FYF Fest Packs Lineup With Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem & More

first_imgSet for August 27-28 in Los Angeles, CA, the beloved FYF Fest now has a lineup for their 2016 celebration. The festival just released their billing, which includes headlining sets from Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala and Grace Jones.The full lineup is packed with talent, including Air, Beach House, Anonhi, Grimes, Hot Chip, Father John Misty, Explosions in the Sky, Rae Sremmurd, Moby, Vince Staples, Todd Terje & The Olsens, Charles Bradley, Ty Segall & The Muggers, and so many more!You can check out the full poster below, and head to the festival’s website for more information.last_img read more

The Avett Brothers Announce First-Ever Tropical Destination Festival

first_imgAs is a growing trend with musicians, The Avett Brothers have teamed up with Cloud 9 Adventures for their first-ever tropical destination event! Titled “At The Beach,” The Avett Brothers will perform over four nights from February 9-13 at the beautiful Hard Rock Hotel in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.The Avetts will bring some great supporting acts along for the ride, including Band of Horses, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Lake Street Dive, and The Devil Makes Three! As the band’s new album is due out at the end of this month, Avett Brothers At The Beach should be a great way to celebrate music with this exciting band.“It’ll be our pleasure to be at the beach in the company of our friends and some of the finest bands making music today…it’s certainly a plus that it’s happening in such a breathtakingly beautiful place!” said Seth Avett in a statement.The event will be filled with optional excursions and activities, making this all-inclusive resort vacation one to remember. Rooms will go on sale on June 28th, and all information can be found on the website.last_img read more

Watch Highlights From Dave Matthews Band’s Great Deer Creek Opener

first_imgDave Matthews Band continued their 25th anniversary tour last night with a great showing at the Klipsch Music Center, better known as Deer Creek to the fans. The Noblesville, IN venue has played host to a diverse offering of live acts, and was primed and ready for a return visit from the DMB. The band focused on more familiar tunes throughout the night, opening with “Pig” and playing hits like “Crash Into Me,” “Warehouse,” “#41,” and so many more.Thanks to YouTube user speedi4got, we can watch a majority of songs performed last night! Check it out below.PigBismarck (Partial)One Sweet WorldWarehouseFool To ThinkBelly Belly NiceSugar Will#41Tripping BilliesPantala Naga Pampa/RapunzelSisterGrannyAll Along The WatchtowerDMB returns to Klipsch for round two, tonight. Check out the setlist below.Edit this setlist | More Dave Matthews Band setlists[Photos courtesy of Phierce Photo] Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock Leads Anti-Hate Rally At Adam Yauch Park

first_imgLet’s hope Mr. Trump gets the message that this country will not tolerate hatred. Yesterday, we learned the terrible news that vandals had painted swastikas and pro-Trump symbols in Adam Yauch Park. The park is dedicated to the late member of the Beastie Boys, commemorating his spirit of tolerance and passion. Naturally, such vandalism sparked an outrage from Beastie Boys fans everywhere, and, eventually, the band members themselves.That’s what encouraged Ad-Rock to lead an anti-hate rally at the park today, reinforcing the message that love trumps all. The event saw local government officials, Muslim group leaders, and more spoke at the event, all coming together in the name of community spirit.“We’re all here today because we’re thinking the same thing: Painting swastikas on a children’s playground is a messed-up thing to do,” said Ad-Rock, according to Rolling Stone. “And for many of us, it has special meaning, because this park is named for Adam Yauch, who was my friend and bandmate for over 30 years, but he was also someone who taught nonviolence in his music, in his life, to all of us and to me.”last_img read more

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Releases Killer “Truckin” From The Ogden Theatre For This Week’s Rad Tracks

first_imgLike seeing Joe Russo’s Almost Dead on the beach? Don’t miss their upcoming Fool’s Paradise event on March 31st and April 1st in St. Augustine, FL. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will be join hosts Lettuce and bands like, The Floozies, The Motet, and more, with Antwaun Stanley and Oteil Burbridge as artists-at-large! More information can be found here. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead has invigorated the younger Grateful Dead audience and the demand for fresh content from the band is through the roof. With that in mind, it’s time for another installment of Rad Tracks! Rad Tracks, now in its 84th installment, has been a great way for Joe Russo’s Almost Dead to connect with their ever-growing fanbase. The handpicked jams are always the cream-of-the-crop, and they let JRAD fans experience the action from far away, even if it’s after-the-fact.This week’s installment is a wild “Truckin’” from their performance at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO on December 15th, 2016. Although “Truckin’” was the foundation, the band zigged and zagged in many different directions. First, the band transitions into a “St. Stephen” Jam, before meandering back on the original theme for a “Truckin’ Reprise”. The band kept the jam going, centering on “Born Cross Eyed” as the basis for their improvisation. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead are one of the most exciting bands in live music today, and it’s easy to see that in this video. With a band this adventurous, and this confident in their playing, the sky’s the limit.Watch this epic “Truckin’” -> “St. Stephen Jam” -> “Truckin’ Reprise” -> “Born Cross Eyed Jam” below.last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE: The Polish Ambassador Talks Jumpsuit and Gives The Lowdown On The Taos Get-Down

first_imgThe Polish Ambassador is many things to many people: the world’s funkiest diplomat at the forefront of excursions musical, cultural, sociological, environmental, spiritual, and interpersonal; a leading purveyor of forward thinking, global dance music; a fearless Permaculture warrior; a record label boss; and a community torchbearer for Nevada City, CA and beyond. Polish was kind enough to chat with Live For Live Music about his brand new Jumpsuit Family Gathering, as well as his label’s steadily growing roster of artists — both familiar and brand-new — that have the people buzzin’.Live For Live Music: Thanks for taking a few minutes, Polish. So much going on in the world of Jumpsuit. Let’s start with the festival you recently announced, the Jumpsuit Family Gathering in Taos, New Mexico, at the end of September. This is the first time you are personally curating and producing an event yourselves, top to bottom. What was the genesis for throwing your own party?The Polish Ambassador: I’d have to go back a few years. It was just sort of chatter on social media. I started asking the community surrounding Jumpsuit Records if they would be interested in a Jumpsuit-curated festival, where they might want it to be, what it would entail. That was maybe a few years ago. More recently it came back into the discussion because Jumpsuit Records has grown so much and has helped quite a few artists gain footing in our scene. So that’s how the Jumpsuit Family Gathering was born.I think people are really starting to trust the music that is coming through Jumpsuit Records. That’s a trust that only comes through time and a track record of solid releases. I think another aspect of the festival is that it’s part gift — a gift to the community that has come together through the music; a gift to the artists that have supported the label through releasing music with us; and a gift to ourselves (all the people behind the scenes of Jumpsuit) to come together for a weekend of memory making.Mollie Hull/SEEN ImageryL4LM: Awesome. The Jumpsuit Records Family is constantly growing and evolving — especially the artists making music. saQi is an OG at this point, but nowadays, you got a whole new squad making unique and interesting original music. Let’s hear about the roster a bit from the funky diplomat who gave birth to the label, its ethos, and the jumpsuit itself.The Polish Ambassador: I’m super stoked on the music that is coming together on the label. We’ve got some of the most fresh and original hip-hop I’ve heard in years with Ultimate Fantastic’s debut record, Super Human. Isaac Chambers released a reggae and soul inspired journey called Planet Fruition that is lighting up dance floors all over the west coast right now. Saqi is a master of mid-tempo worldtronica, Scott Nice is venturing into the tropics with his flavor of chill-out Carribean downtempo, and we got Ryan Herr bringing his own flavors, too.photo: Alyssa KeysThe Polish Ambassador: And, of course, Ayla Nereo is the soft and more tender side of Jumpsuit with her solo projects and our Wildlight collaboration. We all need a good cry every once in awhile, and Ayla knows how to pierce directly through to the heart. . . . And, we’ve got a few new releases and brand new Jumpsuit Records artists that will be coming through the pipeline soon! So much amazing music to share. I really can’t wait!Mollie Hull/SEEN ImageryL4LM: Tell me more about the intimacy of this new festival. I know you’re capping it at one thousand tickets, so you’re obviously going to keep it “family” as the name, Jumpsuit Family Gathering, says. What are some characteristics of this festival that will make it really intimate for those one thousand people?The Polish Ambassador: One of the things that I love the most about some of my favorite smaller festivals like Beloved or Joshua Tree Music Festival is that we will have no overlapping sets. So from start to finish, musically, we are going to encourage people to be on this journey together. No FOMO. No sound bleed into other people’s sets. I think this will help us achieve and experience that Unified Field that we are craving so much these days. That being said, we are going to have certain other options. If someone needs a little solo space or space for their friends away from the music, we are going to have little zones where people can get away and take a break from the music. Yoga zones, tea zones, actiondays.us zones, et cetera.L4LM:  I know the Jumpsuit community really comes together outside of the music in some major ways. What else is happening at the Gathering besides beats?The Polish Ambassador: We are going to have ActionDays.us represented all three days — we’re working on project days right now. There’s going to be ecstatic dance every morning. We are going to limit vendors and select only a few of our favorites. Instead, we are going to place most of our emphasis on a “Gifting Row.” People have some part of themselves that they want to share in the gifting row. They can make a sign out of a piece of paper and offer up something they’re good at, something they’re passionate about. For instance, maybe I could write on a little sign “Music Production Tips” and maybe you could say “I have some writing tips” or someone can say “I’d like to play you a ukulele song.” Maybe there’s relationship counselor that could offer, you know, a five-minute relationship service. So we are going to try to offer some opportunities to encourage people to connect a bit deeper, little connection points for people to get to know one another if they choose to.Mollie Hull/SEEN ImageryL4LM: So another thing that everyone is really excited about is the location of the festival in Taos, New Mexico. I know you didn’t come upon that decision lightly, so I’d be interested to hear why you and Ayla and the rest of the Jumpsuit team are stoked on Taos and maybe some ideas of what other adventures and things people could get into in that area.The Polish Ambassador: We chose Taos for more than a couple reasons! You know, it’s one of those spots we do stop-overs when we go on those big bus tours. Really because everyone we travel with simply loves it there. Being on the Mesa creates quite a visual experience — wide skies, bright stars, magnificent mountainous backdrops. There’s a mysticism to the land that you feel as you walk about through the canyons, to the river, on the mesa. The history and present state of indigenous people’s are woven into the culture of Taos more so than other places I’ve visited as well. The Pueblo is still intact, and people still live there. The Rio Grande runs right through the area. There are some hot springs that locals might tell you about if you’re nice [laughs].Of course, the Gorge and the Rio Grande in all of its wondrous glory is running through that zone. It’s definitely one of those natural wonders that as a human being, you get to witness, and you remember how small you are and how there is something much greater than all of us in this universe. The town is really special as well. It’s a walker’s delight. Great restaurants, coffee shops, little parks here and there, and the amazing Hanuman Temple. That place left a strong impression on me. A spiritually aligned community center that is a quick walk from downtown Taos.L4LM: While we are talking about Taos, just tell us a little bit about the brewery, the venue, you know, what we can expect as far the layout or festival situation at that place.The Polish Ambassador: The venue, Taos Mesa Brewing Amphitheater, is really rad. It will be my third time being there. I’ve played a couple shows there over the years. They just expanded part of their property into a campground. There’s an amphitheater that can hold, I think, if you really wanted to slam you could probably fit two-thousand people in there, but what we are trying to do is keep it intimate — around one-thousand people. Space to dance and commune with your neighbor you know? So there’s the amphitheater out back and then there’s also a venue inside. Music outside until 11 or midnight, and then the after-party goes indoors and, you know, for people who don’t want to do the after party thing, we will have a tea temple, maybe with some acoustic music, that will be over in the movement/ecstatic dance zone.L4LM: What’s up the with brewery itself? I’ve heard only wonderful things.The Polish Ambassador: It’s an awesome brewery right onsite. They are an independent brewery making really great IPA’s and ambers, and it’s also really a nice little pub restaurant. There is some good, organic, grass-fed burgers and tacos and good festival food to munch on. I think we will have a couple other vendors as well, cause you know, I like to have a beer now and again, but I also like to have some healthy tonics. We will certainly have some kombucha, some high vibrational and possibly raw food there as well.Mollie Hull/SEEN ImageryL4LM: Awesome. You’ve been taking the community temperature and feeling its pulse over the last few years as it pertains to a lot of the festival variables, whether it’s vibe, size, and scope of various festivals or music stages playing against each other. Now it serves your intention and is also in line with what the people want. For example, you’ve even got space for the kids, making this a really inclusive atmosphere. Now I gotta ask one TPA historical music-geek question: The Ample Mammal set, can you give a little bit of hint of what people can expect or hope for, dream about?The Polish Ambassador: Yeah, there are only two live sets I put out Polish Ambassador Vs. Ample Mammal round 1 and 2 — you might be able to find them on YouTube. It’s probably going to be closer to that. It’s going to be a throwback set but with some new tunes woven in as well. I’ve been diving back into some glitchy goodness and heavy bass with some of these newer jams.L4LM: I’m thrilled that so many of your fans will be able to hear some of those beloved tracks and sounds from yesterday. You’ve really expanded the palette exponentially yet everything TPA is always rooted in the same vibe. Polish, I wanted to say thank you for taking a few minutes with me on all things TPA and Jumpsuit in 2017. I’ll see you in Taos, but I suspect a time or two before then.The Polish Ambassador: Anytime B. Thank you.last_img read more

Radiohead & Hans Zimmer Announce “Blue Planet II” Collaboration

first_imgRadiohead and legendary film composer Hans Zimmer have teamed up to score the soundtrack for the BBC’s natural history series Blue Planet II. The new song, called “(ocean) bloom” is a reinvention of Radiohead’s 2011 King Of Limbs “Bloom,” and will be featured in a five-minute prequel to be released on September 27. The track, featuring new vocals by Thom Yorke, was inspired by the sounds of the sea, and recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Radiohead’s original “‘Bloom’ was inspired by the original Blue Planet series so it’s great to be able to come full circle with the song and reimagine it for this incredible landmark’s sequel,” explains Yorke in a press release.“Hans is a prodigious composer who effortlessly straddles several musical genres so it was liberating for us all to work with such a talent and see how he wove the sound of the series and Bloom together,”Yorke continued about the composer of great films such as The Lion King, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar, and so many more.James Honeyborne, executive producer of the documentary, said the collaboration is “an incredibly powerful companion to the scenes we’ve spent [four] years capturing.” The new series will once-again feature Sir David Attenborough as the narrator, and will include footage of newly discovered and never-before filmed creatures, including a new species of crab with a hairy chest – “nicknamed the ‘Hoff crab’” after Baywatch star David Hasselhoff.The prequel, which features “(ocean) bloom)” and will be released globally on September 27, features “some of the most awe-inspiring shots and highlights from the new series,” said the BBC.Enjoy the original “Bloom” below:last_img read more

Mavis Staples Shares New Political Tune On Police Violence Written By Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy

first_imgRecently, Mavis Staples announced that she’d be hitting the road with Bob Dylan and shortly after announced that she had a new album on the way called If All I Was Was Black. The forthcoming record from the gospel and rhythm-and-blues singer was written and produced by Jeff Tweedy, Wilco’s frontman and Staples’ frequent collaborator (Tweedy has previously led the production of Staples’ 2010 and 2013 albums, You Are Not Alone and One True Vine, respectively). In early September, Staples announced If All I Was Was Black, pairing the announcement with the release of the project’s first single and title track.Bob Dylan Adds Run Of 5 New York City Shows To 2017 Fall Tour With Mavis StaplesToday, Staples has released yet another track off her upcoming collaboration with Jeff Tweedy, the tune “Little Bit”. This newest single was similarly written and produced by Tweedy, with the song taking on a political tone with its examination of the links between race and police violence. The tune has a slinky tone to it, with a prominent funk-inspired bass line and whispy yet steady drums. With Staples’ powerful voice front and center, the song’s lyrics reference controversial past incidents of police brutality against black people and the opposing narratives of victims and officers—the song contains lines like “Poor kid, they caught him/ Without his license/ That ain’t why they shot him/ They say he was fighting,” and “So, that’s what we’re told/ But we all know/ That ain’t how the story goes.”Tom Waits Surprise Guests With Mavis Staples For His First Live Performance In Two Years [Videos]You can take a listen to Mavis Staples’ newest single “Little Bit” off If All I Was Was Black below.[Photo: Carol Spags]last_img read more

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Share Footage Of Pink Floyd Cover, “Poseidon” Jam From The Ogden [Pro-Shot]

first_imgPigeons Playing Ping Pong has a new chunk of shared pro-shot footage from their recent performance at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO. Pllucked from the middle of the band’s second set on 3/10/18, the new video includes the band’s cover of Pink Floyd‘s Animals classic “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”, which segues into their own “Poseidon”.The “Pigs” portion of the video, sung with grit by Greg Ormont, sees drummer Alex Petropulos show off his power on the song’s scripted drum breaks, and guitarist Jeremy Schon showcase his agility with a menacing guitar solo before the jam lands abruptly in Pigeons original, “Poseidon”. The sunny fan-favorite moves deftly from untz-y dance jam to towering rock peak before returning to the tune’s theme to cap more than 23 minutes of captivating performance.Watch Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s “Pigs (3 Different Ones)” > “Poseidon” from the Ogden Theatre below:Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – “Pigs (3 Different Ones)” > “Poseidon”[Video: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong]For a list of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO | 3/10/18I: Walk Outside, Porcupine, Totally, Horizon > I Wanna Be Like You > Bare Necessities > I Wanna Be Like You > Horizon > Whirled, Julia, AvalancheII: Fade Fast, Melting Lights > Pigs (3 Different Ones) > Poseidon, Couldn’t We All, Dawn A New Day, Ocean FlowsE: Bad For You, Doclast_img read more

Ween Kicks Off Summer Tour In St. Louis [Full Audio]

first_imgWeen opened their summer tour with a performance at The Pageant in St. Louis on Saturday night. The show, which you can hear in its entirety below, featured two encores and 22 songs pulled from different parts of the band’s catalog.Fan favorites like “Transdermal Celebration”, “Pork Roll Egg And Cheese”, “The Mollusk”, “Roses Are Free”, and “You Fucked Up all appeared during the set, which also featured rarer tunes like “I Gots A Weasel”, “Polk Dot Tail”, and “The Goin’ Gets Tough From The Getgo”. After wrapping up the main set, Ween returned for a encore run of “She Fucks Me”, “The Stallion Pt. 1”, and “Buckingham Green” before wrapping things up with a second (and final) encore of “Never Squeal”.As reported by JamBase, you can stream the entirety of last night’s set via archive.org below.Ween – The Pageant (6/2/18)Led by guitarist Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo and singer Aaron “Gene Ween’ Freenman, Ween will continue their tour tonight with a show at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City, MO. The band also features bassist Dave Dreiwitz, keyboardist Glenn McClelland, and drummer Claude Coleman Jr.Setlist: Ween | The Pageant | St. Louis, MO | 6/2/18Nan, Tick, I Gots a Weasel, Transdermal Celebration, Object, Pork Roll Egg and Cheese, Frank, The Mollusk, Polka Dot Tail, The Goin’ Gets Tough From the Getgo, Happy Colored Marbles, Tender Situation, Back to Basom, The Golden Eel, Roses Are Free, The HIV Song, Captain (tease), Boy’s Club, You Fucked UpE1:: She Fucks Me, The Stallion pt 1, Buckingham GreenE2: Never Squeallast_img read more

Tom Petty’s Guitar From ’87 Tour With Bob Dylan To Be Auctioned In July

first_imgToday, Heritage Auctions announced that it’d be auctioning off one of Tom Petty‘s guitars as well as one of the late rock legend’s top hats. Slated for auction on July 21st, Tom Petty’s 1965 Gibson SG electric guitar and signature top hat are predicted to sell for $300,000 together.The 1965 Gibson SG was played by Tom Petty while he and the Heartbreakers were on tour with Bob Dylan during the True Confessions tour in the late 80s. The guitar is signed by the late guitarist and also includes a signed black-and-white photo of Tom Petty playing with Bob Dylan during a performance—Tom Petty wrote a note on the photo confirming this guitar was played on tour with Dylan in 1987.The signature hat is a custom-made brown felt hat from Baron California Hats. Notably, Petty wore the hat on stage as well as in two music videos—”Handle With Care” and “End Of The Line”—with the Traveling Wilburys, the famed supergroup featuring Petty, Bob Dylan, Geroge Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. Petty also appeared on MTV in the hat during an interview on Orbison’s death in 1989.Norman Harris, Petty’s friend and owner of a rare guitar shop, noted this in a statement on the auction’s website.In regards to the Gibson SG Standard (Red) Bob Dylan Tour Guitar, Tom was after a guitar that was in my first book, which was a Rickenbacker Double Bound 360 12 String with F-Holes which is considered a Rose Morris guitar. Rose Morris was the distributor in Great Britain for all Rickenbacker guitars. The guitar appeared in my first book, Norman’s Rare Guitars – 30 Years of Collecting Guitars. Tom did the forward to this book. When Tom saw the Rickenbacker in the book, he had asked me to sell him the guitar. I was not ready to sell it immediately, but promised Tom that he would get the guitar. Tom would call every few months asking me to sell him the guitar. Finally I told Tom that I would trade him for some of his stage played memorabilia. I had previously sold Tom the SG Standard and requested that that would be part of the trade. I knew that he played it on the Bob Dylan tour and thought this would be a good guitar to have back. The Rickenbacker was extremely rare and in near mint condition. When Tom received the Rickenbacker, it became his favorite guitar. He used the guitar when he played at the Super Bowl. The guitar also had an original receipt from Hessey’s Music in Liverpool. This is where the Beatles bought a lot of their original equipment. Because Tom was such a fan of the Beatles, this guitar really meant a lot to him. On numerous occasions, Tom thanked me for the Rickenbacker and told me this was his number one favorite guitar.As noted on the online auction, the opening bid for Tom Petty’s 1965 Gibson SG electric guitar is at $150,000. You can check out the auction online for yourself here.last_img read more

JoJo Hermann To Debut New Online Radio Show, ‘Key’d In With JoJo Hermann’, Today On Acme Radio Live

first_imgAcme Radio Live is an online radio station based in Nashville, Tennessee. Today, the station announced that it’ll air a brand-new lifestyle show, which is hosted by Widespread Panic‘s JoJo Hermann. Titled Key’d In With JoJo Hermann, each week, the fan-favorite musician will highlight some of the best keyboardists of all time, with the show taking on a variety of formats from interviews with Grammy-winning artists to countdowns of the best keyboard solos of all time and more. Today, Monday, August 20th, the first episode of Key’d In will premiere at 3 p.m. CT, with new episodes coming out every Monday. You can tune in via AcmeRadioLive.com, the TuneIn platform, or Acme Radio Live’s app.last_img read more

Widespread Panic Welcomes Margo Price For Covers Of Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Tom Petty, & More At LOCKN’ [Pro-Shot]

first_imgLast night, Widespread Panic made their return to LOCKN’ Festival in Arrington, VA for a single set headlining the festival’s Friday night main stage lineup. As advertised, the band was also joined by rising Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price for the final portion of their set.With just one set to play for the eclectic festival crowd, Panic pulled out a string of well-worn fan favorites to begin their set, including “Tall Boy”, “Sell Sell”, “Love Tractor”, “Rebirtha”, “All Time Low”, a “Driving Song” > “Greta” > “Driving Song” sandwich (the first pairing of the two songs since 7/9/01), and more. The band also busted out “None of Us are Free” for the first time since 3/7/14 in Richmond, VA (266 shows).After a “Drums” interlude coming out of the “Driving Song” segment, the band welcomed Price to the stage. Margo joined the fray with the Tedeschi Trucks Band horn section (comprised of Ephraim Owens, Elizabeth Lea, and Kebbi Williams) in tow for a rendition of Aretha Franklin‘s “Rock Steady”, paying homage to the recently departed Queen of Soul.After the TTB horns made their exit, Price assisted John Bell in singing Widespread Panic’s own “Up All Night”. From there, Margo strapped on a guitar and led Panic through a rendition of her own “Four Years of Chances”. Next, Price added tambourine and traded vocals with Bell on a rendition of Tom Petty‘s “Honey Bee” before closing out the set with “Piece of My Heart”, the Erma Franklin classic popularized by the late Janis Joplin.You can watch a selection of videos from Widespread Panic’s 2018 LOCKN’ set below:Widespread Panic – “Tall Boy”, “Sell, Sell” > “Love Tractor” [Pro-Shot][Video: Relix]Widespread Panic w/ Margo Price – “Rock Steady” (Aretha Franklin), “Up All Night” (WSP), “Four Years of Chances” (Margo Price), “Honey Bee” (Tom Petty), “Piece of My Heart” (Janis Joplin) [Pro-Shot][Video: Relix, Margo Price]Next up for Widespread Panic is a three-night run in Nashville, TN on August 31st, September 1st, and September 2nd. For more information, or to check out a full list of upcoming dates, head here.You can stream all of the remaining LOCKN’ sets this weekend here.Setlist: Widespread Panic w/ Margo Price | LOCKN’ Festival | Arrington, VA | 8/24/18Tall Boy, Sell Sell > Love Tractor > You Got Yours, North, Rebirtha > None of Us are Free, All Time Low, Driving Song > Greta > Driving Song > Drums > Rock Steady*, Up All Night**, Four Years of Chances***, Honey Bee**, Piece of My Heart*** w/ Margo Price (vocals, tambourine); Ephraim Owens (trumpet); Elizabeth Lea (trombone); Kebbi Williams (saxophone), ** w/ Margo Price (vocals, tambourine) , *** w/ Margo Price (vocals, guitar) [‘None of Us are Free’ LTP 3/07/14 Richmond (266 shows); ‘Rock Steady’ FTP (Aretha Franklin); ‘Four Years of Chances’ FTP (Margo Price); ‘Piece of My Heart’ FTP (Erma Franklin, but popularized by Janis Joplin)]last_img read more

Hear Trey Anastasio’s Entire Full-Show Collab With Soule Monde In NYC [Full SBD Audio]

first_imgOn Thursday night, Soule Monde—the “avant funk” duo comprised of Trey Anastasio Band drummer Russ Lawton and keyboardist Ray Paczkowski—hit Symphony Space on New York City’s Upper West Side for an evening of “live music, drink specials, and easy-going revelry.” However, the party got considerably less easy-going and much more exciting when the band took the stage with their most notable longtime collaborator: Trey Anastasio himself.Trey would go on to stick around the entire show, helping the duo through a number of songs off their various studio releases. The Trey Anastasio Band family guests didn’t stop at Trey, either. Over the course of the performance, percussionist Cyro Baptista and saxophonist James Casey both jumped into the fray.Now, a full, streamable soundboard audio recording of the Soule Monde (and friends) performance at Symphony Space has surfaced online for everyone to dive into. You can give it a listen below:Soule Monde w/ Trey Anastasio, Cyro Baptista, James Casey – Full SBD Audio[Taped by Chris Davis; Uploaded by JamBuzz]Trey’s sit-in wasn’t entirely out of left field. Beyond his obvious connections to the Soule Monde members, Trey—an Upper West Side resident—has been known to come and join in when his various musical friends are playing in the area, from his extended sit-in with Tedeschi Trucks Band at The Beacon Theatre in 2017 to his 2018 appearance with Bob Weir and Phil Lesh at Radio City Music Hall to his surprise guest spot with Jennifer Hartswick, Nick Cassarino, and Christian McBride at the tiny Rockwood Music Hall late last year.Below, in addition to the full audio, you can watch a number of front row videos from Soule Monde’s Symphony Space performance with Trey, James, and Cyro courtesy of YouTube user LazyLightning55a.Soule Monde w/ Trey Anastasio, James Casey, Cyro Baptista – “Influence”Soule Monde w/ Trey Anastasio, James Casey, Cyro Baptista – “Bernard”Soule Monde w/ Trey Anastasio – “Slide B”View VideosFor more information about Soul Monde, head to the band’s website.last_img read more

Snarky Puppy Announces 12th Studio Album ‘Immigrance’, Shares First Single “Xavi” [Listen]

first_imgToday, three-time Grammy-winning, jazz-funk collective Snarky Puppy has announced their forthcoming studio album Immigrance, due out on March 15th via the band’s GroundUP Music label. Prior to today’s announcement, Snarky Puppy revealed that they will deliver the world premiere of Immigrance, with the first-ever live performances of the music from the album at the band’s GroundUP Music Festival in February.The band’s twelfth studio release follows 2016’s Grammy-winning Culcha Vulcha, highlighted by a distinctly different, dark and heavier tone. The press release notes that the album is also all about movement. “The idea here is that everything is fluid, that everything is always moving and that we’re all in a constant state of immigration,” explains bassist, composer, and bandleader Michael League, who founded Snarky Puppy in 2003. He continues, exclaiming, “Obviously the album’s title is not without political undertones.”League continues to explain that the band’s mission is not to be condescending or admonish anyone, but rather provide an uplifting tapestry and medium for people of different walks of life to come together. “Like Culcha Vulcha,” League says, “this record is largely informed by our travels, and we’re always trying to pass specific ideas through our filter and into our idiom without being disrespectful to the tradition at hand.” Snarky Puppy’s constant rotating cast of touring and studio musicians propels an ever-evolving height of creativity, as we see with the band’s sudden contrast between their forthcoming studio effort and 2016’s Culcha Vulcha.Ahead of Immigrance’s upcoming release, Snarky Puppy has shared the album’s first single “Xavi”. “Xavi” opens up with a latin-infused, salsa-esque approach, before a layer of brass instruments join the mix, transcending into a psychedelic, jazz-saturated groove. Following a percussive breakdown midway through the tune, a silky-smooth flute solo emerges, before the ensemble reconnects and lands in an infectious piano-led finale.Listen to Snarky Puppy’s new single “Xavi” below:Snarky Puppy – “Xavi”[Video:groundUPmusicNYC]Following Snarky Puppy’s GroundUP Music Festival in February, the band will head to Los Angeles for a show for a special show at Walt Disney Hall Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on February 23rd. In April, Snarky Puppy will start their World tour, kicking off with stops in Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand. Snarky Puppy will return to the U.S. with a coast-to-coast tour beginning on May 10th in Providence, RI, and will wrap-up on June 15th at Brooklyn, NY’s Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn, NY.View a full list of Snarky Puppy’s upcoming tour dates below. For ticketing and more information, head to the band’s website.Snarky Puppy 2019 Tour Dates:Feb 8-10 – GroundUP Music Festival – Miami Beach, FLFeb 23 – Walt Disney Concert Hall – Los Angeles, CA*Feb 24 – UC Santa Barbara – Santa Barbara, CAApr 15 – Powerstation – Auckland, NZApr 16 – Opera House – Wellington, NZApr 18-19 – Byron Bay Bluesfest – Bryon Bay, AUSApr 21 – Enmore Theatre – Sydney, AUSApr 24 – HQ – Adelaide, AUSApr 26 – The Forum – Melbourne, AUSMay 10 – The Strand Ballroom – Providence, RIMay 11 – The Music Hall – Portsmouth, NHMay 12 – House of Blues – Boston, MAMay 14 – Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NYMay 15 – Roxian Theatre – Pittsburgh, PAMay 16 – Masonic Cleveland – Cleveland, OHMay 17 – The Vogue – Indianapolis, INMay 18 – The Riviera Theatre – Chicago, ILMay 19 – Atomic Cowboy Pavillion – St. Louis, MOMay 23 – Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WIMay 24 – Orpheum – Madison, WIMay 25 – Palace Theatre – St. Paul, MNMay 28 – The Paramount – Seattle, WAMay 29 – Roseland Ballroom – Portland, ORMay 30 – Paramount Theatre – Oakland, CAMay 31 – Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CAJune 1 – House of Blues – San Diego, CAJune 3 – Brooklyn Bowl – Las Vegas, NVJune 4 – The Commonwealth – Salt Lake City, UTJune 7 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO#June 8 Mishawaka Amphitheater – Mishawaka, COJune 11 – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – Kansas City, MOJune 12 – Minglewood Hall – Memphis, TNJune 13 – Pisgah Brewing Company – Black Mountain, NCJune 14 – DC Jazz Festival @ The Anthem – Washington DCJune 15 – Brooklyn Steel – Brooklyn, NYJune 24 – Vienna Jazz Festival – Vienna, AustriaJuly 6 – Love Supreme Festival – Glynde, UK*with special guest The Los Angeles Philharmonic#with Michael Franti & Spearhead and Victoria CanalView All Tour Dateslast_img read more

Dopapod Announces New Album ‘Emit Time’, Shares Lead Single “Numbers Need Humans” [Listen]

first_imgIn January, Dopapod officially announced their return after a yearlong absence with a headlining show on the historic stage of Port Chester, NY’s The Capitol Theatre on Saturday, April 27th, 2019.Now, the quartet has announced their forthcoming studio effort, Emit Time, due out on Friday, May 24th. Recorded at a recent session in Philadelphia, Emit Time marks the follow-up to the band’s 2017 Megagem release. The band—comprised of guitarist Rob Compa, drummer Neal “Fro” Evans, bassist Chuck Jones, and keyboardist Eli Winderman—has a deep history dating back to 2007, with over 1,000 live shows under their belt.Ahead of Emit Time‘s forthcoming release, Dopapod shared the album’s lead single, “Numbers Need Humans”, which premiered via Guitar World. “Numbers Need Humans” opens up with a funky groove out of Winderman’s corner before the quartet crashes into the song’s rockin’ main theme. Compa unleashes a series of explosive, gritty guitar solos, backed by Evans and Jones holding down a tight-knit rhythm.Compa shared his thoughts on the recent recording session with Guitar World:When I arrived at the studio for the initial recording for ‘Numbers Need Humans,’ the studio already had a Sunn head running into a closed back Mesa 412 cabinet set up and miked for me. I gave it a shot, but I really couldn’t get used to the sound of that rig. At live shows, I’m not super picky about what amps I use, but the recording studio is the one place where I’m pretty particular about that, because every little detail is painfully evident.Luckily I brought along my 1978 Fender Vibrolux that I’ve been using since I was in college. It’s had some mods done to it, including a blackface mod. The speakers in it are a Weber DT10 and a Kendrick Gold label speaker. We miked both of them and blended the sounds of both speakers. Both the intro licks of the song and the middle guitar solo are the scratch guitar tracks from that session, going into the Vibrolux. I used my 2005 Paul Reed Smith Hollowbody II, which has been my main guitar for nearly 15 years. My gain for those solos came from an Analogman King of Tone overdrive and a Maxon VOP9 overdrive. We also had the engineer add some delay to those parts during the mixing stage.When I overdub guitar parts, I like to do it all at home on my own. My recording set-up is laughably primitive, but all I really care about is that I have a sound and am in a place where I’m totally comfortable and can be myself. As long as that’s happening then I’m more likely to create good, musical results.Listen to Dopapod’s new single “Numbers Need Humans” below, and stay tuned for more information about the upcoming release.Dopapod – “Numbers Need Humans”[Video: Dopapod]You can grab your tickets to Dopapod’s comeback show at The Capitol Theatre on April 27th here.last_img read more

