season or just about to get there. Week 5 is just a few days away, and with it comes just about every North Coast high school football team being on the brink of starting the league portion of their schedule if they haven’t already.There’s already been one Big 5 game, and another team, …last_img read more

December 19

Fossil Food Finds Change Evolutionary Stories

first_img(Visited 632 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Four fossils give indications of what extinct animals ate. The results challenge what evolutionists thought about their complexity.Eocene Salamander Ate FrogsA fossil discovered in the 1870s got a closer look with new technology, reports Science Daily. Researchers in France used synchrotron imaging to reveal inner details of the salamander Phosphotriton sigei, which the article says is related to the living fire salamander. The fossil is dated at 40 to 35 million Darwin Years. The exceptional preservation of the internal organs and stomach contents surprised researchers.The quality of preservation is such that looking at the tomograms (equivalent of radiograms) feels like going through an animal in the flesh. At least six kinds of organs are preserved in almost perfect condition, in addition to the skin and skeleton: muscles, lung, spinal cord, digestive tract, nerves, and glands.But the most incredible is the preservation of frog bones within the stomach of the salamander. Salamanders almost never eat frogs or other salamanders, though they are known to be quite opportunistic. Was it a last resort meal or a customary choice for this species? This, unfortunately, will probably never be known.The article calls the fossil a ‘mummy’ in quotes, leaving some doubt about the extent of mineralization in the specimen.Jurassic Ichthyosaur Ate SquidContrary to the belief that ichthyosaurs (marine reptiles) ate fish, a juvenile ichthyosaur found in a UK museum ate squid. Remains of hook-like structures from the arms of squid were clearly identifiable in the stomach of an “exceptional” specimen of Ichthyosaurus communis, says the BBC News. Practically complete, the fossil is claimed to be 199 to 196 million Darwin Years old, Science Daily adds. Neither article explains what circumstances must have prevailed to bury a 2.3-foot-long ichthyosaur with its stomach contents intact.Early Permian Amphibian Ate ReptilesThe actual meal of an extinct amphibian called a dissorophid is not mentioned by Phys.org, except in artwork of one grasping a small reptile. Dating from the early Permian at ~287 million Darwin Years old, this specimen from Oklahoma had a surprise in its mouth: teeth.The idea of being bitten by a nearly toothless modern frog or salamander sounds laughable, but their ancient ancestors had a full array of teeth, large fangs and thousands of tiny hook-like structures called denticles on the roofs of their mouths that would snare prey, according to new research by paleontologists at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM).Denticles, though smaller than teeth, are true teeth, the article says. The find raises an evolutionary conundrum: evolution by loss.Reisz and his graduate students suggest that the next big question relates to evolutionary changes to the overall abundance of teeth: if these ancient amphibians had an astonishing number of teeth, why have most modern amphibians reduced or entirely lost their teeth?Cambrian Trilobite Ate WormsA fossil from southern China preserves the gut of a trilobite in iron-rich red. New research on 514-million-year-old trilobite fossils from this area reveals that trilobite digestion was sophisticated from early on in their evolution.Credit: Hopkins, et al. 2017/ https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184982Another strikingly detailed fossil from China shows an animal with guts. The trilobite pictured in an article on Live Science challenges Darwinian assumptions: “Trilobite tummies were more complex than previously believed, new fossils reveal.” The photo caption adds, “trilobite digestion was sophisticated from early on in their evolution.” Stephanie Pappas writes,The fossils show that early trilobites had crops, or stomach-like pouches that were once thought to have evolved only later in the trilobite lineage. One trilobite species even boasted a crop along with more simplified digestive glands, suggesting that the evolution of the trilobite digestive system was complicated, the researchers found.One researcher, examining several of these fossils, remarked that “we should start thinking about this aspect of trilobite biology and evolution in a different way.” Would that different way include abandoning evolution? The new picture shows trilobites possessing more advanced digestive tracts than evolutionists thought. The creatures may have swum after worms rather than skimming the bottom like vacuum cleaners. “Some species may have been savvy hunters, grabbing marine worms and wrestling them into submission with their many legs,” the article says. And yet evolutionists date them to 514 million Darwin Years, at the beginning of the Cambrian.For details on why trilobites and other Cambrian animals challenge Darwinism and support intelligent design, see Darwin’s Doubt by Dr. Stephen Meyer.Do any of these fossils help evolutionists? They all show complex features thought to have evolved later. In some cases, they had more advanced features than living counterparts today. And they all show exceptional preservation, even showing what they ate. The fossils in these four cases range from 35 to 514 million Darwin Years! Don’t you see how Darwinian assumptions and mindless allegiance to long ages blinds the minds of the moyboys? These creatures were not separated by eons, but lived contemporaneously in different habitats. They perished in a world-wide flood not that long ago. That makes sense of the data. That’s why they are exceptionally well preserved, even with stomach contents visible. Some ichthyosaurs were buried in the process of giving birth. Some fish were buried while eating other fish. These burials had to happen unexpectedly, suddenly, and quickly. The Genesis view explains “living fossils” and “Lazarus taxa” that remain alive today, though separated by millions of Darwin Years (according to evolutionists). It explains soft tissue in dinosaurs. It explains complexity from the first appearance of each animal. A new film, Genesis: Paradise Lost, is coming to theaters November 13. The trailer shows scientific evidence smashing the icon of Darwin. Prepare to be deprogrammed.last_img read more

