18 July 2003Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Minister Ben Ngubane has paid tribute to world-acclaimed actor Ramolao Makhene, who died of liver cancer on Sunday, saying the actor inspired South Africans through his commitment to his craft.“The death of the 56-year-old actor has shaken all of us in the arts community, not least because of his commitment to his craft, which he used to uplift the people of South Africa”, Ngubane said.Makhene was born in 1947 in Western Native Township. During the 1960s and early 1970s, he worked as a deputy librarian at the Witwatersrand University, but made a leap into acting, where he made his mark as a charismatic actor of international acclaim.He made his mark as an actor appearing in landmark South African theatre productions such as “Marabi”, and Athol Fugard’s “Nongogo” and “Sophiatown”, which he also co-wrote.He explored his talents further when he appeared on television productions, featuring in popular dramas and comedies such as “Kelebone”, “Going Up”, “Khululeka” and “Soul City”.He also appeared in famous productions such as “Iph’ Intombi”, “A Place of Weeping”, and “Cry, the Beloved Country”, earning much acclaim in the process.He won recognition at the American Film Festival in New York and the Lawrence Olivier Awards in London, and received Vita and Olive Schreiner Awards in South Africa.The arts and culture department also hailed Makhene for his outstanding job as president of Performing Arts Workers Equity (Pawe), where he helped shape the department’s White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage.“This White Paper is still the framework which guides the department in its development of policies aimed at improving the working conditions of South African artists,” the department said in a statement.Andile Xaba, the department’s head of communication, said Makhene strove for equality in the arts, and made the arts more accessible to every South African.“I think he was aware of government policies. He was one of the people who engaged the department to make the arts better and more accessible in an environment that is more equitable”, Xaba said.“Pawe collaborated with the department in the International Network on Cultural Policy, where they made valuable input into how government can ensure that indigenous cultures have an influence within the global context”, Xaba added.“Makhene’s openness, humour and fluent use of tsotsitaal – which is in itself an art form – will be greatly missed.”Source: BuaNews
Infused with the history of the struggle against apartheid and abuzz with the energy of the city of gold, Soweto is a must-see for tourists who are looking for more than sun, sea and the big five.Graffiti on Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize laureates lived – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (Image: South African Tourism)With heritage sites, restaurants, shebeens and budget accommodation options aplenty, Soweto is well worth visiting, whether on a day tour or for a longer period to experience the real Soweto – a place of friendship, vibrancy and contrasts.Soweto is the most populous black urban residential area in the country, with Census 2001 putting its population at close to a million. Thanks to its proximity to Johannesburg, the economic hub of the country, it is also the most metropolitan township in the country – setting trends in politics, fashion, music, dance and language.Chilling at Chaf Pozi bar and restaurant at the base of the iconic Orlando Towers in Soweto. (Image: South African Tourism)The making of SowetoSoweto may sound like an African name, but the word was originally an acronym for “South Western Townships”. A cluster of townships sprawling across a vast area 20 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg, Soweto was, from the start, a product of segregationist planning.It was back in 1904 that Klipspruit, the oldest of a cluster of townships that constitute present day Soweto, was established. The township was created to house mainly black labourers, who worked in mines and other industries in the city, away from the city centre. The inner city was later to be reserved for white occupation as the policy of segregation took root.In the 1950s, more black people were relocated there from “black spots” in inner city Johannesburg – black neighbourhoods which the apartheid government then reserved for whites.It was not until 1963 that the acronym “Soweto” was adopted, following a four-year public competition on an appropriate name for the sprawling township.Soweto’s growth was phenomenal – but unplanned. Despite government attempts to curb the influx of black workers to the cities, waves of migrant workers moved from the countryside and neighbouring countries to look for employment in the fast-growing city of gold.The perennial problems of Soweto have, since its inception, included poor housing, overcrowding, high unemployment and poor infrastructure. This has seen settlements of shacks made of corrugated iron sheets becoming part of the Soweto landscape.Apartheid planning did not provide much in terms of infrastructure, and it is only in recent years that the democratic government has spearheaded moves to plant trees, develop parks, and provide electricity and running water to the township.Soweto is a melting pot of South African cultures and has developed its own subcultures – especially for the young. Afro-American influence runs deep, but is adapted to local conditions.Inside the Mandela Museum on Vilakazi Street in Soweto. Once the family home of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and their children, the house is now a major tourist attraction. (Image: South African Tourism)Rich political historySoweto’s rich political history has guaranteed it a place on the world map. Those who know little else about South Africa are often familiar with the word “Soweto” and the township’s significance in the struggle against apartheid.Regina Mundi Church became home to numerous anti-apartheid organisations and hosted the funerals of scores of political activists.Since it came into being, Soweto was at the centre of campaigns to overthrow the apartheid state. The 1976 student uprising, also known as the Soweto Uprisings, began in Soweto and spread from there to the rest of the country. Other politically charged campaigns to have germinated in Soweto include the squatter movement of the 1940s and the defiance campaigns of the mid to late 1980s.Soweto – melting pot of South African urban culture, rich with the history of the struggle against apartheid. