Bird Love by Leila Jeffreys

Fine art photographer Leila Jeffreys captures the beauty and diversity of some of our most colorful and elegant feathered friends. From the exotic birds of her native Australia to those of North America, Jeffreys seems to delve into the very souls of these creatures with her stunning and evocative portraits. Jeffreys works with animal rescue and conservation groups to find subjects to photograph. Her love and compassion for her subjects is evident throughout, as she captures their personalities in her delightful portraits; Commander Skyring the Gang-Gang Cockatoo, Dexter the White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Mrs. Plume the Budgerigar, and many others are as whimsical as they are beautiful.

“Showcases dozens of exotic examples from around the world.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“Each photo manages to capture the birds’ personalities, making them seem almost human.”

Find out more:

Meet your RISD Board of Trustees candidate: District 2’s Vanessa Pacheco – Lake Highlands

Photo courtesy of Vanessa Pacheco

The RISD Board of Trustees election is on Nov. 5. Early voting begins Oct. 21.

District 2: Vanessa Pacheco

Why have you decided to run for this position?

I’m campaigning because I believe that every child, family, and resident in the district needs a voice on the school board. Our community contribution is vital to our students, by representing RISD, I will work to support our students’ and educators’ needs to enhance education for readiness in a world economy.

I believe in transparency and the use of budgeting and financial analysis to make fiscally responsible decisions. Being a part of planning and improving current plans by creating efficiencies and collaboration to ensure that what we have is adding value to our district.

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I’m prepared to provide responsible support and innovative solutions that will improve our school system. My focus is to encourage success, use my experience and leadership to plan a strategy that will prepare students and support educators. Together we can enhance community support and establish a strong educational foundation for all students.

What experience have you had that will help you with this position?

I have an MBA in Global Leadership, from the Naveen Jindal Business School at UT Dallas. There I was able to refine my finance and leadership skills, including working with multinational teams. I graduated as a scholar with distinction and was inducted in the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

My professional work experience of commercial real-estate acquisitions/divestitures, capital requests and due diligence provides me with a strong business acumen to make valuable decisions for programs that support our students and educators. I am process improvement expert and am prepared with a unique set of analytical and organizational skills to transform ideas into plans with adequate strategies and leadership that will benefit our diverse demographics in District 2. Prior to working in real estate, I was a professional translator providing me a unique understanding of the needs of language learners.

My children have attended RISD schools from the elementary school level and now both are in high school. As a parent, I’ve learned of the many challenges and accomplishments RISD schools experience at all levels. I’ve been involved with PTAs [currently a Golden RAM member], fundraisers, have volunteered for various causes and arts initiatives throughout Dallas and Richardson.

If elected, what policies will you advocate for?

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The policies I’d advocate for would be reducing inefficiencies in school operations with increased planning. Enhancing and providing increased support to programs that contribute additional opportunities that help our students thrive including. I would also support the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity policy throughout the district with ongoing training and education for everyone, including students. I would promote the awareness of student mental health and campus safety by strengthening our programs, including improved training to the support teams. I’d work on reducing classroom size and extend class time, doing so would improve overall learning and understanding of the subjects taught.

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What do you like about RISD?

Our educators are passionate about their students. Many of them go above and beyond to encourage, assist, and foster dialogue with our students. The diversity represented in RISD is magnificent, our students have an added opportunity of learning from each other. The positive energy and desire to do more is perceived, with adequate strategies and innovation we can elevate RISD to upward trend of increased success.

What don’t you like about RISD?

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Areas of improvement are the large class sizes; more schools are slated to request waivers to increase class sizes above the 22:1 state ratio. Although we have opened all-day PK, it is still limited and reaching more children will improve their success in the long-term. Finally, our low college/work ready average rates. Although they graduate, many are not seeking to take college entrance testing or enroll in 2-yr programs. Based on 2017 graduates, only 49% took the SAT. Results are slowly improving and based on the curriculum offered, we should have more students working towards improving their future opportunities and choices.

What changes are you hoping to make?