The Werk Out Festival Adds The Trancident Featuring Members Of The String Cheese Incident

first_imgComing back to Legend Valley in Thornville, OH from August 1st-3rd, The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival recently revealed their initial lineup. In addition to three nights of music from host band The Werks, the festival will also see headlining performances by Big Gigantic and The Claypool Lennon Delirium.On Friday, the festival revealed that The Trancident will be joining their expansive 2019 lineup, featuring The String Cheese Incident‘s Michael Kang, Kyle Hollingsworth, Michael Travis, and Jason Hann. The quartet has offered up an extremely limited number of performances, including sets at 2015’s Sonic Bloom and 2017’s Gem & Jam.The three-day music and camping festival will also feature The Floozies, Twiddle (2 nights), Matisyahu, Opiuo, Turkuaz, Melvin Seals & JGB, Sunsquabi (2 nights), Cory Wong, MarchFourth, Joe Marcinek Band and many more to be announced in the comings weeks.Head to The Werk Out’s website for ticketing and more information.last_img read more

New learning space opens in Lamont

first_imgEvery aspect of the recently opened Collaborative Learning Space — from the technology to the movable tables, chairs, and whiteboards — is designed to foster collaboration. Located in Room B-30 in Lamont Library, the space brings a new level of flexibility to library instruction and includes features unavailable in other Harvard College Library (HCL) classrooms.“This is an innovative space that librarians and students can use in many ways,” said Susan Fliss, associate librarian for research, teaching, and learning. “It is different from other classrooms because instead of sitting in fixed rows, people will be gathered in groups, and the movable furniture allows for endless variations. We’re trying to engage students, and this space will allow librarians to explore different ways of doing that.”The newly renovated room, which opened on Nov. 4, was designed to allow librarians to experiment with different teaching methods, but will also serve as space where librarians can come together to collaborate on identifying best practices and to work in groups in collaboration with HCL’s academic partners, said Fliss, who initiated the project.To read the full story, visit Harvard College Library News.last_img read more

It’s all in the cortex

first_imgCommon wisdom says that domestic partners shouldn’t go to bed angry if they want to foster successful relationships. But new research from a psychologist at Harvard University suggests that brain activity — specifically in the region called the lateral prefrontal cortex — is a far better indicator of how someone will feel in the days following a fight with a partner.Individuals who show more neural activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex are less likely to be upset the day after fighting with partners, according to a study in this month’s Biological Psychiatry. The findings point to the brain area’s role in regulating emotions, and suggest that improved function within this region also may improve day-to-day mood.“What we found, as you might expect, was that everybody felt badly on the day of the conflict with their partner,” said lead author Christine Hooker, assistant professor of psychology in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “But the day after, people who had high lateral prefrontal cortex activity felt better, and the people who had low lateral prefrontal cortex activity continued to feel badly.”Hooker’s co-authors are Özlem Ayduk, Anett Gyurak, Sara Verosky, and Asako Miyakawa, all of the University of California, Berkeley.Research has previously shown that the lateral prefrontal cortex is associated with emotion regulation in laboratory tests, but the effect has never been proven connected to experiences in day-to-day life.This study involved healthy couples who have been in relationships for longer than three months. While in an fMRI scanner, participants viewed pictures of their partners with positive, negative, or neutral facial expressions, and their neural activity was recorded while reacting to the images. While in the lab, participants were also tested for their broader cognitive control skills, such as their ability to manage impulses and the shift and focus of attention.For three weeks, the couples also recorded in an online diary their daily emotional states and whether they had had fights with their partners.Hooker found that participants who displayed greater activity in their lateral prefrontal cortex while viewing their partner’s negative facial expressions in the scanner were less likely to report a negative mood the day after a fight, indicating they were better able to “bounce back” emotionally after the conflict.She also found that those who had more activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex and greater emotional regulation after a fight displayed more cognitive control in laboratory tests, indicating a link between emotion regulation and broader cognitive control skills.“The key factor is that the brain activity in the scanner predicted their experience in life,” said Hooker. “Scientists believe that what we are looking at in the scanner has relevance to daily life, but obviously we don’t live our lives in a scanner. If we can connect what we see in the scanner to somebody’s day-to-day emotion regulation capacity, it could help psychologists predict how well people will respond to stressful events in their lives.”While Hooker acknowledges that more work must be done to develop clinical applications for the research, it may be that lateral prefrontal cortex function provides information about a person’s vulnerability to develop mood problems after a stressful event. This raises the question as to whether increasing lateral prefrontal cortex function will improve emotion regulation capacity.The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.last_img read more

Bird, meet cousin alligator

first_imgBirds and alligators have little in common, other than that the first is sometimes the other’s lunch. That hasn’t always been the case, though, and that’s what attracts Arkhat Abzhanov.Alligators and birds are part of the same larger group, called archosaurs, which has existed for 250 million years and which has given rise not only to birds and crocodilians, but also to dinosaurs. Though dinosaurs are now extinct, the crocodilians, such as alligators, crocodiles, and narrow-jawed gharials live on, and scientists see in them many characteristics of the primitive archosaurs.To Abzhanov, an assistant professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard who studies birds and how they developed, researching alligators gives him the chance to compare birds to something akin to their ancestors.“It’s really about opening a door to understand what happened in avian evolution to come up with their unique body plan,” Abzhanov said. “How did it evolve? What actually happened?”Millions of years ago, archosaurs diverged into several groups, scientists say. One became modern crocodilians, and another dinosaurs. The dinosaurs evolved many forms, including the smaller and feathered kind, like the archaeopteryx, which is considered ancestral to modern birds.“Archaeopteryx is a good example of a feathered dinosaur that could fly,” Abzhanov said. “It’s actually now hard to say where dinosaurs end and birds begin.”Modern birds do have many unusual features, including beaks and skulls with fused sutures. Their wings are modified forelimbs, and their backbones evolved to allow for flexible necks, waists, and fused lower vertebrae that form rigid foundations for tail feathers, called pygostyles.Crocodilians retained many of the characteristics of the primitive archosaurs, such as a more complex skull with bones lost in avian evolution, a large body, and a more conserved body plan.“If you look at the entire archosaur branch, we have one of the most derived groups, birds, still around,” Abzhanov said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the intermediate group in dinosaurs, but we have crocodilians, one of the most basal groups.”In ongoing work that already has resulted in two scientific papers, Abzhanov examined alligator and bird embryos and compared the functioning of key developmental HOX genes. Prior research showed that HOX genes turn on and off at key points in an animal’s development and are responsible for the orderly growth of body segments. They ensure, in effect, that the head goes at the top, the feet at the bottom, and everything else in the proper positions in between.HOX genes are so important in animal development that they’ve been highly conserved across millions of years of evolution. Even jellyfish have three — front, middle, and back. Birds and alligators have 13 groups of HOX genes. Some of the key differences in their body plans are related to HOX-controlled neck and lower-back development. Abzhanov is examining those genes and the effects of the proteins they produce, called transcription factors, to get at the root of those differences.First, he looked at HOX genes from groups four and five, which control neck development in chick and mouse embryos. In alligators, the vertebrae forming the neck have cervical ribs, similar to the chest, and thus very little flexibility, which is why alligators have to turn their whole bodies to move their heads around. Such a condition is considered ancestral to all archosaurs and, in fact, all land vertebrates.Birds, on the other hand, couldn’t be more different. From the long, elegant neck of the swan to the rotationally flexible neck of the owl, birds’ neck vertebrae are ribless, allowing the head a lot of movement without having to turn the body.Abzhanov asked similar questions about the lower back, or lumbar region. Alligators’ lumbar vertebrae also sport short ribs and bestow little flexibility, also an ancestral feature. The backbones of birds lose their ribs as they approach the waist — a feature shared by some mammals, including humans — permitting flexibility. While the functioning of HOX genes in birds was known, their expression and operation in alligators largely was not, Abzhanov said.When he examined the HOX genes responsible for neck and lower-back development, though, the mystery deepened. Despite the very different developmental outcomes in birds and alligators, the genes themselves were expressed in pretty much the same domains in the two animals. HOX genes themselves also appear to be very similar in birds and alligators.The search is now leading Abzhanov deeper into the alligator and bird genome, and farther along the path of how HOX genes function. HOX genes are called master genes because the transcription factors they produce control the functioning of many other genes. Abzhanov believes the differences in alligator and bird bodies are due to different responses to those transcription factors in other genes.“What’s changed [between alligators and birds] is the interaction between HOX genes and downstream targets,” Abzhanov said. “What’s happening is the downstream genes lose, gain, or change binding sites for HOX [transcription factors]. Otherwise, the stage is set for the future body plan changes — the HOX genes were already deployed to allow for evolution of future distinct neck and lumbar regions.”The added complexity is not entirely unexpected, Abzhanov said. Because HOX genes control many downstream genes that do different things, changing the functioning of a HOX gene would produce many changes, not all desirable. From an evolutionary standpoint, it makes more sense to alter the sensitivity of downstream genes to HOX transcription factors, changing a single gene at a time.“It is a bit like building a house. You have the same bricks, the same tools, but buildings can come out differently,” Abzhanov said. “It’s how and when you use these tools that’s important.”last_img read more

From a flat mirror, designer light

first_imgExploiting a novel technique called phase discontinuity, researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have induced light rays to behave in a way that defies the centuries-old laws of reflection and refraction.The discovery, published Sept. 2 in the journal Science, has led to a reformulation of the mathematical laws that predict the path of a ray of light bouncing off a surface or traveling from one medium into another — for example, from air into glass.“Using designer surfaces, we’ve created the effects of a fun-house mirror on a flat plane,” said co-principal investigator Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS. “Our discovery carries optics into new territory and opens the door to exciting developments in photonics technology.”It has been recognized since ancient times that light travels at different speeds through different media. Reflection and refraction occur whenever light encounters a material at an angle, because one side of the beam is able to race ahead of the other. As a result, the wave front changes direction.The conventional laws, taught in physics classrooms worldwide, predict the angles of reflection and refraction based only on the incident (incoming) angle and the properties of the two media.While studying the behavior of light impinging on surfaces patterned with metallic nanostructures, the researchers realized that the usual equations were insufficient to describe the bizarre phenomena observed in the lab.The new generalized laws, derived and experimentally demonstrated at Harvard, take into account the Capasso group’s discovery that the boundary between two media, if specially patterned, can itself behave like a third medium.“Ordinarily, a surface like the surface of a pond is simply a geometric boundary between two media, air and water,” said lead author Nanfang Yu, Ph.D. ’09, a research associate in Capasso’s lab at SEAS. “But now, in this special case, the boundary becomes an active interface that can bend the light by itself.”The key component is an array of tiny gold antennas etched into the surface of the silicon used in Capasso’s lab. The array is structured on a scale much thinner than the wavelength of the light hitting it. This means that, unlike in a conventional optical system, the engineered boundary between the air and the silicon imparts an abrupt phase shift — dubbed “phase discontinuity” — to the crests of the light wave crossing it.Each antenna in the array is a tiny resonator that can trap the light, holding its energy for a given amount of time before releasing it. A gradient of different types of nanoscale resonators across the surface of the silicon can effectively bend the light before it even begins to propagate through the new medium.The resulting phenomenon breaks the old rules, creating beams of light that reflect and refract in arbitrary ways, depending on the surface pattern.In order to generalize the textbook laws of reflection and refraction, the Harvard researchers added a new term to the equations, representing the gradient of phase shifts imparted at the boundary. Importantly, in the absence of a surface gradient, the new laws reduce to the well-known ones.“By incorporating a gradient of phase discontinuities across the interface, the laws of reflection and refraction become designer laws, and a panoply of new phenomena appear,” said Zeno Gaburro, a visiting scholar in Capasso’s group who was co-principal investigator for this work. “The reflected beam can bounce backward instead of forward. You can create negative refraction. There is a new angle of total internal reflection.”Nanfang Yu, Zeno Gaburro, Federico Capasso, and colleagues at SEAS have created strange optical effects, including corkscrew-like vortex beams, by reflecting light off a flat, nanostructured surface. Image courtesy of Nanfang Yu/SEASMoreover, the frequency (color), amplitude (brightness), and polarization of the light can also be controlled, meaning that the output is in essence a designer beam.The researchers have already succeeded at producing a vortex beam (a helical, corkscrew-shaped stream of light) from a flat surface. They also envision flat lenses that could focus an image without aberrations.Yu, Capasso, and Gaburro’s co-authors included Patrice Genevet, Mikhail A. Kats, Francesco Aieta, and Jean-Philippe Tetienne.The research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NSF-funded Harvard Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard (part of the NSF-funded National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network), the European Communities Seventh Framework Programme, and the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Science Division Research Computing Group.last_img read more

Arts prove intensive

first_imgDJ Super Squirrel helped students to rock the house. Television producer Carlton Cuse ’81 connected undergraduates to their inner TV genius. The Harvard Breakers tore up the floor with hip-hop dancers in training.Across the campus this January, students collaborated with artists and other professionals to sculpt, write, laugh, dance, produce, perform, and play during Harvard’s Wintersession.The University’s revamped academic calendar not only offers students the chance to unwind during break without the worry of looming papers and exams, it also provides them with a relaxed week back at Harvard where they can engage with a range of inventive programming before classes begin. Many seminars and workshops are artistic and connect students with areas or aesthetics they might never explore when in full academic mode.The Harvard Breakers, a break-dancing group, follow the lead of instructor Thorn Lim (right) during practice at Lowell House. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer“They get to step outside the day-to-day requirements of living in an academic environment and treat it like a playground, and let their minds run in an open and free way,” said Jack Megan, director of Harvard’s Office for the Arts (OFA), which sponsored a series of arts intensives with alumni in collaboration with the Harvard Alumni Association. “It’s creative play, but that feeds so much, including the way we learn and engage with other kinds of learning.”Among the myriad OFA offerings, students took a turn creating a show for the popular doctor drama “House” under the guidance of Harvard graduates Cuse, executive producer and head writer for the hit show “Lost,” and Monica Henderson Beletsky ’99, a writer for the shows “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood.” In Sever Hall, the pair walked the undergraduates through the creative brainstorming process, discussing ideas and exploring plot themes and narrative arcs. Using suggestions from the students, they settled on a storyline involving the main character House and his archrival, Moriarty, House’s visiting nephew, and a young boy with a penchant for swallowing things like his parents’ car keys and an engagement ring.“It’s fun to see the students take some of these concepts that are very specific to the craft of television writing and run with them and see where their imaginations take them,” said Cuse.He praised the University for its efforts to increase the presence of the arts on campus.“Harvard has recognized the need to increase the exposure of students to the arts, and I think it’s enormously valuable, whatever you end up doing in your life.”Students curious about what it takes to score a major motion picture turned to music industry executive Robert Kraft ’76. Using clips from movies such as “Ice Age,” “Night at the Museum,” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Kraft had the group listen carefully to how a pulsing score or a line from a popular song can heighten a film’s atmosphere.If the job is done right, said Kraft, “you don’t notice the music at all.” It becomes just part of the overall film experience. While a strong music background and an ability to tell a story with music are key, said the music executive, collaboration in an industry with big personalities and big money on the line is paramount.The work can involve pleading with musical icons like Paul McCartney for the rights to a song, or convincing a composer to rescore a film in a few days­, a process that typically takes about two months. Such was the case with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” when the initial soundtrack was deemed too melodramatic once the digitally generated apes were edited into the film.One of the OFA offerings has students creating a show for the popular doctor drama “House” under the guidance of Harvard graduate Carlton Cuse (right), executive producer and head writer for the hit show “Lost,” and Monica Henderson Beletsky ’99, a writer for “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood.” Amanda Swinhart/Harvard Staff Photographer“Your political skills,” Kraft said, “are the No. 1 attribute.”For Andy Borowitz ’80, comedy is king.“The funny people go into comedy; the not funny people go to law school. So now’s the time to decide,” joked the humorist and author to a crowd in Boylston Hall during a talk titled “Comedy: The Career.”His parents, he said, assumed he would take the law school route, but his love for comedy intervened. While at Harvard, he wrote, performed, and eventually became president of the Harvard Lampoon. Borowitz encouraged students interested in his path to first “find out if you are a funny person.”“It’s possible that you’re occupying some kind of underground niche where no one understands your comedy. That’s what we call failing.”To succeed, you have to write on a daily basis, become passionate observers of the world, and, above all, he said, “follow your bliss.”“This is my bliss. I don’t feel like I am working; I am having fun every day.”Arts @ 29 Garden hosted arts intensives based on the connection between the digital age and the arts, including one for wannabe spin masters.While turntables are still a critical part of a deejay’s repertoire, much of the music crafted for clubs today employs computers and sophisticated software. Sarah Hankins, a.k.a. DJ Super Squirrel, a Harvard graduate student in ethnomusicology who studies the deejay culture and clubs in the Middle East, used the popular computer program Ableton to help students create a high-tech mix tape during her intensive “Learn to DJ.”Sarah Joan Kariko (right), a visiting scholar, and Rebecca “Bex” Kwan ’14 (front)  perform creative dance. Kwan was part of a seminar called “The Technology of Performance.” Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“With two hands and two turntables, you could only play two sounds at once. Now it’s like you have the equivalent of an infinite number of hands,” said Hankins.Using the computer program, students chopped up songs and then merged the sections back together to create their mixes. Their ultimate goal was a creative sound that keeps the beat seamless and steady.Hankins also added a historic dimension to the weeklong session, paying homage to people like Grand Wizard Theodore, the inventor of scratching, the technique of manipulating one record over another by scratching it back and forth under the needle, and to New York’s South Bronx of the 1960s and ’70s, where the deejay art form, an import from Jamaica, took root and evolved.“I feel like anyone who is going to deejay needs to know that history. Otherwise, you are just faking,” she said. “You want to know the history of the art form.”But being a deejay also has broader implications, said Hankins, who compares the art form to an increasingly interconnected worldview.“This is the future of world culture to me. … This whole remix aesthetic, that’s what we all do now, that is what the world is doing, whether in the realm of music or art or medicine or literature — it’s all about sampling” from something else. “The more you understand how to remix, the more you understand how the world is working.”Hankins also went old school with the class, helping students to perfect their vinyl scratching techniques. She carefully walked sophomore Greg Yang through the “one-click flair,” a fast finger twitch method of isolating a single sound while spinning two records.“It’s pretty awesome,” said Yang, as he worked the side-by-side turntables. “It feels like you’re the man.”Down the hall, sophomore Bex Kwan practiced her inner moss. Flopping her body over a railing, she remained motionless for a minute, before slowly standing and raising her arms in the air, transforming from the small soft plant into a swaying fern. Kwan was part of a seminar called “The Technology of Performance.” Two New York-based video designers led the session and helped students to create performances that incorporated movement with audio and video components.“I’ve trained as a photographer and actor,” said Kwan, a Dudley House resident and VES concentrator. “They are completely different fields, but I’ve always wanted to merge them. … Finding people who are as passionate about where these media come together is really amazing.”Selena Kim ’15 rehearses a performance as part of the January Arts Intensives events. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe theme for the intensives at the Garden Street space encouraged students to collaborative on issues involving the arts, media, and technology, said Lori Gross, associate provost for arts and culture. “By exploring identity in the digital age through text, visual imagery, and performance, students were able to intensely focus on their own innovative artistic explorations.”Movement and motion were also part of Wintersession’s eclectic mix. At the Harvard Dance Center, students worked with renowned choreographer Christopher Roman to create a work for the Harvard Dance Program’s spring show. In the Lowell House dance studio, the Harvard Breakers, a student-led dance troupe specializing in street styles of hip-hop dance, led a five-day beginner boot camp.At Agassiz House, an aspiring composer was reveling in an intensive that teamed her with members of the Silk Road Ensemble, the collection of musicians from around the world, led by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who explore the cultural traditions of the ancient trade route.At Harvard as part of an ongoing residency, the ensemble practiced new compositions and mentored a small group of students who created projects inspired by the group’s work.Freshman Stella Fiorenzoli has wasted no time connecting with Harvard’s art scene. She partnered in the fall with the ensemble and was back for Wintersession, creating a mini-composition based on Tibetan and Indian folk tunes and written for the ensemble’s shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute, and the pipa, a Chinese stringed instrument.A classically trained pianist and cellist, Fiorenzoli called her work with the ensemble and the exposure to so many types of instruments and music “inspiring.”“There is this world of instruments that have these unique sounds and tones and that really should be … explored more in the music that we listen to today. This has been one of the greatest experiences that I have had at Harvard so far.”last_img read more

Memories and beginnings

first_imgEighty years to the day from when Harvard’s Memorial Church was dedicated in honor of the University’s dead from World War I, members of the University community gathered again in the sacred space on Veterans Day weekend to remember the fallen heroes of wartime, and to welcome a new spiritual leader.The Rev. Jonathan Walton’s  installation as the Pusey Minister and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals on Sunday coincided with Harvard’s annual ceremony to commemorate those who died for their country.“We are all beneficiaries of someone else’s sacrifices,” said Walton, citing his own indebtedness to his distant ancestors and extended family, as well as the nation’s debt to its war dead and its veterans. “None of us are self-made women or men, for it’s by the good will and grace of another, seen or unseen, that our imaginations, our aspirations, and our industriousness are able to take root and blossom into what we have to call achievement.”Walton’s friends and family, as well as members of the Harvard faculty, the administration, the military, and the Harvard community filled the church for the service. Several attendees took part in the formal celebration. David Hempton, dean of Harvard Divinity School (HDS), read a lesson from the New Testament, and a number of undergraduates read prayers and assisted in the service. At Walton’s request, sisters and Lowell House residents Arielle and Danielle Galler Rabinowitz ’14, whom he met while he served as a Lowell House resident scholar, sat side by side at the piano and played Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G Minor by Johannes Brahms.The Rev. Charles G. Adams, a former professor at HDS and pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, delivered the day’s sermon, a moving talk titled “Yes We Can.”Walton’s longtime friend and mentor put a spiritual spin on the slogan from the 2008 presidential campaign. “Yes, we can do the impossible,” Adams told the congregation. The pastor told his listeners that the impossible — in everything from the inability to count calories, to quit smoking, to “maintain my sanity in an insane society,” or to lead fulfilling lives — is possible with faith in God and each other.“Yes, we can, together. Together we can. … We can do the impossible through Christ and through human community, which makes all things possible.”The official installation was officiated by Harvard President Drew Faust, who asked Walton as he stood with his family at the front of the church: “Do you, in the presence of this congregation, commit yourself to these new trusts and responsibilities?”“With God’s help, I do,” Walton responded.Faust then asked the congregation, in “witnessing this new beginning,” if it would pledge to support and uphold Walton. “We will, with God’s help,” the attendees answered. She then instituted Walton and introduced him to the crowd, which received him with loud applause.In brief comments, Walton echoed Adams’ sentiments. He praised the community of family, friends, scholars, teachers, and mentors who have “played such a critical role in my life and my academic and human training.” He also praised his new home, and the welcoming Harvard community. “[My family and I] praise God for giving us you. We love you. We thank you. Yes, we can, by God’s grace, and with the love of one another.”Remembering Harvard’s war dead and veteransHarvard commemorated Veterans Day with a ceremony featuring the solemn placing of a wreath in the church’s Memorial Room, honoring its benefactors. While the church was dedicated in 1932 to commemorate Harvard alumni who died in World War I, it now contains memorials to the University dead of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the graduates of Radcliffe College who died in World War I.“This building honors those who paid the ultimate price with their lives in World War I,” said Walton. “And while, unfortunately since that time, the list of the war dead continues to grow along the wall, we continue to embrace the sublime principles of dedication and sacrifice that animated their efforts.”Prior to the day’s service, Nathaniel Katz, the church’s Epps Fellow, offered encouraging words to the three young Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets from Harvard who served as the official Color Guard for the ceremony and placed the wreath in the Memorial Room as the church’s bell tolled.“You are the reason we are here today,” said Epps. “We are grateful, very grateful.”For ROTC cadet and sophomore Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, the ability to take part in the service carried special meaning. “My grandparents were liberated by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines during World War II,” said the Kirkland House resident. “It was very important for me to be able to thank and commemorate the veterans who played a part in that, and in other conflicts.”The legacy of the Rev. Peter J. GomesWalton’s desire to build community is in close keeping with that of his predecessor, the Rev. Peter J. Gomes. Walton has introduced a coffee hour following Morning Prayers, offering those attending the chance to get to know one another following the brief daily service. He also hosts regular tailgate parties prior to Harvard home football games at Sparks House, a practice that follows in the footsteps of Gomes’ weekly Wednesday teas.“Everybody may not belong to Memorial Church … but we belong to everybody,” Walton said in an interview earlier in the week. “We are in the business here of educating minds, enriching hearts, and expanding lives. And I think that can impact everybody and anybody.”Florence Ladd, who directed the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, the precursor to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, from 1989 to 1997, grew emotional when reflecting on the institution service. A longtime member of the church, Ladd got to know Walton while working with the Senior Common Room at Lowell House. She wrote a letter recommending him for the Memorial Church position.“I am thrilled and moved beyond belief in this moment,” Ladd said. “I think he has enormous promise. I think he will make his own path and leave his own footprint on this church, inspired by God.”Marcia Potter, the mother of Epps Fellow Katz, regularly listens to the church’s weekly radio service from her home in California, and she said Walton inspired both hope and healing.“I just felt like the connection from Peter to Jonathan was fully achieved today. Peter was remarkable, and you can see within Jonathan all the possibilities and promise,” said Potter during a reception that Faust hosted after the service. “Everything about the joy we felt in past, I felt today too. It was a healing feeling for me today.”last_img read more

An ancient tribe, and change

first_img A battle scene from Robert Gardner’s “Dead Birds” (1963), a cinematic study of ritual warfare among the world’s last Stone Age tribes. Images courtesy of Robert Gardner ‘Dead Birds’ revisited In a still from “Dead Birds Re-encountered” (2013), Weyak (far left), the Dani warrior profiled in “Dead Birds,” watched the film 28 years later with Gardner (far right). It is organized in a classic dramatic story arc. The protagonists are two Dani tribesmen: Weyak, a farmer and warrior who guarded one fringe of his village’s frontier, and Pua, a dreamy and hapless boy of 8 who herded swine for his grandfather. Man and boy illustrated both the arrival at manhood and the aspiration to reach it.Bodies star in “Dead Birds” too, and offer a look at how humanity once was: splayfooted, naked, and with powerful and utilitarian adult bodies. The children are spare and naked. Young adult men have the hard muscles and fluid gait of middle-distance runners. Women and girls wear short woven skirts. Men and boys wear phallocrypts, upright slender gourds that are tied around the torso and conceal the penis.“Dead Birds” was regarded as revolutionary in part because of Gardner’s cinematic eye. A bird of prey glides over a green valley where stick-and-daub villages interlock with ancient paths. In the pitch darkness, Pua lights a fire and roasts a small bird, then keeps a feather for his hair. Weyak hoes a garden plot with a blunt stick. On a grassy hillside, men with spears swarm at each other, feinting and shooting arrows. They break from war when it rains, for fear that their feathered headdresses will get wet. Now and then, someone gets hurt. Rarely, someone dies.In sum, Gardner in 1961 was filming long-ago humanity, when people generally were bound to each other by magic and ancient paths, and to an ideal of war whose object was not annihilation but tribal honor. (Each tribal death required revenge for another, an accountancy that kept a cycle of war slowly turning.)Shooting close and longAt work too in “Dead Birds” were Gardner’s allegorical voice-over; his unflinching close-ups and dramatic long shots; his you-are-there battle scenes; and his captivating soundtrack, which later engendered some controversy because it was layered over the film track during editing. In those days, syncing sound to film amid field conditions was impossible.Gardner’s sound recordist during the 1961 film trip was Michael Rockefeller ’60, son of then-New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. Michael disappeared later that year during another expedition in Dutch New Guinea, and was declared dead in 1964.The battle scenes in “Dead Birds” were controversial too, since what seemed like one battle was a composite of several. For the visiting Westerners, there were hazards even at the periphery of the action. Dani arrows, long and reedlike, were barbed but featherless. Trajectories could be looping and erratic. “Michael Rockefeller got one in his leg,” said Gardner of an errant arrow. “I never told his father. All hell would have broken loose.”Adding to the power of the film were its intimate portraits of daily life as it likely was in the Stone Age, with feasts, funerals, farming, pig herding, raids, gestures of magic, and in this case long treks to the tribe’s one source of salt. (Women soaked banana leaves in briny water, and then bore them home in heavy bundles.)For ethnographic filmmakers, it was a unique moment. The Dani were completely unaware of what the whirring film cameras did. “My camera,” Gardner wrote later, “was no more or less interesting than my belt buckle.” (He had a rule back then too, to preserve the secret of film’s magic: No photographs were to be shown to any of the Dani.)At the retrospective screening of “Dead Birds” on Oct. 10, Film Archive programmer David Pendleton said the movie had “touched off a revolution” in documentary cinema, praise that Ilisa Barbash repeated in a formal introduction. She is the Peabody’s curator of visual anthropology and co-author of “The Cinema of Robert Gardner” (2008). “You don’t have boring middle shots,” said Barbash. “He keeps you visually engaged.”“Dead Birds” premiered at Harvard’s Loeb Drama Center in a ticketed event open mainly to faculty, administrators, and a smattering of Harvard undergraduates.“The person who understood it best was the president of the University, Nathan Pusey,” said Gardner. “He came back again” for the second screening that night.The filmmaker, still strikingly handsome with a shock of white hair, said “Dead Birds” was a “different film” at its first screening: 110 minutes long instead of the 85-minute duration of its official release in 1964.A coterie of his friends had “urged me to make it shorter,” said Gardner, which he regrets now. Among them was author Lillian Hellman and novelist Peter Matthiessen, a naturalist who had been on the film team in Dutch New Guinea. (Along too was visual anthropologist Karl G. Heider ’56, Ph.D. ’66, who co-wrote with Gardner 1969’s “Gardens of War: Life and Death in the New Guinea Stone Age.”)The longer film? “I have it around somewhere,” said Gardner.Re-encounters and changesGardner, who will be 88 on Nov. 5, skipped the screening of “Dead Birds,” but was on hand for the premiere of “Dead Birds Re-encountered” the next night. He first thought of calling it “The Road,” but during editing decided to focus on the people who in 1963 elected to embrace Gardner and his crew instead of killing them.With him on the 1989 film trip were his wife, two sons, photographer Susan Meiselas, and two friends — both dead now — whom Gardner credits with most of the work: documentary filmmaker and Harvard Professor Richard P. Rogers and pioneer aerial photographer Robert E. Fulton III ’61.“Re-encountered” is only 46 minutes long. “I wondered at the end of editing it why it was so short,” said Gardner. “I usually drag things out.”It is a film of reunion. The most affecting scene comes first, when Weyak, now a slender old man in a Western shirt and shorts, meets Gardner again. Nearly three decades after being filmed guarding, farming, weaving, and making war, he weeps against the bigger man’s shoulder, shouts, hums, and bares his teeth in a wide smile. “You have come from your home to see us here,” said Weyak. He added, with a shade of the disbelief he felt in 1961, “These are real people.”The nearly naked Pua takes equal pleasure in meeting Pom, the name the villagers gave Gardner. Pua hugs the silver-haired visitor, grins, and taps his phallocrypt for emphasis.“Re-encountered” is also a film of remembering. The longest scene, and the most dramatic, is a monologue by Weyak as he sits cross-legged in his hut. He recounts the film team arriving, and their welcome once it is determined that they are human. Weyak tells how his desires have changed in the intervening years, and those of the whole village. ????Just clothes or money,” he said through subtitles. “No more fighting. No.”The road is not the only change, or Weyak’s Western shorts. Pua, wearing just a headdress, gets a helicopter ride, then climbs into a car to visit a nearby town. Surrounded by curious Indonesians, he scans the wares in a souvenir shop, including a shelf of stone axes. Pua also pages through a book.“This is how I used to be,” he said, pointing to one old picture of the way things were. There was another of Michael Rockefeller. “Mike as a boy,” said Pua. “He died. He went into the ocean.”“Re-encountered” is a film about aging too. Weyak looks shrunken in a jacket and military cap. But he is animated during another one of the film’s signature scenes. The old men watch themselves young in “Dead Birds,” screening it on a tiny monitor.The new film is about a kind of fame, too. Pua recounted how tourists sought him out, and said he had made a sort of business from his “Dead Birds” renown. During one scene, villagers enact a pig roast for a clutch of German tourists. “Nothing had changed,” said Meiselas, remembering the moment. “It was completely ritualized and totally communal.”But the audience had changed. In 1961, the sun-beaten Westerners wielding cameras and sound booms lived in a tent on the edge of the village. By 1989, the tourists with cameras could have been at a zoo or on a safari.Regarding Pua, Gardner said during the panel, “I’m so glad somebody didn’t put him in clothes and take him on an airplane to Paris.”In the newer film, he said he traveled back to the old scenes of “Dead Birds” in search of old friends and not as a field anthropologist. “I approached it, if I may say so, as an artist,” said Gardner. Then he added what could summarize his 60 years of filmmaking in search of humanity’s core. “I was never a scientist.”center_img Pua in 1989, holding a picture of himself as the young swineherd featured in “Dead Birds,” filmed 28 years before. October marks the 50th anniversary of “Dead Birds,” the groundbreaking documentary of a Stone Age tribe that survived into the 20th century. Its creator was Robert Gardner ’47, the longtime director (1957-1997) of the Film Study Center, the creative arm of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.The Harvard Film Archive hosted a recent retrospective screening of “Dead Birds.” Gardner helped to found the archive too, in 1979, and remembered its prototype as “a few shelves in the closet” at the Carpenter Center. “Things have only gotten better as time has gone by,” he said.Time has been kind to “Dead Birds,” a lyrical study of the lives, beliefs, practices, and ritual warfare of the Dugum Dani peoples in the remote Grand Valley in the highlands of western New Guinea. At the invitation of the Dutch government, Gardner and a small team spent six months in 1961 filming what were then thought to be the world’s last practitioners of Neolithic culture, with stone tools, clan-sized villages, pervasive magic, and ritual warfare.Gardner described his 1961 self in his book “The Impulse to Preserve” (2006), as “a lapsed graduate student trying to invent an anthropology that used film and photography instead of words.” He went on to make a film every two or three years between 1964, when “Dead Birds” was officially released, until “Forest of Bliss” in 1985. These days, the director still lives near Harvard Square, and would rather write than make films.The day after the anniversary screening, the archive sponsored a related screening. “Dead Birds Re-encountered” (2013) is a cinematic rendering of Gardner’s 1989 return to the scenes and people of the 1963 film. It was filmed in the same villages and the same valley, though the locale is now called Irian Jaya, Indonesia. In the intervening years, one traumatically new feature had appeared: a road. Gardner called it “a scar” that cut across a once “ravishing valley.” The opening scene is of a truck rumbling noisily past, kicking up dust.The truck scene is a jarring antipode to the rhythms of the earlier film that first screened at Harvard in 1963. “Dead Birds” revolutionized the way anthropology was presented on film.last_img read more