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission)The area has also spawned many political, sporting and social luminaries, including Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu – two Nobel peace price laureates, who once lived in the now famous Vilakazi Street in Orlando West.Other prominent figures to have come from Soweto include boxing legend, Baby Jake Matlala, singing diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka and soccer maestro Jomo Sono. Others include mathematician Prof Thamsanqa Kambule, medical doctor Nthato Motlana and prominent journalist Aggrey Klaaste.The township has also produced the highest number of professional soccer teams in the country. Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows all emerged from the township, and remain among the biggest soccer teams in the Premier Soccer League.There are plenty of politically significant landmarks, including the houses of some world-famous anti-apartheid activists.Just a few kilometres drive from Diepkloof is Orlando, home to Nelson Mandela’s first house, not surprisingly a popular tourist attraction. Mandela stayed here with his then wife, Winnie, before he was imprisoned in 1961 and jailed for 27 years.The house is now a museum, run by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and contains memorabilia from the short time they lived there together before Mandela went into hiding. Mandela now lives in Houghton, a suburb several kilometres north of Johanneburg’s city centre, with his third wife, Graca, widow of the late Mozambican president Samora Machel.One can also glimpse the high-security mansion belonging to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in an affluent part of Orlando West.Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s house, the residence of ANC stalwarts Walter and Albertina Sisula, and the Hector Pieterson memorial museum are in the same neighbourhood. The recently renovated museum offers a detailed account of the events of 1976, including visuals and eye-witness accounts.When you visit the Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto, you’ll see Nzima’s legendary photograph showing the unconscious Hector being carried by Makhubo, with Hector’s sister – now Antoinette Sithole – running alongside. (Image: Brand South Africa)Hector Pieterson, who was shot dead by police during the student uprisings which spread around the country and changed the course of history for South Africa, and the famous picture of his lifeless body being carried by mourning youths, have come to symbolise the 1976 Uprisings.In Kliptown, you can visit Freedom Square, a place where the Freedom Charter was adopted as the guiding document of the Congress Alliance – a broad alliance of various political and cultural formations to map a way forward in the repressive climate of the 1950s. The charter was the guiding document of the African National Congress and envisaged an alternative non-racial dispensation in which “all shall be equal before the law.”Soweto’s brightly painted Orlando Towers – once the cooling towers of a power station – are now connected by a footbridge and bungee-jump platform. (Image: South African Tourism)Mansions and ‘match-box’ housesSoweto is a place of contrasts: rows of tin shanties abut luxurious mansions; piles of garbage and pitted roads offset green fields and rustic streams.Soweto has the same vibrant, racy feel of Johannesburg, of which it is an integral part. Despite the high unemployment rate there is a cheerful energy, a bustle of activity, with informal traders plying their wares on every corner.From the footbridge of the world-renowned Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, one has a panoramic view of Soweto. In the immediate vicinity of the bridge many people mill around – hawkers peddling a variety of goods, shoppers looking for bargains, and of course the ever-present commuters hurrying to board taxis.Further afield, the barrenness that comprises much of the old Soweto comes into view – the small brown houses of Old Diepkloof and Orlando townships, in stark contrast to the colourful shades and tree-lined streets of the newer parts like Diepkloof Extension, home to the relatively affluent.In Diepkloof the grey, four-roomed dwellings, cynically called “matchbox houses” by locals, abound. These are the original dwellings constructed to accommodate the first black migrants to the city. Although they are small, locals take pride in their houses, and put much effort into making them habitable and cosy.In contrast to these symbols of poverty, there are the various “extensions” that have been established to accommodate the relatively affluent. One example is Pimville Extension, home to the emerging black middle class. The suburb boasts beautiful houses, the roads are good, playgrounds and schools are in mint condition.Migrant hostels, squatter campsSoweto offers plenty of other less aesthetically pleasing sights for the visitor. For instance, there are the hostels: monstrous, prison-like