Ash Institute announces system reform semifinalists

first_imgEarlier this month, the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced eight semifinalists for the 2008 Annie E. Casey Innovations Award in Children and Family System Reform. These government programs were selected from a pool of 100 applicants and offer tangible solutions to children and family services issues. The 2008 winner will receive a $100,000 award toward replication and dissemination of best practices.The Annie E. Casey Innovations Award in Children and Family System Reform was created in 2004 to highlight successful innovation in public systems affecting children and families, and to encourage other systems to adopt these reforms. Through a partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, this annual award encourages improvements in public policy to support disadvantaged children and families.After a series of thorough rounds of evaluation, a panel of child and family service policy experts selected the semifinalists. Five state, one county, and two city programs make up the semifinalist group. Finalists will be announced June 3, and the winner will be honored at an awards gala in September.“The eight semifinalists have shown us that effective and innovative programs can play a role in improving the futures of children and strengthening children and family service programs,” said Douglas W. Nelson, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “This is the third year that we are funding this Award, which we feel contributes meaningfully to the Casey Foundation’s mission: improving opportunities and outcomes for America’s most vulnerable children and families.”Established in 1985 at HKS by the Ford Foundation, the Innovations in American Government Awards Program has honored 181 federal, state, and local government agencies over its 23-year history. The program provides concrete evidence that government can work to improve the quality of life of citizens. Many award-winning programs have been replicated across jurisdictions and policy areas and serve as forerunners for today’s reform strategies and new legislation.“The semifinalists for the Annie E. Casey Innovations Award in Children and Family System Reform are at the forefront of some of our nation’s most pressing children and family challenges,” said Daniel Paul Professor of Government Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Awards Program. “They are bringing about core reforms in how we treat domestic violence, juvenile justice, and foster care issues.”The semifinalists for the 2008 Annie E. Casey Innovations Award in Children and Family System Reform follow:• Child welfare reform, state of Maine: Motivated by the vision that every child needs a family, Maine has achieved child welfare reform over the past six years through conscious, data-driven management.• Construyendo Circulos de Paz/Constructing Circles of Peace: Santa Cruz County, Ariz.: A long-term, restorative justice counseling program that brings together multiple stakeholders (perpetrators, victims, families, and community members) in response to crimes of domestic violence.• Division of Youth Services, state of Missouri: A national model for juvenile justice reform, Missouri’s Division of Youth Services has achieved exemplary results and cost-effectiveness through regionally based, small, humane treatment centers; group and family systems approaches; universal case management; and community engagement.• Family Civil Intake Screen Process, state of Connecticut: A scientifically validated, comprehensive assessment methodology designed to identify parenting conflicts and match the dynamics of the family with a corresponding array of evidence-based alternative dispute resolution services.• No Child Left Inside, state of Connecticut: This initiative reconnects families to nature by exposing them to outdoor recreational opportunities, thus growing healthier kids, fostering environmental stewards, and showcasing the joy of playing outside.• Positive Youth Development, city of Washington, District of Columbia: The nation’s first juvenile justice agency that strives to meet the needs of young people by building their competencies and enabling them to become successful adults.• Project Zero, New York City: Department of Probation project that enhances public safety and reduces the number of juvenile delinquents removed from home and incarcerated in New York state facilities through family-focused, community-based programs.• Youth Leadership Advisory Team, state of Maine: A program that engages youth in foster care with state and federal policymakers to create significant improvements in child welfare policies, legislation, and programs.last_img read more

Police reports

first_imgFollowing are some of the incidents reported to the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) for the week ending July 22. The official log is located at 1033 Massachusetts Ave., sixth floor, and is available online at www.hupd.harvard.edu/.July 17: Officers responded to a report of a suspicious individual in the area around International House 199 in Boston. Officers arrived and conducted a field interview and background check. After finding negative results with the check, the individual was sent on their way with a trespass warning for all of Harvard University property.July 18: An officer was dispatched to Weld Hall to take a report of a theft. Upon arrival, the officer was informed that a box containing bank statements, a checkbook, and other personal information was gone. The case is open pending further information.July 20: Officers were dispatched to a report of an individual attempting to break into the bicycle cage at 77 Ave. Louis Pasteur. Upon arrival, officers conducted a field interview. During the interview, the individual attempted to flee the area. The officers gave chase and after stopping the individual, placed the individual under arrest.July 21: An officer was dispatched to Pforzheimer House to take a report of a stolen bicycle. There were no suspicious individuals seen in the area at the time of the theft.Near Gund Hall, officers observed an individual trying to light fireworks. Officers approached the individual and conducted a background check. The individual was sent on their way with a trespass warning for Harvard University.last_img read more

Davis Center announces 2008-09 award recipients

first_imgThe Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies has announced its fellowship, prize, research travel grant, and internship recipients for the 2008-09 academic year.A total of seven fellowships have been awarded for research pertaining to Russia and the former Soviet Union in the humanities and social sciences. Postdoctoral Fellowships have been awarded to Denis Kozlov, visiting assistant professor of history at Dalhousie University, for research on his project “The Readers of Novyi Mir, 1945-1970: 20th-Century Experience and Soviet Historical Consciousness”; Mie Nakachi (Ph.D., history, University of Chicago) for study on the politics of reproduction and demography in the postwar Soviet Union, 1944-68; Dassia Posner, a lecturer on theater at Boston College, for work on the Chaliapin family diaspora; Benjamin Tromly for investigation of the social and political meanings of higher learning in the Soviet Union through a study of student politics, 1948-64; and Emily Van Buskirk (Ph.D., Slavic languages and literatures, Harvard University) for research on the intermediary prose of Lydia Ginzburg. A senior fellowship was awarded to Jacques Rupnik, director of research and professor, Center for Study and International Research at Sciences Po, for research on his new project “The Other Europe Twenty Years On: Trajectories of Political Change in East-Central Europe and the Balkans Since 1989.” A regional fellowship was awarded to journalist Masha Gessen for a study of censorship in the era of the Web.Dissertation completion fellowships were awarded to Diana Kudayarova for her research on engineers in Soviet society and to Mikhail Pryadilnikov for his study of the evolution of regulatory reform in Russia.Fainsod Prizes, intended for top incoming graduate students in the field of Russian, Soviet, or post-Soviet studies, were awarded to the following students:Eric Ciaramella (Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies [REECA]), whose research interests focus on Russian and Soviet policy toward minority language groups; Melih Egemen (Inner Asian and Altaic studies), who will study relations between the Russian and Ottoman empires; Alexandre Gontchar (Slavic) who will examine the shift from the visual to the conceptual mode in the plastic arts in the early 20th century; Philippa Hetherington (history), who will focus on late 19th and early 20th century Russian and East European history; Mihaela Pacurar (Slavic), who will study the works of the first post-Communist generation of writers; and Yuri Zhukov (government), whose interests include military analysis, counterinsurgency, civil-military relations, Cold War studies, state-building, and institutional design.A total of 29 graduate students received research travel grants from the Davis Center. Details on the awards, including recipients’ names, departments or Schools, research topics, and destinations appear below.Masha Hedberg (government) received the Padma Desai Research Prize for her project “Representing Business Interests in Post-Communist Politics” in Moscow.REECA Alumni Prizes were awarded to Christina Jarymowycz (REECA) for “Clash of Memories: Reconstructing World War II in a Kiev Museum” and to Molly Pucci (REECA) for “How the 1948–1954 Show Trials Helped Build a Stalinist System in Czechoslovakia.”Eight students received Abby and George O’Neill Fund Awards. They are Jennifer Howk (government), “Losing Ground: Climate Change, Uncertainty, and Social Mobilization in Three Arctic Communities”; Diana Kudayarova (history), “Engineers in Soviet Society, 1947–1965”; Inna Mattei (Slavic), “How the Steel Was Corroded: Aesthetic Dissent and the Crisis of Utopia in Late Soviet Culture”; Ana Olenina (comparative literature), “Intersections Between Cinema and Biomedical Science in Russia in the 1910s–20s: The Cases of Rudovkin and the FEKS”; Maya Peterson (history), “Technologies of Rule: Empire, Water, and the Modernization of Central Asia”; Rebecca Reich (Slavic), “Pleading Insanity: Diagnosis and Self-Definition in the Late Soviet Period”; Katherine Rose (Slavic), “Folk Culture and the Remnants of Tradition: The Art and Culture of Irkutsk and Vladimir”; and George Soroka (government), “Representation and Democracy in the Post-Communist Space: Political Elites and the Conception of Governance.” Soroka also received an Optimus Award to carry out research for the same project in Warsaw, Poland.Maurice Lazarus Fund Awards went to 18 students. They include Mikhail Akulov (history), “The Origins and Development of the Atamans in Southern Ukraine during the Civil War (1917–1922)”; Johanna Conterio (history), “Constructing Soviet Paradise: Health Resorts, Environmental Medicine, and the Mobilization of Nature in the Proletarian State”; Nataliya Kun (Slavic), “Normative Literary Language and Conscious Mistake as Literary Device”; Kyongjoon Kwon (Slavic), “Archaism and Innovations in the Old Novgorod Dialect”; Hassan Malik (History), “Russia as an Emerging Market”; Kyle Marquardt (REECA), “Language and the Assertion of Autonomy and Independence: A Comparative Analysis of Language Policy in Kazakhstan and Tartarstan”; Dylan Myles-Primakoff (REECA), “Indigenous Land Rights in Russia”; Tamara Pavasovic (sociology), “Socializing Children into Ethnic Prejudice and Hostility in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia”; Sabrina Peric (social anthropology), “Silver Bosnia: Precious Metals and the Western Balkans, 1390–2008”; Maxim Pozdorovkin (Slavic), “Shadows of the Golden Man: Turkmenistan and Turkmenbashi”; Sara Rhodin (REECA), “Love for the Motherland Starts at Home: Russian Family Policy Since 1936”; Jonathan Schlesinger (history), “Natural Frontiers in the Qing Empire in Boreal Manchuria, 1570–1907”; Aleksandr Senderovich (Slavic), “The Soviet Shibboleth: Translation and Border-Crossing in Russian-Jewish Literature (1917–1939)”; Katherine Surmanski (REECA), “Surface and Substance: The Political and Economic Causes of Soviet-Era Pokazukha, and Its Post-Soviet Legacy”; Andras Tilcsik (organizational behavior), “Rebuilding Civil Society in Eastern Europe: The Effect of ‘Percentage Laws’ on the Nonprofit Sector”; and Olga Voronina (Slavic), “Winning Hearts and Minds: The Cold War in Russian Literature (1946–1968).”Two graduate students received grants for language study. Oliver Bevan (government) for Russian study and Sofiya Grachova (history) for German.Six undergraduates received Goldman Undergraduate Research Travel Grants from the Davis Center. Details on these awards, including recipients’ names, departments or schools, research topics, and destinations appear below.Alexander Berman (visual and environmental studies), “Another Russia: A Documentary on Rangers in the Kamchatka Penninsula,” Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky; Laura Crisafulli (Russian), “The Art of Russian Realist Vassili Vereshchagin,” Uzbekistan; Emmet McDermott (literature), “Banned Literature and the Investigation of the Satirical Purpose in Soviet Russia,” Moscow; Katherine Peisker (government), “The Relationship Between Religious Affiliation and Voting Patterns in Ukraine and Russia,” Lviv; Jan Straka (social studies), “The Relationship Between Charter 77 and Ecological and Pacifist Movements in 1980s Czechoslovakia,” Prague; and Anna Whittington (history), “From One Adopted Heimat to Another: German Emigration from the Soviet Union to Germany,” Berlin.The Davis Center expanded its awards for undergraduate internships this year, enhancing student support for work experience in the region. Details on these awards, including recipients’ names, departments or Schools, internship placements, and destinations appear below.Goldman Undergraduate Internship Grants were awarded to the following students: Arnold Behrer (economics, government), environmental education, World Wildlife Fund, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Alexander Brown (classics), archaeological excavation, Romania and Belarus; Dimitry Doohovskoy (Slavic, economics), real estate investment, Jensen Group, St. Petersburg; Davida Fernandez-Barkan, executive search, Accent Advisory, Moscow; Peyton Greenside, pediatric medicine, Hospital for Mother and Child, Chisinau; Sean Loosli (Slavic and psychology), Web-based curriculum development, Moscow State University Center for International Education, Moscow; Dimitrije Ruzic (economics), outsourcing, consulting, and auditing, Bellerage Vostok, Moscow; Saba Sulaiman (economics, Middle Eastern Studies) and Cathy Sun (social studies), corporate communications and public relations at MCS Global Strategies, Moscow; Mary Szpak (Earth and planetary science), political science curriculum development, Jagiellonian University, Kraków; and Jan Zilinsky (economics; applied mathematics), health care system analysis, Institute for Economic and Social Reforms, Bratislava.Two students were awarded Andrei Sakharov Program on Human Rights Summer Internships for 2008: Marino Auffant (history) interned at the Slavic Center for Law and Justice and the Civic Assistance Committee in Moscow; and Nafees Syed (government) interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, The Hague.last_img read more

Hasty Pudding Club Forms at Harvard: September 8, 1795

first_imgOn this day in 1795, 21 Harvard students gathered in a dorm room and formed a secret social club to cultivate “friendship and patriotism.” Members agreed to take turns providing a pot of hasty pudding for the meetings. Thus did the Hasty Pudding Club, the nation’s oldest dramatic institution, get its name…Read full storylast_img

Rick Hendrick: Earnhardt Jr. has ‘been an ambassador’

first_imgRELATED: Playoff standingsDETROIT — If Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final full NASCAR season ends without a playoff-clinching win, team owner Rick Hendrick says it won’t sour what has been an impressive body of work in stock-car racing.Hendrick’s remarks came Thursday at Chevrolet’s unveiling of the Camaro ZL1,which the automaker will field in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Earnhardt, 42, has driven for Hendrick Motorsports since 2008 and has 26 career wins, the most recent coming in November 2015; he announced in April that this season will be his last.Earnhardt sits 23rd in the series standings and in need of a victory in the remaining four regular-season races to secure a playoff berth. Hendrick said he would cherish a storybook send-off with one final trip to Victory Lane, but that Earnhardt’s legacy in the sport is secure regardless.RELATED: Dale Jr. photos through history | Playoff bubble watch“It won’t matter a bit,” Hendrick said. “To me, you’ll look at the championships that he won in XFINITY, you’ll look at his contribution, what he’s done to mentor young drivers, what he’s done to give people an opportunity, the way he’s conducted himself with the fans and the kids. I mean, his contribution … being a genuine, real person. If you’re a champion and you win a lot of races, that’s great, but I think you’ve got to look at what contribution did you make to the sport that wasn’t just for you, it was for a lot of other people.”The backdrop for Hendrick’s statements was Earnhardt taking selfies and chatting with General Motor employees attending Thursday afternoon’s Camaro reveal. It’s part of what has made Earnhardt the series’ most popular driver for 14 years running.“Of course, we’d love to see him win and get in the (playoffs) and how great it would be if he won the championship,” Hendrick said. “I think that would be great, but I think all the good things that he’s done, all the people he’s helped, and he has been a champion and he has won. When you see people like today just gravitating toward him, he’s been an ambassador.“He’s done a lot for a lot of people, me included. He told me he was going to make me popular,” Hendrick said through laughs, “so I appreciate that.”last_img read more

Johnson, Petty and fans lend voices to 2018 Daytona 500 commercial

first_imgRELATED: Weekend schedule for TalladegaIt feels quite appropriate. Seven-time NASCAR champions Jimmie Johnson and Richard Petty open up the newly released 2018 Daytona 500 commercial with heartfelt sentiment and high expectations about this epic event.“There is no greater feeling,” reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champ Johnson says, opening the new commercial unveiled Saturday by Daytona International Speedway.“There is no greater history,” answers the legendary NASCAR Hall of Famer Petty in the very next frame.And there are no greater voices than the drivers and NASCAR fans featured in this spot to remind people to purchase tickets for the Feb. 18, 2018 Daytona 500 — the 60th anniversary of the sport’s most famous race.“We’re really proud of the commercial,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “We took a little different approach than we’ve taken in the past using fans as part of our creative. I thought the end product was just phenomenal.“Using Daytona 500 fans and champions to promote the 60th running of the Daytona 500 is a perfect mix of competition on track and fan experience we’ve been talking about for years.“This is a prime example of pushing the envelope and really melding the drivers of the sport and stars of sports with the fans who keep the sport going with the passion they have behind it.”Wile says there is much to look forward to as the track prepares a proper celebration of its six decades of celebrated competition.“We’re ultra-focused on making sure the 60th is special and this is one more example of doing that,” Wile said.last_img read more

Embroiled in a tight points battle, Stenhouse Jr. is a realist

first_imgDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is a realist.Approaching the halfway point of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, the driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford is embroiled in a tight points battle for one of the last spots in the Playoffs.MORE: Full Daytona schedule | Fords fast in early practiceThrough 17 races, Stenhouse is 16th in the standings, but the defending winner of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 (7 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is not currently in a Playoff-eligible position, give that 19th-place Austin Dillon has secured a top-16 spot with his victory in the season-opening Daytona 500.But Stenhouse can make the points issue moot by repeating as the winner of Saturday’s race, and he’s practical enough to know that the last restrictor-plate of the regular season gives him his best chance.“Yeah, for sure,” Stenhouse said Thursday between practices at Daytona. “I think we’ve got Daytona, and I feel like Bristol—there are two tracks that we can still potentially win at, being able to go out and win a race. “Obviously, there are race tracks where things can play out. I don’t think we have the speed at the mile-and-a-halves yet to go out there and win like we want to, so I think, realistically, when I go to those mile-and-a-halves, I’m like, ‘Hey, let’s somehow manage a 12th-place finish.’ “Whether you get a couple stage points and you finish 15th and you’re averaging basically a 12th-place finish, that’s what we look at when we go to some of those tracks, but Daytona definitely Saturday night is a really big opportunity for us, but for everyone else, too.”last_img read more

Kevin Harvick surges to Busch Pole Award at ISM Raceway

first_imgKevin Harvick rolled to the Busch Pole Award in Monster Energy Series qualifying Friday at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.Harvick, a nine-time Phoenix winner, landed a best lap of 139.340 mph around the 1-mile track, putting the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford in the first starting spot for Sunday’s Can-Am 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The pole position is the fourth for Harvick this season, his second at Phoenix and 25th of his Monster Energy Series career.RELATED: Qualifying results | See every car in the field | Weekend scheduleHarvick is competing this weekend with interim crew chief Tony Gibson calling the shots in place of Rodney Childers, who is serving a two-race suspension for a technical infraction after last weekend’s win at Texas Motor Speedway.“It’s pretty awesome to see a group of people come together — old man Tony Gibson and Nick (DeFazio, interim car chief) — coming out to fill the gaps for the suspensions,” Harvick told NBCSN. “Like I told the radio a second ago, everybody on our Busch Light Ford has been there before and we know what we need to do. This is a great race track for us. I really wasn’t expecting that. Our cars are usually a lot better in race trim than in qualifying trim, and just got fortunate to hit a good lap right there and it came at a good time.”Chase Elliott will share the front row after registering the second-fastest lap (139.152 mph) in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet.“Yeah, unfortunately not good enough,” Elliott said. “The guys brought me a great NAPA Chevy this week and one of these days I’ll figure out how to qualify on a non-plate track, maybe. I had a car to do it today, and I didn’t get it done. So, we’ll go to work on Sunday.”Elliott starts Sunday’s race 17 points behind Harvick for the final spot in the Championship 4.Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman rounded out the top five in qualifying for the penultimate event in the 10-race playoffs, with title-eligible Kyle Busch snagging sixth.The 312-lap event is the final race in the Round of 8. After Sunday’s race, the championship-eligible field will be trimmed from eight to the four drivers who will race for a title Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.Joey Logano, the only driver assured of a title shot after his Martinsville win clinched an automatic berth, qualified ninth in the 39-car field.Defending series champ Martin Truex Jr. was a late arrival to the qualifying grid after his Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota failed inspection three times. The issues resulted in the ejection of Blake Harris, the team’s car chief, and a loss of 30 minutes in Saturday’s final practice.Truex was bumped out of the final round of the session by a last-minute lap from Brad Keselowski. Truex will start 13th.“It was a battle,” said Truex, who was 20th-fastest in Friday’s practice. “Kind of par for the course for us here lately, so I say 13th is a pretty good starting spot for the day we’ve had. I really didn’t get a good crack at anything in practice and we didn’t end up having much time and we were pretty far off. Made some good gains for sure. I wish we could’ve ran again. I definitely feel like I could pick up some more. Car was just pretty tight, so we’ll start 13th and get to work tomorrow.”MORE: Playoff standingsOther postseason drivers missing out of the final session were the Stewart-Haas Racing trio of Kurt Busch (starts 14th), Clint Bowyer (16th), Aric Almirola (18th) — all of whom sit outside of the elimination cut-off line.Cody Ware, who crashed during Friday’s lone practice for the series, did not make a qualifying attempt in the Rick Ware Racing No. 51 Ford.Contributing: NASCAR Wire Servicelast_img read more

Suarez on current state of driver etiquette: ‘If you’re polite, you won’t last’

first_imgBROOKLYN, Mich. – According to Daniel Suarez, if you want to win races, a drastic change in behavior among competitors leaves no room for kindness on the race track.During the Stewart-Haas Racing driver’s media availability Friday at Michigan International Speedway, Suarez dove into detail regarding how much driver etiquette has changed since he first came onto the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series scene, a conversation he and Ryan Blaney and Corey LaJoie actually had at dinner with fellow Ford Performance drivers Thursday night.“In today’s racing, nobody gives respect,” Suarez said. “It’s way different than two years ago. When I came to the Cup Series in 2017, everyone was very polite. In the first half of the race, if someone was faster than me, I would let the guy go. But right now, … Lap 2 … we’re driving it with everything.RELATED: Suarez fast early at Michigan | Full schedule for Michigan, Texas“That’s how it is,” Suarez continued. “There’s just no more respect or polite drivers out there. If you’re polite, you won’t last.”With track position at a premium based on how competitive the Cup Series field has become, Suarez noted restarts have become more aggressive, with drivers jockeying to gain every position possible.“Everyone has to make positions,” Suarez said. “If you don’t make positions, you’re going to lose positions. You have to have that mentality.“I’ve had a lot of good race cars in the past where I’m good on the long run, but on the restarts I’m not great,” he added. “It takes me seven laps to finally get going. In today’s racing, you can’t have that. It’s one of those things where you have to be at least decent on restarts to have a good trade off.”Although Suarez acknowledged being nice doesn’t get you very far in today’s day and age, he’s also not complaining about it. He actually enjoys it.“Nobody gives anyone a break,” Suarez said. “It’s very hard, but it’s fun. I like it, driving hard; I don’t have a problem with that. It’s just a different style of racing now.“The lead cars — the guys out running the top 15, top 10 – I think it’s how it’s supposed to be. I don’t mind driving hard. That’s what we get paid for, right?”RELATED: SHR cars lead 10-lap averages in Michigan practiceDespite the lack of give-and-take on the race track, Suarez believes firmly in drawing a line in the sand to separate what happens on the race track from relationships in the motor coach lots.“Personally, I try to be good with everyone, but on the race track it’s a whole different deal,” Suarez said. “There’s a lot of drivers like that. Joey Logano … he’s a great friend of mine and we get along extremely well off the race track. But when we’re on the race track, we’re always banging and hitting and talking trash on the radio. That’s how it is and that’s how I like it to be.“It has to be that way. He (Logano) does a good job on that. He’s an extremely aggressive driver. I will say, I’m the same way. Maybe some people will say sometimes it’s too much, I prefer to be on the too much side and not too little.”If there’s any doubt that Suarez gets a thrill out of ultra-aggressive racing and standing up to his competition, he’s quick to remind of his scuffle with Michael McDowell at ISM Raceway in March.“Do you see when I was fighting in Phoenix, I was smiling, too,” Suarez said with a grin. “I don’t have a problem with that. I’ve been in tougher situations, believe me.”last_img read more

Emotions run high for Jimmie Johnson’s Kentucky return after positive COVID-19 test

first_imgAn upbeat Jimmie Johnson said Friday that his feelings have spanned anger, anticipation and ultimately optimism in the week since his positive test for COVID-19, setting an emotional tone for his return to stock-car racing this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.Johnson’s remarks came Friday morning in his first interview since he received clearance to return to NASCAR competition. The seven-time Cup Series champion will be back in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for Sunday’s Quaker State 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).RELATED: Jimmie Johnson cleared to return | Kentucky weekend schedule“Obviously, just an interesting week or so to have the positive test and then the two negative tests,” Johnson said in a Zoom video conference with reporters. “Just emotional and a journey that you go through worrying about your safety, your family’s safety, watching a race with somebody else in your race car and the emotion that goes with that. Coming to grips with the reality of all that has been challenging, but I’ve always subscribed to growing through these tough moments, and I feel like I’m a smarter, stronger person today experiencing all this.”Johnson revealed a positive COVID-19 test July 3, which sidelined him for last weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He also said that his wife, Chandra, had tested positive for the virus, while his children — daughters Genevieve and Lydia — had tested negative. Johnson said he has been asymptomatic throughout; he said Friday that his wife was in good health, save for allergy-like symptoms common this time of year near their Colorado home.NASCAR officials cleared the way for Johnson’s return Wednesday. The 44-year-old driver was required to have two negative COVID-19 tests spaced at least 24 hours apart, an absence of symptoms, plus clearance by a physician.Johnson said his initial reaction upon receiving word of his first negative test was anger directed at multiple sources, in part from his uncertainty over the pandemic, his strange lack of symptoms, his children’s fears and his absence from the race track.RELATED: Jimmie Johnson’s all-time wins | Career highlights for Jimmie Johnson“I started cussing and used every cuss word that I knew of, and I think invented a few new ones,” Johnson said. “So it was just so weird, the anger, because I’ve been asymptomatic. So anger hits, and then speculation in my mind and it’s like wait a second, there is nothing good to come of this. It’s just time to move on. Then I got very excited, started looking at the facts that I’ve only missed one race, I’ve still got a good gap above the cut line and then this optimism about getting that second negative, and then I did. So I feel like I’m more on the optimistic side of things and really out of the dark headspace that I was in and just moving in the right direction and looking forward in all this.” The Brickyard absence snapped Johnson’s consecutive-starts streak at 663 races. Xfinity Series regular Justin Allgaier — on standby for Hendrick Motorsports as an alternate driver since the sport returned in May with coronavirus protocols in place — filled in with the No. 48 team. He mustered just a 37th-place finish when a pit-road pile-up ended his day after just 17 of the 161 laps, a result that Johnson said he felt short-changed Allgaier’s chance to shine in a top-tier Cup Series seat.Johnson said that the reality of missing the Indianapolis event began to set in as the hours ticked down to the green flag, but that participating in the No. 48 team’s pre-race meeting offered a sense of relief.“Saturday night was the peak,” Johnson said, adding that he had trouble sleeping on the eve of the Indy race. “Sunday morning wasn’t great, but I joined the team call that we do an hour, hour and a half before the race. I was just able to hear the voices of my crew guys, give them a shot in the arm and pump them up and just be involved in that team moment. It’s crazy how it just relaxed me because I was convinced I wasn’t going to watch the race. I’m like, I can’t do it.“But having that moment to talk to Cliff (Daniels, crew chief), talk to all the guys. Justin was clearly on the call and to hear the words he had to say to the team, it let a lot of that go and I actually watched the race.”One other element of the Indianapolis weekend that Johnson missed was a scheduled IndyCar test for Chip Ganassi Racing. He got a taste of the vehicle last Thursday at Indy chassis builder Dallara, where he turned laps on its driving simulator. While Johnson said all parties involved were eager to reschedule the session, he added that “everybody’s just giving everything a little time to breathe right now” before setting a makeup date.As for his stock-car pursuits in what is set to be his final full-time Cup Series season, Johnson sits 15th in the Cup Series standings, just inside the provisional 16-driver playoff field. He received a medical waiver for the postseason if he meets all other criteria for eligibility.Johnson’s self-reporting of a positive test made him the first driver in NASCAR’s top three series to reveal a COVID-19 diagnosis and to make his way through the sanctioning body’s health protocols for reinstatement. As other sports attempt to resume or start their seasons, and NASCAR continues to navigate through pandemic conditions, Johnson said he doesn’t necessarily have newfound perspective about the process, but only his own experience and course back to the track.“I don’t know how to add clarity and advice in what changes need to take place,” Johnson said. “I unfortunately feel that there’s a lot to still be learned in the professional field on this, in the medical field on this, and I — like everyone else — am eagerly awaiting that instruction, that knowledge, a vaccine, better testing if it’s required, better screening. There’s just more questions than answers for a lot of us. I certainly don’t have the answers for everybody.”last_img read more

Jimmie Johnson cleared to return to competition at Kentucky

first_imgNASCAR officials on Wednesday cleared Jimmie Johnson to return to competition this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.The seven-time Cup Series champion self-reported a positive COVID-19 test last Friday, forcing him out of the circuit’s most recent race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He is set to return to the driver’s seat of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet in Sunday’s Quaker State 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) in the Bluegrass State.“My family is so grateful for the incredible love and support we’ve received over the last several days,” Johnson said in a team release. “I especially want to thank Justin Allgaier for stepping in for me at Indy and being a true pro. I’m excited about getting back to business with my team this weekend.”RELATED: Every Jimmie Johnson victoryJohnson, 44, met the criteria established by NASCAR officials since the sport returned to action in May after the coronavirus outbreak. The requirements include two negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart, an absence of symptoms, and medical clearance from a physician.According to Hendrick Motorsports, Johnson tested negative twice this week – on Monday and Tuesday – and was cleared by his physician Tuesday evening in accordance with NASCAR guidelines. The driver never experienced symptoms.Following Johnson’s diagnosis, four Hendrick Motorsports crew members were tested for COVID-19 with all four receiving negative results, according to a team release. The No. 48 team will have its regular personnel roster for Sunday’s event at KentuckyJohnson became the first NASCAR driver to reveal a positive coronavirus test. A member of Hendrick Motorsports’ road crew who had been in closer contact with Johnson was also self-quarantined after Johnson’s positive test.Allgaier, an Xfinity Series regular for JR Motorsports, finished 37th Sunday at Indianapolis in an interim role in the No. 48 Chevy. His fill-in role ended after just 17 laps after he was snared by a multi-car tangle on pit road during the first round of stops.The driver change ended Johnson’s streak of consecutive Cup Series starts at 663, a span that stretched back to his rookie season in 2002.PHOTOS: Jimmie Johnson through the yearslast_img read more

Austin Dillon making good on his bracket-busting promise

first_imgAustin Dillon is delivering on his NASCAR Playoffs Media Day promise to “mess up a lot of brackets.”The Richard Childress Racing driver wasted no time backing up his runner-up finish at Darlington Raceway to open the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. A fourth-place finish in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway — his first-ever run of back-to-back top-five finishes at the Cup level —  have catapulted Dillon into a strong spot heading into the Round of 16 finale at Bristol Motor Speedway.Dillon now sits at a +36 position on the cutline and a sixth-place spot in the standings — knocking on the door of playoff advancement with one race to go in the Round of 16. He is also only one of two drivers — Joey Logano is the other — with back-to-back top fives to open the playoffs.RELATED: Quick analysis of Richmond race | Keselowski scores win at Richmond“I felt that our team has turned the corner the last couple weeks and I felt like RCR as a whole has had speed all year,” Dillon said. “Between myself, Justin (Alexander, crew chief), my engineer Billy Scott, spotter Brandon (Benesch) and everybody at the shop — our mechanics — we got a really good team. We’ve shown a lot of speed this year and didn’t get some of the finishes that we deserved.”Dillon noted he had circled Richmond coming into the playoffs as a track where his crew could win, given his two top-six finishes in the previous three races there. He also noted driving up through the field “four times” into the top five at Martinsville Speedway in June before the car overheated.Dillon parlayed two second-place stage finishes into 18 stage points to grow his cushion to the cutline, but it wasn’t as easy as it looked on the points sheet. The 30-year-old had to overcome a speeding penalty after Stage 1 but rallied to get his track position back. The speeding penalty was the sixth of the season on pit road for Dillon, according to the NBCSN telecast. He later missed getting to pit road on Lap 336 while running sixth in a strategy play to bring everyone with him for fresh Goodyear tires.“I wish I wouldn’t have had the speeding penalty but we overcame that,” Dillon said. “I should have been a little more patient trying to get to pit road there to drag everybody down and it cost us a little bit of time. Either way, what a night for our team. I’ve been pretty confident in this team all year and now it’s starting to show more and more because we are getting finishes.”The race marked a career-best laps led in one race by Dillon — 55 — who first passed polesitter Kevin Harvick for the lead on Lap 21 and led late in Stage 2 before passed by eventual race winner Brad Keselowski with 18 to go in the stage.Those finishes are catching the attention of his competitors. Martin Truex Jr., the runner-up at Richmond, noted the No. 3 car has “taken a big step forward, so that’s cool to see.”This is a big moment for Dillon, a seven-year veteran of the Cup Series. While he has three Cup wins and has qualified for the playoffs four times (counting this season), he has only advanced out of the Round of 16 once.“I feel like I’ve matured as a driver,” Dillon said. “I’m in that age zone where things start clicking a little bit. You notice these guys when they get a little older in age that stuff starts coming to them really well and some people do it faster than others, but it’s a good time right now for me and the 3 team and everybody at RCR.“We want to keep seizing the moment. We get these opportunities to start up front, collect as much as we can. I’m not disappointed. Unbelievable top fives back to back, but that car was pretty impressive. Definitely could have finished second and had a shot at Brad (Keselowski) I feel like. We weren’t that great on a short run, but long-run speed I don’t think anybody had much for us.”last_img read more

The Infamous Stringdusters Announce Mission Ballroom Show With Michael Travis & Jason Hann

first_imgGrammy Award-winning bluegrass quintet The Infamous Stringdusters have announced a special performance at Denver, CO’s Mission Ballroom, set for Saturday, January 11th, 2020.The Dusters will be joined by The String Cheese Incident‘s Michael Travis and Jason Hann for some musical collaborations. Denver-based indie-folk outfit Trout Steak Revival will handle the evening’s opening duties.The Infamous Stringdusters’ official announcement reads,Oh hey Denver! The Dusters are pleased to announce that we’ll be playing the brand new Mission Ballroom on Saturday January 11, 2020 and we’ve put together something very special. Not only do we have support from our friends Trout Steak Revival, we’ll also be joined by Michael Travis and Jason Hann of The String Cheese Incident for some musical collaborations. It’ll be a special night in a special venue. See you there! Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning on Friday, August 23rd at 10 a.m. (EST) here.Head to The Infamous Stringdusters’ website for a full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, ticketing, and more information.last_img read more

Spike Jonze Announces Forthcoming ‘Beastie Boys’ Photo Book

first_imgSpike Jonze has announced a forthcoming Beastie Boys photo book that chronicles his work with the rap trio. The book will feature text from surviving Beastie Boys members Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond. The book is set for release on March 17th.Jonze, the American filmmaker, photographer, and actor, is well-known for his decades of work with the rap trio. In addition to directing music videos, designing album covers, and helping to write a memoir, Jonze has even directed a stage show with the New York-based group.Beastie Boys will be Jonze’s first photo book and it will contain 256 pages of photos highlighting his time with Mike D, Ad-Rock, and the late Adam “MCA” Yauch. It will cover everything from the early “Sabotage” music video to “The Sounds of Science” album cover.The book is sure to satisfy the needs of Beastie Boys enthusiasts as well as fans of photography and hip-hop in general. Fans are certainly familiar with the work Jonze and the Beastie Boys have collaborated on. It’s a decades-long relationship that has produced some of the most iconic images of the three-piece.However, Jonze’s Beastie Boys will focus on a different aspect of the relationship between Spike Jonze and the Beastie Boys. It will chronicle the never-before-seen and take fans on a journey behind the scenes. It will also feature new text by Ad-Rock and Mike D in addition to an afterword written by Jonze.Fans can pre-order a copy of the book, due out on March 17th, here.last_img read more

Watch The Late Neal Casal Track New CATS Single “Money’s No Option” In The Studio [Video]

first_imgThis past Friday, Circles Around The Sun shared the single “Money’s No Option”, set to appear on the band’s forthcoming studio album. The band’s self-titled third studio effort is due out March 13th and will feature the final recordings of late founding member and guitarist, Neal Casal.On Saturday, the band followed the song’s arrival by sharing a behind-the-scenes video of Casal playing his guitar in the studio while tracking his guitar part to the recording.Related: Listen To Circles Around The Sun’s Aggie Theatre Performance With Scott Metzger [Full-Show Audio]The video runs at 91-seconds and showcases Casal front and center, riffing away on the funky rock track with a white Fender Stratocaster while accompanied in the studio’s control room by the wine-drinking session engineer. Casal looks totally locked in and even shows a little bounce in his legs during his performance throughout the video.“‘Money’ is Neal’s tune,” the accompanying copy reads. “We would play it in soundcheck and he pushed Adam to finish writing it. Then Neal basically ripped over the whole song!! Also credit to Sam Blasucci for help with the title.”Watch the behind-the-scenes video of Casal below.Neal Casal Records “Money’s No Option” In Studio[Video: Circles Around The Sun]Building up the March release of their final album featuring Casal, Circles Around The Sun will team up with guitarist Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead) for a run of performances beginning later this month. Tickets are available via the band’s website.last_img read more

Hug Your Farmer Livestream Benefit To Feature Dave Matthews, Grace Potter, Chadwick Stokes, More

first_imgDave Matthews, Grace Potter, Chadwick Stokes (Dispatch), and more will take part in the Hug Your Farmer virtual benefit on Thursday night (6/25) to raise money for local food systems as much of the country’s agricultural industry has also been turned upsidedown over the past few months due to COVID-19.The one-night event, which is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET and free of charge to watch, will also feature at-home performances from Broadway singer Kelli O’Hara, Martin Sexton, Kat Wright, Posh Panda, Bob Wagner, The Sweet Remains with the Hug Your Farmer All-Star Band, and Ashley Betton. Fans are encouraged to donate what they can to benefit Shift Meals, a non-profit which connects local farmers to restaurants and helps to provide food to communities in need.Related: Justice Comes Alive – A Virtual Festival For EqualityDave Matthews has been a longtime supporter of America’s commercial agriculture, as the guitarist helps raise large amounts of money with the annual Farm Aid benefit alongside longtime business partners Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp. This year’s virtual edition of Farm Aid raised over $500,000 for farmers around the country.Click here to tune into Thursday’s Hug Your Farmer livestream beginning at 9 p.m. Click here to learn more about Shift Meals.last_img read more

Maggie Rose & Friends Recreate Bill Withers’ ‘Live At Carnegie Hall’ In Nashville [Full-Show Video]

first_imgThis past Monday evening, the sublimely talented Maggie Rose invited some of her musical friends to join her in Nashville, TN for a recreation of Bill Withers‘ seminole live recording, Live at Carnegie Hall. The live album is considered by many music critics to be one of the finest ever to put on record. Back in 2015, Rolling Stone even ranked the album 27th on its list of the “50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time.”Rose felt compelled to pay tribute to Withers, who passed away in April, via last night’s livestream as well as with her recently released single, “20/20”. Rose indicated in recent interviews that she was actually thinking of Withers and his music when she penned “20/20” alongside co-writers Alex Haddad, Larry Florman, and Sarah Tomek.In a previously released statement regarding how “20/20” came together Rose commented,It started to form when those endless days under quarantine began to blur together, right around the time when all of those bread starters people had been making were ready to yield some loaves. Instead of bread making, I opted to trudge up the hill in our backyard to our shed where an old electric keyboard had been patiently waiting for someone to play it. Performing my songs on piano was the big one on my list of ‘things I will do when I have the time’ and let’s face it, I had the time and desperately needed the inspiration.Rose had some of Nashville’s rising stars join her for this past Monday’s stream that included local singers David Gilfillian, Joy Oladukun, and Wil Merrell. The songstress also tapped a few industry veterans for the performance such as R&B and adult contemporary artist Wendy Moten, the Barber Brothers horns, as well as her long time collaborators and tourmates, Them Vibes.Highlights from the evening of music were not hard to come by as the entire performance turned out to be brilliant from beginning to end. Rose herself may have had her best moment at the very beginning of the night with an effulgent and funky performance of the Withers’s classic, “Use Me”. The song lends itself to people coming together, embracing and even dancing with one another, thus it served as the perfect vehicle to start things off in Nashville.When Rose reached for the high notes in “Use Me” I’m guessing the walls in many viewers’ homes began to shake, rattle, and roll to the delight of any and all of the viewers taking in the performance from the comfort of their own living rooms.Another noteworthy performance from Monday evening came via Olakuden and Rose’s take on one of Withers’s most recognizable hits, “Ain’t No Sunshine.” The song ended up having an uptempo reggae flavor to it with the two singers trading radiant harmonies throughout. Olakudun turned out to be an excellent choice for “Ain’t No Sunshine,” as her own music is raw, passionate and breathtakingly real. Anyone who knows Rose personally must not be surprised in the least that she and Olakuden found a way to find one another in Nashville.Another moment of brilliance from Monday night’s stream came in the form of Gilfillan’s slow burn take on Withers’s, “World Keeps Going Around”. The Nashville-based singer is an admirer of vocalists spread throughout the worlds of rock, soul, and blues thus he seemed to be the perfect choice to take a run at a song that aligns closely with his very own musical DNA. Gilfilian’s music itself has a classic sound interwoven into it, yet he’s seamlessly able to inject something new and contemporary into the equation. The singer’s performance of “World Keeps Going Around,” this past Monday in Nashville did little to alter that narrative.Another standout from Monday evening came via Merrell’s emotive rendition of “I Can’t Write Left Handed”. Withers wrote the song for a buddy of his he served with in Vietnam who had been shot and injured at one point during the conflict. Merrell shared a personal story of his own that was tied to his brother’s similar experience in combat while serving in the Army throughout several tours of duty in the Middle East.  There’s a certain kind of melancholy and darkness tied to Merrell’s own music that’s also laced with themes of hope and redemption. Thus for a number of reasons, it seemed quite apt that Rose tapped the singer to perform, “I Can’t Write Left Handed.”Rose herself rose to the occasion throughout the evening countless times. However, the singer seemed to make a point of ensuring that all those that shared the stage with her in Nashville were equally represented with each of them having their own time to shine in the spotlight. And you know what, that may have been the whole idea or even the theme behind the live stream altogether. Unity, friendship, love and music.If that was the mission statement Rose was seeking to represent with her recreation of Withers’s Live at Carnegie Hall, man oh man did she hit that one right out of the park and into the starlit skies Withers likely gleefully took in the performance from.Rose has been keeping quite busy throughout the country’s seemingly never-ending quarantine. On the heels of Monday’s performance Rose will be putting out another ‘Quarantine 45’ on September 20th in the form of the B-Side for “20/20”, entitled, “Only Human (I Want to Get Out)”. To celebrate the song’s release Rose will be hosting yet another live stream this upcoming Thursday September 17th.For all things Maggie Rose, including tickets to her upcoming live stream this week from Tweed Recording Studios in Athens, Georgia, simply head on over to her website.Watch the full performance below.Maggie Rose & Friends – Tribute To Bill Withers – Nashville, TN – 9/14/20[Video: Maggie Rose]Setlist: Maggie Rose and Friends | Undisclosed Venue | Nashville, TN | 9/14/20Set: Use Me, Friend of Mine, Ain’t No Sunshine, Grandma’s Hands, World Keeps Going Around, Let Me in Your Life, Better Off Dead, For My Friend, I Can’t Write Left Handed, Lean on Me, Lonely Town Lonely Street, Hope She’ll Be Happier, Let Us Love, Harlem/Cold Baloneylast_img read more

Remembering The Tortured Genius Of Jim Morrison On The Anniversary Of The Doors’ Disastrous Final Show [Videos]

first_imgThe last The Doors concert with Jim Morrison took place on December 12th, 1970, bringing a disappointing close to a dominant band in rock music. It’s hard to know when the music’s truly over, but the way lead singer and resident lunatic Jim Morrison finished this show at The Warehouse in New Orleans left little doubt in the rest of the bands’ minds that the end was here. Nothing in life lasts forever, and no one here gets out alive.When looking for bands to sum up not the spirit but the reality of the sixties, you need look no further than The Doors. They quite literally were the hottest band in the land—psychedelic rockers fronted by a dark poet who railed at the world from his pulpit. Jim Morrison didn’t sing to his audience, he preached sermons of indecipherable meanings with lyrical wordplay and a raw passion that kept listeners spellbound.The Doors – “The Crystal Ship”/”Light My Fire” – American Bandstand – 1967[Video: Diopriest2]Keyboardist Ray Manzarek and UCLA film school classmate Morrison shared a love of music and an ambitious creative spirit. In an all-too-perfect moment, the two famously formed the band on the beaches of Venice, CA, after Manzerek heard some lyrics Morrison had written. Recruiting John Densmore on drums and guitarist Robbie Krieger, The Doors were open for business in a matter of days. After writing music to Morrison’s words and coming up with a few fresh tunes together, the band took the Los Angeles music scene by storm and quickly earned a record deal with Columbia Records.The band went on to release eight studio albums in just five years, establishing their sound as a mixture of madness-tinged poetry, hushed lulls, and frenzied explosions of cacophony. Their name, The Doors, was taken from an Aldous Huxley book, The Doors Of Perception, written about a mescaline experience. Morrison was interested in writing and art since childhood and had headed to film school to try and find a way to express the roiling passions inside of him. He had long searched for a key to unlock the truth, and through his early use of psychotropic drugs, he found his release.Jim Morrison – “Shaman Dances” (Live)[Video: Faicchiocat]The rest of the band joined him at first, making their early shows wild affairs, almost pure hedonistic bacchanals. The staid and uptight atmosphere of the fifties and sixties had been covering up the fear of nuclear annihilation and constant war. The children of the baby boom were coming of age, rejecting the violence and inequality of the world as it was, and looking to change what they saw around them. The flower power generation exploded in the middle of the decade, wanting nothing more than to “Tune In, Turn On and Drop Out” of the roles society had waiting for them. And unto them came a voice telling them there was a way out.Songs like “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”, “People Are Strange”, and “Strange Days” showcased The Doors’ determination to get people to look at life through fresh eyes and see how it really was. The Free Love movement was also in full swing, and sexy songs like “Light My Fire”, “Love Me Two Times”, and “Twentieth Century Fox” helped create an air of hyper-charged sexuality that made Morrison an international sex symbol. Sadly, tunes like “The End”, “Five To One”, and “When The Music’s Over” also showcased Morrison’s near-obsession with death and finality.The Doors – “When The Music’s Over” – Hollywood Bowl 1968[Video: ROCK]The holy trinity of “Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll” was joined in the music of The Doors by the ever-present specter of the Grim Reaper. As the sixties progressed, Morrison’s copious drug use greatly affected the band’s live shows. In concert, you were as likely to see a transformative meditation on the deepest subjects of life as you were to see Morrison mutter incomprehensibly into a microphone and howl in pain and confusion for reasons not even the band could truly understand.This unreliability took its toll on the friendships among the bandmates. Manzarek, Krieger, and Densmore were eager to play to the fans but were hamstrung by the unpredictability of their frontman. Though The Doors featured a stellar collection of instrumentalists, it was Morrison who was the lightning rod of attention. As the sixties wound down, the three found themselves dreading each performance, having no idea which Jim was coming out to play that night.The band was in Los Angeles finishing what would be their final studio album, L.A. Woman, when they were approached with the idea of doing a small promo tour for the upcoming release. Over the previous two years, Morrison had been arrested onstage during a performance, arrested again after a show for exposing himself, and exited the stage dozens of other times after he was unable or unwilling to continue performing. They reluctantly agreed to book two shows, with thoughts of extending the tour if things went well.The Doors – L.A. Woman – Full AlbumThe first night in Texas went off well enough, but the seeds of destruction had long ago been planted in Morrison, and they sprouted fully that fateful night in New Orleans on this date in 1970. Before the show, Morrison spent the day drinking and casually indulging in a cornucopia of drugs, including a strong dose of psychedelics. What was originally intended as a mind-opening religious rite had deteriorated into a way to stay awake long enough to perform.Cracks appeared early in the set, as Morrison was unhappy with the song selection and continually urged the band to play “St. James Infirmary Blues”, singing that song’s lyrics no matter what song was actually being played. The bearded, overweight, and out of his mind Morrison was prone to collapsing onstage, and their last show proved to be no exception. The band left the stage in disgust, with Manzarek later saying he felt as if he could “See Jim’s spirit leave his body, even though he was still standing right there” in his autobiography.Whether or not his spirit had left him, the will to perform certainly had. Lying on the stage, he urged concert-goers to cheer and call the band back out when he roused from his stupor. The band, not wanting to deny their fans a show, begrudgingly came back out. Their return was short-lived, however, as just a few songs later, Morrison, like a man possessed, began to hammer the base of his microphone stand into the stage itself. He rained blows down until the boards gave way, and the mic and stand disappeared from his hands for what would be the last time.Immediately afterward, the other three members voted unanimously to end their live performances, feeling that it was wrong to promise their fans a product that they could not produce. Morrison finished the overdubs for L.A. Woman and retreated to Paris to write and escape the temptations that so easily ensnared him. In a very real way, Morrison had closed the book on his live performance career by breaking on through to the other side, though not in a way his younger self would have imagined outside the worst of bad trips. Morrison was dead less than a year later, and any hopes of a reunion were gone along with him.America in the sixties rode a wave of budding idealism, breaking down social and sexual taboos in an attempt to be free. Unfortunately for many, that freedom was over-used and abused, and many of the brightest from that generation fell victim to the many forms of self-destruction that arise when limitations are discarded. The Doors had ridden the crest of that wave as well as any band, and like all waves, crashed into the shore and dispersed back to the sea.[Originally published 12/12/16]last_img read more