Order restored

first_imgNo explosives or suspicious devices were found following the evacuation and sweep of four Harvard University buildings Monday by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.In a statement Monday afternoon, Executive Vice President Katie Lapp said the search was prompted by an email sent to the Harvard University Police Department at about 8:40 a.m. indicating that explosive devices had been hidden inside Emerson Hall, Sever Hall, Thayer Hall, and the Science Center.All four buildings were cleared and reopened by shortly before 3 p.m., as campus life returned to normal on the first day of final exams.Out of what Lapp called “an abundance of caution,” Harvard police issued a campuswide alert at 9:02 a.m. notifying recipients of “unconfirmed reports” that explosives were in the four buildings and ordering everyone to evacuate while police conducted a thorough investigation.The Yard was restricted to Harvard ID holders for several hours. Final exams that had been scheduled in Emerson Hall, Sever Hall, and the Science Center were canceled or rescheduled. Freshmen living in Thayer were temporarily relocated to Annenberg Hall, where President Drew Faust, Donald H. Pfister, the interim dean of Harvard College, and Jasmine M. Waddell, a resident dean of freshmen, chatted with the gathered students during breakfast.Students heading into Annenberg Hall on Monday night, where the Harvard University Choir was slated to drop by to sing Christmas carols, seemed to be in good spirits despite a day of disruption.Annenberg Carolling After a day of disruption in which four campus buildings were evacuated, freshman students dining at Annenberg Hall that evening were treated to a surprise, impromptu performance by the Harvard University Choir.Andrea Delgado ’17, was in a lecture hall at the Science Center waiting for her “Life and Physical Sciences A” exam to be handed out when what sounded like a fire alarm went off, forcing students outside into the cold. “I was so ready. I had a big breakfast, I got there early,” she said.Before long, Delgado and others started receiving University alerts and texts from friends that the alarm was related to possible explosives in the building and across campus. She and some classmates headed over to Annenberg to wait out the evacuation. Once the exam was canceled, she said, she was offered the option of taking the exam at 6:30 Monday night, taking it in February, or accepting her grade going into the final.Because she had another final Tuesday morning, Delgado opted to accept her grade as it was prior to the exam. “I think it’s fair; it’s really hard to wait for five weeks and have to try and keep that in your head,” she said.Alex Beyer ’17 said he was merely inconvenienced by the incident. “It was fine. I just feel bad for the people in the morning exams.”Beyer had a Math 21a final scheduled for 2 p.m. at Emerson Hall, but because of the evacuation, students spent much of the morning and early afternoon waiting to find out whether Emerson would reopen and their exam would begin on time. Shortly before 2, administrators and the course instructor gave everyone the green light and the exam went off without a hitch.The ongoing investigation into who made the threat is being led by Harvard police in coordination with the Cambridge Police Department, state police, and federal law enforcement.Associate Dean of Harvard College John Ellison said final exams slated for the rest of the week would remain as scheduled. Those who missed their exams due to the evacuation should be in touch with administrators about a makeup date or other arrangement.Ellison outlined several options for students who elected not to take their scheduled afternoon exam because they were upset or because their routines were disrupted by the events, including being graded on their coursework completed to date, excluding the final exam. Also: the opportunity to request receiving a pass/fail grade without penalty.“We understand most students are expressing eagerness to take the exams for which they have prepared,” Ellison said in an email to students. “However, if for any reason a student does not feel able to take an exam — including anxiety, loss of study time, lack of access to material and belongings left in one of the affected buildings, or travel schedule — he or she should be in touch immediately with his or her resident dean.”last_img read more

Listen for the bells

first_imgA joyous peal of bells will ring throughout Cambridge on Commencement Day, May 29.In celebration of the city of Cambridge and of the country’s oldest university — and of our earlier history when bells of varying tones summoned us from sleep to prayer, work, or study — this ancient yet new sound will fill Harvard Square and the surrounding area with music when a number of neighboring churches and institutions ring their bells at the conclusion of Harvard’s 363rd Commencement Exercises, for the 26th consecutive year.The bells will begin to ring at 11:30 a.m., just after the sheriff of Middlesex County declares the Commencement Exercises adjourned. They will ring for approximately 15 minutes.The deep-toned bell in the Memorial Church tower, for years the only bell to acknowledge the festival rites of Commencement, will be joined by the set of bells cast to replace the original 17-bell Russian zvon of Lowell House (which was returned in 2008 to the Danilov Monastery near Moscow), and by the bell of the Harvard Business School, the historic 13-bell “Harvard Chime” of Christ Church Cambridge, the Harvard Divinity School bell in Andover Hall, and the bells of the Church of the New Jerusalem, First Church Congregational, First Parish Unitarian Universalist, St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, University Lutheran Church, Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, and St. Anthony’s Church.Bells were already in use at Harvard in 1643 when “New England’s First Fruits,” published in London that year, set forth some College rules: “Every Schollar shall be present in his tutor’s chambers at the 7th houre in the morning, immediately after the sound of the bell … opening the Scripture and prayer.Three of the 15 bells known to have been in use in Massachusetts before 1680 were hung within the precincts of the present College Yard, including the original College bell and the bell of the First Parish Church.Of the churches participating in the joyful ringing today, one, First Parish, has links with Harvard that date from its foundation. The College had use of the church’s bell, Harvard’s first Commencement was held in the church’s meetinghouse, and one of the chief reasons for selecting Cambridge as the site of the College was the proximity of this church and its minister, the Rev. Thomas Shepard, a clergyman of “marked ability and piety.”Another church ringing its bells in celebration is Christ Church Cambridge. The oldest church in the area, it houses the Harvard Chime, the name given to the chime of bells cast for the church in anticipation of its 1861 centennial. Two fellow alumni and Richard Henry Dana Jr., author of “Two Years Before the Mast,” arranged for the chime’s creation. The 13 bells were first rung on Easter Sunday in 1860; each bell of the Harvard Chime bears in Latin a portion of the “Gloria in Excelsis.”Referring in 1893 to the Harvard Chime, Samuel Batchelder wrote, “From the outset the bells were considered as a common object of interest and enjoyment for the whole city, and their intimate connection with the University made it an expressed part of their purpose that they should be rung, not alone on church days but also on all festivals and special occasions of the college, a custom which has continued to the present time.”The old Russian bells of Lowell House, in place for 76 years, rang on an Eastern scale; the newly cast bells give out a charming sound as do the bells of the Cambridge churches joining in concert today. A thoughtful student of bells wrote in 1939, “… church bells, whether they sound in a tinkling fashion the end of the first watch in the dead of night, announce the matins a few hours later, or intone the vespers or angelus, have a peculiar fascination. Chimes affect the heartstrings …”last_img read more

Cheese-based research

first_imgGo ahead, call Rachel Dutton’s research cheesy if you must. As far as she’s concerned, it’s anything but an insult.A Bauer Fellow at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Center for Systems Biology, Dutton studies cheese — or more precisely, the bacteria and fungi that live on it — in an effort to better understand how microbial communities form.After studying 137 varieties collected in 10 countries, Dutton has identified three general types of microbial communities that live on cheese, opening the door to using each as a model for the study of whether and how various microbes and fungi compete or cooperate as they form communities, as well as what molecules and mechanisms are involved in the process. The study is described in a July 17 paper in the journal Cell.“We often use model organisms like E. coli or C. elegans because they can give us an understanding of the basic mechanisms and principles of how biology works,” Dutton said. “The goal of this work was to identify something like a model organism, but for microbial communities — something we can bring into the lab and easily replicate and manipulate.“The challenge in studying these communities is that many of the environments where they are found, such as the human body or the soil, are hard to replicate because they’re so complicated,” she continued. “Cheese seemed to offer a system … in which we knew exactly what these communities were growing on, so we thought we should be able to replicate that environment in the lab.”To understand what a model community might look like, Dutton and her lab first set out to identify naturally occurring communities by collecting samples from the rinds of dozens of cheeses.“We did some traveling in Europe and worked directly with a number of cheesemakers by having them send us samples or visiting to collect samples, and in some cases we were able to collect samples from places like Formaggio Kitchen and other cheese shops,” she said.By sequencing the samples, Dutton pinpointed the type of bacteria and fungi in each, and found that while there was wide variation among different samples, each could be separated into one of three main types of communities.“What we ended up finding is there are microbes which occur in all the areas where cheese is made,” she said. “What was interesting is if you make the same type of cheese in France or in Vermont, they will have very similar communities. What seems to be driving the type of community you find is the environment that the cheesemaker creates on the surface of the cheese, so you can make two cheeses that are very similar in two different places, or you can make two very different cheeses in the same place.”Dutton and her colleagues isolated species of microbes and fungi found in the samples and conducted tests aimed at reproducing the communities they found. “In many environments, it is challenging to isolate all of the microbes, so we were surprised to find that we could culture all of the species present on cheese rinds,” said Julie Button, a postdoctoral researcher in the Dutton lab. “This gives us a great foundation for being able to study communities in the lab.”“If we know a particular cheese has certain species, we can mix them together and try to recreate that community in the lab,” Dutton added. “For example, we might try to simply put those species together at the same time in equal amounts to see if the community that forms is similar to that found in the sample.”The study was also aimed at understanding how various species of bacteria and fungi interact, and identified several instances where certain bacteria halted fungal growth, and vice versa.“We are now working with chemists to characterize what the molecules are that different bacteria might use to kill a fungus,” Dutton said. “It’s also possible that there may be antimicrobials that may arise from this that are normally at play during the formation of a community.”While wider applications for understanding the development of bacterial communities may eventually emerge, Dutton said there are still basic questions to answer in the short term.“There are so many wide-open questions in thinking about how microbial communities work, that future research could go in a number of different directions,” she said. “Our goal is to understand some of these fundamental questions, such as: Are there certain principles that are operating as a community forms, and can we control those factors in the lab?“Cheese is fascinating to me in its own right — it’s somewhat surprising that, for a food that we’ve been eating for thousands of years, we don’t have a complete understanding of the microorganisms that are present.”Now that Dutton is closing in on that understanding, does she still eat cheese?“I do,” she said with a laugh. “But I’m very picky, because I like very good cheese now.”last_img read more

Schieffer named Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow

first_img Read Full Story The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) is pleased to announce the appointment of renowned journalist Bob Schieffer as the newest recipient of the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellowship.Schieffer’s fellowship will focus on the 2016 presidential election and extend over three semesters, beginning in September and ending in December of 2016. He plans to be in residence at HKS at least twice each semester. He stepped down as anchor of CBS’ “Face the Nation” on May 31. During his time on campus Schieffer will meet with students and faculty, speak at various events for the Harvard community and participate in Shorenstein Center activities.“Bob Schieffer has long been one of America’s most distinguished and respected television news journalists who served as the face of ‘Face the Nation’ for almost 25 years,” said Harvard Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood. “We are excited that he will share his time, his energy, and his knowledge with the Shorenstein Center and the HKS community over the coming year.”last_img read more

Disabilities, pushed to the side

first_imgThomas Hehir, Ed.D. ’90, the Silvana and Christopher Pascucci Professor of Practice in Learning Differences at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), spent much of his career helping children with disabilities, including a decade teaching in Boston Public Schools. But when he came to Harvard to teach, he found a surprising number of students with disabilities of one sort or another in his own classes.“I didn’t expect that I would have so many students who were disabled,” said Hehir, who was director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs during the Clinton administration. “It was very different from my experience when I was getting my doctorate at Harvard. Back then, I don’t remember a single student with a disability: no deaf students, no blind students, none who used wheelchairs or identified as dyslexic. So 20 years later, I was really interested in finding out how their educational histories led them to Harvard. So I asked: ‘How did you get here?’ ”Hehir’s question became the title of “How Did You Get Here?,” a publication of interviews and stories from 16 undergraduate and graduate Harvard students with various disabilities. Speaking at the Ed Portal, Hehir and one of his co-authors, Laura Schifter, Ed.D. ’14, an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said recently that there were specific themes that ran throughout the stories — themes that were common across disabilities.In fact, when Hehir posed his first question of how students got to Harvard, almost all of them immediately answered: “My mother.”“It was an absolutely reflexive response: They didn’t even have to think about it,” he said, noting that one student said her father was the primary reason. “That’s a huge theme in all the interviews, an inordinate role. Parents played an enormous role in the success of their children.” Hehir added that some parents even went so far as to become their children’s service providers in school.Another common theme involved having a teacher who believed in them. Sometimes, “It was very small things these teachers did that had enormous repercussions,” Schifter said. She shared a story of Amy, a blind student who was being “sectioned off or segregated” in her second-grade classroom.“Another teacher saw this occurring and decided to call Amy’s mom at home and tell her what was going on,” Schifter said. “Amy’s mother then went in and advocated for her child to keep her included in the classroom. Amy herself said that changed her life, because she hated being sectioned off, feeling different. She feels like, to this day, that teacher’s decision to call her mom changed the direction of her life.”In addition to standing up for them, Schifter said, life-changing teachers also had high expectations for these students, and let them know that their instructors believed in them. A student named Kevin, who is in a wheelchair, recalls that he stopped communicating when he was put in an early intervention program.“Often, when kids don’t communicate, people assume they are not intellectually capable,” Schifter said. “But the teacher in that program made sure to tell his parents, ‘Don’t believe anything anyone says about your son unless it’s positive.’ That really changed the expectations that his parents had for him. It turned his life in another direction. So there are small but very powerful things that teachers can do that will affect the lives of these kids for years to come.”Rashid Dumbuya, a human rights lawyer and activist originally from Sierra Leone, was in the area when he heard about the Ed Portal event. Knowing that there are students with such disabilities at Harvard, while better understanding how they achieved such academic success, he said, could have an immense impact on students with disabilities around the world.“It makes a lot of difference,” he said. “To know this opportunity exists for such persons anywhere in the world is a game-changer. I’m going back rejuvenated and determined to share this message with my country. Opening this event to the public, inviting the community to come and hear these stories, learning more about what’s happening here … it enables people to go back and make a difference in their own work as well.”last_img read more

Study that undercut psych research got it wrong

first_imgAccording to two Harvard professors and their collaborators, a widely reported study released last year that said more than half of all psychology studies cannot be replicated is itself wrong.In an attempt to determine the “replicability” of psychological science, a consortium of 270 scientists known as the Open Science Collaboration (OSC) tried to reproduce the results of 100 published studies. More than half of them failed, creating sensational headlines worldwide about the “replication crisis” in psychology.But an in-depth examination of the data by Daniel Gilbert, the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard, Gary King, the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard, Stephen Pettigrew, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Government at Harvard, and Timothy Wilson, the Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, has revealed that the OSC made some serious mistakes that make its pessimistic conclusion completely unwarranted.The methods of many of the replication studies turn out to be remarkably different from the originals and, according to the four researchers, these “infidelities” had two important consequences.First, the methods introduced statistical error into the data, which led the OSC to significantly underestimate how many of their replications should have failed by chance alone. When this error is taken into account, the number of failures in their data is no greater than one would expect if all 100 of the original findings had been true.Second, Gilbert, King, Pettigrew, and Wilson discovered that the low-fidelity studies were four times more likely to fail than were the high-fidelity studies, suggesting that when replicators strayed from the original methods of conducting research, they caused their own studies to fail.Finally, the OSC used a “low-powered” design. When the four researchers applied this design to a published data set that was known to have a high replication rate, it too showed a low replication rate, suggesting that the OSC’s design was destined from the start to underestimate the replicability of psychological science.Individually, Gilbert and King said, each of these problems would be enough to cast doubt on the conclusion that most people have drawn from this study, but taken together, they completely repudiate it. The flaws are described in a commentary to be published Friday in Science.Like most scientists who read the OSC’s article when it appeared, Gilbert, King, Pettigrew, and Wilson were shocked and chagrined. But when they began to scrutinize the methods and reanalyze the raw data, they immediately noticed problems, which started with how the replicators had selected the 100 original studies.“If you want to estimate a parameter of a population,” said King, “then you either have to randomly sample from that population or make statistical corrections for the fact that you didn’t. The OSC did neither.”‘Arbitrary list of sampling rules’“What they did,” added Gilbert, “is create an idiosyncratic, arbitrary list of sampling rules that excluded the majority of psychology’s subfields from the sample, that excluded entire classes of studies whose methods are probably among the best in science from the sample, and so on. Then they proceeded to violate all of their own rules.“Worse yet, they actually allowed some replicators to have a choice about which studies they would try to replicate. If they had used these same methods to sample people instead of studies, no reputable scientific journal would have published their findings. So the first thing we realized was that no matter what they found — good news or bad news — they never had any chance of estimating the reproducibility of psychological science, which is what the very title of their paper claims they did.”Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology Daniel Gilbert: “What they did is create an idiosyncratic, arbitrary list of sampling rules that excluded the majority of psychology’s subfields from the sample, that excluded entire classes of studies whose methods are probably among the best in science from the sample, and so on. Then they proceeded to violate all of their own rules.” File photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“And that was just the beginning,” King said. “If you are going to replicate 100 studies, some will fail by chance alone. That’s basic sampling theory. So you have to use statistics to estimate how many of the studies are expected to fail by chance alone because otherwise the number that actually do fail is meaningless.”According to King, the OSC did this, but made a critical error.“When they did their calculations, they failed to consider the fact that their replication studies were not just new samples from the same population. They were often quite different from the originals in many ways, and those differences are a source of statistical error. So we did the calculation the right way and then applied it to their data. And guess what? The number of failures they observed was just about what you should expect to observe by chance alone — even if all 100 of the original findings were true. The failure of the replication studies to match the original studies was a failure of the replications, not of the originals.”Gilbert noted that most people assume that a replication is a “replica”’ of the original study.“Readers surely assumed that if a group of scientists did 100 replications, then they must have used the same methods to study the same populations. In this case, that assumption would be quite wrong. Replications always vary from originals in minor ways, of course. But if you read the reports carefully, as we did, you discover that many of the replication studies differed in truly astounding ways — ways that make it hard to understand how they could even be called replications.”As an example, Gilbert described an original study that involved showing white students at Stanford University a video of four other Stanford students discussing admissions policies at their university. Three of those talking were white and one was black. During the discussion, a white student made offensive comments about affirmative action, and the researchers found that the observers looked significantly longer at the black student when they believed he could hear other comments than when they believed he could not.“So how did they do the replication? With students at the University of Amsterdam!” Gilbert said. “They had Dutch students watch a video of Stanford students, speaking in English, about affirmative action policies at a university more than 5,000 miles away.”In other words, unlike the participants in the original study, participants in the replication study watched students at a foreign university speaking in a foreign language about an issue of no relevance to them.But according to Gilbert, that was not the most troubling part of the methodology.Gilbert: ‘No one involved in this study was trying to deceive anyone. They just made mistakes, as scientists sometimes do.’“If you dive deep into the data, you discover something else,” Gilbert said. “The replicators realized that doing this study in the Netherlands might have been a problem, so they wisely decided to run another version of it in the U.S. And when they did, they basically replicated the original result. And yet, when the OSC estimated the reproducibility of psychological science, they excluded the successful replication and included only the one from the University of Amsterdam that failed. So the public hears that ‘Yet another psychology study doesn’t replicate’ instead of ‘Yet another psychology study replicates just fine if you do it right, and not if you do it wrong,’ which isn’t a very exciting headline. Some of the replications were quite faithful to the originals, but anyone who carefully reads all the replication reports will find many more examples like this one.”‘They introduce additional error’“These infidelities were a problem for another reason,” King added, “namely, that they introduce additional error into the data set. That error can be calculated, and when we do, it turns out that the number of replication studies that actually failed is about what we should expect if every single one of the original findings had been true. Now, one could argue about how best to make this calculation, but the fact is that OSC didn’t make it at all. They simply ignored this potent source of error, and that caused them to draw the wrong conclusions from their data. That doesn’t mean that all 100 studies were true, of course, but it does mean that this article provides no evidence to the contrary.”“So we now know that the infidelities created statistical noise,” said Gilbert, “but was that all they did? Or were the infidelities of a certain kind? In other words, did they just tend to change the original result, or did they tend to change it in a particular way?”“To find out,” said King, “we needed a measure of how faithful each of the 100 replications was. Luckily, the OSC supplied it.”Before each replication began, the OSC asked the original authors to examine the planned replication study and say whether they would endorse it as a faithful replication of their work, and about 70 percent did so.“We used this as a rough index of fidelity, and when we did, we discovered something important: The low-fidelity replications were an astonishing four times more likely to fail,” King said. “What that suggests is that the infidelities did not just create random statistical noise — they actually biased the studies toward failure.”In their “technical comment,” Gilbert, King, Pettigrew, and Wilson also note that the OSC used a “low-powered” design. They replicated each of the 100 studies once, using roughly the number of subjects used in the original studies. But according to King, this method artificially depresses the replication rate.“To show how this happens, we took another published article that had examined the replicability of a group of classic psychology studies,” said King. “The authors of that paper had used a very high-powered design — they replicated each study with more than 30 times the original number of participants — and that high-powered design produced a very high replication rate. So we asked a simple question: What would have happened if these authors had used the low-powered design that was used by the OSC? The answer is that the replication rate would have been even lower than the replication rate found by the OSC.”Despite uncovering serious problems with the landmark study, Gilbert and King emphasized that their critique does not suggest wrongdoing and is simply part of the normal process of scientific inquiry.“Let’s be clear, Gilbert said. “No one involved in this study was trying to deceive anyone. They just made mistakes, as scientists sometimes do. Many of the OSC members are our friends, and the corresponding author, Brian Nosek, is actually a good friend who was both forthcoming and helpful to us as we wrote our critique. In fact, Brian is the one who suggested one of the methods we used for correcting the OSC’s error calculations. So this is not a personal attack, this is a scientific critique.“We all care about the same things: doing science well and finding out what’s true. We were glad to see that in their response to our comment, the OSC quibbled about a number of minor issues but conceded the major one, which is that their paper does not provide evidence for the pessimistic conclusions that most people have drawn from it.”“I think the big takeaway point here is that meta-science must obey the rules of science,” King said. “All the rules about sampling and calculating error and keeping experimenters blind to the hypothesis — all of those rules must apply whether you are studying people or studying the replicability of a science. Meta-science does not get a pass. It is not exempt. And those doing meta-science are not above the fray. They are part of the scientific process. If you violate the basic rules of science, you get the wrong answer, and that’s what happened here.”“This [OSC] paper has had extraordinary impact,” Gilbert said. “It was Science magazine’s No. 3 ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ across all fields of science. It led to changes in policy at many scientific journals, changes in priorities at funding agencies, and it seriously undermined public perceptions of psychology. So it is not enough now, in the sober light of retrospect, to say that mistakes were made. These mistakes had very serious repercussions. We hope the OSC will now work as hard to correct the public misperceptions of their findings as they did to produce the findings themselves.”The OSC’s reply to “technical comments” by Gilbert and others, and Gilbert and others’ response to that reply, can be found here.last_img read more

What it takes to make the Harvard choir

first_imgHarvard University is built, in part, on long-standing traditions that inhabit nearly every corner of the institution. The Harvard University Choir is one of them. For the past 189 years, the student choir has provided the musical backdrop to services at the Memorial Church.This video spans the 2016 fall term, following choirmaster Edward Elwyn Jones and his staff as they sort through the procession of talented students auditioning for 16 open parts in the 50-member choir.The Chorus Line The 107th Annual Christmas Carol Services will be held on Dec. 11 and Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish of St. Paul in Harvard Square, 29 Mount Auburn St. (The Memorial Church building is currently undergoing renovation.) Admission is free; an offering for charity is collected. <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sACeN-pHi7Q” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/sACeN-pHi7Q/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a>last_img read more

Prison education at Harvard

first_img“The first time I visited Norfolk prison was in 2007, on behalf of [Harvard Law School Professor] Charles Ogletree, who had been invited by some of the incarcerated men to come in and teach. People who live and work in prisons know that education changes culture, reduces institutional violence, and interrupts intergenerational cycles of incarceration. I often think of the game we teach our children: musical chairs. We are teaching scarcity and competition. There are not enough resources for everyone to enjoy. Well, there really are enough. In fact, you can see the abundance of chairs piled in the corner of the room. You just can’t have access to them.”Claudine Gay, dean of social science, last year launched the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Inequality in America Initiative, which is co-sponsoring the conference. She said she welcomes the “groundbreaking” conference.“The carceral state is deeply implicated in rising inequality,” she said.Felber, who founded Liberation Literacy with community members and incarcerated students at Columbia River Correctional Institution in Oregon in 2016, said these kinds of programs are equally beneficial to both groups.“It’s so valuable for everyone to work through that dynamic. It’s not like it’s not messy, but there are all kinds of ways that learning happens that it doesn’t in a traditional classroom. Here it’s often intergenerational. Liberation Literacy students are ages 18 to 60. We had debates all the time on prison abolition, and those conversations sharpen everyone’s analysis. We do peer editing and film nights. We publish a newsletter of co-authored pieces. Everyone’s getting something really important out of it.”Sonya Karabel, a Harvard junior studying social studies and African and African American Studies, said helping plan the conference makes her “excited to be part of something that has a real chance of making a real change.“Sometimes it feels like student activism is symbolic and broad, but this is something concrete,” said Karabel, who serves on the board of the student-run Harvard Organization for Prison Education and Reform (HOPE), which tutors in local correctional facilities. “I came to College knowing this was what I wanted to do. It’s the ultimate example of wanting a diverse community of learners on this campus. You can come face-to-face with people you learn about in the abstract and see they are people as smart as us who have not had all the life chances we’ve had.”The three-day conference is also co-sponsored by the Mahindra Humanities Center’s Mellon Seminar on Violence and Non-Violence and the Hutchins Center for African & African American Studies, and will culminate with a recorded debate between the Norfolk Prison Debating Society and the Harvard College Debating Union.Harvard’s involvement with prisons dates back to 1833, when Divinity School students tutored prisoners at Charlestown State Prison in Boston. An alumnus named Howard Belding Gill, 1913, M.B.A. 1914, designed Norfolk Prison to look like a college campus in order to foster a sense of community. HOPE, which was founded by the Phillips Brooks House Association in the 1950s, tutors men, women, and juveniles at minimum- and medium-security facilities every week, and awards scholarships for college and post-college degree classes.Hinton said some of what “Beyond the Gates” proposes “is a rich part of Harvard’s history” and matches up well with the pioneering work that’s been done at Norfolk and Framingham.“What Norfolk looked like in the 1920s through the 1950s is a model, really. The prison had a jazz orchestra, a newspaper. Framingham as well — there was a sewing club, and the women put on plays. These were meaningful activities to do,” she said.Hinton visited one of Liberation Literacy’s first meetings to discuss her book “From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime,” and has supported the group ever since. Her passion for the conference is both academic and personal.“Historians were really late to the study of mass incarceration, and I had to convince some people why the issue of crime control is an important historical question. I came to this topic, in part, based on my own experience, my family, and visiting people who were incarcerated,” she said. “I was born in the crack era and saw how unemployment and poverty led some members of my family to drug abuse and incarceration. I witnessed that cycle firsthand, and its impact on generations of Hintons.”Stern, who has been a student or teacher in prisons for more than two decades, sees the conference as an opportunity to catalyze sustained action that students are eager to join.She said she and the Rev. Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and professor of religion and society, called an early morning meeting in the basement of Memorial Church during exam week in the winter of 2014.“We were working to discern student interest in prison studies. More than 50 people came from across the University: HBS, FAS, HMS, HLS, GSD, HGSE, HDS, and HSPH. It is clear that there is student hunger to make connections about prisons and justice — to be part of education that truly meets the goals of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.” Harvard is hosting a conference on prison education, bringing to campus for the first time formerly incarcerated students and activists to discuss the University’s long relationship with correctional facilities.“Beyond The Gates: The Past and Future of Prison Education at Harvard,” which begins Monday, will also convene a capstone event chaired by Danielle Allen, the James Bryant Conant University Professor and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, featuring Michelle Jones of New York University and the Indiana Women’s Prison Higher Education Program and Kaia Stern, co-founder of the Harvard Prison Studies Project.As part of the conference, a documentary titled “The Past and Future of Prison Education at Harvard,” which traces the University’s connections to prison education, will premiere Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in Sanders Theatre. (Admission is free, and tickets are available in person and online through the Harvard University box office.)“Education is a basic human right that is, all too often, systematically denied to people in prisons across the country. We have an opportunity for Harvard in its mission to train students to be 21st-century leaders who engage practical learning that makes a difference in the world. Prison is a place that embodies the nexus of race, class, and gender,” said Stern, who organized the conference with Elizabeth Hinton, assistant professor of history and of African and African American Studies, and Garrett Felber, a visiting scholar at the Charles Warren Center.“By creating opportunities for Harvard students to learn with and from students in prison, we demonstrate a commitment to transformative education, education that is rigorous and reckons with questions of justice and equity,” Stern said.Stern has been working to bring students from Harvard into the Norfolk and Framingham correctional facilities, which respectively house men and women, to learn alongside students from Boston University’s Prison Education Program since 2008, when she co-founded the Prison Studies Project with Bruce Western, formerly a Harvard professor of sociology. Now housed at the Warren Center, the project created the first nationwide directory of higher education programs in U.S. prisons and received a Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching grant in 2012. The last Harvard class taught in the prison was in 2013.Stern hopes the conference will formalize efforts to reintroduce and sustain integrated classrooms in local prisons as part of a curriculum for college credit, which, she believes, is an ingredient to reduce mass incarceration. “Education is a basic human right that is, all too often, systematically denied to people in prisons across the country.” — Kaia Sternlast_img read more

Our endless fascination with pi

first_imgFor centuries, pi — the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — has fascinated mathematicians and scientists. The number, which is infinite but never falls into a repeating pattern, is used in formulae throughout the sciences. For more perspective on the significance and fascination with the number, for Pi Day (3.14) the Gazette spoke with Jacob Barandes, a lecturer and director of graduate studies for physics.Q&AJacob BarandesGAZETTE: Why do you think pi has fascinated people for so long?BARANDES: People have needed to calculate distances around circles and the areas of circles for a very long time, so the concept of pi has been around for millennia. But pi kept thwarting early efforts to pin numbers down to simple cases.Many people know that pi isn’t a rational number, meaning that it can’t be expressed as a whole number divided by another whole number. But pi is also a transcendental number, meaning that it isn’t the square root of a rational number, or even the solution to anything like a simple equation involving x’s and x-squareds and x-cubes. So pi is the most familiar and concrete example of what’s known as a transcendental irrational number, and today we know that transcendental irrational numbers are actually vastly more common than rational numbers.When expressed as a decimal expansion, pi never repeats. All kinds of patterns show up in its decimal representation, so it looks random, but obviously we can predict as many of its digits as we want given enough computing power and time, so it’s also deterministic. “It’s remarkable that something so close to us that’s been with us for so long continues to offer up so many wonderful mysteries.” Making math more Lego-like Solving the problem of the calculus whiz Harvard lecturer helps provide research-backed answer on authorship of Beatles classic Early efforts to calculate pi with increasing levels of accuracy presaged advanced developments in mathematics like limits and calculus, and pi also started showing up in lots of examples far beyond its humble origins, from higher-dimensional geometry to number theory to astronomy to quantum mechanics. It’s remarkable that something so close to us that’s been with us for so long continues to offer up so many wonderful mysteries.GAZETTE: There is a theory that pi contains every possible number sequence, and if that’s the case, it could — in theory — encode every story that’s ever written, or ever will be written. This makes the number feel almost cosmic in its dimensions.BARANDES: There’s an old idea going back at least to the fictional “Library of Babel” described by Jorge Luis Borges in the 1940s about an imaginary infinite library containing every possible book that could ever be written, organized systematically so that as you might imagine moving from one room to the next, you could eventually obtain whatever book you want, down to the last letter. If you eventually arrive at the book you’ve been seeking, have you discovered it, or have you invented it?It’s not known for sure whether the decimal representation of pi contains every conceivable pattern of digits that one could imagine, but many mathematicians think that it might be true.We can encode any letter or punctuation mark in terms of numerical digits, so this would mean that pi is essentially that Library of Babel. Every name, every story, every aspect of anyone’s life — the entire history of every possible universe — all of it would be stored somewhere in the infinite list of digits in the decimal representation of pi.Of course, pi wouldn’t be unique in potentially having this feature — it could be true of infinitely many other irrational numbers as well. But it does make one wonder about what breathes life into the particular universe which we inhabit, when infinitely many other universes are in principle encoded in a specific number like pi. That’s certainly a philosophical question if I’ve ever heard one. You say John, I say Paul. But what does stylometry say? 3-D picture-language has far-reaching potential, including in physics Related Researchers sought answers on college success in study of more than 6,000 freshmenlast_img read more