buildings designed to shelter male migrant workers from the rural areas and neighbouring countries.These workers were used as cheap labour, and their stay in the city was considered temporary; historically, they always lived on the fringes of Soweto communities. The new government is busy converting the hostels into family units, but they remain unbending in their ugliness.Then there are the squatter camp communities, euphemistically called “informal settlements”, where poverty is palpable. These camps are home to many of the unemployed, who use corrugated iron sheets to build shelters. Despite their poverty, these shackdwellers have managed to build a strong sense of community. They remain in Johannesburg in search of the elusive “gold”.A place to partyRecent years have seen Soweto become a site of massive development projects and a major tourist attraction in the country.For those looking for a night out in the ghetto, Soweto offers some popular joints for relaxation. There are plenty of venues that offer a relaxed atmosphere, pleasant music (both dance and ballads) and a jolly good time.Perhaps the most popular of these joints is Wandie’s Place in Dube. It is a cosy restaurant-bar-lounge popular with tourists and it offers great service. Other taverns in the area are Pallazo Distella in Dube, Club 707, a restaurant and bar or Ubuntu Kraal, both in Orlando West.You may prefer to visit one of the popular shebeens of the township. Shebeens are local drinking joints. They have survived the attempts of the authorities to shut them down and the condemnation from the pulpits of local churches to become thriving informal social centres patronized by local socialites.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
15 October 2013 French and South African companies have been encouraged to work together on the industrialisation of South Africa and the African continent. Speaking at a business forum on the sidelines of the state visit by French President Francois Hollande on Monday, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said that although France was among the country’s top five partners in the European Union (EU), a lot more still needed to be done. “A lot of work needs to be done to recover the trade relations that the two countries shared before the global economic crisis,” Davies said. France is among South Africa’s top 10 trading partners. The two countries have significant and sizeable trade and investment relations. Davies said that what needed to be improved were partnerships between the two countries on industrialisation. He said the African continent was recognised as one of the growing frontiers in the world and that the African region needed to integrate. “One of the priorities should be regional integration, because as a continent we are divided into many smaller markets. It is important to generate a market for industrialisation to address the real economic issues that make it hard for industrialisation – one of which is infrastructure.” South Africa is engaged in a massive infrastructure programme, with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) having also set up infrastructure programmes, and these should form the basis for industrialisation, Davies said. French Minister of Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq told the forum that French companies based in South Africa understood South Africa’s commitment to redress the inequalities of the past and respected the country’s regulations. She said foreign trade could be enhanced by better knowledge of each other. “Many South African companies export goods from France, which boosts exports for our country. South African companies should also be encouraged to invest in France in order to restore balance in trade with the EU. If South African companies come, this will reduce the deficit and increase employment – which is a common concern for both countries.” Davies and Bricq agreed on Monday to revive the Joint Economic Committee between South Africa and France. The committee was established in 1995 to promote and strengthen trade and industrial co-operation between the two countries. Source: SAnews.gov.za
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest At the recent Commodity Classic in New Orleans, the National Corn Growers Association finalized a new strategic plan that will focus NCGA’s work on a vision of sustainably feeding and fueling a growing world.The new plan sets four major strategic priorities that reflect the concerns heard through listening to farmers and key stakeholders:Increase DemandStrengthen Customer and Consumer TrustEnhance Productivity & Environmental SustainabilityStrive for Organizational ExcellenceIncreasing demand is vital, noted NCGA President Chip Bowling at a news conference held earlier this month.“Most corn farmers are well past the point of prices being below the cost of production, and prices have been there for some time now,” Bowling said. “Facing this dramatic income drop, farmers have begun tightening their belts. We are already seeing the ripple effects of this on rural communities. Implement dealers are selling less equipment. Manufacturers are scaling back production. Agribusinesses have laid off employees.”For NCGA, this means a particular focus on increasing ethanol demand, exploring new uses, increasing livestock exports and pushing for transportation infrastructure that can more efficiently move corn and corn products to market. The target goal within the new plan is competitive market demand for 19 billion bushels of corn by 2025.“Our growers know what’s at stake,” Bowling said. “They’ve worked hard to bring in the three largest crops ever over the past three years, and now we have the opportunity to lead in building demand, enhancing trust, and improving sustainability.”