I hope to support our teachers and invest in our students with programs and activities that will help them contribute on a global scale. I want to promote a well-rounded education that opens the minds of our students so they can take the lead and have successful careers. Ensuring that we give our educators adequate teaching time, tools and training, and continued support to students who experience external hardships.

What – in your opinion – is the culture of RISD?

The culture of RISD is adjusting to represent and incorporate the demographics of the students. It is struggling to move quickly with these changes, yet it has maintained a high standard of thoughtfulness for students and preserving effective educators throughout all grades.

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What would you like constituents to know?

With your vote, we can give our students an excellent education foundation (at all levels) that ensures increased college and workforce success so they can be successful contributors of our society and the world-economy.  Every action we take to help one another is not insignificant. When we mentor or provide ideas to our youth, we help reframe their point of view into something that may otherwise be considered impossible.

I grew up in the bi-national community of El Paso, TX and am a proud student of public-school education. I was taught that no industry/field of study is out of reach, tolerance, and diplomacy at an early age. I’m highly focused and resilient. These character traits have enabled me to make my dreams into realities. I’ve surpassed expectations and was encouraged by amazing educators. It has not been an easy path, but it has been rewarding. I am a firm believer that education improves our socio-economic condition, increasing with each generation.

With fiscal responsibility, transparency & community engagement; RISD can prepare our students, with a 360 approach, for this world economy.  I’m confident that with my experience, cultural knowledge and education – I will add value and foster positive outcomes for RISD.

This Q&A has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Armchair first look- Harrison vs. Pacheco- PFL Women’s Lightweight title fight

One-third of the field for the Dec. 31 PFL championship card is set, as last Friday’s PFL 7 set the title fights in both the PFL Women’s Lightweight and Welterweight divisions.

As the old adage goes, “ladies before gentlemen”.

In keeping with that adage, we’ll begin our series of first looks at the title fights with the Women’s Lightweight title contest between No. 2 seed Kayla Harrison (6-0) and No. 4 seed Larissa Pacheco (13-3).

A prize of $1 million awaits the winner of this contest in New York City, as does the customary championship belt.

Harrison and Pacheco will meet head-to-head for the second time on New Year’s Eve, having fought previously in the 2019 regular season during PFL 1 on May 9.

The previous encounter:

That night, Harrison fought to a unanimous decision against Pacheco to earn three points in the Women’s Lightweight standings.

It was the first time in her MMA career that Harrison did not win by a stoppage.

This title fight will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round and will decide the first Women’s Lightweight champion in Professional Fighters League, and for that matter, mixed martial arts history.

Prior to the 2019 PFL season, no MMA promotion had ever had a Women’s Lightweight class.

Contender Comparison:

Heading into the New Year’s Eve title fight, Kayla Harrison is the taller contestant, standing 5-foot-8, an inch taller than Larissa Pacheco’s 5-foot-7 frame.

How they got here:

Kayla Harrison stopped playoff alternate Bobbi Jo Dalziel, a late replacement for No. 3 seed Genah Fabian (medical issues), by first-round armbar submission. Harrison has yet to lose in her MMA career.

In the other corner, Larissa Pacheco defeated No. 1 seed Sarah Kaufman by unanimous decision to set up the New Year’s Eve contest in the Big Apple.

The Tale of the Tape:

Tapology shows that Larissa Pacheco holds a 3.5-inch reach advantage (69 inches to 65.5 inches) over Kayla Harrison.

Prediction: Kayla Harrison by first-round submission

PFL Women’s Lightweight Championship: Tuesday, Dec. 31, ESPN2

Our first #PFLPlayoffs event is in the books and the 2019 #PFLChampionship is beginning to take shape. @KaylaH vs. @pachecolarissa_ and Ray Cooper III vs. @bulldawg_170 on deck for Madison Square Garden, New York City! 🗽

— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) October 12, 2019

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The post Armchair first look- Harrison vs. Pacheco- PFL Women’s Lightweight title fight appeared first on Armchair Media Network.