At the Harvard Ed Portal’s Mural Club, ingenuity first

first_img A season for exploration Free Ed Portal series keeps young students thinking, engaged, and curious When Allston-Brighton students joined the Harvard Ed Portal’s Mural Club: Street Art & Community earlier this spring, they hoped to create a public mural to represent them and their community. The students began the semester in person but quickly had to transition to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic — but that didn’t stop them from creating their own works of art.In past sessions of the Mural Club, Allston-Brighton students in grades six through eight spent eight weeks working with two instructors: a Boston artist and educator and an intern from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Together, they created public murals for their local communities.This year, students instead produced individual works of art with virtual guidance from their instructors, local artist Chanel Thervil and Harvard undergraduate Gabi Maduro Salvarrey. Although the club functioned differently than in the past, students said it was still exciting to explore online and produce their own work. “My most memorable moment was when we made stencils and used them to paint. It was the first time I had done this!” — Sami Kayi, sixth-grader Allston-Brighton welcomes programs in visual arts, ceramics, and more Summer explorers A dream realized, and paid forward NextMaduro Salvarrey said the online transition was tough due to the collaborative nature of Mural Club, so together she and Thervil focused on adapting elements of murals to individual works of art and used student input and feedback to help adjust the program.“This club was great for me and for the students, as it provided an artistic outlet as well as a community during this difficult transition,” she said. “Even though the initial goals of the club may not have come to fruition entirely, I believe our adjustments were exactly what the kids needed at this time.”Thervil said that seeing how many people have been exploring baking and other hands-on activities during quarantine gave her the sense that people are craving ways to stay busy.“For me, art has always been my way of processing things that feel difficult to talk about,” said Thervil. “We also know that art has many beneficial effects on mood. It felt great to provide a small window each week that let folks press pause on their anxieties and dive into learning about various artists and techniques to fuel a creative outlet.”Thervil added that it’s important to keep students engaged when learning virtually.“A big element of my pedagogy as an educator hinges on the fact that having multiple entry points to a topic or skill is a concrete way to keep folks engaged,” she said. “From session to session there was a blend of icebreakers, videos, pictures, discussion, and draw-as-a-response activities used to support the skills we were building.” Maduro Salvarrey said despite the changes to their teaching model, she greatly enjoyed helping lead the program, as it was her first time co-moderating a club through the Ed Portal mentorship program.“It was a very fulfilling experience overall and I would recommend it to other mentors as an opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge from an expert from the community,” she said. “I found it very valuable to work with Chanel this semester, because I learned her approach to structuring curricula while also learning about art and how to teach art.”Creating murals in particular helps develop compromise and collaboration among students, Thervil said.“As an individual you have to accept discomfort, listen to collaborators, and come up with a design or solution that honors everyone’s presence and still completes the goal,” said Thervil. “I would hope that runs parallel to experiences that students and their families can apply to any other facet of life.”Maduro Salvarrey added that it was exciting to see the students’ progress through the course of the program.“I saw a lot of students grow and become more confident in showing off their work and sharing how they genuinely felt, which was great to see,” she said. Using art supplies the Ed Portal shipped to them, students produced colorful portraits, cartoon characters, and nature scenes that they incorporated into their final projects.“My most memorable moment was when we made stencils and used them to paint. It was the first time I had done this!” said sixth-grader Sami. Joe, who’s in the eighth grade, said he enjoyed exploring abstract art.  Sammy, who’s also in the sixth grade, said, “When we went on field trips, it was really great to see all of the beautiful murals, and how creative the artists were.”Thervil said managing the remote transition was a group effort, with help from Ed Portal staff brainstorming ideas and troubleshooting technical experiments.“Since physically creating a mural was the initial focal point that I created the curriculum around, quarantine meant that I had to go back to the drawing board,” said Thervil. “There was a lot of thinking deeply about student interests, access to materials at home, art-making that could translate despite the digital divide, and realistic acceptance of what folks would have the mental and emotional capacity to focus on given the impact of COVID-19 and quarantine on everyone’s health and well-being.”Previous Harvard Ed Portal program offers fun, skill-building activities for local students In giving back to Ed Portal, Harvard intern now sows what he reaped Related Creative momentum at the Ed Portallast_img read more

How plants adapt to climate change

first_img Related This year’s dramatically fluctuating temperature cycles from seasonably cold days to atypically warm stretches and back again has affected the life cycles of many species, including plants. At the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, two scientists are examining how maple trees (Acer) are responding to climate stress and what that means for the future of the genus. Jake Grossman and Al Kovaleski, Putnam Fellows at the Arboretum, are modeling the evolution of the maples located in the Arboretum’s living collections, examining their 60 million-year journey from their origins in East Asia to current global distribution. By learning how the trees withstand low temperature stress in their tissues and respond to warm spells when they are dormant — called “cold hardiness” — they can help predict outcomes of climate change for maples, and other trees in Northern Hemisphere forests, and potentially even crops and agriculture.  We asked the researchers what they are learning about how plants adapt and evolve to climate change and what it means for New England and beyond.Q&AJake Grossman and Al KovaleskiGazette: Does the rate of climate change impact a species’ ability to evolve and adapt to weather conditions?Grossman: Climate change does two things to weather. First, over time, average weather conditions change. The most obvious example of this is that our climate is getting warmer. So, every year, the average low temps and, to a lesser extent, the average high temps get higher. Second, climate change increases variability in weather. So, some years feature multiple extreme snow or rainstorms and flooding whereas other years feature droughts. This is already happening, but humans can still control how fast it happens, and that matters to plant evolution.One way of thinking about this is in terms of “generation time” — the years from when a maple seedling sprouts to when it produces its own first daughter seed. This probably ranges from 10 to 30 years for maples. Maples have been evolving independently as a genus for about two million generations. This means that if you traced back any given maple tree two million generations, you would hit the grandmother of all maples. During that time, the climate changed a lot, going from periods in which there was no ice anywhere on earth through several ice ages, and maples evolved along with it. By 2200, in about seven maple generations, the climate could change so much that it resembles a past extremely hot climate that the world hasn’t seen for roughly 1.5 million maple generations, or 50 million years. Maples will probably be able to survive somewhere on Earth in this new, hot climate, but they absolutely will not be able to evolve to be adapted to it in seven generations. For reference, our hominid ancestors began using tools only 1.8 million years — or 60,000 maple generations ago, so this future climate scenario will also be totally unlike anything we have ever seen.,Kovaleski: Another thing we have to consider when studying the adaptation of plants is their plasticity, how plants can mold themselves to the conditions they are exposed to. As Jake mentioned, there is year-to-year variation in weather, and plants respond slightly differently each year to accommodate this variation. This means that the same plant adapts to a range of climates. This is important to acknowledge because a lot of times we’ll see that the climate is changing, but plants still seem to be adapted to it. However, they’re being continuously pushed toward their limit now — even if we can’t perceive it. The early onset of spring this year can leave plants at an extreme risk of great damage should a late freeze occur.Gazette: Is there a way to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on plants and crops?Grossman: The best way to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on plants is through things like dramatically reducing emissions and creating policies to protect our environment in order to prevent further climate change. But given that we are already committed to considerable climate warming, we can manage our forests and farm fields, gardens and parks to be more resilient to the warmer temperatures and more erratic patterns of rain and snow that we will experience in the future. This could mean experimenting with planting more drought-tolerant species in New England with the expectation that our climate here will continue to get warmer and more drought-prone. Or it could include “assisted migration,” when we plant seeds or whole plants in areas that might not be ideal for them now, but where they might thrive in future climate scenarios.Kovaleski: For crops, we can consider crossing populations that are already well-adapted to different climates to generate a new population that is expected to be intermediate in its climatic adaptation. This is what plant breeders work on continuously for all crops: adapting them to emerging climate conditions, as well as pest resistance, nutritional quality, etc. Blueberries are perhaps the best example of a very successful story. What was done was crossing highbush blueberry plants with good fruit quality that are native to temperate climates with other species that are native to warmer climate regions in the southeastern US but didn’t have very good fruit. By doing this, breeders were able to combine the fruit quality with the adaptation to a warmer climate, thus generating what is now called the southern highbush blueberry.Gazette: How might the warmer winter temperatures we are experiencing now impact the production of New England maple syrup?Grossman: For ideal maple syrup production, trees need to experience cold nights and relatively warm days. This causes sap to move rapidly through a maple’s trunk, which creates opportunities for us to siphon it off. Often times, our warming climate manifests as an increase in daily low temperatures, rather than an increase in daily high temperatures, producing less extreme cold-warm cycles over a day. This might make sap less mobile, harming syrup production. On a larger level, climate change is projected to reduce sugar maple abundance in New England, which means fewer trees will be available to tap.,Gazette: The Arboretum has a diverse collection of maples — including rare and endangered species from around the world. What is the effect of this research on the Arboretum’s collection? What is the effect on United States forests?Grossman: Our research helps us understand more about the response of maples to what we might call climate stress — the environmental factors that challenge woody plants and that are likely to get even worse as our climate changes. Our findings will help the Arboretum’s managers decide which maples to seek out and plant — species that will be able to survive here in the future. They also will help staff keep the existing maples alive by, for instance, informing irrigation priorities. When we think about forests overall, maples are dominant trees in eastern deciduous forests and important sources of wood, syrup, and other things. Knowing how climate stress affects particular maples species will help foresters, conservationists, and other land managers to prioritize the planting, care, and harvest of natural forests, plantations, and urban woodlands.Freshly clipped red maple twigs.Gazette: Can maple species fail?Grossman: It is maybe best to think about failure in terms of individual trees, and the answer is yes. For instance, all trees have small tubes that extend all the way around their trunks, these are called xylem. Their purpose is to conduct water from the ground to the leaves at the top of the tree, and everywhere in between. During exceptionally warm conditions, if a particular tree’s soil becomes really dry, bubbles form in these tubes. When that happens to a particular xylem tube, it is unusable forever. If most or all of a tree’s xylem gets emptied out — or cavitated — the tree dies. Or with freezing, we could imagine that a particular maple tree has been exposed to warm weather for several weeks. It begins to send out new leaves and flowers because it has received signals that spring has arrived. If a really cold period moves in, this tender, actively growing material might freeze or get dried out. If so, the tree has now lost its investment in a whole cohort of leaves or flowers. If it is a small or already weak tree, it may have trouble replacing them and could starve to death in the coming year. Finally, if we want to think about the ultimate “failure” of a particular species, that would be something like extinction. This is certainly possible, although it often takes a long time for long-lived trees like maples. If humans are not overharvesting a species, it takes a long time for total climate-induced extinction to affect a long-lived woody species.Kovaleski: Adding to Jake’s example of freezing, which is more easily observed because you could see green tissues on the tree or plant, this can also happen within the buds of the plants before they’ve gone through any visible changes. If the temperatures drop below the cold hardiness level a certain plant has, the buds can be killed and they just won’t grow the following season, without a very clear sign — unless you are scientifically tracking the cold hardiness of things throughout the winter.Gazette: What does the broader impact of your research mean for scientists working on climate change mitigation around the world?Grossman: Our research helps demonstrate the consequences of climate change for temperate forests, urban trees, and forestry plantations. Hopefully, if people know more about what is likely to happen, they will be motivated to mitigate climate change. From an adaptation angle, our research can guide management of trees and forests in a rapidly changing climate. Fighting flora with fauna Panamanian field expeditions examine how species persevere in face of climate change When the trees become the teachercenter_img Boston high schoolers experience hands-on connection to climate change The Arnold Arboretum uses new research and a pretty moth to fight an invasive species Going where the diversity islast_img read more

More AMD Processors in OptiPlex 740 Desktops

first_imgA couple of weeks ago, Lionel cleared up questions around our commitment to AMD. Today, we’ve introduced new AMD processor technology in our OptiPlex 740 desktop. Here’s what customers can expect:We’re the first to deliver new processors from AMD including those with a “B” as part of the model name that identifies them as long lifecycle processors that bring 12-24 month longevity that is essential to our business customersWe will offer more energy-efficient AMD processors with “E” as part of the model name that can reduce energy consumption by 5-10 percentRAID 0 and RAID 1 support for performance or data backup hard drive configurationsCapability to support AMD Phenom performance processors in the futureAt the core of our OptiPlex desktop line of products is stability. Business customers want longevity so they don’t waste time on routine image management and spend it on innovation. It makes sense for us to offer the AMD processors, in addition to other features that provide more stability, such as ImageDirect service and ImageWatch. You’ll hear more from us on efforts to provide even more stability for our customers.Stay tuned. In the coming weeks, Dell customers in all regions will be able to choose AMD processors on the OptiPlex 740.last_img read more

Palestinian killed in confrontation in West Bank settlement

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says an unarmed Palestinian man was shot and killed in a West Bank settlement after he tried to break into a home and fought with a guard. The military referred to the incident as a “terror attack.” But a spokesman was unable to explain how it came to that conclusion, given that no weapons were found on the suspect or in his car. A Palestinian official identified the deceased as a 34-year-old married father from a nearby village. He did not have any information about what transpired. He said the man’s family owned land near the small Israeli settler outpost where the killing occurred.last_img read more

Students anticipate pep rally venue

first_imgAfter multiple pep rallies took place on Irish Green last year, some students say the door remains open for a change of venue.Student body president-elect Catherine Soler and vice president-elect Andrew Bell said they are operating on behalf of the student body to produce the best football weekend experience possible.“We’re working very hard to collaborate with the Athletic Department, the University and Game Day Operations to ensure a pep rally experience that is exciting for students and energizing for campus this fall,” Soler said.Soler said the venues for pep rallies next year have yet to be determined.“As soon as we have solid plans, we’ll let you know,” she said.Director of Game Day Operations Mike Seamon said in an e-mail to The Observer that plans for next year’s pep rallies have not been finalized. He said the Athletic Department and Football Program will begin to engage in discussions concerning venue choice with Soler and Bell soon.Student body president Grant Schmidt said he feels students generally do not support Irish Green as a location for pep rallies.“Last year it was evident that students were not going to attend the pep rallies at Irish Green,” he said.Schmidt said by not having strong student attendance, the integrity of the pep rally is being compromised.“We’re really losing a lot of tradition,” he said. “It’s one of our key football traditions that is being lost.”Schmidt said while students should be the focal attendees of the pep rallies, they are not demanding total control of the events.“There’s several groups you have to cater to, but the number one group should be student body,” he said. “We’re not saying it has to be student only, but it needs to get everyone fired up. It can’t be commercialized. It needs to be authentic.”Some students echoed Schmidt’s sentiments. Freshman Patty Walsh said Irish Green was not a conducive environment for student excitement.“I thought the pep rallies on Irish Green were disappointing because the student body makes the atmosphere strong,” she said. “The venue should be focused towards the students.”Sophomore Ellen Kozelka said the distance of the venue discouraged the more casual football fan from attending.“It’s hard enough to motivate myself to get to pep rallies in general, let alone drag myself all the way to Irish Green. I’d compromise if they were all on South Quad,” she said.Freshman Madison Hagen said the commercial atmosphere of the venue also detracted from the true purpose of the event.“It was like a carnival with all the tents, food and families,” she said. “It felt more like social entertainment than a tool to invigorate the student body.”Junior Ian Heraty said he felt the pep rallies on Irish Green lacked one of their most crucial elements — noise.“Pep rallies aren’t as loud on Irish Green,” he said.In order to help enact what seems to be the desire of the majority of students in terms of pep rally venue, Soler and Bell said they are planning to involve as many areas of student government as possible.“This is going to be an effort not just of our branch of student government, but also Hall President’s Council which has traditionally planned pep rallies,” Soler said.Bell also said no matter what happens, the duo hopes to host an event similar to the student-only pep rally that took place before the Michigan away game last year.“One of our main goals is to host a student-only sendoff pep rally,” he said. “We really feel this environment is exciting for students and players alike, and we hope to experience it again.”last_img read more

Petition opposes suit against HHS mandate

first_imgSeveral months after the University filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) mandate requiring religious organizations to provide contraceptive services as part of their minimum health insurance packages, the government is moving to have the case dismissed – and some Notre Dame students, staff and faculty are voicing a similar opinion. Over summer break, students began circulating a petition opposing the University’s religious liberty lawsuit. The letter originated as a personal letter written by graduate student Kathryn Pogin. More than 170 students, faculty and staff have signed the letter as of Aug. 23. Pogin said the letter was recently submitted to Faculty Senate to garner additional signatures. Jenkins responded July 27 with his own letter, according to Brown. The petition states though the University may believe it “will advance its Catholic mission” with the lawsuit, the signees believe “the philosophical and legal arguments strongly favor compliance with the law.” “Further, we believe Notre Dame would better serve its Catholic mission by focusing on improving campus services for families rather than embroiling itself in a legal challenge,” the letter states. In an Aug. 2 interview with The Observer, Pogin said the petition focuses on two additional issues with the lawsuit. In the case, the University argues the federal mandate is irreconcilable with the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other laws protecting religious freedom. “First of all, it’s not clear to us that the University couldn’t comply with the mandate without remaining within Catholic practice,” she said. “In addition, even if there is a genuine conflict with freedom of religion, which we’re not convinced there is, at least with respect to contraceptives, we think the legal argument favors compliance with the mandate.” The mandate is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform legislation, passed in 2010. The lawsuit, filed by the University in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana on May 21, names HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solid, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their respective departments as defendants, according to court documents. In an email to The Observer, University spokesman Dennis Brown said the case has been assigned. With the government moving to have the case dismissed, he said Notre Dame would respond in early September. “All of this is standard procedure,” he said. Notre Dame Law School professor Rick Garnett said his impression is the University is ultimately looking to “vindicate” its religious freedom rights in filing the lawsuit. Garnett said it is “noteworthy” Notre Dame challenged the mandate because the University does not oppose the overarching goals of the Affordable Care Act. “It would be highly implausible for anyone to suggest that the University is a ‘partisan’ actor, or is seeking to embarrass the President or the Obama administration,” he said. “That the University of Notre Dame, which has worked to maintain respectful dialogue with the President and the administration, was put in the position of having to bring a lawsuit in order to protect its religious-freedom rights almost certainly captured many citizens’ attention,” he said. Garnett said the University’s complaint presents nine different causes of action, some challenging the mandate on technical grounds, while others focus on “defects” in the process of forming the mandate. Others highlight inconsistencies with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. “And, in Count 1, the University contends that the mandate violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which provides – in layperson’s terms – that the federal government has to show that burdens it imposes on religious exercise are necessary in order to accomplish a ‘compelling governmental interest,’” he said. “Put differently, the Act provides that the government should, to the extent possible, find ways to accommodate religious believers, even when it is legislating to achieve important goals.” Garnett said he believes Notre Dame’s case is strong. Focusing on the RFRA portion of the case, he said the mandate saddles the University with a responsibility that contradicts its “religiously-motivated aspiration” to be a preeminent Catholic research university. “And, the burden is unnecessary, because it would be possible for the government to achieve its goal of expanding insurance coverage for ‘preventive services’ while accommodating religious institutions like the University,” he said. There is no specific timeline for the case, Garnett said, and similar cases are pending across the country in different stages. “In theory, the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court,” he said. “It could also, however, end much earlier in the process, depending on whether or not the administration revises the rule, or on the outcome of the November election. Garnett said it is standard procedure for the University to have named Sebelius, Solid and Geithner as defendants in the lawsuit because it is naming them in their official capacities, not as private citizens. News Editor Kristen Durbin contributed to this report.last_img read more

Former dean shares thoughts

first_imgMark Roche, former dean of the College of Arts and Letters, praised the liberal arts’ provocation of important inquiries as part of the Professors for Lunch series Friday afternoon. “Students come to college with great questions, and college awakens in them other great questions,” Roche said. “What is most essential to human flourishing? How did the world begin? Why are there wars? Few of these questions have practical value in the truncated way we define practical value, but they matter to students to understand the world as it is and the world as it should be.” Roche, a professor of German language and literature and a concurrent professor of philosophy, spoke to students and faculty over a casual lunch in the Oak Room of South Dining Hall. College offers a unique opportunity to engage higher-order questions about the human condition, Roche said. “You’ll be engaged in a lot of busyness in the rest of your life,” he said. “[College is] an opportunity to withdraw from your world and reflect on the past as much as the present, on other nations as much as your own.” Roche said knowledge pursued for its utility is only useful insofar as it serves an end, but knowledge sought for its own sake fulfills a greater purpose. “Knowledge is the human capacity that most resembles divine, and therefore, when we engage knowledge as a good in itself, we are engaging in a religious activity,” he said. Liberal arts courses help students determine their vocations by teaching them to consider how they can use their capacities and passions to improve the world, Roche said. “A liberal arts education, therefore, helps me discover who I am and how I ought to live my life,” he said. Roche said liberal arts classes enable students to develop communication and critical thinking skills that will be useful in their careers. They provide tools for adapting to new professional fields and eventually working in jobs that do not yet exist. A liberal arts background also helps people communicate well with each other, Roche said. “To encourage effectively the participation of others, to draw them out in the discussion, to challenge the view of interlocutors without irritating them to such a degree that they turn away from the discussion, is to enact a kind of diplomacy,” Roche said. Roche advised students not to choose majors based on employment prospects but rather on what will most fulfill them. “If you get a Notre Dame degree, you’re going to get a job, so it doesn’t matter all that much what you major in,” he said. “But you have to worry in this sense: If you choose business, are you getting enough liberal arts classes to really flourish in the long term?”last_img read more

Students in Rome celebrate Francis

first_imgWhen Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped onto the Vatican balcony to reveal himself as the new leader of the Catholic Church on Wednesday, several Saint Mary’s students waiting in St. Peter’s Square witnessed this historic moment. Sophomores Nikki Charter, Lauren Osmanski and Tori Wilbraham are participating in the College’s study abroad semester in Rome. Charter, a communications major, said seeing the result of the conclave’s decision has been the highlight of her semester.   “This entire semester has been an absolute whirlwind,” Charter said. “The conclave has been the best part of my experience so far. Words cannot describe what it felt like to be in [St. Peter’s] Square and in the midst of it all.” The three students said the excitement began when they attended the opening conclave Mass on March 12th.  Wilbraham, a religious studies major, said the Mass’s atmosphere felt electric.   “Knowing I was in the room with the future pope at that Mass was very exciting,” Wilbraham said. “You could really start to feel an atmosphere of uncertainty and excitement after the Mass finished and the cardinals proceeded to start the conclave.” After the Mass, the students said they waited anxiously to see white smoke billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, an indication that the conclave had made a decision. Osmamski, a business major, said their thoughts and prayers remained focused on the conclave.   “We, like the rest of the world, had to wait to see the smoke,” Osmanski said. “We waited and waited. We prayed the Holy Spirit would guide the conclave and white smoke would appear soon. “ While waiting, Charter and other members of the abroad program draped United States and Saint Mary’s flags around their arms. “I was proud to represent my country and my school,” Charter said. “Words cannot express how much I love Saint Mary’s College. This school empowers young Catholic women. Saint Mary’s gave me the opportunity to be here for this experience and I could not be more thankful.” Osmanski said when the smoke appeared around 8 p.m. local time, everyone in the crowd cheered, “It’s white. It’s white.” “We sprinted forward when we saw the white smoke,” Osmanski said. “We wanted to be as close as we could to the balcony so we could see the new pope emerge.” Charter said the crowd was “buzzing” and attempting to guess who would be the next leader of the Catholic Church. “When the cardinals first came out, the crowd was cheering with excitement and then almost [immediately] the crowd fell silent,” Charter said. “Thousands of people were in that square and every single person was silent, waiting for one man to appear on the balcony. At that moment, waiting for the new pope to emerge, you could really feel the power of prayer and faith.” Wilbraham said when Pope Francis first walked onto the balcony, her heart stopped and she “took a deep breath in awe” of this man. “It was as if no one could say anything for a couple of seconds,” Wilbraham said. “Everyone was in true awe of this man. I thought to myself, ‘This is real. This is happening. The seat is no longer empty. We have a father of our church again.’” Osmanski said she first did not understand the official announcement introducing the new pope to the world. “Around us people were yelling ‘Argentina. Argentina’,” Osmanski said. “That is when we made the connection and were more than happy our new pope is non-European.” Osmanski said everyone around her was excited about “this breath of fresh air.” “Because Pope Francis is from Argentina, he will bring a new perspective to the table,” Osmanski said. “This is important and sculpts a more inclusive community. Catholic roots run deeper than Europe and I truly believe this will benefit the Church in the greatest way possible.” Charter said Pope Francis seems like a humble man who will take the Church in a new direction. “He will lead the Church into a new era,” Charter said. “When he stood on that balcony he showed the world that the Catholic community is still strong.” Wilbraham said the entire experience has reminded her of the international Catholic community. “This whole experience makes you realize that this Church is more than you and your own personal faith,” Wilbraham said. “It is even more than the people of your parish.” All three students said their experiences in Rome have started them on a spiritual journey of a lifetime. “None of us thought it would be such a spiritual journey,” Wilbraham said. “The growth in my faith is the biggest thing I will take with me when I leave to return to the States. I was able to witness historic events with the company of some of my best friends. Everyone on this program was able to witness the start of a new era in the Church – and for that I am very thankful.”last_img read more

Lecture explores role of Irish literature in world

first_imgPh.D. candidate Kara Donnelly discussed the role of Irish literature relative to other literary genres in the lecture “Contemporary Irish Novels and World Literature in English: The Case of the Irish Booker” at Flanner Hall on Friday.Donnelly said she wanted to examine specifically the influence of Irish literature on the world stage.“Today I’d like to ask the following question: ‘What is the relationship between Irish literature and world literature in English?’” she said. “This question isn’t simply, ‘Can I get a job in one of those fields?’… Rather, my question is when an Irish author is active in international literary culture, how is she perceived and classified?”Donnelly said addressing this question requires an awareness of the role of Irish literature in commonwealth and post-colonial literature, both of which were intrinsic to the development of world literary studies.Irish literature was an antecedent and “role model” to commonwealth literature, which in turn was a “precursor to post-colonial studies and then to global Anglophone literary studies,” Donnelly said.Many of the anti-imperial and anti-establishment themes of modern Irish literature were embodied in commonwealth and post-colonial literary studies, and Irish literature contributed to the development of world literature as a whole, she said.“Indeed, the Irish authors were part of the internationalizing trend,” she said.Donnelly said part of the international success of Irish literature can be attributed to the Man Booker Prize, an award which “aims to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland,” according to the prize’s website.The significant number of Irish novelists who have won the award have enhanced the presence of Irish literature in international circles, a demonstration of “the globalization of the publishing industry,” Donnelly said.Irish literature is fundamentally distinct from commonwealth and post-colonial literature, as well as the broader category of world literature in English, however, Donnelly said.“In the discourses about world literature, Irish literature appears both too early and too late,” she said.  “It’s too early in the sense that the oppositional models of world literature look to Irish modernism as antecedents for their anti-imperial politics and aesthetics. It’s too late in the sense that, on the international stage, it loses its national specificity in such a way that it comes across as unmarked.”Tags: Contemporary Irish Novels, Irish literature, Kara Donnelly, literature, The Case of the Irish Bookerlast_img read more

Fr. Theodore Hesburgh 1917-2015

first_imgUniversity President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh died 11:30 p.m. Thursday night at the age of 97, a University spokesperson confirmed.Observer File Photo Hesburgh served as president of the University for 35 years from 1952 through 1987.University President Fr. John Jenkins said plans were underway to commemorate Hesburgh’s life.“The Congregation of the Holy Cross and the University will celebrate Fr. Ted’s life in coming days with visitation hours and a Funeral Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a procession to Holy Cross Community Cemetery afterward, followed by a memorial commemoration at the Purcell Pavilion.  Details will be forthcoming,” he said in an email to students, faculty and staff. “Notre Dame lost a piece of its heart today, but Fr. Ted’s spirit lives on at Notre Dame and among the millions of lives he touched around the world.“He is now with Our Lady, whose university he served so well, and with the Lord.”According to a University press release, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Fr. Ted Hesburgh, C.S.C., Fund for Excellence in Catholic Education at Notre Dame or to the Congregation of Holy Cross.“Fr. Ted had long prayed that God would allow him to say Mass on his last day on earth. Fr. Hesburgh, C.S.C., did just that at 11:30 a.m. Thursday among his brothers in Holy Cross,” Fr. Paul Doyle, rector of Dillon Hall, said in an email to the hall’s residents.last_img read more

Professors highlight details of travel ban

first_imgProfessors of political science Pat Pierce and Marc Belanger hosted an open forum Tuesday to discuss President Trump’s executive order on immigration that banned the entry into the U.S. of nationals from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya for 90 days. The forum’s goal was not to discuss the executive order in a manner of pros or cons, but rather to provide information on it as a whole, Pierce said.“What different sides in the debate have done is … emphasize part of the picture, but it’s important to put the whole thing together,” Pierce said.Pierce said the court tends to allow the president a little more freedom to decide what is in the nation’s best interest in cases regarding immigration and terrorism. “In terms of the ways that courts have handled these kinds of issues, they have often given presidents a great deal of discretion,” Pierce said. “Probably even greater because the president can claim to have information that they cannot make public that they can make the basis of that decision.”According to Pierce, the First Amendment provides another concern in the order, as the order is targeted at predominately Muslim countries.“This isn’t supposed to violate the First Amendment,” Pierce said. “We are not supposed to be making policies that establish a particular religion as the religion of the United States.”Pierce said this establishment of religion is “linked to the notion that this has been directed at Muslims,” which draws concern in regards to the secularity of the nation.“The Trump administration has attempted to argue that it is not at this point,” Pierce said.According to Pierce, the most persuasive argument in the court decision will depend on the particular judge.“Depending upon which judges are listening to this case, they may or may not take that seriously,” Pierce said. “Because there are at least a couple of things that he said during the course of the campaign that he was going to stop Muslims from entering the country.”Belanger said the executive order does not specify that there should be an exception made in the travel ban for Christians, but that many people believe it suggests that.“There’s another part in the executive order that seems to create a preference for Christian minorities from countries where they are a minority,” Belanger said. “It doesn’t talk about Christians, but it talks about religious minorities facing persecutions in countries where they are a minority.”Since the Trump issued the executive, many Americans have pointed to the six-month immigration ban under the Obama Administration. Belanger said the background to that ban is important to understand when comparing it to Trump’s order.“In 2011, it turned out that a couple of refugees’ fingerprints were found on some evidence of explosive devices that exploded in Iraq,” Belanger said. “Therefore, they had lied about their record.” In response to this, the process for immigration from Iraq froze for six months, and when it resumed it was slower than it had been previously, he said. This is different from the current executive order, according to Belanger. “What didn’t happen under President Obama’s was it did not suddenly change the status of green-card holders,” Belanger said. “That’s what created a lot of the problems in the airport. … People were coming back form these countries whose visa status when they left was fine, and suddenly their visa status was up in the air.”Belanger said there are often misunderstandings in terms of the process to attain refugee status, which needed to be clarified to understand the situation.“It’s worth just talking a little bit about the process for how refugees are screened right now, because it may just seem like you tell someone you’re a refugee and you get into the United States,” Belanger said.According to Belanger, the term refugee has a legal meaning, and people must go through not only the process set forth by the United Nations, but also of the country they wish to inhabit. This process includes proving that one wishes to leave the country they inhabit due to “well-founded fears of persecution” based on factors such as race, religious affiliation or sexual orientation, Belanger said.“‘Refugee’ is a term that has a meaning in international law,” Belanger said “It gives you a status in international law but it comes from being able to demonstrate a number of things.”Belanger said the debates surrounding the executive order will continue even if the president issues a new executive order in the near future.“They [the Trump administration] have continued to say that they’re going to continue to argue in court,” Belanger said. “They think the original executive order should be held up by the courts but … if they introduce a new one, it may make the whole thing moot.”Tags: Donald Trump, executive order, Immigration, president trumplast_img read more