Colo. Didn’t Factor Risk in Earmarking Grants

first_imgThough the audit did not specify which risk level the Pikes Peak area falls under, Colorado Springs emergency management Director Bret Waters said he thinks the city could receive more help with its communications system if risk becomes a factor. Despite being near four major military bases, the city seems not to have gotten its fair share of homeland security dollars, he said. COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado officials have not considered risk when doling out grants for public-safety communications, leading to more money going to low-risk areas than to higher probability attack locations, according to an audit released Tuesday. While we have been very good at giving out money, the Department of Local Affairs has not used very sophisticated analysis or strategic thinking in regard to some of the grant programs we provide, said Kirkpatrick, who took over the department earlier this year. About $135 million in state and federal money has been put toward improving communications systems, including the creation of a digital trunked radio system that links first responders covering 86 percent of Colorado. The recently hired state homeland security coordinator, Mason Whitney, is working to develop more tools to conduct risk-based analyses, Kirkpatrick said. The report by the State Auditor s Office recommended the state create a process to better assess which areas need the funds. Department of Local Affairs Director Susan Kirkpatrick agreed with the suggestion and said such a process has begun. I think it s just a logical approach to do that, Waters said of increased risk analysis. When you re looking at a huge investment of dollars into interoperable communications, we need a clear plan of why we re spending that money. But the department did not prioritize communications needs on the basis of risk when making grant distributions, the audit stated. As a result, those areas at medium risk level received $9.2 million in grant funds from 2004-06, while low-risk areas got $11.1 million. The audit also found the Department of Personnel and Administration, which oversees the state s 7,400-item inventory of digital trunked radios, had not kept constant track of whether the agencies that own those emergency-communications radios still had them in their possession. Interoperable communications — essentially, allowing local and state public-safety agencies to be able to talk to each other during an emergency — have been a focus of homeland security spending in recent years. But the DPA information technology division director, Todd Olson, said officials conduct a thorough inventory once a year and have the ability to cut off a radio if they find it s fallen into the hands of someone who should not have it.CONTACT THE WRITER: (303) 837-0613 or ed.sealover@gazette.comlast_img read more

Fla. Man Arrested for Assaulting Child & Paramedic

first_imgThe child started to cry, and Tambunga locked himself inside his room. The child did not require medical attention. The sister-in-law said she and her husband went out to the front porch. When Tambunga was arrested and inside the back of the patrol car, he became verbally abusive toward the deputies, Mackinnon said. He then began hyperventilating, spitting, coughing and foaming at the mouth. Nicholas Tambunga, of Fort Myers, was arrested on two counts of battery on an officer, firefighter or EMT and one count of cruelty toward a child without great harm. While Nicholas was going to his room down the hallway, her son … was walking down the hallway at the same time, Mackinnon reported. (The woman) stated she heard Nicholas yelling at (the child) to get into the living room. (The child s mother) stated she came around the corner to get (the child) when she observed Nicholas shove (the child), forcing him into a wall. According to deputy Ryan Mackinnon, deputies were called to the Prospect Avenue residence by Tambunga, who was reportedly intoxicated and arguing with his brother and sister-in-law. His sister-in-law ordered Tambunga to his room because he was drunk, but Tambunga dialed 911. center_img EMSwas called, and while en route to the hospital, Tambunga reportedly kicked a firefighter and blew snot and spit at an EMT. FORT MYERS, Fla. — A 21-year-old Fort Myers man was arrested by Lee County (Fla.) Sheriff s deputies Sunday after he reportedly assaulted a 5-year-old and a paramedic. He is being held on $21,500 bond at the Lee County Jail. After a time, Tambunga reportedly calmed down and apologized for his behavior. last_img read more

Cleveland EMT Battles for His Own Life

first_imgEMT James Taylor has been on the job for so long, it’s hard for him to walk down a Cleveland street without bumping into someone he once rescued. CLEVELAND — He spent more than three decades saving lives. Now a member of Cleveland’s first Emergency Medical Technician class is fighting for his own life. 62-year-old James Taylor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July.center_img While even in treatment for pancreatic cancer last week at University Hospitals, he shared a room with a man he twice transported to the hospital for respiratory distress.Read More, Cleveland EMT fights for his lifelast_img read more

Church Bus Plunges Over Side Of Calif. Highway

first_imgKTTV Fox 5 Los Angeles – A bus with around two dozen teenagers aboard went over the side of Highway 189 in the Twin Peaks area of San Bernardino County today. Two people on the bus, which belongs to a Pasadena church group, were killed.last_img

AED Vest Technology Saves Pennsylvania Man

first_imgWNEP – A man from Luzerne County who was having a heart attack was saved by a vest that literally shocked him back to life.Brian Jennings almost died in March, but the 58-year-old man from Hanover Township was wearing a life vest. It’s able to detect when the person wearing it has a heart attack and sends a powerful shock, essentially zapping them back to life.“It felt like a stainless steel plate falling on me from about 50 feet in the air. It was really powerful,” Jennings recalled.Doctors said Jennings is one of three heart patients at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital who have had their lives saved by the vest.“He had two cardiac arrests essentially where people actually don’t survive if they are not resuscitated immediately and the kind of cardiac arrest he had, the chance of survival goes down by 10 percent every minute,” explained cardiologist Dr. Gopi Dandamudi.The doctor said the vest is especially critical in life saving for folks like Jennings who live alone.With the traditional defibrillator somebody needs to work it. With the vest, everything is automatic.Doctors said the technology continues to improve and in the future the vest will shrink to the size of a patch. Jennings said he is in great health and he owes it all to a piece of technology.“Very grateful. It’s just wonderful they can do these things for people nowadays,” Jennings added.Copyright © 2011, WNEP-TVlast_img read more

One Critical, One Dead in Maryland Construction Site Collapse

first_imgHANOVER, Md. (AP) – Anne Arundel County officials say one construction worker was killed and another was injured when a 30-foot wall collapsed at the site of a casino being built at Arundel Mills Mall.Rescue workers were called to the site of the Maryland Live! Casino near the mall in Hanover on Friday morning. Police say one worker was pronounced dead at the scene. The other worker was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.County officials say an inspector from the Department of Inspections and Permits is being sent to the site.It was the second accident at the site this month. A worker was injured July 5 when a chunk of concrete fell on him.last_img read more

Neighbor Rescues N.Y. Woman from 20′ Well

first_imgYNN-TV in Buffalo reports that May Elliott was doing yard work Wednesday afternoon when she fell through the wooden board covering the well. Neighbor Ray Colpoys had heard her calling for help and held on to her for several minutes before Elliott managed to hook her arm and leg around a pipe inside the well. Firefighters eventually pulled Elliot out of the well in the southern Erie County town of Collins. Elliot suffered leg injuries and has been treated at a hospital.center_img Colpoys says Elliot was up to her neck in water and would have drowned if she hadn’t grabbed onto the pipe. COLLINS, N.Y. (AP) – A western New York man is being credited for saving his 76-year-old neighbor after she fell into a 20-foot-deep well on her rural property.last_img read more

EMS Providers Aren’t Equipped for Dangerous Patients

first_imgIn Brief: To read more about EMS safety, visit jems.com/trainingFor more of the latest EMS news, visit jems.com/newsThis article originally appeared in January 2012 JEMS as “On Target: Are EMS providers trained for dangerous patients?.” Physio-Control Leaving MedtronicPhysio-Control Inc., manufacturer of LIFEPAK monitors/defibrillators, the LUCAS chest compression system and AEDs, is leaving parent company Medtronic. A global, private investment firm, Bain Capital, has acquired Physio-Control for approximately $487 million. The deal should be finalized during the first quarter of 2012.Current President and future Chief Executive Officer of Physio-Control, Brian Webster says Medtronic’s divestment of Physio-Control is understandable because Medtronic focuses on treatment in hospitals and through surgery, rather than first-response scenarios. Always an EMS-centered company, Webster says Physio-Control now “can really put the emphasis on EMS and bring out great technology.” He predicts an acceleration of new products and markets with Bain’s investments in the company.Webster says Bain saw a business plan, robust product plan and product strategy, which they were looking to invest in.Bain Capital Managing Director Chris Gordon says, “Physio-Control is an impressive market leader. We are extremely enthusiastic about the company’s growth prospects, and we look forward to working alongside Brian Webster and the whole Physio-Control team to support their strategic plans.”Physio-Control was founded in 1955 by cardiovascular surgeon Dr. K. William Edmark. His research led to the first commercial defibrillator. Physio-Control joined Medtronic in 1998. From 2004—2006, Physio-Control was known as Medtronic Emergency Response Systems. It regained its original name when Medtronic said it wanted to release Physio-Control as a separate company. Pro Bono is written by attorneys Doug Wolfberg and Steve Wirth of Page, Wolfberg & Wirth LLC, a national EMS-industry law firm. Visit the firm’s website at www.pwwemslaw.com for more EMS law information. EMS personnel need to make personal safety a priority, or they face becoming a grim statistic, say experts concerned about violence against medical workers.In recent months, there have been several states that have reported EMS workers being beaten or worse while doing their job of providing patient care. In many cases, the incidents expose a key area of unpreparedness in the field. “We have this belief in our EMS culture that there are calls that are dangerous, and there are calls that aren’t very dangerous,” says Mike Taigman, a security expert and general manager of American Medical Response. “The reality is, it is very difficult to predict safety.”For example, a man attacked a Chicago paramedic who was treating him after a crash in late November. Reports from the incident indicate the attack was sudden and unprovoked. And this past May, a Long Island (N.Y.) EMT was shot by a heavily armed man who the provider was helping following a wreck. Violence is potential on the job; that’s a given, but few are doing enough to prepare paramedics and EMTs to work in the field.“From the time somebody walks in the door of a basic EMT school, we treat safety like it’s someplace between a non-issue and a joke,” says Skip Kirkwood, MS, JD, EMT-P, EFO, CMO, chief of the Wake County (N.C.) EMS Division and president of the National EMS Management Association. “We now have a culture of denial. We pretend we’re not going to get hurt and we’re shocked when we do,” says Kirkwood. “We train for the best and hope nothing happens,” Kirkwood says.That kind of thinking leads to some taking safety for granted. For example, some EMS providers carry body armor but only put it on if the call is for a shooting victim, which leaves them unprotected if a routine call suddenly turns violent.Kirkwood says personnel in the field need training now to be more aware of how quickly a simple scene can go bad. “My personal effort is to raise awareness,” says Kirkwood. “If we all keep pushing it, somebody’s going to walk up and say we need more training for paramedics than running them through 1,000-hour puppy mills to get them past the National Registry.”Kirkwood and Taigman suggest some immediate changes to what’s now considered routine with EMS workers. They suggest putting away the multi-colored handled scissors and pocket knives many carry because those tools can and have become weapons in incidents against EMS providers. They also say EMTs and paramedics should become proficient in communication skills necessary for defusing situations, rather than escalating them. Further, they claim EMS officials should reach out to local law enforcement and set up some defense and awareness training.“EMTs and paramedics should spend some time on a regular basis rehearsing in their minds, “˜if this happens, what am I going to do?’” Taigman says. “What am I going to do if I’m caring for a patient and they reach for a knife? Or if I’m restraining a patient and they’re trying to bite me, what am I going to do? Or if I’ve got a partner who is using profanity, adding sarcasm and adding anger, and adding adrenaline to an adrenaline-filled situation, what am I going to do to stop my partner from doing stupid things?”Taigman says, “Nobody is going to take care of your safety for you. You’ve got to take care of your safety yourself.” –Richard Huff, NREMT-BPro BonoResponding in Personal VehiclesOne of the biggest contributors to EMS legal liability is vehicle operations. Crashes involving emergency vehicles are too common. However, the risks are even greater when EMS personnel respond to emergencies in their personally operated vehicles (POVs). This is common in volunteer agencies and in EMS systems that use on-call personnel. Sometimes these responses are to the station; other times, they’re directly to the incident scene. Either way, the risks of a crash–and the risks of costly legal liability–are multiplied as the number of responding vehicles increases. This liability may fall on the individual vehicle operator as well as the EMS agency with which they’re affiliated. The individual’s personal auto insurance will likely also be affected, as this may be the primary source of coverage in POV response accidents.Note that most states do not treat personal vehicles as “emergency vehicles” and do not grant them any special privileges under the law. This is usually true even if the personal vehicle is using emergency lights. Of states that even permit emergency lights on personal vehicles, many treat these merely as “courtesy lights” and don’t obligate other motorists to yield the right-of-way or permit the responder to illegally pass another vehicle. Be sure to check your own state law.EMS agencies that allow personnel to respond in their POVs should consider taking several steps to minimize or reduce the agency’s liability. First, agencies can, of course, elect to prohibit the practice of personnel responding directly to the scene. Not only does the act of responding pose risks, but the presence of multiple personal vehicles on an incident scene can also be hazardous. Alternatively, agencies can limit direct responses to the scene in personal vehicles unless the incident location happens to be in a direct path to the station and/or unless extenuating circumstances exist based on the nature of the call. If your agency permits direct scene responses in personal vehicles, consider adopting an operating policy regarding the parking, staging or placement of POVs on an incident scene. Of course, no personal vehicles should impede the response of emergency vehicles or be placed in a location that could delay patient access or transport. Another step that EMS agencies should take is to adopt a clear and strict company policy requiring any personnel responding in POVs, whether to a scene or to the station, to fully and completely obey all motor vehicle laws, posted speed limits, stop signs, traffic signals and other traffic control devices. This should expressly include requirements that the responder come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights, observe the proper direction of travel on one-way streets and other specific requirements.EMS agency policies can also require that individual responders complete emergency vehicle operator’s training to engage in POV responses. The policy can also require that responders carry personal automobile liability insurance, with appropriate liability limits (that the agency can–and probably should–set above state minimums) before being permitted to respond to any calls in a POV.EMS agencies might incur liability from the acts of their personnel when responding in their personal vehicles, so having appropriate policies, training and insurance in place can help to better manage these risks. Civil Unrest Take a look around the world, the country or maybe your city park: Civil unrest is no rarity these days. Law enforcement has traditionally been the agency dealing with crowds of people who are out of control.However, EMS and fire personnel also need to know to prepare for and respond to unruly, if not violent, crowds. The Firefighters Support Foundation provides a free course, “Fire/EMS Response to Civil Unrest” that includes a downloadable video and PowerPoint presentation. FireEngineering.com hosts the program on their website at www.fireengineering.com/training/ffsupport.html.Some of the topics covered are types of events, coordination with other agencies and law enforcement, approach strategies, the potential for violence, lessons learned from previous events and why no jurisdiction is too small.The course was developed and is delivered by August Vernon, operations officer with the Forsyth County (N.C.) Office of Emergency Management. Vernon says the potential for trouble exists “any time you get large numbers of people together.” He adds, “All communities, large and small, need to be prepared as we enter the hotly contested political season.”Vernon teaches courses in incident management, mass violence, emergency management and terrorism/weapons of mass destruction planning-response. He also spent a year conducting route clearance and long-range convoy security operations in Iraq.last_img read more

Illinois Teens Soon Could Start Helping EMTs

first_imgSPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Youngsters could get a jumpstart on becoming an emergency medical technician under legislation approved Friday by Illinois lawmakers.The proposal would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to serve as apprentice first responders in order to help emergency medical technicians in understaffed rural areas of the state.“This is about helping to provide manpower,” said Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, who sponsored the measure.Along with providing emergency medical assistance alongside trained personnel, the program is designed to stir interest in young people to serve their communities. Ambulance service is spotty in many rural areas where volunteer first responders are often working out of town during the daylight hours.“It will help us recruit future volunteers,” said Rep. Donald Moffitt, R-Gilson, who co-sponsored the legislation.Sixteen- and 17-year-olds won’t be able to drive ambulances. The cut-off age for drivers will remain 18, he said.last_img read more

AG Agrees to Release Grand Jury Tapes in Breonna Taylor Case

first_imgGrand Jury Indicts One Police Officer in Breonna Taylor DeathLouisville (KY) to Pay Millions in Death of Breonna TaylorPolice Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting Fired “We stand by our belief that such a release could compromise the ongoing federal investigation and could have unintended consequences such as poisoning the jury pool. Despite these concerns, we will comply with the Judge’s order to release the recording on Wednesday.” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron addresses the media following the return of a grand jury investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor, in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Of the three Louisville Metro police officers being investigated, one was indicted. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) Cameron also acknowledged in a statement that the only charge considered by the grand jury was wanton endangerment. He had previously declined to provide details about any charges prosecutors asked the grand jury to consider. “The Grand Jury is meant to be a secretive body. It’s apparent that the public interest in this case isn’t going to allow that to happen,” Cameron’s statement said. Related LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s attorney general has agreed to release the recordings of the secret grand jury proceeding that considered charges against three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor. Attorney General Daniel Cameron agreed to the release hours after a member of the grand jury sued to have the record released to the public. Grand juries are typically held in secret.last_img read more

CMS Announces Strategy to Enhance Hospital Capacity Amid COVID-19 Surge

first_imgThe program clearly differentiates the delivery of acute hospital care at home from more traditional home health services. While home health care provides important skilled nursing and other skilled care services, Acute Hospital Care at Home is for beneficiaries who require acute inpatient admission to a hospital and who require at least daily rounding by a physician and a medical team monitoring their care needs on an ongoing basis. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlined unprecedented comprehensive steps to increase the capacity of the American health care system to provide care to patients outside a traditional hospital setting amid a rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations across the country. These flexibilities include allowances for safe hospital care for eligible patients in their homes and updated staffing flexibility designed to allow ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) to provide greater inpatient care when needed. Building on CMS’s previous actions to expand the availability of telehealth across the nation, these actions are aimed at allowing health care services to be provided outside a hospital setting while maintaining capacity to continue critical non-COVID-19 care, allowing hospitals to focus on the increased need for care stemming from public health emergency (PHE). CMS anticipates patients may value the ability to spend time with family and caregivers at home without the visitation restrictions that exist in traditional hospital settings. Additionally, patients and their families not diagnosed with COVID-19 may prefer to receive care in their homes if local hospitals are seeing a larger number of patients with COVID-19. It is the patient’s choice to receive these services in the home or the traditional hospital setting and patients who do not wish to receive them in the home will not be required to. Acute Hospital Care at Home “We’re at a new level of crisis response with COVID-19 and CMS is leveraging the latest innovations and technology to help health care systems that are facing significant challenges to increase their capacity to make sure patients get the care they need,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “With new areas across the country experiencing significant challenges to the capacity of their health care systems, our job is to make sure that CMS regulations are not standing in the way of patient care for COVID-19 and beyond.” Ambulatory Surgical Center Flexibility The development of this program was informed by extensive consultation with both academic and private sector industry leaders to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect patients, and at no point will patient safety be compromised. CMS believes that treatment for more than 60 different acute conditions, such as asthma, congestive heart failure, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care, can be treated appropriately and safely in home settings with proper monitoring and treatment protocols. Today, CMS is announcing an update to that regulatory flexibility, clarifying that participating ASCs need only provide 24-hour nursing services when there is actually one or more patient receiving care onsite. The program change provides ASCs enrolled as hospitals the ability to flex up their staffing when needed and provide an important relief valve in communities experiencing hospital capacity constraints, while not mandating nurses be present when no patients are in the ASC. The flexibility is available to any of the 5732 ASCs throughout the country seeking to participate and will be immediately effective for the 85 ASCs currently participating in the Hospital Without Wallsinitiative. CMS expects this flexibility will allow these and additional ASCs enrolled as hospitals to serve as an added access point that will allow communities to maintain surgical capacity and other life-saving non-COVID-19, like cancer surgeries. Allowing these types of treatments to occur in designated ASCs enrolled as hospitals while hospitals are managing any surges of COVID-19 would allow vulnerable patients to receive this needed care in settings without known COVID-19 cases. Six health systems with extensive experience providing acute hospital care at home are being approved today for the new waivers and include Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Massachusetts); Huntsman Cancer Institute (Utah); Massachusetts General Hospital (Massachusetts); Mount Sinai Health System (New York City); Presbyterian Healthcare Services (New Mexico); and UnityPoint Health (Iowa). This immediately expands the at-home care options for Medicare beneficiaries in the regions served by these organizations. CMS has been in discussions with other health care systems and expects new applications to be submitted. To support these efforts, CMS has launched an online portal https://qualitynet.cms.gov/acute-hospital-care-at-home to streamline the waiver request process and allow hospitals and healthcare systems to submit the necessary information to ensure they meet the program’s criteria to participate. CMS will also closely monitor the program to safeguard beneficiaries by requiring hospitals to report quality and safety data to CMS on a frequency that is based on their prior experience with the Hospital At Home model. Participating hospitals will be required to have appropriate screening protocols before care at home begins to assess both medical and non-medical factors, including working utilities, assessment of physical barriers and screenings for domestic violence concerns. Beneficiaries will only be admitted from emergency departments and inpatient hospital beds, and an in-person physician evaluation is required prior to starting care at home. A registered nurse will evaluate each patient once daily either in person or remotely, and two in-person visits will occur daily by either registered nurses or mobile integrated health paramedics, based on the patient’s nursing plan and hospital policies. Today’s announcement builds upon the critical work by CMS to expand telehealth coverage to keep beneficiaries safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. CMS has expanded the scope of Medicare telehealth to allow Medicare beneficiaries across the country to receive telehealth services from any location, including their homes. CMS also added over 135 services such as emergency department visits, initial inpatient and nursing facility visits, and discharge day management services, that could be paid when delivered by telehealth. The flexibilities announced today, and the aggressive action taken by CMS to remove barriers to telehealth, ensure patients and providers have options when receiving and providing care given the challenges and additional stress placed on hospitals and the health care system during the COVID-19 PHE. As part of Hospital Without Walls, CMS also previously announced regulatory flexibility that allowed ASCs — facilities that normally provide same-day surgical care — the ability to be temporarily certified as hospitals and provide inpatient care for longer periods than normally allowed, with the appropriate staffing in place. ASCs are normally subject to a requirement that patients only remain in their care for less than 24 hours or require admission to a regular hospital. In March 2020, CMS announced the Hospitals Without Walls program, which provides broad regulatory flexibility that allowed hospitals to provide services in locations beyond their existing walls. Today, CMS is expanding on this effort by executing an innovative Acute Hospital Care At Home program, providing eligible hospitals with unprecedented regulatory flexibilities to treat eligible patients in their homes. This program was developed to support models of at-home hospital care throughout the country that have seen prior success in several leading hospital institutions and networks, and reported in academic journals, including a major study funded by a Healthcare Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). File Photo/A.J. Heightman last_img read more

Orphans in Remote Russia Cheered by Moscow Deliveries

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore“Children pour out of orphanage No. 72, laughing and waving, and hurry to help unload the cars, stacked with boxes of toys, sports equipment, and coats – as well as cutlery and a new VCR with a selection of cartoons.” The donations are from Moscow adults 300 miles away who generously deliver to the orphans’ doors, stepping in where the state has failed. (CS Monitor)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Parrot Saved Girl’s Life With Warning

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA babysitter’s parrot is being credited with helping save the life of a 2-year-old girl who was choking at a Denver area home while the sitter was in the bathroom. The parrot started screaming and flapping his wings and saying ‘mama baby’ “over and over and over again.”  (w/ video at CBS4Denver.com) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Satellite Launched to Provide Pictures of Greenhouse Gases

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreEfforts to tackle global warming received a boost today with the successful launch of a Japanese satellite, the first to monitor greenhouse gases from space. The Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite “IBUKI” (or “GOSAT” in its English-language acronym) is the first satellite to observe greenhouse gases and monitor changes in the effects they cause. It was launched from the island of Tanegashima, in southern Japan, by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), a key partner in addressing disaster risk reduction and environmental issues for the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Using a high precision sensor, “IBUKI” can measure from outer space the concentration of greenhouse gases throughout almost the entire surface of the earth, including large regions where data was never collected before. The obtained data will be used to determine the emission, transportation and absorption of these gases with a view to eventually contributing to controlling global warming. Covering every region in the world, the satellite will play a fundamental role in monitoring an increase or decrease of greenhouse gases. After the operations start, the data will be obtained every three days from the observation points and distributed to scientists free of charge. 56,000 global observation points will be available thanks to “IBUKI”. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Armed Shopkeeper Takes Pity on Robber

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA store owner who was being robbed turned the tables on the man pulling a shotgun from behind the counter. When the man started to beg and said he was only trying to feed his family, the shopkeeper provided the man with forty dollars and a loaf of bread and made him promise never to rob again. They even prayed together after the thief said he was inspired.Watch the interview with the inspiring shop owner (in the first of two videos)…last_img read more

Typo in Email Address Spells Romance For Two Salazars

first_imgTheir conversation flowed easy — even with 8000 miles between them — and love soon followed.(READ or listen to the StoryCorps tale at NPR)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThis is the story of a romance that began with a typo. In 2007, Rachel Salazar was living in Bangkok, Thailand, and Ruben Salazar was in Waco, Texas. Their email addresses were nearly identical. Ruben received an email sent to the wrong person and forwarded it adding his own little message. “Something to the effect of ‘Hi, Rachel, it seems as if this message came to me instead of you. I’m in Waco, Texas, U.S.A. Have a great day. P.S. How’s the weather there in Bangkok?’”last_img read more

Diner Owner With Down Syndrome Serves Breakfast, Lunch and Hugs

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreTim Harris, owner of Tim’s Place, is the country’s only restaurant owner with Down’s Syndrome, and the joy he gets from serving people good food carries over into his diner’s most famous export: hugs.He even has a hug counter on the wall advertising the World’s Friendliest Restaurant and recently boasting, “Over 31,814 Hugs Given.”Since Tim was 14 he has wanted to own a restaurant and his parents gave him the money to live his dream – managing a real diner.(WATCH the video from CNN below) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble to Phase-out Hazardous Chemicals

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreDo you know what’s in your cosmetics? Or your perfume? The nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart announced Thursday that it will require suppliers to disclose and eventually phase out nearly 10 hazardous chemicals from the fragrances, cosmetics, household cleaners and personal care products at its stores.Similarly, Procter & Gamble cited consumer preferences last week as the reason it will eliminate hormone-like phthalates and the antibacterial triclosan, which is a known endocrine disruptor, from all its products. Triclosan has been used in some tooth pastes, mouthwashes, and many soaps with “anti-bacterial” on the label.In 2012, Johnson & Johnson pledged to remove those two chemicals, along with formaldehyde and parabens, from its personal care products worldwide.(READ the story in the USA Today)RELATED: For Your Health: Use Hand Sanitizers Without TriclosanPhoto credit: www.fitsugar.comAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Mail Carrier Saves Man Who Went 3 Days Without Medication

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFor two decades Mickey Wheeley has delivered the mail to the same residents every day, so he knows something about these apartment dwellers.The observant letter carrier became suspicious when the mail began piling up in one of the boxes, which included the resident’s medication.So the North Carolina mailman decided to walk to the resident’s door to check it out — a decision that might have saved the man’s life.— WATCH the video below— READ the story from WGHPThanks to Joel Arellano for submitting the link on our Facebook Page!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Lullabies Reduce Pain in Children, Say Academics

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA study at Great Ormond Street Hospital suggests lullabies do more than just help babies sleep – they reduce pain in sick children.Singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Hushabye Baby and Five Little Ducks to sick children was found to alleviate their suffering, and in a more significant way than previously parents might have guessed. (READ the story in The Telegraph)Photo credit: joeforjette via Flickr -CCRELATED: Pharmacy Prescribes Music for PainAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Study Promises New Hope for Children with Autism

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAn alternative and non-invasive treatment for autism has led to significant reductions in maladaptive behaviors in children, according to a new study published in the January issue of the peer-reviewed journal, EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing.Robert Weiner, the author and lead researcher of the multi-site study, calls the novel NeuroModulation Technique a “promising intervention for autism.”Weiner, a Dallas, Texas behavioral medicine psychologist who has been in private practice since 1987, told the Good News Network, “I started using NMT, a gentle consciousness-based therapy, in my practice in 2004 and observed remarkable results, particularly with allergies.” “I saw long-standing allergies in both children and adults clear in as little as a single office visit.”Children in the study, after receiving NMT sessions twice a week for 6 weeks — a total treatment time per child of 9 hours — demonstrated improved mood, speech, language and social awareness, as well as a decrease in irritability and repetitive behaviors.The mother of one child who participated in the study commented, “Before the NMT Autism Study, my son had an extremely difficult time keeping a calm body for any length of time. Now he can sit through his preschool’s 40-minute circle time with 0-2 reminders on most days.  He is doing better sitting properly at the dinner table and also in the shopping cart at the market.  He still has some issues waiting in line at school, but we’ve even seen some improvement there as well.” Weiner, who designed the study, said the traditional treatments for autism tended to produce slow, incremental results and, in some cases, may require years of therapy, which can be prohibitively expensive. He posited that NMT, if found to be effective, could speed up the treatment process, and thus be a valuable therapy to add to a child’s treatment regimen.He recruited 8 other researchers to participate, and though it is a preliminary study, he called the results “very gratifying.”“NMT may offer a new hope for parents who are looking for effective treatments for their children who have autism,” he said in an email. But he also thinks the therapy will prove to be helpful for any condition.“I believe consciousness-based interventions for healing including NMT will become more and more accepted as research studies in fields ranging from physics to psychology continue to demonstrate the ability for consciousness to produce changes in matter.”For more info you can email: dr.r.weiner@gmail.comDownload the study’s PDF report from the Mind-Body Wellness Center.Photo credit: D Sharon PruittAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Homeless Man Reunited w/ Inheritance Thanks to Good Samaritan and Police

first_imgA receipt in one of the bags led them to a shopping mall. Security camera footage from one of the stores gave them a picture of who they were looking for — a homeless man police identified as “Joe.” But after days of searching, Detective Danny Mursell still couldn’t find him.A week after the money was lost, and while Mursell was working on something else, he just happened to spot Joe drinking coffee and reunited him with his traveling money.(WATCH the video below from WFOR News) – Photo by 401(K) 2013, CChttp://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=69016&siteSection=latimes_hom_non_sec&videoId=29216968Help your friends find this story, share it (below)…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA volunteer on beach patrol who was looking for sea turtles, instead found a bag of money — and launched a week-long search to find its owner.Meanwhile, a homeless man who’d received an inheritance from a relative, was hoping to use the cash to return home to friends and family in Pennsylvania.The bag, discovered at a Florida bus stop bench, only contained half of his inheritance. A deputy sheriff spotted the other bag and together they contained nearly $10,000.Police believed it belonged to the same person, but finding him would take some detective work.5 Year-old Sings Grace for Homeless Man in Diner, Brings Tears (WATCH)last_img read more

Student Uses Coupon Clipping Skills to Buy $100,000 of Products for the Poor

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreReality TV shows are good for something, it turns out.A 16-year-old girl actually learned a valuable skill while watching “Extreme Couponing,” and has turned it into a philanthropic powerhouse for aiding people in hospitals and homeless shelters.Instead of hoarding a stash of goodies, she uses those coupon skills to deliver food, household and personal supplies, and electronics to people in need. Hannah Steinberg has delivered many thousands of dollars worth of products by being a savvy shopper, stockpiling the goods that she buys super cheap–and continues the effort, even while in college, through her own nonprofit.SHOP FOR FREE GOOD NEWS WITH OUR APP—>  Download FREE for Android and iOSThe Tufts University student runs her nationally recognized nonprofit, “Our Coupons Care” in Massachusetts.A youth coordinator at Coachman Family Center in White Plains says Hannah has donated $100,000 in products to that shelter alone, helping the 175 children living there.By understanding how “Extreme Couponing” works, Hannah tracks deals and stacks coupons and other offers together in combinations, which slashes the price of items to tiny fractions of their usual cost.RELATED:  Woman Donates Entire Toy Store to Kids in Homeless SheltersFunneling the money her nonprofit raises into buying more bargains lets her multiply every dollar’s purchasing power by five.She’s done so much good for her community, she has earned recognition by New York congressional leaders and her city of Scarsdale declared a Hannah Steinberg Day.“This has become something so much bigger than I would’ve imagined, for me and for the families,” Hannah told the Boston Globe. “What I’m doing is very simple.”CHECK OUT:  Food Stamps Double Their Value at Michigan Farmers MarketsEven in college, she finds time to organize a new donation drive almost every month and has rounded up donations for the Toys for Tots campaign and for Boston Children’s Hospital among her other causes.(READ more at the Boston Globe) — Photo: Chris Potter, CCShop This Story Around To Your Friends…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Community is Overjoyed to Pitch in and Care For New Local Celebrity: The Island’s Only Duck

first_imgRegardless of the “how”, the intrepid mallard, who is named after Trevor Mallard, the speaker of New Zealand’s House of Representatives, has already made a home for himself in a small puddle by the airport. Locals visit him every day to bring him peas, corn, rice, and sometimes a former New Zealand commissioner comes by to feed him bok choy. Tourists even stop by to take pictures with the feathery celebrity.RELATED: Endangered Parrots Won’t Stop Messing With Traffic Cones So the Cheeky Birds Have Been Given Their Own Roadside GymsFelicity Bollen, the chief executive officer of Niue Tourism, told the ABCs Pacific Beat: “We pride ourselves on being a funny, quirky little island and he fits with the quirkiness, so he’s a perfect fit from a marketing perspective for our country.”Even the local fire department is involved in welcoming their new neighbor; they’re in charge of refilling his puddle when it gets low.Bollen went on to tell The Guardian that interest in Trevor stems from the lack of land animals and birds in Niue. “We have whales and dolphins, we have a lot of things in the water, but not land animals… so for a duck to be wandering around the island, that’s why it’s so interesting.”WATCH: Mesmerizing Video of 10,000 Snow Geese Taking Flight Will Soothe Your SoulThe island residents are debating the merit of getting a companion duck for Trevor so he doesn’t get lonely – but for now, Niue is more than happy to provide all the food and love that a community could provide a wandering fowl.If you want to find out more about Trevor the duck, you can check out his official Facebook page.If This Story Floats Your Boat, Be Sure And Share With Your Friends – Photo by Trevor the Duck FacebookAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreWhat walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and splashes around like a duck? Well, for residents on the small island of Niue, the answer to that question is a duck – but they may not have been able to answer that before last month.A recent settler to the island, Trevor the duck has been causing a stir in the local community; because Niue has never had a duck before.No one knows how he could have gotten there, either. Theories range from him flying all the way from New Zealand to stowing away aboard a luxury yacht!last_img read more

Man Returns to Poor Neighborhood Where He Grew Up So He Can Give Away $12,000 in Free Toys

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorePhoto by Lauren WilhelmChristmas came early for the children living in these low-income neighborhoods and housing complexes.That’s because a former resident of the area returned to the streets where he grew up so he could hand out more than $12,000 worth of toys to the local children earlier this week.Adam Armstrong grew up poor in a mostly government-subsidized apartment complex in Harrisonburg, Virginia. When he was just 18 years old, he was sent to jail to serve a 3-month sentence for marijuana possession. By the time he was released, he knew that it was time to turn his life around. Armstrong, who is now the father of a 3-year-old girl, ended up moving to Baltimore and working a string of different jobs until he finally got into the mortgaging business.RELATED: After ‘Mountain Santa’ Dad Spent 42 Years Giving Away Gifts to Poor Families, His Son Decides to Do the SameAs Armstrong became more and more financially comfortable, he felt more and more compelled to give back to people living in poverty—so he began donating heaps of toys to local charities every holiday season.This week, the 35-year-old philanthropist drove to his former neighborhood in a 26-foot moving truck packed with 1,327 toys to give away to all of the children.Sara Lewis-Weeks, the property manager of the complex, says that when Armstrong had approached her about the giveaway last week, she had been wary of his intentions.Photo by Lauren Wilhelm“He comes [into my office] and says, ‘What are you doing on Saturday? I’d like to give away a lot of toys’ and I’m like, ‘Yeaaah, I don’t know about that,’” Lewis-Weeks recounted to NBC News. “I’m very skeptical at that point.”To her astonishment, however, Armstrong made good on his promise.“It wasn’t like stuffed animals—he was giving away bikes, remote-controlled cars, real Barbie dolls—not Dollar Store Barbie dolls,” says Weeks. “He didn’t miss anybody. His heart was truly in this.CHECK OUT: Dying 86-Year-old Bought 14 Years Worth of Christmas Gifts for His 2-Year-old Neighbor“They thought it was going to be a couple of stuffed animals, not, ‘And you get a bike, and you get a bike, and you get a bike,’—like an ‘Oprah’ for little kids,” she added.Armstrong simply told The Washington Post that he was happy to bring joy to little kids for the holiday season.“The kids were so innocent and sweet,” Armstrong told the news outlet. “You can’t put a price on looking at these kids’ happy faces. Some of them have nothing, and to be able to give them a small toy … the reward and the pleasure was mine.”(WATCH the news coverage below)Be Sure And Share The Sweet Story Of Holiday Cheer With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Company Emerges to Help Small Businesses Compete with Amazon’s Same-Day Delivery—But With Green Cred

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAs companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Target begin to dazzle us with the growing possibility of same-day delivery, it’s becoming harder for small businesses to compete in ways that provide the same speedy delivery without relying on high-emission forms of commercial storage or transportation options like renting space in large warehouses and air delivery.That is all now changing thanks to an organization called Ohi—a US-based warehousing and delivery service that allows small businesses to offer speedy, sustainable delivery options.Speaking with Fast Company, Ohi CEO Ben Jones detailed the problem that many small US businesses face when attempting to compete with nationwide distributers. “The problem that we’re solving for is that consumer expectations for e-commerce are getting faster and faster, driven primarily by Amazon, but also now by Walmart, by Target, and by all these other big brands enabling same-day delivery,” said Jones.RELATED: LEGO is Now Offering to Pay For You to Ship Your Unused Bricks to Children in Need“For smaller brands, it’s almost impossible for them to do that at low cost. If we’re going to build a replacement that will last for the next 60 years, we have to have sustainability as one of our core values.”From Seed to SproutOhi’s service allows small, growth-stage companies to expand their network of fulfillment centers across the United States in a unique way that saves money and energy.Since a small business might have only one pallet’s worth of product in any given city, Ohi allows them to expand their next- and same-day delivery capabilities by renting out space in “micro-warehouses” in unused office building spaces and retail parks.MORE: CEO Who Raised the Minimum Salary of His Employees to $70K is Now Doing It All Over AgainThe micro-warehousing means that brands can avoid the much higher environmental costs of maintaining traditional warehouses or offering next-day or two-day shipping on a plane. This also eliminates the much higher costs of long-term leases and fees associated with air travel.Reducing WasteOhi’s clients are also able to ensure sustainable next- and same-day shipping by cutting out various forms of middle men and extra steps between storage.“When you’re not throwing parcels around between various trucks in between the different distribution centers, you eliminate the need for a cardboard box,” said Jones.CHECK OUT: Canadian Credit Card Holders Are ‘Over the Moon’ With Chase Bank’s Decision to Forgive Outstanding DebtIf you order something from one of Ohi’s clients, it may be delivered to you on a bike, rather than from a truck—and it may be delivered in a in a recyclable cardboard bag rather than a cardboard box.Jones also said that this sustainable alternative to the standard fulfillment protocol has helped reduce cardboard, plastic, and paper waste associated with packaging and shipping by 75% compared to if Ohi used standard fulfillment practices.The service is currently only based out of New York City and Los Angeles, but the company hopes its success will help to expand their platform to other US cities within the next few decades.Be Sure And Share The Exciting News With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Model Village for Alzheimer’s Patients in France Makes Residents Feel Like They’re Still Independent

first_img“It’s like being at home,” 82-year-old Madeleine Elissalde, one of the village’s first residents, told Reuters. “We’re well looked after.”The program costs in the neighborhood of 6.7 million euros to run each year. Residents and their families kick in about 24,000 euros in annual fees, but more than half the total expense is subsidized by government authorities.Expensive? Perhaps, but researchers at France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research Shows closely studying how such model conditions impact the progression of dementia may ultimately conclude the insights they gain for future treatment standards will be well worth the cost.RELATED: Though Her Alzheimer’s Worsened, Supermarket Still Found Creative Ways to Keep Her on the TeamIn the meantime, residents of villages in France, the Netherlands, and another prototype community in Canada are able to live out the remainder of their years with not only a measure of self-esteem, dignity, and sense of purpose but some true “liberté, égalité, et fraternité” as well.(WATCH the video tour of this French village below.)Build Up Some Positivity By Sharing The Good News To Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore Built in the same spirit as De Hogeweyk, a purpose-built village for dementia patients in the Netherlands, it’s the first such facility in France.In addition to nursing facilities, the Landais campus includes a grocery store, hair salon, cafeteria, library, and music room.Residents are given as much freedom as their conditions allow, and treated to numerous entertainments.They’re also encouraged to participate in daily activities that can include shopping, cooking, and regular hairstyling appointments, as it’s believed sticking to a familiar routine may actually hinder the advance of the disease’s worst symptoms.WATCH: Thanks to Student’s Hunch, Seniors With Dementia Are ‘Coming Alive’ Again With the ‘Magic’ of Virtual Reality AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAs the old African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but it seems that same wisdom may also hold true when it comes to caring for elderly Alzheimer’s patients.Village Landais AlzheimerRather than placing them in traditional memory care units, some groups charged with the care of these special seniors are taking a more innovative approach.In southwestern France near the city of Dax, a community has been created with the specific needs of its 105 residents—all of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s in varying stages.last_img read more

Howard Hall teeters, totters for water

first_imgOn Thursday, Howard Hall will host its annual Totter for Water event, aiming to raise $4,000 to build a water well in Cameroon.Photo courtesy of The Water Project Sophomore Mary Kate Marino, Totter for Water commissioner, said Howard’s 24-hour, teeter-totter fundraiser raises awareness about water needs around the world.“The Totter is fun and builds a good sense of community,” Marino said. “It also provides a good way to start conversations about the world population’s water needs.”Although the event begins Thursday at 5 p.m. on South Quad and ends Friday at 5 p.m., Howard already has started fundraising efforts.“Totter [for Water] is technically a week-long fundraising event,” Marino said. “We have sent e-mails to everyone in the dorm requesting that they gather donations from their friends and families.”This year, Howard changed the partnering organization for their project.“Last year, we worked with The Water Project,” Marino said. “This year, we partnered with Engineers Without Borders at Notre Dame. We are able to operate under the same principle of improving water development worldwide, but we are now more specific to a Notre Dame group.”Partnering agencies are not the only change, she said. Howard has also raised the fundraising goal from last year.“We beat our goal last year by roughly $2,000. So this year, we made the fundraising goal $4,000, and we hope to beat even that,” Marino said.Hannah Miller, a junior in Howard, said she looks forward to tottering from midnight to one a.m. on Friday.“Totter for Water is a really good cause and a good way to build dorm community,” Miller said. “It serves as a reminder about the needs of others, especially with something that we take for granted.”Marino said the project is having a positive effect on dorm residents’ habits.“Totter is an environmental reminder to all the members of our dorm,” Marino said. “The project is influencing the girls [in Howard] to turn off water when it is not needed and turn off lights to conserve electricity.”Marino said water should not be such a scarce resource for the world’s population.“We have to look at the international community and not just our own needs,” Marino said. “This project provides one opportunity to go out there and help people access this resource.”For more information, Marino said log onto ewbnotredame.weebly.com and to donate log onto ssl.charityweb.net/ewbusa.Tags: 24 hour totter, fundraising for water, Howard, Howard Hall, totter for waterlast_img read more

NSF renews funding for nuclear physics program

first_imgLast week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) renewed funding for the Notre Dame-led Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA).“Over the last decade, JINA has pushed the frontiers of physics by fostering collaborations between researchers who normally would not have interacted with one another,” Michael Wiescher, principal investigator and Notre Dame’s Frank M. Freimann Professor of nuclear physics, said. “There is also a strong educational component for both young researchers as well as K-12 and general public outreach.”According to a University press release, JINA is dedicated to the research of broad-range nuclear processes in the universe and their effect on the lifetime and creation of stars.“One goal of JINA is to answer the longstanding question of where the heaviest elements — like platinum and uranium — found on Earth were originally produced. Since we don’t know where in the galaxy these elements are made, we use our models to test possible astrophysical sites, like supernovae,” Rebecca Surman, researcher and associate professor of nuclear theory and astrophysics at Notre Dame, said.Notre Dame has collaborated with Michigan State University, Arizona State University and the University of Washington, all core institutions in the research, according to a University press release.“It really brings together scientists from diverse areas of physics, such as nuclear experiments, astronomical observations, astrophysical modeling and nuclear theory to solve multidisciplinary problems in nuclear astrophysics,” Surman said.The institute is broad in its research, and according to Surman, this represents only a small amount of the work JINA does, as all the research builds on itself.“As part of JINA, I make recommendations as to which of these unstable nuclei have properties that most strongly influence the models and thus should be the targets of the next generation of nuclear physics experiments led by JINA nuclear physicists,” Surman said. “I work to understand its impact on astrophysical predictions. The predictions can be compared to observations made by JINA astronomers.”While the nuclear astrophysics can appear complicated, graduate student and researcher Tyler Anderson simplified the question JINA asks to the following: “Where do all the elements come from?”“We know that elements up to iron are created in stars through nuclear fusion, but we can nail down the specifics of those processes by recreating the relevant nuclear reactions in the lab,” Anderson said. “Most experiments boil down to smashing a nucleus into a stationary one and watching what comes out. Depending on what we see, such as gamma rays or x-rays, which are just different energies of light, or other ejected nuclei, we can piece together what happened in the reaction.”Tags: JINA, NSF, nuclear physicslast_img read more