With the introduction of the Arri Skypanels, the Digital Sputnik, and many others, is LED lighting the future of filmmaking?Cover image via Shutterstock.I’m a big proponent of LED lighting. I use LEDs on nearly every shoot. However, I also have tungsten fixtures wherever I go. Yes, tungsten lighting does have some drawbacks. They’re hot. They’re power-hungry, and they’re not daylight-balanced. However, tungsten lighting is still (and will remain) a vital tool in the filmmaker’s arsenal.Image via B&H.There are certain things that a tungsten light can do that modern LEDs just can’t. For these reasons, I still continue to use these invaluable tools on set. I’m going to break down the four reasons why I think we’ll still be seeing tungsten lighting on sets for many years to come.Light Quality The quality of light from a tungsten source simply outperforms LEDs. They’re color-balanced perfectly at 100 CRI. I also love how much control a good fresnel light offers with the beam of light. Yes, there are fresnel LED options out on the market. However, they don’t have the same sharp quality to their spot or smoothness to their flood. LED options simply can’t match this feature quite yet. The fact that the fresnel lenses are so great inside tungsten fixtures means this light will be around for years to come.A tungsten source can also be about as raw as you can get — especially with open-face options. This gives you more control as a cinematographer to shape the lights for the scene.Image via Resolution Rentals.PriceQuality LED lighting is expensive. Tungsten lighting is less expensive. It’s as simple as that. You can look at any rental house’s pricing list, and tungsten fixtures will always be cheaper than LEDs. For budget shoots, tungsten packages are great way to go because they will give you the most raw and punchy output that you could want. LED prices have become more affordable over the years, and they may even catch up at some point — but not yet.I’ve even seen many rental houses offer discounts on their tungsten packages. Also, when looking to purchase your own set of lights, tungsten sources are usually still cheaper than LED sources. I always find it wise to have a good mix of LED and tungsten sources as each type of lighting is its own paintbrush. Different scenes require different approaches.Image via B&H.Build QualityTungsten light sources are built like tanks. I’ve used Mole Richardson heads that are older than I am. These lights were built to last through years of hard work on sets, and those same lights are still ready to work today.While tungsten lights may be power hungry, hot, and raw, they are still fantastic tools that help filmmakers tell our stories. I still plan on using tungsten lighting in the years to come.Do you only used LEDs now or are you using a mixture of light sources? Let us know in the comments.For more information on LEDs and tungsten lighting, check out these articles.Understanding Color Rendering Index with LEDsThe Future of LED Lighting with the ARRI SkyPanelThis LED Lighting Hack Can Literally Illuminate MountainsLighting for Film & Video: LED vs TungstenUnderstanding Set Lighting and Color Temperature
Physical DamageImage via Svetlana123.While less of a problem in many modern (solid-state) cameras, physical damage never bodes well for camera or media performance. A dropped, damaged, or otherwise impacted camera is under imminent threat of a host of problems, including damaged footage. Loose wiring, bad connections, or sensor or other essential components becoming loose or improperly seated all can cause some form of footage degradation or loss.PreventionUse a camera cage.Carry the camera with both hands.If any physical damage occurs, immediately verify functionality of camera and integrity of previously recorded footage. It is the job of every member of the crew involved with the imaging process to ensure data protection to the highest degree possible. With these tips in mind, you can start that process with a significant advantageCover image via Firsik.Looking for more information on video production? Check out these articles.Film Study: How to Pull Off a Twist Ending in Your FeatureUnderstanding Tax Incentives in the Filmmaking IndustryWhy Dual Native ISO Should Be the New Industry StandardProduction Tips for Mixing Digital Camcorder and DSLR FootageWhat Can Production Insurance Do for Your Film or Video? Errors During Footage TransferImage via gnepphoto.Even when you’ve gotten your card safely from camera to the card dump station, your footage isn’t in the clear yet. The transfer process is one of the most treacherous phases in the imaging pipeline for loss or damage of footage.During footage transfer, each bit gets replicated from the source drive to destination drive. This means that for your average video clip, there are several million opportunities for compromised data each time the drive gets transferred.PreventionAlways verify integrity of source media before transferring.Never adjust or change the filenames of source media.Never adjust the source media file architecture.Use specialized software tools to perform bit-for-bit verification on all backup drives to ensure proper replication of each bit from source material.Always ensure that no data transfers are in progress before ejecting media.Always eject media through the operating system. FormattingImage via