The Snite Museum of Art, an essential part of campus

first_imgThe Snite Museum of Art sits in the middle of campus, surrounded by the Duncan Student Center, DeBartolo Hall and O’Shaughnessy Hall.Ann Knoll, associate director of the Snite Museum of Art, said the arts have long had a presence on campus and continue to benefit Notre Dame, which is emphasized by the Snite’s central location.The Snite saw its beginnings in 1874, when Fr. Sorin traveled to Rome and met Italian artist Luigi Gregori, then working as an art restorer at the Vatican. Fr. Sorin brought Gregori back to South Bend to decorate the interiors of the Main Building. At the time, Knoll said the Main Building had classrooms, student living quarters, a library and, thanks to Gregori and Fr. Sorin, a museum.As the University grew, artworks were housed in a number of places, Knoll said, until Notre Dame constructed its first building devoted solely to the arts, the O’Shaughnessy Gallery. Three years after its 1952 creation, the University expanded its art collection into yet another new building, the Mestrovic Sculpture Studio.Some 20 years later, in 1976, the Snite grew into what it is today with the help of Frederick B. Snite Sr.’s donation made in honor of his son, who died in 1954.“This very generous gift enabled the Snite Museum of Art to be opened to the public in November of 1980,” Knoll said. “The building links the O’Shaughnessy Galleries and the Mestrovic Sculpture Studio. So, it’s is really three different buildings built at different times to form the current Snite Museum.”The museum doesn’t end there, she said. The newest addition to the Snite, opened in 2012, is the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park, she said, which is now home to 12 sculptures. The University recently received a lead gift for another addition: the future Raclin Murphy Museum of Art.“Of course, we’re all excited for the next phase, which is the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame,” Knoll said. “We have been busy working with a New York architect and the University’s architect office to plan the new Raclin Murphy, which will be in the sculpture park.”The Snite’s presence on campus goes beyond a growing physical area, she said, as it also offers many activities for students such as monthly yoga sessions, trivia nights and MFA student exhibitions.“These activities are much more interactive than just, you know, reading about something in a book, or staring at it through a display case,” Knoll said. “We’re trying to offer things that are different on campus in terms of not only learning about art, but making art, such as self-screening a canvas bag or t-shirt.”While the Snite offers many activities for students on campus, students can also take the opportunity to look at the many types of artwork it showcases. Freshman Gabby Keller said she has already visited the Snite with friends to take a break from studies and look at some of the different art it has to offer.“Visiting the Snite is really interesting because it’s almost a break from normal campus — it lets me touch in on my creative side, which I don’t often get to use in calculus or chemistry,” Keller said. “I can go look at pictures or sculptures or photographs, and it’s even free.”The Snite tries to add to students’ educational experience, Knoll said, whether it be by exposing them to creativity or advancing their current classes, especially those in foreign languages. The museum can also be a resource for research materials, she said.“A lot of students come here, especially in the art [and] art history and design program, to do original research,” she said. “Bridget Hoyt, one of our two curators of education, manages to find objects in our collection that students can look at and relate to their curriculum.”Knoll said students should view the Snite as a place they can use both academically and recreationally.“The Snite is a different atmosphere than the library or just sitting in your dorm room,” Knoll said. “It’s a beautiful environment to learn and to study in. We are a place for students to take a moment to meditate, to relax, to use the artwork as inspiration. That’s not something you necessarily have in any other buildings on campus.”Tags: Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park, Raclin Murphy Museum of Art, Snite Museum of Artlast_img read more

Saint Mary’s begins search for 2021 commencement speaker, honorary degree recipients

first_imgThe office of Interim College President Nancy Nekvasil is beginning to plan for honors to be given at commencement for the class of 2021.In an email sent to the junior class Jan. 14, the Office of the President announced it is accepting nominations for a commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients for commencement 2021. The email included a link for students to submit their nominations, which are due Monday.Cristina Interiano | The Observer A direct connection to the College is not necessarily required in order for a person to be awarded an honorary degree.“Criteria for awarding an honorary degree include recognized intellectual and professional attainment, significant contributions to the enhancement of Saint Mary’s College, and/or contribution to other recognized organizations in the city, state or world,” the email said.Once the names of nominees have been collected, research is conducted by several organizations within the College, according to Michelle Egan, special assistant to the president.“Nominees are researched by the President’s office,” Egan said in an email. “A list is then sent to the College’s full academic leadership council for its membership to review.”Once this list has been generated and analyzed by the academic leadership council, a committee within the Board of Trustees is given the opportunity to weigh in.“Based on their feedback, the list of recommended candidates is then sent to the trusteeship committee of the Board of Trustees,” Egan said. “The trusteeship committee reviews the list and may add additional candidates.”Following the trusteeship committee’s review and potential additions, the matter is then passed on to the full Board of Trustees.“The Board of Trustees then approves candidates for honorary degrees during their April board meeting,” Egan said.Though nominees can begin from student suggestions and are then reviewed by these institutions, the final decision lies in the hands of one person.“The final selection of upcoming honorary degree recipients [and] commencement speaker is ultimately made by the president of the College.”Although the process for 2021 selection has begun, the commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients for 2020 have not yet been announced.“An announcement is traditionally made following the February Board of Trustees meeting,” Egan said.In 2019, the College presented commencement speaker Kelly Grier — a 1991 alumna — and Sister Maureen Grady — a senior lecturer of nursing science — with honorary degrees.The College awards a variety of honorary degrees, choosing them according to each recipient’s field.“Differing honorary degrees are conferred depending on the focus of the person’s profession [and] life work,” Egan said. “For instance, over the years, Saint Mary’s has awarded doctorates of letters, doctorates of humanities, doctorates of law, doctorates of fine arts … just to name a few.”According to a press release announcing the degrees Grier and Grady received, the College’s “highest honor” is an honorary doctor of humanities degree.“Saint Mary’s has honored so many impressive women and men (lay and religious) who have made significant contributions to our society and our world,” Egan said.Other recipients of honorary degrees from the College include fiction author Lois Lowry in 2010, former board of regents member Patricia George Decio in 1996 and Bruno P. Schlesinger, who established the department of humanistic studies at the College in 1994.Junior humanistic studies major Sarah Catherine Caldwell said she believes Schlesinger was particularly deserving of an honorary degree for his contributions to the College.“I think that he has changed so many Saint Mary’s women’s lives,” she said. “I come alive in my humanistic studies classes, and I have him to thank for that.”Junior Brynne Volpe said she didn’t know about Lowry’s honorary degree but is pleased to know a writer she admires so much received the award, especially as an English literature major.“Her work was a huge part of my childhood and was really formative for my love of reading,” Volpe said.As for the commencement speaker nominations for 2021, there are students with strong opinions about who should be chosen. Caldwell said she submitted a nomination and knows of several other students who named the same person.“Personally, I would like to have Greta Gerwig be our commencement speaker, specifically for her work in ‘Little Women,’” Caldwell said.The 2020 honorary degree recipients will be announced following the February Board of Trustees meeting.Tags: Commencement Speaker, department of humanistic studies, Honorary degreeslast_img read more

Broadcaster, ND alumnus Regis Philbin dies at 88

first_imgThis report was updated July 26 at 10:26 p.m.Media personality and Notre Dame alumnus Regis Philbin died of natural causes Friday at age 88, the family told People magazine.Philbin hosted a number of television shows including “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” which was later renamed “Live with Regis and Kelly.”During his career Philbin won six Daytime Emmy Awards and was nominated for 37. He was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2006.Philbin was born on Aug. 25, 1931, in New York City to Frank and Florence Philbin and graduated from Notre Dame in 1953 with a degree in sociology. After serving in the Navy, he worked as a page on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.” He first started his career working by parking cars at a Los Angeles TV station.His first talk show was “The Regis Philbin Show” on KOGO-TV, which aired out of San Diego. In 1967, he joined “The Joey Bishop Show.” He was also the original host of the U.S. version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in 1999.The famed host logged over 15,000 hours on the air — the most broadcast hours logged by a TV personality — which earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.Philbin remained a fan of Notre Dame football and a supporter of the University after he graduated. In a statement released Saturday, University President Fr. John Jenkins extended his prayers to Philbin’s wife and two daughters.“Regis regaled millions on air through the years, oftentimes sharing a passionate love for his alma mater with viewers,” Jenkins said in a statement on Saturday. “He will be remembered at Notre Dame for his unfailing support for the University and its mission, including the Philbin Studio Theater in our performing arts center. He likewise was generous with his time and talent in support of South Bend’s Center for the Homeless and other worthy causes. Our prayers are with his wife, Joy, and their daughters and Notre Dame alumnae Joanna and J.J.”Philbin’s funeral service will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Philbin will be laid to rest at Cedar Grove Cemetery on campus. No date has been set for the service or burial.Tags: John Jenkins, Philbin Studio Theater, Regis Philbin, South Bend’s Center for the Homelesslast_img read more

Adorable Selfie! Kristin Chenoweth & Matthew Morrison Join Kevin McHale on the Set of Glee

first_img Kristin Chenoweth As if we weren’t excited enough about Glee’s forthcoming star-packed 100th episode, here’s a selfie to warm the heart of every Broadway fan. Kevin McHale, who plays Artie on the show, posted this sweet shot on Instagram, flanked by Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth (back as sassy Broadway star April Rhodes) and Mr. Shue himself, Tony nominee Matthew Morrison. Who knows what Ryan Murphy has up his sleeve for the two-part episode (airing March 18 and 25), but we hope it involves a romantic encounter between Chenoweth and Morrison. Or Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly Holliday. Or Chenoweth and hunky guest star Chace Crawford. Anyway, we’ll be watching! Star Files Matthew Morrison View Commentslast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Juliette Binoche Will Star at BAM & More

first_imgHere’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Juliette Binoche Will Star in International Tour of Antigone; Venues to Include BAMOscar winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) will star in an international tour of a new English language translation of Antigone. Directed by Ivo van Hove and translated by Anne Carson, the show will play venues including London’s Barbican Theatre March 4, 2015 through March 28 and, later in the year, the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. No word yet on the BAM dates. Binoche last appeared on Broadway in the 2000 revival of Betrayal.Zachary Levi, Sierra Boggess, Jeremy Jordan, Laura Osnes & More Team Up For Where The Sky EndsThis is some lineup! Broadway favorites including Zachary Levi, Sierra Boggess, Jeremy Jordan, Laura Osnes, Justin Guarini, Orfeh, Jacqueline Petroccia, Josh Young, Bryan Terrell Clark and Ben Fankhauser all sing on the album Where The Sky Ends: The Songs of Michael Mott. The record is comprised of original Mott tunes and will be released on June 17.Broadway Alums Debra Messing & Cristin Milioti Get Their Pilots Picked Up to SeriesDebra Messing has landed another Big Apple gig after finishing her recent run in Outside Mullingar. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Emmy winner’s previously reported pilot Mysteries of Laura, has been picked up by NBC. Meanwhile, the Peacock network also picked up Once alum and How I Met Your Mother star Cristin Milioti’s rom-com pilot, A to Z, to series.David Hunter and Jill Winternitz Will Star in London’s OnceDavid Hunter and Jill Winternitz will lead the cast as Guy and Girl respectively, in the Olivier-winning Once in the West End from May 12. Directed by John Tiffany, the London production of the Tony-winning tuner opened in April 2013. View Comments Cristin Milioti View All (4) Zachary Levicenter_img Sierra Boggess Star Files Debra Messinglast_img read more

Tix Now On Sale for Nevermore—The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

first_img The show originally played at Catalyst Theatre of Edmonton in Canada in 2009 before touring extensively, including an acclaimed run at London’s Barbican Centre. Nevermore was previously seen in New York at the Victory Theatre in 2010. The production has been expanded since then, with several new songs added and structural revisions made to the original script. Six of the seven original Nevermore cast members will return to the production—Gaelan Beatty, Shannon Blanchett, Beth Graham, Ryan Parker, Garett Ross and Scott Shpeley. Casting for the seventh and final role will be announced soon. Nevermore blurs the line between fact and fiction, exploring the events that shaped Poe’s character and career. A literary rock star in his day, Poe struggled with tragedy and addiction, poverty and loss, yet produced some of the world’s most original and enduring literature before dying in mysterious circumstances at the age of 40. Nevermore – The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe View Commentscenter_img Tickets are now available for the New York return of Nevermore—The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. The musical play, which is written, composed, and directed by Jonathan Christenson, will begin performances on January 14, 2015. Opening night is scheduled for January 25 at New World Stages. Show Closed This production ended its run on March 29, 2015 Related Showslast_img read more

The Almighty Arrives on B’way! An Act of God Starts Previews

first_img View Comments The Almighty has entered that most holy of places, Broadway’s Studio 54! The Jim Parsons-led new comedy 
An Act of God will begin previews on May 7. Directed by Joe Mantello, the stage adaptation of The Last Testament: A Memoir By God, is set to officially open on May 28.The Creator Himself has written the Play, which has been transcribed by Emmy-winning The Daily Show head writer and executive producer David Javerbaum. God (through His press agent) has billed the show as such: “A 90-minute conversation in which I will reveal the mysteries of the Bible and answer some of the greatest existential questions that plague mankind.” In an early statement, He said, “This Play will help clear up the fallacy that I’m old fashioned…and instead reveal the true Me: up-to-date and holier-than-you.”Along with Parsons as God, the cast will also include Christopher Fitzgerald and Tim Kazurinsky as angels. Although the show is playing at Roundabout’s Studio 54, it is not a Roundabout production. This is the Word of the Lord. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 2, 2015 An Act of God Related Showslast_img read more

Sutton Foster Goes Into the Woods in this Week’s Younger

first_imgFor the second week in a row, we’ve been treated to two statement necklaces from Diana. The first, in a call to last season’s gilded ouroboros collar, takes “sucking one’s own dingus” to a new level. (Happy New Year, Grandma.) Speaking of tail eating, the second piece symbolizes a historic moment in Younger history: it’s the first time a statement necklace has been worn during intercourse. Incidentally, it’s also the first time someone’s [eggplant emoji] was broken by someone wearing a statement necklace. Sutton Foster, Lyle Friedman & Ashley Skidmore in ‘Younger'(Photo: TV Land) Once upon a time in a far-off kingdom, there lived a 40-year-old passing off as 26, her tattoo artist boyfriend and a domineering boss with a bevy of equally bold necklaces. This week’s Younger took us to a music festival, the bedroom and a hospital, so needless to say, a lot went down. Let’s get to it. And before you ask, yes, this episode is titled “Into the Woods and Out of the Woods,” so let’s get one thing out of the way.SEASON 2, EPISODE 7: “Into the Woods & Out of the Woods”Emoji UpdateJosh’s bluegrass band plays a Brooklyn bar before heading to the Hudson Valley Bluegrass festival. Over at Empirical Press, Charles is debating what selections to make for his upcoming “By the Book” profile in the Times, and Liza proves to be very helpful and guiding him to a proper balance of literary picks. After work, she heads to the festival—the cold, wet, festival. While there, Liza fields a call from Charles, who’s in need of some “By the Book” and ultimately life guidance. Liza and Josh meet two peen pipe-clad attendees at the whittling tent (a bluegrass festival staple, apparently). Back in the city, Diana continues her tryst with Hugh Shirley, and by “continues her tryst with Hugh Shirley,” we mean “breaks Hugh Shirley’s penis.” Just as Josh’s band is about to go on, Liza unsuccessfully juggles sexy time with Josh and shop talk with Charles and accidentally sexts her boss. Before she can rectify the crisis, her phone dies. After battling a fellow patron for an outlet, she charges her phone to apologize to Charles. All is well, until she gets thrown out of the festival for phone charger-induced violence. Diana takes Hugh to the hospital, and we don’t think he and his broken penis are going to stay in Diana’s love life much longer. Charles arranges for Liza and Josh to stay in a bed and breakfast after their music festival snafu. Just as Liza’s about to send him a thank you selfie with Josh, she opts not to.Biggest OMG Moment:Any moment featuring the topless, day-glo groupies, Jasper and Luna (played by series writers Ashley Skidmore and Lyle Friedman). From the aforementioned peen pipe to their synchronized “that’s hilarious,” this duo captured everything we love(/fear) about an outdoor, multiday music festival.Millennial Glossary:Drop a Pin:(verb) To send someone your GPS coordinates using Google Maps. Especially handy when telling someone where you are at a music festival, or which corner of 45th and 9th you’re on (southeast, next to Schmackary’s, obviously).Moment That Made Us Go:When Liza makes a decisive action by not sending Charles a picture of her with Josh in the bed and breakfast. She’s certainly noticed the dormant chemistry with her boss, but this is one of the first times she’s done something about it, albeit by not doing something. While this complicates things, and despite Josh being far less objectionable this season compared to the first, we’re excited for where this goes. The beginning of the season suggested Kelsey and her fellow millennial squad would be the next to know Liza’s real age, but is Charles also on deck?Diana’s Statement Jewelry Update!center_img View Commentslast_img read more

Lin-Manuel Miranda Makes Time’s 100 Most Influential People

first_img View Comments Tony and Pulitzer winner Lin-Manuel Miranda has yet another accolade to add to his resume in the wake of Hamilton’s praise: a spot on Time’s “100 Most Influential People.” The 2016 list also includes Tony winner and recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance, Broadway alum Ariana Grande and New York stage-bound Oscar Isaac.J.J. Abrams, a noted Hamilton fan who tasked Miranda with writing a song for the latest Star Wars movie, wrote a tribute for him in Time. “His wit would be intimidating if not for his natural and infectious charm,” Abrams said. “Somehow he is as generous, collaborative and lovable as he is innovative and brilliant.” Though Time does have an Artists section on the list, Miranda tops the Pioneers list, and is one of the magazine’s six commemorative covers for the issue.Steven Spielberg wrote of Rylance, “The impact he’s had on classical and contemporary theater is the stuff of legend…His heart belongs to a good story. His soul is pure. He just loves to act.” Rylance won his first Oscar in February for his performance in the Spielberg-helmed Bridge of Spies, and the two have a full lineup of upcoming projects together: The BFG, The Kidnapping of Edgargo Mortara and Ready Player One.Grande remains close to her Broadway roots, as evident by her choice in accompanist at the MTV Movie Awards earlier this month: Jason Robert Brown. The Tony-winning composer, whose musical 13 gave Grande her big break, wrote the following for the pop star: “That voice—powered by nothing but your remarkable empathy, your ravenous intelligence, your cool discipline and your voracious ambition. They’re going to underestimate you, and you, my beautiful friend, are going to make music.” Hamilton Related Shows Lin-Manuel Miranda(Photo: Bruce Glikas)center_img from $149.00 Star Files Lin-Manuel Mirandalast_img read more

St. Ann’s Warehouse Season Announced

first_img Harriet Walter will headline an all-female production of The Tempest at St. Ann’s Warehouse. The show, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, comes from London’s Donmar Warehouse, where Lloyd helmed all-female productions of Julius Caesar and Henry IV—both of which also played the Brooklyn venue. The season will also include a 24-hour marathon concert from Taylor Mac and a new play from Penny Arcade.The season kicks off on September 15 with the world premiere culmination of Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. Mac will perform eight different three-hour concerts focusing on a particular era of American history (beginning with 1776-1806), utilizing props, special guests and costumes by Machine Dazzle. On October 8, Mac will present all eight concerts consecutively in a 24-hour marathon performance.The season continues from November 8-27 with the American premiere of Daniel Kitson’s Mouse: The Persistence of an Unlikely Thought. The British comedian and storyteller previous presented The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church, It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later and Analog.Ue at St. Ann’s.Arcade’s Longing Lasts Longer will make its American premiere at the Brooklyn venue from December 1 through December 11. Like her previous works, Arcade will blend stand-up comedy, music and storytelling. In the new show, she’ll explore and critique the “suburbanization” of New York City.The Tempest will run from January 13, 2017 through February 12. In addition to Walter, the cast will include several alums from Lloyd’s previous Shakespeare stagings: Jade Anouka, Shiloh Coke, Jackie Clune, Karen Dunbar, Sophie Stanton and Caroline Valdés. Also on board are Sheila Atim and Martina Laird.The season concludes with Kneehigh’s production of 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, based on the book by Michael Morpugo and co-adapted by Shakespeare’ Globe Artistic Director Emma Rice. The show follows Lily, a young girl in Devon, England who, along with her cat, Adolphus, experience the arrival of a group of soldiers sent to her home to rehearse the D-Day invasion. Performances will run from March 16 through April 9. Harriet Walter & Phyllida Lloyd(Photos: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images & Caitlin McNaney) View Commentslast_img read more

Odds & Ends: B’way Vets Including Chita Rivera Team Up for Orlando & More

first_img Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Chita Rivera, Norbert Leo Butz & More to Perform for Orlando Tony winners Chita Rivera, Norbert Leo Butz, Kelli O’Hara, Jessie Mueller, Brian Stokes Mitchell and many more Main Stem faves will head to Florida for a benefit concert in aid of those impacted by the recent events at Pulse Nighclub. From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Orlando—a healing night of music and dance to honor the 49 victims—is scheduled for July 25 at the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando. As previously reported, the company of Fun Home will be at the venue to raise money for the tragedy on July 24.Leslie Odom Jr.’s Post Hamilton GigLeslie Odom Jr. may be departing Hamilton on July 9 but he will be keeping himself busy! The Tony winner is set to headline a concert residency at New York’s The McKittrick Hotel’s intimate Manderley Bar for three consecutive Thursday nights beginning July 14 in support of his recently-released self-title debut solo album of jazz classics. We’re loving what comes next for the Broadway.com vlogger!Laura Michelle Kelly’s New Solo ShowFollowing a sold-out run at 54 Below last month, Finding Neverland’s Laura Michelle Kelly will bring her cabaret All That Matters to 42West on July 25.The personal and revealing evening will be filled with songs and stories includes hits from Sara Bareilles, Jason Robert Brown, Stephen Sondheim and more. You can also catch Kelly in Neverland on Broadway through August 21.Sneak Peek of Emma Watson’s Beauty and the BeastThis puts the tease into teaser. Check out below a first look at the “teaser one-sheet” (not to be confused with the teaser trailer) for Disney’s eagerly awaited upcoming live-action re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. Starring Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Audra McDonald, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and more, the film is scheduled to hit movie theaters on March 17, 2017. Chita Rivera(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) View Commentslast_img read more

Biosecurity survey

first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia farmers can add their input on biosecurity issues to farmer opinions nationwide through a survey now being conducted.The 40-state Extension Disaster Education Network received U.S. Department of Agriculture funds to identify farmers’ educational needs on homeland security.”Georgia farmers need to respond to the EDEN survey,” Charles McPeake said, “to help present an accurate description of grassroots positioning and needs related to the homeland security issue.”McPeake is the agriculture and natural resources program leader with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”This accumulation of information allows concerned organizations like Extension to provide more timely information for specific situations,” he said.November surveyThe EDEN survey will be conducted through November. To take the survey, farmers may visit the EDEN Web site (www.agctr.lsu.edu/eden) and click on “Homeland Security Surveys,” then on “Survey of Ag and Horticulture Producers.”The survey is anonymous. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Farmers can complete it anywhere they have access to the Web, including libraries and Extension offices.”There are factors concerning agriculture that lead experts to disagree about whether farming and the food supply are at risk to bioterrorism,” said Steve Cain, EDEN delegate and a Purdue University Extension Service specialist. “Whether or not there is a real threat to the American food supply, even the risks bring up issues that society must deal with.”Biosecurity issuesThe EDEN project will help measure farmers’ perceptions about biosecurity issues on the farm.”Since September 11, the news media have done a credible job of providing information about homeland security,” Cain said. “But often that information raises questions and debate that can only be addressed with educational programs.”The survey will help Extension staffs, nationally and in each state, know how to direct educational programs. Experts will use the information to make educational materials available to farmers.”Georgia began focusing on biosecurity and agrosecurity when foot-and-mouth problems emerged in England,” McPeake said. “Then along came 9/11, which threw our nation into the unknown.”To create awareness of these issues, UGA put together a CAES task force and agrosecurity conference. Materials can also be found on various Web sites.last_img read more

Phantom bugs

first_imgBy April ReeseUniversity of GeorgiaIn the summer, mosquitos, biting flies and fleas can visit yourskin and leave behind itching bumps from their bites. Somepeople, though, are haunted year-round by biting bugs that aren’teven there.They suffer from something called delusory parasitosis, saidNancy Hinkle, an entomologist with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”We’re finding it in all segments of the population — all agegroups, all socioeconomic levels,” Hinkle said. “And theincidence seems to be very high.”Delusory parasitosis is a real condition first described inmedical literature more than a century ago. Hinkle said theillness isn’t uncommon at all.Many medical causesIt can be caused by many other medical ailments — heavy metalpoisoning, exposure to toxins and diseases like AIDS, anemia,carcinoma, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, lupus, lymphoma andmultiple sclerosis.Nutritional deficiencies, allergies, drug reactions, menopause,niacin overdose, rheumatoid arthritis, stress and even vitaminoverdoses are known to trigger it, she said.Symptoms include the sensation of biting, stinging or itching onthe skin. Hinkle said people will often feel something crawlinginside their skin and will dig into the skin trying to find anddislodge whatever’s causing it.”Unfortunately, this can produce a lot of damage to the skin,”she said.Feels like … Chigger bites are close to what sufferers might feel. People whohave been chigger-bitten can relate to the feeling thatsomething’s still in there. But delusory parasitosis sufferersfeel something different, she said, as if that something undertheir skin is moving or crawling around.People will treat the condition in a number of ways. “Some willspend inordinate amounts of time washing and cleaning theirbodies and their homes, assuming the infestation is coming fromoff the body as well,” Hinkle said.”They will then treat their bodies with … gasoline, kerosene,solvents, harsh cleaning compounds, even pesticides,” she said,”which, of course, is very dangerous.”See a doctorShe advises anyone who believes they’re suffering from thecondition to see a doctor.”Delusory parasitosis is a medical condition, and (sufferers)should seek medical attention,” she said. “Visit your physicianand explain the symptoms you’re experiencing. Allow the doctor todiagnosis the condition and prescribe medication. Don’tself-medicate.”To learn more about delusory parasitosis, visit www.ent.uga.edu/publications/delusory.pdfto read Hinkle’s article in American Entomologist.(April Reese is a student writer with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Seed Swap

first_imgIt may be too cold in parts of Georgia to put plants in the ground, but it’s just the right time to start seedlings. Those looking for new varieties or just a little gardening inspiration can join gardeners from across northeast and middle Georgia at the Rock Eagle Seed Swap on Saturday, March 18.The event is part of the Saturday at The Rock series held at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia. This event is open to garden newbies and those with an experienced green thumb. The swap is a great opportunity to bring seeds and trade them in for something new. Don’t let leftover seeds go bad; instead, give them an opportunity to grow by trading them for something new. Seed swapping is a great way to save money, test new varieties of plants and talk to other gardeners about what works well in the area.This session is free. Doors will open at 9 a.m. for guests to check in and drop off seeds. All seed types, seedlings and scionwood are welcome, with the exception of potentially invasive species.At 9:30 a.m., local experts will share information on seed starting, garden planning, medicinal herbs and more. Seed swapping will begin directly following the presentation. Participants without seeds to swap can still stop by, enjoy the guest speakers, learn something new and see what a seed swap is all about. Light refreshments will be served.While at the 4-H center, visitors are invited to drop by Rock Eagle’s Natural History Museum or take a hike to the teaching garden. Advanced registration is encouraged.For more information or to register, contact Jessica Torhan at (706) 484-4838 or by email at [email protected] Saturday at the Rock programs take place the third Saturday of each month, excluding December. A complete list of Saturday at the Rock sessions can be found at www.rockeagle4h.org/ee/community/SaturdayattheRock.html.last_img read more

Turfgrass Updates

first_imgThe University of Georgia Turfgrass Research Field Day, held Aug. 9 on the UGA Griffin campus, attracted 800 attendees from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.The field day provided research-based information about the production and management of turfgrass from UGA entomologists, plant pathologists, soil microbiologists, plant breeders, geneticists, genomics specialists and environmental turfgrass scientists.“The University of Georgia, the Griffin campus and the turf program try to do things that have never been done,” said Sam Pardue, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, during the field day welcome. “It is our commitment to you and the future to continue to provide the research, outreach and education that will benefit you, your organizations and your companies.”The field day began with guided tours and pest-identification presentations about insects, weeds and diseases and how to control them using herbicides, fungicides and management practices. There were also presentations on new technology and research, like the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) digital analysis and the use of automatic rain shelters for drought studies.Vendors were also on site to share information through displays and demonstrations of the latest turfgrass equipment. Participants received individualized tips and information specific to their needs through afternoon self-guided presentations.All attendees received Georgia pesticide credits: six credits for Category 24, two credits for Category 10, and six credits for Categories 21, 27 and 32. Pesticide recertification credits were also offered for Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.The Turfgrass Research Field Day is offered biennially and will occur again in 2020. For more information on upcoming turfgrass events, please visit www.GeorgiaTurf.com.last_img read more

Zoysia Shortage

first_imgAbout a week ago, I heard from a couple of sod producers that spring sales of turfgrass sod were strong and they were worried about potential shortages of popular species like Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. I wondered if these were isolated incidences or an industry-wide issue.As the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist, I am based on the UGA campus in Griffin and work closely with UGA turfgrass researchers and Georgia’s turfgrass producers. To determine whether only a few growers were looking at unexpected shortages of grass, I began calling sod producers across the state to conduct an informal survey. To date, I have talked with a representative sample of producers of various farm sizes and locations throughout Georgia. I found a few recurring themes. First, most producers said that they are experiencing the strongest winter and spring sales season they have ever had. As I have traveled around the state the last few months, I have seen many full trucks of sod on their way to a new lawn, ball field or landscape project. The second recurring comment was that producers are either “out” or “nearly out” of zoysia, especially fine-textured zoysia cultivars like ‘Zeon’ and ‘Emerald’. The 2019 Sod Producers Survey projected that there would be lower inventories of zoysia this year than in 2017 and 2018. As a species, zoysia is gaining in popularity throughout Georgia. Couple increased popularity with a wet and overcast 2018 growing season and the decline in inventory is not unexpected. However, the strong spring 2019 sales have placed additional pressure on inventories of a relatively slower-growing species. While fine-textured zoysia grasses are in the greatest demand and have the lowest inventory, the medium- and coarse-textured cultivars are also experiencing strong sales with declining inventories.The third thing I discovered is that, while Georgia sod growers are worried about the current inventory of grass, producers are optimistic. Sod fields are in a constant state of growth and recovery. Inventory is thin now, but fields that were harvested last summer and fall are maturing — the spring weather has been helpful — and producers foresee inventory improving in four to six weeks (approximately mid-June). Sod growers are “pushing” fields in an attempt to fulfill orders for this year. One producer stated that the push to increase growth will be passed along to the consumer because of increased fertilizer prices early in the year.Lastly, Bermudagrass inventory was less precarious than zoysia. Some producers are running low on Bermudagrass inventory while others reported normal inventory. Interestingly, it is not strictly a noncertified ‘Tifway’ issue. Some producers indicated they were low on certified and noncertified Bermuda grasses. Referring back to the 2019 Sod Producers Survey, Bermudagrass inventory was projected to be consistent with 2018 and it is the species grown in the greatest volume. Considering the initial inventory, volume and growth rate, it would be expected that the Bermudagrass supply would be more hit-and-miss than other species.Through my conversations, I heard producers indicate they are consciously managing inventory. They are employing various techniques including restricting sales to only longtime or regular customers, limiting the amount of grass they sell, not quoting larger jobs or orders, and increasing prices.This is a new problem for the turf industry and one I view as an indicator of a strong economy and growth and development throughout Georgia. While the landscape industry may be finding it difficult to find Georgia-grown sod, hopefully their spring business is prospering and will continue to do so throughout 2019.For the latest research-based information on turfgrass from UGA Extension, visit www.GeorgiaTurf.com.last_img read more

One Georgia

first_imgTwenty-four Georgia 4-H teenagers spent their summer in a unique agriculture-focused student exchange program without leaving the state.One Georgia 4-H, an urban-rural 4-H exchange program is designed to showcase the importance of agriculture in rural and urban areas of Georgia to students who are considering a career in agriculture, said Laurie Murrah-Hanson, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent who leads a Georgia 4-H club based at the Atlanta History Center. The first-year program was funded by the Thalia and Michael C. Carlos Foundation in Fulton County.“The program grew from the Atlanta History Center’s goal to reach new audiences in Atlanta and across the state and educate people about the similarities and differences between Georgians across the state,” said Murrah-Hanson. “We had a very diverse group of youth. Some of the students had an agriculture background and a few even live on working farms, while others live in towns and cities but are familiar with agriculture. The kids taught each other about what their lives are like where they live.”The group first met in Tifton in June and visited sites in south Georgia. In July, they met in Atlanta and toured sites in the metro area.In south Georgia, the students toured locations including UGA research facilities and commercial watermelon and cotton production fields. On the UGA Tifton campus, they learned about turfgrass, visited the cotton micro gin, learned hands-on laboratory skills, and toured the UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.Students were also able to explore the Future Farmstead, UGA’s energy-independent experimental site dedicated to developing and demonstrating advanced technologies to enhance farm efficiency with the goal of achieving future national energy, food and environmental requirements. The group also learned about the varied academic majors available in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.“They visited Super Sod, a sod farm near Perry, where they learned about sod production and saw sod harvested. That was something that none of us had seen,” Murrah-Hanson said. “We also went to Lane Southern Orchards and Dickey Farms to eat peaches and see the production line where the peaches are washed and packaged.”The July tour in Atlanta focused on policy and transportation. The students visited the Delta Flight Museum and experienced piloting a jet in Delta’s flight simulator. At the Georgia State Capitol, Rep. Matthew Wilson, a UGA alumnus who represents the 80th District, gave the students a tour. The group also visited the Georgia Department of Agriculture, including the Georgia Grown test kitchen, and met with Mario Cambardella, director of urban agriculture for the city of Atlanta, who told them about Georgia’s urban farms.“They learned that these farms are smaller and more diverse,” Murrah-Hanson said. “They also learned about food deserts and the new Urban Food Forest.”The trip concluded with a visit to the Atlanta location of iconic eatery The Varsity and attending 4-H Day at the Atlanta History Center.The One Georgia participants and their home counties include Mary Ann Bentley, Chattooga County; Jake Carver, Houston County; Madison Clemente, Paulding County; Kaylee Collins, Spalding County; Avery Cross, Catoosa County; Maddie Dean, Crisp County; Jada Faulks, Cobb County; Alyssa Goldman, Madison County; Gracie Grimes, Candler County; Megan Isdell, Worth County; Christopher Kuhbander, Ware County; Grace McBride, Emanuel County; Hannah McElrath, Gordon County; Michael Mercer, Cobb County; Brooke O’Berry, Ware County; Emily Recinos, Cobb County; Aromal Saji, Gwinnett County; Autumn Sims, Murray County; Kolbi Sims, Murray County; Bryson Smith, Gordon County; Cora Jane Tyre, Bacon County; Adriana Walton, Randolph County; Emma Rae Ward, Chattooga County; and Kate Vaughn, Bulloch County.“This was my favorite 4-H trip so far,” said Emma Rae Ward. “I’m from an ag community and I live on a farm, but it was very refreshing to see what agriculture looks like in Atlanta and to see some of the things that I see at home in north Georgia — we just have fewer gnats.”Gracie Grimes lives on a farm but says she never knew Atlanta “had so much to do with agriculture.” “This experience has truly been one of my best and I made a lot of new friends,” she said. “My favorite part was visiting the capitol and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The sod farm was new for me and the watermelon farm was cool, as we used to grow watermelons on our farm.”Following the exchange experience, students are required to share their experience with groups in their community such as county commissions, boards of education, school administrations and community or civic groups, as well as with their peers at Georgia 4-H’s Fall Forum.Georgia 4-H hopes to secure funding to offer the program again next summer, Murrah-Hanson said.To learn more about Georgia 4-H, visit www.Georgia4H.org.last_img read more