ND Chorale prepares traditional Christmas performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’

first_imgFor nearly 30 years, the Notre Dame Chorale has ushered in the holiday season with their performance of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah,” a wildly popular Baroque masterpiece that tells the story of Christianity in three parts. Music professor Alexander Blachly, director of the Chorale, described the piece as “indestructible.”“That’s the word that people usually use about it,” Blachly said. “It means no matter how you perform, it is going to sound great. But I think it sounds a lot more great when it’s performed with this sense of style.” Courtesy of Alexander Blachly The Notre Dame Chorale performs Handel’s “Messiah,” a Christmas tradition at the University, in Leighton Concert Hall.When Blachly arrived at Notre Dame in 1993, the Chorale had significantly fewer members and performed “Messiah” with a full orchestra. For the past several years, however, the Chorale, which now has around 70 members, has performed with a small orchestra composed of 15 Baroque instruments. The distinctive sound of the Baroque orchestra, Blachly said, contributes to the “style” of the work.“It’s clearer, it has a different kind of articulation, the notes speak in a different way,” Blachly said. “The sound of the orchestra is really quite light and the whole piece then has an agility to it. Many movements in Messiah are dances. It’s very hard to get a modern orchestra to dance. It sounds very heavy. … Just by nature, the Baroque instruments have this quality of a kind of dance-like agility. It just makes the piece move so much faster and so much, much, much more interesting.”Handel loved “Messiah” and directed it many times during his years in London, usually as a fundraiser for a charity or hospital. The passion, variety and drama of the piece, Blachly said, points to Handel’s inspiration.“It sort of runs the gamut of what’s possible to make an interesting performance,” Blachly said. “… The piece is just full of these great contrasts and that’s part of what makes it such a great piece. You don’t get bored because so many different things happen one after the other. It’s a very colorful conception that Handel had and he wrote it in this blind white heat. He wrote this whole piece in three weeks.”The movements range from exuberant to gentle to powerful, Blachly noted, making for an interesting experience for the Chorale members as well. Senior Caiti Crahan, president of the Chorale, emphasized the unity of the work despite the differences in tone.“Some of [the songs] are very serious and loud and some of them are more bouncy and some of them are very slow,” Crahan said. “So there [are] variations but it’s all him.”In order to represent the full range of Handel’s expression, Blachly said the Chorale approaches the work “rhetorically.”“We try to think what it was in the words that inspired Handel to write the music that particular way because in every case, he’s illustrating the words in one way or another,” Blachly said. “So once you’re aware of that, then you try to figure out ‘what is it in his mind, what is he thinking of, what do those words suggest to him’ and then what is going on in the music that would correspond to the words.”Blachly offered the interaction between the angels announcing Jesus’ birth and the shepherds on Christmas night as an example of Handel’s grasp on his composition.“What happens with Handel is he’s got this incredible burst of sound with trumpets, when the angels first sing Glory to God,” Blachly said. “And then you can actually hear them going back up to heaven. You can hear them disappearing. The music is softer and softer and softer and softer … and then they’re gone. You can literally hear the angels moving through the sky.”Tapping into Handel’s mind in such a way gives the performance a richness that is not often seen, Blachly said.“I think some performances are not particularly aware of these things and they really miss out on an opportunity to make the music more interesting because of that,” he said.For Crahan, the Messiah tradition is one of the highlights of Chorale.“The soloists are really talented. It’s kind of inspiring to see them perform,” Crahan said. “I think the part that I like best is that we do it every year so it feels like a very Christmas-y tradition and gets us all [in] the holiday mood. … You can kind of hear yourself improving over the four years that you sing it, which is also really fun.”“Messiah” is Chorale’s most popular performance of the year, Blachly said. Crahan described how the adrenaline of performing is heightened by having a larger audience than a typical Chorale performance.“We have so much more energy and so much more fun when you can see an audience is engaged,” Crahan said. “When we sing the Hallelujah chorus, which is the last piece and the most famous one, obviously, everybody stands up which is so cool to see every year.”Blachly pointed to the Chorale members’ talents and the adjustable acoustics of Leighton Concert Hall as major improvements to the tradition. The acoustics, Blachly said, allow the less powerful, but more “colorful” Baroque instruments to stand out.“This is really satisfying because the choir is so good and the hall is so good and the orchestra so good,” Blachly said. “It’s just a great treat to do it. It’s really fun to do it and we can do it on very short notice; that’s the other thing that’s kind of incredible. When I started here, it was very slow going … now the learning curve is so fast. It’s just extraordinary.”Tags: chorale, christmas, Handel, Messiah, Orchestralast_img read more

PAPD: Port Arthur woman assaulted in her bed, arrest made

first_img Police did not release the suspect’s name. A Port Arthur woman was assaulted in her bed early Saturday, police said.According to the Port Arthur Police Department, officers responded to a burglary in progress at 3:45 a.m. Saturday in the 1900 block of 18th Street. The victim drove herself to Southeast Texas Medical Center, according to authorities, and was treated for non-life threatening injuries.center_img The victim said a man broke a window on the outside of the house to gain entry then attacked her while she was in bed sleeping.A PAPD release said a suspect was arrested for burglary of a habitation and taken to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.last_img read more

BASKETBALL — Lady Eagles start season with win

first_imgBob Hope Lady Eagles head coach Stephanie Jones noted that her team played great defense and was moving the ball well on offense during their strong season start at home Tuesday, beating the Hackberry, La., Lady Mustangs 26-22. Senior Esmeralda Cruz led the Lady Eagles with seven points while sophomore Aneth Mendoza scored five points. Sophomores Victoria Gutierrez and Jennifer Lopez each scored four points.Bob Hope will host Anahuac today at 5:30 p.m.last_img

DEATH NOTICES: Oct. 12, 2020

first_img Gloria Jean Cormier, 69, of Port Arthur, Texas died Thursday, October 8, 2020. Services will be 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 atLevingston Funeral Home – Groves. Donald “Donny” Romero, III, 36, of Groves, Texas died Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Services pending with Levingston Funeral Home –Groves.Betty Guillory, 87, of Groves, Texas died Saturday, October 10, 2020. Services pending with Levingston Funeral Home – Groves. Helen Kay Moore, 80, of Port Arthur, Texas died Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Services pending with Levingston Funeral Home – Groves.center_img Next UpShawn Francis Hebert, 40, of Port Neches, Texas died Thursday, October 8, 2020. Services pending with Levingston Funeral Home in Port Neches.Louis Boudreaux, Sr. 97, of Port Arthur, TX died Friday, October 9, 2020. Services are pending at Hannah Funeral Home, Inc.last_img read more

These are the stories that generated the most 2020 interest (No. 6-10)

first_img According to the affidavit for Castille’s arrest, Beaumont Police were called to Hair World Beauty Supply on Avenue A, where the store manager told officers Castille tried to leave with the unpaid merchandise but the door was locked remotely by the owner.While police were watching the surveillance video, she reportedly turned and coughed in the face of one of the officers, loudly stating she was sick and had the coronavirus.The officer turned his face away from her but she leaned in to cough in his face several more times before being escorted to the patrol vehicle, the affidavit stated.No. 7 – INDICTMENT: Nederland man, woman force victim into the corner during home burglary A Nederland man and woman who reportedly made a man sit in a corner while burglarizing his home were indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury Oct. 7.According to the affidavits for their arrests, Haley Renee Mudd, 28, and Jason Demery Weatherford, 42, knocked on the front door of a home in the 1100 block of South 15th Street in Nederland and when the homeowner opened the door, the couple pushed their way inside.During the June break-in, Weatherford reportedly forced the male victim into a corner and made him sit down while the female grabbed the victim’s phone so he could not call for help.Weatherford then stood next to the victim while the female began going through the victim’s belongings.The victim told police the robbers were looking for money and the female took two credit cards from inside his wallet and his cellphone.Military equipment is parked in a fenced-in area at Seventh Street and Austin Avenue. (Mary Meaux/The News)No. 8 – Why the increased military presence in Port Arthur? Fort Polk has some answers. In late September, many in the community were asking why there was an increased presence of military vehicles.Some social media concerns even suggested a martial law-type scenario was coming. That proved not to be the case.Kim Reischling, public affairs officer with Fort Polk, said the location was preparing to receive military equipment from the Port of Port Arthur and Port of Beaumont.The equipment and the military personnel are preparing for big training exercises at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, located in central Louisiana. The training involves a rotation of soldiers from Fort Campbell in Kentucky.Reischling called it realistic high speed training for soldiers.The groups were spread out in Port Arthur. Two large white tents reminiscent of the ones Hurricane Harvey evacuees stayed in back in 2017 were located at the civic center, military equipment and soldiers were seen at a fenced in area on Seventh Street and Austin Avenue and a small number of tan tents were at Seventh Street and San Antonio Avenue.More military personnel and equipment were at a spot along Houston Avenue in addition to equipment at a laydown yard near the Port of Port Arthur and a parking lot on Fourth Street near the police station.Trucks line up Aug. 27 to respond to Hurricane Laura in Southeast Texas.No. 9 – Thousands without power in Port Arthur, surrounding areasOn Aug. 27, thousands of homes and businesses were without power as Hurricane Laura moved inland.Widespread outages, impacting more than 30,000 customers, are being reported in Port Arthur with thousands more in Nederland and the surrounding area. More than 100,000 customers are being reported without power in Jefferson County.Massive telecommunications and internet outages are also being reported in the Port Arthur area.Entergy Texas customers may see extended power outages as crews work to restore power. Given the intensity of the storm and the additional need for crews to follow COVID-19 precautionary measures, hardest-hit experienced outages for multiple days.No. 10 – Dollar General theft attempt in Groves includes tow-truck block, runaway attempt, 2 arrestsAn alleged shoplifting at Dollar General in Groves ended up with two Orange County suspects charged with evading arrest.Police said a male and female entered the store June 1 at 3800 Main Ave., and ended up attempting to steal less than $100 of groceries — some of which included Pop Tarts, candy, meat, cake frosting and wipes — which would normally be a Class C misdemeanor.Police said an employee used pepper spray on the couple as they left the store. A tow truck driver from Brian’s Wrecker Service saw the pair as they placed items in the back of a car and positioned his truck to block the car from leaving, Groves Lt. Robert Phillips said.A male in the car was able to leave at a high rate of speed despite the help from the wrecker driver.The duo left behind fled on foot, and the stolen items were recovered, Phillips said.Approximately 90 minutes later, officers located two suspects in the 6100 block of Terrell — a quarter mile from the store.“When they saw the officers, they began to evade on foot and were caught after a brief chase,” Phillips said.Groves Police arrested Carlton Wolfford, 35, of Vidor, for felony evading arrest.Also arrested was Jacienda Jones, 21, of Newton. She is charged with evading arrest.Read the rest of the list at https://www.panews.com/2020/12/31/these-are-the-stories-that-generated-the-most-2020-interest-no-1-5/ The results, in terms of readership, speak for themselves. Panews.com experienced a little more than 3.2 million page views in 2019. That number skyrocketed to more than 5.5 million page views in 2020.Our online statistics allowed us to track the stories that were most read over the past 12 months, and the following is that list, weighted heavily by our readers’ interest in crime and first response coverage.In many cases, readers came back on multiple occasions to follow updates as new stories on the same subject were published over a few days or a few weeks. In those cases, the entries are combined into one. The year 2020 included 12 months of unique experiences that no one could have predicted.It was packed with a global pandemic, elections and natural disasters that had plenty of specific, local impact.For Port Arthur Newsmedia and its main entities — The Port Arthur News and panews.com — it was a year of growth as we hyper-focused coverage on Port Arthur and Mid-County, dedicating a reporter specifically to crime, courts and public response coverage.center_img These are 2020’s most read stories:No. 6 – Police: Woman caught stealing wig coughs on police, tells them she has COVIDA Beaumont woman who reportedly attempted to steal a $75 wig by stuffing it into her purse told police she had COVID-19, then proceeded to cough in their faces.Markisha Antoinette Castille, 26, was indicted Dec. 2.last_img read more

Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon to Star in NYC Staging of Beckett’s All That Fall

first_img View Comments Trevor Nunn’s critically acclaimed mounting of Samuel Beckett’s radio play All That Fall will play a limited engagement at New York’s 59E59 Theaters. Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon will star in the production, which runs from November 5 through December 8, 2013. BAFTA and Emmy Award winner Atkins is a four-time Tony Award nominee with stage credits that include Doubt, The Retreat From Moscow, Indiscretions, The Night of the Tribades, Vivat! Vivat Regina!, The Promise and The Killing of Sister George. Gambon earned a Tony nomination in 1997 for Skylight; the four-time BAFTA winner is known for his screen credits including The Singing Detective, Maigret and the Harry Potter series. Joining Atkins and Gambon in the off-Broadway show will be original London production cast members Ruairi Conaghan, Catherine Cusack and Frank Grimes. Additional casting will be announced. Nunn directs, with design by Cherry Truluck and sound by Paul Groothuis. Specially commissioned by the BBC as a radio play, All That Fall is set in rural Ireland and follows an aging woman (Atkins) who sets off to meet her blind, short-tempered husband (Gambon). Along the way, she encounters a handful of eccentric characters who offer “an inimitably idiosyncratic and at times hilarious perspective on loss, grief and old age.” The production had two sold-out runs in London in 2012last_img read more

No Man’s Land & Waiting For Godot, Starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, Extend Before Opening

first_img No Man’s Land Star Files Written by Samuel Beckett, Waiting For Godot tells the story of two wanderers who wait by a lonely tree to meet with Godot, whom they hope will change their lives forever. No Man’s Land, written by Harold Pinter, tells the story of two elderly writers who meet in a London pub and continue drinking throughout the night—until their relationships are exposed by the return of two younger men. View Comments In addition to the British knights, Waiting For Godot and No Man’s Land stars Tony winners Shuler Hensley and Billy Crudup. Godot features Stewart as Vladimir, McKellen as Estragon, Crudup as Lucky and Hensley as Pozzo. No Man’s Land features Stewart as Hirst, McKellen as Spooner, Crudup as Foster and Hensley as Briggs. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on March 30, 2014 Good friends (Sir) Ian McKellen and (Sir) Patrick Stewart have been making the rounds all over New York—and now you have an extra month to see them on the Great White Way! The Broadway repertory season of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot has just been extended and will now play through March 2, 2014. Directed by Sean Mathias, the plays will open on November 24 at the Cort Theatre. Patrick Stewartlast_img read more

Will British Stage & Screen Star Ben Whishaw Rock Out as Freddie Mercury in New Queen Biopic?

first_img Star Files Looks like drummer Roger Taylor and his Queen bandmates have found “Somebody to Love!” The much-buzzed-about Queen biopic has been without a Freddie Mercury since Les Miserables film favorite Sacha Baron Cohen departed the production earlier this year, but the legendary rock band thinks they’ve finally found their star. The band is eyeing Skyfall’s Ben Whishaw to take on the role of the charismatic frontman, according to The Hollywood Reporter.During an interview on BBC’s One Show, Taylor was asked who he might like to star in the new film, and he responded that the man’s initials were “B.W.” When asked further if he was referring to Whishaw, Taylor agreed, saying, “Well, we hope so.”So, what does Whishaw have that Cohen hasn’t got? According to Classic Rock magazine, Queen’s guitarist Brian May believes it’s the ability to fully embody Mercury, the vibrant lead singer who died from complications from AIDS in 1991. “We felt [Cohen]’s presence in the movie would be very distracting,” he said. “We thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. The man who plays Freddie—you really have to believe is Freddie. We didn’t feel that could really happen with Sacha.’Whishaw’s British theater credits include His Dark Materials, Hamlet, Mercury Fur, The Seagull, Leaves of Glass, Cock, The Pride, Peter and Alice and Mojo. He made his off-Broadway debut in the 2010 production of The Pride at MCC Theater. His film and TV credits include The Tempest, The Hour, Skyfall, I’m Not There., Cloud Atlas, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and Bright Star.But on to the most important question of all: Can Whishaw sing? You be the judge! Click below to see him (very briefly) singing Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares For Me” at a press event. View Commentscenter_img Ben Whishawlast_img read more

Weekend Poll Top Three: As You Wish! Fans Want Aaron Tveit to Play Westley in The Princess Bride on Stage

first_img View Comments 3. Justin Matthew Sargent – 15% As your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Sargent rescues Mary Jane Watson from atop the Chrysler Building and from Arachne’s cocoon eight times a week, so battling every terror in the Fire Swamp should be a breeze for the former Rock of Ages and Bonnie & Clyde star. Also, if anyone can make a cadaverous Westley still seem pretty hot—it’s definitely JMS. 2. Corey Cott – 18% He’s the king of New York, after all! Cott is a pro at playing the witty, street smart and rebellious Jack Kelly in Newsies, so he would have no trouble channeling the natural-born leader energy required to pull off Westley. If he can lead the NYC newsboys strike of 1899, then he can assuredly lead Inigo and Fezzik into Humperdinck’s castle to stop the wedding. 1. Aaron Tveit – 34% Tveit already played the wild and beautiful Enjolras in the Les Miserables film and lead the insurrection at the barricade—so it’s easy to imagine him wielding another sword to fight for the love of his life. The heartthrob has appeared on Broadway in Wicked, Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can, and has made TV audiences swoon on Graceland and Gossip Girl. Disney recently announced that William Goldman’s cult classic film The Princess Bride is headed to the stage, and because the Mouse House is behind a few of Broadway’s biggest hits, we can’t wait to see what they do with the story of Buttercup, Westley, Inigo Montoya, Prince Humperdinck, Vizzini, Fezzik and more! Broadway.com reached out to our readers to find out who they would like cast in the role of brave and beloved farm boy Westley. The votes are in! Find out which Broadway vets fans hope head to lands of Florin and Guilder.last_img read more

Soldier and Family Assistance Center (SFAC)

first_img2601 Indiana Ave.24/7 Hotline 270-498-4319Office 270-798-6383/270-412-5497http://www.sharp.army.mil/index.aspxHours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through FridayThe SHARP program is dedicated to eliminating sexual harassment and sexual assault within the Army Family through robust prevention and training, direct leader engagement in support of the SHARP Program, and consistent team coordination that can inspire trust in the SHARP response system. SHARP staff can offer Information and support to victims of sexual assault. SHARP classes that will satisfy the annual training required of all civilian employees are provided monthly.last_img read more

Administration

first_imgThe Administration Department’s primary mission is to provide support for all military personnel regarding military pay issues. Located in Headquarters Building 1401, Room 112, it is the focal point for all incoming and outgoing military personnel assigned to NAS Whiting Field. Additionally, civilian personnel assigned to the installation should also report to the Administration Department for assistance in the check-in process. The NAS Whiting Field Administration Department is also responsible for managing the command’s directives, correspondence, alpha roster and personnel security clearance process.last_img read more

Families Overcoming Under Stress Project

first_imgFamilies Overcoming Under Stress Project (FOCUS) provides resiliency training for military families. Transitions associated with the military lifestyle can bring about changes in roles and duties. Family members may take on new responsibilities, and children may have different reactions when separated from a caregiver. Many adapt well, but changes in behavior are normal and expected. Children often lack the words to express their feelings and experiences. Additionally, couples may experience some stressors that may overwhelm their ability to cope. While many couples know how to manage these challenges, some experience periods of miscommunication and stressors that can make their connection feel distant. FOCUS helps families plan for these challenges by developing a personalized toolbox of skills specifically designed to meet their needs. FOCUS uses the family training techniques to highlight areas of strength and resilience in the family and promote family growth to help address current challenges. FOCUS also provides structured activities to bridge gaps in shared family understanding that may follow stressful experiences and separations. Family members are taught skills to improve emotional regulation, problem-solving, goal-setting, and communication. FOCUS is in Little Hall, north side, second floor, 2034 Barnett Ave. For more information, call 703-784-0189.last_img read more

Favero Assioma, the lightest road pedal power meter you’ve never heard of

first_imgAt the Giro last spring we spotted some dummy Favero BePro pedals on Bardiana-CSF’s team bikes, likely because a new model was in the works. Now a year later, we see Favero’s latest road pedal-based power meter – the new Assioma – promising improved performance, easier usability, and get this… lower prices.Favero Assioma: lightweight, trouble-free power meter pedalsc. FaveroThe newest true left/right power meter pedal setup from Favero promises segment leading tech & performance, all at a price that looks pretty easy to justify.Even though you’ve likely never heard of them and their company is relatively new to cycling, Favero Electronics has been making electronic sports equipment for more than thirty years. So starting their power meter project with the original BePro almost a decade ago wasn’t a big stretch. As something of an outside, they set about designing a more robust pedal power meter that offers some features we’re not used to seeing.What makes the Assioma power meter pedals unique?Like most premium pedal-based power meter, the new Assioma offer simple setup, Bluetooth & ANT+ communication, reliable/consistent data output and temperature compensation.But beyond that the Assioma claims to be the only true pedal power meter that uses a pedal body entirely free of electronics. Favero tucks all of their electronics into the housing around the pedal axle where it is protected from impacts, so you end up with a pedal that is easy and affordable to maintain. (Crash replacement pedal bodies also only cost 60€.)Favero also fills the entire inside of the Assioma’s protected electronics housing with resin making them absolutely waterproof (IP67 certified) & shock proof. The body gets no openings to the outside – no replaceable battery, but also no charging slots even, instead using magnetic charging tabs. So there’s literally so room for moisture to get inside, so ride through as deep of water as your bottom bracket bearings (and your poor mechanic) will allow!They even say that by using a proper built-in, rechargeable lithium-ion battery (uncommon in power meter pedals), the Assioma reports much more accurate remaining charge data to your paired device, to make sure you don’t run out of juice on a big ride. The pedals claim 50+ hours of ride time, with easy battery monitor with the Favero Assioma app, and a 8 hour energy remaining warning on your paired GPS.Favero also calls the Assioma the “lightest pedal-based power meter ever made” at 150g per pedal (or 128g for a dummy pedal), also with the lowest pedal power meter stack height at just 10.5mm.Tech detailsThe Assioma claims class-leading ±1% power accuracy thanks to instantaneous angular velocity (IAV) measurement with Assioma’s on-board gyroscope. While many power meters calculate power based on the average angular velocity of the crank arm through each rotation, the IAV solution detects much more detailed power data, and is especially more accurate when using elliptical/oval chainrings where crank arm speed varies widely through each rotation.This new version of Favero’s power meter housing is also lower profile than before, knocking 3.5mm off to 33.5mm diameter to eliminate the rare cases where some wide, flat shoes could rub the housing.In addition to regular wireless connectivity, the Assioma will connect & transmit to two devices as once (one Bluetooth, one ANT+) to let you take advantage of virtual training apps like Zwift, while separately logging your ride data.Power & pedal data metricsWith strain gauges measuring directly at the pedal axles, the Assioma power meters claim exceptionally accuracy data of the real power you are laying down. Metrics include true left+right power output, real left/right balance, pedaling cadence, torque effectiveness, pedaling smoothness, as well as pretty much any proprietary data extrapolated from true two-sided power measurement.Easy to install, easy to swap bike-to-bikeA big update over the previous BePro generation, the new Assioma is design for a Plug&Play lifestyle. No special tools are needed, nor is any dynamic calibration once installed. So you can simply pop them off with an 8mm allen key like you would with any standard pedal, and swap them from one bike to the next in seconds. Once on hit the calibration option on your cycling computer for a manual re-zeroing in, then it takes “a few tens” of pedal rotations (say pedaling down the block) until the Assioma pedals perform an internal self-calibration, and are reporting at full accuracy again. The entire process should take just a couple minutes.As easy to swap, the Assiomas use a double micro-USB cable to efficiently charge both sides at once. Just snap the special magnetic charging dongles over the electronics housing on either pedal, plus the micro-USBs in, and they’ll be juiced up again from complete discharge in six hours.Pricing & availabilityThe Assioma power meter pedals were designed, and now are made entirely in Italy – available in two configurations. For 695€ you get the Assioma Duo two power metering pedals for real left/right data. But if you want to save a few bucks, for 445€ the Assioma Uno gives you a power metering left pedal with a matching dummy right pedal. Each includes 6° float cleats, but is also compatible with original Look Kèo cleats as well. Both versions are available now direct from Favero, with even some special color-logo-ed editions running with the Giro too.cycling.Favero.comlast_img read more

Elite Cycling celebrates Earth Day with new biodegradable Jet water bottles

first_imgThis Earth Day, Elite Cycling is hoping to make things just a tiny bit better with a new water bottle. How is a bottle going to help the earth? Well, even if it’s a reusable bottle like most cycling bottles, eventually it will reach the end of its life.At that point, the bottle will likely end up in a landfill. With that in mind, Elite has created the new Jet bottle which uses a special BPA-free plastic that is treated with an additive to allow it to decompose far more quickly than the average plastic. Elite states that, “thanks to this additive, the microorganisms responsible for the biodegradation of materials attack the polymeric chain of the plastic, thus significantly reducing the time it takes for the bottle to degrade.” Their claim is that the Jet bottle will take between 3 months – 5 years to bread down whereas regular plastic will take between 100 – 1000 years.The bottle itself includes the Elite cap that is included with their lightweight Fly bottle, which has a simple push-pull high flow nozzle. Measuring 74mm in diameter, the bottle is designed to be used with standard water bottle cages.Offered in 550, 750, and 950ml sizes and four colors, the bottles are dishwasher safe and available now.elite-it.comlast_img read more

Clothing Roundup: Rapha is a tease, Café Suzi shines, and Santini warm & cozy

first_imgMid winter riding means staying warm and dry, but also a sunny outlook towards spring. Café du Cycliste wants to keep the spirit bright (and dry) with a new Suzette rain jacket. Santini is still deep in the mountains and knows their Vega line will keep riders warm for the several months of remaining winter riding. And Rapha just wants to tease us with gravel ready road shoes, better women’s bib shorts, fancy special editions, and more cargo pockets….Café du Cycliste Suzette keeps you dry & seenc. Café du CyclisteThe bright new yellow rain jacket from Café du Cycliste is named Suzette. This 100% waterproof jacket isn’t your old rubber rain slicker, but a breathable, cycling cut jacket that can pack down small into a jersey pocket when not in use.Suzette gets a 3-layer construction with a super thin membrane inside to find that perfect balance of water resistance & breathability. 20:20 performance – 20,000mm water column waterproofing and 20.000 g/m2/24hr breathability.Taped seams, waterproof zipper, anti-leak wrist closures, and a light & bright ripstop exterior with a DWR treatment. High tech water protection isn’t cheap, but its $288 / 230€ pricetag is competitive. Find Suzette in Nice, London & Mallorca Café du Cycliste shops starting today, or online direct.Santini pedals through the coldest days in Vega winter kitc. SantiniRight now in Italy, the Days of the Blackbird are about to forecast how long winter will stick around (think: Groundhog Day in the states). But Santini is prepared for anything with their Vega winter riding collection to keep you warm & cosy. The 230€ Vega Xtreme jacket with its Polartec Windbloc & alpha fabrics makes up the core of keeping winter roadies warm.Then throw in a set of matching 150€ Vega bibtights, 60€ Vega shoes-cover, and 50€ Win XF gloves to round out your first line of defense against whatever the blackbirds throw your way. Insulate up with a techy, seamless long-sleeved wool blend baselayer, cozy Primaloft/wool/synthetic blend PRLX socks, and accessories like the Windstopper X-Free 300 XF Underhelmet cap, and you’ll stay warm out on the road until the spring thaw arrives.Oh, and since we’re already mid-way through winter, Santini is offering around 25% off some of this new winter kit now.Rapha teases 2019 kit: all-road shoes, cargo shorts & more!c. RaphaRapha is totally a tease. Just as much as they continue to crank out high-end classically styled, understated road riding gear they are not afraid of the absurd. My favorite line out of the teaser PR is about those cargo shorts, “They might have been labelled ridiculous but they’re quickly becoming ubiquitous.”New for 2019 Rapha promises a new top-level carbon Explore road shoe with unique lacing as “the world’s most comfortable” that can also handle putting a foot down in the dirt. Actually, we just got word to actually expect two styles of new road shoes. One will be a Classic sole with road cleat compatibility, and the other an Explore sole for SPD mountain bike cleats to suit more gravel!Back to clothing, there’s a complete overhaul to the women’s pro bib shorts with a new nature break friendly magnetic clasp design & all-new women’s chamois. And yes, more cargo shorts are coming to the affordable Core range for both men & women.Plus there will be an RCC collaboration with designer Paul Smith, a limited edition Brevet Insulated vest with stitched contours, and special edition Nelson “The Cheetah” Vails & Marco Pantani memorial Il Pirata kit too.Then plenty of off the bike kit too. Keep your eyes peeled, as we will detail the more interesting or innovative bits when they do make it to market.last_img read more

Felt Bicycles Puts Bikes Under Olympic Hopefuls at UCI World Cycling Center

first_imgPRESS RELEASE: Felt Bicycles has partnered with the International Cycling Union (UCI), the world governing body of cycling, to supply a full stable of road, time trial, track, mountain and BMX frames to the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland. The architecturally renowned World Cycling Centre opened in 2002 and houses the offices of the UCI staff as well as elite training facilities for Olympic cycling hopefuls from around the world. The WCC also functions as a training center for national-level cycling coaches, team directors and other management roles within the sport.“We’re pleased to be a sponsor of this incredible facility and the athletes who train there,” said Felt President Bill Duehring. “We’re especially proud to support those athletes from developing nations that might not have the resources or elite level of support to help them chase their Olympic dreams.”Located in the Swiss Alps and surrounded by roads and trails that are ideal for road and mountain bike training, the World Cycling Centre was created to help develop the sport globally. To that end, WCC coaches identify riders from countries that lack fully funded national teams and invite them to live in Aigle to train at the WCC. In 2009, more than 83 riders from 38 different countries benefited from the WCC facilities. Since opening, the WCC has hosted 717 athletes from 113 countries.UCI President Pat McQuaid expressed appreciation for the sponsorship. “The World Cycling Centre is delighted with this new partnership, which will benefit promising young riders in all the disciplines promoted at the WCC,” he said. “The UCI’s training and coaching center would simply not be able to fulfill its missions without the support of all its partners, and one of the most important of these is Felt.”Athletes who have trained at the WCC range from Olympic champions to unknown riders with untapped potential. American Sarah Hammer, a two-time world champion who is sponsored by Felt, currently lives in Aigle and trains at the WCC.The WCC facilities include an indoor 200-meter velodrome, an Olympic-style BMX course and a fully equipped gymnasium. In addition to training athletes, there are coaching programs as well. In some cases, a coach is invited along with an athlete so that, together, they can take what they learn back to their home country. Beyond that, the WCC also recently introduced programs aimed at training team directors. It’s all part of the mission to improve cycling opportunities all around the world.Felt’s sponsorship of the WCC began January 1, 2010 and continues through December 31, 2012last_img read more

Pebble Watch Now Speaks To Map My Tracks App, Reports Live Stats

first_imgUK based Tinderhouse has found great success in their Map My Tracks OutFront app for both iOS and Android users. In addition to being an all-around training tool its ability to track your realtime location and statistics via your phone’s GPS has many event organizers promoting its use to livestream your route-progress on the Map My Tracks website for the benefit of friends and family following your events and races.Now Tinderhouse has upped the game even further. Map My Tracks (Android v. 1.4) is now compatible with Pebble using the watch’s in-built sports app. No more bulky smartphone on your bars; your Pebble watch can now monitor speed, pace, and distance direct on its face. Find the new version 1.4 for Android here – iOS version is slated to be release in the next days.last_img read more

NAHBS – DeSalvo Custom Cycles

first_imgNAHBS 2010 – DeSalvo Custom Cycles only had a couple of bikes on display, and all I have are a few photos…not much in the way of descriptions or info.  Just eye candy.last_img

Shimano Curtly Quashes Di2 Trickle Down Rumors – UPDATE: It’s Coming!!!

first_imgEver since the Di2 was introduced, at prices that most mortals would need a mortgage re-fi to afford, there have been rumors flying (OK, make that wishes being aired) that the line-topping electronic groupset would beget a cheaper Ultegra version. Which would, undoubtedly, be a coup for the Japanese company, and confirm its leading position in terms of consumer products vis à vis its Italian rival.But, so it seems, the rumors have no basis in fact. Shimano Europe has released the following short-and-sharp press release: “On the Internet some information was published about Shimano Ultegra Di2. Please note that this is not official Shimano information.”Now. BikeBiz (the source of this info), is taking this denial as a sign that there may in fact be some substance: why should notoriously tight-lipped company need to deny anything… are some execs feeling a little jumpy, perhaps?Think you that the lady doth protest too much? (With apologies to Shakespeare.)UPDATE: We’ve heard rumor from an anonymous industry source that the current model will actually become the electronic Ultegra and that Di2 is the one getting some new-ness…smaller, lighter battery, perhaps?UPDATE #2: We just heard actual confirmation from an absolutely reliable industry source that it’s happening! Even better, it should be around half the price 0f Di2, which means it could very well put a hurt on the standard Dura-Ace mechanical group, especially at OEM…more as we get it!last_img read more

Prototype Specialized SL3 ‘Project Black’ Roubaix Spotted at Paris Roubaix

first_imgJames Huang over at BikeRadar captured some pics of a prototype Specialized ‘Project Black’ bike that’s looking to be a 2011 S-Works Roubaix, likely with the SL3 moniker.  They’ve got a full gallery of photos (including both of these, which are ©James Huang/BikeRadar) and speculation, but here are the Cliff’s Notes on visible improvements and changes over the current SL2 version:Internal derailleur and rear brake housing with caps that should make it Di2 internal wiring compatible.Larger Zertz damper inserts in both the seat stays and fork legs.Seat tube gets much wider, squarer toward the bottom bracket.Huge downtube flows more consistently (smoothly) under the BB for larger overall cross section.Thinner seatstays, but HUGE chainstays.Miniscule alloy rear dropouts.Specialized has hinted they’ll be showing a couple new items, including at least one frame and some tires, at Sea Otter, but I doubt they’ll be showing this bad boy off so early.  The Paris-Roubaix is this coming Sunday, April 11, and the bike you see here will be piloted by Saxobank’s Stuart O’Grady.  Watch the race on Versus at 6pm EST.last_img read more

Keep ‘Er Clean and Safe with Velo Gold’s New Chain Keeper Tools

first_imgThe CK1 is Velo Gold’s simplest chain keeper and the most universal. It works on all bikes with standard dropouts and any axle width, as it only clamps to the drive side. This model holds the chain with a single-slot fixed position roller, so it does not offer the ability to shift gears while cleaning and tuning your drivetrain. The CK1 is made of 6061 aluminum, and comes with either a polished or knurled grip finish. Either option sells for $65 USD.The CK2 is a more deluxe model ideal for professional or home mechanics. The quick-release unit works as a travel spacer or chain keeper with a mobile roller that allows the rear derailleur its full range of movement for easy ‘wheel-off’ drivetrain maintenance. The CK2 fits both 130 and 135mm rear ends with no need to disassemble or switch parts around and includes a good quality skewer (Velo Gold’s website actually states “We despise crappy skewers!”). The CK2 is available in 6061 aluminum with a knurled grip for $85, or in a cheaper Delrin model for $65.Not forgetting the off-road market, Clark has created a chain keeper for mountain bikers too. The CK3 is a chain keeper device that fits over a 12mm axle. Its large handle allows you to easily pull the chain into position and slip the axle through. The CK3 is made of Delrin, and the handle can be customized with knurling, grooves, steps or thread patterns. The CK3 sells for $30, and a full-length travel spacer version is on the way.Clark is already working on other designs including derailleur alignment tools, so keep an eye on Velo Gold as their tool line expands. All of Velo Gold’s tools come with a lifetime replacement warranty against wear and tear or defects.velogoldbicycles.com Bike-specific tools are great when they make maintenance easier, and even better when they do double-duty and protect your bike too. A chain keeper does both- For those who travel regularly, its the best way to keep your chain tight and in position to prevent in-transit damage to your frame. In the shop chain keepers make it easier to clean the bike and drivetrain by replacing the rear wheel, thus providing plenty of space for working hands.Velo Gold Bicycles is a full service shop in Fort Worth, Texas that also offers custom machining services. Shop owner Joshua Clark is now producing Velo Gold bicycle tools and accessories, which are all hand made in his garage workshop. Clark has just announced three different chain keeper tools, including one for mountain bikes with 12mm rear axles.Get your peepers on Velo Gold’s keepers below the break…last_img read more

Off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre Announces Complete 2018-2019 Season

first_imgAlan Cumming(Photo: Bruce Glikas) A slate of three exciting new works has been announced to comprise the 2018-2019 season of off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre. The lineup includes a pair of New York premieres and a previously announced world premiere co-production with The New Group starring Alan Cumming.Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern said, “We are thrilled to announce a season of extraordinary premiere plays by some of most exciting new voices in the theatre—Ngozi Anyanwu, Jeremy O. Harris and Mara Nelson-Greenberg—all making their Vineyard mainstage debuts. Their plays wrestle with complex themes—the process of grief, the mysteries of connection, the power of imagination, the erosion of empathy—in compelling, funny and potent ways.”Kicking off the season will be the New York premiere of Ngozi Anyanwu’s Good Grief, directed by Awoye Timpo. The play follows Nkechi, a first-generation Nigerian-American, as she navigates Pennsylvania’s suburbs alongside her childhood crush, would-be-philosopher brother and immigrant parents. The production will begin performances in fall 2018 at the Vineyard’s East 15th Street venue.The Vineyard season will also include the New York premiere of Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s dark comedy Do You Feel the Anger?, directed by Margot Bordelon. The play centers on Sofia, who is hired as an empathy coach at a debt collection agency. Do You Feel the Anger? will begin performances in spring 2019 at the Vineyard.The centerpiece of the Vineyard season will be Jeremy O. Harris’ world premiere play “Daddy,” a previously announced co-production with The New Group, set to begin performances in February 2019 at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Tony winner Alan Cumming will star. Set in the L.A. hills, Franklin, a young artist, finds himself seduced by wealthy “daddy” André (Cumming). Their erotic connection deepens from a naughty fetish to an irresistible bond, but when Franklin’s Christian mother decides that her son is in peril, she enters into a deeply moving battle of wills with André over the soul of their baby boy. Danya Taymor will direct.The Vineyard Theatre is dedicated to developing and producing bold new plays and musicals by both emerging and established artists. The theater is committed to creating an artistic home for daring and diverse artists and to nurturing their unique voices. Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 18, 2018 Related Showscenter_img Good Grief View Commentslast_img read more

See Jeff Daniels, Celia-Keenan Bolger and the Original Broadway Cast of To Kill a Mockingbird Take Their Final Bow

first_img Erin Wilhelmi All rise! The original Broadway cast of To Kill a Mockingbird took their final bow at the Shubert Theatre on November 1. Tony winner Celia Keenan-Bolger and Tony nominees Jeff Daniels and Gideon Glick, along with Will Pullen, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Frederick Weller, Dakin Matthews, Erin Wilhelmi, Danny Wolohan and Phyllis Somerville, played their final performance in Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of the Harper Lee classic novel. The second year cast of To Kill a Mockingbird, led by Ed Harris as Atticus Finch, will begin performances on November 5. Check out the photo of Daniels and the cast at their last curtain call to celebrate their incredible work, and be sure to book your own visit to Maycomb, Alabama soon. View Comments To Kill a Mockingbird Related Shows Jeff Daniels Gbenga Akinnagbe LaTanya Richardson Jackson Dakin Matthews Gideon Glickcenter_img Star Files Celia Keenan-Bolger from $69.00 View All (10) Frederick Weller Jeff Daniels, Celia Keenan-Bolger and the cast of To Kill a Mockingbird (Photo: Julieta Cervantes) Danny Wolohan Will Pullenlast_img read more

Lucas Hnath’s Dana H., Starring Deirdre O’Connell, Sets Dates for Off-Broadway Bow

first_img Star Files Production dates have been announced for Dana H., a new play by Tony nominee Lucas Hnath, arriving at off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre this winter. The previously announced drama, directed by Les Waters and starring Deirdre O’Connell, will begin previews on February 7, 2020 and officially open on February 25.Adapted from interviews conducted by Steve Cosson with Hnath’s mother, the play tells the true story of Dana (played by O’Connell), the former chaplain of a psych ward where she met a charismatic patient, an ex-convict searching for redemption. Dana was held captive in a series of Florida motels for five months.Dana H. will feature scenic design by Andrew Boyce, costume design by Janice Pytel, sound design by Mikhail Fiksel and lighting/supertitle design by Paul Toben.The production will play a limited engagement through March 15, 2020. Deirdre O’Connell Related Shows Dana H.center_img Deirdre O’Connell(Photo: Caitlin McNaney for Broadway.com) Show Closed This production ended its run on March 29, 2020 View Commentslast_img read more

Closing Time! Last Chance to See the Original Royals of Frozen, Erika Henningsen in Mean Girls & More

first_img View All (4) David Byrne’s American Utopia David Byrne Frozen Aladdin FEBRUARY 16: The End of a ReignFor almost three years, Caissie Levy and Patti Murin have been breathing new life into Princesses Elsa and Anna in Frozen as they led the new musical from its world premiere run at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado to Broadway’s St. James Theatre. On February 16, the leading ladies will travel to Arendelle for the final time. Although Levy and Murrin’s reigns may be ending, it’s just the beginning for Ciara Renée and newcomer McKenzie Kurtz who will take on the roles of Elsa and Anna, respectively. Joe Carroll, who took over the role of Hans from original cast member John Riddle, will also take his final bow on February 16 and be replaced by Ryan McCartan. Erika Henningsen in “Mean Girls,” Major Attaway in Aladdin, Caissie Levy and Patti Murin in “Frozen” (Photos by Matthew Murphy, Deen van Meer, Joan Marcus; Composite by Ryan Casey for Broadway.com) Major Attaway as Genie in Aladdin.(Photo: Matthew Murphy) FEBRUARY 22: Too Grool for SchoolBroadway’s original home-schooled jungle freak Erika Henningsen has set her Mean Girls graduation date for February 22. Henningsen has been bringing Cady Heron to life on stage since the show’s 2017 world premiere at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C before it landed at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre. During her time in the Tony-nominated hit musical, Henningsen took Broadway.com viewers behind-the-scenes as a vlogger and was even named the 2018 Broadway.com Star of the Year. Although we don’t currently know who the next mathletes champion will be, we do know that she’ll be grool.  Erika Henningsen as Cady and the cast of Mean Girls. (Photo: Joan Marcus). from $57.50 Related Shows Mean Girls Patti Murin Major Attawaycenter_img Show Closed This production ended its run on March 11, 2020 David Byrne and the cast of American Utopia. (Photo: Matthew Murphy) FEBRUARY 16: Utopia UnlockedDavid Byrne’s American Utopia has been bringing audiences to their feet at the Hudson Theatre since October and will play its final night on Broadway on February 16. Named after the 2018 studio album, American Utopia goes through Byrne’s greatest hits from both his solo career and his time as the frontman of rock band Talking Heads. Assisted by a diverse group of artists and musicians, including #LiveAtFive guests Tendayi Kuumba and Chris Giarmo, American Utopia is truly a must-see night on Broadway. Show Closed This production ended its run on March 11, 2020 Star Files View Comments from $299.00 Caissie Levy FEBRUARY 16: One Last WishAladdin audiences only have until February 16 to get their wishes granted by Major Attaway, who has been the show-stopping Genie since September 2019. This marked Attaway’s second full-time stint in the show after making his Broadway debut as a stand-by for original company member, Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart. Fear not, Michael James Scott, a veteran of the Broadway, Australian and London productions, is returning to Agrabah to take over lamp duties.  Erika Henningsen Caissie Levy as Elsa, Patti Murin as Anna and the cast of Frozen. (Photo: Deen van Meer) Broadway is about to multiply with all the upcoming shows hitting the boards this season, but before you lose yourself in the Six cast recording and camp out for Darren Criss’ Broadway return, be sure to learn all about the performances that are coming to an end. This month audiences will have to say goodbye to three leading ladies, a genie and a can’t-miss Broadway debut. Keep reading to learn all about who and what is leaving the stage in February. View All (5)last_img read more

Emmy Winner Joe Pantoliano Sets Stage Return in New Off-Broadway Drama Drift

first_img Emmy-winning Sopranos star Joe Pantoliano has signed on to headline William Francis Hoffman’s world premiere play Drift. Bobby Moresco, an Oscar-winning screenwriter of Crash, will direct the off-Broadway production, set to begin previews on February 29 and open on March 16 at New World Stages.Set in the blue collar, urban landscape of the 1950s, Drift is described as a hard-hitting new drama where secrets come to a head, difficult choices must be made and devastating consequences must be faced.Known for his Emmy-winning turn as Ralph Cifaretto on HBO’s The Sopranos, Pantoliano made his Broadway debut in 2003 as Johnny in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. In 2016, he made an appearance in off-Broadway’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit.In addition to Pantoliano, the cast of Drift will include Patrick Brennan (Of Mice and Men), Richard R. Henry (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Alex Mickiewicz (True West) and Griffin Osborne (The Ferryman).The production will feature scenic design by Edward T. Morris, costume design by Gina Ruiz, lighting design by Emily Clarkson, sound design by Sean Hagerty and original music by Rolfe Kent. Drift View Comments Joe Pantoliano(Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images) Related Showscenter_img Star Files from $79.00 Joe Pantolianolast_img read more