December 18

Sanitary pad project gives poor and rural girls dignity

first_imgMany girls use unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads, such as newspaper or even sand and leaves, which puts them at a huge risk of infection. And nine million girls aged between 13 and 19 miss a week of school every month, for lack of saitary pads. Project Dignity is an effort to change this (Image: www.subzpads.co.za)Sue Barnes is an extraordinary woman. She has given hope to young girls, she has given them the opportunity to be free, to participate in daily activities, not to feel shamed or embarrassed, and has empowered them – all with a sanitary pad. They have their dignity back, through her initiative, Project Dignity.For many of us, buying sanitary pads is as easy as buying bread and milk. But this is not the case for millions of girls and women in South Africa. They are at a permanent disadvantage as they are forced to stay at home as they are unable to afford this basic necessity. Barnes was named the 2013 Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year earlier this month in Johannesburg. The event, held at Summer Place in Hyde Park, celebrated the ground-breaking intervention that allows girls and young women in townships and rural areas to attend school while they are menstruating.“My youngest daughter, who attends a remedial school due to her dyslexia, came home with appeals from her school for sanitary pads and panties,” says Barnes. “I went to the school to find out what it was all about, and discovered just how many South African girls skip school while menstruating. I immediately thought of my own daughter. If she missed a week per month of school there is no way she would catch up. It’s tragic that anyone in their teen years should be faced with this dilemma.”Girls use unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads, such as newspaper or even sand and leaves, or sitting on cow patties. Doing this puts them at a huge risk of infection. And, according to Barnes, of nine million girls aged between 13 and 19 years in South Africa, “80% of those were missing a week of school every month… That’s just time you can’t make up and it’s affecting their education.”A pattern maker and designer with a large clothing chain, Barnes has a background in construction, fabrication and quality control. Using these skills, she decided to design something to address the problem, coming up with her sanitary pad packs. At her own cost, Barnes has been producing these packs and delivering them to schoolgirls in KwaZulu-Natal where she lives. “One pack should last a girl her entire high school career,” says Barnes, who believes that finding a solution to this critical issue is her calling.Watch the videoTHE PROCESS OF THE PADBarnes realised that she had unearthed a massive social challenge and that donations of sanitary products would not provide a sustainable solution. It drove her to find a solution. She designed and constructed underwear with a built-in, waterproof yet absorbent gusset that acted as a sanitary towel.“It was fully washable and lasted as long a pair of panties does.” But every time the pad needed to be changed, the underwear would also need to be changed and would need time to dry. Each girl would have to have at least 12 pairs. “I then moved on to a [pair of panties] with a built-in gusset and separate sanitary towel which slipped into the gusset, but I found it very difficult to insert and remove.”After much experimentation and several trial runs, the Subz Panty and Pad evolved. Barnes had created underwear with a clip-on, reusable pad that ensured the girls needed never worry about running out of this essential item.“It is a normal [pair of panties] with press studs and a separate sanitary towel which has clips on it. The [underwear] is mad of 100% cotton knit and the elastic has a standard, non-woven, rubber base so it won’t stretch out of shape. The pad is 100% cotton with an outer hydrophobic layer and inside hydrophilic layer which is absorbent.”Barnes says that the panties are washable and will last three to five years. A pack of three pairs of underwear and nine reusable pads costs R150. The pad is fully washable and has SABS absorbency approval. The Subz Panty and Pad has been endorsed by a gynaecologist and pharmacist.“I know girls are fussy, so I made them out of nice fabric, and they come in all sizes. Initially, I was aiming at helping rural schoolgirls, but all women who menstruate can use them. The added benefit is that they are hugely ecologically friendly.”EDUCATIONWhile handing out Project Dignity’s Subz packs, Barnes also gives the girls a set of education sessions on puberty, menstruation, personal hygiene, sexual health and HIV.Well-known fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee has collaborated with her in developing two interactive aprons for the education sessions, one depicting the puberty process and the other the menstrual cycle. The body parts on the aprons are removable, allowing Barnes to demonstrate the body’s functioning in a very practical way.“The eggs are visible in the ovaries and the fallopian tubes clip on and off for ease of demonstration… The uterus is also removable and through the demonstrations the girls can fully understand the menstrual cycle. These are incredibly practical tools to use, and allow us to drive home the vital facts. Ultimately, the process is just as important to the girls as the Subz packs themselves,” she explains.“A lot of the girls are from child-headed homes and do not have anyone at home to talk to about these crucial issues. Our sessions are very interactive, and Gert-Johan Coetzee’s involvement here has been amazing, in every sense of the word. When a girl asked me once: ‘Where does the blood come from?’ I realised that education on these issues was woefully lacking. If language is a barrier, a teacher or principal translates, but mostly, English is understood,” she says.“The girls are so excited to get help with this as they don’t want to miss school,” she says. “For some, it is the first time they have received panties.”With the aid of corporate and personal donors, Barnes has already been able to distribute 30 000 Subz Panty Pads to girls around the country. Project Dignity has spread to other parts of South Africa, and has been taken to Zanzibar by Margaret Hirsch, the owner of the Project Dignity sponsor, Hirsch’s appliance retailers.MOST DYNAMIC PRIZEIn winning the Clarins award, Barnes received a cash prize of R150 000 and will receive a further R50 000 in 2015 to ensure the sustainability and expansion of the project.“What I do is incredibly rewarding,” she concludes, “providing a sustainable solution and seeing these young girls who can flourish and contribute to the fabric of our society.”last_img read more