Unique Holiday Greeting Cards Now Available Online

first_imgVermont artist, Mike Biegel, announces his new website offering Vermont holiday greeting cards online at www.vermontholidaycards.com(link is external). The website features unique and distinctive seasonal cards illustrated by Mike Biegel from his Woodstock, Vermont studio.The entire original holiday card renderings seen on www.vermontholidaycards.com(link is external) are elaborately hand drawn using an old-fashioned crow-quill pen dipped in an ink-well. Every image is designed and illustrated at his Woodstock studio. Mike has been illustrating since 1984 after attending Syracuse University. Inevitably his journeys lead him to settle in Vermont where the lay of the land and the change of the seasons matched many of his favorite subjects to illustrate. His line of holiday cards reflect these themes and the fiction that accompanies them.The web site is young, but has already developed a legacy of loyal clients. Any of the holiday cards may be personalized with a special holiday greeting. Custom designs are available for corporate businesses looking for a unique card with their business logo printed inside. Preprinted seasonal greetings are also available and ready for mailing. This season’s holiday card selections include: Winter Gristmill, Riverside Snowman, Santa & His Elves, Covered Bridge at Tanglewood, Winter Snow Owl, Snow Covered Sleigh, Winter Lighthouse, The Swap, Partridge Wreath and Covered Bridge at Winterwood. Cards may be purchased online at www.vermontholidaycards.com(link is external) or by calling 1-888-267-2300.More extensive information regarding the artist may be found on his commercial illustration and design web site at www.mikebiegel.com(link is external).last_img read more

Council Authorizes Tax Incentives To Create Snowshoe Manufacturing Jobs In Vermont

first_imgCouncil Authorizes Tax Incentives To Create Snowshoe Manufacturing Jobs In VermontMONTPELIER — The Vermont Economic Progress Council recently approved almost a quarter-million dollars in tax credits to a Williston firm that plans to manufacture snowshoes in Vermont.The council approved an application from TSL USA, LLC at its meeting on October 27th, 2005, after the firm presented plans to manufacture aluminum and plastic snowshoes in Williston, Vermont and distribute their products worldwide. The company was authorized for $241,925 in payroll, research and development and workforce development tax credits to add new jobs and invest in research and development and employee training and education. The company was also considering sites in Clinton County, New York.TSL is very excited to bring the snowshoe industry back to Vermont, said Arnaud Claude, President of TSL USA. Thanks to the hard work of the Vermont Economic Progress Council, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, we are going to create new jobs in Vermont, developing and manufacturing high quality snowshoes that will be sold to consumers worldwide.Claude said he hopes to have the first prototype snowshoes completed in January and to have production underway in March. He anticipated starting with 4 or 5 workers with plans to ramp up to 25 in five years.I love it in Vermont, Claude said. Vermont is the image for the snowshoe industry.The tax incentives were authorized based on job creation and capital investments that must occur before the credits can be claimed. The Council approved the application after reviewing nine guidelines and applying a rigorous cost-benefit analysis that projects whether the activity encouraged by the tax incentives will have a positive or negative impact on the region and state. This analysis showed that if the company meets all its projections and utilizes all the tax credits, the State will realize a net increase in revenues of $431,200. The Council also determined that the project would not occur or would occur in a significantly different and less desirable manner if not for the incentives being authorized.These incentives generate good jobs that pay well and increase income levels here in Vermont, said Lawrence Miller, chair of the nine-member council of business people from around the state. “If the credits are claimed, it means that the applicant has performed as expected, created jobs and invested in Vermont. The net fiscal impact is outstanding for Vermont and we’re pleased to offer these incentives.”The Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) is an independent body appointed by the Governor, and is responsible for administering the Economic Advancement Tax Incentive program. It is housed within the Department of Economic Development at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.We are very pleased at the prospect of new jobs being created in Vermonts manufacturing sector, said Kevin Dorn, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.-30-last_img read more

$114,000 federal grant to make Winooski community center energy efficient

first_imgUS Rep. Peter Welch on Monday announced a $114,000 federal grant to improve the energy efficiency of the O Brien Community Center in Winooski. The funds will be used to fully insulate the community center s roof and implement other energy-saving measures. The O Brien Center spent $4,000 in heating bills last year. Once the new roof is installed, the center is expected to save 45 percent in heating costs. This grant will go a long way to improving a vital community center which provides great service to the people of Winooski, Welch said. By making the O Brien Center more energy efficient, we will help Winooski save money and do our small part to fight climate change.Welch made the announcement at the O Brien Center Monday morning alongside several Winooski residents, including Parks and Recreation Director Bob DiMasi, Mayor Mike O Brien, Acting City Manager George Cross, YMCA former board chairwoman Molly Lambert, chair of the project committee Penrose Jackson, YMCA Executive Director Mary Burns, Patricia McKitrich, Rep. Clem Bissonette, Director of Community Development J Ladd.last_img read more

Vermont Business Roundtable names new directors

first_imgToday, Vermont Business Roundtable President Lisa Ventriss announced that three new directors were elected to the Roundtable Board of Directors at its 24th Annual Membership Meeting on January 13th at Topnotch Resort & Spa in Stowe.New directors are: Rob Adams, President, Simon Pearce; Tim Donovan, Chancellor, Vermont State Colleges; and, Pam Mackenzie, Area Vice-President of VT/Western New England. Elected to a second three-year term is Howard Pierce, President and CEO of PKC.New officers of the Roundtable Board include: Chair – Steve Voigt, President and CEO, King Arthur Flour; Vice-Chair ‘ Mary Powell, CEO, Green Mountain Power Corporation; Secretary ‘ Rob Simpson, President and CEO, Brattleboro Retreat; Treasurer: Gregory Bourgea, Co-Managing Partner, Gallagher Flynn & Co.; and, Immediate Past Chair ‘ Bill Stritzler, Managing Director, Smugglers’ Notch Resort.Continuing members of the Roundtable Board are: Ted Adler, Union Street Media; Pennie Beach, President, Basin Harbor Club; Leon J. Berthiaume, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Inc.; Ellen Mercer Fallon, Partner, Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP; David F. Finney, Champlain College; Tommy Harmon, Sonnax Industries, Inc.; G. Kenneth Perine, National Bank of Middlebury; and, Mark R. Neagley, President, Neagley & Chase Construction Co.The Roundtable is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of 110 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy, with an aggregate economic impact of $135 billion and employing 15 percent of the state’s workforce. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on long-range, statewide public policy issues. For more information about the Roundtable and its projects visit: www.vtroundtable.org(link is external).last_img read more

Newly revised Residential Building Energy Code now in effect

first_imgCommissioner Elizabeth Miller has announced that the newly revised Residential Building Energy Code is in effect as of October 1, 2011. Miller states, ‘As new building construction and renovations in existing buildings take place in Vermont, the new Residential Building Energy Codes will help ensure we are continuing to move to more efficient and sustainable homes.  Building new homes to the 2011 Residential Energy Code will yield increased energy savings of 10-20% over the previous Energy Code.  This means less energy consumption, fewer emissions, and lower energy bills for Vermonters.’  Commissioner Miller expects a similar, if not greater, impact with the new Commercial Energy Code which is on track to take effect in early January 2012. The 2011 Vermont Residential Building Energy Code, officially called the ‘Residential Building Energy Standards’ (RBES), was initially adopted by the Vermont legislature in May 1997 and updated in 2006.   The legislation provides for regular review and updates to the provisions in the Code by the Department of Public Service.  The Code has applied to all new residential construction in Vermont since it first went into effect July 1, 1998. The 2011 Residential Building Energy Code is based on Vermont amendments to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code and is a minimum standard of energy efficiency that now applies to all alterations and renovations for existing homes as well as new construction.  The Department is also currently in the process of completing a statewide energy code compliance study that will outline a realistic approach for achieving 90 percent compliance with the Energy Codes by February 1, 2017.  The study will address how to best implement on-going training related to Energy Code updates, unified Energy Code enforcement measures, a process to evaluate and report annual rates of Energy Code compliance, and short and long term funding mechanisms for implementation.  Residential Energy Code handbooks, certificates and technical assistance are currently available at no cost. The handbook puts all the information you need to know about Vermont’s Energy Code for residential construction into one publication.  For additional information or a hard copy of the RBES handbook and certificate contact the Department of Public Service Planning and Energy Resources Division at 802-828-2811 or visit the website at http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy/ee_resbuildingstandards.html(link is external).  For free technical assistance and training opportunities contact the Energy Code Assistance Center toll free at 855-887-0673. PSD. 10.3.2011last_img read more

Filings Indicate Peabody May No Longer Be a Going Concern

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Taylor Kuykendall for SNL:New securities filings from Peabody Energy Corp. illustrate ongoing stress and the danger of a potential bankruptcy, a path that has become well-trodden by large coal producers in recent years.In one Feb. 29 filing, Peabody said it believes an independent registered public accounting firm may likely be required to issue an audit opinion with a paragraph expressing doubt as to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The inclusion of such an uncertainty paragraph would constitute an event of default under the company’s 2013 credit facility agreement.In a separate filing, Peabody disclosed it has engaged in discussions with one of the first lien lenders under its senior secured credit agreement. According to that filing, Peabody’s preference is to pursue liability management transactions, such as proposed debt exchanges, but the lender “expressed its concern that Peabody was not pursuing an in-court restructuring.”The basis of the potential going concern paragraph hinges on whether Peabody can complete a transaction with Bowie Resource Partners LLC. Peabody agreed to sell its El Segundo and Lee Ranch mines in New Mexico and its Twentymile mine in Colorado, but Bowie has had difficulty obtaining financing.Peabody’s struggle has caused “unexpected delays” in filing its annual report for 2015. The company had previously disclosed it accessed the full capacity of its $1.65 billion revolving credit facility.Full article ($): Peabody discloses going concern risk; lender pushing for restructuring in courtIEEFA FEBRUARY 2016 REPORT: PEABODY’S STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL IGNORE MARKET REALITIES AND RISK BACKFIRING Filings Indicate Peabody May No Longer Be a Going Concernlast_img read more

Salt Lake Tribune: ‘Utah’s Coal-Export Deal Still Faces High Hurdles’

first_imgSalt Lake Tribune: ‘Utah’s Coal-Export Deal Still Faces High Hurdles’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Utah Legislature last week approved a $53 million investment in an Oakland, Calif., export terminal, but the state’s coal-shipping aspirations may still be just a dream.So far, Utah is the only entity that may pledge money toward building a $275 million bulk-freight terminal at the deep-water port under construction at the site of the former Oakland Army Base.But Utah wouldn’t pay up until $200 million in private financing is secured — and the identity of those investors and the status of their contributions is unknown.Another hurdle: Utah’s money wouldn’t be released until the four rural Utah counties borrowing it for the investment have a plan to pay it back if the terminal can’t move coal profitably. No plan has been offered.The coal-producing Utah counties of Carbon, Sevier, Sanpete and Emery initially secured a loan from Utah’s Permanent Community Impact Fund to invest $50 million in the proposed terminal, in exchange for 49 percent of its 9.5-million-metric-ton loading capacity.However, the Utah Attorney General’s Office apparently declined to sign off on the loan, necessitating last week’s passage of SB246 as a legal workaround.Normally, money from the fund — derived from federal mineral royalties — is spent on civic projects in the counties where mining and drilling occur. But in recent years, county commissioners who run the Community Impact Board (CIB) have become interested in funding grander projects that would deliver commodities to market.SB246, which Gov. Gary Herbert is expected to sign, circumvented limits on how counties may spend revenues from the fund. It cycles community impact revenue — critics call it “laundering” — through the state Transportation Fund and back to the CIB in a new pool of money known as the “Throughput Infrastructure Fund,” which also can be tapped to build transmission lines, pipelines and rail.When the CIB first approved the loan in April 2015, it included an additional $3 million to cover administrative costs — such as paying consultants like Jeff Holt, a former Utah Transportation Commission chairman who brokered the deal between the counties and the CIB.The CIB’s approval was premised on Holt’s claim that the $200 million in private financing needed to build the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal would be secured by June 2015.“This benchmark has been missed. That means the only player in this transaction with an open checkbook and a deep pocket is the state of Utah,” said critic Tom Sanzillo, director of finance for the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.Full article: Utah’s coal-export deal still faces high hurdleslast_img read more

Influential U.K. Investors Say Renewable Energy Transition Is Well Under Way

first_imgInfluential U.K. Investors Say Renewable Energy Transition Is Well Under Way FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times, op ed by Anton Eser. chief investment officer, and Nick Stansbury, fund manager and commodity specialist,  Legal & General Investment Management:The global energy system is on the cusp of a revolution and investors in the sector risk sleepwalking into a period of momentous change. Most agree that future energy markets are going to look very different from how they look today but there is a real risk that the transition happens faster than many expect — with significant consequences for investors who fail to prepare now. Energy really matters to investors. The industry has nearly $10tn of invested capital and just two large energy companies providing approximately 20p in every £1 of dividend income from the FTSE 100. We are in the early phases of a transition to a low-carbon future. This marks the third “transition” that energy systems have gone through since the start of the industrial revolution. The first was the rise of coal and the second the rise of oil — this time, it is the rise of renewables. These transitions historically have had far-reaching and dramatic implications that were underestimated at the time. Some commentators are basing their expectations for the pace of this transition on that of previous energy transitions. However, prior transitions were driven primarily by economics: coal replaced biomass because new technology enabled it to become a fundamentally better energy source — the pace of change was driven by economic merit. This transition may well be different. Change is not being driven by technology (although it is enabled by it) but by social imperative and government policy. The public is no longer accepting ever-worsening pollution and the unrelenting rise of carbon emissions with the terrible consequences that would result. The pace of change may therefore be a lot faster than historic precedent would suggest. More ($): Investors Must Face History’s Third Energy Transitionlast_img read more

Low oil prices to test U.S. fracking companies

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Wall Street Journal ($):The rapid decline of U.S. oil prices will test the claim of fracking companies that they can now prosper at $50 a barrel or less, a price level they have found challenging in the past.For years, the companies behind the U.S. oil and gas boom, including Noble Energy Inc. and Whiting Petroleum Corp., have promised shareholders that they have thousands of prospective wells that they can drill profitably even at $40 a barrel. Some have even said they can generate returns on investment of 30%.But most shale drillers haven’t made much, if any, money at those prices. From 2012 to 2017, the 30 biggest shale producers lost more than $50 billion. Last year, when oil prices averaged about $50 a barrel, the group as a whole was barely in the black, with profits of about $1.7 billion, or roughly 1.3% of revenue, according to FactSet.The disconnect between the figures cited by companies and their corporate returns lies in the widespread use of a metric called a break-even, often defined as the selling price frackers say they need to generate a small profit on individual wells or projects. While the figure can be quite low for some companies in certain hot spots, it can be a misleading measure of their overall profitability in periods of lower prices.For one, break-evens generally exclude such key costs as land, overhead and even at times transportation. Companies also frequently tout the low break-even price point of a portion of their holdings, without citing the higher price for crude needed to profitably exploit the rest, or adjusting for the inflated cost for drilling contractors and other services that come with rising oil prices.Estimates by consulting firm R.S. Energy Group peg break-evens excluding land costs and overhead at about $37 for the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, $42 for the Eagle Ford in South Texas and $47 for the Bakken in North Dakota. But companies require much higher oil prices in order to come out ahead if more of those necessary expenses are taken into account, the consulting firm’s data show. All-inclusive break-evens are about $51 in the Permian, $57 in the Eagle Ford and $64 in the Bakken, according to R.S. Energy.More ($): Big fracking profits at $50 a barrel? Don’t bet on it Low oil prices to test U.S. fracking companieslast_img read more

Remembering a Friend

first_imgThe sun shone brightly on the rolling fields of Warren Wilson College, illuminating the pack of riders who pedaled their way to the ash garden where they watched our young friend Callum Robertson return to the ground in his final epic ride.Brave friends and family stepped up to the pulpit in the packed chapel Saturday afternoon, remembering Callum’s smile, his energy, his love, his creativity, the adoration for his family, and, like any good rider, his propensity to exaggerate for the sake of a good story.It was confusing almost, that it was a funeral, rather than a wedding, as his family was in the midst of rejoicing over his choice in Caitlin Thomas as his bride. She, dressed in the brightest colors of the sun, professed her love to him at his funeral instead.We all marveled at how closely he melded the circles of friends, leaving us all in merely two degrees of separation. More than 20 people gathered on Sunday in Brevard to ride Callum’s favorite trails, blessed by a warm and sunny day. Afterward we packed the Altamont Brewery and welcomed the parade of bikes that rode across West Asheville via Haywood Road.I hope that his family will soon find peace in this tragedy and know that they blessed us all by raising a boy filled with beauty, which he easily bestowed on those he loved.Swannanoa–Callum Miles Robertson, 27, passed away Friday January 6, 2012 at his home. He was born June 7, 1984 to Ian Charles and Victoria Elaine Muscott Robertson. He is also survived by his fiancée Caitlin Thomas; sister Hannah Robertson of Chesapeake, VA; Victoria Winters of Scotland, UK; brother-in-law Matthew Freel of Chesapeake, VA; grandparent, William Muscott of Carlisle, UK; uncle Keith Muscott, aunts Lyn and Elaine, and cousins, all of the UK; nephew Logan Miles Robertson Freel; and niece Corinna Rose Robertson Freel. Callum was a graduate of Asheville High School, and attended Sheldon Jackson College of Alaska, and Warren Wilson College.Ian, Victoria and Hannah Robertson are sad to share news of the death of their beloved son and brother, Callum (6/7/84 to 1/6/12). Callum lived life to the fullest, enjoyed adventure, and travels worldwide with friends and family. He was an avid and competitive mountain biker, loving and generous friend to many, and a joy to be around. He could create and make beautiful objects from clay, wood, or metal and bicycle parts. We had rejoiced in his recent engagement to Caitlin Thomas with whom we share our grief. We do not want flowers. If you wish to remember Callum, please donate to the Warren Wilson College Mountain Bike Team or the Montessori Learning Center of Asheville, a non-profit preschool Callum loved, and support both of these programs. We take only magnificent and wonderful memories of Callum with us into the future.Join us in a celebration of Callum’s life at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 14, 2012 at Warren Wilson Chapel, with a reception after at the Fellowship Hall. Officiating will be Steve Runholt and Jeanne Sommer. Following this, his ashes are to be placed at the Warren Wilson cemetery. We invite those who want to participate to join us on a mountain bike ride through the fields or by car to the cemetery. Time will be given to allow sharing of memories at the chapel and the cemetery. Visit our community site: Robertson and Thomas Family Support Powered by Lotsa Helping Hands.last_img read more

The Tough Get Going

first_imgNot only is the mild winter pouring cold rain down our backs as we wish our way through another “riding” weekend, but the bacteria running rampant without a good freeze are causing sniffles, sore throats and weeks of hacking coughs.I know some people like to believe that as they are coming down with something it’s best to ride hard to flush it out of the system, but I don’t believe that. I think that only causes the body to be worn down, allowing whatever virus or bacteria to take advantage of the weakened state.One good example is that whenever I go through periods of working my body really hard for several weeks, pushing every ride or run, I end up sick. I think that when all the nutrients are used up and the muscles are fatigued, slurping up every bubble of oxygen and spare B vitamin, that it takes only the smallest of germs to have its way.Those kind of riding weeks allow me to sleep better, that’s for sure, falling into bed exhausted. It’s nights like that when I don’t even move, and upon waking in the morning feel more like I’ve survived a coma and now have a numb limb from the way I’ve slept on it. Then again, it’s hard to remember that, because now I fall into bed exhausted over being beaten all day by the children. I’m lucky to get a quick ride in, and am too much of a weenie to pull the baby in the trailer any more. Or maybe it’s the argument I don’t want to have with him, because he now is adept at voicing his refusals to get in the contraption any more. Maybe I need to make it look more like a motorcycle and he’d want to. Although I find that when wearing an iPod up very loud he doesn’t complain near as much…So the bacteria in these warm winters are not getting killed off, and nearly every door handle seems to be coated in germs. I cringe every time I see my 3-year-old with his fingers in his mouth. Even my 8-year-old, who has only been sick twice in his life got the strep throat. We got it at the same time, as I cannot stop smooching my children, even through a veil of snot. I started my antibiotics before becoming miserable and was ecstatic at my planning since I was to leave on a much-needed week-long solo trip.Three days into my trip the soldiers began falling around me, fevered and groaning as I rushed to the store for Emergen C, green juice and antibacterial fluid for everything that had been touched. I’ve been working out every day, so I just know that these bugs are going to gang up on me and can almost hear them laughing out loud.Today I will not work out. I will jump on this motorcycle instead, heading up Pacific Coastal Highway 1 to Big Sur where I will soak my bones in the hot springs at Esalen Institute. A girl’s gotta’ do what a girl’s gotta do…last_img read more

Appalachian Trail Dispatch: A Cold Start

first_img Mile 0: Getting Started from Horizonline Pictures on Vimeo.Editor’s Note: Blue Ridge Outdoors contributor Chris Gallaway is currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. He will be periodically checking in with BRO and sharing the story of his hike. This is his first dispatch from the A.T.Hiking in winter presents as many challenges as rewards. Leading up to my thru-hike, the winter in the Southeast had be very mild and rainy. Within a few days of starting my hike I encountered ice storms on the mountaintops, nighttime temps in the teens and single digits, and one big snowstorm that revealed a fascinating network of animal tracks crossing the forest floor. This is a collection of raw images captured in the first two weeks on the trail.Click the image to see a larger version and play a slideshow. center_img last_img read more

Nominate Your Conservation Heroes with Wild South’s 8th Annual Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards

first_imgWild South Seeks Nominations for 8th Annual Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Environmental Conservation in the South.Wild South invites the public to submit nominations for the 8th Annual Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards. The awards recognize outstanding contributions to environmental conservation in the South during the past year. Awards will be given and top nominees recognized in each of the five categories:• Outstanding Small Business•  Outstanding Journalist•  Outstanding Educator•  Outstanding Youth•  Outstanding Conservationist.On May 7, 2016, top nominees and award winners will be honored at the 8th Annual Wild South Green Gala at The Millroom in Asheville, North Carolina.GreenGalaLogoFull2016Nominations are accepted from across the South and can be submitted online by April 1, 2016 at www.wildsouth.org/nominations. Top nominees and winners will be selected by the Roosevelt-Ashe Selection Committee. Members of this committee are conservation leaders in the region and include:•Katie Hicks, Associate Director of Clean Water for North Carolina (Asheville, NC)•Jake Wheeler, Creative Director of RootsRated (Chattanooga, TN)•Frank Peterman, Co-founder and Senior Business Manager for the Diverse Environmental Leaders National Speakers Bureau (Fort Lauderdale, FL)•Audrey Peterman, Member of the Board of Trustees of National Parks Conservation Association (Fort Lauderdale, FL)•Dusty Allison, Digital Publisher of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine (Asheville, NC)•Kathleen Williams, Founding Executive Director of Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation (Nashville, TN)•Pete Conroy, Director of Environmental Policy & Information Center of Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL)•Camille Bowman, Architectural Conservator (Gadsden, AL)•Mary Topa, Executive Director of Georgia Forest Watch (Dahlonega, GA)The nomination form can be accessed directly here. We look forward to reading your nomination and to recognizing your conservation heroes!last_img read more

How To: Eagle, Colorado

first_img About two hours west of Denver (126 miles to be exact) rests the town of Eagle, Colorado. If you’re like Roxy and me, then you’ve likely heard of, driven past, or even stopped in Eagle for a quick tank of gas on your way further west. We have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more about this town at the west end of the Eagle River Vally in the future. With a modest population of around 6,500, this beautiful small town has us wanting to come back for more.In Colorado, we are fortunate to have an endless amount of outdoor recreation at the tip of our Subaru’s tires. Eagle takes that mentality and goes above and beyond. It has the outdoor lifestyle ingrained in the fabric of their community.Eagle has integrated single track sidewalks for mountain bike commuters. They weave alongside sidewalks and allow riders to hop on and off the pavement as they choose. They have a bike rack on every corner, and bike stands for working on your bike on every other corner. There’s really no reason to drive because the town is so bike friendly. Eagle is home to Colorado’s longest pump track, and a giant BMX course that’s free to the public. There’s also a local pool and ice rink with showers for stinky riders (like us). The town is in the beginning stages of building a brand new whitewater park on the Eagle River, a stone throw from breweries and coffee shops. Eagle also has a little known secret… If you start at city hall you can bike to their incredible 100+ miles of world-class single track mountain bike trail system without having to pack your car and drive to a trailhead.EatWe started our day at Red Canyon Cafe. This cafe serves up tasty breakfast sandwiches and a great cup of coffee. Eagle has a surprising amount of highly rated coffee shops for a small town. Need to get some work done? Or do you prefer a quick post-lunch cold brew before you hit another round of trails? Yeti’s Grind is the perfect stop for a stellar cup of cold brew. Roxy snagged an iced coconut late and it was delicious. If you’re in need of lunch, why settle for smushed PB&Js when you can hop off the trail right next to the Dusty Boot. This family friendly American restaurant and bar donates $1 from every burger sold to help support Eagle County Biking Trails. Just finished a long day of crushing single track? Don’t feel like chewing? Bonfire Brewing is a must. We stopped in here to catch up on some work and try a few of the newest tap selections. Bonus! They’re completely dog friendly and will give you a free brew for 5,000 feet of climbing.Play (Our Favorite)Bike stuff… All of it. No joke, this is the most expansive trail system you can find this close to the front range. Need to be pointed in the right direction? Visit Eagle’s Website and get the lowdown on all of the trails. If you’d rather speak to a knowledgable human about the trails, or if your bike needs a little love before heading out, we highly recommend stopping in the best bike shop in town, Mountain Pedaler Bike Shop, to see Charlie Brown. Charlie is somewhat of a local legend in Eagle. His killer bike shop has received multiple awards, and he has a trail (and a beer!) named after him. As soon as you step foot in his shop, Charlie will great you with a smile and do everything he can to help you. I took a bit of a tumble on my bike the night before we stopped in Eagle. Charlie helped me get back on the trail as quick as he could.When we stopped by, we had the pleasure of riding the Haymaker trail. A short but oh-so-sweet section of single track less than a mile from town. This trail was professionally built to host the Colorado High School Cycling league State Championships. It’s the kind of trail that you can run laps on and ride it a little differently each time. It starts and finishes at the local rec-center, where you can find the longest pump track in the state. It’s a blast. You’ll also find a very well maintained, large, FREE BMX course. Let’s face it, Colorado is amazing in the summer time but unless you’re spending your afternoons at high elevation, it can get hot. Lucky for you right next to the trailhead is a pool and showers to help you cool off. One last note… The trails are open 6 months out of the year (and some year roud), which isn’t true for many of their mountain neighbors.Biking not your thing? The community of Eagle has also pledged a 0.5% tax increase to help fund a new 4.3 acre Whitewater park on the Eagle River. Anglers will find plenty of epic year-round fishing in the Eagle River, Brush Creek, and Sylvan Lake.StayEagle has several big name hotels with very reasonable rates. When we checked, a room at the Eagle River Lodge was $79.00, and a room at the Best Western Plus Eagle Lodge & Suits was $106.00. For the campers among us, there’s beautiful, free, BLM dispersed camping right up the hill off of Bellyache Road. It’s a great spot where you can bike to and from the trials. There’s also a state park campground right next to Sylvan Lake just outside of town. At Sylvan Lake, you’ll find cabins, yurts, and non-electric campsites. All of which can be reserved on Reserve America. Consider the “Fisherman’s Paradise” Loop for a spot right on the water.Next time your looking to skip the crowds in the front range and can’t justify driving 6 hours for a short weekend mountain bike trip, stop in Eagle. You won’t regret it. Sunset from Cowee Mountains Overlook, on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. If you like the gear we’re reppin’, or what we’re wearing, check out some of the sponsors that make this tour possible: La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.last_img read more

Ultimate Virginia Biking Giveaway

first_imgOR UP TO $359 credit towards a trek bike of your choice! Locally crafted eats and brews in the heart of Old Town Winchester at Roma and Alesatian Brewing Company WEAR(2) PAIRS OF KING TECHNICAL APPAREL SOCKS This contest is over. WIN THIS FULLY LOADED GETAWAY TO WINCHESTER, VA! A unique and immersive 2-night stay FOR TWO at the new Bird’s Nest Tiny House at Hedgebrook Farm EAT + DRINKcenter_img EXPLOREA custom winery and farm market biking tour by Element Sports from your tiny house through the gorgeous surrounding Shenandoah Valley countryside RIDETREK FX BIKE from BLUE RIDGE CYCLERY Enter to win below: STAY Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on October 31, 2018 – date subject to change. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mis-transcribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and their promotional partners reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before October 31, 2018 – date and time subject to change. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received. One entry per person or two entries per person if partnership opt-in box above is checked.last_img read more

June 2019: Urban Adventures

first_img @VisitMeckVA The Big Cut: Trump’s New Timber Rule Threatens the Future of Our National Forests Urban Paddling Small is Beautiful: National parks grab most of the headlines, but state parks are thriving, especially in Southern Appalachia.  Features 2019 Paddling Guide You are Being Poisoned The Long Creek Gangsters are the bad boys of Chattooga paddling • Paddler attempts record-breaking 100-mile circumnavigation of Lake Lanier • Wild workouts from the world’s fittest man   On the Cover Departments You don’t have to travel far to squeeze in a day on the water. These nine rivers offer closer-to-home paddling adventure. Hometown Heroes Knoxville’s first climber to summit Everest helps rescue a critically wounded Sherpa along the way. Bear collisions with vehicles are increasing, especially in places like Interstate 40 adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. What can be done to keep the roads safe for motorists and wildlife?  QUICK HITS Blood in the Snowcenter_img TRAIL MIX Dead Bears on the Highway LAST WORD Photo by Sam Dean @sdeanphotos Top athletes from across the region reveal their 25 favorite urban adventure hotspots.  FLASHPOINT Katie Arnold made a remarkable comeback from a potentially career-ending injury to win the Leadville 100 Mile Race last year. How did she do it? Her first-person essay takes us mile by mile in her footsteps.  Sunrise on Kerr Lake in central Virginia in Mecklenburg The Secret to Winning Leadville Paddling experts pick their personal favorites for whitewater and flatwater fun. Sounds of Summer: 5 big tours rolling through the South Virginia native Bucky Bailey is the central figure in a groundbreaking new Netflix documentary The Devil We Know. Bucky takes on a corporate titan to protect his family and the health of his hometown—and helps reveal a toxin lurking in all of our bodies and homes.  THE GOODS SamDeanPhotography.comlast_img read more

Brazil, an Aspiring Power Strengthening Its Defense Industry

first_img The Brazil that will be inherited by the winner of the election on 30 October is expanding its military power and strengthening its arms industry in giant steps, with commercial objectives but also in order to establish the basis for its access to the great-power club, analysts estimate. The new occupant of the Palacio de Planalto on 1 January will be the first president expected to apply in full the new National Defense Strategy, which has modernized the Brazilian vision of this sector and laid the foundations for a powerful defense industry in the South American giant. In the last eight years, the country has acquired an unprecedented international presence, thanks in part to the charisma of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, playing an active role in the most important international forums. And the area of defense is no exception. At the regional level, Brazil promoted the Defense Council of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), which the countries of the block joined. “Brazil’s transformation into a military power is a new discussion in the country, even for the military. The idea of Brazil as a developed country from the defense perspective and without its traditional alignments is new in the country,” Nelson During, an independent defense specialist, told AFP. For this expert, Brazil’s objective is to strengthen itself from the military perspective “as an independent power.” Brazil’s performance at the head of the military arm of the UN mission deployed in Haiti since 2004 allowed the country to take responsibility for this facet of an international mission in which dozens of countries are involved, achieving in addition an enormous training rotation for its soldiers in a crisis situation. “In January, Brazil lost several soldiers in Haiti (as a consequence of the earthquake), and the country accepted what had happened well. No one asked for the troops to return. Now there’s already talk of sending (Brazilian) blue helmets to Lebanon. This is to say that this active role is already following its own course,” During remarked. The international-relations specialist Sabrina Medeiros told AFP that “Brazil is already seen as a trustworthy associate, but it’s necessary to consolidate a deterrence capability as a support for this new role that the country is playing” in the international diplomatic arena. Brazil “does not suffer from classic or conventional threats, nor are there border disputes, and this demands the adoption of a modern strategy. The new National Strategy is the first step in the process,” in the summary of Carlos Alberto Teixeira, a professor at the Naval War College. Looking forward, the key to this strategy, adopted in 2008, is the decision to establish the basis for an arms industry, with the long-term expectation of turning Brazil into an exporter of military technology. For During, the development of a defense industry “will run into a natural brake, which is the market. It will be very difficult for Brazil to find space in the defense technology market, where there are very powerful actors.” Meanwhile, the country is trying to acquire packets of military technology. The modernization process includes as its most ambitious step the purchase of thirty-six latest-generation fighter planes. The competitors bidding for the project are the French firm Dassault with its Rafale model, the administration’s favorite; the U.S. giant Boeing with its F-18 Super Hornet model; and the Swedish Saab, with its Grippen airplanes. Brazil has already bought from France four Scorpene attack submarines and the shell of a fifth, which will be adapted for a nuclear motor being developed by the Brazilian Navy. The country has also bought from France 50 EC-725 transport helicopters, which will be assembled in Brazil with local workers, and this fleet of helicopters will be completed with 24 Russian Mi-35Ms. At the same time, Brazil signed an association agreement with Italy in June for an Italian firm to manufacture 2,044 armored personnel carriers on Brazilian soil over twenty years. Italy and the United Kingdom are competing with one another for the contracts for ocean-going patrol ships. The Italians want to place their FREMM frigates. Meanwhile, the Brazilian Air Force and the Brazilian civil aerospace firm Embraer are developing the powerful KC-390 airplane, designed to replace the American Hercules C-130. Embraer plans to sell seven hundred KC-390 logistical-transport and troop-transport planes, “one hundred of them in South America,” according to the firm, an emblem of the incipient local defense industry. By Dialogo October 27, 2010last_img read more