Roung Chanthasiri.Improperly formatted recording media can also result in lost or damaged footage. This is because all cameras and recorders rely on specific file and media architecture to properly locate and store clips and metadata. If a card is improperly formatted, or formatted on a device other than the one recording from camera, there is a high probability of lost or damaged footage.Another factor to be wary of is “low-level clip deletion” — or deleting clips one by one on the camera or a computer. Deleting clips in this way can cause corruption. Always format the primary recording media in the device that records to it.PreventionAlways format recording media in-camera or external recorder.Avoid low-level clip deletion.Verify data integrity before transferring it to another drive. The ElementsImage via Jacob Lund.Let’s face it, if a fire, flood, or electrical storm breaks out on set, corrupted footage is going to be low on the crew’s priority list. As someone involved in the imaging process, however, you have to be aware of the threat these elements pose to footage integrity.PreventionKnow where camera and media are at all times.Know how they are secured.Know who is watching over them.In the event of an emergency, know how the camera and media are being looked out for. HeatImage via Baigazy J.Heat is a fundamental, unavoidable by-product of energy in our universe. In cameras, heat can cause a vast array of problems, including footage from noise to undesired camera shutdown. As with anything that causes improper shutdown, this opens your footage up to loss or damage.PreventionPower the camera down after each take in hot or humid environments.Keep air flowing over the body of the camera with a portable fan.Use a laser thermometer to monitor camera heat levels. Bad SoftwareImage via pixelform.All cameras are extremely susceptible to data integrity problems resulting from errors in camera software or firmware. This is a very simple side-effect of cameras being highly specialized computers. Regardless of any user error in handling camera or footage, if the underlying software is unreliable, your footage will be too.Before purchasing or selecting a camera for use on a production, make sure that there aren’t reported problems that could cause footage loss.PreventionResearch camera stability before rental or purchase.Always stay one stable firmware version behind.Read firmware notes for each patch.Read user reports of firmware stability before installing. Corrupted footage is every filmmaker’s nightmare. While there are some reliable recovery methods, let’s take a look at proper preventative measures.Corrupted footage is never welcome on set. In the last article on footage corruption, we discussed the basics of recovering corrupted footage. In this article, we’re taking a more proactive approach and learning how to prevent corruption from ever happening in the first place.Corrupted data or footage can arise from a variety of causes. Typically, this is the result of an error that occurred during recording, playback, or transfer of the clip. But your footage can become lost, damaged, or corrupted by a number of factors.Let’s take a look at what causes corrupted video files.What Causes Damaged Video Files?Damaged footage usually occurs during the read/write process of files. In a camera, this is usually during recording, playback, or transfer of the files from source media to a backup drive.Recording, Playback, TransferImage via pixelform.Each encoded frame of video contains millions of bits — the 1s and 0s of machine code that drive all modern tech. Each time these bits get recorded, accessed, or transferred, there is a high potential that at least a single bit gets replicated imperfectly.PreventionAvoid excess playback as much as possible.Don’t rapidly switch between recording and not recording.Avoid complex manipulation of the clips on the source media. Loss of PowerDamage may occur if power gets cut during recording, saving, playback, or while shooting with nearly depleted batteries.Image via ArmanO.Think of pressing the record button as writing a paragraph. Starting a recording is like the first sentence, which outlines the idea — stopping is like wrapping the thought up to move onto the next. If a paragraph lacks the breaks above or below, our minds read it as part of the flow of thought of both other paragraphs.With footage, each clip contains “headers and footers” that indicate that the data within belongs to clip x rather than clip y. If power gets interrupted for any reason before this data gets written to the media, chances are high that data on the card will become corrupted. Clips corrupted in this way will usually cause the entire card to become unreadable.Before a battery is truly depleted, a signal is sent to the camera to begin proper shutdown, where the clip “footer” is added to prevent media being corrupted from abrupt loss of power.Not all batteries are created equal, however. Third-party batteries can exacerbate this problem because most don’t interact with camera software in the same way as name-brand competitors.PreventionAlways use name-brand power options.Connect all devices that handle source media to some form of redundant power source.Always double-check that the camera is not recording before removing the power source.Keep the camera powered down as much as possible between takes.