Nick Cordero, Tony-Nominated Actor of Bullets Over Broadway, A Bronx Tale and More, Dead at 41

first_img View Comments Nick Cordero (r.) with Zach Braff in Bullets Over Broadway (Photo: Paul Kolnik) Nick Cordero, an accomplished talent who won over audiences in a slew of notable roles on the New York stage, nabbing a Tony nomination for his turn in Bullets Over Broadway, died on July 5, his wife Amanda Kloots announced on social media. The actor was hospitalized in Los Angeles for over three months with complications resulting from COVID-19. Three days ago, CNN reported that the actor would likely need a double lung transplant. Cordero was 41.On April 1, Kloots announced on Instagram that he had “been sick for awhile” with what they originally thought was pneumonia but now they believe he was “misdiagnosed” and is fighting COVID-19. Cordero was in a medically induced coma to help his body receive enough oxygen. After having several issues with ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machines and blood-thinners that caused blood clots and internal bleeding, the decision was made to amputate Cordero’s right leg on April 18. On May 12, announced the news on Instagram that Cordero had woken up from his medically induced coma.Born on September 17, 1978, in Ontario, Canada, Cordero went on to attend Ryerson University for two years before leaving to perform with the band Lovemethod. He made his first splash on the New York stage in 2009 as the title role in the off-Broadway musical The Toxic Avenger, which was adapted from the cult film. He arrived on Broadwaym in 2012, taking on the role of bar owner Dennis in Rock of Ages, a role he’d previously played on tour. Nick Cordero Cordero went on to originated the role of Cheech, a strong-armed gangster with a surprising knack for writing for the stage, in the 2014 musical version of Bullets Over Broadway. For his performance in the role (which had memorably been played on-screen by Chazz Palminteri), Cordero earned 2014 Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations and won Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards.Cordero originated two additional roles on Broadway, appearing as Earl in Waitress, then leaving to premiere the musical adaptation of Palminteri’s autobiographical A Bronx Tale ; as Sonny, Cordero echoed his turn from Bullets, taking on a role that had been originated on screen by Palminteri. Cordero’s performance earned him a second Drama Desk Award nomination.Cordero’s other acting credits include a turn in the off-Broadway musical Brooklynite, a performance as Orin Scrivello D.D.S. in the Kennedy Center’s Little Shop of Horrors and a recurring role on the CBS drama Blue Bloods.While performing in Bullets Over Broadway, Cordero began dating castmate Kloots; the couple married in 2017 and welcomed a son, Elvis Eduardo, in 2019. Cordero is survived by both. Star Files Nick Cordero(Photo by Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com)last_img read more

Vermont Public Radio wins seven regional Edward R Murrow Awards

first_imgVermont Public Radio,Vermont Public Radio has been honored with seven regional Edward R Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). VPR received awards in the following categories: news series, breaking news coverage, sports, documentary, use of sound, newscast, and writing.”These awards truly represent a team effort, particularly the coverage of Tropical Storm Irene,’said John Van Hoesen, VPRâ s vice president for news and programming. “As a public broadcaster, we are accountable to the community we serve.  We are honored to receive these awards because they go to the heart of VPRâ s mission to provide an essential and trusted independent voice for news and information in our region.âThe winning coverage includes:UVM At  A Crossroads (News Series)A collection of news pieces in the days following Tropical Storm Irene (Breaking News)A profile of the pitcher from Stowe who inspired the Bruce Springsteen Hit â Glory Daysâ  (Sports)The Irene Effect (Documentary)A primer on how to call an auction (Use Of Sound)A newscast from the morning after Tropical Storm Irene (Newscast)A story about the theremin, an obscure musical instrument, and one manâ s work to renew appreciation for it(Writing)In all, 14 awards were made in the small market radio category for the region, which includes all of the New England states. Vermont Public Radio will be honored at a ceremony this spring and it will now be entered in all of these categories for the national awards.The RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession, consisting of more than 3,000 news directors, news associates, educators and students. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, the association is dedicated to setting standards for newsgathering and reporting. Although news techniques and technologies are constantly changing, RTDNA’s commitment to encouraging excellence in the electronic journalism industry remains the same. VPR. 4.12.2012last_img read more

Nearly quarter million dollars in grants awarded to Vermont farms by Historic Preservation

first_imgCountyTownProjectBrief DescriptionCaledoniaBarnetJoes Brook FarmRepair roof, frame, flooring, siding; replace windows and doorsRutlandBrandonCedar Rail FarmRepair frameWashingtonCalaisAdamant Hills FarmRepair frameOrangeCorinthHutchinson FarmRepair posts, piers, foundation and sillOrleansCraftsburyRainbow  FarmRepair cupolaWindhamDummerstonLeonard FarmRepair frame; replace roof and foundation; improve drainageGrand IsleIsle LaMotteJarvis BarnReplace roofLamoilleMorristownCrystal Spring FarmRepair foundation, frame and windowsWashingtonMoretownBliss RidgeReplace roofAddisonOrwellBrookside Stock FarmRepair foundation, frame, roof and siding; improve drainageFranklinSheldonKittell FarmRepair frame, roof and cupola; replace windows and sidingGrand IsleSouth HeroHambaloney AcresRepair roof, frame and foundation; improve drainageFranklinSwantonGarrett BarnRepair roof, frame and floor; replace foundation, windows and doorsOrangeTunbridgeAnother Button FarmRepair frame and foundation; replace roof, windows and doorsWindhamWilliamsvilleYoung Family FarmReplace roofWindhamWilmingtonWellman FarmReplace roof; improve drainage State grants totaling $222,424 to help restore and repair historic barns have been awarded to more than a dozen Vermont farms today at the Statehouse.The state Division for Historic Preservation and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation today announced matching grant awards to 16 recipients at a Vermont State House ceremony.  Projects awarded funding are located in ten counties throughout Vermont.Agricultural buildings, both historic and contemporary, provide a visual record of rural life in Vermont over the past two hundred plus years and represent Vermontâ s agricultural heritage to current and future generations.  The preservation of our historic agricultural buildings not only protects Vermontâ s architectural legacy, it also generates jobs, supports independent businesses, increases civic participation, and bolsters  a communityâ s sense of place while also enhancing the experience of visitors to our state interested in enjoying the beauty displayed in the heritage of our built environment.â We know that Vermontâ s farms are important not only to our past, but also critical to our current and future agricultural renaissance,’said Gov. Peter Shumlin.  â Protecting these historic barns ensures that we honor our past as we look to the future.  The efforts of this yearâ s grant recipients to preserve their barns demonstrates their commitment to a vibrant Vermont economy.âGrant projects range from roof replacements to foundation, frame and cupola repairs.  Almost 40 applications were submitted this year.â As we have for the many years this program has been active, we received a variety of excellent applications from across the state,’ said State Historic Preservation Officer Giovanna Peebles of the Division for Historic Preservation.  â Vermont is fortunate to have so many people who are committed to preserving their historic barns for future generations.âEstablished in 1991, the state-funded grant program annually awards matching grants for building improvement projects that promote the public enjoyment of Vermontâ s agricultural heritage.  Properties must be listed on or be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in Vermont.For more information, visit www.historicvermont.org(link is external).2012 Historic Barn Preservation Grant Recipientslast_img read more

Shumlin says Montpelier is making right decisions ‘to help people grow jobs’

first_imgby Alan Panebaker vtdigger.org Governor Peter Shumlin took the opportunity to celebrate what seem like signs of an economic recovery at the Vermont Business and Industry EXPO Wednesday.According to statistics released last week by the Vermont Department of Labor, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for April 2012 was 4.6 percent, a decrease of two-tenths of a percent from the revised March rate.That 4.6 percent rate puts Vermont at the fourth lowest in the country.That decrease in unemployment has received some criticism as well. According to one think tank, the Public Assets Institute, notes that the total number of jobs in the state is shrinking.According to Vermont labor force statistics, there was a decrease of 1,500 jobs in April from the revised March data. A large decrease in leisure and hospitality jobs, according the the Vermont Department of Labor came from the abrupt end of winter that happened when the state experienced an early spring heat wave in March. State labor statistics also reported a decrease in the labor force of 1,100 people from March to April.Despite the naysaying, Shumlin said the unemployment numbers are still good news.â There are no statistics that wise people canâ t criticize,’he said. â In fairness, these unemployment numbers, theyâ re 4.6 percent, are measured exactly same way theyâ ve been measuring them for years. That rate was 8.2 percent at the peak of the recession. What Iâ m hearing from employers across Vermont more and more, theyâ re not saying to me things are tough weâ ve got to lay people off. Instead, theyâ re expressing optimism.âShumlin credited the Legislature for helping the economy by balancing two consecutive budgets without raising broad-based taxes. He also praised lawmakers for passing a law that would put a moratorium on a state sales tax on cloud computing software.â Weâ re making the right decisions in Montpelier to help people grow jobs,’he said.Shumlin said one place where the state needs to improve is income growth.â There are signs in last few numbers weâ ve seen that incomes starting to rise in Vermont,’Shumlin said. â For me thatâ s really going to be the measure of our success.âAccording to a survey by the US Census Bureau, between 2008 to 2010, median household income in Vermont was $53,490 in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars ‘making Vermont 15th in the nation.Shumlin said he is not campaigning until after Labor Day, but he did say he was humbled by a recent poll by Vermont Business Magazine, WCAX and WDEV showing he would likely win 60 percent of the gubernatorial vote if the election were held today.SEE POLLWhile Shumlin patted his administration on the back for working to promote jobs, Randy Brock, who is running for governor, chatted with local business owners at the Expo.Brock, a Republican senator, is not so convinced lawmakers are doing what is best for business.The top issue on his campaign website says: â As your governor, I will: Change Vermontâ s heavy-handed regulatory environment so businesses can create and keep jobs.âShumlin said he has focused on job growth.â I do not believe that anyone with a straight face can say that my team has not been focused on jobs and raising incomes of those who have jobs in Vermont with the exception of rebuilding Vermont better than Irene found us, and Iâ m like a broken record thatâ s what we do every day,’he said. May 23, 2012 vtdigger.orglast_img read more

GMP begins groundbreaking heat pump pilot program in Rutland

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,Green Mountain Power kicked off what is believed to be the first utility-sponsored heat pump rental program in the country today, a pilot effort centered in Rutland and intended to save customers money and demonstrate the comfort air-source heat pumps can provide in a cold-weather climate. The rental program includes installation of air-source heat pumps in homes and businesses with no up-front costs for the customer, and is expected to save participants hundreds of gallons of heating fuel and thousands of dollars each year. ‘We believe air-source heat pumps can dramatically change the way Vermonters heat their homes, and reduce economic costs and environmental impacts of burning foreign oil,’GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said.  ‘This program will help demonstrate that value, while creating jobs for installers and freeing up customers’cash for other purposes.’ Cold climate heat pumps, also known as mini-split heat pumps, are ductless heating systems that also provide air conditioning during hot weather.  Installed in less than a day, a heat pump includes an outdoor unit that works as a heat exchanger, like the compressor in a refrigerator, and is connected with copper tubing to a small interior unit. In cold weather, gas within the copper tubing extracts heat from outdoor air down to temperatures of about 13 below zero, and the warmth is brought inside.  In hot weather, the process reverses to cool the building.  GMP plans to heat its Energy Innovation Center largely with air-source heat pumps. ‘The pilot is intended to provide support for our expectation of customer and environmental benefits, and help jumpstart this new heating option in Vermont,’said Steve Costello, GMP’s vice president for generation and energy innovation.  ‘With our low carbon energy mix, we can slash air emissions from heating, and we expect participating customers will find dramatic improvements in home comfort, both summer and winter.’ Under the pilot program, GMP will pay to install heat pumps in up to 200 customers’homes and small businesses, and rent them to the property owners for $45 to $50 per month.  GMP plans to focus on enrollment in Rutland and surrounding towns, though other customers may also participate. Customers interested in enrolling in the pilot, or who would like more information, may call Bruce Bentley at (802) 345-6470, Kirk Shields at (802) 770-4246 or Amanda Beraldi at (802) 353-9241 in the Energy Innovation Center. Through a heat pump summit last fall and a program with Efficiency Vermont and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to package weatherization with heat pump incentives, GMP has developed relationships with numerous installers in the HVAC, plumbing and home performance industries.  Six models are available through two manufacturers, Mitsubishi and Daikin. About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small utility in America.last_img read more

Mt Philo Inn named a Fodor’s Choice Hotel

first_imgVermont’s Mt Philo Inn was recently designated a Fodor’s Choice Hotel, a ‘best of the best’ list of properties that Fodor editors have chosen for ‘providing a remarkable experience in their price range or category.’Originally built as an inn in 1896, the property has until recently functioned as long-term apartment rentals. Innkeepers and owners David and Jane Garbose opened the Mt. Philo Inn to overnight guests in August, the first time in 50 years, after a major three-year renovation.The Mt. Philo Inn exudes ‘the ideal blend of historical and contemporary boutique décor,’ wrote the Fodor’s reviewer who stayed at the Inn in the fall. In their renovations and redesign, the Garbose’s preserved the inn’s original woodwork, sourced local building materials, commissioned artwork from local artisans, and decorated with a minimalist and eclectic style.The result is an inn that offers the privacy and comfort of a country home with the amenities of a boutique hotel. The four suites range from 1,300 to 1,800 square feet, and are located in separate wings of the building, each with private entrance, porches and parking. Suites include modern kitchens, a refrigerator stocked with a breakfast basket of Vermont products, and bathrooms that feature showers and vanities made from Vermont marble. Anichini sheets add a luxurious touch to the handcrafted beds.‘If you’ve grown tired of the ubiquitous floral wallpaper of so many traditional New England inns, Jane and Dave Garbose’s charming Mt. Philo Inn is a good place to check out,’ wrote the Fodor’s reviewer. Charlotte, VT (February 5, 2014) ‘ Mt Philo Innlast_img read more

After lawmakers compromise, governor will sign cell phone driving ban

first_imgby Tom Brown vtdigger.org(link is external) Vermonters will no longer be able to talk on hand-held cellphones while driving if the Senate agrees with a compromise reached Wednesday. House members voted 129-6 to accept a conference committee agreement on S.314, a department of motor vehicles bill that included the ban. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure Thursday, where it is likely to pass, several lawmakers said. Governor Peter Shumlin, who has opposed the bill from the beginning, now intends to sign it, a spokeswoman for the administration said Wednesday.Related storiesCompromise under consideration.(link is external)Cellphone ban stalls.(link is external)Senate rejects House effort.(link is external)Lawmakers hear personal appeal.(link is external)The governor now approves of the compromise version that eliminated points against a driver’s license for a first offense of driving while using a hand-held cellphone. Hands-free use is permitted under the law. A first violation for driving while using a hand-held device carries a fine of $100 to $200 but no points. The penalty for texting while driving still carries the fine and two points against a driver’s license. Accumulation of 10 or more points in a two-year period results in automatic license suspension.“Gov. Shumlin wanted to ensure the bill made sense for Vermont, wouldn’t increase Vermonters’ insurance rates, or harm their driving records,” aide Susan Allen said in a statement. “He appreciated the Legislature’s willingness to compromise on this bill, and expects to sign it.”The law would take effect Oct. 1 and requires a public information campaign to inform motorists of the change. Vermont banned texting while driving in 2010 and police have complained that it is difficult to enforce because drivers who are stopped simply said they were calling, not texting.Rep. David Potter, D-Clarendon, signs a conference committee report Wednesday on a measure that would ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. Photo by Tom Brown/VTDiggerThe Department of Public Safety would launch an informational campaign by Aug. 1 or sooner under the bill. That could include public service announcements and roadside displays, lawmakers said.The measure had broad support in the House but stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee and appeared dead until it was attached to the transportation bill.House members were pleased that a compromise was reached.“It’s a great first step,” said Rep. Patrick Brennan, R-Colchester, chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “Right now (texting) is a feel-good bill that can’t really be enforced … this bill kind of completes the circle. Law enforcement will have no issues making a stop based on somebody holding a phone up to their ear. I think the bill will change driving habits and save lives.”Debate over the bill caused a rift between Democratic Sens. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, who opposed it, and Dick Mazza, D-Chittenden/Grand Isle, who supported it. Both were members of the conference committee that rescued the bill and said there were no hard feelings.“We’ve been friends for 22 years and we’re still friends,” Sears said. Both men said they have hands-free devices in their own cars.Sears said Wednesday he still opposes the bill and did not sign the conference committee’s report.According to the Associated Press, the New Hampshire Legislature also passed a ban on hand-held cellphone use while driving Wednesday, forwarding it to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, who has not said whether she will sign it.Twelve other states prohibit drivers from using hand-held cellphones and 41 states ban text messaging, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Council.last_img read more

Okemo starts making snow

first_imgOkemo Mountain Resort,During the overnight hours between November 1 and 2 when most people were relishing an extra hour of sleep due to the end of daylight-saving time, Okemo Mountain Resort’s snowmakers were hard at work. At the same time Mother Nature was delivering her first dusting of natural snow, Okemo’s snowmakers were initializing the resort’s energy-efficient snowmaking system and engaging HKD tower guns along several upper-mountain trails. Okemo is based in Ludlow, Vermont.Following a $1 million investment in its snowmaking system last year, Okemo added another 100 tower guns to its arsenal this season. Utilizing energy-efficient, state-of-the-art technology allows Okemo to maximize its water-pumping ability and snowmaking potential. With the continuation of favorable conditions, Okemo will begin the 2014/2015 ski and snowboard season on its target opening date of Nov. 15.This year’s investment brings Okemo’s HKD tower gun count to 1,125, mountain-wide. Okemo also utilizes hundreds of snowmaking guns of varying types, but it is the HKD SV series of guns that will be making a big impression on early-season skiers and riders this winter – allowing Okemo to open more terrain early in the season and improving Okemo’s ability to recover more rapidly from unfavorable weather situations throughout the season.HKD’s variable flow snow guns raise the bar for low-energy snowmaking technology. The multi-chambered, modular tower gun utilizes a double valve configuration with advanced variable flow nozzle design. The rugged frost-free valve allows the operator to achieve four levels of water flow, making the tower gun capable of a smooth transition from low-flow, high-temperature performance to high-flow, low-temperature production without the need for changing nozzles. Source: Okemo: 11.2.2014 www.okemo.com(link is external).last_img read more

Weekly unemployment claims fall back under 400

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims in Vermont fell below 400 again last week, consistent with typically low summer totals. There were 364 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont, a decrease of 55 from the previous week’s total and 15 more than they were a year ago. Generally, claims have been running below last year’s totals. Claims were down slightly in nearly all regions of the state and in most industry categories.Altogether 4,308 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 62 from a week ago, and 276 fewer than a year ago. The Department processed 0 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08). The total for all programs was 4,308 claims, 62 fewer than last week, and 276 fewer than the same time last year.For the week by industry, Services claims were slightly in number as the prior week and still represent the preponderance of claims for any one sector, at 52 percent of all claims. Manufacturing claims were down from the prior week and from last year both in number and percentage, while Construction claims were up slightly as a percentage of the total but about the same in actual numbers of claims. By region, there was little change, with most areas of the state about the same as last week and down noticeably from last year. Barre was the only Labor Market Area that saw an increase from the prior week and the prior year.The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)Vermont’s unemployment rate held at 3.6 percent in June, as total employment grew and unemployment fell. SEE STORY.NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) – A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment “by place of work.” Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.last_img read more

Matt Dunne releases campaign finance disclosure

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Matt Dunne, Democratic candidate for governor, today voluntarily released a campaign finance disclosure to the public at an event outside the Secretary of State’s office, making good on a pledge to give voters and the media open access to all campaign fundraising and spending activity. Dunne said he believes the public has every right to see this information before early voting begins on June 25.“Vermonters deserve to know how a candidate’s campaign is funded,” Dunne said in prepared remarks. “I’m proud to be running a people-powered campaign, focused on restoring the public’s trust in government. That starts by rejecting corporate campaign contributions and opening our books so that voters can make an informed decision when they go to the polls on August 9th.”Today’s campaign finance disclosure reported a total of $717,855.53 raised from 2,626 contributors, the vast majority of which, 1,849, gave donations of $100 or less. The campaign has spent $394,523.34 to date. This leaves the campaign with $323,332.19 on-hand, according to the campaign.Last month, Dunne announced his comprehensive plan for ethics reform, challenging all candidates in the race to join him in rejecting corporate campaign contributions and releasing voluntary monthly campaign finance disclosures. Dunne said that while the other Democrats in the race followed his lead, returning corporate money when it had been received and refusing to accept future corporate contributions, they have not pledged to provide the public with vital information about how their campaigns are funded outside of the state’s required deadlines.“Eliminating corporate campaign contributions is just the first step toward a truly transparent process. I will continue to disclose my campaign’s finances every month, because voters deserve to know what kind of campaign we are running,” said Dunne.Dunne is running for the nomination against Sue Minter and Peer Galbraith. The winner would face the Republican nominee in the general election in November, either Phil Scott or Bruce Lisman.last_img read more

Vermont ranks in top 10 most politically engaged states, but trending down

first_imgVermont Business Magazine November is just around the corner, which means it’s almost time for Americans to go out and vote. However, there is wide disparity in voter turnout across the 50 states. In 2014, some states had as little as 33 percent voter participation while others had as high as 61 percent. SmartAsset analyzed voter turnout, voter registration and campaign donations to determine the most politically engaged states, and Vermont takes the eighth spot. While Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton her biggest test for the Democratic Party nomination, voter turnout in the Green Mountain State is trending down. In 2010, Vermont had the 5th highest voter turnout at 55 percent. That number fell to 42.5 percent in 2014. The state still managed to rank in the top 10 thanks to high donations per capita relative to income.Voting is really a two-step process: first you register to vote and then you cast your ballot. Someone who registers to vote but doesn’t actually vote can still be considered more politically engaged than someone who never registered at all. And, of course, voting isn’t the only way to be an engaged citizen, you can also donate to campaigns and volunteer. So states with high numbers of voter registration, voter turnout and campaign donations can be said to be politically engaged.With these factors in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find out which are the most politically engaged states.Data and MethodologyTo determine the level of political engagement in each state we looked at data on six separate factors. (Note: We included additional factors this year, so this study is not directly comparable to the 2014 study.)2014, 2012 and 2010 Voter Turnout – Voter turnout is the percentage of resident citizens who actually cast a ballot. The data is from the U.S. Census Bureau.2014 Voter Registration – Voter registration is the percentage of resident citizens who registered to vote. The data is from the U.S. Census Bureau2012 and 2008 Presidential Donations (per capita donation as a percent of median income) – Data on campaign donations comes from the Center for Responsive Politics and is available at opensecrets.org.After collecting data on these six factors, we ranked every state according to each factor. So, for example, the state with the highest 2012 voter turnout was ranked first in that category, while the state with the lowest 2012 per capita donation as a percent of median income was ranked last in that category.The index, on a 100-point scale, was calculated based on each state’s ranking in each of the six factors.Key FindingsEngaged New England – Politics are a big deal in New England. Of the six states which make up New England, five are in the top 10. The odd man out is Rhode Island which ranked 24th.Apathetic South – The only state south of the Mason-Dixon line to break into the top 10 was Maryland. Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia all ranked in the bottom 15 for political engagement.The President Matters – Due to the visibility and attention given to the quadrennial presidential election, voter turnout is much higher in presidential election years. In Mississippi, for example, the difference in turnout in 2012 and 2014 was as big as 30%.1. ColoradoColorado is one of the closest races during this year’s presidential election and, as a result, is one of the key swing states. It ranks highly in all the engagement categories we looked at. According to metrics like voter turnout, Colorado is becoming more engaged. The state ranked 9th in voter turnout in 2010 and 2nd in 2014.Coloradans are generous, too. After controlling for population and income, we found that Colorado citizens donated the 5th most in the 2012 presidential election. That year, Colorado had an impressive 70.4% voter participation.2. MassachusettsMassachusetts is an interesting place, politically speaking. Judging by its presidential voting record, one would assume Massachusetts is a very liberal state. But since 1991 it has only had one democrat for governor. The Bay State came into national focus when former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012 and he was forced to step back from the liberal-leaning health care reforms he helped put into place. That year 70% of the state’s voters turned up at polls.Want to retire? Find how much you should be saving.(link is external)3. MaineMaine, like Colorado before it, will have the opportunity to legalize marijuana this year. It will be interesting to see if that mobilizes the citizenry in the same way it did in Colorado. In the meantime, Maine is already a very politically engaged state. It ranked first for voter turnout in 2014 and 2010, with 61.5% and 59.4% of the citizenry coming out to vote, respectively. Curiously, Mainers do not get as energized by presidential elections as some other states. In 2012, Maine had a voter turnout of 68% – only good enough to rank 9th in the country that year.4. OregonOregon voters tend to be engaged no matter the scenario. In 2010 and 2014, its voter turnout was around 56%, while in 2012, a presidential election year, the turnout rate jumped up to 67%. Many states saw a large drop in donations from 2008 to 2012. Not Oregon. Oregon residents gave an estimated $2.61 per capita in 2008 and that figure only decline 12 cents to $2.49 in 2012. Compare that to New Mexico, where donations per capita was $7.06 in 2008 and dropped all the way to $2.82 in 2012.5. MarylandIf Maryland did a better job of turning registered voters into actual voters it would probably find itself higher in our study. Maryland had the 3rd highest level of registered voters in 2014, with 72% of citizens registered to vote but only 48% of citizens actually went to the polls. Like Washington and Oregon, Maryland tends to go for Democrats and FiveThirtyEight gives Hillary Clinton a 99.8% chance of winning the state this year.6. WashingtonWashington shares more than just a border with Oregon – it also shares its political engagement temperament. Overall its voters are mostly engaged but it does not get as big as a boost in turnout during presidential election years as other states do. The fact that the Evergreen State tends to be solidly Democrat may explain the somewhat lackluster turnout during presidential elections, there’s simply not as much at stake compared to states like Colorado.7. MinnesotaMinnesotans are rabid voters who tend to keep their money in their wallets. According to our data, Minnesota ranked no lower than 6th in voter turnout in 2010, 2012 and 2014 but ranked no higher than 30th for donations in 2008 and 2012. Minnesota is one of the tighter races during this election, according to FiveThirtyEight. The site gives Clinton a 81.6% chance to take the 10 electoral votes in the state.8. VermontVermont Sen. Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton her biggest test for the Democratic Party nomination. But voter turnout in the Green Mountain State is trending down. In 2010, Vermont had the 5th highest voter turnout at 55%. That number fell to 42.5% in 2014. The state still managed to rank in our top 10 thanks to high donations per capita relative to income.9. New HampshireWhile close geographically, Vermont and New Hampshire share little in terms of political engagement. Vermont tends to have lower turnout with high relative donations while New Hampshire has the opposite. In 2012, New Hampshire’s voter turnout was 69.4% – tying it with Iowa for the sixth highest in the country. But in terms of donations, New Hampshire only ranked 19th that year. The state also tends to be more unpredictable in terms of presidential elections. FiveThirtyEight gives Trump a 25.8% chance to win there, which makes it an important state to watch come November.10. ConnecticutConnecticut appears to be made up of some of the most giving citizenry in the country judging by campaign donations. The Constitution State ranked in the top 5 for donations in both years we analyzed the data. Unfortunately when it comes to actually showing up at the polls, the state is lagging. In 2010 and 2014 – the two non-presidential voting years we analyzed – Connecticut did not even crack 50% voter turnout.Moving to Connecticut? Find out what your taxes will be.(link is external)Note: The FiveThirtyEight election forecasts mentioned in this article are from October 4, 2016.last_img read more

PAI: At year-end for workers, it’s ho ho ho hum

first_imgPublic Assets Institute Nonfarm payroll jobs decreased in November to 315,000 —a drop of more than 1,000 jobs since January. But the total number of employed Vermonters, both payroll workers and those who are self-employed, has held steady for most of 2016, up less than 1 percent since the start of the year.Race mattersNewly released US Census data show that nearly a quarter of black Vermonters live in poverty, as do 20 percent of those who check two or more races on the Census form. More than a quarter of the 1,900 American Indians and Alaska Natives in Vermont are poor—the highest percentage of any category.The poverty rate is lowest for white Vermonters: 11 percent.Although the sample size for nonwhites is small, the estimates take in five years of data, increasing the reliability of the picture.More college degreesMore Vermonters had high school diplomas in 2015 than a decade earlier. Since 2005, the proportion of Vermonters without a high school degree has shrunk, while the share with a four-year college degree has grown. The U.S. as a whole has also seen improvement in both the share completing high school and those finishing college, but Vermont remains better educated than the nation. Source: Public Assets Institute publicassets.org(link is external) 12.16.2016last_img read more

Heady Topper brewer recognized for water treatment excellence

first_imgVermont Business Magazine More beer, more visitors, cleaner water, less waste? That’s what the team at The Alchemist have accomplished with their new brewery in Stowe, and they were recently recognized for their environmental success with an award from the Green Mountain Water Environment Association (GMWEA). Steve Miller, Lead Cellar and Water Operator for The Alchemist, was presented with the award at GMWEA’s spring meeting at the Killington Grand Hotel on Thursday, May 25. Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation nominated the Alchemist for the award, which is presented each year for demonstrated commitment to clean water and pollution prevention, including implementation of water or wastewater treatment changes to address problems common to similar industries.The Alchemist opened its new brewery and visitor center in Stowe last summer with a state-of-the-art water treatment system designed to reduce waste throughout the brewing process. Their moving-bed biofilm reactor, built by World Waterworks, allows them to exceed state standards for wastewater, and surpasses environmental management standards in the brewing industry. Their million-dollar investment in water management has allowed them to dramatically reduce their high-strength effluent load into Stowe’s water and sewage system.“We are honored to receive this award,” said Jen Kimmich, co-owner and General Manager of The Alchemist. “This was an incredible collaboration with our consultant, Chief Water Operator Gary Audy; Stowe’s water treatment team; the State of Vermont; and our staff, who all worked together to help us dramatically reduce our wastewater. Clean, fresh water is critical for great beer and we believe that Vermont’s brewers can lead in reducing water waste and keeping water pure for generations to come.”ABOUT THE ALCHEMISTThe Alchemist, founded in 2003 by John and Jen Kimmich, operates in Waterbury and Stowe, Vermont, They are known for their award-winning Heady Topper and Focal Banger IPAs as well as a rotating selection of distinctive ales and porters available at their 16,000-square foot brewery and visitor center in Stowe. They employ 51 people and distribute their beer only within 25 miles of its manufacture. Learn more at www.alchemistbeer.com(link is external)Source: Stowe, VT – June 1, 2017 – Alchemistlast_img read more

Vermont Medical Society adopts neutral stance on medical aid-in-dying

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Compassion & Choices is praising the Vermont Medical Society for dropping its 14-year opposition to doctors writing prescriptions for terminally ill adults who request medication to end unbearable suffering and die peacefully. The society posted a resolution recognizing medical aid in dying as a legal option that could be made within the doctor-patient relationship at its annual meeting earlier this month, 4-1/2 years after the state authorized medical aid in dying in May 2013 by passing the Patient Choice at End of Life Act (Act 39)(link is external).”Even when physicians use all the tools at hand to care for pain and suffering, a small number of patients still suffer,” says the new policy position posted on the Vermont Medical Society website at: bit.ly/2zJ2DQM(link is external). “Each of these patients is unique; each one of the patients will challenge the caregiver’s skills in the extreme; and each one’s care should be highly individualized and decided in private amongst the patient, physician and family. The Vermont Medical Society recognizes that medical aid in dying…is a legal option that could be made in the context of the physician-patient relationship.”Vermont is among six states that have explicitly authorized medical aid in dying (California(link is external), Colorado(link is external)Montana(link is external), Oregon(link is external), Washington(link is external)) along with the District of Columbia(link is external). Collectively, these seven jurisdictions represent 18 percent of the nation’s population and have 40 years of combined experience with this end-of-life care option.”We commend the Vermont Medical Society for recognizing medical aid in dying as a legitimate option for terminally ill adults to peacefully end unbearable suffering and for their commitment to ensuring that all Vermonters receive good, comprehensive palliative care,” said Rebecca Thoman, M.D., Campaign Manager for Doctors for Dignity for Compassion & Choices.The Vermont Medical Society is among nine American Medical Association state chapters that have dropped their opposition to medical aid in dying and taken a neutral stance on the practice, including eight of them in the last two years. The others are the California Medical Association in 2015,(link is external) Colorado Medical Society in 2016(link is external), Maryland State Medical Society in 2016(link is external), Medical Society of the District of Columbia in 2016(link is external), Maine Medical Association in 2017(link is external), Minnesota Medical Association in 2017(link is external), Nevada State Medical Association in 2017(link is external), and Oregon Medical Association in 1997(link is external).Numerous national and state polls(link is external) show strong support for medical aid in dying among both U.S. physicians and Americans across the ethnic, political and religious spectrum.Compassion & Choices is the oldest nonprofit working to improve care and expand options for the end of life in the United States, with 450,000 supporters nationwide. For more information, visit:www.CompassionAndChoices.org(link is external).SOURCE MONTPELIER, Vt., Nov. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Compassion & Choices CompassionAndChoices.org(link is external)last_img read more

Sportsmen ‘airlift’ 30 round AR-15 magazines

first_imgVermont Buisness Magazine In anticipation of a legislative ban on standard capacity rifle magazines, the editors of RECOIL magazine have worked with MAGPUL Industries to facilitate the delivery and distribution of 30-round PMAG rifle magazines free of charge to the citizens of Vermont in an overnight operation dubbed the “Green Mountain Airlift.”In order to support the law-abiding gun-owners of Vermont and blunt the assault on their Second Amendment rights, RECOIL’s Executive Editor, Rob Curtis, will give away 1,200 30-round PMAGs on Saturday afternoon in front of the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier starting at 2:30pm.”We invite the public to track the shipment of magazines from MAGPUL’s Cheyenne, WY facility to Vermont using the following FedEX tracking number: 771880807512. Should the shipment be delayed, the distribution will shift to 2:30pm on the date the shipment arrives,” Curtis said in a press release.https://www.fedex.com/apps/fedextrack/?action=track&tracknumbers=771880807512&clienttype=ivother(link is external)“We’re grateful to MAGPUL’s Duane Liptak for spearheading the overnight donation of 400 pounds of freedom to the Green Mountain State,” says Curtis. “His swift action means we will get the magazines here before Governor Phil Scott signs S.55 (link is external)into law, trampling the rights of law-abiding Vermonters.”The Vermont Legislature has passed of S.55, a gun control bill that raises the age for long gun purchases to 21, requires mandatory background checks on nearly all non-commercial private firearm transfers, bans standard capacity rifle magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and outlaws bumpstock devices. The bill now goes to Governor Scott, who has indicated that he will sign it.RECOIL and MAGPUL invite the citizens of Vermont to the Statehouse steps at 2:30pm on Saturday March 31st to receive a free 30-round PMAG standard capacity rifle magazine and show their support for the Second Amendment of the United States. A representative from the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs will be on hand to accept donations that will fuel the legal challenge to the new restrictions.WHO: RECOIL Magazine and MAGPUL IndustriesWHAT: Will be giving away 1,200 standard capacity MAGPUL PMAG rifle magazines free of charge to Vermont citizens (one per person, while supplies last) and accepting donations to the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.WHEN: 2:30pm Saturday, March 31 until all magazines are distributedWHERE: The distribution will take place on the Statehouse steps or from the back of a red Ford F-150 in the parking spaces on State Street in front of the Vermont Statehouse.last_img read more

Weinberger appoints Darren Springer as GM of Burlington Electric

first_imgBurlington Electric Department,Darren Springer photo by Adam Rabin, BED.by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the appointment of Darren Springer as General Manager of the Burlington Electric Department at a press conference Tuesday morning at BED. Springer brings extensive experience in the energy field to the position, including at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Effective immediately, Springer will serve as acting GM, and Weinberger will ask the City Council to consider confirmation of the appointment at its October 15 meeting.Handsome, tall and tanned, the former Floridian, 38, joined BED last year. He previously worked in the Shumlin Administration, rising to chief of staff. Springer has also worked for Senator Bernie Sanders. His predecessor, Neale Lunderville, who moved over to City Hall last May to lead the Community & Economic Development Office, at one time worked for Republican Governor Jim Douglas. He also was appointed by Weinberger.If Springer is confirmed by the City Council, his salary will be in the range of $175,000-$229,000, which will be determined by a formula that includes experience and educational attainment. Weinberger chose to stay in-house for the appointment after a national search for a new GM. “There were a lot of qualified candidates,” the mayor said.“The Burlington Electric Department is enjoying a sustained period of customer affordability, financial improvement, positive labor relations, innovation, and progress towards some of the most ambitious climate goals in the entire American power industry,” said Weinberger.  “Darren has the temperament, experiences, and skills to ensure that BED continues to advance in all of these areas, continues to transform into an outstanding 21st century utility, and continues to lead Burlington’s efforts to become a Net Zero Energy City.”Springer already knows BED well, having served as the Chief Operating Officer and Manager of Strategy and Innovation at BED since January 2017. In that role, he managed 35 employees across five divisions and led innovative initiatives, such as BED’s efforts to offer a first-ever rebate for electric vehicles, which includes an enhanced incentive for low and moderate-income customers. Springer’s work at BED has included development of an RFP to create a Net Zero Roadmap, which will analyze different paths for the City to achieve the Net Zero Energy vision and detail economic and environmental outcomes. Springer has also served in a leadership role in the progress BED has made towards creating a District Energy System.Prior to his work at BED, along with being Governor Shumlin’s chief of staff, Springer served as Deputy Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Public Service. While in state government, Springer successfully led efforts to advance significant solar legislation and Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard, policies that now provide the regulatory foundation for several of BED’s innovative programs. Across his professional experience, Springer has led staff with diverse professional backgrounds, managed significant budgets, and shown commitments to renewable energy and public service.Springer holds a Master of Studies in Environmental Law and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School.Darren Springer; Scott Moody, vice chair of the Burlington Electric Commission; and Karen Paul, city councilor, listen as Mayor Weinberger introduces Springer as the next BED GM. VBM photo.“I am excited to serve as the next General Manager of Burlington Electric Department, and want to thank Mayor Weinberger for this opportunity,” said Darren Springer. “Burlington Electric has a strong record of providing affordable and reliable electricity, while leading the way when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable energy. That is a testament to the strong team at BED, and I am grateful to serve with that team as we work to take the next steps to achieve the Net Zero Energy City goal.”Maintaining BED’s reliability record and keeping rates stable will be ongoing goals with the Net Zero effort, he said.Building on Past Success at BEDSpringer will lead a department with many recent successes, including:·         Making Burlington the first American City to source 100 percent of electricity from renewable generation in 2014;·         Completing two comprehensive labor agreements with BED employees in 2015 and 2018 without resorting to arbitration;·         Receiving a December 2016 Moody’s Investors Service credit rating upgrade to “A3,” affirmed in November 2017, as a result of forward-looking financial policies, renewable power supply, competitive rates, and strong management;·         Completing an extensive re-organization that resulted in millions of dollars in cost savings for ratepayers;·         Achieving a decade of rate stability;·         Leading a six-fold increase in the number of Burlington solar installations from 2012 to 2017.The department also has ambitious future goals, including:Becoming a Net Zero Energy City across the sectors of electric, thermal, and ground transportation over the next 10 to 15 years;Advancing the District Energy System, which would capture the heat generated by the Joseph C. McNeil Generating Station biomass plant and distribute it to customers as a heating service;Finding new ways to encourage people to move away from transportation that’s powered by fossil fuels, and toward electric vehicles, electric buses, and other modes of transportation that are powered by renewable energy.Personal BackgroundSpringer grew up in Florida, and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a B.A. in History and a Minor in Business Administration. He moved to Vermont in 2002 to attend Vermont Law School where he met his wife Stephanie.  In 2005 Springer earned a Juris Doctor and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. During law school he served as managing editor of the Vermont Law Review and clerked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee.Following law school, Springer worked for four years at the National Governors Association as a Policy Analyst and later directed its program on Energy & Transportation, assisting governors and states with energy and climate policy development. From 2009 to 2013 Springer served as a Senior Policy Advisor and later Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. During that time, Springer worked to advance legislation that ultimately brought a $1 million energy efficiency financing program to Burlington Electric. Following his move back to Vermont, Springer served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Service, helping to manage a staff with diverse professional expertise. Springer worked on a range of topics at the Department including energy legislation, utility rate cases, and developing new programs such as the Heat Saver Loan Program. As Chief of Staff to Governor Shumlin, Springer served as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and helped to manage 24 agencies and departments as well as the executive office staff and budget. Springer and his wife Stephanie married in Stowe, Vermont in 2007, and returned to Vermont permanently after spending eight years living and working in the Washington, D.C. area following law school. Springer, Stephanie, and their boys (8 and 4) live in the New North End of Burlington, and their children attend school in Burlington.In addition to his professional work, Springer has demonstrated a personal commitment to clean energy. As BED customers, Springer and his family have installed solar electric and solar water heating panels at their home, as well as energy efficient appliances and cold-climate heat pumps that provide efficient electric heating and cooling.As he states in his cover letter, “As a Burlingtonian…I have seen first-hand the pride our community takes in our municipal electric utility. That pride is a result of the hard work of the BED team.”Springer is a member of the Vermont Bar, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Energy Action Network and the Vermont Natural Resources Council. He also has served as a Policy Fellow on Climate Change and Renewable Energy at the University of Vermont, and in that capacity authored a law journal article on the future of utility regulation published earlier this year in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review.Extensive SearchThe Mayor’s office began its search for a new BED GM in July 2018. The extensive process included:Meeting with BED employees to understand their priorities for the next leader of the Department.Posting the position locally, state-wide, and nationally in July 2018, a process that included targeting diverse communities and conducting supplemental recruitment efforts.Reviewing resumes that met minimum requirements and initial interviews of both in-state and out-of-state candidates by the following search committee, led by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Jordan Redell: Tom Dunn, President & CEO of the Vermont Electric Power Company; Jim (Duke) Dutra, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Chief Steward; Sabina Haskell, Electric Light Commissioner; Mike Kanarick, Manager of Customer Care and Communications; Scott Moody, Electric Light Commissioner; Karen Paul, City Councilor; Mark Stephenson, Owner & General Manager, Vermont Energy Contracting & Supply; Lynn Reagan, Human Resources Manager for BED.Interviewing three finalist candidates presented to the Mayor for consideration by the search committee.At the conclusion of the search, Springer’s skills and experience working with regulatory bodies and leadership on many of BED’s top priorities made him an outstanding candidate to continue the momentum and progress of the City’s ambitious agenda to become a Net Zero Energy City.Broad Support“My congratulations to Darren on his appointment as the GM of BED,” said City Councilor Karen Paul, a member of the BED GM search committee and former Chair of the Electric Commission, who joined the Mayor and Springer for the announcement. “I have no doubt that he will be a visionary leader for this amazing public asset that we all value so dearly. There is much work to be done and the road ahead, while exciting and filled with opportunity, will have its challenges. Electric power is a competitive industry and those who are nimble, deliberative, innovative, and collaborative will excel in the years ahead.  Now is the time for bold leadership tempered with seasoned knowledge and the ability, above all, to bring people together. Darren’s deep commitment to BED, to our City, and to each employee’s contribution to the greater good will serve all of us well as he leads BED for the years to come.”“Darren Springer is an outstanding choice to lead the Burlington Electric Department,” said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power. “It has been a pleasure and an inspiration to work with Darren at this exciting time of transformation and innovation in all things energy to benefit customers. The planet needs energy leaders like Darren Springer.”“Having worked with Darren Springer for years, I know that he has a great skill for understanding the complexities, legally and technically, of our evolving clean energy economy,” said Senator Chris Bray, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee. “Perhaps even more importantly, he has the ability to take that knowledge and find opportunities to develop innovative programs that deliver both economic and environmental benefits to customers. The Mayor has chosen well.”Source: BED 10.2.2018last_img read more

Warranty Direct sponsors GB Biathle

first_imgDuncan McClure Fisher, Warranty Direct Managing Director, said “We are very happy to back a sport which gets little exposure, but has produced some fantastic all-round athletes who have gone on to great things while representing their country. We hope that our support will help Pentathlon GB produce more athletes to compete for the British Team in Future Olympics.”Howard Jones, Pentathlon GB Biathle Director, said “We’re absolutely delighted to have Warranty Direct on board for 2013. Following the Olympics there has been an increase in people wanting to take up sport at this level and their support enables us to help encourage more people to take part. It’s going to be an exceptional season of competition.”Warranty Direct-sponsored prizes will be awarded for the GB Biathle Race Series competitions across the country, with the first events set to take place at Millfield School in Somerset on 5 May.www.pentathlongb.org/biathle/www.warrantydirect.co.uk Related Warranty Direct – the UK’s leading provider of direct consumer warranties – will sponsor the GB Biathle Series and National Biathle Championships, supporting ‘run-swim-run’ format events across the country.With categories for all ages from 9 years up to 70+, biathle competitions see athletes starting together in a group and running for up to 1500m, swimming for up to 200m and finally completing another run of up to 1500m to the finish line.Organised by Pentathlon GB, biathle is a natural starting point for those who later move on to the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon. Samantha Murray – who, by claiming silver, won TeamGB’s final medal of the London 2012 Olympic Games – competed in Biathle series events before graduating to pentathlon.Murray said “GB Biathle is a friendly, well-managed and competitive organisation that provides a pathway into Modern Pentathlon. As a youngster, I competed in a few biathles in the North West, which helped my progress into the pentathlon field.”Warranty Direct’s support will enable organisers to double the number of competitors who receive prizes as well as providing kit, equipment and contributing towards event costs.last_img read more

Rudy Project unveils special edition Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team…

first_img Related The Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team has teamed up with cycling eyewear crafters Rudy Project to launch two new special edition glasses celebrating the team’s achievements at the 2016 Tour de France. First debuted by the riders in early July, the Special Edition Tralyx performance and Spinhawk casual models are now available ‘for anyone looking to perform like the pros’.The award-winning Tralyx has been reportedly been praised by the Etixx – Quick-Step riders, who were the first to debut the limited edition colour scheme at this year’s Tour de France. In addition to a striking blue and yellow combination, this sunglass comes standard with the brand new Tralyx XL lens. Featuring a longer lens profile and additional ventilation along the bottom edge, the Tralyx XL is aimed at being ideal for larger faces and those looking for more coverage.This year’s Tour de France has already called for several podium celebrations honouring Etixx – Quick-Step, where riders such as Julian Alaphilippe have worn the all new Special Edition Spinhawk.As Rudy Project’s top-selling casual sunglass, the Spinhawk was seen as an ideal model to redesign with the Etixx – Quick-Step’s signature graphics. Featuring a sturdy crystal frame, and Multilaser Orange lenses, these shades aim to turn heads while boasting comfort and clarity.The special edition Etixx – Quick-Step Tralyx and Spinhawk are available now on e-rudy.com.www.e-rudy.comlast_img read more

Step on: 2017 Balega Impi Ambassador Team

first_imgBalega, a leading performance sock brand in the run and outdoor specialty market, has opened the application portal for its third annual ‘Impi’ influencer team. The Impi members will represent Balega as brand ambassadors to help ‘illuminate Balega’s core pillars’ – performance, excellence, harmony, creativity and community – while continuing to highlight the products and position Balega as a leader in run.Impi is a Zulu word roughly translating to mean ‘warrior’. The 2017 team will once again be made up of approximately 100 men and women athletes from across the United States who will act as an ‘army of Balega warriors’. These running enthusiasts will help spread the word on Balega across their social media channels, at races and in their day-to-day lives through creative activations.“The 2016 team blew us away with their dedication, motivation and passion about the Balega brand,” said Tanya Pictor, VP of Marketing of Implus Specialty. “We are looking to build up the 2017 team with equally passionate individuals who are ready to carry the Balega name with pride, enthusiasm and dedication to the run industry. We invite anyone who truly believes in the Balega difference to apply to be part of the 2017 Balega tribe.”Balega Impi members will represent the brand’s core values and share the brand’s South African heritage and ‘sole’ while positioning Balega as a leader and innovator in quality footwear within the run specialty market. Impis will receive a variety of socks over the course of the year, get a first-look at new product introductions as part of first-round product testing, and take part in sharing the Balega brand with their local and social communities. They will further benefit from the various other product categories out of the Implus stable of brands.“We’ve seen an incredible group of people come together from different backgrounds to help spread the Balega love,” said Casey Lewis, Marketing Specialist at Balega. “It’s been exciting to see our Impi’s make a difference in their local communities and we cannot wait to see what the 2017 team brings.”The application period for the 2017 Balega Impi Team opens today and applications will be accepted through Friday 16 December 2016. The team will be announced by the second week of January.As a leading performance sock brand in the run specialty market, Balega is a designer and manufacturer of technical performance socks and is part of the Implus family of brands. With a American-South African initiative, the company develops its product in both South Africa and North Carolina production facilities ‘utilizing the best performance yarns produced in the United States’.Headquartered in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, Implus has evolved to become an innovative provider of footwear, outdoor and fitness accessories to its retail partners. Implus’ family of brands includes Sof Sole, Yaktrax, apara, Airplus, Sneaker Balls, Sof Comfort, Little Hotties, Perfect, TriggerPoint, ICETrekkers, FuelBelt, Harbinger and Balega. From insoles, socks and shoe care to seasonal accessories and fitness solutions, Implus distributes its brands to thousands of retail locations across the United States and worldwide.www.balega.comwww.implus.com Relatedlast_img read more