Costa Rica: Coast Guard invests in infrastructure, technology

first_imgBy Dialogo July 18, 2012 SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – The Costa Rican National Coast Guard Service (SNG) is on a building spree, aiming to open 12 bases along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts by the end of the year, said SNG Director Martín Arias. “We are going to have buildings that are modern and comfortable for our people and close to the communities they work with,” he added. “What the National Police Force does in security work, we are also going to have in our communities.” The SNG, which celebrated the 12th anniversary of its founding in May, has seized more than 30 tons of drugs since 2005 – an amount Arias said is roughly equivalent to US$500 million in profits taken away from international narco-trafficking organizations. The SNG seized more than five tons of narcotics between May 2011 and May 2012. “Thirty tons is an important achievement and I believe the country should feel very confident in a service like ours,” Arias said. The SNG’s growth, in terms of both new stations and new boats in the national fleet, has been funded in part by approximately US$5.5 million in aid from the United States, according to the Public Security Ministry. Of the US$5.5 million, US$3.5 million went toward building an SNG station in Puerto Caldera on the Pacific Coast that opened this past March. The United States also donated two high-tech interceptor boats worth about US$1.8 million. Arias said the SNG spent US$1.2 million to purchase seven interceptor boats from Colombia, with four having already arrived in the Central American nation. The agency is investing US$650,000 to rebuild an older patrol boat as part of a US$3.3 million investment to develop its fleet this year. “We’re looking hard at our coastal fleet,” Arias said. “We’re looking to improve our smaller boats and our interceptor boats, as well as restoring patrol boats that haven’t been used in years.” Arias said the SNG recently opened a new station on the Northern Caribbean Coast near the estuary of the Pacuare River, giving security forces access to the Tortuguero Canals, which have been used by narco-traffickers and poachers who snatch sea turtle eggs. The SNG is building a US$900,000 facility to be inaugurated near the end of August at the Caribbean shipping port in Moín. The SNG also is planning to build a station in the town of Sixaola, near the Panamanian border, Arias said. On the Pacific Coast, the SNG is expected to build a station near the town of Drake and another station, which is part of a joint project with the Environment Ministry, at Puerto Coyote. In November, the Environment Ministry and the Public Security Ministry (MSP) signed an accord to cooperate in the protection of Costa Rica’s marine resources with a focus on illegal fishing. “We are going to open a new Coast Guard station in Nandayure, which is an area where we’ve had little presence,” Arias said. “And in July, we’re going to lay the first stone of the Coast Guard station in Flamingo, in Santa Cruz, which represents an investment of US$1.25 million financed by the government of the United States.” Arias added the SNG would be investing in improvements in a station near Murciélago, close to the Nicaraguan border. Public Security Minister Mario Zamora said the SNG currently has about 44 boats stationed along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. “The Coast Guard also is in the process of incorporating new technologies, specifically the placement of radar stations, on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts,” Zamora said. Zamora said the SNG will also be adding GPS units to patrol boats, enabling command centers to monitor the status of boats on the high sea. The units will help conserve fuel and ensure captains are patrolling assigned areas. “Today, there are manual systems and the captain of the ships can do what they desire to do,” he added. “With these technological systems, we’re going to incorporate important levels of internal controls.”last_img read more

Attacks in Chile taking a dangerous turn to terrorism

first_img The 2014 attacks By Dialogo October 07, 2014 Anarchism in Chile has been used for decades to fight for the injustices of capitalism, but up until 2014, had never been used to attack innocent civilians. Instead, Chilean based anarchist groups are known for using political inroads to beget education, tax, and political reforms. Today, these groups continue to fight for reform but differing views on how to achieve end goals has resulted in splintering of groups; some of which now have international ties to European violent extremist groups. These same European groups are believed to guide and support extremist cells in Chile. Take for example the CCF. This group is native to Greece, but as evidenced by the Santiago Metro attacks, the CCF has at least one Chilean based cell comprised of Chilean nationals. It also appears that the Chilean cell may have followed guidance released by the CCF in Greece to use everyday items to create explosive devices. This idea is evidenced by the fact that fire extinguishers filled with gunpowder were utilized in both the July and September attacks. CCF affiliation in Chile is concerning, because according to Greek authorities and information released by the news website The Perfect Storm, the CCF’s loose, horizontal structure made of individual cells makes it hard to fight. Also of concern is the fact that some security experts have described this group as a mythological serpent in the sense that once one head is cut off, another pops back up. If this is the case and there are more CCF cells operating in Chile, wiping out the remaining members is imperative to stop future attacks. From anarchism to extreme anarchism Since 2005 anarchist groups have detonated explosive devices in non-populated areas within Chile during late night hours on at least 198 separate occasions, according to Spaniard newspaper El País. Because of the timing and absence of civilian populace during these attacks, no casualties were reported. But recent attacks conducted in July and September 2014 deviated from the original pattern as they were conducted at the Santiago Metro Station, a public transit system used by an estimated 2,500,000 individuals per day. And although the Metro attacks did not result in civilian deaths, they made it clear that extremist cells of anarchist groups are willing and capable of carrying out large-scale terrorist attacks aimed at inflicting multiple casualties at any hour of the day. On July 13, 2014, the last subway car of the night pulled into Los Dominicos stop at the Santiago Metro Station. Per protocol, a subway employee began checking the train cars one by one to ensure they were all empty during which time a backpack was found underneath a seat in the first car. The bag contained a fire extinguisher filled with gunpowder and a clock wired to the device with cables. This incident was immediately reported to subway security and police. In response to the threat, the subway platform was evacuated, and shortly after, the device detonated before authorities even had a chance to look at it. Information released by Chilean news agency Emol indicated that no injuries were reported in conjunction with this attack. However, it represented the first instance in which alleged anarchists dared to detonate an explosive device in a public forum with citizens still present. On September 08, 2014, crowds gathered to enjoy lunch at a fast food restaurant located next to the Escuela Militar metro station in Las Condes neighborhood of Santiago, Chile. At 14:05, a fire extinguisher filled with gunpowder was detonated leaving 14 injured. Following this attack, Peruvian newspaper El Comercio indicated that at least two of the victims suffered full limb amputations, but as in the first attack, no deaths were reported. Hours following the September incident, the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire (CCF) released an online statement claiming responsibility for both Metro attacks. They further blamed authorities for injuries sustained by civilians and claimed that their target was not the civilian populace, but the “structures, properties and enforcers of power.” In carrying out the two Metro attacks, the CCF not only undermined legitimate anarchist groups dedicated to creating lasting social change, it also highlighted its potential to conduct potential large scale terrorist attacks. But the question still remains, how did a small group coordinate a possible mass casualty terrorist attack and who could have helped them? El País has also reported information indicating that Chilean based extreme anarchists are believed to have ties with Spanish based terrorist groups. Just last year, two Chilean anarchists who were tried and acquitted in connection with the Santiago bombings were later arrested in Spain where they were charged with planting a bomb in a church in Zaragoza. Additionally, at least nine known Spanish terrorists have visited Chile to directly support small scale bombing attacks in recent years. For these reasons and so many more, Chilean ties to international violent extremist groups are concerning as they may serve as the influence for more high profile attacks. Extremist Chilean anarchists responsible for the Santiago metro terrorist attacks made it clear that they are willing and able to target densely populated venues during daytime hours. Possible future attacks are also of concern, but the Chilean government is determined to thwart any attempts and to prosecute offenders by enacting an anti-terrorism law first used during the Pinochet era. This law allows for anonymous witness testimony by the prosecution and greatly increased sentences. In applying it, the Chilean government likely hopes to dismantle small extremist cells with probable international ties while restoring peace and tranquility to the streets of Santiago. Thanks for the information. It was left out in Brazilian newspapers.last_img read more

U.S. Military Response to Hurricane Matthew Sets the Tone for Successful Planning and Coordination

first_imgBy CDR Ted Kim, LCDR Jeremy Greenwood, CDR Timothy Sommella* November 02, 2016 While Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm, was barreling toward Haiti, a small team of U.S. Coast Guard officers was hunkered down in a makeshift command center at a house in Port-au-Prince. Hurricane Matthew became the most destructive storm to hit Haiti in more than 50 years, and the planning and coordination that took place in that makeshift command center set the tone for the U.S. military response. Five Coast Guard cutter crews and more than six Coast Guard aircrews provided the first U.S. military response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, which was coordinated and shaped under the leadership of three Coast Guard officers – Cmdr. Ted Kim, Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Greenwood, and Cmdr. Timothy Sommella. Less than 12 hours after Hurricane Matthew passed, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Air Station Miami was the first U.S. military asset to arrive on scene. At the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the aircrew carried U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Peter F. Mulrean, provisional Haitian President Jocelerme Privert, and a team of USAID disaster-response experts on an initial overflight assessment of the devastation Hurricane Matthew left behind. The next day, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater provided a similar overflight for U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Cedric Pringle, commander of Joint Task Force Matthew (JTF-M). The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton crew also facilitated a logistically challenging transport to get the provisional president of Haiti and the U.S. ambassador on the ground in Jeremie – one of the worst hit cities in Haiti. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew transferred the two VIPs and the U.S. Coast Guard liaison officer to the cutter before being taken by small boat to a damaged pier in Jeremie. The U.S. military response from U.S. Southern Command grew to more than 20 aircraft, 450 Department of Defense personnel, and two amphibious naval ships carrying 2,600 additional personnel and supplies. JTF-M facilitated the delivery of more than 272 metric tons of food, shelter, and medical supplies and transported 150 relief personnel to cut-off communities in Haiti. The U.S. Coast Guard team proved integral to the formation and support of the operation, liaising with local Haitian government officials, providing critical logistics support, and serving as a conduit between the joint task force and the U.S. Embassy. *U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Jeremy Greenwood, Coast Guard Liaison Officer in Haiti; U.S. Coast Guard Commander Ted Kim, Senior Defense Officer/Defense Attaché in Haiti; and U.S. Coast Guard Commander Timothy Sommella, JTF-Matthew-U.S. Coast Guard Liaison Officer.last_img read more

Peruvian Army Promotes Moral Values in Society

first_imgBy Gonzalo Silva Infante/Diálogo August 23, 2018 The Peruvian Army School of Psychological Operations started an unprecedented pilot program to strengthen the troops’ moral values on July 1, 2018. The semester-long program precedes the Army’s national campaign, A Better Citizen. Meant for officers who will graduate in December, the program is carried out in several facilities of the Army in Lima, such as Chorrillos Military School and the Peruvian Army Technical School. Its goal: to adjust the campaign strategy and provide officers with the tools necessary to pass on the message to the troops, all while stimulating their own moral values. The army’s objective is to create a virtuous cycle to help improve Peruvian society. It is estimated that the campaign will reach 20,000 soldiers per year and that each will be able to influence at least 10 people around them. “In the last 40 years, society as a whole has undergone a crisis in values,” Colonel Jorge Reyes Gutiérrez, commandant of the Peruvian Army School of Psychological Operations, told Diálogo. “In our case, we had to deal with terrorism and the economic crisis. Due to a lack of good role models, some people opted for the wrong path. This gave rise to the image of drug traffickers and terrorists.” Author of the campaign From the beginning of his career, Major General Oscar de Jesús Reto Otero, chief of the General Staff of the Peruvian Army, enjoyed chatting with new soldiers to understand what they longed for—a good position, enduring relationships, and helping others. Throughout the years, the spontaneous talks turned into an increasingly concrete vision: Soldiers and their values could positively impact those around them and society. As such, Maj. Gen. Reto started to give informal, educational talks to officers and noncommissioned officers that led to the creation of the moral value campaign, A Better Citizen. Developed by the Peruvian Army School of Psychological Operations, the campaign kicks off in 2019. “In his eagerness to close the loop, [Maj. Gen. Reto] came in February [2018] to talk about his concern,” Col. Reyes said. “He saw that the School of Psychological Operations was the ideal entity to provide scientific support to the work we will carry out and the time it will take—what we can transmit and how we will transmit it.” A repetitive system The School of Psychological Operations opened in 1994 in the district of Santiago de Surco, Lima. The first basic psychological operations program, however, was taught in 1984 at the Army’s premises. With the support of the school’s experts—anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and journalists—Maj. Gen. Reto and Col. Reyes identified ways to reinforce good habits in the troops, so these could be passed on to relatives and friends. The model, in its adjustment phase, is based on repetition. According to a 2009 study of University College London, habits are forged in about 66 days. “We’ve come to a rigorous, deliberate model,” Col. Reyes said. “With that corroborated time frame and repetitive system, we looked for free time or psychological spaces we could use within soldiers’ training to get the message across.” The officers found seven daily moments in which to reinforce service members’ habits. They will work on self-esteem orally—through prayers, mottoes, and readings from officers in charge—and through actions when fulfilling their duties. “We will work on self-esteem, which is very low,” Col. Reyes said. “That explains family violence, femicides […] that’s normal in societies that have gone through periods of generalized violence.” Good soldiers, better citizens Officials in charge of the campaign estimate the results will be visible in three years. They stressed that the support of section commanders will be essential to attain the expected results. “They are the ones out there day by day, always with [soldiers], like I used to be when I was second lieutenant,” Maj. Gen. Reto said. As part of the project, officers enrolled at the School of Psychological Operations will take part in a communications course at San Martin de Porres University in Lima. The two-month course, ending in September, will allow officers to develop products around the theme of soldiers as agents of change in society. Each year, the School of Psychological Operations collaborates with the schools of Communication of local universities to train psychological operators in this field. Thanks to the partnership, service members gain the technical tools to be able to transmit information. During its 24 years, the school has come a long way, focusing its efforts on training service members and widening its reach to civil institutions and society. In 2018, the school had yet another first: an unprecedented course for the Peruvian National Police (PNP), which took place April 16th–May 26th. PNP officers who fight against narcoterrorism in the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM, in Spanish), took part in the Special Course for PNP Personnel deployed with the VRAEM Psychological Operations Team. With this training, PNP units will be better prepared to face the challenges of organized crime and protect the people. In the coming months, Maj. Gen. Reto and Col. Reyes will analyze the advances of the pilot program and set the final details. Officers of the School of Psychological Operations started talks with the Peruvian Navy, Air Force, and National Police to replicate the model in their institutions. The campaign, they said, will serve as a catalyst for social change. “My vision is to have good soldiers, better citizens,” Maj. Gen. Reto concluded. “They should not only practice values, but also demand them. If this continues to grow, we will be able to demand that our authorities, who we elect, do what they have offered to do.”last_img read more

Venezuelan Interim President Visits Trump at White House

first_imgBy Voice of America / Edited by Diálogo Staff February 19, 2020 On February 5, Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House. In a statement announcing Guaidó’s visit, the White House said, “We will continue to work with our partners in the region to confront the illegitimate dictatorship in Venezuela, and will stand alongside the Venezuelan people to ensure a future that is democratic and prosperous.”Guaidó’s visit to Washington followed visits with European and Canadian leaders, part of his campaign against Maduro.The United States and other countries blame Maduro’s socialist policies for the political and economic crisis that threatens regional stability, while recognizing Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate interim leader. Guaidó was a guest at Trump’s State of the Union speech in Washington on February 4 and received a standing ovation.National security issueAhead of the meeting between Trump and Guaidó, a senior Trump administration official told reporters Venezuela was a national security priority “in the sense of the destabilizing effect that it has on its neighbors.” The official said the country was responsible for “harboring narcotraffickers” and “narco-terrorists,” adding that Venezuela had become a primary point of narcotics trafficking to Central America, Mexico, and therefore the United States.The official also said the U.S. was using “all of the tools in our box available” to respond.last_img read more

Pro Bono Awards: Voluntary Bar Association Service Award

first_img THE VOLUNTARY BAR ASSOCIATION PRO BONO SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT Jacksonville Bar AssociationThe Jacksonville Bar Association is a voluntary bar which has served the greater Jacksonville Area (Duval County, Baker County, Clay County, St. Johns County, and Nassau County) since 1897. It has been a long-standing tenet of the Jacksonville Bar Association to not only serve the legal community, but the community in general. As a result, numerous programs and services have been provided throughout the years by members of the Jacksonville Bar including, but not limited to, the Special Olympics, Teen Court, Holiday Project for the Elderly, Holiday in January for children associated with the Department of Children and Families, the Mentor Program, Law School for the Public, and various seminars and forums held for both the legal community and the community at large. In keeping with their tradition of assistance and support, the Jacksonville Bar Association, in conjunction with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, established a legal in-take clinic at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless in 2001.In essence, since the homeless do not have access to the legal community in a convenient forum, the legal community has gone to the homeless. Specifically, the legal clinic is held on the third Tuesday of each month from 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the benefit of the guests at the center. Each session includes a minimum of four attorneys: two attorneys who specialize in general litigation, a family law attorney, and a public defender. The center provides a staff liaison, Freda Hodges, to assist Alan Pickert, a private attorney with the law firm of Brown, Terrell, Hogan, who coordinates the project for the Jacksonville Bar, and Sarah Jones Fowler, director of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s Public Service Projects, who oversees the in-take project for Legal Aid. Both Pickert and Fowler participate each month to provide continuity while the other volunteer attorneys who participate rotate through the program. Additionally, many presentations are also conducted during the course of the year at the center in conjunction with the legal clinic in-take, covering various substantive topics including employment, divorce, housing, and criminal concerns.The I.M. Sulzbacher Center averages 278 homeless guests on a daily basis, and a great number of these guests have legal problems which require an attorney’s attention. Those individuals who sign up to meet with an attorney for the legal in-take are then interviewed by the attorney and their case is either accepted by the attorney or referred to Legal Aid staff or pro bono attorneys for further follow-up. However, numerous times counsel’s advice during the in-take session resolves many of the problems.Since its inaugural debut in February, 2001, over 50 private attorneys have extended their already busy day to interview over 200 guests of the Center with issues ranging from child support to record sealings. Thus far, attorneys have donated almost 300 hours to this program, interviewing guests, administrating the project, and handling the cases pro bono for the guests.The Sulzbacher Center already views the clinic as a tremendous success. As Hodges, a life skills educator for the center, stated: “We are inundated with legal questions throughout the course of any given day by our guests. The questions can range from divorce/child custody issues to landlord/tenant disputes, to workers’ compensation or employment cases. The guests want real answers, and quite frankly we do not have the answers. The guests are always excited and look forward to being able to meet with attorneys to address their needs and to know that there are individuals out in the world who care about them.”One such example of the impact of the program was illustrated at the center’s annual fundraiser, “Transformations,” which was attended by Fowler and the past chairperson of the project from the Jacksonville Bar Association, Marianne Lloyd Aho. During the fund-raiser, the Center honors its partnership with organizations and recognizes the successful transformations of its guests. One such successful transformation concerned a guest who was wrongfully denied unemployment compensation benefits that she desperately needed to support her family until she found future employment. utilizing the program, the grateful guest was justly awarded the benefits that had been wrongly denied her, thereby moving her one step closer to achieving her goal of self-reliance for her and her children.Every month brings an entirely new flow of guests requiring legal assistance. Everyone involved in the project works diligently to refer guests to the clinic with the hope of helping them remove yet one more barrier toward their independence. As one individual stated, legal assistance was the “missing piece of the puzzle” for the Center. Now the picture is complete thanks to the Jacksonville Bar Association. Click here for more Pro Bono Awards Ceremony coverage. Pro Bono Awards: Voluntary Bar Association Service Award April 1, 2002 Regular Newslast_img read more

Stresslines – Thoughts on the holidays, balance & porfessionalism

first_img Stresslines – Thoughts on the holidays, balance & professionalism Stresslines – Thoughts on the holidays, balance & porfessionalism “ Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least,” — Goethe “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience,” — Teilhard de Chardin“ He that is good with a hammer tends to think everything is a nail,” — Abraham Maslow Robert FioreOnce again, we find ourselves at that time of year, which means many things to many people. Some of us are happy; some not so happy; and some are just indifferent.We all work in a profession that at times is associated with stress, discomfort, and lots of worrying. Indeed, our profession may at times consume us to the point where little else matters.However, let us stop and think for a moment and ask ourselves the following question — Is our job really what matters most in our lives? I feel fairly certain that the vast majority of us would answer that question with a resounding, “No.”If that is true, then the next question must be, “Why do many of us live day to day as if the answer to the first question — is our job really what matters most in our lives — is, “Yes?” I feel fairly certain that the vast majority of us would answer that question with a resounding, “I don’t have any idea.”That said, we may want to take this time of year to reflect on the following: Is now the time to invest the time and energy in finding balance in my life?Let’s not kid ourselves; finding balance in life is perhaps one of the single greatest challenges we as lawyers, judges, and staff face on a daily basis. There is simply no “quick-fix” solution to this dilemma.What matters most in our lives? Is it our parents, children, brothers, and sisters? Is it our friends? Is it our spirituality? Or, is it something else?The point is simply this: many of us who have achieved success in our profession and are well intentioned have not invested the time and energy necessary to begin answering these basic questions. And, without those answers, we have not even begun the process of solving the “balance dilemma.”As the quote above from Goethe teaches, once we figure out the things that matter most in life, the journey begins to ensure that these same things are never at the mercy of the things that matter least.What does finding balance in life have to do with professionalism? Perhaps nothing, depending on our perspective. But, I suggest that “balance” and “professionalism” have a deep-rooted, synergistic relationship. In other words, those of us who have found balance in life — or at the very least have begun searching for it — are more likely to value professionalism that has at its core living by a higher set of principles, and not just the minimum requirements set forth in the ethical rules.There are few times during the year that provide a better opportunity to reflect on life than during the holidays. Maybe now is the time to start the journey. Robert J. Fiore of Miami serves as the president of the Dade County Bar Association and chair of The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism. This column is published under the sponsorship of the Quality of Life and Career Committee. The committee’s Web site is at www.fla-lap.org/qlsm.center_img January 1, 2005 Regular Newslast_img read more

In Memoriam

first_img In Memoriam Joseph Henry Chambers, St. Petersburg Admitted 1964; Died January 6, 2005 Robert Stephen Geiger, Boca Raton Admitted 1975; Died February 6, 2004 Julius Benjamin Griffin, Ocoee Admitted 1955; Died January 25, 2003 James H. Hartl, San Francisco, CA Admitted 1973; Died August 15, 2000 William O.E. Henry, Maitland Admitted 1952; Died March 11, 2005 Michael Francis Hofer, Indianapolis, IN Admitted 1980; Died March 14, 2004 J. Francis Hunt, Humble, TX Admitted 1973; Died June 11, 2000 Harry L. Irvine, Jr., Coral Springs Admitted 1987; Died August 23, 2004 Reginald S. Johnson, Royal Oak, MI Admitted 1972; Died March 4, 2003 Clifton M. Kelly, Lakeland Admitted 1947; Died April 12, 2005 Kenneth Gordon King, Naples Admitted 1992; Died April 18, 2005 O. Gwen Lamar King, Pensacola Admitted 1969; Died December 22, 2004 Edwin W. Lammi, Boca Raton Admitted 1954; Died February 19, 2005 John Ryle Lawson, Jr., Tampa Admitted 1955; Died January 31, 2005 Richard T. Leavengood, St. Petersburg Admitted 1979; Died March 8, 2005 Stuart Alan Levine, Winter Park Admitted 1981; Died August 20, 2004 Madison McNeil Mosley, Jr., St. Petersburg Admitted 1993; Died March 29, 2005 John Gerard O’Brien, Pensacola Admitted 1967; Died April 1, 2005 Quillian S. Yancey, Lakeland Admitted 1959; Died January 3, 2005 Glen C. Rafkin, Ft. Lauderdale Admitted 1979; Died January 25, 2005 Dale E. Rice, Crestview Admitted 1962; Died March 21, 2005 Lori R. Rosen, Minnetonka, MN Admitted 1989; Died February 15, 2005 Joel Steven Rossignolo, Orlando Admitted 1971; Died March 7, 2005 David Herrick Runyan, Madeira Beach Admitted 1977; Died April 6, 2005 June 15, 2005 In Memoriam In Memoriamlast_img read more

D’Alemberte to chair AJS

first_img September 1, 2005 Regular News D’Alemberte to chair AJS Sandy D’Alemberte was recently elected to serve as chair of the board for the American Judicature Society. D’Alemberte, president emeritus of Florida State University, previously served as the AJS president from 1982 to 1984 and received its highest honor, the Justice Award in 1996. “Sandy’s passion for an accessible, high-quality, and fair justice system; understanding of issues facing our courts; and leadership qualities are well known,” said Allan Sobel, AJS president. Two other Floridians were also elected to the AJS Board of Directors. Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno returned to the board and Neal Sonnett, a Miami criminal law attorney, was re-elected to the board. As chair, D’Alemberte plans to work to implement the new governance system, which places the executive director into the office of president. He will also continue to work on a new initiative, which will draw lessons from the wrongful convictions now firmly established by DNA testing. This work is to be further developed in discussions with the National Academy of Sciences and foundations interested in supporting improvements in the truth-finding function of the justice system. D’Alemberte to chair AJSlast_img read more

Suffolk Police Save Heroin Overdose Victim, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Fort Salonga man who overdosed on heroin early Saturday morning was saved by four Suffolk County police officers using a prescription drug that reverses opiate overdoses, police said.The four officers—Joseph Mango, Barbara Hernandez, Shane Wild and Michael Guido—all responded to a call of an unresponsive man at 6:04 a.m., police said. The 20-year-old man was found passed out in his bedroom from an apparent heroin overdose, police said. Officer Mango administered the prescription drug, Narcan, on the victim, who was then taken to Huntington Hospital.The unidentified man regained consciousness in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, police said.The prescription drug is being used in all Suffolk County police precincts as part of a New York State Department of Health pilot program.last_img read more

Freeport Middle School Principal Accused of Sex with Teen

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York John Omard (Nassau County Police Department)The principal of Freeport’s J.W. Dodd Middle School was accused Wednesday of having sex with a teenage boy who was once enrolled at the school.Nassau County police arrested John O’Mard at his Freeport home and charged him with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual act. Bail was set at $10,000 bond and $5,000 cash at his arraignment.Investigators said the principal engaged in “sexual acts” with the then-16-year-old victim after they met through Grindr, a smartphone dating application for men. The two used the app to chat and discuss where they would meet, Det. Sgt. Carlo Maltempi of the Special Victims Squad, said at a press conference.O’Mard picked up the teenager at the meeting spot and then allegedly drove him to his Freeport house where the sexual act occurred, police said.There was “no force,” Maltempi said, adding that “there were other factors” that led to the sexual encounter. He didn’t elaborate.Though the alleged incident occurred in September 2012, it wasn’t until Friday that police began their investigation. One of the teenager’s friends heard of the encounter and alerted Freeport school officials last week, Maltempi said.Investigators said O’Mard served as the middle school’s principal for approximately 10 years and an educator for 15. The victim, now 17, was enrolled in the school while O’Mard was principal but it wasn’t until “shortly after they met that he realized that it was his ex-principal,” Maltempi said.Freeport School District Superintendent Dr. Kishore Kunchman released a statement on the district’s website notifying parents that school officials are aware of the investigation. Without identifying Omard by name, Kunchman said the “individual has been administratively reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation currently being conducted by law enforcement authorities.”“The district will continue to cooperate with law enforcement during their investigation,” Kunchman added. “As this is a personnel matter, the district is legally prohibited from discussing any specifics regarding this individual and the police investigation.”Former Assistant Principal Robert Micucci, who had been with the district for 36 years before retiring in 2011, will take over in the interim, the district said.O’Mard’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment. He is due back in court March 25.Nassau police asked that anyone who feels they may have been a victim call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.last_img read more

Mastic Man DWI in Crash That Killed Grandfather, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A man was arrested for drunken driving in a crash that killed his grandfather, who was a passenger in the suspect’s truck in East Patchogue on Monday evening, Suffolk County police said.Gary Hendricks, 45, of Mastic, was driving a Chevrolet Suburban westbound on Sunrise Highway when he rear-ended a GMC pickup truck and veered up an embankment, causing the truck to roll over near the corner of Route 112 at 5:15 p.m., police said.Hendricks’ grandfather, 77-year-old Isaac Beal, was ejected from the backseat of the Suburban. He pronounced dead at the scene.The other backseat passenger, 62-year-old Donald Fowler of West Babylon, was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.Hendricks and frontseat passenger, 47-year-old Tina Downes of Medford, were taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.The other driver, 21-year-old Jonnathan Penaranda of Patchogue, and his passenger were not injured.Hendricks was charged with driving while intoxicated and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip.Vehicular Crime Unit detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information about this crash to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.last_img read more