December 15

Small Business Owners Renew Pay-For-Play Allegations Against Yelp

first_imgRelated Posts Lim, and a dozen other small business owners interviewed by ReadWriteWeb, are all crying foul over the situaton, saying the good reviews were filtered only after they refused to buy or canceled advertising on Yelp.“We chose not to advertise with Yelp and since then, all our good reviews get filtered,” Lim said. “It’s predatory at its best and I am sure our business suffers for it.”Pay-For-Play Or Overzealous Algorithm?It’s not the first time Yelp has faced pay-for-play charges, and, as it has for other media inquiries on the issue, the company denied the allegations, saying the automated review filter keeps “content as useful and trustworthy as possible.” Darnell Holloway, Yelp’s manager of local business outreach, denied that Yelp’s filtering algorithm gives preferential treatment to advertisers or punishes non-advertisers.“Let me be perfectly clear: the review filter applies the same set of rules to everybody, and we do not have a pay-for-play system,” Holloway said. “We take a very serious stance when it comes to review quality on site.”Holloway said a small business owner will begin paying attention to their Yelp page after they are contacted by one of the company’s sales reps. Some may start soliciting reveiws from family and friends, which the filter weeds out, and that may be fueling the appearance that Yelp is punishing advertisers.“If those solicited reviews get picked up by the filter, the business owner may develop a correlation between the sales person’s call and the filtered reviews,” he said.Yelp claims it is trying to curtail the paid review sites that promises small businesses good reviews for a fee. It also says its filter protects small businesses from reviews left by competitors or disgruntled employees. Todd William, founder of Reputation Rhino, an online reputation management company, said he has one client with 19 published reviews and 365 additional reviews caught in the filter. Still, William takes Yelp’s claims at face value and thinks the problem is with the algorithm that filters messages.“While I am sure a ‘hard sell’ by certain Yelp representatives may suggest otherwise, the problem for Yelp is an inadequate and ineffective filter system,” William said. “The Yelp filter system favors active Yelp members comments and reviews. New Yelp members are almost always relegated to the filter to prevent fraud, but this unfortunately penalizes well-meaning customers who merely want to show their appreciation for a positive experience with a company and do not have the time or inclination to complete a profile, comment actively on others’ businesses, socialize with other Yelp members or otherwise engage the Yelp community.”Advertisers Get Some Preferential TreatmentBut the same small businesses Yelp says it is trying to protect from phony reviews aren’t so sure the company is being forthright in its explanations.Jon Katz, CEO of Katz Moving, said he has been hit by negative Yelp reviews since first refusing an offer to advertise on Yelp in 2008.“I was getting about three to four phone calls a day about advertising with them,” Katz said. “After about 45 days they started to ‘filter’ our reviews… And then all of a sudden we went from having eight 5-star and one 4-star reviews to having three, then two reviews stay on our page.”Katz said he has spent the past several years trying to work around negative reviews. During that time he has paid close attention to competitors that do pay to advertise on Yelp and has noticed that once a company advertises:Yelp filters more negative reviewsYelp mixes in older good reviews while pushing newer, low-rating reviews lower on the page.Yelp allows advertisers to choose whether they want their ad displayed on a non-advertising competitor’s Yelp page.Holloway denied Kat’s first two allegations, but did concede advertisers can purchase packages that remove competitors ads from their Yelp results as well as search placement ads that would allow their ad to be displayed on a competitor’s Website.The whole truth about exactly what’s happening here may never be entirely clear. But it’s a safe bet that concerns about these issues won’t go away as long as Yelp reviews have an effect on retailers’ bottom line.   8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#advertising#biz#Google Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Yelp, the leading website for online reviews of restaurants, hotels and other service-based businesses, has long denied ongoing allegations of pay-for-play. But small business owners continue to insist their good reviews are being held hostage until they agree to buy advertising.Go to the Yelp page for TraxNYC, a Manhattan jeweler, and you see the dreaded one star, based on just one review. An employee of the jeweler responded to the review and even said the company would consider issuing a refund.Still, that one-star review stings, and it means TraxNYC sinks to the bottom of search results when people search Yelp (or even Google, which gives added heft to Yelp pages) for jeweler recommendationsThe problem, according to Jen Lim of TraxNYC, is that single review is not the jeweler’s only review on Yelp. If you click on the barely noticeable “filtered reviews” button and then go through a reCAPTCHA protocol to prove “you’re not a robot,” you’ll see 10 additional reviews, nine of which rate the company five stars. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dave copelandlast_img read more