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The league had selected Charlotte to host the 2017 All-Star game, but later moved the game to New Orleans because of the state law restricting the rights of LGBT people. However, a compromise was struck in March to partially erase the impact of the House Bill 2 law limiting anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people.“While we understand the concerns of those who say the repeal of HB2 did not go far enough, we believe the recent legislation eliminates the most egregious aspects of the prior law,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a release. “Additionally, it allows us to work with the leadership of the Hornets organization to apply a set of equality principles to ensure that every All-Star event will proceed with open access and anti-discrimination policies.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting“All venues, hotels and businesses we work with during All-Star will adhere to these policies as well.”Despite Silver’s intentions, the Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign has concerns that no protections for non-discrimination policies for the LGBTQ community have been put in place by the Charlotte or the state. Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next More than 5,000 measles deaths in DR Congo this year — WHO Adam Silver, commissioner of the National Basketball Association announces that the 2018 NBA All-Star game will be held in Los Angeles at Staples Center during a press conference at Staples Center on March 22, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFPCHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA—The NBA All-Star game is headed back to Charlotte in 2019, a couple of years later than anticipated.The NBA announced that the All-Star weekend will be held Feb. 15-17 in Charlotte and the game will be played at the Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes LOOK: Vhong Navarro’s romantic posts spark speculations he’s marrying longtime GF South Korea to suspend 25% of coal plants to fight pollution ‘Coming Home For Christmas’ is the holiday movie you’ve been waiting for, here’s why LATEST STORIES SEA Games: PH beats Indonesia, enters gold medal round in polo MOST READ Going, going, gone at French Open Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend “North Carolina’s discriminatory law prohibits the city of Charlotte from implementing non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents and visitors attending the All-Star Game. Nothing has changed that fact,” said HRC senior vice president for policy and political affairs JoDee Winterhof.The NBA is the latest sports entity to return events to North Carolina; the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference also are bringing events back to the state after changes were made to the law.The now-repealed House Bill 2 required transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings. That’s been dropped, but LGBT advocates have denounced the replacement law because state officials took no action barring sexual identity and gender discrimination in workplaces, restaurants and hotels and instead prohibited local governments from acting on their own.Hornets owner and longtime NBA great Michael Jordan said in a release he is “thrilled” the game is coming back to Charlotte.“We want to thank Commissioner Silver for his leadership throughout this process and for the decision to bring NBA All-Star back to Buzz City,” Jordan said in the release. “All-Star Weekend is an international event that will provide a tremendous economic impact to our community while showcasing our city, our franchise and our passionate Hornets fan base to people around the world.”ADVERTISEMENT Jordan asked Silver to keep the city in mind for 2019 after the league moved the 2017 game – hopeful the HB2 law would eventually be repealed.Silver honored that request.Hornets COO and president Fred Whitfield represented the Hornets and Spectrum Center in doing whatever he could to help facilitate a resolution, spending time meeting with legislatures and other business leaders in North Carolina.“From the very beginning I was in engaged to see if we could not only save the 2019 All-Star game, but the NCAA (basketball) regionals and the ACC Tournament, as well as concerts and events in the building,” Whitfield said. “We are operators of the building and we felt like we had to get engaged to assist to get some resolution.”Even as talks to repeal HB2 stalled at times, the Hornets continued to move forward with the league’s request to upgrade the arena.The $41 million renovation – $33.5 million of which came from the City of Charlotte – is almost complete, and has included a new scoreboard, new floor and renovations to suites and hospitality areas, among other upgrades.Charlotte previously hosted the All-Star game in 1991 at the Charlotte Coliseum, which has since been demolished.Pete Guelli, the Hornets executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, estimates a $100 economic impact for the city, but said the reputational effect will be even bigger.“This city has changed significantly since the last time it hosted a game 28 years ago,” Guelli said, “and the opportunity to showcase that on an international stage is incalculable.” Lakers win 9th straight, hold off Pelicans View comments