Novotel London Canary Wharf gets into bed with Pop-Up City Triathlon

first_imgDirector of Sales and Marketing for Novotel London Canary Wharf, Louisa Daxer-Robbins said “We were impressed with the Pop-Up City Triathlon concept when it launched last year and were keen to be involved with the innovative event. The launch of our new contemporary hotel presented a natural opportunity to partner with the event – raising awareness of the venue with the local city audience and triathlete market. We hope to add a creative twist and offering to the event including morning runs and a grand final cocktail evening at BŌKAN.”Located in the heart of London’s Docklands, the new Novotel glass skyscraper offers 39 storeys with 360° views of the London skyline. Hotel guests can immerse themselves in designer style rooms and choose from three contemporary options for food and drink: the BŌKAN restaurant, bar and rooftop terrace. Business guests can enjoy the hotel’s meeting rooms, each with a bespoke style inspired by Docklands heritage, and featuring the latest technology. With free Wi-Fi, a New York style gym and a pool added into the mix, the hotel adds that it ‘offers all you need and so much more’.Teams of three can sign up to the Pop-Up City Triathlon – all in support of Macmillan Cancer. The event at Montgomery Square has slots available for lunchtimes and after work on Monday 24 April to Thursday 27 April inclusive and a grand final on the Thursday evening. There are prizes for the four runners up and winning team including £1k towards a charity of the winning team’s choice.All entry fee proceeds (£250 per team) will go directly to the Castle Triathlon Series Official Charity Partner, Macmillan Cancer Support.www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk/the-series/pop-up-city-triathlon/www.canarywharf.com Related Novotel has partnered with the Pop-Up City Triathlon (24-27 April 2017), which returns to Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London again this year. The support from the hotel chain forms part of last month’s new opening of the Novotel London Canary Wharf hotel and, like the Pop-Up City Triathlon, is ‘set to become a regular part of the lives of business people and visitors to the City’.The new Novotel London Canary Wharf comes complete with 360 degree views, a roof top BŌKAN restaurant, bar and New York style health club. Tapping in to the popularity of the Pop-Up City Triathlon, which is produced by the team at the Castle Triathlon Series, Novotel London Canary Wharf will host a winner’s party. The winning team members will also all receive complementary brunch, for them and their families, and the hotel will be ‘helping corporates stay ahead of their banking rivals with free early morning group training runs’.The Pop-Up City Triathlon is taking place for a second year and brings together over 100 teams (300 athletes) both new and seasoned, to take part in a static triathlon in the heart of the city. Set within a pop-up environment with swimming in an Endless Pool for 3 minutes, 4 minutes on a cycle ergometer and 3 minutes running on a treadmill, the staged triathlon challenges teams to cover as much distance as they can over these set times. The event has already attracted the likes of KPMG, Credit Suisse (defending its winning title from last year) and Morgan Stanley.last_img read more

Zwift announced as Official Training Partner of L’Etape du Tour

first_img“Is there an amateur cycling event quite as renowned as L’Etape du Tour?” said Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “The chance to experience one of the most beautiful, and challenging stages, of the Tour de France is why this has always been such a popular event and why it’s such an incredible occasion for any cyclist.“It’s a real challenge, but this is what makes it such a fantastic event to complete. We, at Zwift, are really excited to be able to support entrants in their training. Zwift is a fantastically convenient way to train, making it possible to ride more often than ever before. We want to deliver entrants to that start line in the best shape, so they can enjoy the experience as much as possible. I hope to catch some of you in the Group Workouts!” Yann Le Moenner, CEO of A.S.O added, “We are really excited to further broaden the reach of L’Etape du Tour with Zwift.“Zwift is a great way to train and helps bring together cyclists from all over the world. For those who cannot travel to L’Etape du Tour, the Zwift L’Etape du Tour rides will be a great way to experience the challenge of L’Etape du Tour from the comfort of your home.”The Zwift L’Etape du Tour training programs will commence later this year.Zwift is offered as non-contract, monthly subscription priced at US$14.99 / £12.99 / €14.99 per month. A seven-day free unlimited trial is automatically offered to all new account holders.www.zwift.comwww.letapedutour.com Relatedcenter_img Zwift and A.S.O.’s L’Etape du Tour have today announced a partnership that will see Zwift become the Official Training Partner of L’Etape du Tour.For its 29th edition, next year on 21st July, L’Étape du Tour 2019 will be enjoying a foretaste of the route between Albertville and Val Thorens that will comprise the 20th stage on the Tour de France.The latets partnership will see Zwift deliver the official training plans for L’Etape du Tour 2019. The training plans will be developed by Zwift’s renowned coach Kevin Poulton, coach to Paris-Roubaix winner, Matthew Hayman.Bringing the training program to life will be the L’Etape du Tour Training Club, open to the first 30,000 members who enrol. Following a similar model to that used for Zwift’s Academy Program, the aim will be to create a training community of Zwifters who share the same goals, further aiding motivation to train.Those enrolled in the L’Etape du Tour Training Club will be able to track their progress and unlock unique in-game items as they advance helping keep motivation high, and ensuring they reach July in peak form.In addition to the structured workout plan, Zwift will also be hosting a series of Group Workouts. Group Workouts are unique to Zwift and enable participants to perform a structured workout session together in a group. All participants are kept together in a peloton by the game. Zwift notes that ‘No matter whether you have an FTP of 400 watts, or 200 watts, you’ll always have company… Studies have shown training in groups to be far more motivating than training alone.’Outside of the training plans, Zwift will also be hosting exclusive L’Etape du Tour rides in game. Ahead of L’Etape du Tour 2019, there will be select Zwift Ride to Win events with starting bibs for L’Etape up for grabs. During the summer, longer Zwift L’Etape du Tour rides will provide a challenge for those cyclists unable to attend the real-life event in July.last_img read more

Percussive massage therapy brand Theragun files patent infringement lawsuit

first_img Related Theragun, a specialist in percussive massage therapy, has filed separate patent infringement lawsuits in the state of California against manufacturers and sellers of massage devices. The lawsuit was filed against Hyperice, Massage Guns and Alyne for allegedly violating Theragun’s various patents.The lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction to prevent the defendants from selling any products infringing Theragun’s patented technology.Officially launched to market in 2016, Theragun from its inception has introduced products in the emerging percussive massage space, launching five products and nine attachments. Theragun noted that it created the new product category over 10 years ago, and remains the industry leader and lead innovator, investing extensively in research and product development.The Theragun G3PRO is Theragun’s award-winning flagship device, and is endorsed by a number of physical therapists, athletic trainers, professional sports teams, and sports medicine experts worldwide.“We have invested a significant amount of money in research and development to advance our leading percussive therapy devices and attachments,” said Benjamin Nazarian, CEO of Theragun.“We work with some of the best mechanical engineers and sound engineers from MIT to develop our proprietary technology and designs. As the industry leader with over 35 patents, Theragun has always invested in cutting edge technology backed by science and medicine to improve how we treat our bodies.“Our patents help protect our technological and scientific advancements and we will not let other companies simply copy our products. We will vigorously defend our intellectual property rights in court.”www.theragun.comlast_img read more

ITU awards 2022 Multisport World Championships to Ibiza

first_img Related The Executive Board of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) has decided to award the island of Ibiza, Spain, as the host of the 2022 World Triathlon Multisport Championships. The Mediterranean island, which hosted the European version of the championships in 2018, will welcome triathletes from all over the world for 10 days of racing.“The Multisport World Championships has been incredibly successful in the last few years since we launched this product, and we have seen not only a great interest from cities to bid to host this event, but also from athletes willing to compete,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado.“And we are extremely proud of Ibiza willing to host this event, as a clear proof of the legacy of our events, returning to the island only a few years after hosting the European event.”The World Championships will see duathlon, long distance triathlon, aquathon and cross triathlon championship races organized together during a week-long festival. This allows for athletes to compete in various multisport races, as opposed to electing only one each season. And participants can even vie for the ‘Multisport Legend’, a title reserved for those who compete in all four events.Ibiza was elected after presenting its bid to the members of the ITU Executive Board, who had the opportunity to compare the proposal from the Spanish island and from the city of Pesaro, in Italy, which was ‘encouraged to continue bidding in future editions’.The World Triathlon Multisport Championships made its debut in the ITU calendar in 2017 in Penticton (Canada). This was followed by Fyn (Denmark) in 2018 and Pontevedra (Spain) in 2019. Next year the event will travel to the city of Almere (Netherlands), to be followed by Townsville (Australia) in 2021.www.triathlon.orglast_img read more

Images from TOUGHMAN NY Championship

first_imgThe 13th running of the TOUGHMAN NY Championship had an increased international flavour this year. Encouraged by the TOUGHMAN brand’s expansion in Latin America, there were 50 athletes from Chile racing in New York. 15 athletes from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic also raced.Taking place on Sunday, September 15, 2019, the TOUGHMAN Series Championship in Stony Point New York, 25 miles north of New York City, offers over US$30,000 in age-group awards, a US$4,950 cash purse (top 5) for qualifiers, a scenic bike course, and over 1,400 race support volunteers. The South America TOUGHMAN races that form the southern circuit for the event brand are: Futrono, Copiapo, Arica, Quillon and Iquique.Five overall winners from TOUGHMAN Chile raced in the elite wave, targeting the US$4950 prize purse. In addition, 12 kids from TOUGHKids Chile Arica raced in the TOUGHKids Championship on Saturday, September 14. This event had over 360 young athletes on the start liine.This year’s TOUGHMAN NY Championship was also the USAT NE Regional Youth Championship.www.TOUGHMANTri.comwww.TOUGHKidstri.com Relatedlast_img read more

Hutchinson unleashes the Kraken

first_img Related Leading tyre manufacturer Hutchinson Tires has launched the latest addition to its MTB range, the Kraken Racing Lab – the French brand’s new XC / Trail tyre.A new addition to the Hutchinson’s XC / Trail range, the Kraken Racing Lab is the result of close collaboration between designers, engineers and XC Hutchinson athletes. The company’s objective has been to develop a fast, agile and reliable tyre… ‘thanks to the addition of high lateral knobs to allow maximum confidence in cornering or upon rough terrain.’The architecture of the Kraken’s knobs has been inspired by the Skeleton, which is billed as ‘the ultimate tyre in terms of performance.’ Developed in 29 x 2.30, the volume of the Kraken allows riders to run lower pressures to bring ‘maximum comfort and calm in the most chaotic moments.’The ultimate goal with the Kraken was also to design a tyre that would not be exclusive, only for XC athletes say, but to expand its use to any mountain bike addict and trail lover.Available in two constructions, ‘ultra-light 127 TPI’ or ‘ultra-versatile 66 TPI’ coupled with Hardskin bead-to-bead reinforcement, the Kraken Racing Lab aims to meet the needs of performance addicts as well as XC marathon competitors or trail enthusiasts.The Kraken complements Hutchinson Racing Lab’s range, inaugurated last year with the Griffus.Prices are: Racing Lab without Hardskin Reinforcement: £39.95; and Racing Lab with Hardskin Reinforcement : £44.95.www.hutchinsontires.comlast_img read more

Therabody partners with ‘RED’ in fight against two pandemics

first_imgTherabody, formerly known as Theragun, has announced a new partnership with ‘RED’, the organization founded in 2006 to fight AIDS.Through a campaign titled ‘RECOVE(RED)’, Therabody is launching a range of ‘(THERABODY)RED’ products. These products will help to raise funds for the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response and (RED)’s fight to end AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.For every RED co-branded Theragun purchased, 2% of the purchase price goes directly to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response to reduce the threat of COVID-19 in communities and critical HIV/AIDS programs. The (PRODUCT)RED Theragun is available exclusively on Therabody.com as well as select retail locations for purchase.Jennifer Lotito, President & Chief Operating Officer at (RED), said “Therabody products are hugely popular with people around the world, and we are more than delighted to see these wellness products now do double-duty by also fighting pandemics with each and every purchase.“We’re grateful to the team for creating such a striking (RED) range, and excited to get these into people’s hands this fall.”Benjamin Nazarian, Chief Executive Officer at Therabody, said “We are proud and thrilled to be a partner of (RED). Giving back and supporting causes we believe in is rooted in our company’s DNA, and is a key pillar of our culture at Therabody.“As a tech wellness company, Therabody provides solutions that can help everybody live a fuller, healthier lifestyle. With (THERABODY)RED, we are not only supporting everyday needs through our wellness offerings, but we are also creating a unique opportunity for our community to give back through their purchase by providing essential life-saving medicine and access to healthcare to those that are in need.”The (PRODUCT)RED Theragun collection includes:(PRODUCT)RED Theragun PRO – RRP £549(PRODUCT)RED Theragun Elite – RRP £375(PRODUCT)RED Theragun mini – RRP £175In addition to (PRODUCT)RED Theragun, in early 2021 Therabody will also release a (PRODUCT)RED version of its USDA Certified Organic line of CBD products, TheraOne, with 2% of the purchase price going to support (RED)’s operations in the fight to end AIDS.www.therabody.com Relatedlast_img read more

Northeast Johnson County morning roundup

first_imgPhoto via SM East Athletics Twitter account.SM East boys tennis eeks out regionals win. SM East’s boys tennis team will look to three-peat as state 6A champions next week after edging out Blue Valley North for the regionals title Saturday. SM East took both first and second place in the singles competition, with senior Brooks Kendall defeating SM East sophomore Jack Santilli in the title match. The state tournament is this Friday and Saturday at Riverside Tennis Complex in Wichita.SM East girls swim team are Sunflower League champs. SM East’s girls swim and dive team earned their tenth straight Sunflower League title Saturday. With 330 team points, the Lancers had enough to hold off second place Lawrence Free State, who finished with 318. SM East’s 200 medley relay team of Sarah Allegri, Annie Mann, Bonnie Longan and Madeline Peters took first place with a 1:50.38, and Logan won the 100 backstroke with a 58.36. State competition will be May 23 and 24 in Topeka. SM East has won the state title each year since 2010.Roeland Park man finds live grenade in box of items from grandfather. A Roeland Park man’s discovery of a live grenade in a box of items his grandfather had brought him Sunday led emergency crews to evacuate eight homes in the vicinity as a bomb squad diffused the explosive. [Man finds live grenade in his home — KCTV5]Leadership Northeast celebrates 25th graduating class. The Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Northeast program recognizes its 25th anniversary this week — and the chamber is hoping alumni will help year’s graduates celebrate. The program’s 25th class will graduate this Thursday during the program’s traditional closing luncheon. The featured speaker is Ed O’Malley, CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center and a former state legislator. The event will be Thursday, May 15 at the DoubleTree of Overland Park. The lunch will run 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The cost is $35. RSVP to Lauren Vaughan at 913-262-2141 or lvaughan@nejcchamber.com.last_img read more

SM North NJROTC team sweeps qualifier event, headed for regional championships

first_imgThe SM North NJROTC Armed Regulation drill team competing in Oklahoma City qualifier.The SM North NJROTC team took the overall title at the Navy JROTC academic, athletic and drill regional qualifying meet in Oklahoma City this week by placing first in nine of the 11 events and second in the other two events.The win qualifies the SM North team for the regional championships in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Feb. 14. With a win in New Mexico, the team would mark its ninth consecutive regional championship in the 64-team region. A win at the regional championship also would qualify SM North for the National Championships for the 10th consecutive year. SM North placed second only in armed exhibition and the shuttle relay.SM East NJROTC students compete on a combined team with SM South and SM West. That team, which competes as SM West, finished fourth overall in Oklahoma City and also qualified for the regional championship. The team had a second place in armed regulation, and third in both academics and armed exhibition.The SM West NJROTC Unarmed Exhibition team (with SM East students) competing at the meet.last_img read more

St. Ann students selling raffle tickets for school’s largest fundraiser

first_imgSt. Ann Catholic School students are preparing for one of their community’s biggest celebrations of the year.The annual Tiger Trot raffle helps the school community pay for upgrades to St. Ann facilities and support programs at the school. Students are out selling $25 raffle tickets for the grand prize drawing to be held next Friday, April 29, at 2:30 p.m.The holder of the winning raffle ticket will win $2,500 — and the student who sells the winning ticket gets a $50 prize. There will also be a drawing for a $100 and a $250 prize. Weather permitting, St. Ann families will be gathering on the east side of the building for the big event next week where there will be a disc jockey playing music and an obstacle course set up for the students to run.You can find more info about purchasing Tiger Trot tickets here.last_img read more

Results of 2016 election show Interstate 435 the clear political boundary in Johnson County

first_imgA breakdown of last month’s presidential election vote further reinforces the sharp political boundary the Interstate 435 beltway has become in Johnson County.“When you look at Johnson County over the last decade the big divide is the 435 loop,” said Patrick Miller, a political science professor at the University of Kansas. “Clinton won most of the territory within that area.”It’s a very different Johnson County south and west of I-435. That sprawling area is solidly Republican although Miller said a bit of blue is creeping across 435.“That will be a trend to watch,” he observed.The overall Johnson County vote had President-elect Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton with 46.7 percent of the vote vs. 44.1 percent.Trump’s greatest level of support in Johnson County was 78 percent in one Overland Park precinct, his lowest was 20 percent in a Roeland Park precinct.Clinton’s best performance was 68 percent in one precinct in Fairway, her lowest was 24 percent in an Overland Park precinct.In the Third District Congressional race, which includes Johnson, Wyandotte and part of Miami counties, incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder defeated his challenger Jay Sidie with 51.3 percent of the vote vs. 40.6 percent.Sidie failed to win his own home turf of Mission Woods, losing to Yoder by 11 votes, 61-50.The average voter turnout for the county was 73 percent. It ranged from a high of 85 percent in one Mission precinct to a low of 53 percent in one precinct in Overland Park.Miller attributed the difference in voting patterns between Northeast Johnson County and the rest of Johnson County to different demographic patterns. Northeast JoCo has a comparatively higher education and income level, he said.And people have different preferences about how and where they want to live.“People who tend to identify themselves as more conservative look at bigger home lots, aren’t as interested in pubic transportation, larger cities or walkable communities,” he said. “They look at areas like Olathe, Gardener and south Overland Park.”Those choosing to live inside the 435 loop tend to be more interested in walkable neighborhoods and being close the big city amenities of Kansas City. The area also has a younger and more diverse population, Miller said.“People look for different kinds of cities and unconsciously form different ideologies,” he said.Miller also said what’s happening in Johnson County also is occurring in other metropolitan areas around the country with more Democrats being found in the older suburbs while Republicans trend toward the exurban area.last_img read more

Shawnee Mission students show strong at Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair

first_imgStuti Dalal receiving her award at this weekend’s Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair. Photo via Twitter.Two Shawnee Mission West students will advance to the Kansas BioGENEius Challenge finals later this year after taking Grand Awards in the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair over the weekend.Register to continuelast_img

Merriam mayoral candidates on the issues: What’s the biggest issue facing the city?

first_imgToday we continue publishing the Merriam mayoral candidates’ responses to our general election questionnaire. Here’s the third and final item:What’s the biggest challenge facing Merriam today, and what will you do over the next four years to address it?Ken Sissom (incumbent)The City of Merriam has a diverse grouping of residential communities. While there are a couple of exceptions, the majority of homes in Merriam were built more than 40 years ago and this fact can create special challenges going forward. As a city, we must do what we can to maintain, or in some cases, improve the integrity of our neighborhoods. As a city we must encourage our residents to maintain their properties and neighborhoods. We want to continue to attract new young families to Merriam because it is a great place to live. But we will not be successful if we allow blight to take hold, which tends to lead to increases in crime.We recently created a Neighborhood Services Manager position in City Hall in order to reach out to offer help and guidance for these communities. This employee acts as liaison between the neighborhoods and City Hall in an effort to solve code problems or nuisances through cooperation, to reduce the need for enforcement. We are searching for solutions to problem area by working alongside with residents. Our challenge will be to make sure that our streets, sidewalk, parks and facilities are highly maintained while building and improving relationships with our neighborhoods so that we can influence the necessary changes that will improve property values and the quality of lives for our residents.Eric JacksonThe biggest challenge facing Merriam today is the continuation of frivolous spending under the theory that our sales tax will somehow bail us out. That approach can only end badly for us. Instead, spend wisely and focus on our basic needs (which many citizens say are not being met) and infrastructure. A related concern is over-use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF). I will work to curtail this practice. I’ve seen estimates that our city is losing 35% of potential income in TIF dollars. The difference is made up by the average wage earner.That was our final question for the Merriam mayoral candidates. Thanks to both for their participation.last_img read more

Democrats vying for Yoder’s seat in Congress spell out priorities at candidate forum

first_imgForum attendees enduring a lack of air conditioning after a power outage from a storm the morning of the forum.Six candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the Kansas Third Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives gave their take on the country’s major issues and how to solve them.Democrats and supporters gathered Saturday afternoon in the auditorium of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church to hear from each of the candidates at the forum, which was hosted by the group Swing Left. Despite the power loss and lack of air conditioning caused by an early-morning thunderstorm, the room was packed for nearly two hours while supporters greeted the candidates and heard their political stances on topics including climate change, healthcare, social security funding and campaign finance laws.Here’s a summary of the priorities the candidates discussed.Sharice DavidsHoping to bring diversity and a new voice in Congress, Davids spoke of “changing the face of Kansas politics.” Davids said she would sponsor the bill to expand and improve Medicare, but she stressed the need to elect a president who will actually sign it. She supports funding schools in an equitable way and investing in preschool education opportunities.“As somebody who spent time in transportation, I will fight tooth and nail to get us to invest in our infrastructure so that we can have the pathways to opportunity,” Davids said. “because transportation touches every aspect of our lives.”Davids recommends protecting Social Security by electing new members of Congress. She added that the phaseout of Social Security is “troubling” because people who make less money end up paying more into their Social Security than others who make six figures. She also spoke against recognizing corporations as people with First Amendment rights and looking into publicly financed elections.Mike McCamonWith experience in the tech and nonprofit sectors, McCamon stressed the need for all elected officials to know when to stand their ground and when to compromise in order to accomplish things. McCamon said he would advocate for the U.S. to have half of all of its energy by renewable resources by 2030 and to outlaw gasoline- and diesel-powered automobiles “entirely.”Citing the complex issue of healthcare, McCamon said he would seek realistic options by first advocating to negotiate better prices with Medicare and also provide freedom of choice in healthcare options. Funding Social Security and Medicare are important, but constituents in the 3rd District are concerned about accountability and transparency issues around the budgeting, McCamon said.“I think the thing we’re all sick and tired of is the gridlock in Washington,” McCamon said, adding that he would work with other members of Congress to resolve the issue and fund Social Security.“It’s very simple to see that Social Security should be well funded; it’s your money. It’s not an entitlement,” he said.McCamon would also like to see candidates “go on a diet” by limiting their campaign spending, especially in the primary election.Tom NiermannAs an educator with concerns about gun violence and healthcare, Niermann emphasized the importance of electing a middle-class officer to represent the middle and working classes. Niermann recommended taking the lead on climate change as a global issue by ending subsidies and tax incentives for the fossil fuel industry — and use that money to encourage renewable energy sources such as wind power.He also supports universal healthcare, citing massive debts by Americans who are still paying for healthcare. He recommended equity in public education “because that is the basis for opportunity;” and he said he would advocate for federal funding for infrastructure projects.The first step in addressing campaign finance law issues is to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, which allows corporations to have unlimited political spending.“That court case allows billionaires and corporations to purchase legislators, and I think our current representative is a classic example of a legislator who has been purchased by billionaires,” Niermann said, adding that he hopes to take the money out of politics.Jay SidieBased on his previous experience running for the Third Congressional District seat in 2016, Sidie recommended seeking votes from unaffiliated voters who are less engaged with politics than Democrats or Republicans. Sidie wants to push economic efforts for green energy and remove subsidies tax breaks for the nonrenewable energy industry. He said he thinks fixing America’s healthcare problem is not that complicated because “other countries are doing it very successfully.” The key is driving costs down without upheaving the whole system.Sidie said he believes income and equality are major factors that touch every facet of American opportunity, such as education and healthcare. He supports Social Security, and “to pull the rug out at this stage of their lives is deplorable.”“If I’m elected to Congress, I’ll make sure I fight for the people that deserve their Social Security — because it’s just horrible that we’re even talking about it,” Sidie said. “There’s ways to fix it. It wasn’t that Social Security was a problem; they just spent your money. They’ve spent the money on unfunded wars and given tax breaks to rich people. Why should the people that put all that money in pay for those mistakes? It can’t happen, not on my watch.”Sidie also suggested designing publicly funded elections.Brent WelderAn advocate for workers’ rights and the underserved, Welder spoke of his experience working with President Barack Obama and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Stressing that “science is real,” Welder believes “unfettered corporate greed” causes climate change.“The giant corporations, the billionaires, that do not care about you, that do not care about your children, would rather poison our drinking water, would rather poison the air that we breathe, than to spend a little bit of money to be able to dispose of their waste in an environmentally conscious way,” Welder said.He also said he would support universal healthcare, a $15 minimum wage, debt-free college and early childhood education opportunities. Reforming campaign finance laws is Welder’s top priority, he said, citing Bernie Sanders’s campaign and advocating to “ban big corporate money altogether from politics.”Sylvia WilliamsAfter learning that she earned only half of what her male counterparts made in corporate America, Williams came out strongly in favor of equal pay and paid family leave. She said she would like to reinstate the Paris Climate Agreement, make changes to Environmental Protection Agency operations (such as hiring a new director) and investing in clean resources in Kansas, such as wind energy. Williams said she would support expanding healthcare, but also recommended government oversight of the pharmaceutical drug industry.Williams supports modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act and finding ways to fix Social Security funding now.“It is the perfect time to do it,” Williams said. “Large corporations just got the biggest tax cut — more than they ever dreamed of getting — so we actually have an opportunity here. Now is the time to say we’re lifting the cap on the employer side of FICA. That is how you save Social Security and Medicare.”Williams suggested reforming campaign finance laws by removing tax-exempt status for 501(c)4 organizations. By doing so, the Internal Revenue Service would have audit oversight, and donors would “be a lot more nervous” about donating to these corporations.Primary is August 7First time voters can still register to vote in the in the August 7 primary through July 17.You can find information about how to register to vote in the primary elections via the Johnson County Election Office website here.last_img read more

Dub and Jules Siegel of Sublime BBQ take home grand championship at 38th Great Lenexa BBQ Battle

first_imgJules and Dub Siegel (center) of Sublime BBQ took home the grand championship at the 38th annual Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle. Also pictured are the Siegels’ sons Liam and Ronan, and family friend Cody Farmer (right). Photo credit city of LenexaFor two years in a row, Dub and Jules Siegel of Sublime BBQ were reserve grand champions — also known as second place — at The Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle, but they hadn’t yet taken home the grand championship.This year, that all changed.Dub has been going to watch the BBQ battle every year since he was a teen. He remembers great teams like Slaughterhouse Five achieving the highest accolades in the local competition.Now, his team is one of them.“For me, it was like a bucket list item, one of those contests I had to win at some point,” he said. “It’s just amazing to finally get this one.”The Siegels, alongside their two sons, Ronan and Liam, and family friend Cody Farmer, all had a hand in the 38th annual barbecue competition. As a result, the Olathe family made top marks in chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket.“Both of our sons were there helping, and having us all together there to win, they know what a big deal it is,” Jules Siegel said. “Both of them getting to be there with us and celebrate was a lot of fun.“It’s a great community; we have a lot of friends that make it a lot of fun to go out and do it year after year. We call them barbecue family.”The Siegels have been competing in The Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle for the past six years. At first, Jules wasn’t really interested, but after the first competition, she began leaning into it more and took a barbecue class. The very next year, they ranked in the top 10.“This was our hobby. A lot of people go to the lake or they do other things besides sit in parking lots and cook barbecue,” Dub said. “I grew up around barbecue here in Kansas City, so it’s something I knew that I wanted to do.”Jules said they started to have “real success” when Dub began building the smokers they compete on. He built the grand championship smoker in two weeks before competing in the American Royal World Series of Barbecue last year. He has built smokers for other teams as well.“You put in all this hard work and labor to mold something from the raw materials into a finished product, and you get to go out there and use it,” Dub Siegel said. “You’ve got people telling you how nice it looks and all that, and then you get to show them how well it actually functions.”Winning the grand championship was also a bittersweet moment for Dub.“The bitter part was just falling short of winning the contest the last two years, and the sweet was persevering through to the win,” he said. “It takes a lot of time and dedication from the moment you start planning and preparing for a contest all the way down to the turn ins for the four main KCBS categories.”last_img read more

Best Bets for the Weekend: Fall festivals, Michael J. Fox, party at the library

first_imgThe Overland Park Fall Festival in downtown.There are definitely no shortage of ways to celebrate this fall, whether it’s venturing out to an autumnal festival or gathering around the television cheering on our amazing Chiefs. Here’s some of the most fun things happening this weekend in our Northeast Johnson County neck of the woods…The Overland Park Fall Festival is always a great time, but especially when it actually feels like fall. Check out the parade through Downtown Overland Park, the sweet arts and crafts fair, the always lovely Farmers’ Market, three stages of concerts and lots of food on Saturday.We’ve always found Pumpkin Hollow at Deanna Rose to be a nice and low-key experience to grab pumpkins and have some fall fun. It starts this weekend.It’s about time we all took another visit Back to the Future. On Saturday Shawnee Mission Park hosts Evening in the Park, with food, drink and M-80’s, a 1980’s tribute band. Additionally, September is Deaf Awareness Month and JCPRD welcomes members of the Deaf Community to enjoy closed captioning for the movie.I honestly don’t know what we’d do without the Johnson County Library. It would be hard for me to overstate the impact it has had on our family’s life. This Saturday is the library’s major fundraiser, Library Lets Loose. It’s a great way to have fun and support this wonderful community resource.last_img read more

Overland Park considers overhauling regulations for business, residential signs

first_imgOverland Park officials are considering a slew of changes to the rules governing all kinds of signs – from digital displays to real estate and political signs.The city’s planning staff presented the results of over three years of work overhauling the city’s sign ordinance on Monday to a joint meeting of city council and planning commission members.The most noticeable change involves a new category of “incidental signs” that would include the ubiquitous leasing signs at apartment complexes. The proposed ordinance requires a permit for those types of signs and allows them to be 20 square feet, building or ground mounted and non-illuminated.Existing signs that don’t meet the new requirements would have to be removed by Jan. 1, 2022, under the proposed new rules.Governing digital signsThe rule is meant to give some uniformity to a type of sign that may have started out as temporary but ends up staying on display, said city planner Danielle Hollrah.“We’re seeing some of these year after year. They are permanent but not necessarily maintained,” she said. The new rule would put some design standards on those types of signs.Other rules under consideration would address the evolution of technology and the law. For example, the city would not categorize sign rules based on content and would no longer restrict the content or message on signs.Changes in sign technology also were a factor. Over the past three years, council members and planners have struggled to decide what types of digital light displays should be allowed, since that technology didn’t exist when the current ordinance was written.The proposed change would allow residents to have up to three stake signs, like the ones used for political candidates or garage sales.The brightly lit drive-thru menu boards at fast food restaurants, digital monument signs at the BluHawk development and the large light displays atop the City Place buildings were all subjects of prolonged debate before being approved.The new proposed ordinance codifies those types of signs, with some restrictions. Building-mounted displays like those at City Place require permits, a setback from the highway and are limited to 10 percent of the façade, with other restrictions on movement and brightness.Monument signs like those at BluHawk also would require permits, spacing and restrictions on the brightness and hold times.Other proposed changesGas stations and residential developments also would have some new rules. The monument signs at gas stations would become a thing of the past, but they could be replaced by incidental signs, or a digital display on the canopy. Residential developments would no longer be able to have subdivision signs in entry medians.Existing signs at gas stations and residential developments wouldn’t have to come down, though. Under the proposal, they could stay as “nonconforming” signs that must be maintained, but could not be replaced.Other proposed changes:Residents could have up to three “stake signs” (like a garage sale or political sign) for a total of nine square feet, with an additional sign possible for corner lots and a for sale or lease sign.Commercial and office buildings could have more signs on their façades, with more flexibility for whether the building is multi-story or multi-tenant.Billboards would get longer special use permits, going from the current three years to five. Overland Park has fewer than ten billboards, Hollrah said.The meeting Monday was informational only. The Planning Commission is set to discuss the ordinance Nov. 9 and the full City Council is scheduled to take it up Dec. 7.last_img read more

SYNNEX Raises Over $2 Million for South Carolina Charities in 2019

first_imgSYNNEX’s Share the Magic fundraiser initiative topped $2,063,680 in 2019 for four South Carolina-based charities, including A Child’s Haven, Clement’s Kindness, Make-A-Wish South Carolina, and Pendleton Place. In the last eight years of holding this fundraiser, Synnex has raised more than $12 million cumulatively.“We are very proud of surpassing the $12 million milestone — an achievement that would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of our associates, local organizations and individuals and business partners,” Peter Larocque, president of North America Technology Solutions at Synnex Corporation said. “By rallying together, we continue to have a lasting impact while helping four deserving Upstate charities better serve children and families.”Here are some of the Share the Magic Milestones:A Child’s Haven opened an additional classroom providing the opportunity to treat more children daily and deliver nearly 13,000 hours of group therapy each year.Clement’s Kindness has been able to transform the level of care of pediatric oncology and hematology patients across the Upstate. Additionally, they have been able to fund $50,000 more towards a therapy dog at the St. Francis Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Center and donate more than $430,000 to build the Dr. Cary E. Stroud Camper Care Center at Camp Courage.Make-A-Wish South Carolina granted 209 wishes in 2019, providing kids with hope, renewed energy and strength, while aiding them in facing their conditions and in healing. The transformational experience of a wish also unites communities and brings families closer together.Pendleton Place opened Greenville’s first Youth Drop-in Center for homeless, at-risk youth and provided hundreds of healthy meals to teenagers in foster care.See related  And That’s a Wrap(up)! Highlights from the SYNNEX LAVNCH DaysSYNNEX Share the Magic is an annual fundraising initiative created by SYNNEX Corporation to provide the much-needed funding for Upstate, South Carolina children and youth facing incredible challenges such as life-threatening illnesses, abuse, neglect or developmental delays. Since its inception in 2011, more than $12 million has been raised to fund programs that give Upstate children and their families the tools and resources they need to build better lives.Here is more information about Share the Magic.last_img read more

Want to Learn More About the Industry’s Only Proposed AV-over-IP Standard, IPMX?

first_imgThe Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) launched a new website Monday dedicated to the alliance’s Internet Protocol Media Experience (IPMX) proposed set of open standards and specifications.“The IPMX website makes it easy for anyone to learn more about this exciting approach to AV over IP,” said David Chiappini, working group chair, Pro AV Workgroup at AIMS. “In addition to outlining the fundamentals of IPMX and the benefits it enables, the website provides up-to-date information on related events and presentations by industry experts. The site is a one-stop shop for those interested in finding out more about IPMX and how it can be implemented within their operations.”Implementing a standards-based approach built on SMPTE ST 2110, IPMX proposes open standards and specifications designed to enable carriage of compressed and uncompressed video-, audio- and data-over-IP networks. The proposed IPMX roadmap also includes specifications beneficial to ProAV installations, such as AMWA NMOS IS-04 for discovery and registration and AMWA NMOS IS-05 for connection management and others for copy protection and security.The new AIMS website details the proposed IPMX road map, provides further information about the standards on which it is based and offers educational and reference materials including AIMS presentations, news and white papers focusing on IP for the media and ProAV industries.last_img read more

Esports Education Investments Endure and Grow Amid Budget Restrictions

first_imgBy Chris Bull Futuresource ConsultingThroughout 2020, esports has been one of the most notable champions amid stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies. The industry has thrived, but it has certainly changed course from its pre-COVID trajectory, and even more so for its application in K-12 and higher education.When we talk about esports and education, most market activity happens within higher education. This happens both as part of formal vocational engagement through business and event management modules, but also as undergraduate courses with the study of esports as a subject at the fore. It also presents itself informally via student societies, nonprofit league events and through educational integrators. The varying degree against which these elements are emphasized also reveals the regional differences that explain the development of esports within the education segment.Western Europe and North America as Most Developed Esports MarketsAccording to Futuresource Consulting’s latest esports report, Western Europe and North America are, at present, the two most mature and developed esports education markets. As of 2020, they account for approximately 60% of global install base of dedicated esports computing hardware. Despite rapid projected growth from the APAC region, these two Western markets are receiving a COVID-related boost, as higher education seeks out new drive factors for student engagement and courses that will attract and retain prospective students. Successful emerging undergraduate courses at both Salford and Chichester University in the U.K. are demonstrating the potential for other universities to formally integrate and produce an esports offering.The Differing Drive Factors Between APAC and Western MarketsThe drive factors for the APAC region are distinct from those in Western markets. In APAC, education integrators play a much greater role as they seek to augment the already existing curriculum using gaming as a tool, rather than having gaming as the subject in and of itself. Organizations such as Code Warriors in India and SCOGA in Singapore are active in this application and focus on K-12 interactions. These partners work directly with schools to demonstrate the educational value of gaming in the classroom and help open up the sector to consider more formal integrations of esports generally.However, the overwhelming majority of esports market growth within APAC is accounted for by the Chinese market — as a rapidly growing commercial opportunity too. A nationwide study of esports in China published by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security found that on average, 81% of those working in the esports industry had salaries approximately three times higher than that of the local average. Alongside this, the study also showed that approximately 15% of those within the industry held an undergraduate university degree or higher. There are clear concerns about whether the educational supply of skilled graduates can presently accommodate the soaring demand of the esports industry, which is continuously soaking up talent and work. This explains why there is a large scale and sustained investment in esports programs and courses, particularly at the Shandong Lanxiang Vocational School, but also at the Beijing Geely University. This will continue following investments in the commercial sector, as well as through China’s growing internet café industry, which takes its lead from South Korea’s similar PC-Bang culture.See related  Here’s How the Corona Tag Can Get Us Back to Work SafelyTightened Budgets in LATAM and EMEA in light of COVID-19The developing world in both LATAM and MEA has been heavily impacted in terms of esports educational investment; this is the result of tightening budgets following each country’s COVID-19 response and a comparatively low level of device penetration within the classroom. This does not mean that it has stalled however, as the focus point will move away from desktops and mobile-PCs, pivoting towards smartphone usage. This is already popular in these markets in the commercial sector and will account for the main method of interaction for gamers generally to interact with esports. Smartphone usage drastically cuts the entry cost for consumers to engage with esports and presents a simple, quick way to setup an esports enabled classroom environment.Around the world every market is embracing esports with variance according to the particularities of digital infrastructure and labour market qualities related to local conditions. Some markets are emphasizing higher education integration, particularly in markets where esports is established as a mature commercial industry, while others are using it as a tool for augmented learning outcomes and engaging students that otherwise struggle to remain invested in education. The integration of esports into the education segment will also include a wide range of devices, from smartphones and high-powered workstation desktops through to mid-range PCs for less competitive gaming.last_img read more

Vivitek Adds Two New New Wireless Collaboration NovoProjectors

first_imgVivitek has announced that it is launching two NovoProjectors, the DH3665ZN and DH858N, both of which feature integrated NovoConnect wireless collaboration capabilities. These projectors are designed to be all-in-one solutions and feature on-board wireless presentation and moderator function, making them ideally suited for the BYOD era without additional equipment. It’s possible to display up to four screens simultaneously, allowing for up to 64 people to participate in a meeting. In addition, the new projectors provide cross-platform compatibility with Windows, MacOS, Ubuntu, Android, iOS and Chromebook. Internal meeting participants can connect via the app or the NovoConnect software, while guests can use the Plug & Play USB Launcher. A new connection option, available throughout the entire NovoConnect range, is the possibility of direct mirroring of content via a web browser on this NovoConnect site.Both NovoProjectors feature Full-HD 1080p resolution, as well as DLP and BrilliantColor technology with a light output of 4,500 lumens. The Vivitek DH3665ZN uses a laser light source, while the Vivitek DH858N is a classic lamp projector.The NovoProjector DH3665ZN is ideal for long-term applications. With its laser light source, it has a service life of up to 30,000 operating hours at constant brightness and can easily guarantee 24/7 operation. The lamp-free design also has the advantage of high standard IP6X/IP5X anti-dust compliance. It also boasts excellent color performance of Rec 709 (95%) and virtually instantaneous image reproduction with a 360° projection angle.Vivitek says the NovoProjector DH858N is ideally suited for use in multiple rooms. By utilizing image correction via geometric adjustment of the four image corners and horizontal/vertical keystone correction as well as a 1.5x zoom ratio. The installation effort for this projector is reduced to a minimum, resulting in a seamless set-up process and deployment. Furthermore, it can be controlled either remotely via the IT network or, thanks to the new On-Screen-Display (OSD), directly on the device. The lamp has a service life of up to 4,000 operating hours, and, with viviBlack, the black level is increased, thus improving the contrast ratio.The purchase of every NovoProjector also includes a free LauncherOne included in the price until the end of the year. The LauncherOne enables guests or team members to connect instantly by establishing a secure wireless connection from laptops to the NovoProjector. The LauncherOne is specifically designed for companies with a strict Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy. It prevents unauthorized data transfer, keeps company’s information protected and ensures safe wireless communication with AES-256 encryption.The Vivitek DH3665ZN is available immediately at an RRP of GBP 1,690.00 (excl. VAT) and the Vivitek DH858N at an RRP of GBP 1,250.00 (excl. VAT).Learn more about Vivitek’s NovoConnect product line here.last_img read more

Home of the Second Chance: ‘We don’t judge; We help’

first_imgby. Adam MertzOver the last seven years, St. Louis Community Credit Union has gained prominence for its ambitious and solution-driven approach to serving low- and modest-income consumers in a market full of them.The $237 million asset credit union, which boasts 51,712 members, won the 2013 CUNA Community Credit Union of the Year award among institutions under $250 million in assets. Paul Woodruff, vice president of community development for St. Louis Community, discusses with Credit Union Magazine the philosophies that have earned the credit union respect throughout the movement.Credit Union Magazine: Why did St. Louis Community CU dial up its efforts to serve the underserved?Woodruff: We were turning away hundreds of people a month who wanted access to the mainstream accounts, but they couldn’t get it. We also started to see an increase in members who used payday loans and lenders, which strips wealth out of the community.If there’s no alternative to that, people are going to keep using those services, and make the situation even worse. And a part of that is, if they’ve got loan obligations with us, and all their money’s being taken by the payday lenders, that’s a losing proposition for our institution. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

T-Mobile wants to eat your lunch

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by. Robert McGarveyNew mobile competitors are calling, and they want your lunch.How many nibbles can a credit union absorb before its sustenance is devoured by hungry competitors?  That’s the question financial tech guru Jim Marous, senior vice president, business development at New Control, asks.“You can’t sit there and do nothing. The marketplace is changing completely. You need to take action to defend yourself,” Marous said.That is why Marous pointedly asks: Does T-Mobile want to steal 30% of your customers?Mobile Money, introduced by T-Mobile in late January, is the immediate threat. A mobile app coupled with a prepaid Visa card, the product does not presently involve paper checks but, beyond that, it can do much of what a conventional share draft account can do. continue reading »last_img read more

Migrant workers find an ally in California

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CU takes measures to protect this vulnerable population.For Roxy Ostrem, the last straw was when the check-cashing truck pulled up to the edge of the Boskovich Farm in 2010, enticing migrant workers with quick cash, only to supply them with a raft of counterfeit bills.That’s when Ostrem—the farm’s quality control manager, chair of the Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) board of directors, and co-founder of the World Council of Credit Unions’ Global Women’s Leadership Network—decided it was high time to protect this largely unbanked population.VCCU leapt into action with an aggressive outreach program spearheaded by CEO Joe Schroeder and Ostrem. It has made a giant impact in the agricultural hotbed, which relies heavily on migrant workers to churn out $2 billion of berries and other produce annually.“We just said, ‘Enough is enough,’” explains Natalie Bradley, community development manager for the $660 million asset credit union in Ventura, Calif.The credit union promises to break down more barriers in coming years after expanding in 2013 to serve five additional employer groups and a sizable population of indigenous workers from Mexico. continue reading »last_img read more

Mobility Matters: Death of the branch

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by. Robert McGarveySurvey results make clear exactly how fast branches are becoming obsolete.Three in 10 Americans have not visited a bank or credit union branch in the past six months, according to a survey conducted for Bankrate.com.What is dazzling is that there are not significant generational differences, said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst. continue reading »last_img read more

In a subprime bubble for used cars, borrowers pay sky-high rates

first_imgby. Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael CorkeryRodney Durham stopped working in 1991, declared bankruptcy and lives on Social Security. Nonetheless, Wells Fargo lent him $15,197 to buy a used Mitsubishi sedan.“I am not sure how I got the loan,” Mr. Durham, age 60, said.Mr. Durham’s application said that he made $35,000 as a technician at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, N.Y., according to a copy of the loan document. But he says he told the dealer he hadn’t worked at the hospital for more than three decades. Now, after months of Wells Fargo pressing him over missed payments, the bank has repossessed his car.This is the face of the new subprime boom. Mr. Durham is one of millions of Americans with shoddy credit who are easily obtaining auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. The loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers. The surge in lending and the lack of caution resemble the frenzied subprime mortgage market before its implosion set off the 2008 financial crisis. continue reading » 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Military credit unions cast watchful eye on DoD Lending Rule

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Marc RapportCredit unions and the military have a long shared history, and financial institutions based on bases are paying particular attention to proposed new rules some worry could limit how they extend credit to credit-challenged service members.Now in the comment phase, here’s how the changes are described in the September announcement from the Department of Defense “The new proposed actions are designed to apply the protections of the Military Lending Act to all forms of payday loans, vehicle title loans, refund anticipation loans, deposit advance loans, installment loans, unsecured open-end lines of credit, and credit cards.”The NCUA says the changes go beyond that agency’s own rules and could shut down some alternative lending programs that credit unions currently offer service members. Military-focused credit unions generally say they’re in a wait-and-see mode on the new rules, and several told creditunions.com their products wouldn’t run afoul of the new rules anyway.However, many are working with the trades and the DoD to offer input and limit the potential fallout from the rules, which could take effect sometime next year. A leader in that effort says credit unions on and around military installations already do the right thing, especially in protecting members against predatory lenders. “We feel the rules in place today have been effective,” says Arty Arteaga, president/CEO of the Defense Credit Union Council. continue reading »last_img read more