Marvel star Jeremy Renner hits back at ex-wife Sonni Pacheco – Movies News

The legal battle between Marvel star Jeremy Renner and his ex-wife Sonni Pacheco is getting uglier by the day.

According to documents filed in a court, Pacheco, who married and divorced Renner in 2014, said that the actor once put a gun in his mouth and threatened to shoot himself, TMZ reported. However, Renner denied all claims and in turn accused her of sending his nudes and being obsessed with his “sex life”. Renner said that she sent his nudes to their lawyers, just to cause him “embarassment”.

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According to TMZ, Renner claimed that Pacheco was obsessed with his sex life and the sex lives of those in his circle. The actor said her obsession extended to her alleged sexually explicit sculptures, which expose their daughter to such dark, graphic, sexual material on a daily basis.”

These claims come just after Pacheco had said Renner ultimately fired a shot in the ceiling, while their daughter, Ava, was asleep in her bedroom.

Pacheco also accused Renner of alleged drug use as well as emotional and verbal abuse. The ex-couple currently have the joint custody of Ava, but Pacheco has petitioned for sole custody at the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Renner has also filed court documents, claiming that Pacheco is suffering from mental health problems.

He said Pacheco is bitter about their marriage being a failure and is now looking for “cash grab”. Renner also claimed that his former spouse once bragged to her friends that she had “bagged an Avenger”, referring to the actor’s turn as Hawkeye in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

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A representative of Renner had also released a statement, where the actor denied the “one-sided” claims levelled by Pacheco. “The well-being of his daughter Ava has always been and continues to be the primary focus for Jeremy. This is a matter for the court to decide. It’s important to note the dramatisations made in Sonni’s declaration are a one-sided account made with a specific goal in mind,” his spokesperson said.



Jeremy Renner’s Ex-Wife Sonni Pacheco Claims He Threatened To Eliminate Her

Sonni Pacheco says Jeremy Renner has a history of verbally abusive behavior versus her

Jeremy Renner remains in the midst of a heated custody battle with his ex-wife, Sonni Pacheco, over their 6-year-old daughter, Ava. While it was already controversial, the battle simply escalated and now, Renner is dealing with some very serious allegations. In brand-new court files, Pacheco declares that Renner discussed eliminating her and put a gun in his own mouth on the very same night.

, new court files say that Pacheco claimed Renner was under the influence of alcohol and drug at a bar in November when he supposedly informed someone he “might not deal” with his other half anymore and simply “desired her gone.” Pacheco alleges that the exact same night, he put a gun in his mouth and threatened to kill her. Then, she states he fired the gun into the ceiling which all of it happened while his child was sleeping.

Pacheco is not the only one who heard Renner’s dangers, according to the documents. A nanny reportedly overheard him threaten to eliminate his other half and himself, too. She says she heard him state that it would be better for his daughter to have no parents “than to have [Sonni] as a mom.”

It’s definitely a major and frightening matter, however Pacheco says it’s not the very first time Renner’s habits behind closed doors has actually been a major cause for issue. She states these kinds of frightening situations are not totally out of character for the star and that he has a history of verbal abuse against her, as well as struggles with alcohol and drugs. She even declares he when left drug out in plain sight in the bathroom where his child might reach it.

Of course, these are court accusations that have not been proven, and Renner is currently resisting. Pacheco appears to be taking it all extremely seriously. She’s looking for sole custody of their child with only monitored visitation from actor.

Renner’s representative informed United States Weekly, “The wellness of his daughter Ava has always been and continues to be the primary focus for Jeremy. This is a matter for the court to decide. It’s essential to keep in mind the dramatizations made in Sonni’s declaration are a one-sided account made with a specific objective in mind.”

Pacheco filed for divorce from Renner in 2014 after just 10 months of marriage. The divorce was settled that December.

It’s always sad when we hear unsettling things like this about stars we have actually appreciated onscreen. Ideally, the courts will completely analyze all the evidence in the case and make the finest ruling to ensure the health and safety of the entire family.

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