Do This: Long Island Events November 20-26

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Holiday Lights SpectacularIt’s back! After being nixed seven years ago, this 2.5-mile drive-thru seaside holiday tradition triumphantly returns with more than 150 lighted-displays, many of which are animated, synced to holiday music. It all culminates in a holiday village, where kids can have pictures taken with Santa Clause, visitors can make s’mores and revelers can hear carolers sing on select nights. Wednesday night is pet night for discounts and a chance to have a photo of Fido seated on Santa’s lap. There is also a Twofer Tuesday special—two trips for the price of one. Jones Beach State Park, West End, Ocean Pkwy. seetheholidaylights.com $20 per car weekdays, $25 weekends. Nov. 20-Jan. 4. dusk-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., open til 11 p.m. Fri.-Sun.David Amram’s 84th Birthday Concert: Remembering Pete Seeger Billed as “the greatest folk concert Long Island has seen in decades,” this show is not only a birthday bash for a world-renowned artist and a musical celebration of perhaps one of the world’s most influential folk artists, it’s also a benefit for the nonprofit Gold Coast Arts Center, an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach—something that David Amram has done throughout his own long career. Topping the bill is the octogenarian birthday boy himself, David Amram, and his quintet, and Amram’s close compatriots, including Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame), Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Guy Davis, Garland Jeffreys, Kim & Reggie Harris, Joel Rafael, The Amigos, The Chapin Sisters, Bethany & Rufus and the Connecticut State Troubadour Kristen Graves. The Hillwood Recital Hall At Tilles Center, LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville. tillescenter.org $55. 7 p.m. Nov. 20.Ace FrehleyHere’s an interesting tidbit for Ace Frehley fans: on his newest album, Space Invaders,  his fiance, Rachael Gordon, wrote the lyrics to two songs: “Change” and “Immortal Pleasures.” The Kiss guitarist is sure to  bust out both songs when this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer storms into town to promote the album. Prepare to “rock and roll all night” as one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time brings his brand of far-out music to our little corner of the planet. With opening act Charm City Devils. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$59.50. 8 p.m. Nov. 20.Deck the Halls: Original Art for Holiday Giving An opening reception for an exhibit that features the work of about two dozen local artists and artisans with all the charm of the holiday season. As in previous years, the event will come alive with a unique array of handcrafted jewelry, giftware and clothing by local and nationally recognized artisans, as well as a selection of sustainable and fair-trade items. Exhibit runs through Dec. 23. Gallery North, 90 North Country Rd., Setauket-East Setauket. gallerynorth.org Free. 5 p.m. Nov. 21.Freddie Hudson, Victoria M. Howard, Billy Haughton This trifecta of authors and horse racing experts will discuss and sign copies of a new book they co-wrote, Roosevelt Raceway: Where It All Began, which recounts the rise and fall of the then-world capital of harness racing. A must read for fans of Long Island history—or anyone who wonders why there are references to a racetrack on Corporate Drive in Westbury. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. Bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. Nov. 21.Dave AttellFrom Rodney Dangerfield to Jerry Seinfeld, LI is home to a laundry list of comics who made it into the big leagues. Add to that list this dark lord of the comedic arts, the not-so-family friendly former host of Insomniac With Dave Attell. When he’s not working the circuit, the always risqué joke slinger can be found on his late night stand-up show, Comedy Underground, on Comedy Central. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $45-$65. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21.Pat Metheny Unity Group Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, saxophonist Chris Potter, bass clarinetist Ben Williams and madman drummer Antonio Sánchez continue their mind-blowing ascension to virtuosic nirvana. Expect to be absolutely floored, no matter what your musical tastes. Not to miss! The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $45-$95. 8 p.m. Nov. 21.Sultans of StringSultans of StringThis jazzy folk/worldbeat trio known for poly-rhythms and revved up riffs melds fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar while a funky bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound. They’ll be celebrating the release of their new album, Symphony! Our Times Coffeehouse, 38 Old Country Rd, Garden City. ourtimescoffeehouse.org $15, $6 for kids under 12. 8 p.m. Nov. 21.Mitch Ryder and the Detroit WheelsGood golly, Miss Molly, what a high-octane, super-charged pop music career has Mitch Ryder had with The Detroit Wheels. Once William S. Levise, Jr. adopted his stage name he truly took off. He and his band were the first to hit the AM airwaves with their distinctive hard-hitting sound that combined the best of Motown and the Motor City in one explosive rock ’n’ roll ride. Take a listen to “Devil With a Blue Dress On” or “Sock It To Me, Baby!” and you’ll know where he’s coming from. With Mitch Ryder in the driver’s seat, these Wheels have covered a lot of mileage over the years—and there’s many more miles still to come. Suffolk Theater, 118 Main St., Riverhead. Suffolktheater.com $49. 8 p.m. Nov. 21.Bill Nye the Science GuyUniverses will collide for this delightfully nerdy event that comes in the wake of Nye’s heated Creationist debate and his pop culture debut on Dancing With The Stars. Previously only appearing at academic institutions, he’s taking the show on the road for those who want to relive their childhood or hear his hotly debated theories in person. This performance is guaranteed to inform, inspire and stir up some nostalgia! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $40-$85. 8 p.m. Nov. 21.Straight to Hell Giving homage to the late, great “punk rock warlord” Joe Strummer is this tribute to The Clash, the English punk rockers dubbed by music critics to be “The Only Band That Matters” (several Press staffers would have to agree). Opening the show will be Rockaway Bitch, an all-girl tribute to The Ramones (!!), Basket Case, a Green Day cover band and local hellraisers Black Mary. Do not miss this gig! 89 North Music Venue, 89 North Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $10. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22.Mario Cantone He’s a funny guy, this Mario Cantone—handsome and talented, too. Cantone, a celebrated stage actor and comedian, gained well-deserved critical acclaim with his Tony-nominated one-man show, “Laugh Whore,” which also became a Showtime special. He previously starred in the Tony-winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” and in Terrence McNally’s dramatic comedy, “Love! Valor! Compassion!” Of course, some fans might have a soft spot for his role on HBO’s Sex and the City as Anthony, Charlotte’s wedding-planner-with-attitude. Who else could do a musical parody of both Judy Garland and Jim Morrison? Who else would dare! The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $32.50-$60. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Roger Street FriedmanThis New York-based musician’s genre-bending sound is a fusion of Americana, folk, rock, country and R&B reminiscent of artists like Van Morrison, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell. He recently released his debut full-length album, The Waiting Sky. The Landmark Theatre, 232 Main St., Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org $47. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Johnette NapolitanoThis uncompromisingly talented singer-songwriter from Hollywood is perhaps best known as the lead vocalist and bassist for the alternative rock band Concrete Blonde, of “Joey” fame. Napolitano’s also created a body of work as a solo artist, a sculptor and a poet. She’s composed soundtracks for movies and TV shows, as well as collaborated with Nine Inch Nails, Danny Lohner, John Trudel and Paul Westerberg, to name a few. Not too long ago she even sang lead with The Heads, a revamped Talking Heads project that went headless without founder David Byrne. Now, she’s on the road with “Rough Mix,” her memoir-cum-musical recollection of three decades spent doing what she does best. Boulton Cener for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. Boultoncenter.org $30-$35. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Hot Autumn NightsThis hot lineup of 1960s throwbacks includes Tommy James & The Shondells, who topped music charts with “Hanky Panky,” “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Mony, Mony,” among others. Also rocking out will be English pop sensations Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, who will play their hits, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” and “I’m Henry VIII, I Am.” Rounding out the lineup are The Grass Roots, best known for hits such as “Midnight Confessions” and The Buckinghams, who will perform “Kind of a Drag” and other hits. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $30-$75. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber and Everette HarpThe sheer power, diversity and virtuosity, really, of this Smooth Jazz super group is encapsulated in the simple-yet-telling title of their latest, Jazz Funk Soul (also the name of their recent tour). Expect to be wowed, mesmerized, converted. Not to be missed. Molloy College, The Madison Theater, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre. molloy.edu $50-$95. 8 p.m. Nov. 22. Steve Miller BandTake our word for it: You know every single lyric to every single Steve Miller Band song ever, which makes seeing them at a live show such a fun experience. Definitely “Fly Like an Eagle” down to see him this weekend because “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future” and you might miss your chance to see the guy some call the Gangster of Love (but whom others simply refer to as “Maurice.”) One thing’s for sure: Before they take your money and run, you will have the time of your life. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $55-$155. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Trio SolistiTrio SolistiMarking its 10th year as ensemble-in-residence at Adelphi University, this group has forged its reputation as “the most exciting piano trio in America,” according to The New Yorker, with a performance style that combines exceptional virtuosity and penetrating musical insight. The acclaimed ensemble possesses a broad repertoire that encompasses most of the standard trio selections, as well as many new works by contemporary composers. Adelphi University, Performing Arts Center, Concert Hall, 1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu $30-$35. 8 p.m. Nov. 22.Carol MarajNicki Minaj’s mother will sing songs from her soon-to-be-released gospel album at a Thanksgiving outreach event hosted by the nonprofit Bridges Outreach and Sisters Divinely Connected Inc. The group aims to reach out to the surrounding communities and provide encouragement, assistance, food and inspiration for Thanksgiving. Dinner is being served and there will Thanksgiving giveaways. VFW Hall, 19 Colonial Springs Rd., Wheatley Heights. Free. 1:30 p.m. Nov. 23.Lights, Sound MovementAn opening reception with be held with this exhibit showcasing untraditional elements in contemporary art from works that are concerned entirely with motion and unpredictability to work that brings ancient myth into contemporary life. Artists whose work will be featured include: Annalisa Iadicicco, who emphasizes subjects of a politically charged nature; Karen Kettering Dimit and Kenny Greenberg, who both use neon to draw in the eye; and sculptors Jack Rohe Howard-Potter and Mara Sfara. Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck. goldcoastarts.org 4 p.m. Nov. 23 Exhibit runs through Jan. 15.Songbirds: Women In FolkNational award-winning singer-songwriter and Huntingtonian Patricia Shih brings a multi-media tribute to five extraordinary female musicians for a lively and spirited night of music co-presented by Folk Music Society of Huntington. In this show Patricia highlights five women—Ronnie Gilbert of The Weavers, Joan Baez, Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary, Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell—who have influenced generations of contemporary artists. Patricia sings full versions of these artists’ most beloved songs live, along with her husband/accompanist Stephen Fricker. After the concert there will be a CD release party for Patricia’s newest album, Gold Covered. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $15 members, $20 public. 6 p.m. Nov. 23. Davi Sings SinatraThere’s a reason Robert Davi pulls out all the stops in his heart-felt tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes. The Chairman of the Board was on hand when the young Davi made his screen debut with his boyhood idol in the 1977 TV movie Contract on Cherry Street. While they were filming at a New York social club at 2 a.m. Sinatra invited Davi to join him for a drink. When the young actor said he didn’t imbibe, Sinatra told him, “You don’t drink, you’re fired!” Then Davi said, “I’ll have what you’re having!” And he sat at the bar and Sinatra poured him some Jack Daniel’s. “It was my first one—and I’ve been drinking it ever since!” says Davi, who grew up in Dix Hills and went to Hofstra. He’s played cops, thugs, drug lords and tough guys in roles that have taken him from The Goonies to Die Hard. But on his debut album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance, he shows his softer side. And that’s what he’ll present on tour. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $45-$75. 8 p.m. Nov. 23.Fight Club With David Fincher’s Gone Girl dominating American movie theaters, CAC staffer Ryan Perry presents a BIG SCREEN celebration of the 15th Anniversary of Fincher’s iconic turn-of-the-millennium masterpiece about consumerism and masculinity run amok, starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25. Sleeping with Sirens & Pierce the Veil Wounded and tattooed emo at its gushiest and perhaps most hypnotizing. With special guests: This Wild Life & Beartooth. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $32.50-$65. 8 p.m. Nov. 24, 25.The Brian Setzer OrchestraThe former Stray Cats front man and hometown rockabilly hero returns to Long Island with his 18-piece orchestra on their Christmas Rocks Extravaganza! tour. The concert will include Setzer’s legendary guitar magic on hits such as “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut” and much more, as well as his re-imagined and acclaimed Holiday classics. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $50-$85. 8 p.m. Nov. 25.Halestorm The Grammy-winning rockers—metal goddess Lizzy Hale, along with drummer/brother Arejay, shredder Joe Hottinger and madman bassist Josh Smith—unleash unbridled sonic ferocity in a gig bound to cause legions of audience members to shout, raise their fists into the air, and head-bang in almost synchronized unison. With New Medicine. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $22.50-$25. 8:30 p.m. Nov. 25.Amy Schumer This Rockville Centre native is the hilarious actress/comedian of the acclaimed Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. Fans will recall seeing her in one of her guest starring roles on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Girls and in the major motion picture Seeking a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley. But onstage, alone with a microphone, is where Schumer shines. With her colorful, often-raunchy commentary, Schumer promises side-splitting humor about life, love and sex that you won’t soon forget. The Press promises you this: she’s waaaaaay funnier then her first cousin once removed, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Seriously. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $50-$85. 8 p.m. Nov. 26.The Warden and FAME Blending hip-hop, reggae and rock is this Bay Shore-based quintet that have been churning out musical good vibes for the past four years with upbeat., groovy jams such as “Summertime,” “Get My Roll On” and “The Weekends Here.” Warming up the crowd will be Dune Local, Aqua Cherry, Jungle Gypsy and The Offshore Regulars. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. Revolutionli.com $12. 8 p.m. Nov. 26.—Compiled by Spencer Rumsey, Jamie Franchi, Timothy Bolger and Zack Tiranalast_img read more

Eric Paslay Plays ‘Heroic’ Show on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Country music star Eric Paslay honored the nation’s veterans Saturday during a special “Salute to Heroes” concert at the Pennysaver Amphitheater in Farmingville.Before the Texas native took the stage, Chris Lane, Brothers Osborne and Parmalee opened up the show to give the audience a real down-home feeling. Paslay began his set with his hit single, “Song About A Girl.” Throughout the night, he played fan favorites such as “She Don’t Love You,” “Never Really Wanted,” and his new single, “High Class.”He paid the audience special attention.“I moved up to Nashville, started writing songs and pursuing this crazy dream,” Paslay said before he launched into “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.”“Thank y’all for letting us live our dreams every night up here,” he continued earnestly. “And I hope every morning you wake up and you have something to reach for, you know. Maybe you’ve got your dream and she’s lying there with you. But it’s good to have a dream that’s worth reaching for, and thank you for letting us have our music and the road to do that on. I hope you never forget how to dream. This is for all the dreamers!”Aside from creating his own hits, Paslay has also collaborated on songs with other country stars, including Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” Love and Theft’s “Angel Eyes” plus others for Lady Antebellum and the Eli Young Band.Paslay also thanked those fans who turned out to see Rascal Flatts at the same venue the previous week despite the pouring rain. Then he sang an acoustic version of a tune that he co-wrote with Rascal Flatts called “Rewind.” Everyone in the audience sang along.The country crooner dutifully left the crowd wanting more–perhaps hoping he’d rewind the concert so they could enjoy it all from the beginning–but he concluded with his most well-known song: his breakout hit, “Friday Night.”Paslay will be playing a few more venues in New England before he heads back down south, with tour dates lasting through December.For those on hand in Suffolk, it was a Saturday night to savor one of country’s best, Eric Paslay.last_img read more

Long Island Valentine’s Day Events 2018

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island Got no plans for Valentine’s Day? Good news: the romantic folks from these Long Island venues have got you covered.Sinatra Love SongsTell your special someone you love them “in other words” by bringing them to this romantic evening of dancing, dinner, and fine wine, all set to the tunes of Frank Sinatra’s best love songs performed by a live orchestra. The Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. 631-727-4343. suffolktheater.com $36-$45. 8 p.m. Feb. 9.Valentine’s Night CabaretCelebrate with your beloved at this romantic Valentine’s show featuring two of Broadway’s most famed performers, Rebecca Luker and Howard Mcgillin, as they whisk you away for an evening of cocktails, dinner, cabaret, and an exclusive dessert with the artists. Hempstead House, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point. 516-304-5076. sandspointpreserveconservancy.org $110-$250. VIP 6-10 p.m. General 7-10 p.m. Feb. 10.Barry White Valentine TributePlaying hits such as “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” and “Never Gonna Give You Up,” Jourdan Carroll will have the whole crowd jiving across the open dance floor! The Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St, Riverhead. 631-727-4343. suffolktheater.com $45. 8 p.m. Feb. 10.Couples MassageEnjoy the company of your loved one as you treat yourselves to a massage, relaxing side by side in a special couple’s room. Hand and Stone, multiple locations. handandstone.com Prices vary.ChocoVino: A Valentine Wine & Chocolate pairing dinnerIndulge your tastebuds in an extravagant five-course meal as you sip on fine wines and bite into an assortment of decadent chocolates, all while enjoying a candle lit dinner with your special someone! Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center, 431 East Main St., Riverhead. longislandaquarium.com $195 per couple 8 p.m. Feb. 14.Mortified: Doomed Valentine’s Day ShowMortified is a live storytelling extravaganza—a show-and-tell, if you will, of people’s most embarrassing, awkward, and often seminal moments. At this Mortified event, celebrate and commiserate February 14th with stories of past V-Days gone wrong. The event is all ages at Wanderlust, but you can still expect beer, wine, and inappropriate tales all around. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 W. Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $15-$20. 8 p.m. Feb. 16.Be Mine Valentine’s Day Beer and Wine Couples Bus TourDid he say “Be mine?” or “Beer wine?” Have both and bring your love along for a boozy adventure which will be making stops at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard and Jamesport Farm Brewery. A selection of gourmet chocolates and cheeses will be included along with a couples photograph to commemorate your special day! Four different pick up locations libeerbus.com $160 per couple 11:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12 p.m. and 12:15 p.m. Feb. 18.last_img read more

U.S. Open a Hole in One for Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This month, the coveted and historic 2018 U.S. Open Golf Championship makes its retur tothe prestigious Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton. For the fifth time, June 11 to 17, the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) will kick off this annual rite of passage. Long Island has a rich history of hosting major golf events, and this year we will continue that tradition.This game is fortuitous for our county. It develops the region, cultivates tourism, delivers employment, and ultimately allows residents and audience to meet some of the most prestigious and big-name golfers in the world, including Tiger Woods.World-class events such as this offer considerable job opportunities. This year, there will be more than 2,000 temporary food service and hospitality jobs, event security and staff positions, parking attendants and shuttle/bus depot attendants jobs, and many more positions.Our partnership with companies such as Ridgewells/Purple Tie, MTK Resources, Country Club Services, and Andy Frain Services is a testament to our Suffolk County Department of Labor and local businesses helping our residents secure gainful employment.Amazingly, event security leader Andy Frain Services will also help unlicensed applicants become licensed for free. This means that even after the U.S. Open, individuals that are now licensed can go on to find other permanent positions.There is also a regional economic benefit as well. The golf championship is anticipated to generate between up to $130 million, and there is no doubt that it will attract extensive tourism. With millions of people in more than 150 countries tuning in to watch the championship, Suffolk will experience tremendous economicdevelopment through the region.Approximately 8,000 hotel rooms are expected to be booked with the anticipation of an expected attendance of more than 200,000 people, including players, fans, volunteers, vendors and media. There are also additional options for hotels. Suffolk will make available our county parks for those seeking to leisure and stay in our picturesque campgrounds.With more than 46,000 acres of parkland, 200 historical sites and 100 public beaches within its boundaries, Suffolk is a natural playground, and camping is an immersive alternative to lodging during the U.S. Open. Those looking for a convenient, low-priced  substitute for hotels can easily visit, reserve, and enjoy a scenic stay at Cedar Point, Sears Bellows, or Indian Island county campgrounds.We look forward to working together to make this, and many other future USGA events, a resounding success for both our region and the sport of golf. We are truly excited about this opportunity to allow the world to experience the hidden gems our residents enjoy daily.Steve Bellone is the Suffolk County Executive.last_img read more

The CFPB’s new cure: Final revisions to certain mortgage rules

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Shelbey NeilJust as the world of popular medicine seems to evolve (and even contradict itself), so too is the world of regulatory compliance in a constant state of flux. Nowhere is that more evident than with mortgage rules, and the CFPB has released a new mechanism for curing point and fees errors (this statement has not been evaluated by the FDA).OverviewThe CFPB has made some specific amendments to the mortgage rules under Regulation Z. Of interest to financial institutions are the final rule changes that provide a cure mechanism for overages to the points and fees limit for qualified mortgages, with the exception of FHA-insured mortgage loans. HUD is not adopting the changes to the points and fees limits for FHA-insured mortgages, but is providing guidance on curing errors to points and fees made prior to insurance endorsement.Curing Errors Related to the Limits on Points and Fees for Qualified MortgagesSection 1026.43(e)(3) of Regulation Z limits the up-front points and fees for qualified mortgages to no more than 3% of the total loan amount, with higher thresholds for various categories of loans below $100,000. Points and fees are defined as the fees and charges that are known at or before consummation.In some cases, unintended overages may occur that are not discovered until after consummation. Now Regulation Z allows lenders (or an assignee) to cure these overages so that the loan does not lose its status as a qualified mortgage and the lender is not subject to a regulatory violation and/or potential liability. continue reading »last_img read more

Credit unions thwart Wisconsin payday loan provision

first_imgby: David MorrisonCredit unions and banks in Wisconsin together urged Governor Scott Walker to veto a part of the state’s budget that could have, they said, sharply increased the numbers of services the state’s payday lenders could provide.Walker, who announced a bid to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination this morning, signed the budget bill yesterday and vetoed the provision. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Two-way transparency: The gold standard for high performance

first_img 90SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joel Trammell Joel Trammell is a successful CEO and entrepreneur with a 20-year career in IT-related software companies. He is currently CEO of Khorus, which provides a business management system for CEOs … Web: www.khorus.com Details Slowly but surely, US business leaders are realizing that transparency within their companies is no longer an option. Enterprise technology, the expectations of Millennials, and the need for faster, better collaboration have pushed the concept of institutional openness into the mainstream. Our best CEOs are now embracing it as a significant competitive advantage.These leaders know that transparency isn’t just flashing a revenue slide at staff meetings, or about seeming trendy. They know it’s about a culture change, intended to engage the team and equip them with the information they need to do their best work.The two sides of transparencyHowever, the common understanding of organizational transparency—that the CEO and top leadership team will hand down relevant information to employees—leaves out a critical piece of the equation.For transparency to work at full capacity, relevant information has to flow both ways, from the CEO and to the CEO. When this happens, a feedback loop emerges:traditional top-down transparency helps employees see into the core of the business, even asbottom-up transparency gives the CEO a clear view of day-to-day operations and the insight of his team.These two brands of transparency reinforce and supplement each other. By keeping both sides in touch with the reality of the other, they result in a more cohesive, aligned company.It’s not unlike this recent study from Harvard Business School, which tested food quality in a restaurant based on whether the cooks and patrons could see each other. When transparency was one-way, food-quality ratings increased 10 percent. But when transparency was two-way—when customers and cooks could both see each other—quality ratings went up 17.3 percent and service was 13.2 percent faster.Who’s responsible for setting up two-way transparency in your credit union? Ultimately, it’s the chief executive. As I wrote in The CEO Tightrope, the best CEOs “set up a communication infrastructure that promotes transparent information flow both from the CEO and to the CEO, and this transparency helps keep the company on course toward its vision.”Let’s look at four modes CEOs may operate in depending on how well they carry out this responsibility.The walled-off CEO: No transparency either way This CEO guards information about finances, strategy, and key decisions like they’re the queen’s jewels, even as he fails to see into the daily operations of his team. There’s a brick wall between the inner sanctum of the CEO and the on-the-ground operations of his team.This lack of transparency either way cuts a deep divide in the organization. There’s chaos in the rank-and-file, and the CEO tries to lead without the critical insights his people hold.The giver CEO: Top-down transparency aloneThis CEO understands that the modern workforce wants and needs transparency, so she regularly hands out information to the team: company strategy and goals, financial performance, key decisions, etc.What she’s not so good at is ensuring that she has transparency into how things are proceeding on the ground. She’s basically set up a one-way mirror: the company can analyze her and all her plans and thought processes, but when she looks down into the organization, she sees her own reflection. She’s achieved half-transparency, but she still fits the old cliché about CEOs: she’s the last to know when something goes wrong. Good intentions aside, she won’t be an effective leader. The surveillance CEO: Bottom-up transparency aloneThis CEO demands transparency from his people, but he’s not so good at giving it them. He may set up complex data-collection systems, and want to know what’s on everyone’s plate at all times. And so help him God if he’s not the first to know when a project goes off the rails.Despite his goal of omniscience, this CEO leaves his team in the dark, reverting to an outmoded understanding of employees as mere ditch-diggers. His team is likely disengaged by lack of clarity on the state or direction of the company, and their efforts are probably diffuse and not well aligned with the CEO’s strategy.The truly transparent CEO: Two-way transparencyThis CEO strikes the right balance. She’s set up systems for sharing the company’s strategy, goals, and performance. She doesn’t just share data; she gives her informed take on what the company is doing right and where it needs to improve. She’s publicizes big wins internally, but is honest when the company faces a material challenge.At the same time, she’s set up systems that allow her people and teams to share information with her. She regularly gathers their feedback on how they think things are going—and what they expect for the future. She’s trained her employees to not just share data; they give her their honest, informed take on what’s going well and where potential problems are developing.Knowledge is power. Nowhere is that more true than in a company operating in a competitive, dynamic environment (and how many aren’t?). The most successful CEOs treat transparency like more than just another buzzword; they proactively set up processes that help everyone share honest information about the business.I founded Khorus precisely to help leaders scale this two-way transparency across the business. Get in touch today to learn how credit unions across the country are using enterprise software to bring more transparency, openness, and achievement to their organizations.last_img read more

Holiday celebrations continue…so do scams

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr If the last few years have taught consumers anything, they’ve probably been schooled that scams can lurk at every turn and the security of their data can sometimes be breached–at times quite spectacularly with massive thefts of information.Although these sorts of vulnerabilities exist all the time, the holidays represent a time of increased opportunity for criminals for a number of reasons: Among them, increased shopping, decreased attention to detail, as well as a feeling of generosity and community making some feel less guarded.As holiday joviality…and shopping… continue credit unions can help their members be aware of an extensive set of resources and information for the latest scams now available via a newly launched Fraud Prevention Center from the National Credit Union Administration.The center contains information on how to recognize common scans, protect finances and take action if one becomes a victim of fraud (News Now Dec. 15). continue reading »last_img read more

CFO Focus: Best practices in benefits pre-funding

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr More than 10 years ago, National Credit Union Administration Rule 701.19 went into effect. It gave federally chartered credit unions the ability to purchase investments that would otherwise be impermissible under parts 703 and 704 of NCUA’s rules and regulations, as long as these investments directly relate to the credit unions’ obligation or future obligation to support employee benefit plans, including such things as health insurance and 401(k) plans.Over the years, there hasn’t been much discussion about the regulatory expectations, which include board oversight and approval of a credit union’s associated investment policy used to fund the pre-funding plan. This is due in large part to the Great Recession, which occurred shortly after 701.19’s implementation. At the time, the financial crisis dampened credit unions’ interest in new types of investments.Now, with the improving economic environment and the increasing need to retain and attract top talent, credit union interest in investments with higher yields to help improve employee benefits has grown. So has regulator interest. Examiner directives related to lack of due diligence and/or board and management oversight on pre-funding arrangements are now much more prevalent.In the current environment, we suggest credit unions take three steps: continue reading »last_img read more

13 things to accomplish with your money before 40

first_img 56SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Everyone’s allowed a few life mulligans, but by the time you’ve hit the big 3-0, you should have sorted out most of the reckless habits we tend to fall into as young 20-somethings.This is especially true for money matters, considering you’re close to entering your peak earning years. According to Payscale, college-educated men’s earnings peak at an average age of 48 and women’s earnings peak at 39.To prepare for your peak earning years, here are 13 milestones to aim to achieve before hitting 40:Contribute at least 10% of your income to a retirement accountYou should already be contributing towards your employer’s 401(k) retirement account, and your 30s are a time to increase that contribution. continue reading »last_img read more

4 ways decluttering your home can save you money

first_img 191SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details The turn of the season is the perfect time to take a look around your home for ways to reduce clutter. For some of us it’s natural to hold on to things, whether it’s an item that’s sentimental in nature, or an article of clothing you’re hoping to one day fit back into. If you take the time to declutter your living space, though, you may actually be putting money back into your wallet. Below are four ways condensing clutter can pay off in the end.Fewer healthcare expenses. More often than not, a cluttered home equals a dirty or dusty home. Unless you are cleaning your crowded space on a daily basis, it’s very difficult to avoid the unsanitary conditions and poor air quality associated with an unclean home. This can lead to health issues resulting in higher medical expenses.Lower living expenses. Common sense tells you that the less clutter you have, the less space you need. When you downsize you save on monthly rent or mortgage payments, which are often the largest expenditures per month. Additionally, if you own or rent a smaller home, you will inevitably have less expensive utility bills; the cost to maintain the home (yard care, for instance) will also be lessened after downsizing.More household organization. Decluttering allows you to really separate between your wants and needs. After you eliminate what is unnecessary in your home, you can organize what you are left with and go from there. Thus, on your next shopping excursion, you will know exactly what it is you already have, preventing you from making redundant purchases.Additional charitable contributions. Not only does decluttering clear space in your home, it also allows you the opportunity to donate these discarded items to local charities. Locate a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other community organization accepting contributions. Depending on the amount you give, you may be able to write your donations off on your next tax return.last_img read more

Professional advice from my parents

first_img 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details As the saying goes, “you can’t pick your parents,” but I am certainly glad I got the ones I did. I can never repay them for the values they have instilled in me and I strive every day to follow their wisdom in both my personal life as a mother and my professional life in the workplace. Below are some of these tips from my parents that have been invaluable to me.Don’t choose your career solely on salary. Of course your pay is an important factor when choosing your professional field. Remember to keep in mind though, on average you will spend more time at work than you will at home. Therefore, it is essential that you enjoy where you work. Yes, it is still work, but not dreading your eight-hour day makes all the difference in the world.Never forget basic professional courtesy. My dad has always told me to be respectful and considerate, even if you don’t always want to be. When receiving a message at work, always respond within one business day; your response should always be polished and courteous no matter if you’re communicating with a CEO or low-level employee.Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. There is a difference between being overly opinionated and asserting yourself when necessary. This is something I work to continuously improve upon. It is okay to say how you feel and take part in constructive discussions. It is not inappropriate to give your opinion when it is asked for, especially when it can help others reflect and grow.Follow the golden rule. This seems like an obvious one, but it never hurts to remember it. No matter if you are having a bad day, put personal issues aside and treat coworkers how you would want them to treat you. You never know the personal struggles someone may be going through, so even the smallest kindness can brighten their day. When you are nice to someone, it will make you feel good too.last_img read more

2017 CUNA Volunteer Conference includes key partners

first_imgCUNA will partner with the World Council of Credit Unions and the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) for the CUNA Volunteer Conference, Jan. 15-17, in Montego Bay, Jamaica.Through the arrangement, CUNA, World Council and CCCU will work to get Caribbean credit union volunteers involved in the conference.“What’s exciting about this cooperation is that it allows us to expand the traditional audience for CUNA Volunteer Conference,” said Michelle Johnson, Instructional Design Manager at CUNA.“We can’t wait to see the unique perspectives that Caribbean volunteers will bring to the conference and look forward to providing them with meaningful professional value through its expert-led sessions, discussions and networking.”The cooperative relationship between the three organizations will focus on using CUNA Volunteer Conference to provide quality education to volunteers in the Caribbean region. For their part, WOCCU and CCCU will promote the conference to Caribbean credit unions and actively recruit board representatives from the region to attend. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

True or false: Your credit union website should use testimonials

first_imgYou see testimonials all over the internet. Maybe one testimonial has an eagerly smiling picture next to it. Maybe another declares a product to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Many of the newest and sleekest credit union website designs employ testimonials (example: HFSFCU.org has testimonials all over the place). And there’s a reason for it: studies show testimonials persuade people to act.Why you should use testimonialsWhen it comes to making decisions, “Social Proof” is one of the most motivating factors out there. If humans know that other humans are doing something, they will also want to do that thing. We are naturally drawn to what others like and do, and model our behavior after them. (This is why television sitcoms use canned laugh tracks to encourage you to chuckle.)In 1968, several psychologists conducted an experiment where they had a single man stand at the corner of a busy street and stare up at the sky. Only a couple people stopped to see what he might be looking at. But when they had five people stare at the sky, the number of others who stopped to look increased exponentially. Soon, a whole crowd was assembled. The psychologists found that people simply assumed if several people were looking, there must be something interesting to look at. continue reading » 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Colorado credit union sues Federal Reserve Bank

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The Fourth Corner Credit Union asked a Colorado federal judge last month to force the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to issue a master account that would enable the Denver-based state chartered credit union to serve social groups that support legalizing marijuana.The credit union’s civil complaint filed Sept. 29 in U.S. District Court in Denver argues federal law “unambiguously creates a non-discretionary statutory obligation” that requires FRB-KC issue a master account to all depository institutions. The lawsuit alleged that FRB-KC has “invoked an illegal discriminatory procedure” by requesting information from the credit union that the FRB-KC is not entitled to receive from any depository institution that applies for a master account. The credit union is asking a federal judge in Denver to render a declaratory judgment and grant a mandatory injunction that would order the federal reserve bank to immediately issue the master account.TFCCU initially applied for a master account with FRB-KC in November 2014 after it received a state charter to serve the legalized recreational marijuana industry in Colorado. However, the credit union has since changed its business plan to serve social groups supporting the legalization of marijuana. The credit union also said it would not serve marijuana-related businesses in the state until there is a change in federal law that would authorize financial institutions to serve the pot industry.last_img read more

400 credit unions take part in Miracle Jeans Day

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » More than 400 credit unions went casual Sept. 13 as a part of the annual Credit Unions for Kids Miracle Jeans Day event in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.Credit union employees donated $5 each for the opportunity to wear jeans to work on a Wednesday. Proceeds will be donated to the credit union’s local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.“This has been a record year for the program,” says Joe Dearborn, senior director of Credit Unions for Kids, “We are still receiving donations, but with more credit unions participating than ever before, we’re expecting to be able to help even more kids than we’ve been able to in previous years.”With more than 400 credit unions joining the cause, Miracle Jeans Day drew more credit union participants than 2016, when over 300 credit unions took part.last_img read more

3 ways direct deposit helps you save

first_img 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Myriam DiGiovanni After writing for Credit Union Times and The Financial Brand, Myriam DiGiovanni covers financial literacy for FinancialFeed. She is also a storytelling expert and works with credit unions to help … Web: www.financialfeed.com Details What’s more annoying: waiting in line at the DMV or paying $20 in banking fees?Believe it or not, according to a NerdWallet survey, consumers say paying banking fees is more annoying.Some 84% of consumers surveyed said would do something to avoid money management fees. Fifty-one percent say they would take one simple step to save: setting up direct deposit.Direct deposits are funds that are electronically deposited to your accounts. Rather than dealing with paper paychecks, income tax returns or Social Security payments, which can be lost or stolen, direct deposit is fast and worry-free.It’s easy to set up. Just provide your employer with the name of your financial institution, the type of account, your account number, the routing number and a voided check. Be sure to read the direct deposit form completely. When you initially set it up, it could take a few payroll cycles for the changes to take effect, so don’t assume the funds will be available via direct deposit immediately. Make sure you follow up to check on the progress of your request.In addition to it being secure, convenient and fast, setting up a direct deposit can also help you save money. Here are three ways.Goodbye monthly maintenance fees: Many financial institutions will waive monthly checking account fees when you use direct deposit for your paycheck. According to GoBankingRates.com average monthly maintenance fees can run as high as $12.Hello perks: Some financial institutions offer additional perks to make direct deposit more appealing. It can be in the form of lower interest rates on a loan or waiving other types of fees.Free your mind: It’s hard to follow the sound advice of paying yourself first to build up savings. Let’s face it, either an unexpected expense pops up or you forget to transfer the funds. Direct deposit can solve this problem; you can set it up to automatically put a set amount into your savings account from each paycheck and the rest into your checking account. The next time you get a raise, adjust your direct deposit so your extra pay goes into a savings or retirement account. You can also arrange to have your tax refund direct deposited directly to your retirement or emergency fund account. It’s painless and you won’t be as tempted spend the money if you remove the option.last_img read more

Senate likely to consider Kraninger nomination to CFPB after Thanksgiving

first_imgThe Senate intends to vote after Thanksgiving on the nomination of Kathy Kraninger to become the director of the CFPB.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed a cloture petition Thursday—a move that indicates he intends to bring the nomination to the floor. That petition limits debate on Kraninger’s nomination and prevents a filibuster.The move comes as speculation grows that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who also serves as acting CFPB director, is angling for a nomination as Secretary of Commerce.There is widespread speculation that the current secretary, Wilbur Ross, may be leaving the administration. President Trump has expressed his unhappiness with Ross several times. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

3 steps to help you prepare for CECL

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a new accounting standard called Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) that will go into effect December 15, 2021. Here are three steps you can take to ensure your credit union is on track to stay compliant with this new standard. Assess your data collection and infrastructureSet aside at least several months – even up to a year – to ensure you have time to analyze your data and infrastructure and start collecting the data you need to determine the credit profile of your credit union. Not only is this step the hardest and costliest to adjust, but many of the CECL models require data that credit unions have not been collecting nor saving.Choose the CECL model that fits your needsCarefully evaluate which CECL model is best for your credit union – there is no one size fits all solution. There are a range of CECL models with differing complexities, data limitations and assumptions that you’ll need to consider while taking in account the loan portfolio of your credit union.Test your CECL model and make necessary adjustmentsOnce you select your CECL model, don’t stop there. Test your model by running data to determine if the results match your expectations and risk profile. If the data generated does not meet your expectations, then you will need to reassess and adjust how loans are marked. You’ll also want have procedures in place for handling these new reports to streamline work processes. While these steps will help you on your way to confidently implementing CECL at your credit union, they are complex. Gain confidence by attending CUNA Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) School or eSchool, you can learn everything that goes into each of these steps to help make your transition smoother and create an action plan to take back to your credit union. last_img read more