Briefs

first_img Briefs ROSENTHAL & LEVY RECENTLY hosted a contribution drive on behalf of United for Families. The drive yielded baby items including furniture, toys, clothing, and diapers. The donations were collected at Rosenthal & Levy’s Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach offices and donated to United for Families for use by the community-based agency’s foster care homes and providers. “This agency fills a crucial and specific need on the Treasure Coast,” said the firm’s Steve Simon. “My law firm is committed to partnering with community based organizations that make a difference.” United for Families was created in 2002 to provide foster care and related services to all children known to have been neglected or abused in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties. Its mission is to break the cycle of child abuse through a diverse network of community partners and innovative services. THE PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR recently honored five local middle and high school students with its Second Annual Mediation Poster and Essay Contest. “The contest was held in conjunction with Mediation Week as a way to educate students on the meaning of this legal process, which is an alternative to solving disputes without hiring a lawyer and without going to court,” said Jay Hunston, chair for the PBCB’s Alternative Resolution Committee. More than 165 students researched the concept of mediation and submitted their artwork depicting the process. The students also wrote short essays describing the meaning of their posters. The three high school winners are: First place, Sarah Blanc, 11th grade from Dreyfoos School of the Arts; second place, Errol Sabinano, 11th grade from Dreyfoos School of the Arts; and third place, Veronica Valega, 12th grade from South Tech Academy. Britney Tomsula from Boca Middle School received first place in the middle school category; and Lorena Lopez from Congress Middle School received second place. Winners each received a certificate, along with a cash prize of $75 for first place and $50 for second and third place. Also present are Charles Damsel, Dr. Bernard Shulman, Catherine Eaton, and Manny Farach, president of the Palm Beach County Bar. ABA BUSINESS LAW SECTION recently held its Legal Opinion Risk Seminar in New York, the first major conference on legal opinions since the Silverado Conference 17 years ago. The invitation only program was limited to 100 attendees and was chaired by Arthur Field of New York and Judge Thomas Ambro of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section was one of the co-sponsors. Leonard Gilbert (Tampa) served as a member of the planning committee. A follow-up program will be held in New York in April. Also included are Field, Robert Pass of Tallahassee; Philip Schwartz of Miami; Gilbert of Tampa; and Karen Mathis, president of the American Bar Association. THE ANNUAL REAL PROPERTY PRO BONO SEMINAR, cosponsored by Legal Aid, the Dade County Bar Young Lawyers Section, and Real Property Committee, was recently held at the Dade County Courthouse and explored topics such as real estate closings, landlord/tenant issues, predatory lending, ethics, and litigation. More than 68 attorneys attended, and most agreed to take a pro bono case in lieu of an admission fee. The speakers included Ana Camacho, Barbara Lanshe, Alain Lecusay, Oscar Sanchez, Aida Lanela, Carlos Ruga, and Barnaby Min. ORANGE COUNTY JUDGE Antoinette Plogstedt and Orlando Commissioner Phil Diamond participated in Florida’s attempt to break the record for the largest number of people to read the same piece of literature aloud, simultaneously, in multiple locations, according to Guinness World Records. Judge Plogstedt and Diamond, a lawyer, certified the results of a middle school in Orlando. From 11-11:30 a.m. on September 28, tens of thousands of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in Florida schools and libraries, watched a live public Web cast from Disney’s MGM Studios. During the program, Gov. Jeb Bush led a statewide read-aloud using an excerpt from the book Peter and the Starcatchers. December 1, 2006 Regular News Briefslast_img read more

Proposed e-servce rule

first_imgwho have designated an email address for service. < p> (2) When a final judgment is entered against a party in default, the court must mail a conformed copy of it to the party. The party in whose favor the judgment is entered must furnish the court with a copy of the judgment, unless it is prepared by the court, and with the address of the party to be served. If the address is unknown, the copy need not be furnished. < p> (3) This subdivision is directory and a failure to comply with it does not affect the order or judgment, its finality, or any proceedings arising in the action. (b) Service; How Made. When service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney, service must be made upon the attorney unless service upon the party is ordered by the court. < p> (1) Service by Electronic Mail (“Email”). All documents required or permitted to be served on another party must be served by email, unless this rule otherwise provides. When, in addition to service by email, the sender also utilizes another means of service provided for in subdivision (b)(2), any differing time limits and other provisions applicable to that other means of service control. < p> (A) Service on Attorneys. Upon appearing in a proceeding, an attorney must serve a designation of a primary email address and may designate no more than two secondary email addresses. Thereafter, service must be directed to all designated email addresses in that proceeding. Every document filed by an attorney thereafter must include the primary email address of that attorney and any secondary email addresses. If an attorney does not designate any email address for service, documents may be served on that attorney at the email address on record with The Florida Bar. < p> (B) Exception to Email Service on Attorneys. Service by an attorney on another attorney must be made by email unless excused by the court. Upon motion by an attorney demonstrating that the attorney has no email account and lacks access to the Internet at the attorney’s office, the court may excuse the attorney from the requirements of email service. Service on and by an attorney excused by the court from email service must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2) October 15, 2010 Regular News (i) All documents served by email must be attached to an email message containing a subject line beginning with RULE 2.516 SERVICE OF PLEADINGS AND DOCUMENTS Proposed e-service rule ________________________ . Unless the court otherwise orders, or a statute or supreme court administrative order specifies a different means of service, every pleading subsequent to the initial pleading and every other document filed in any court proceeding, except applications for witness subpoenas and documents served by formal notice or required to be served in the manner provided for service of formal notice, must be served in accordance with this rule on each party. No service need be made on parties against whom a default has been entered, except that pleadings asserting new or additional claims against them must be served in the manner provided for service of summons. service by email, service may also be made upon attorneys by any of the means specified in this subdivision (b)(2). Service on and by all parties who are not represented by an attorney and who do not designate an email address, and on and by all attorneys excused from email service, must be made by delivering a copy of the document or by mailing it to the party or attorney at their last known address or, if no address is known, by leaving it with the clerk of the court. Service by mail is complete upon mailing. Delivery of a copy within this rule is complete upon: < p> (A) handing it to the attorney or to the party, < p> (B) leaving it at the attorney’s or party’s office with a clerk or other person in charge thereof, < p> (C) if there is no one in charge, leaving it in a conspicuous place therein, < p> (D) if the office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at the person’s usual place of abode with some person of his or her family above 15 years of age and informing such person of the contents, or < p> (E) transmitting it by facsimile to the attorney’s or party’s office with a cover sheet containing the sender’s name, firm, address, telephone number, and facsimile number, and the number of pages transmitted. When service is made by facsimile, a copy must also be served by any other method permitted by this rule. Facsimile service occurs when transmission is complete. < p> (F) Service by delivery after 5:00 p.m. must be deemed as if it had been made by mailing on the date of delivery. < p>(c) (E) Format of Email for Service. Service of a document by email is made by attaching a copy of the document in PDF format to an email sent to all addresses designated by the attorney or party. Service; Numerous Defendants. In actions when the parties are unusually numerous, the court may regulate the service contemplated by these rules on motion or on its initiative in such manner as may be found to be just and reasonable. < p>(d)center_img (2) Service by Other Means. In addition to, and not in lieu of, the certificate is taken as prima facie proof of such service in compliance with this rule. < p> (g) Service by Clerk. Service of notices and other documents required to be made by the clerk must also be done as provided in subdivision (b). < p> (h) Service of Orders. < p> (1) A copy of all orders or judgments must be transmitted by the court or under its direction to all parties at the time of entry of the order or judgment. No service need be made on parties against whom a default has been entered except orders setting an action for trial and final judgments that must be prepared and served as provided in subdivision (h)(2). The court may require that orders or judgments be prepared by a party, may require the party to furnish the court with stamped, addressed envelopes for service of the order or judgment, and may require that proposed orders and judgments be furnished to all parties before entry by the court of the order or judgment. The court may serve any order or judgment by email to all attorneys who have not been excused from email service and to all parties not represented by an attorney Attorney” (a) Service; When Required Filing. All original documents must be filed with the court either before service or immediately thereafter, unless otherwise provided for by general law or other rules. If the original of any bond or other document is not placed in the court file, a certified copy must be so placed by the clerk. < p> (e) Filing Defined. The filing of documents with the court as required by these rules must be made by filing them with the clerk, except that the judge may permit documents to be filed with the judge, in which event the judge must note the filing date before him or her on the documents and transmit them to the clerk. The date of filing is that shown on the face of the document by the judge’s notation or the clerk’s time stamp, whichever is earlier. < p> (f) Certificate of Service. When any attorney certifies in substance: < p>“I certify that a copy hereof has been furnished to (here insert name or names and addresses used for service) by (email) (delivery) (mail) (fax) on. ….(date)…… Proposed e-servce rule (i) An email is deemed served on the date it is sent. < p> (ii) If the sender learns that the email did not reach the address of the person to be served, the sender must immediately send another copy by email, or by a means authorized by subdivision (b)(2) of this rule. < p> (iii) Email service is treated as service by mail for the computation of time. of this rule. < p> (C) Service on and by Parties Not Represented by an Attorney. Any party not represented by an attorney may serve a designation of a primary email address and also may designate no more than two secondary email addresses to which service must be directed in that proceeding by the means provided in subdivision (b)(1) of this rule. If a party not represented by an attorney does not designate an email address for service in a proceeding, service on and by that party must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2) of this rule. < p> (D) Time of Service. Service by email is complete when it is sent. the words “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT” in all capital letters, followed by the case number of the proceeding in which the documents are being served. < p> (ii) The body of the email must identify the court in which the proceeding is pending, the case number, the name of the initial party on each side, the title of each document served with that email, and the sender’s name and telephone number. < p> (iii) Any document served by email may be signed by the “/s” format, as long as the filed original is signed in accordance with the applicable rule of procedure. < p> (iv) Any email which, together with its attached documents, exceeds five megabytes (5MB) in size, must be divided and sent as separate emails, no one of which may exceed 5MB in size and each of which must be sequentially numbered in the subject line.last_img read more

One lawyer’s close encounter with fraudster Scott Rothstein

first_imgOne lawyer’s close encounter with fraudster Scott Rothstein November 15, 2010 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News One lawyer’s close encounter with fraudster Scott Rothstein Senior EditorA real estate broker colleague’s tip about a new investment opportunity landed Florida lawyer Alan Sakowitz in the glitzy Ft. Lauderdale office of Scott Rothstein, talking business. Sitting on an alligator-skin couch, Sakowitz eyed the trophies of success that hung from the walls, including a picture of Rothstein’s wife holding six shopping bags from expensive stores.Taking in a breathtaking view of the ocean from the 16th floor, Sakowitz listened to Rothstein’s smooth spiel:Rothstein’s 70-attorney law firm had won several significant settlements in sexual harassment cases for clients. The clients had pressing bills and wanted lump-sum payouts, and there were great investment opportunities to buy funded settlement agreements. A niche market had emerged: Three $900,000 settlements could be purchased for $660,000 each — a $240,000 profit in three months.But the numbers didn’t add up to Sakowitz. The real estate developer in Bay Harbor Islands, with an LL.M. in federal taxation, would soon see through Rothstein’s too-good-to-be-true sales pitch for what it was: a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.Eighty-four days in 2009, as Sakowitz describes it, would take him through “an exciting, terrifying, intense drama involving the largest fraud in the history of South Florida, and I would witness greed and its blinding powers in truly stunning ways, as well as the dangerous collusion between business and politics.”Eventually, Sakowitz gathered the courage to call the FBI as a whistleblower, so no one else would be hurt.It’s all chronicled in Miles Away.. . Worlds Apart, a self-published book that juxtaposes the greed-fueled world of politically connected, charismatic, phony philanthropist, and master manipulator Rothstein — now serving a 50-year sentence in federal prison for racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud, and wire fraud — with Sakowitz’s own Jewish community near North Miami Beach, “where wealth and fulfillment is not measured in dollars, but in deeds,” where people look out for each other, and kindness is bestowed without fanfare.Riveting details of Sakowitz’s first-person account dealing with Rothstein are juxtaposed with life lessons learned from rabbis, family, friends, and legal colleagues.“I want to spread the message that leadership and community and family and integrity are things that are not only important, but make a person happier,” says Sakowitz.Detailing how the scheme unraveled before his eyes, while asking Rothstein a lot of questions that reaped unbelievable answers, Sakowitz writes: “[I]t was all simple arithmetic, which obviously no one else had taken the time to do.. . . Once people saw the pot of gold they would receive from Rothstein, they were not about to let the facts interfere with their decision.”But the facts shouted to Sakowitz and his two friends who had three meetings with Rothstein.“We quickly learned that our $50 million would not even plug a small hole in Scott’s investment world,” writes Sakowitz, who clearly details a dozen red flags that waved them away from investing a dime.On Amazon.com, 54 reviewers give Sakowitz’s book four out of five stars. One reviewer from Salt Lake City, Utah, wrote: “It’s guys like Scott Rothstein that give attorneys a bad name. And it’s guys like Alan Sakowitz that prove that humanity is, at its heart, good.”(To buy the book and for more information, go to www.LegacySeriesPress.com. )last_img read more

Judge uses a race car in Justice Teaching activity

first_img February 1, 2011 Regular News Judge uses a race car in Justice Teaching activity JUSTICE TEACHING VOLUNTEER Judge John Phillips recently generated great interest in his Justice Teaching sessions at The Royal Palm School when, to the amazement of the students, he roared up in his self-built race car. Co-volunteer Sheri Hazeltine said: “The kids were awestruck. I don’t think they had ever really seen such a car like this before. Needless to say, everyone is looking forward to his next visit.” The Royal Palm School has the largest population of disabled students in Palm Beach County. According to Hazeltine, many of the students are in wheelchairs due to various physical movement limitations. Although at times it can be difficult for them to communicate, these students are intelligent and can understand the Justice Teaching material being presented to them, she said. To learn more about becoming involved in Justice Teaching, visit www.justiceteaching.org .last_img read more

Advertising Update

first_imgKeep your faith in Recent Decisions of the Board of Governors on AdvertisingThe Board of Governors of The Florida Bar considers appeals from opinions of the Standing Committee on Advertising. The Board’s decisions on advertising issues at its most recent meeting are as follows: 1. Misleading Language in AdvertisementsRule 4-7.2(c)(1) provides that “A lawyer shall not make or permit to be made a false, misleading, deceptive, or unfair communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services.” A communication violates this rule if it: (A) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law[.]”The board determined that the use of plural pronouns by a sole practitioner is false, misleading or deceptive in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1).The board affirmed the committee’s decision that the following statements in a lawyer referral service advertisement which refers viewers to lawyers in car accident cases is a false, misleading or deceptive communication about the lawyer referral or services offered in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1) because it implies the viewer may be entitled to money above the $10,000 PIP allowance: thousands of dollarsin injury and lost wage benefits. 2. Direct MailThe board affirmed the committee’s decision in which the committee determined that the word “advertisement” in red must appear on the lower left hand corner of the envelope pursuant to Rule 4-7.4(b)(2)(B) despite the filer’s argument that the envelope does not indicate that it is from a law firm.3. Filing RequirementThe board affirmed the committee’s decision in which the committee determined that the lawyer advertising rules apply to Internet advertisements that appear in response to a search where the lawyer has paid the search engine to cause the advertisements to appear when specific key words are used in the search engine. Thus, each advertisement must contain the name of the lawyer responsible for the advertisement’s content under Rules 4-7.6(d) and 4-7.2(a)(1) and the geographic location by city or town, under Rules 4-7.6(d) and 4-7.2(a)(2). Additionally, each separate advertisement must be filed for review.4. Quality of Legal ServicesThe board affirmed the committee’s decision determining that the URL, which appears in the advertising attorney’s direct mail advertisement, describes or characterizes the quality of the services being offered and therefore is prohibited by Rule 4-7.2(c)(2).Recent Decisions of the Standing Committee on Advertising March-September 2011At the committee’s recent meetings it made the following decisions on appeals from staff opinions on lawyer advertising:1. Misleading Language in AdvertisementsRule 4-7.2(c)(1)(A) provides that “A lawyer shall not make or permit to be made a false, misleading, deceptive communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication violates this rule if it: (A) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law[.]” In addition, “[a] communication violates this rule if it: (C) fails to disclose material information necessary to prevent the information supplied from being false or misleading[.]”The committee determined that the statement “You may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in benefits, possibly much more.. . Your fault or not!” is a misleading statement in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1), because of their prior standard that any amount that is not $10,000, which is connected to the PIP statute, is misleading because there is no basis to make that statement.The committee determined that the following statement is misleading for a lawyer referral service to advertise: Injured…can’t work…you may be entitled to Super Lube, Super Suds Carwash, Stewardship Drycleaners, Crepevine, 1 Fresh Stir Fry, Crystal River Seafood, Bagel Bagel Cafe Advertising Update Dec 01, 2011 Prepared by the staff of the Standing Committee on Advertising Advertising Updates Even if you’re out of work, can’t pay your bills, and don’t have a vehicle, 1-800-Need-Help is here. super heroes A majority of the committee members commented that a proposed website is a lawyer referral service under Rule 4-7.10, Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, based on its proposed operational model: 1) lawyers, law students, expert witnesses, and the public could use the website at no charge as an information, communication, and networking hub to post information such as resumes and job openings; 2) at no charge members of the public could use search engine technology to ask law-related questions, seek law-related information, or run a search for lawyers; 3) the website would charge lawyers a fixed, periodic fee to participate in the website’s “find a lawyer” feature which would show standardized information such as a lawyer’s name, physical address, telephone number, email address, areas of practice, bar admissions, years of experience, and board certifications to members of the public seeking a lawyer; and 4) the website would sell advertising space.The information provided in this article is for educational purposes. The content of any advertisement noted in this article may constitute the intellectual property of the advertising lawyer or another person and use of any of the content of the advertisements may require permission of the copyright holder. If you have any questions regarding lawyer advertising, call the Ethics Hotline at 1-800-235-8619 and we will be happy to assist you. In addition, the key tags entitle you to a 15% discount at the following local businesses: . Some super heroes prefer fighting crime wearing a business suit.[name of attorney] Law Firm defends investors from fraud; patients from dangerous drugs and devices; consumers from identify theft; whistleblowers from retaliation; and employees from discrimination.The committee members commented that removing Super Lawyers Magazine and/or adding a disclaimer stating that “[Attorney] is not an actual super hero” will not resolve the violation.Additionally, the committee determined that the phrase “Call The Wizard” characterizes the quality of legal services in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(2).The committee also determined that the reference to the advertising attorney’s book, “The Key to Hiring a Great Bankruptcy Lawyer,” characterizes the quality of legal services in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(2) because it is a self-published book offered by the filer to prospective clients.3. Promising ResultsRule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G) prohibits any statement in lawyer advertising that promises results the lawyer can achieve. The committee determined that the statement Avoid Probate & Taxes promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G).A majority of the committee commented that the statement Learn How to Avoid Probate and Taxes in the context of an advertisement for a seminar on estate planning promises results. The committee commented that the filer could add may be able to avoid probate and help minimize taxes to make the advertisements compliant.The committee affirmed staff’s opinion determining that a law firm’s slogan, Your Life A New Way, promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G).The committee determined that the following language promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G):You can be entitled to tens of thousands of dollars in benefits for your pain and suffering.You may be entitled to up to $10,000 or more depending upon the circumstances.The committee commented that the filer must state the following for the language to comply:You may be entitled to up to $10,000 in medical benefits and lost wage benefits.In response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that the following language promises results, in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G):Save My Home Law GroupSave My Homehelp.savingmyhome.infoIn addition, in response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that the firm name “Stop Taking Our Property, PLLC” is impermissible as it promises results in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G).The committee determined that the following language is permissible under Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(G) because it does not state that prospective clients will obtain any specific result:Trial Lawyers Get: Responsive to all your needs & questions Effective; our goal is the best results for your case Steadfast; we stand by you Understanding your concerns Loyalty; we are on your side Tenacious; we will support you with all our resources Success; what you’re looking for when you put your case into our firm’s hands.The committee also determined that the following italicized language does not promise results:Victims of automobile and motorcycle accidents deserve to be compensated. In order to get every dime you are entitled to from the insurance company, sometimes you need an attorney who has the experience, expertise and ability to try that case.Look after a car accident you don’t want just a lawyer, you want an experienced advocate –an expert attorney who can guide you through the claims process and help maximize your recovery from the insurance company. I’m [name of attorney], call me. 4. TestimonialsR ule 4-7.2(c)(1)(J) prohibits language which contains a testimonial. The committee reversed staff and determined that the following statements in a television commercial in which a person with a microphone in hand interviews pedestrians do not contain testimonials in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(J) as long as a prominent disclaimer appears on the screen stating it is a dramatization:Interviewer:…[W]ho would you call?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: If you were in a car or motorcycle accident…?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERSInterviewer:. …injured and it wasn’t your fault?Pedestrian: 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: If you needed a lawyer, who would you call first?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: For car accidents?Pedestrian: 1-800-LAWYERS.Interviewer: When you’ve been injured?Pedestrian: 1-800-LAWYERS. 1-800-LAWYERS! They’re for me!Interviewer: So, what would you do if you needed one?Pedestrian: I’d call 1-800-LAWYERS. 1-800-LAWYERS…good lawyers for accidents. 1-800-LAWYERS…experienced lawyers! 1-800-LAWYERS! They’re for me!However, the committee did determine that the phone number, “1-800-LAWYERS,” is considered a trade name under Rule 4-7.9(b) in the context of these advertisements.5. SolicitationIn response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that it is impermissible in-person solicitation in violation of Rule 4-7.4(a) for an attorney advertisement containing a firm’s name, city, website to be printed on wristbands that are given out at facilities where all admittance is over 21 years old to identify members of a special group, such as bachelorette, birthday or other special occasions, would not identify any particular area of practice. The committee members stated that a factor in the decision is that the attendees would be required to wear the wristband in order to attend the event.However, the committee commented that it is permissible for an attorney to advertise on a pizza box because the advertisement would be one of 5 or 6 ads for different businesses, would be attached to the pizza box, regardless of whether it is picked up or delivered and the advertisement would be limited to a photograph of the attorneys, the firm name, address and fields of practice.6. Give AwaysThe committee reversed staff’s opinion and determined that the following language is not prohibited by Rule 4-7.2(c)(14) because the lawyer does not offer something of value to someone for recommending the lawyer’s services and is not providing financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation in violation of Rule 4-1.8(e): They’ll even provide transportation to your appointments and take care of your ticket.The committee noted that a lawyer referral service cannot use a third party to do something lawyers cannot do pursuant to Rule 4-8.4(a).In addition, the committee determined that it is misleading in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(1) and A-09-1 for an attorney, who is a retired circuit court judge, to be identified as “Trial Resolution Judge [John Doe]” in a print advertisement and photograph promoting his private voluntary trial resolution business, despite section 44.104, Florida Statutes which provides for a method of private trials. It is also misleading for an attorney to wear a black judge’s robe in a print advertisement photograph promoting his private voluntary trial resolution business.In response to staff’s request for guidance a majority of the Standing Committee on Advertising members commented that it is misleading under Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(C) for a law firm that hires nonlawyers and out-of-state lawyers to represent clients as advocates before the Social Security Administration to fail to include a disclosure that nonlawyers and out-of-state lawyers will represent the clients in advertisements for social security disability matters.2. Quality of Legal Service sThe committee determined that the following italicized language relating to an attorney selected for inclusion in Super Lawyer Magazine describes or characterizes the quality of the services being offered and therefore is prohibited by Rule 4-7.2(c)(2): In response to staff’s request for guidance, a majority of the committee commented that a direct mail communication that is mailed to developers congratulating them on new construction contracts including a G-clip (golf clip with tees and ball marker) and golf balls, is not a violation of Rule 4-7.2(c)(14) which prohibits a lawyer from offering something of value to someone for recommending the lawyer’s services and is not providing financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation in violation of Rule 4-1.8(e).7. Lawyer Referral Serviceslast_img read more

Federal JNC seeks U.S. district judge

first_img March 1, 2012 Regular News Federal JNC seeks U.S. district judgeThe Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission is now accepting applications for a vacancy for a U.S. district judge in the Southern District of Florida. The vacancy was created by the elevation of Judge Adalberto Jordan to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.The revised Rules of Procedure for the federal JNC, applications with instructions, and the names and addresses of the commission members are available at the following websites: 1) The Florida Bar ; 2) U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida ; 3) U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ; and 4) U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. These materials also may be obtained from the commission’s chair, John M. Fitzgibbons, The Law Offices of John M. Fitzgibbons, 707 North Franklin Street, Suite 700, Tampa 33602; phone (813) 221-8800.Completed applications must be received by the commission chair and each commission member as specified in the rules by 5 p.m. March 26. Applicants selected for personal interviews will be interviews on April 27 in the Judges Conference Room, 14th Floor, Willie D. Ferguson, Jr., U.S. Courthouse, 400 North Miami Ave., Miami. Those selected for interviews will be posted on the above websites on or before April 18. Federal JNC seeks U.S. district judgelast_img read more

Proposed board actions

first_img March 1, 2014 Regular News Proposed board actions Proposed board actions Pursuant to Standing Board Policy 1.60, the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar publishes this notice of intent to consider the following item at its March 28, 2014 meeting in Palm Coast. This is governed by Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. If approved by the board, these amendments must still be formally filed with the Supreme Court of Florida, with further notice and opportunity to be heard, before they are officially approved and become effective. Additionally, non-substantive edits to conform to the Supreme Court style guide are not noted in the summary. To receive a full copy of the text of any of this proposed amendment, email jgreen@flabar.org or call Janellen Green at (850) 561-5751. Reference any requested proposal by its title or item number and date of this publication. RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR Chapter 4 Rules of Professional Conduct RULE 4-7.22 LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICESWithin subdivision (a), adds new subdivision (4) that prohibits lawyers from accepting referrals from a lawyer referral service that directly or indirectly requires the participating lawyers to refer clients to another person or entity for other services or places economic pressure on the lawyer to make such referrals and renumbers other subdivisions accordingly. Within subdivisions (a)(5) and (a)(6) [new subdivisions (a)(6) and (a)(7)], adds “at its headquarters address in Tallahassee” after “The Florida Bar”. Within subdivision (a)(7) [new subdivision (a)(8)] adds that a lawyer who has notified the bar of a relationship that the lawyer is accepting referrals may not accept referrals from a service who has not responded to bar inquiries only after being notified by the bar of the service’s failure to respond. Within subdivision (a)(8) (new subdivision (a)(9), changes “subject” to “approved by The Florida Bar pursuant.” Within subdivision (a)(10) [new subdivision (a)(11)] adds “and other communications to consumers.” Adds new subdivision (a)(13) prohibiting lawyers from accepting referrals from a lawyer referral service unless the service discloses to the consumer at the time the referral is made the location of the lawyer’s bona fide office by city, town or county. Adds new subdivision (a)(14) prohibiting lawyers from accepting referrals from a lawyer referral service unless the service uses a name that is not misleading to the public and does not use any name that would lead consumers to believe the service directly provides legal services. Within subdivision (b), exempts Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8 from lawyer’s responsibility for advertising by the lawyer referral service. Adds new subdivision (b)(2) requiring lawyers to notify the bar within 15 days of agreeing to accept referrals from a lawyer referral services, except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(3) requiring lawyers to notify the bar within 15 days of terminating a relationship with a lawyer referral service, except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(4) requiring lawyers to designate a lawyer in a law firm that is responsible for compliance with bar rules and for responding to bar inquiries regarding a lawyer referral service when the agreement is between the service and a law firm, except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(5) requiring lawyers to pay an administrative fee to be set by the bar for administering the program and enforcing these rules except for Florida Bar approved lawyer referral services under chapter 8. Adds new subdivision (b)(6) prohibiting lawyers from making the initial contact in person, by telephone, telegraph, facsimile or any written communication that does not comply with the direct mail rules with a consumer after the referral is made. Adds new subdivision (b)(7) prohibiting a lawyer from referring clients to any person or entity in exchange for receiving referrals from the service. Adds new subdivision (b)(8) prohibiting lawyers from accepting referrals if the lawyer referral service interferes with the participating lawyer’s professional judgment, including if the lawyer referral service requires the lawyer to refer the lawyer’s clients to the lawyer referral service, an owner of the service, or an entity owned by the service or the service’s owner. Adds new subdivision (b)(9) prohibiting participating lawyers from referring clients to the lawyer referral service, an owner of the service, or an entity owned by the service or the service’s owner unless the requirements of rules 4-1.7 and 4-1.8 are met and the lawyer provides written disclosure to the client of the relationship and obtains the client’s informed consent, confirmed in writing. Adds new subdivision (b)(10) requiring lawyers to disclose in writing to clients at the outset of representation who are referred by a service that the lawyer received the referral and, if the lawyer paid the service for referrals, that the lawyer paid the service for referrals. Adds new subdivision (b)(11) prohibiting lawyers from charging referred clients any higher fee or cost than if no lawyer referral service were involved. Adds new commentary defining what constitutes an improper division of fees. Adds commentary explaining that lawyers may not charge referred clients a higher fee or cost to offset the lawyer’s cost of doing business with the lawyer referral service. Additional non-substantive changes are made for consistency and conformity with the Supreme Court of Florida style guide.last_img read more

April 15, 2015 Letters

first_img April 15, 2015 Letters L etters Malpractice Cases I could not help but notice in the March 15 News that there were four prominent ads soliciting legal malpractice cases.Either legal incompetence is on the rise or with the proliferation of lawyers, new areas of law are being explored.Terence A. Gross Pensacola April 15, 2015 Letterslast_img

Rewrite of the family law rules almost complete

first_imgRewrite of the family law rules almost complete November 1, 2015 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Rewrite of the family law rules almost complete Senior EditorAfter years of discussion followed by four years of hard work, the Bar’s Family Law Rules Committee is putting the finishing touches on a complete rewrite of family law procedural rules.The rewrite ends all references to the Civil Procedure Rules, by incorporating all of those passages into the family rules and tweaking some to meet the unique demands of family practices. The rewrite does not change references to the Rules of Judicial Administration that cover topics common to all practice areas. Elizabeth Blackburn, immediate past chair of the Family Law Rules Committee, and one of several committee members who chaired the redrafting subcommittee, said the goal was to make the rules easier to use, both for practitioners and pro se litigants who are common in family law cases.The effort, though, has sparked a discussion about whether the committee went too far in eliminating all references to civil rules and whether procedural rules should have as many common elements as possible or be more specialized.Blackburn said one of the concerns leading to the rewrite is that family practitioners had to keep on hand three sets of procedural rules: family law rules for issues specific to family law cases; Civil Procedure Rules for when the family law rules say an issue will be governed by civil rules; and the Rules of Judicial Administration for items common to all practice areas, such an e-filing, court procedures, and protection of confidential information.“If the Civil Procedure Rules Committee makes a change and the Supreme Court ultimately approves the change, then family law rules are automatically bound by that change,” Blackburn said. “What has happened over time is sometimes those changes have not been suitable for family. What we have done in this proposed amendment package of rules is we are not making changes willy-nilly. In many instances the language of the existing civil rule is carried over in its entirety.”What the subcommittee did, she said, is take all of the civil rules that were referred to in the family rules and put them in the family rules, ending all civil references.“It gives us the ability to not have to react when another rule body makes a change that impacts us,” Blackburn said. “In family law, some things are unique.”As an example, she cited discovery issues, where family law had some of its own rules and others still referred to civil rules.“We have unique discovery obligations,” Blackburn said. “We already had a rule over what has to be disclosed. We also have general discovery rules that govern our practice. We had to be careful and cautious about what, if any, changes we made.”Another concern was self-represented parties, who make up a large portion of family law cases.“Our practice more than any other is impacted by pro se litigants and it will continue to be impacted,” Blackburn said. “Perhaps the goal isn’t to make sure every pro se litigant knows what to do, but we do have to be mindful to make the process accessible.. . . “Now [except for the RJA matters] you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth between a family law rule and a civil rule. It’s all going to be in one place. We are hoping it makes it easier.”The rewrite effort has earned the endorsement of the Family Law Section, which made suggestions for minor improvements and were accepted by the rules committee, when the tentative rewrite was published for comment in the August 1 Bar News. The revised rules will be published again for comment in the News before the rules are submitted to the Bar Board of Governors. Any comments the board makes will be submitted with the rules rewrite when it goes to the Supreme Court, and it will again be noticed for comment.“It’s been a really collaborative effort,” said Family Law Section Chair Maria Gonzalez. “We’re pleased with all of the hard work that’s been put into this. I do believe it’s going to be a good and favorable product for all of the practitioners in the field. It gives more clarity. Any time it gives more clarity to specific rules, I think it can only assist practitioners.”Two outside issues may draw extra attention to rewrite of the family law rules. One is an interest expressed by the Supreme Court in reducing the size of procedural rules, perhaps by as much as 50 percent. The Board of Governors Program Evaluation Committee is studying procedural rules and ways to simplify them and could have a report by the end of the year.The second issue is an ongoing debate over how specialized specific procedural rules should be, as opposed to having more rules in common between the various rules sets.Both issues were discussed at the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee meeting when it met September 18 at The Florida Bar’s Fall Meeting – immediately after the Family Law Rules Committee met and adopted its modifications to the new rules.The RJA Committee discussed an ongoing review by the Board of Governors Program Evaluation Committee on the procedural rules and ways of simplifying them and rejected a motion to recommend that the Board of Governors appoints a special committee with “knowledgeable members” to explore that issue. The RJAC instead took no action beyond its discussion.The committee had an extensive discussion about the revised family rules directly incorporating civil rules and ending the references to civil rules.RJA Committee member Paul Regensdorf said what the new family rules do is “with the absolute best of intentions take about 15 to 20 basic rules of procedures, contexts that every lawyer uses, and copy them or tweak them.. . and now they’ve put them in a whole new rule.”That rule, he said, will inevitably be interpreted by judges and differences will creep in between the family rules and similar rules in other practice areas, ultimately creating a more complex rule structure for lawyers who practice in several areas and for judges who handle different kinds of cases.“The civil rules are a basic set of concept rules,” Regensdorf argued. “A deposition is a deposition is a deposition. In the motion rules, a motion is a motion is a motion. It doesn’t need to be written in a second place.”In a computerized world, he added, it’s easy for practitioners to flip back and forth between electronic family, civil, and RJA rule sets.The RJAC rejected a motion to develop a committee response to the new Family Law Rules and instead voted to instruct Chair Amy Borland to prepare a comment, based on a subcommittee’s review of the new rules and how they deviate from past practices, for when the rules are submitted to the Supreme Court.last_img read more

Judicial term limits heads to House floor

first_imgJudicial term limits heads to House floor Judicial term limits heads to House floor /DIVCOM/JN/jnnews01.nsf/8c9f13012b96736985256aa900624829/d5c5b45e7e06894185257f5300495944!OpenDocument” data-layout=”button_count”> Senior Editor A proposed constitutional amendment to limit service of Florida’s Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges to two terms passed out of its third House committee February 4, in a 11-6 vote along party lines. Rep. John Wood, R-Winter Haven, the sponsor of HJR 197, bristled at insinuations at the House Judiciary Committee that he was carrying out the agenda of Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Lutz, an attorney who called for judicial term limits during his acceptance speech as House speaker-designate. “The genesis of this bill was Thomas Jefferson. He warned us that the biggest mistake that we made in the Constitution was creating these gods with unlimited service for the rest of their lives,” said Wood, a lawyer himself. “That’s where this bill comes from. This bill comes about from transformation. It doesn’t come from the Speaker-D. It comes from an idea that the Speaker-D has endorsed. It wasn’t given to me,” Wood said. The inspiration for his bill, Wood said, is the notion that lawyers should aspire to the appellate bench as public service, not as lifetime career choices, and it would help avoid the abuse of power when governors appoint younger people to the appellate bench to “create a legacy.” “When a governor appoints somebody in their 40s to the Supreme Court — and Lawton Chiles comes to mind — and they are going to serve there for another 28 or 30 years, is that right? Is the power of that governor so absolute that we all have to just live with his decision forever?” Wood asked. “I don’t think so. I think we are talking about returning the power to the people.” The separation of powers and the equality of the branches government should be the focus, said Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Palm Springs, an attorney and former police officer voicing his opposition. “It’s not so much the content of this bill. It’s the concept of this bill. It’s knowing that we as legislators, as a co-equal branch to our colleagues in the judiciary, we have limitations on our power.. . . To me, this has the flavor of retribution.. . This House resolution goes way too far in overstepping our authority. Term limits as a proposition is something we should not be attempting to impose on those in the judiciary.” The Florida Bar opposes term limits for the judiciary, either on the trial or appellate bench. The proposed constitutional amendment would only impact appellate judges and would not be retroactive. Only if the proposal garners three-fifths of the vote in both the House and Senate, could it wind up on the ballot in 2016 for Florida voters to decide, and would then apply to appellate judges appointed by the governor after that date. The amendment would have the effect of limiting appellate judges to no more than two appearances on the merit retention ballot, which, depending on when they were appointed, would give a maximum term of between 12 and 15 years. “When The Florida Bar comes out and unanimously opposed this, it’s like I could not have bought that publicity any better,” Wood said. “The people know the Bar doesn’t represent their interests. The people know that power resides with them.” Christopher Carlyle, chair of the Bar’s Appellate Practice Section, said his executive council voted to unanimously oppose this proposal, as did the Bar’s Business Law Section. “It doesn’t make sense to take experienced people who are doing their jobs, who have gained some expertise and knowledge and wisdom for a period of time, and arbitrarily get rid of them for no good reason,” Carlyle said. “With experience comes consistency, and that’s what business lawyers will tell you is important to their clients.” When the measure was heard January 21 in the House Appropriations Committee, Wood called his proposal an enhancement of the “proper role of the judiciary” in our “republican form of government.” Retired Supreme Court Justice Major Harding testified: “You talk about the proper role of the judiciary. I could not help but think that one of the proper roles of the judiciary is to have qualified judges.. . . “I really have a significant fear that, in my conversations with people that have served on judicial nominating commissions, to find that there are numbers of unqualified people who are seeking judicial appointments because they are unable, in the practice of law, to make what a judge would make.” Most qualified judicial candidates, Harding said, take pay cuts from their law practices to become appellate judges, and they expect to stay on the bench until the Florida Constitution requires them to retire at 70. Harding gave the example of his good friend, retired Justice Stephen Grimes, who told him he was making $70,000 in 1973 as an attorney at Holland & Knight “when he felt a call to the judiciary” and applied for a position on the Second District Court of Appeal, where the pay at that time was $30,000 a year. Grimes, who would go on to serve on the Florida Supreme Court, told Harding that he never would have taken such a pay cut without the “expectation of devoting the rest of his legal life to the judiciary.” The 13-6 vote went along party lines. Rep. Cynthia Stafford, D-Opa Locka, an attorney who cast one of the “no” votes, said: “I believe there is value in experience. I believe that value will be diminished with term limits. We already have forced retirements. We have the merit retention process. Now we are adding term limits to that mix. And it chips away, I believe, at the importance of the independence of the judiciary. And that is very concerning.” Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, said: “I wonder if, in fact, term limits will help prevent inappropriate behavior or if, in fact, part of the intent and the goal here is to sidestep decisions that we as a Legislature or any other decision-making body.. . don’t agree with.” Corcoran, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, called Wood’s proposal “a great bill.” “When you go back and look at the founding documents, when they were putting together the Federalist Papers, Jefferson, who was the founder of the Democrat party, Thomas Jefferson was in ardent opposition to lifetime appointments for judicial candidates,” said Corcoran. The “days are long gone,” he said, of appellate judges only serving 11 years, as Harding did on the Supreme Court, after more than two decades as a trial judge. “Now, if you look at the United States Supreme Court, you look at the appellate judges, the ages in which we appoint them are getting earlier and earlier.. . . It’s a legacy thing for a president or a sitting governor,” said Corcoran, weaving back and forth between federal lifetime judicial appointments and Florida’s system of requiring retirement at age 70 for judges. “There are only two checks: the selection process, which is very minimal at its best, and the impeachment process, which has never been used [In the 1970’s two Florida Supreme Court justices resigned before impeachment processes were completed].. . . And then you have somebody with a lifetime commitment who can serve 20 and 30 years on the bench, you are losing on accountability.. . . “Left to our own devices, we will seek our own self-interests. I think the court, left to its own devices, unaccountable for this many years, has allowed itself to create that self-interest, which has it doing things that are encroaching on the separation of powers,” Corcoran said. In closing on his bill, Wood thanked Corcoran and said, “We all understand why you are the speaker-designate with those kinds of thoughts. They reflect, I think, my motivation behind this bill.. . . This bill and this proposal is something that is being talked about around the country. It is something that I think is the future, and that is a government totally responsive to our society.” Wood pointed out there are term limits for the president of the United States, governors, legislators, and some county commissioners. “To make the argument that somehow the judiciary is different just doesn’t seem to reflect how our government is set up,” Wood said. The Senate companion (SJR 322) has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing. But that may not mean the bill is dead, Jim Daughton, chief legislative counsel, told The Florida Bar Board of Governors when they met in Tallahassee on January 29. “Tallahassee is a great place for political chatter. If anyone thinks, through the political chatter, that the Senate is not going to act on the term limits, that the issue is dead for this year, I need to disabuse you of that notion,” Daughton said. “We’re in a very dynamic process. Last year, we all know the dysfunction the Legislature had. What they are going to try to do is remedy last year. They are not going to ignore one another’s proposals. When the speaker-designate tells you that term limits is a critical issue to him, that ‘this is something I’m really going to work to get done,’ the Senate is not going to ignore that.” Senior Editor Gary Blankenship contributed to this report. February 15, 2016 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter

first_img December 15, 2016 Rayven Wright Regular News Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter Special to the News On the eve of her 21st birthday, Brittney and her mother Tina were shocked to receive a notice of noncompliance from their property manager. According to the notice, Brittney’s emotional support animal, Panga, was in violation of the community’s height and weight guidelines under the pet policy. If Panga was not removed in seven days, Brittney and Tina were told they would face eviction from their home of six years. “Our reaction was utter devastation and chaos and sadness,” Tina said. “I know, physically, I was in hives over it. [Brittney] had some major manic attacks.” Brittney suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Her 40-pound Labrador-mix, Panga, provides emotional support through periods of depression and anxiety. According to Tina, Panga has been instrumental to her daughter’s well-being. Since living with Panga, Brittney has not been Baker Acted, nor has she harmed herself. Tina and Brittney had been going back and forth with their property manager prior to being issued the notice, and their therapist connected them with Pamela Fields of Legal Aid of Manasota. After they received the notice, Fields connected them with pro bono attorney Merissa Mort the very same day. “I just can’t even express how thankful and grateful I am that there are people like Merissa who will fight for those who can’t fight,” Tina said. “[Pro bono lawyers are] good people fighting for good people. I think there is not enough of that in the world.” Fields discussed this case with Mort because she had recently tackled a similar case through Legal Aid of Manasota and had a successful outcome. “I asked [Fields] if I could take [Brittney and Tina’s] case because I am passionate about housing rights,” Mort said. Brittney and Tina live in a federally subsidized housing complex with a 20-lb. weight restriction on dogs. However, under the Fair Housing Act, comfort animals, like Panga, are exempt from any community rules including breed, size, pet limits or no pet policy. Mort wrote a demand letter to the property manager explaining that the notice was in violation of Brittney’s rights under the Fair Housing Act. Two days later, the community’s attorney responded with a letter stating that Brittney’s disability meant she would be granted reasonable accommodations regarding Panga and that the seven-day notice would be withdrawn. “It was a godsend.” Tina said. “I think if things had not turned out that way, if legal aid did not accept our case, if they didn’t find Ms. Merissa Mort, I think we would be homeless today, for sure. It was happy birthday to Brittney.” This is the second case Mort has handled through Legal Aid of Manasota. Mort feels fulfilled knowing that through pro bono she can help change someone’s life in their greatest time of need by simply doing what she loves to do. “JFK said it best,” Mort said. “‘For those to whom much is given, much is required.’ As attorneys, we have the unique ability of helping people in life-changing matters. Pro bono work doesn’t have to be time- consuming. Sometimes pro bono cases take months to complete, and sometimes they are resolved through one simple letter.  We should do what we can, when we can, to help others in need.” Brittney says she is thankful to everyone involved in providing legal aid to those who need it, calling them true heroes. “My life has been a whole lot brighter because someone stepped in and spoke up for me,” Brittney said. “It’s an amazing thing to feel whole again.” RayvenWright is an intern from the University of Central Florida assigned to The Florida Bar Foundation.last_img read more

Bill aims to reform eyewitness identification procedures

first_imgBill aims to reform eyewitness identification procedures April 15, 2017 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular News Bill aims to reform eyewitness identification procedures Senior Editor Eyewitnesses don’t always get it right. Just ask James Bain, Orlando Boquete, Larry Bostic, Alan Crotzer, Cody Davis, Wilton Dedge, Luis Diaz, William Dillon, and Frank Lee Smith. They served a total of 180 years in Florida’s prisons for crimes they did not commit. Eyewitness misidentification was a contributing cause in all of their wrongful convictions. Eventually, DNA evidence came to the rescue to exonerate them. In 2010, the Florida Innocence Commission studied how unreliable eyewitness identification can be, the psychological reasons why witnesses seem so certain even when they’re wrong, and reforms other states have taken in the way law enforcement conducts photo or live lineups. Seven years later, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, and Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, are sponsoring CS/SB 312 and HB 643 and hope to pass the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act that would require state, county, municipal, or other law-enforcement agencies that conduct lineups to follow specific procedures to ensure a fairer process. “As many of us who have served in the House, we remember this legislation back in 2011. It passed the Florida Senate and made all the committees in the House, but did not make it to the floor,” Baxley said, in closing on his bill in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on February 21, where it passed unanimously, and later passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously on March 14. HB 643 unanimously passed both the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on March 15 and the Judiciary Committee on March 27. “I’m really surprised it’s been this long before we got back around to seeing it again. It is my privilege to present it. I think it’s a good move for justice, and it will protect law-enforcement, state attorneys, and the accused from being mistakenly identified,” Baxley said. Michelle Feldman, a state policy advocate for the national Innocence Project, said, “Nationally, eyewitness misidentification is the No. 1 cause of wrongful convictions proven by DNA. This bill would not only protect the innocent, but it would protect public safety, because when the wrong person is convicted, the real perpetrator can be out harming others.” Of 349 DNA exonerations nationwide, she said, 71 percent involved eyewitness misidentification, and the real perpetrators identified in those crimes went on to be convicted of 100 additional violent crimes, including 64 rapes and 17 murders. Baxley explained that he took recommendations from the Florida Innocence Commission, created by then-Chief Justice Charles Canady, and crafted these uniform procedures: “It will require eyewitnesses to acknowledge their instructions about the lineup procedure, and they will be told that the investigation will continue, and that the individual may or may not be there. “These disclaimers and this process, many, many law-enforcement agencies already use,” he said. An individual not involved in the case, called a “blind administrator” who is not seeking a specific outcome, will administer the lineup, so the person does not either inadvertently or purposely give cues about which photo or person the witness should pick. “We advocate for best practices endorsed by the National Research Council, the U.S. Department of Justice, the International Association of Police Chiefs, and many others,” Feldman said. “That is blind administration that is required in this bill. If you can’t find a blind administrator, you can use an alternative technique, a really cheap one: The folder-shuffle method. You put the lineup photos in folders and shuffle them and hand them to the witness one at a time, so that the administrator can’t see which one is being viewed.” Two other best practices not in the bills, she said, use “fillers” that match the description of a perpetrator, so the suspect doesn’t obviously stand out. The other is witness confidence statements, where at the time an eyewitness identification is made, the administrator asks the witness about their level of certainty, in order to document at the moment of the identification how confident the witness is. “By the time the court case comes up, when there is media exposure and talking to investigators, sometimes the witness becomes a lot more confident over time,” Feldman said. “We would ask that you also include the fillers and the witness confidence statements.. . . There are really zero costs associated with this legislation. The only cost is training.” Nineteen states have adopted the best practices advocated by the Innocence Project. Feldman said the Innocence Project has a certified eyewitness identification trainer to give statewide training at no cost. She said wrongful convictions by eye-witness misidentification have cost taxpayers in Florida more than $6 million in civil lawsuits.last_img read more

Seasoning, health helping Gophers to early dual success

first_imgLast year, half of the people in Minnesota’s starting lineup were from its heralded redshirt freshman class. This year, those wrestlers started the season with experience.“Last year we had a lot of freshmen in the lineup, so we weren’t as tight as a team,” Konrad said. “And this year we’ve all been through a season. So I mean, we’re all real close now, wrestling as a team.”Minnesota also had to endure a slew of injuries that complicated continuity.C.P. Schlatter missed the first two months of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Tommy Owen missed the majority of the first two months with a neck injury and Gabe Dretsch was out until the end of January with a groin injury.Add in various injuries to Bobbe Lowe, Roger Kish and Josh McLay as the season progressed, and Minnesota struggled to set its lineup all year.But the Gophers are completely healthy this season, Konrad said. Robinson attributed the better health to better, harder training.The Gophers also struggled to put serious contenders in the 149-pound and 157-pound weight classes, going 1-7 in those classes in the first four dual meets and getting outscored 36-3.But this season, Schlatter has teamed with younger brother true freshman Dustin Schlatter to bolster those two classes, in which Minnesota is 7-1 this season while outscoring opponents 31-3.“Last year we couldn’t get our whole lineup together until the Big Ten Tournament,” Konrad said. “That hurt us a lot last year, but now everything’s good.” Seasoning, health helping Gophers to early dual success David McCoyNovember 30, 2005Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintMinnesota wrestling coach J Robinson said he’s “not so sure” his team is off to a better start than last season.But after a 4-0 start in dual meets, the fifth-ranked Gophers have shown a marked difference thus far that goes far beyond their record.And what Robinson did say explains why:“Last year, we had a lot of injuries and stuff. I think that the guys are just older, they’re more mature, they know what to expect, they’re excited about their team and I think they think they can win and I think that confidence makes a big difference.”All those factors have a couple of his grapplers saying what their coach didn’t quite want to say.“I think we’re a little bit ahead of where we were last year,” 133-pound sophomore Mack Reiter said. “Last year we started the season with Oklahoma State at home and we had a rough dual there. But I think we’re definitely looking good early this year.”That’s the first contrast. The Gophers lost 28-10 to the Cowboys in their first dual meet of the season last year ” a team Minnesota couldn’t quite solve all season.But before this dual season began, No. 4 Minnesota 165-pounder Matt Nagel and second-ranked heavyweight Cole Konrad knocked off two defending national champions from No. 1 Oklahoma State, Johnny Hendricks and Steve Mocco, at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic on Nov. 21.Those wins were huge for another factor Robinson referred to ” confidence.“It did a lot for the confidence of the team, letting them know that they are definitely beatable,” Konrad said. “We’re right up there, at least the same caliber. Actually, I was looking on the Internet and on a poll they have us as the top team to beat them. Even little things like that are big for us motivation-wise, because other people see it too.”last_img read more

Minn. bats hushed in 3-2 loss to Ohio State

first_imgMinn. bats hushed in 3-2 loss to Ohio StateApril 4, 2009Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAfter Friday nightâÄôs 7-5 win over Ohio State, Minnesota head coach John Anderson talked about how hard it is to win two straight against a team like the Buckeyes. HeâÄôs been around long enough to know just how competitive the matchup is, so perhaps it was a matter of managing expectations. Maybe he was simply trying to be realistic. Whatever it was, he was on to something. Minnesota played flawless defense and got a pair of solid pitching performances from senior Tom Buske and freshman Austin Lubinsky, but the 25th-ranked Gophers (15-9 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) couldnâÄôt find that clutch hit and fell to No. 18 Ohio State 3-2 Saturday at the Metrodome. âÄúItâÄôs becoming obvious that we have a young team offensively,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúIt takes time to learn how to be a complete hitter and obviously, thatâÄôs the book on us.âÄù Neither team had an impressive day at the plate, especially with runners on base. Minnesota was 3-for-20 with runners on the basepaths; the Buckeyes (22-6, 3-2) were hardly better, going 3-for-16. Combined, the teams stranded 21. But two swings were all Ohio State needed. Justin Miller belted a two-run homerun off Buske in the top of the first inning to stake the Buckeyes an early lead. Then, a solo shot in the seventh by Michael Stephens off of Lubinsky proved to be the winning run. The GophersâÄô inability to respond to Ohio StateâÄôs homeruns squandered otherwise outstanding performances by Lubinsky and Buske. After their early hiccups, neither man could be touched. âÄúWhen we canâÄôt put up more than three runs, itâÄôs not going to win the game,âÄù redshirt freshman first baseman Nick OâÄôShea, who went 3-for-4, said. âÄúWe had our chances today and didnâÄôt make some adjustments at the plate. We were swinging at a lot of balls, too.âÄù Of course, the Buckeyes deserve plenty of credit. Dean Wolosiansky, Drew Rucinski and Jake Hale combined to allow a mere six hits. Minnesota threatened on multiple occasions and had baserunners in eight of nine innings, but stranded seven in scoring position and was 0-for-15 in RBI opportunities. In the bottom of the ninth and trailing by one, the Gophers were coming to the top of the lineup. Senior Matt Nohelty led off with a walk and moved over on a sacrifice bunt by redshirt freshman AJ Pettersen. Junior second baseman Derek McCallum stepped to the plate to try and knock in his second run of the game. Hale forced him to fly out to right field. Then Michael Kvasnicka, MinnesotaâÄôs cleanup man whoâÄôs batting .404 on the season. He went down on strikes to end the game. The opportunity was there, just like it was there for Ohio State on Friday night. But also like Friday night, defense and pitching clamped down when it needed to. âÄúWe had the right guys up there a few times today and we had the right guys up there in the last inning,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúGive [the Buckeyes] credit. Hale did a good job of executing his pitches and we got a little anxious up there. We took a run at them the last three innings and couldnâÄôt get that last hit. Give them credit.âÄùlast_img read more

Gophers struggle to fourth-place Big Ten finish

first_imgGophers struggle to fourth-place Big Ten finishA tough weekend resulted in Minnesota’s worst finish since 1989.Erin Westover Samuel GordonFebruary 27, 2011Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintFor the first time since 1989, the Minnesota menâÄôs swimming and diving team failed to finish in the top three at the Big Ten championships . The Gophers tallied 505.5 points and finished fourth behind Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan, which won its third championship in four years. Despite that fact, head coach Dennis Dale was pleased with the way his athletes performed. âÄúWe were very excited. We had a lot of lifetime bests,âÄù Dale said. âÄúAt a meet like this you hope for 100 percent lifetime bests, but you never get it. Every athlete on our team did at least one lifetime best performance.âÄù One of those athletes was senior Michael Richards, who became the first Big Ten swimmer since 1962-63 to repeat as champion in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. Richards crushed the school, meet and conference records in the 50 freestyle prelims Thursday, clocking in at 19.10. He went on to win the event with a time of 19.19, bettering the second place finisher by more than half a second. âÄúIâÄôve had my sights set on that for the last two years,âÄù Richards said of the record. âÄúI was a bit peeved that I didnâÄôt get that last year, so this year I crushed it, and I was pretty happy with that.âÄù The All-American and Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships completed the freestyle sweep Saturday night with a win in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 43.20. âÄúIt shows you how tough it is to repeat in those two events,âÄù Dale said about RichardsâÄô performance. âÄúPeople have repeated in the 100, people have repeated in the 50, but nobody since 1963 has repeated in both of them, so that was special, and he also was a stalwart on our relays.âÄù Richards, along with senior Curt Carlson, junior Zach Bolin, and freshman Derek Toomey set a new Big Ten record in the 200-yard freestyle relay Friday, clocking in at 1:16.78, the first sub-1:17.00 in Big Ten history. Richards improved his 50-yard freestyle record to 19.05 with his split, giving the Gophers a nice-sized lead heading into the second leg. Carlson swam his split in 19.28, with Bolin following in 19.25. Toomey posted a 19.20 in the final leg to cement the victory and record . âÄúIt was incredible. I donâÄôt even know how to describe it. We have some of the best 50 freestylers on our team,âÄù Toomey said. âÄúIt was awesome just to be able to anchor that relay with four really strong guys. It meant the world to me. It was a really good bonding kind of experience.âÄù There were plenty of other bright spots for Minnesota aside from Richards and the relay team. Senior Ivan Gutesa swam his way to a school record and third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:55.36. Junior Kris Jorgenson and senior Drew Brown finished second and third, respectively, in platform diving, finishing behind Diver of the Championships and Olympian David Boudia of Purdue. Toomey scored in all three of his events, recorded a personal best in the 100-yard freestyle and became the first Gophers freshman since 2004 to win a conference title with the victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Minnesota finished exactly where the rankings projected it would. The Gophers were the fourth of six Big Ten teams that were ranked nationally. The Big Ten champion Wolverines also finished accordingly, as they were the highest ranked Big Ten team. âÄúWe went into the meet knowing that there are three teams ranked ahead of us in the conference. We were hoping that we could knock one or two of them off, but that wasnâÄôt the case,âÄù Dale said. âÄúWe were excited by the outstanding performances that [our team] put up. Yet we know that if we want to compete for the Big Ten championship, weâÄôve got to do a better job recruiting outstanding athletes.âÄùlast_img read more

Gophers head to coach’s alma mater for tournament

first_imgGophers head to coach’s alma mater for tournamentHead coach Jessica Allister was a four-year starter while at Stanford. Matt GreensteinMarch 5, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintHead coach Jessica Allister will head back to a familiar place this weekend.She’s traveling to her alma mater, but this time she’ll be managing from the opposing dugout.Allister started all four years as a catcher at Stanford and led the Cardinal to two Women’s College World Series.“College was the best four years of my life. I enjoyed every second of it, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” she said.She’s in the Stanford record books’ top-10 in nearly every batting statistic and earned multiple accolades along the way.As well as her on-the-field recognitions, Allister was a leader among her teammates.“She’s just a fierce competitor. She’s the leader on the field and works extremely hard,” said John Rittman, Allister’s coach at Stanford.Her competitive drive dictates the intensity of the Gophers’ practices, which are run at a very fast pace and are never dull.Both Allister’s mother and father were coaches, so the coaching gene is in Allister’s makeup.“You take a little bit and learn from all of your experiences. I think coach Allister has probably done the same with her career,” Rittman said. “That’s one of the things that good coaches can do. They learn the game, and it’s very evident that she’s done a great job.” Throughout Minnesota’s season, Allister has preached to her team to control the controllable, and her motivating and competitive nature has rubbed off on the Gophers.“Coach says it all the time, ‘[We] can’t have any expectations. [We] just have to go out there and compete,’” sophomore pitcher Sara Groenewegen said.The last time Allister traveled to her alma mater was two years ago for a tournament where the Gophers won three of five games.One of their two losses went into extra innings when Minnesota fell to Stanford 2-1 in the eighth.“Once the game started, you don’t really think about it. But before and after the game, it’s definitely a weird feeling to know that someone you coached and coached with is now a successful coach of her own program,” said Rittman, who has since left Stanford.Not only was Allister a coach for the Gophers, but before Minnesota, she was an assistant coach under Rittman.She spent three years as an assistant coach and helped Stanford reach three consecutive NCAA tournaments and two super regional appearances. “The opportunity to coach with John Rittman, who I just think the world of, and to be able to come home and represent my alma mater, it was a dream come true,” Allister said.Before coming to Minnesota, Allister also made stops at Georgia and Oregon, but she has since changed her shade of red after taking over at Minnesota five years ago.“She’s had a lot of success in a short amount of time, and nobody is more deserving than coach Allister,” Rittman said.last_img read more

CJ Smith looking to fulfill big dreams

first_imgAdditionally, Smith said he considered becoming a politician someday.“If that was an option after a lot of years of practicing law, I think that would be pretty interesting thing to be involved with,” Smith said. “It is not an easy path to take, especially in the U.S. It takes a lot of money, and it takes a lot of connections to get involved with at a high level. But I think that it would be great to have an influence on not just on my friends but the nation as a whole.”Kaci Smith said she believes her son would be a great politician.“I could definitely see him go down that path,” Smith’s mother said. “He’s very composed, and he also does his homework, too. What I mean by that is he doesn’t just go give an opinion on something unless he has checked out what that opinion really means. I think that’s really important for a politician.”Smith’s younger brother, Grant, a swimmer for Davidson, said his brother represents himself very well.“CJ always knows when to take a backseat and be an observer,” Grant Smith said. “He also knows when to speak his mind. A lot of people look up to him for that. I don’t know if he realizes how many people look up to him, but he’s just a natural born leader.”Swimming dreamsBesides taking a year off to prep for the LSAT, Smith will be training to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics.He said the trial is a little bit away, but it comes up soon, and he wants to be ready for it. “Right now, even if I am a few seconds behind [a qualifying time], obviously I don’t want to cut myself short. The big goal for me has always been to represent the United States. I don’t want to quit swimming knowing that I feel like I have the potential to reach that,” Smith said.Grant Smith said if his brother does realize his goal of representing the United States in the Olympics, he wouldn’t know how to describe his feelings exactly. In high school, he said his brother wasn’t in contention to qualify for the Illinois state meet, but he left as one of the best 500-yard freestylers.“I think there would be so much joy knowing that his work really did pay off,” Grant Smith said. “Even if he doesn’t make the Olympics, he should be proud of what he has accomplished in the sport of swimming.”But before the Olympic trials, Smith has another important meet to focus on. He’ll have about three weeks off before the NCAA championships.However, no matter how he performs or what the legacy that Smith may leave behind at Minnesota, his parents will always be proud of him.“We are extremely thankful for the opportunity that he has been given,” said Smith’s father, Chris. “It means a lot to us that he is very devoted to the program. He has probably got as much out of it as he has given back. I think he wants to leave the program better than [when] he came there, and I hope that’s what happens.” CJ Smith looking to fulfill big dreamsSenior swimmer CJ Smith is an All-American for the Gophers.James HealyCJ Smith will compete in his fourth consecutive NCAA championships later this month. Danny ChenMarch 4, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintIt takes a lot of commitment to become an All-American at the Division I level.For senior CJ Smith, his desire to be the best started before he even stepped on campus.As a high school swimmer, Smith didn’t miss a single practice in all four years of his career.“I’ve never seen somebody who has been so dedicated and works hard on his own. We never, ever, ever had to tell him to go to practice. Not once in his entire life,” said Kaci Smith, CJ’s mother.Smith’s commitment to swimming has taken him to his fourth-consecutive NCAA championships, where he’ll compete later this month.“He just continues to do for the Gophers what he [has done] for the last three years, finishing up his fourth year,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “There is no question about it that he is dependable. He’s a heck of a swimmer, and I know he’ll finish his career strong in the NCAAs.”Smith completed his final Big Ten championships last month, and he has one more collegiate meet that could add on to his legacy here at Minnesota.Beyond that, Smith has already made plans — law school.Career aspirationsRecently, Smith has spent summers working at the State Fair in the entertainment department.“I got to meet some of the agents for musicians,” Smith said. “I know that I want to be in the field of law, and I have set my sights on it; and that is one of my goals.”His acquaintance with the agents sparked his interest in representing athletes in the future.“Being an agent is a really interesting line of work,” Smith said. “It’s one of those things where the effort you put in is what you are going to get out. You chase people, and you want to represent them. And if you show them that you have a real passion for it, then they are going to let you represent them as an agent.”Chris and Kaci Smith, CJ’s parents, said they support his decision whole-heartedly.“We learned to never doubt his ability or his desire to want to pursue something,” Chris Smith said. “He’s always been so focused on things that if [being a sports agent] is what he wants to do, we know that he will be successful at it.”Smith said after he graduates, he will use the following year to study for the Law School Admission Test or LSAT.last_img read more

Big Ten drug policies differ among schools

first_imgAmong Big Ten schools, the penalties for failed drug tests vary between the first, second and third offenses. “The NCAA’s doping policy is outdated, and there needs to be more consistency among schools,” Hainline told the Wall Street Journal. “Our first priority is that we’re providing great care from a health and safety standpoint because we’re really worried about their well-being,” she said. Across the NCAA, student-athlete drug policies differ, a problem the association’s administration wants to fix. But creating one uniform policy might not be as easy as it seems.  He said the educational counseling component of the disciplinary action is overlooked but important. “There are issues that are more prevalent in different areas of the country, so they could possibly be handled more efficiently at the institutional level than waiting for the minutiae and bureaucracy of the NCAA,” said Chris Hawthorne, a Big Ten representative for the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a formerGophers football player.  Several other Big Ten schools including Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin don’t require a suspension on the first offense. If the student-athlete fails his or her first NCAA-issued drug test, the penalties are much more  stringent and include the loss of a year of eligibility and a full-season suspension. “In my opinion, it makes no sense to punish a kid if you’re not going to allow and encourage them to learn from the experience,” Hawthorne said. If a student-athlete at Rutgers failed a drug test for the first time, he or she may be suspended for up to two weeks. Brian Hainline, who was named the NCAA’s first chief medical officer in 2012, said it’s time to find common ground, taking the responsibility out of individual school’s hands. center_img The group shares it by email with all student-athletes before the school year. It’s also in the student-athlete handbook, and all freshmen are educated on it in their orientation, said deputy athletics director Beth Goetz  At Minnesota, a group that includes the athletic department’s sports medicine staff, sports psychologists and officials from Boynton Health Service reassess the school’s drug policy for student-athletes each year. The men’s basketball program at Syracuse also received heavy sanctions from the committee in March for failing to abide by their drug policy, among other violations. Many student-athletes may not realize usage of Adderall could lead to a failed drug test, Hawthorne said. Still, he said student-athletes shouldn’t put themselves into that risky situation. NCAA spokespeople did not return calls for comment for this story. Big Ten drug policies differ among schools Sam KraemerApril 30, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintWith the amount of change the NCAA has undergone in recent years, rectifying inconsistent drug policies from school to school may be next on the docket. Just last week, the NCAA Committee on Infractions put Oklahoma State’s football program on a one-year probation after concluding the team failed to follow the school’s own drug policy for student-athletes. For example, if a student-athlete at Minnesota failed a drug test for the first time, he or she would be required to do 20 hours of community service. The same applies for Iowa.  Hawthorne referenced the abuse of Adderall — the prescription drug that enhances concentration —  by students and student-athletes alike during exam periods. With all of the differences, Hainline told the Wall Street Journal he hopes for the autonomy conferences to draft a collective policy, rather than the current school-by-school basis. “If you’re a student-athlete, you’re coming to school for academics and athletics. There’s no place for abusive drugs to occur in my opinion,” Hawthorne said. “There’s a culture of abuse right now, and we need to do a better job of combating it.”last_img read more

Jeremy Lynn hopes to bounce back

first_imgNow, Lynn is focused on making adjustments to pick up his first victory at the team’s next tournament. “I don’t know what it’s about yet,” Lynn said. “I’ve just been enjoying the process of how to do it. I love movies, always have, and it’s cool to start doing it.” Jeremy Lynn hopes to bounce backThe junior started the year without a singles victory for the Wildcat Invite. Jack WhiteOctober 14, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintJunior Jeremy Lynn started the 2015 season going 2-0 in doubles with senior Ruben Weber and 0-2 in singles at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational over two weeks ago.   Now approaching his second tournament of the year — the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regionals — Lynn will look to get his first singles victory. Lynn said he’s made a short video for one of his film classes and is looking forward to making a 10-minute spot by the end of the semester. “[In high school] I thought he had a really good forehand with a really good serve,” Young said. Lynn went 2-3 in doubles as a freshman but only competed in one doubles match last year, which he lost. “He’s working on some new things in his game,” head coach Geoff Young said. “I don’t think he played his best tennis in [the Wildcat Invitational], but I think that ever since then, he’s been playing better.” Off the court, Lynn originally thought he would be a business major, but he is currently studying film and media.center_img To start his junior season, Lynn was defeated 6-2, 6-1 by Jason Jaruvang of Arizona at the Wildcat Invitational. In the consolation round, he was defeated 6-4, 6-2 by Felix Schumann of Northern Arizona University. Lynn joined the Gophers from Joplin, Mo., where he won the state championship in high school in 2013. Young said he is optimistic Lynn will bounce back at the next tournament. “I’m looking to become a more well-rounded player and be able to get into the net a little more, be more aggressive,” Lynn said. “So I’ve been working on my sway on my backhand. I think it can be an effective shot and throw people off.” Lynn has seen playing time in all three of his collegiate seasons, finishing 3-11 in singles as a freshman but improving to 7-7 as a sophomore. “I love to watch movies and [want to] eventually start making movies,” Lynn said. “He’s been working on his slice backhand and coming to the net more,” Young said. “I’m really excited the rest of the fall, watching him play.”last_img read more

TCF Bank Stadium turns to ice

first_imgA second layer of decking was then added to provide a foundation for the rink before the ice sheet is built. TCF Bank Stadium turns to iceThe football arena will host the state’s first outdoor professional hockey game Sunday afternoon.Maddy FoxCrew members work to set up the hockey rink that will be used for the upcoming NHL Stadium Series game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks inside TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21. Emily PolglazeFebruary 17, 2016Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAfter waiting eight years, 12 stadiums and 13 games, Minnesota will finally get its chance to host an outdoor NHL game on Sunday. The two-day event will mark the first time the football stadium is transformed into a hockey rink since the Gophers’ men’s and women’s teams played there on Jan. 17, 2014. Former Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly skated at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and will have a chance this weekend to play outdoors with the Wild, which signed him in July.  Each venue poses its own challenges, but the setup process takes about the same amount of time everywhere, said Executive Vice President of Events for the NHL Don Renzulli, who has worked on every Stadium Series game so far. “There’s a lot of pressure, but you have to have fun with the guys,” said Dan Craig, senior director of facilities operations for the NHL, which handles all aspects of construction and setup for the Stadium Series instead of the University’s regular crew. “Just like a hockey team, we create a team of our guys.” The rink’s framework and boards started to go up late last week, but flooding the rink is a slower process.  To keep the ice at a cool 20 degrees at all times, a refrigerated truck pumps fluid through the decking underneath the rink as warm air travels back to the truck to be cooled and compressed like a standard refrigerator.  The former All-American has played in the team’s last four games after being called up from the AHL. By last Tuesday, the NHL crew had begun work on the stadium, putting down a layer of aluminum decking over the field’s AstroTurf that will be used with the cooling system to balance temperatures. The crew had to battle cold temperatures last week as it built the rink, but an ice system will keep the rink in good shape, as temperatures will likely creep above freezing Sunday. The Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks will play at 2:30 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium, with an alumni game featuring former players from both teams taking place the day before. The finishing touches include hanging banners and painting the ice, which happened early this week. Gophers head coach Don Lucia said he still remembers the wind when his team played outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014.  “I’m sure the NHL is going to do a great job to get the best ice sheet that they possibly can,” Lucia said. “I think more than anything the ice will be fine. It just depends what kind of day you’re having. The wind plays into it more than anything else.” The NHL will also oversee a free spectator plaza outside Gate A of the stadium with games and live music and the chance for fans to skate on the ice Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. While temperature rarely poses an issue for the crew, Craig said, wind can. “We take our time. We can really get it done in three days, but we take five,” Craig said. “Because the same people that are building it are here for team skates, the alumni game, rehearsals and the main game. We have to make sure the staff is healthy and ready to go.” “You grow up on the ponds, so in a sense it’s nothing really new or difficult to you,” Reilly said at a press conference for the event in August. “You kind of feel at home playing outdoors.” The arena will then have to return to being a football stadium, but Renzulli said all the hard work will pay off in the end when outdoor professional hockey comes to Minnesota for the first time. “Over the years, I think players like to come out and see 50,000 people. They don’t get that experience all the time,” Renzulli said. “They’ve all remarked about that and have said, ‘This is cool. This is once in a lifetime.’ ”last_img read more

Last time between Minnesota and Illinois…

first_imgLast time between Minnesota and Illinois…The Illini ran wild over the Gophers last year. Nick JungheimOctober 1, 2019Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintFinal:Illinois 55, Minnesota 31The Gophers defense had no answers for Illinois’ rushing attack last season as Minnesota failed to build off its first Big Ten victory of the season the previous week against Indiana. Combining to average 12.3 yards per rush, quarterback AJ Bush Jr. and running backs Reggie Corbin and Dre Brown torched Minnesota for 430 yards, dropping Minnesota to last place in the Big Ten West standings. The 55 points Illinois scored was the most Minnesota allowed in a game since 2011, but the second time in three weeks the Gophers conceded over 50 to an opponent.Big plays doomed Minnesota as Corbin rushed for a 72-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage. After a touchdown from Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim tied the score, Brown matched Corbin with a 72-yard rush of his own to put Illinois ahead 14-7 on the ensuing possession.Trailing 17-7 in the second quarter, Ibrahim cut Minnesota’s deficit to three points with another score. But lightning soon struck again for the Illini as Bush connected with senior Ricky Smalling for a 67-yard touchdown pass.Senior kicker Emmit Carpenter brought the Gophers back within a touchdown with a short field goal just before the half, but Illinois would score the game’s next 24 points, including another 77-yard touchdown run from Corbin.Defensive backs Jordan Howden, Coney Durr and Chris Williamson were three of Minnesota’s top four tacklers on the afternoon, illustrating just how often Illinois’ running backs were able to get to the second level. The Gophers parted ways with defensive coordinator Robb Smith the following day. After that defeat, Minnesota’s defense saw a resurgence under new defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, allowing only 59 points in their next four games. Since falling to the Illini last year, the Gophers have gone 7-1. Conversely, Illinois has lost its last two games but was idle last week, giving them extra time to prepare.Illinois no longer has Bush at quarterback. Instead their signal caller is now junior Brandon Peters who doesn’t offer as much in the running game as Bush. However, the Illini still have Corbin and Brown, who are both seeing productive seasons.For the Gophers offense, sophomore receiver Rashod Bateman will hope to duplicate the success he had last year in this matchup. Bateman had his best game of 2018 against Illinois, catching seven passes for 175 yards and touchdowns of 61 and 86 yards.Quotables from the game:“This is a very, very disappointing loss … one of the most disappointing losses I’ve been around,” head coach P.J. Fleck told the media.“Execution and tackling has been a problem we’ve been dealing with all year defensively … it turned out to be a disaster, that’s probably the nicest way I can put it,” linebacker Blake Cashman told the media.“We didn’t tackle anybody tonight, [we] had people in a lot of holes just diving at the ankles instead of biting the ball,” Fleck told the media. “I think some of the speed on our defense was exposed in a lot of areas where they were able to run away from us and we couldn’t catch them.”last_img read more

Sundt hires Nicole Calamaio as director of Total Rewards

first_imgNicole Calamaio recently joined Sundt Construction, Inc. (www.sundt.com) as the general contractor’s new corporate director of total rewards.In this human resources role, Calamaio directs the planning and administration of Sundt’s total rewards program, helping to achieve the company’s strategic objectives. Calamaio’s extensive background in total rewards, including compensation, benefits, recognition programs and talent management systems, will support Sundt’s employee-owners as the company continues to grow.Calamaio brings nearly 20 years of experience working in human resources, 15 of which she spent as director of compensation, benefits and human resource information systems for another prominent construction company. She earned a Master of Arts degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in human resource management from the University of St. Thomas.last_img read more

PICOR reports recent transactions

first_imgCODAC Behavioral Health Services purchased the 18,606 square foot office building located at 1025-1075 E. Fort Lowell in Tucson from Ventura Canyon Property, LLC. Tom Knox, SIOR and Paul Hooker, with Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, represented the buyer. Dan Wesson with The Waterfall Group represented the seller in this transaction.Marana Health Center, Inc. leased 16,243 square feet, filling nine suites at 3690 S. Park Avenue in Tucson from William Lee, LLC. Ron Zimmerman, Commercial Specialist with Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, represented the landlord in this transaction.last_img read more

California investor purchases Westwood Business Park for $7.4M

first_imgCassidy Turley announced the $7.4 million ($80.88/psf) sale of Westwood Business Park, a Class B office development at 2222-2228 West Northern Avenue in the Northwest Phoenix Submarket. California-based LBK Trust III purchased the property from Nebraska-based MJA Holdings, LLC.Cassidy Turley Executive Managing Director Eric Wichterman and Senior Vice President Mike Coover negotiated the transaction on behalf of the seller, while Edward Nelson of Marcus & Millichap represented the buyer.Built in 1981, Westwood Business Park is a ±91,491 square foot office complex consisting of four two-story buildings on 5.40 acres. The property is located conveniently in the heart of North Central Phoenix west of 19th Avenue and Northern Avenue. Westwood Business Park is minutes from the Interstate 17 and the Loop 101 freeways and in close proximity to shopping, restaurants, hotels, high-end communities, recreational parks and corporate centers. The business park was 82% leased at the time of sale.last_img read more

Sand Capital acquires Four Peaks Plaza

first_imgEarlier this month, Sand Capital acquired 29 CVS stores in 12 states and six shopping centers in three states. Sand Capital, a privately-held real estate investment company, located in Scottsdale, Ariz., has just closed on 140,390 square foot Target-anchored power center in Fountain Hills. Sand Capital is the financial arm and sister company to Sandor Development Company, which was founded in 1963 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Today, Sandor owns and manages over 8 million square feet of shopping centers in 25 states throughout the United States. Once acquired, Sand Capital assets are managed and leased by Sandor. Four Peaks Plaza at 16735-16845 East Shea Boulevard is located in the northern Phoenix suburb of Fountain Hills. The center is comprised of 28 units and three outlots. Some of the major national tenants include Ross Dress for Less, Petco, Pier 1 Imports, Hi Health, Dollar Tree, Starbucks, Subway and O’Reilly Auto Parts. The leasing flyer is attached.last_img read more

Work underway on first phase of Skyline Regional Park

first_imgSkanska has started work on phase one of the 8,675-acre Skyline Regional Park in Buckeye.The $3.95 million project for the City of Buckeye includes roadway construction, park features including entry gate house, entry gate monument and gates, ramadas, rest rooms and a pedestrian/equestrian bridge across the Skyline Wash.The work consists of subgrade preparation, pipe and reinforced concrete box culverts, asphalt paving, new entry gate house and restrooms, curb, gutter and sidewalks, parking areas, decomposed granite roads and parking, landscaping, riprap, erosion control, park monument wall and sign, signing and striping, and other related incidental work.“From the beginning of this project the Skanska team has performed like seasoned professionals, committed to quality, reacting quickly to every request for information, providing solid value engineering and dedicating themselves to completing this project on time,” said Christopher Williams, manager, construction and contracting division, for the City of Buckeye. “Each member of the Skanska team, from the top to the bottom, has impressed me and I look forward to working with them on many more projects for the City of Buckeye.”“This project will provide numerous amenities to Valley residents and visitors,” said Skanska’s Phoenix Civil Construction Division Manager Chris Halpin. “We appreciate the teamwork from the City of Buckeye and our partners in making Phase One happen.”The park features views from the top of its mountain ridges overlooking the valley floor toward downtown Phoenix and south toward the Gila River.The park will also offer opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and other passive recreation activities such as wildlife viewing and camping. New programs will be offered for families to enjoy, including stargazing, fitness hikes and informative programs on the many natural and cultural resources found in the park.In July 2013, Skanska, which is active in both the building and civil construction markets, announced it had moved its building operations to 4742 North 24th Street in Phoenix, just south of Camelback Road. Skanska’s civil construction unit, formerly located in Peoria, Ariz., has co-located with the building group at the 24th Street location.last_img read more

LGE completes Pomo at Gilbert’s Heritage Marketplace

first_imgLGE Design Build has completed tenant improvement construction for the 2,600-square-foot Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana at Heritage Marketplace in Gilbert.The restaurant features a 6,000-pound, wood-fire pizza oven imported from Italy with hand-crafted stone. In addition, the authentic Italian restaurant features a bar and outdoor seating.“As one of the restaurant hotspots in the Valley, Heritage Marketplace attracts a young crowd and creates a vibrant atmosphere. It is the perfect location for our fourth Valley restaurant. We’ve been busy since day one with happy guests,” said Stefano Fabbri, CEO and a partner of Pomo Restaurant Group.The Pomo Restaurant Group also owns Pomo restaurants in Glendale, Scottsdale and Phoenix. Pomo at Heritage Marketplace opened in July.Heritage Marketplace, also developed by LGE Design Build, is a family friendly, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development in downtown Gilbert located on the northwest corner of Gilbert Road and Vaughn Avenue. The development is an integral part of Gilbert’s historic Heritage District.LGE Design Build launched Heritage Marketplace’s Phase 2 in June. The phase includes two buildings totaling 32,000 square feet with ground floor restaurant and retail space, and second floor office space. The north building is about 10,000 square feet and the south building is about 22,000 square feet.In Phase 1, LGE has completed 31,000 square feet of a dynamic mixed-use office/retail/restaurant project. Tenants include Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, Pomo Pizzeria, Barrio Queen, Zinburger and Petersen’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream.“Heritage Marketplace is bustling with restaurant and business activity, becoming one of the Valley’s premier destinations for dining and commerce,” said Dave Sellers, LGE Design Build president.last_img read more

OTL installs architectural water feature as centerpiece of Papago Park Center

first_imgOutside the Lines (OTL), a design-build construction company that specializes in creating one-of-a-kind water features, rockwork and themed environments, has announced its role in the construction of an architectural fountain for the central plaza of The Grand at Papago Park Center, a new 3.2 million-square-foot, Class A mixed-use project on the last developable parcel within the 350-acre Papago Park Center business park in Tempe, Arizona.Located at 1151 W. Washington St. in Tempe, Arizona, The Grand at Papago Park Center at build-out will total 60 acres with over 2.3 million square feet of Class A office space built by Lincoln Property Company, Alliance Residential’s Broadstone at The Grand luxury apartments, and complimentary hotel, retail and restaurant space. One of the main features of the Center is a recreational pathway featuring four stunning steel bridges to accommodate walkers, runners and bikers. The pathway also features sophisticated LED lighting design that won an IES Illumination Award and lighted signage that features historic quotes from Theodore Roosevelt and others who helped build the legacy of the Valley.GBtwo Landscape Architecture has designed the property’s centerpiece roundabout park, featuring a signature water feature designed by WET Design. The fountain is a tribute to the Theodore Roosevelt Dam (which is located on the Salt River 70 miles northeast of Tempe) and its place in Arizona history. Situated just yards from the Grand Canal, a source of water from the Salt River to the Phoenix valley since the 1870s, OTL is installing the water feature’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems which will simulate the energy and power of a dam releasing water.The water feature project is being built by general contractor JE Dunn Construction Company, who has assembled a stellar team of local subcontractors to handle trades such as concrete, waterproofing, and masonry. OTL’s experience in building complicated fountains will ensure that the specialized fountain equipment designed and manufactured by WET delivers the project’s desired effects.“Having previously built WET fountains, OTL is able to anticipate areas of concern, which can be planned in advance with the general contractor and the other trades performing the work in concert with our crews,” says Wick Zimmerman OTL’s co-founder and CEO.  “This very complex water feature requires high levels of coordination amongst the entire team. Hard work and experience are required to meet the demands of this project successfully.” Zimmerman adds that each aspect of the fountain is designed to hide all visual traces of equipment and the intricate mechanical system used to create the effects, so that viewers can focus purely on the water, the finish materials, and the effects created where the two interact.OTL’s project executive in charge, John Cunningham, and project manager Kevin Bright are working closely with JE Dunn to ensure proper sequencing of the different trades and tasks involved. One of the more atypical coordination items the project team had to address is the fact that the project sits below the water level of the adjacent Grand Canal; in order to avoid risking water from the canal flooding the work areas, the water level in the canal has been dropped in conjunction with the construction schedule.To provide flexibility for the developer and owner, WET has designed the water feature in such a way that one of the reflecting pools at the base of the “dam” is able to quickly drain away to a storage tank so that the flat deck can be used for a variety of purposes.“The fountain will provide an iconic focal point for the entire development because it is capable of creating large-scale water-release effects that are visually stunning,” says Zimmerman. “The water feature has a prominent location in a central traffic circle, meaning that it will be visible from several of the newly built Class-A office buildings.”With approximately one-half mile of frontage on the Red Mountain 202 Freeway, The Grand at Papago Park Center has near-immediate access to Arizona State University and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Interstate 10, the Loop 101 and State Route 51 freeways are all within minutes of the site, providing easy access to all of the area’s major commercial corridors and residential communities throughout metropolitan Phoenix. The Grand also has a light rail station at its northern boundary, and the Center Parkway station is within walking distance. Arizona State University is just moments away using one of the two light rail stops within the project, providing easy access to a highly educated labor pool.Papago Park Center is home to the corporate offices of Salt River Project and First Solar. Other regional offices include DHL, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Sonora Quest Labs, WSP USA (formerly WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff), and State Farm Insurance. Nearby amenities include Papago Park, Rolling Hills golf course, Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Garden, Tempe Town Lake, and Mill Avenue restaurants and shopping. The area surrounding Papago Park Center is a high-growth region. With Class A office vacancy rates below 2 percent, Tempe is one of the most in-demand office markets in the Valley.last_img read more

Phoenix has added more construction jobs than all other metros

first_imgThe Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area added the most construction jobs of any metro area in the nation during the past twelve months, according to an analysis released by the Associated General Contractors of America today. As local construction firms expand their payrolls, the national association and its local chapters are taking steps to prepare the next generation of construction workers amid significant construction worker shortages.“Phoenix has gone from being the poster child for the construction depression to the best job market for construction workers in the country,” said Brian Turmail, national spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America. “Yet the construction industry in Arizona and across the country faces significant and costly workforce shortages.”Turmail noted that the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area added 13,800 new construction jobs between March 2018 and March 2019, an 11 percent increase. He added that the area added the most construction jobs among the 358 metro areas the association tracks. There are 134,900 people working in construction in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area today, up from a post-recession low of 80,000 in March 2011.The association spokesman said the Phoenix area was not alone when it comes to adding construction jobs. Nationwide, 218 out of 358 metro areas added construction jobs during the past year, including the Tucson, Prescott and Flagstaff metro areas. But he cautioned that the 2019 Construction Hiring & Business Outlook the association released earlier this year found that 78 percent of contractors report having a hard time finding qualified workers to hire.Turmail noted that construction employment is expanding in most parts of the country at a time when many older workers are retiring and too few young adults are considering high-paying careers in construction. He noted that one reason for that is that public investments in career and technical education have declined significantly for much of the past several decades. That is why the association released its new Workforce Development Plan, which outlines a series of steps federal officials should take to make it easier to establish construction training programs, he added.The plan calls for doubling federal funding for career and technical education programs over the next five years. It also calls on federal officials to evaluate schools based on how many students graduate into high-paying jobs like those available in construction, in addition to how many enter college. And the plan calls for comprehensive immigration reform that allows more individuals with construction skills to legally enter the country, a path to legal status for workers already in the country and measures to secure the border.Turmail added that the association is also working to recruit more young adults in the construction industry. He noted that the association recently launched a targeted digital advertising campaign in Phoenix and other fast-growing metro areas designed to attract a broad range of younger people into the industry. And he noted that the association’s local chapters, the Arizona Chapter, AGC and the Arizona Builders Alliance, as well as the broader local business community, are taking steps a range of steps to address workforce shortages.“Phoenix would be adding even more new construction jobs if our member firms could find people to hire,” said David Martin, the president of the Arizona Chapter, AGC. “Yet one of the surest paths to a good career and middle class life style is working in the state’s construction industry,” he added, noting that construction jobs pay 10 percent more than the average job nationwide. “Arizona’s education system is not producing enough builders,” said Tom Dunn, the president of the Arizona Builders Alliance. “But too few people appreciate the many benefits of pursuing construction careers, which is why we are working with a broad business coalition to launch a new region-wide construction recruiting campaign later this year.“Unless we can find a way to encourage more young adults to pursue high-paying careers in construction, contractors in Arizona and across the country will face significant workforce shortages,” the construction association spokesman added.last_img read more

Court rulings depend partly on when the judge last had a snack

first_imgThe Economist:AROUND the world, courthouses are adorned with a statue of a blindfolded woman holding a set of scales and a sword: Justice personified. Her sword stands for the power of the court, her scales for the competing claims of the petitioners. The blindfold (a 15th-century innovation) represents the principle that justice should be blind. The law should be applied without fear or favour, with only cold reason and the facts of the case determining what happens to the accused. Lawyers, though, have long suspected that such lofty ideals are not always achieved in practice, even in well run judicial systems free from political meddling. Justice, say the cynics, is what the judge had for breakfast. Now they have proof..Read the whole story: The Economist More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Police officers at risk of memory loss after physical exertion

first_imgMetro News:Just 60 seconds of adrenaline-pumping activity can ‘seriously damage’ their recollection of the event, according to UK scientists.They say forgetfulness is often triggered by high-energy events like chasing a suspect.Lorraine Hope, from the University of Portsmouth, believes her findings, published in journal Psychological Science, flag up the potential problems with witness statements.She said: ‘Police officers are often expected to remember in detail who said what and how many blows were received or given in the midst of physical struggle or shortly afterwards.‘The results of our tests indicate it may be very difficult for them to do this.’Dr Hope added: ‘As exhaustion takes over, cognitive resources tend to diminish. The ability to fully shift attention is inhibited, so even potentially relevant information might not be processed.’Read the whole story: Metro Newslast_img read more

Petraeus affair: Why do the powerful cheat?

first_imgUSA Today: David Petraeus is not your run-of-the-mill husband with a wandering eye. He’s not just another philandering politician or celebrity cheater, like so many others whose indiscretions have come to light in recent years.He’s a retired Army general who designed and led the military surge in Iraq and was top commander in Afghanistan. He had been deployed much of his career until he was named CIA director last year. His abrupt resignation amid news of his extramarital affair with a married Army Reserve officer brings a new wrinkle into an old story of why yet another powerful man risks so much for a woman.Yes, Petraeus joins the list of wayward sons: Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards, Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer — just to name a few.Petraeus is another, says Frank Farley, a psychologist at Temple University who studies such behavior.Read the whole story: USA Today More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

The Biology of Kindness: How It Makes Us Happier & Healthier

first_imgTIME: There’s a reason why being kind to others is good for you— and it can now be traced to a specific nerve.When it comes to staying healthy, both physically and mentally, studies consistently show that strong relationships are at least as important as avoiding smoking and obesity.  But how does social support translate into physical benefits such as lower blood pressure, healthier weights and other physiological measures of sound health?  A new study published in Psychological Science, suggests that the link may follow the twisting path of the vagus nerve, which connects social contact to the positive emotions that can flow from interactions.Read the whole story: TIMESee Barbara Fredrickson at the 25th APS Annual Convention. More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Professors are Prejudiced, too

first_imgThe New York TimesIN the world of higher education, we professors like to believe that we are free from the racial and gender biases that afflict so many other people in society. But is this self-conception accurate?To find out, we conducted an experiment. A few years ago, we sent emails to more than 6,500 randomly selected professors from 259 American universities. Each email was from a (fictional) prospective out-of-town student whom the professor did not know, expressing interest in the professor’s Ph.D. program and seeking guidance. These emails were identical and written in impeccable English, varying only in the name of the student sender. The messages came from students with names like Meredith Roberts, Lamar Washington, Juanita Martinez, Raj Singh and Chang Huang, names that earlier research participants consistently perceived as belonging to either a white, black, Hispanic, Indian or Chinese student. In total, we used 20 different names in 10 different race-gender categories (e.g. white male, Hispanic female).Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Your Fellow Diners’ Size May Affect How Much You Eat

first_imgNPR:Your dining companion may have more influence over your eating habits than you realize. We’ve known that people often have friends with similar body weights, but new research suggests that dining with an overweight companion may make us more likely to eat more unhealthful food.A study in the appropriately named journal Appetite finds that undergraduates who were offered pasta and salad while eating near a 5-foot-5-inch, 126-pound woman would eat more pasta when she was zipped into a fat suit adding 50 pounds, or about 8 points, to her body mass index.“We’ve long known that what a person [you’re with] orders can influence what you order,”Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and one of the study’s authors, tells The Salt. “We haven’t known as fully how the size of the person who you might be with, how they influence us.”Read the whole story: NPR More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Croatian family tourism as the best example of good practice in Europe

first_imgAt the invitation of the European Association of Family Accommodation (EHHA), of which it is a recent member, the Family Tourism Association presented at the World Tourism Fair (ITB) on March 9 in Berlin a model of regulation and organization of family accommodation as an example of good practice.”Croatian family accommodation is recognized as a successful model in the countries of the European Union. Half of all tourist beds are in private accommodation, which has grown by 25 percent in the last ten years”, Said the director of the HGK Tourism Department Leila Krešić-Jurić in the introductory part of the presentation and stated that family accommodation and related services earn two billion euros a year, which gives a value of 170.000 jobs, and the state collects 50 million euros a year from various taxes. . She pointed out that family accommodation last year brought 35 percent of all overnight stays to Croatian tourism, while the most numerous guests are from Germany, so family accommodation is the generator of a large increase in the number of overnight stays in Croatia in recent years.”The tradition of household accommodation dates back to Roman times and spa treatment, nurtured by proud citizens of Dubrovnik who resisted the sale of family real estate on which they build their present and future, and this model developed especially in the 60s on the Adriatic and represents the beginning of the economy sharing the modern age. With such a history and existing strategic documents of Croatian tourism, which respect the specifics of culture and tourist offer, Croatia is an example of how to easily regulate this activity“, Pointed out Krešić-Jurić and presented the legal and fiscal framework of family tourism and promotion through the tourist community.During the presentation, the role of the Family Tourism Community established at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce was emphasized, at the regional level in 1997, then at the national level in 2010. In three years, 10 regional sections have been established throughout Croatia for stronger lobbying, exchange of experiences, development of quality standards, branding and promotion, through national, regional and local forums visited by more than 10.000 citizens.Photo: HGKDuring the presentation, the President of the Family Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Nedjeljko Pinezić, additionally presented the socio-demographic dimension of this type of accommodation and its impact on the Croatian economy. “Europe is the world’s number one destination. Tourists from all over the world want to come to Europe and experience the lifestyle of the locals. If we do not allow the local population to continue living in their area in the traditional way, we will lose the basic attraction that makes tourists come to Europe. The solution is to enable people to provide accommodation services in their homes. They thus remain attached to their homes”, Pointed out Pinezić and added that this creates additional jobs, for example, for taxi drivers, traders, caterers…”Household accommodation is an important issue in the European Union that requires fair and simple regulation. Croatia has gone through its difficult period in recent history and can offer its experience and its model of household accommodation management to other EU members as an example of good practice in all the above parameters.”, Said Pinezic. The presentation was held as part of a round table organized by EHHA, during which the impact of the sharing economy on tourism trends was discussed.Berlin is an example of a city where many visitors use real estate outside the law. The influx of tourists using household accommodation in major cities in Europe has caught city administrations unprepared and is now fighting to legally prevent tourist rental apartments. However, such attitudes provoke protests of citizens about freedom of movement and freedom of inclusion in modern economic trends. The discussion was attended by leaders of political parties in Berlin and the German Association of Family Accommodation and the director of Novasol Bernd Muckenschnabel, who was impressed by the Croatian model and announced with great pleasure his arrival at the next national Family Accommodation Forum.last_img read more

Blue Lagoon in search of seasonal workers

first_imgOn Saturday, May 13, the team of the Plava laguna tourist group (Plava laguna dd and Istraturist Umag dd) presented employment opportunities in Istrian destinations in two Osijek locations – on Ante Starčević Square and in the Portanova center. These are companies that employ a total of about 3 workers, and for the peak season itself, jobs are being offered for another 200 seasonal workers.”The Blue Lagoon Group annually employs about 2.000 thousand seasonal workers. Most of them have been employed since the Easter holidays, and about 200 jobs are still open. The companies Plava laguna and Istraturist operate in Istria and offer quality opportunities for acquiring work skills, gathering work experience and meeting interesting people. Jobs have been created in Poreč and Umag, accommodation and three meals a day are at the employer’s expense, and in addition to a secure and regular salary, incentives for work in July and August have been provided. “, say the Blue Lagoon group, adding that they need about 200 more seasonal workers, from waiters, chefs and other support staff.The fact that we already have a large number of seasonal workers who return to us from year to year speaks volumes about the quality of work in the Blue Lagoon. On the contrary, this year 78 new contracts were concluded for permanent seasonal workers, who are actually workers with a permanent contract, but in practice they usually work for less than twelve months while their length of service and pension insurance are paid throughout the year. This year we have invested in an additional 300 beds for personal accommodation, with a continuous increase in quality for existing accommodation. e hereIf you are looking for a seasonal job, apply for a job in the Blue Lagoon herelast_img read more

Study: This is your teen’s brain behind the wheel

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter LinkedIn Share on Facebook “He found that peers significantly increase risk-taking among teens,” Telzer said. “I wanted to know whether we could reduce risk-taking by bringing a parent into the car.”Telzer and her colleagues observed that teens driving alone found risky decisions rewarding. Blood flow to the ventral striatum, a “reward center” in the brain, increased significantly when teen drivers chose to ignore a yellow stoplight and drove through the intersection anyway.Previous research has demonstrated that the ventral striatum is more sensitive to rewards in adolescence than during any other developmental period, Telzer said.“The prevailing view is that this peak in reward sensitivity in adolescence underlies, in part, adolescent risk-taking,” she said.A mother’s presence, however, blunted the thrill of running the yellow light, Telzer and her colleagues found.“When mom is there, the heightened ventral striatum activation during risky decisions goes away,” Telzer said. “Being risky, it appears, is no longer rewarding in the presence of mom.”Not surprisingly, teens stepped on the brakes significantly more often at yellow lights when their moms were present than when they were alone.“The teens go from about 55 percent risky choices to about 45 percent when their mom is watching,” Telzer said. “That’s a big effect.”Another brain region, the prefrontal cortex, kicked into gear when the teens put on the brakes – but only when their mom was watching, the researchers found. The PFC is important to behavioral regulation, also called “cognitive control,” Telzer said.“When they make safe decisions, when they choose to stop instead of going through that intersection, the prefrontal cortex comes online,” she said. “It’s activated when mom is there, but not when they’re alone.”The PFC (the control center) and the ventral striatum (the reward center) are key brain regions involved in adolescent risk-taking behavior, Telzer said. But in the absence of a well-developed control center, adolescents are more susceptible to the stimulating allure of risky behavior.“Here we’re showing that mom reduces the rewarding nature of risk-taking and increases activation of the prefrontal cortex during safe behavior,” Telzer said. “And so these two mechanisms help adolescents to think twice before running the intersection. A parent’s presence is actually changing the way the adolescent is reasoning and thinking about risk – and this increases their safe behavior.”center_img Email A new study of teenagers an d their moms reveals how adolescent brains negotiate risk – and the factors that modulate their risk-taking behind the wheel.In the study, reported in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 14-year-old subjects completed a simulated driving task while researchers tracked blood flow in their brains. In one trial, the teen driver was alone; in another, the teen’s mother was present and watching, said University of Illinois psychology professor Eva Telzer , who led the study.Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology at Temple University, developed the driving task and evaluated how the presence of peers influenced teen risk-taking, Telzer said. Sharelast_img read more

Positive reinforcement plays key role in cognitive task performance in ADHD kids

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Email The findings come out of a novel study published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions that collectively examined two leading theories on ADHD, combining what previous work had mostly looked at separately.One of those theories suggests that lower-than-average cognitive abilities contribute to symptoms associated with ADHD, such as inattentiveness. The other theory favors motivation over ability, focusing on whether kids with ADHD have an increased sensitivity to reward.“When asking whether the performance difference we see is the result of ability or motivation, this research has more of an answer than any study that comes before it,” says UB psychologist Larry Hawk, the paper’s principle investigator.The results of the research conducted by Hawk, Fosco, UB graduate student Michelle Bubnik and Keri Rosch of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, have clinical parallels as well.Behavioral therapy, which uses positive consequences to increase the likelihood of achieving certain behaviors, is among the leading psychosocial interventions for children with an ADHD diagnosis.The authors point out that the benefits of reward are not specific to children with ADHD.“The major difference is that typically developing kids usually perform well even when simply asked to do their best,” says Fosco. “But kids with ADHD typically need an external or an additional reinforcement to perform their best.”It’s a tricky area of research area, according to Hawk, since some of the subjects are being tested on tasks on which they have a demonstrated history of poor performance.There is also a degree of variability between the two groups. The authors say that having a diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t necessarily mean that a child will perform poorly on any given task, and neither does the absence of a diagnosis mean that the child will perform well on any given task.“You can’t say kids with ADHD respond more to reinforcement because they were doing poorly to begin with,” says Hawk. “We showed that was not true. It was greater motivation to obtain external rewards that drove the effects we observed.” A little recognition for a job well done means a lot to children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – more so than it would for typically developing kids.That praise, or other possible reward, improves the performance of children with ADHD on certain cognitive tasks, but until a recent study led by researchers from the University at Buffalo, it wasn’t clear if that result was due to heightened motivation inspired by positive reinforcement or because those with ADHD simply had greater room for improvement at certain tasks relative to their peers without such a diagnosis.“Our results suggest that the motivation piece is critical,” says Whitney Fosco, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. “Kids with ADHD showed more improvement because they are more motivated by the opportunity to gain rewards, not because they simply did worse from the beginning.”center_img Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twitterlast_img read more

How marriage has morphed into a means of supporting intensive investments in children

first_img“In a gender-specialized economy, where men and women are playing very different productive roles, you need the long-term commitment to protect the vulnerable party, who in this case is the woman,” explained Lundberg, UCSB’s Leonard Broom Professor of Demography. “But when women’s educational attainment increased and surpassed that of men, and women became more committed to jobs and careers, the kind of economic disparity that supported a division of labor in the household eroded.”If this scenario is true for people across the economic spectrum, Lundberg posited, then statistics should show a broad-based retreat from marriage. Evidence, however, bears out something entirely different.“What we see is a striking adherence to traditional marriage patterns among the college educated and those with higher professional degrees,” Lundberg said. “While marriage rates have declined consistently over time, they have declined far more among people whose education level is high school or some college.”Also, college graduates tend to marry before they begin families and, when they do wed, their marriages are more stable than those of couples with less education. This puzzled Lundberg and Pollak.The researchers hypothesized that now — in the 21st century — a primary function of marriage is to provide a long-term stable home for children, which suggests that investments in offspring have become a driving force in preserving the institution of matrimony. Lundberg noted that mothers at all economic levels spend more time with their children now than was common 30 years ago.“In terms of time and money, the well-educated, higher-income parents have increased their investments in children much more than those with lower incomes,” Lundberg said. “They have the know-how and the resources and they expect to help their children become economically successful in a way that may seem out of reach for parents with much lower levels of resources.”According to Lundberg, the playing field is not level and the focus for low-income parents is on keeping their children safe and healthy. “When the joint project of intense investments in children seems out of reach, it may not seem worth putting up with the disadvantages of marriage,” Lundberg said.“One possible implication if we are right — and I should say that this is a speculative argument — is that it may be possible to encourage investing in children among lower-income parents by devoting more social resources to early childhood, enabling parents to see a brighter future for their children,” Lundberg added. “These societal investments could, in turn, make longer-term commitments among these parents more feasible and advantageous.”One aspect of marriage that hasn’t changed much over the years is that most men and women eventually do marry. “If you look at the fraction of people 50 years old who have ever married, the differences between the education groups are very, very small,” Lundberg said. “What is really distinctive is the timing of marriage and the very high proportion of women with a high school diploma or some college who have their first child either on their own or within a cohabitating relationship, which is extremely rare among people with a college degree or higher.“The timing is extraordinarily suggestive,” Lundberg concluded. “Almost everyone wants to get married eventually. The question is when, and do you wait until you get married before you have a child?” Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Emailcenter_img Pinterest Marriage as an institution is not what it used to be. Since the 1950s, the number of couple exchanging “I dos” has dropped steadily. And while most Americans do marry at some point in their lives, many are choosing to do so later.A new study by UC Santa Barbara demographer Shelly Lundberg and economist Robert Pollak of Washington University in St. Louis examines Americans’ changing sensibilities about marriage, using economics as a measuring tool. Lundberg and Pollak contend that families with high incomes and high levels of education have the greatest incentives to maintain long-term relationships. Their findings appear in the journal The Future of Children.The researchers argue that, since the mid-20th century, marriage has morphed from an institution based on gender specialization — the man earns the income and the woman stays home to take care of the children — to a means of supporting intensive investment in children. LinkedInlast_img read more

Decline in cognitive ability leads to fear of upfront costs

first_imgShare Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Facebook Emailcenter_img In 2014, 75.4 million Baby Boomers lived in the United States, according to Pew Research. As this generation continues to age, dialogue will increase on how to manage concerns associated with aging, such as the decline in cognitive ability and retirement decisions. Now, a researcher at the University of Missouri has found that older individuals with lower cognitive abilities are susceptible to behavioral biases, such as being adverse to upfront costs. Michael Guillemette, an assistant professor of personal financial planning in the University of Missouri’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, says that risk aversion, along with lower cognitive ability among older Americans, might explain the lack of demand for certain retirement savings products.“Some financial products, such as annuities, have upfront costs,” Guillemette said. “With a pure-life annuity, an individual will pay an upfront cost that is typically $50,000 or higher and in exchange will receive monthly payments for life. The risk associated with annuities comes from the uncertainty of death. If the full amount of the annuity is not paid out prior to the death of the recipient, the money is lost. In our study, an upfront cost caused people with lower cognitive abilities to shy away from future risky decisions.”In the study, Guillemette and his coauthors Chris Browning and Patrick Payne from Texas Tech University, measured participants’ cognitive function by evaluating respondents’ working memory and numeracy. The analysis considered two hypothetical risky financial prospects, both with equivalent expected returns, but one situation included an upfront cost and the other had no upfront cost. Share on Twitter Results from the study show that individuals with lower cognitive ability exposed to the perceived upfront cost were less willing to take subsequent risk. Results from the study might help explain the low demand for annuity products among older Americans. The results might also explain why companies choose to break up upfront costs in order to increase sales. For example, a large phone company now has a program where you pay for the full cost of the phone over several years.Baby Boomers, on average, have insufficient retirement assets, and a strain on the Social Security System leaves questions for how this generation will support themselves as they age. Annuities can play an important role for older Americans. Serving as a type of insurance, annuities can help protect people from running out of money before death. However, results from this study reveal that the upfront cost associated with annuities might deter older individuals from purchasing these products. Guillemette says that the industry could improve the demand for annuities by breaking the large upfront cost into incremental payments over time. The researchers also say that financial advisors often describe annuity products as investments, but they might be more appropriately framed as insurance products that protect against loss.“The perfect storm is created as individuals age,” Guillemette said. “When they get into their 60s and, especially, 70s it is natural to experience cognitive decline. This becomes detrimental when combined with the fact that as individuals age, they also become more confident in their choices. A Certified Financial Planner who is a fiduciary could be beneficial because he or she could recognize those cognitive shortfalls and work in the individual’s best interest in terms of proper financial decisions.”This study was published in Applied Economics Letters.last_img read more

Paying people to raise money for charity makes them less persuasive, study finds

first_imgShare on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Facebook People who receive a financial incentive to raise money for a charity they care about are actually less effective in soliciting donations, even when potential donors have no idea that incentives were involved, according to new findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research suggests that incentives may have this effect because they result in the fundraisers coming off as less sincere to the people they’re trying to persuade.“We show that incentives make persuaders less effective at communicating sincere concern for a charitable cause, which means the incentive is having harmful effects on the very activity it was designed to improve,” says psychological scientist and study author Alixandra Barasch of the Stern School of Business at New York University. “This is important because it helps us understand the costs and benefits of incentives in the context of philanthropy.”Although financial incentives can provide motivation to perform a task well, Barasch and colleagues Jonathan Z. Berman (London Business School) and Deborah A. Small (the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania) wondered whether paying people to advocate for a cause that they were already motivated to support might have unintended negative consequences.center_img Email Share In one study, the researchers recruited 36 “persuaders” at a community event intended to raise money for an organization supporting breast cancer research and awareness. The persuaders were asked to make a video pitch for the organization, doing their best to persuade potential donors to contribute. Some of the persuaders were offered a personal incentive: For every $10 donated in response to their video, they would receive $1.Later, 243 participants were randomly assigned to watch one of the video pitches. In addition to the standard $10 participation fee, they received an extra $3 that they could keep for themselves or donate to the cause promoted in the video.The data showed that participants donated less of their extra cash in response to pitches from persuaders who had received an incentive compared to pitches from persuaders who hadn’t been incentivized. This occurred despite the fact that the participants had no idea that the persuaders might have received incentives.A second study, in which college students made video pitches for community-service organizations, showed similar results. Again, persuaders who received an incentive were less effective in soliciting donations; moreover, participants rated the videos of incentivized persuaders as less sincere.The researchers hypothesized that the inherent conflict between benefits to others, or altruism, and benefits to the self might inhibit persuaders from behaving in a sincere manner. Additional data from a follow-up study supported this idea: Persuaders who were given a charitable incentive — any money raised from their pitch would be matched by the researchers – seemed to be just as effective in raising funds as those who received no incentive. In this case, the incentive didn’t benefit the persuaders personally, and so it didn’t inhibit them from being sincere.Together, the findings underscore the notion the incentives compromise persuaders’ ability to convey sincerity. Barasch and colleagues are currently planning follow-up studies to examine the cues – both verbal and nonverbal – that might convey sincerity.Even if incentives do have a negative effect on sincerity, the researchers note that there may be other reasons to use incentives in the context of fundraising campaigns:“Incentives may engage people who would otherwise not help at all, and they may help recruit better talent within a competitive landscape,” says Barasch.last_img read more

How authentic are photographic memories?

first_imgMomentous eventsMany of us have experienced momentous personal or world events for which even years later, our memories seem just as vivid and detailed as a photograph taken on the day. Yet studies show that these so-called “flashbulb memories” are far from photographic.In one study, American students were surveyed the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York in 2001 and asked to document the circumstances in which they first heard the news of these attacks, plus details of an everyday event they had recently experienced. Then either one, six, or 32 weeks later, the students were surveyed about the same two events again.Exceptional memoriesThe results showed that participants judged their everyday memories as less and less vivid over time. Their reports of these memories also became less detailed over time, and less consistent with their initial reports. In contrast, participants reported their 9/11 memories to be equally as vivid after 32 weeks as on the day after the attacks. But importantly, the memory reports showed that these “flashbulb memories” had in fact lost just as much detail over time as the everyday memories, and gained just as many inconsistencies.If our flashbulb memories aren’t photographic, then what about other highly compelling kinds of memories? For example, there are many historical and contemporary cases of people with astounding memory capabilities, who can visually absorb seemingly impossible amounts of information with very little effort, as if snapping mental photographs for later review in the mind’s eye. But by and large, these so-called “memory athletes” appear to hone their skills through intense practice and age-old memorising techniques, rather than mental photography. Only very rarely have apparent exceptions to this rule been identified, and these cases can serve as particular conundrums for sceptics.Setting memory athletes aside, we might instead consider another exceptional group of people: those with so-called “highly superior autobiographical memory” (HSAM), who appear capable of remembering each day of their lives since childhood in incredible, often verifiable detail.As more and more of these people have been discovered, many have been the subjects of scientific studies, which suggest that their memory abilities are not a result of practice but are largely unintentional. This ability is indeed amazing, but sceptics might argue that even these people’s memories cannot be called photographic. Indeed, one study of 20 people with HSAM found they were just as susceptible to false memories as a group of control participants of a similar age.Photographs fadeSo we might be willing to concede to sceptics, then, that although memories sometimes seem incredibly detailed, accurate, and consistent, few if any of them are truly like photographic records frozen in time.But on second thoughts, don’t all these findings tell us that our memories, in fact, are very much like photographs? After all, even long before the terms “post-truth” and “fake news” gained currency, photographs were never wholly reliable sources.Like our memories, vividly detailed photographs can turn out to be doctored and distorted; they can misrepresent the events that occurred. Like our memories, we don’t always view photographs with an objective eye, but through the lens of our personal agendas and biases. And like our memories, a printed photograph will fade over time, even though we might continue to value it just the same.In all of these respects at least, it’s easy to see that every single one of us has photographic memory, just maybe not in the way we first thought.By Robert Nash, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Aston UniversityThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Since the invention of photography itself, people have used photograph-themed metaphors when thinking and talking about memories and remembering. When we want to retain memories of everyday events for example, we take “mental snapshots”, and when we think back to momentous events, we regard them as “flashbulb moments”. But are memories ever truly like photographs?A large number of people certainly believe so. In fact, in one recent survey of the general public from the US and UK, 87% agreed —- at least to some degree —- that “some people have ‘true’ photographic memories”. Yet, when the same statement was put to members of an esteemed scientific society for memory research, only a third of the participants agreed.The many scientists who are sceptical about the existence of photographic memories know, of course, that plenty of memories do seem highly photographic to people. However, for these sceptics, none of the available evidence so far is enough to fully convince them. Share on Twitter Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Pinterest Share LinkedInlast_img read more

Differences in the rhetorical styles of candidates in the 2016 US presidential election

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share LinkedIncenter_img Email According to several overall stylistic indicators, candidate Trump used a simple communication style, avoiding complex formulation and vocabulary. The authors analysed lexical density – or how much actual information there was in the words spoken. Trump scored the lowest for lexical density, and he also reused the same phrases more than other candidates.Former governors (Bush and Kasich) tend to use “we” more frequently than “I.” Usually Senators (Cruz, Paul, Clinton, and Sanders) tend to prefer using the pronoun “I.”Donald Trump presents an atypical figure, employing short sentences, a reduced vocabulary, repeating the same arguments with simple words. He is the single candidate to have the pronoun “I” in the second rank (after the article “the”).Hillary Clinton can also be characterized by a large use of the pronoun I. The candidates who stayed longer in the campaign had a clear preference for “I” over the “we.” When considering overall stylistic indicators, Clinton, O’Malley, and Sanders presented a high lexical density value as well as a higher number of long and complex words than the mean.Long sentences were preferred by O’Malley, Clinton, and Sanders. A relatively high lexical density percentage indicates a more complex text, containing more information. Using the transcripts of the TV debates, the lexical density values varied from 36.6% (Trump) to 44.6% (Cruz).The percentage of long or complex words varied from 18.3% (Trump) to 26.4% (Cruz, and Sanders). Senators Cruz and O’Malley had a more sophisticated communication style, employing longer sentences, and a more complex lexicon.An analysis of the top ten most specific terms per candidate reveals interesting specifics about their campaigns. Top terms used by Jeb Bush included “proven,” “status,” and “brother.” Top terms used by Martin O’Malley included “actually” and “Maryland.” Sanders preferred “Wall Street,” “wealth,” “class,” and “billionaire.” Top Clinton words included “comprehensive,” “affordable,” and “try.” Among the top ten specific words used by Trump in the course of his campaign were “I,” “Mexico,” “deal,” and “tremendous.”“As Trump won the primaries and the general election, does that mean that efficient communication must be based on tweet-like rhetoric and this form will dominate the future elections?” asked lead author Jacques Savoy. “Clearly the rhetoric evolution goes towards to short communication messages, but this also implies simplistic analysis and solutions? If the answer is affirmative, I see a real risk of the democracy.”The paper “Analysis of the Style and the Rhetoric of the 2016 US Presidential Primaries” is available at: https://academic.oup.com/dsh/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/llc/fqx007/2993886/Analysis-of-the-style-and-the-rhetoric-of-the-2016?redirectedFrom=fulltext A new paper published in Digital Scholarship in the Humanities reveals and quantifies dramatic differences in the speaking styles of candidates in the 2016 United States presidential election. Lexical analysis indicates that President Donald Trump had a distinct communication style, and it was far more direct than any of the other candidates.The most frequently used thematic words are very similar across politicians, with ‘people’ appearing in the top 4 for 7/9 candidates, and ‘say’ for 5/9. Trump and Hillary Clinton had 3 out of 4 most-used words the same.Researchers here analyzed the transcripts of the TV debates involving Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump.last_img read more

Research suggests amygdala neural circuits drive pleasure-inducing behavior

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Email Pinterest Scientists have long believed that the central amygdala, a structure located deep within the brain, is linked with fear and responses to unpleasant events.However, a team of MIT neuroscientists has now discovered a circuit in this structure that responds to rewarding events. In a study of mice, activating this circuit with certain stimuli made the animals seek those stimuli further. The researchers also found a circuit that controls responses to fearful events, but most of the neurons in the central amygdala are involved in the reward circuit, they report.“It’s surprising that positive-behavior-promoting subsets are so abundant, which is contrary to what many people in the field have been thinking,” says Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience and director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.center_img Share Share on Twitter Tonegawa is the senior author of the study, which appears in the March 22 issue of the journal Neuron. The paper’s lead authors are graduate students Joshua Kim and Xiangyu Zhang.Driving behaviorThe paper builds on a study published last year in which Tonegawa’s lab identified two distinct populations of neurons in a different part of the amygdala, known as the basolateral amygdala (BLA). These two populations are genetically programmed to encode either fearful or happy memories.In that study, the researchers found that the neurons encoding positive and negative memories relay information to different parts of the central amygdala. In their new work, they set out to further clarify the connections from the two BLA populations to the central amygdala, and to determine the functions of the central amygdala cells that receive information from the BLA.First, the researchers analyzed the genetic profiles of the central amygdala neurons and divided them into seven groups based on the genetic markers they express and their anatomical location. They then used optogenetics, a technique that allowed them to control neuron activity with light, to investigate the functions of each population.The researchers found that five of these populations stimulate reward-related behavior: When the mice were exposed to light, the mice repeatedly sought more light exposure because these neurons were driving a reward circuit. These same populations all receive input from the positive emotion cells in the BLA.Another population of neurons underlies fear-related innate and memory behaviors, and the last population was not required for either fear- or reward-related behavior.This finding contradicts the consensus that the central amygdala is involved primarily in fear-related behavior, the researchers say.“Classically people have generalized the central amygdala as a fear-related structure. They think it’s involved in anxiety and fear-related responses,” Kim says. “However, it looks like the structure as a whole mainly seems to participate in appetitive behaviors.”The researchers cannot rule out the possibility that some yet-to-be-discovered cells in the central amygdala control negative behavior, they say. “However, the cells that we have identified so far represent more than 90 percent of the central amygdala,” Tonegawa says. “If there are some other cells for negative behavior, it’s a small fraction.”“Most of the research on the amygdala during last 20 years has focused on the role of the central amygdala of the nucleus in mediating aversive responses,” says Richard Palmiter, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research. “The Tonegawa lab has put together an amazing paper that will change the way scientists think about the central nucleus of the amygdala.”Surprising circuitsIn another surprising finding, the researchers discovered that the fear-linked neurons they identified in the central amygdala do not send messages directly to the part of the brain that is believed to receive fear-related input from the central amygdala. This part of the brain, the periaqueductal gray (PAG), is located in the brainstem and plays a role in responding to pain, stress, and external threats.Still unknown is where those central amygdala cells send their output, and whether it eventually gets to the PAG after stopping somewhere else. Tonegawa’s lab is now trying to trace these circuits further to find out where they go.The researchers are also studying the role of BLA neurons in fear extinction, which is the process of rewriting fearful memories so that they are associated with more positive feelings. This approach is often used to treat disorders such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the JPB Foundation.last_img read more

Particular personality traits are linked to economic ideologies

first_imgShare on Facebook Email Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twittercenter_img Share Particular personality traits are linked to economic ideologies, according to new research, but this relationship appears to be influenced by a person’s income.The findings were published in the journal Political Psychology.“In my PhD, I studied the associations between people’s personality and their preferences about politics,” said study author Bert N. Bakker of the University of Amsterdam. “Many studies have shown direct associations between a person’s personality and their position towards politics on a scale from left (liberal) to right (conservative) as well as their positions towards social issues such as immigration and abortion.”“Yet, the association between personality and people’s preferences towards economic issues such as income redistribution were less clear,” Bakker said. “In this project, I set out to study whether the associations between personality and a person’s economic preferences might be stronger or weaker conditional upon another factor, namely their income.”The research was based on the Big Five model of personality, which breaks personality down into five traits: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. For his study, Bakker examined data from studies conducted in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He found that people with more conservative economic attitudes tended to be more conscientious, but less agreeable and less neurotic than their more liberal counterparts.In other words, people who disagreed with statements such as “high income earners do not pay enough taxes” were more likely to score higher on a measure of Conscientiousness, and lower on measures of Agreeableness and Neuroticism.“Yet, the association between personality traits and economic preferences is attenuated by income,” Bakker told PsyPost. “Specifically, I find that the association between the personality trait Agreeableness and economic preferences is weaker among poor people compared to wealthier people in all three countries.”“Low income also attenuates the association between economic ideology and the traits Openness (in Denmark), Extraversion (in the United Kingdom) and Neuroticism (in the United States). As such, this study shows that personality traits are associated with economic preferences and that some personality traits are weaker associated with economic preferences among citizens with a lower income.”The study found some differences between Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States. But it is unclear if this is because of cultural and political differences, or differences in the methodologies of the studies examined.“I conducted this study in three countries,” Bakker said. “I relied upon data from Denmark and supplemented this with data from the United Kingdom and the United States. The data from the U.K. and U.S. was collected by other researchers and as such the measures employed are not exactly the same as those used in Denmark.”“Perhaps some of the differences that I find across the studies are due to the differences in the measurement of personality and/or the economic preferences. Future research using fully comparable surveys in multiple countries would be beneficial.”The study was titled: “Personality Traits, Income, and Economic Ideology“.last_img read more

Study finds a link between mood and the experience of creativity in those with bipolar disorder

first_imgThe different mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are associated with different levels of self-reported creativity, according to a new study published in Psychiatry Research.An estimated 5.7 million Americans have bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness characterized by recurrent periods of mania and depression. Manic episodes typically include hyperactivity, euphoria and insomnia.“Although some studies have looked at objective measures of creativity in bipolar disorder, we also thought it would be useful to understand how people diagnosed with bipolar disorder understand their own creativity and how this may be related to their mood,” said study author Tania Perich, a lecturer at Western Sydney University. Share on Facebook LinkedIn The researchers surveyed 397 individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder regarding their recent symptoms and their perceptions about their own level of creativity.Those reporting symptoms of depression tended to report feeling significantly less creative. But participants who reported mania symptoms did not view themselves as more creative than those who did not report any symptoms.“There is a relationship between mood and the experience of creativity for people living with bipolar disorder. When depressed, people experience lower perceived creativity,” Perich said.Some of the findings run contrary to previous research, which had found a relationship between mania and creativity. But the disparity could be the result of measuring creativity in different ways.The creativity measure in the new study asked participants to rate their creativity in a variety of specific domains, such as acting, crafts, dancing, money management, solving personal problems, and writing. The previous study, on the other hand, used a more general measure of creative achievement.“Further research is needed to better understand how creativity may help in living with bipolar disorder and how it may assist in improving well-being,” Perich said.The study, “Depression, mania and self-reported creativity in bipolar disorder“, was authored by Natalie Miller, Tania Perich, and Tanya Meade. Emailcenter_img Pinterest Share Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Our creative ideas are viewed as a window into our true selves

first_imgShare on Twitter “Then the agent shared a candle scent idea that was so inappropriate that it stopped the conversation completely. That got me thinking — are the ideas we share revealing of our true selves? Does being creative feel personally self-disclosing? So, my coauthor, Josh Katz and I turned that experience into the series of laboratory experiments.”The research consisted of five separate experiments.In three experiments with 600 participants in total, the researchers found that people who were asked to generate creative ideas — compared to typical or conventional ideas — were more likely to believe those ideas revealed something about themselves.Their fourth experiment, which included another 399 participants, indicated that focusing on one particular category of creative ideas tended to produce greater feelings of self-disclosure. In particular, people asked to brainstorm new scents for candles believed their ideas revealed more about themselves when asked to generate only new fruit scents compared to any type of scent.“This result seems consistent with a growing stream of research suggesting that creativity not only demands cognitive flexibility but also focused persistence,” the researchers wrote in their study.In the fifth and final experiment, 326 participants generated ideas and then shared them with one another. The researchers found that participants believed they disclosed more about their personality after sharing creative ideas compared to conventional ideas. The participants also felt that their partner revealed more personal information when sharing creative ideas.“The instruction to be creative is very common in organizations but it is not benign. In the process of being creative, you rely on your own idiosyncratic point of view and unique preferences, thus making the ideas you share revealing of your true self,” Goncalo told PsyPost.“More importantly, other people listen to your ideas and make judgments about you. We found that when people heard another individual’s creative ideas, they became more confident that their judgments about their personality were accurate. People are not just judging your ideas, they are making personal judgments about you based on your ideas.”The findings could have some important implications for personal relationships. But, currently, the relationship between creativity and social bonding is unclear.“We found that people use creative ideas to judge another person’s personality but we found no effect on how much they liked the person. It remains an open question as to whether hearing a person’s creative ideas can pave the way for either rejection or bonding,” Goncalo explained.“For instance, one person shared creative candle scents ideas like ‘Zombie Apocalypse’, ‘Spoiled Milk in a Hot Car’, ‘Dog Farts’ and ‘Guilt, Guile and Gore.’ You probably formed an image of this person based on these ideas. But whether you like this person or not will probably depend on whether your preferences match.”“My lab is doing more and more work on the consequences of creativity so I hope to have more findings to share in the near future,” Goncalo added.The study, “Your Soul Spills Out: The Creative Act Feels Self-Disclosing“, was authored by Jack A Goncalo and Joshua H Katz. Share Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Pinterest LinkedIn Creative ideas are perceived to be revealing of the self, according to research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The findings provide new insights into the psychological and interpersonal consequences of creativity.“Most research on creativity has assumed that creativity is almost inherently positive and so most of the focus has been on how to boost creative output. More recently, I have become interested in the consequences of expressing creative ideas,” said study author Jack A. Goncalo, a professor and the Robert and Helen P. Seass Faculty Fellow at the Gies College of Business.“The link to self-disclosure came about through a conversation I had with a real estate agent who was showing my family homes and we remarked on the variety of different candle scents that we had smelled throughout the day. This conversation turned into an impromptu brainstorming session — everyone started sharing various ideas for candle scents (e.g. Vanilla, Freshly Baked Cookies, Orange Grove).”last_img read more

News report says multiple Saudi hospitals treating nCoV cases

first_imgMay 7, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – A media report late yesterday suggested that the 13 novel coronavirus (nCoV) cases reported in Saudi Arabia in the past few days are not confined to just one hospital, contrary to a May 5 statement from the Saudi health ministry.Malek al Moosa, executive director of a small hospital in Hofuf, in the country’s Eastern province, said the hospital has treated many of the nCoV patients but that it was not the only hospital treating such patients, the Wall Street Journal reported.Also, a man who is a cousin of three patients in the current case cluster, including one who died, said his cousins went to three different hospitals in the province, the newspaper said. The story did not name the man.The 13 cases, with 7 deaths, have all been reported since May 2. On May 5, Ziad A. Memish, MD, deputy minister for public health, reported that transmission of the disease seemed linked to one healthcare facility. He said there had been no transmission in the community.But Moosa denied that his hospital was the center of the outbreak, according to the Journal. “We have maybe paid the price of being transparent,” by testing patients and reporting the results, he said.The unidentified man whose cousins were infected told the newspaper that the Saudi health ministry “just wants to close the books” by saying the recent cases are limited to one hospital.Reports of the hospital cluster have stirred concern about possible person-to-person transmission of the virus and have prompted experts to recall how hospital outbreaks spurred the spread of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), another coronavirus infection, a decade ago.The novel virus is believed to be spreading to humans from some unidentified animal source. But person-to-person transmission has been clearly shown once before, when two family members of an infected UK man caught the virus from him after he returned sick from a trip to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Other small case clusters also have occurred, but human transmission has not been proved in those.In other developments, the Saudi government has invited an international team of experts to help investigate the outbreak, the Journal story said. The team is expected to arrive this week.Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) released guidance yesterday on infection prevention and control in caring for confirmed or probable nCoV case-patients.The 9-page document recommends assigning probable or confirmed cases “to be cared for exclusively by a group of skilled [healthcare workers] both for continuity of care and to reduce opportunities for inadvertent infection control breaches that could result in unprotected exposure.”The WHO also advises that relatives and visitors in contact with nCoV patients be limited to those “essential for patient support” and should be trained to use the same infection control precautions as healthcare workers use.The agency also recommends, among other things, that all staff members and visitors approaching within 1 meter of nCoV patients wear a medical mask, eye protection, gown, and gloves, and perform hand hygiene before and after patient contact.The WHO previously published recommendations on surveillance and clinical management for nCoV cases.Also today, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published a brief epidemiologic update on the nCoV cases in Saudi Arabia.See also: May 6 Wall Street Journal storyMay 6 WHO infection control guidanceMay 7 ECDC epidemiologic updatelast_img read more

News Scan for Aug 28, 2015

first_imgSalmonella outbreak tied to pork grows to 152 cases as recall expandsA salmonellosis outbreak tied to pork products grew by 18 cases, to 152, as a slaughterhouse in Washington state expanded a prior recall to more than 500,000 pounds of pork products and whole hogs after environmental sampling revealed insufficient sanitary conditions.The new case numbers were posted in an update today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency said that 24 people have been hospitalized because of their illness, an increase of 8 cases since the CDC’s previous update on Aug 14. Illness-onset dates range from Apr 25 to Aug 12.Meanwhile, Kapowsin Meats in Graham, Wash., recalled 523,380 pounds of pork products that may be contaminated with the outbreak strain, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-, according to an update yesterday from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).Products affected by the expanded recall include bagged or boxed Whole Hogs for Barbecue and bagged or boxed fabricated pork products including various pork offal products, pork blood, and pork trim. The original recall, announced on Aug 13, involved about 116,000 pounds of pork products.Recalled products have the mark “Est 1628″ in the USDA seal of inspection. Pork products were shipped to Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and may still be in freezers. Consumers and establishments should throw away or return any pork affected by the recall.FSIS found unsatisfactory sanitary conditions in the Kapowsin Meats facility after beginning environmental and pork sampling processes on Aug 13, and the slaughterhouse has voluntarily suspended operations.Aug 28 CDC update Aug 27 FSIS update Case of 28-year poliovirus shedding reported in UKA man living in the United Kingdom (UK) has been shedding highly evolved, vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) serotype 2 for 28 years, according to a case report yesterday in PLoS Pathogens.Researchers at the UK National Institute for Biological Standards and Control analyzed more than 180 stool samples from the man from 1995 to this year. The man received a full course of childhood polio immunizations, including oral polio vaccine (OPV) administered in 1986, and was later diagnosed as having common variable immunodeficiency, which reduces the digestive tract’s ability to kill viruses.All stool samples were positive for a high titer of iVDPV (VDPV in an immunodeficient person) strains that had reverted to neurovirulent phenotypes capable of causing paralytic polio disease.The initial samples gathered in 1995 showed iVDPV strains had undergone antigenic drift of 9.9% to 11.3% from the Sabin serotype 2 poliovirus included in the live-attenuated OPV. By March 2015, strains drifted 17.7% from the Sabin 2 poliovirus.The iVDPV strains from the stool samples also contained a high proportion of nucleotide mutations that made them different from circulating VDPV type 2 strains and wild type 2 poliovirus. The samples did not show evidence of iVDPV derived from the Sabin types 1 or 3 poliovirus strains.All iVDPV isolates were capable of causing paralytic disease in transgenic mice with human poliovirus receptors. Although investigators said that most sites on the iVDPV strains did not react with monoclonal antibodies, an antibody reaction occurred at antigenic site 3b on all strains, suggesting that antibody activity at this site could be enough to neutralize the iVDPV strains in humans.The man represents the longest period of VDPV shedding currently known, and the only person identified as a chronic shedder of highly evolved VDPV, the authors said. Aug 27 PLoS Pathog case report Iowa reports H1N1v illness in person with swine contactA person in Iowa was infected with a variant H1N1 influenza strain (H1N1v), the CDC reported today in its weekly FluView update.The patient required hospitalization and reported close contact with swine in the week before he or she became ill. The agency said that no human-to-human transmission was associated with the case. No timetable or disease outcome was disclosed.”Early identification and investigation of human infections with novel influenza A viruses are critical so that risk of infection can be more fully appreciated and appropriate public health measures can be taken,” the agency said.The case is the third confirmed H1N1v infection this year. The first was reported in January in Minnesota, and the second was reported in May in Ohio and proved fatal. After the CDC confirmed more than 300 cases of variant H3N2 (H3N2v) in the summer of 2012, the annual number of variant influenza cases has dropped dramatically.Aug 28 CDC FluView report Mumps outbreaks reported on two Midwestern campusesHealth officials at the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa have reported mumps outbreaks on campuses as students return for the fall semester, according to local news reports.The University of Illinois has confirmed 101 cases of mumps, and ill students are still being tested, the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette reported on Aug 26. The university is offering free vaccination clinics for any students or staff who have not received two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.The Iowa City Press-Citizen on Aug 14 reported that six students at the University of Iowa have been diagnosed as having mumps. The Johnson County Public Health Department confirmed the surge in mumps cases, saying that it has received 15 reports of mumps diagnoses in 2015, compared with no cases in 2014 and 1 case in 2013.The University of Iowa Student Health and Wellness division issued a mumps health advisory to students on Aug 7. The advisory warns that the virus is highly contagious and can spread through saliva and mucus, also asking that students or staff with mumps symptoms such as swollen salivary glands and muscle aches remain home and ensure they have received both doses of the MMR vaccine.Aug 26 Champaign-Urbana News Gazette story Aug 14 Iowa City Press-Citizen report Aug 7 University of Iowa health advisorylast_img read more

WHO notes 3 Ebola cases in Guinea as UK nurse improves

first_imgThe World Health Organization (WHO) today reported three Ebola cases in Guinea, one of which is new, while a UK nurse is showing promising signs of recovery after nearly dying from meningitis caused by a relapse—not a re-infection—of the virus, hospital officials said.Sierra Leone, meanwhile, has now gone 5 weeks with no new cases, the WHO said in its weekly update.No registered contacts in 2 casesOne of the new patients in Guinea is in the capital, Conakry, while the other two are in Forecariah district, where some of the most recent cases have been detected. The case in Conakry and one of the other cases were reported by the media on Oct 16.As noted then, the Conakry patient, a 21-year-old man, is not part of a known transmission chain. And genomic analyses suggest he was not infected with the virus strain responsible for the most recent cases in Conakry and Forecariah, the WHO said today.The WHO also reported that the newly reported case, which was detected only during post-mortem testing, also was not a known contact of any previously reported case. “Therefore there remains a near-term risk of further cases among both registered and untraced contacts,” the agency said.The fatal case involved a 35-year-old woman, and genetic analysis showed she is part of the same chain of transmission as the four cases reported in Forecariah in the WHO’s Sep 30 update. Guinea had gone more than 2 weeks between those cases and the two reported last week.The third case is the 3-month-old child of the dead woman. Officials are monitoring 246 contacts in Guinea, 70 of whom are considered high risk. The WHO said an additional 253 contacts identified in the past 6 weeks remain untraced.Sierra Leone has now gone 5 weeks without a case, and all contacts linked to its two most recently active transmission chains have completed 21 days of follow-up. As well, the last patient to receive treatment was confirmed free of Ebola virus after a second consecutive test on Sep 25 was negative. Two high-risk contacts, however—one in Bombali and one in Kambia—remain untraced, and officials are still trying to locate them.The country will be declared free of the disease on Nov 7 if no further cases are reported.Signs of improvement after meningitisIn related news, Pauline Cafferkey, the Scottish nurse who contracted Ebola last December in West Africa before recovering in late January, came close to death from meningitis caused by the virus, her doctors said today. Her condition, though, has now improved enough for her to converse, use an iPad, and sit up in bed, The Guardian reported today.BBC News reported that Michael Jacobs, MD, who is treating Cafferkey at the Royal Free Hospital in London, said, “Pauline has become unwell by meningitis caused by the Ebola virus. But to be very clear about this, she hasn’t been re-infected with the Ebola virus.”This is the original Ebola virus that she had many months ago, which has been lying inside the brain, replicating at a very low level probably, and has now re-emerged to cause this clinical illness of meningitis. And this is obviously a serious thing.”Neurologic complications due to meningitis caused life-threatening disease while Cafferkey was being treated at the specialist isolation unit at Royal Free, Jacobs said. “I think she has a long recovery ahead of her and will be with us for quite a while still.”See also:Oct 21 WHO updateOct 16 CIDRAP News story “Guinea reports two more Ebola cases; review sheds light on CNS complications”Oct 21 Guardian storyOct 21 BBC News reportlast_img read more

Studies find prior dengue worsens Zika but hint at vaccine potential

first_imgA pair of studies today probing the complex antibody reactions between Zika and dengue infection have both bad news and good news: that earlier dengue infection can worsen Zika infections, but a certain antibody against dengue can also neutralize Zika virus, raising the possibility of a vaccine target.In other developments, more Zika-related birth defects were reported in the United States, along with a steep rise in the number of Puerto Ricans infected by the virus.Drawbacks, benefits of dengue-Zika similaritiesThe two studies were done by the same team of researchers from Imperial College London, the Pasteur Institute, and Madihol University in Bangkok. Also, both were supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, and other groups.The team published the study on cross-reactions and enhanced Zika infection in Nature Immunology, while the report on the antibody with the potential to neutralize both viruses appeared in Nature.The authors noted that the lab findings in the first study are in the early stages, but in a nutshell, their work suggests that previous dengue exposure enhances Zika infection. Theirs is the second study to hint that prior dengue infection might be a cofactor in Zika infection. In late April, a team from Florida Gulf Coast University found that dengue monoclonal antibodies cross-react, don’t neutralize, and enhance Zika infection.In the new study, researchers also used antibodies collected from people who had been infected with Zika virus. When the group added the antibodies to cell culture, along with Zika virus, they found that the dengue antibodies recognize and bind to Zika, but they can also worsen Zika infection through a process called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Identified earlier in dengue studies, ADE is thought to trigger more serious infections following a first dengue infection.Juthathip Mongkolsapaya, PhD, from Imperial College London, said in a press release that the next step is to investigate if ADE helps Zika virus cross the placenta. She said the team also found a group of antibodies (EDE1) that can bind to certain dengue virus sites and block Zika virus from entering immune cells.In the second study, the researchers confirmed that EDE1 antibodies bind efficiently to Zika virus and can neutralize infection, as they do for dengue virus. Using x-ray crystallography, they determined that the binding site on the viral envelope is the same for both viruses, which they said could one day lead to a universal vaccine that protects against both of them.In their experiments, the investigators tested two antibodies that were already known to neutralize dengue virus. One of them was even more effective at blocking Zika virus, suggesting a high level of closeness between the two viruses that surprised the team.Jeremy Farrar, MD, PhD, director of the Wellcome Trust, said in the Imperial College press release that the viruses come from the same flavivirus family and share many genetic, transmission pattern, and immune response characteristics.”These new studies suggest that prior infection with dengue doesn’t offer any protection against Zika, and may in fact predispose people to a more severe infection,” he said. “We can’t say yet whether this interaction is playing a role in the current outbreak, but if confirmed it’s likely to have important implications for the control and global spread of Zika, and for the development of any vaccine for the virus.”Farrar said there are still more questions than answers about Zika virus, including why explosive transmission hasn’t been seen in Southeast Asia and Africa, where the virus has caused disease for several years. “This is what the international research effort needs to work out, and quickly.US Zika birth defect totals riseIn outbreak news two more birth defects have been reported in US pregnant women infected with Zika virus, raising the total to eight as of Jun 16, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in a regular update. One was related to a live birth and the other in a pregnancy loss situation.The CDC also reported the first birth outcome information in pregnant women infected with Zika virus who live in US territories. So far one pregnancy loss with birth defects had been reported as of Jun 16, which may reflect a case reported by Puerto Rico on May 13. Microcephaly was detected on ultrasound, and it wasn’t clear if the woman miscarried or had an abortion.Information on birth outcomes is from two different CDC Zika pregnancy registries: one that includes US states and the District of Columbia, and one based in Puerto Rico.The pregnancy registries also show rising numbers of pregnant women infected with Zika virus. So far 265 have been reported from US states as of Jun 16, an increase of 31 from the previous week, and 216 have been reported in US territories, up 27 from the last report.Puerto Rico Zika spike; more GBS, sexual transmissionThe CDC also reported a steep rise in the number of Zika infections in US territories where the virus is circulating, with a steady rise in the number of US residents who have traveled to affected areas.Zika-affected US territories reported 418 more cases since the CDC’s report last week, boosting the total to 1,854, most of them in Puerto Rico. For comparison, the total rose by 135 the previous week. The CDC last week warned of a rapid Zika rise in Puerto Rico, based on what it is seeing with blood center test results. The territories also reported one more Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) case, putting that total at seven.Meanwhile, the CDC reported 63 more infections in travelers as of Jun 22, increasing that total to 819. One more GBS case was received, with four now reported.The number of sexually transmitted Zika cases stayed the same, at 11 as of Jun 22, but the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) yesterday reported its first case, involving a 61-year-old woman from Lucas County whose husband had traveled to a country with active Zika transmission. The ODH said local officials are increasing mosquito assessment and control in the areas to reduce the risk of local mosquitoes becoming infected.Funding, outbreak spreadEarly this morning the US House of Representatives approved a $1.1 billion bill to fund the Zika virus response, but Democratic senators have threatened to sink the measure when it comes up for a Senate vote, because the bill includes $750 million in budget cuts to other health programs, USA Today reported. The vote came during an unrelated sit-in by House Democrats to protest lack of a House vote on gun control bills. The House is now adjourned until after the 4th of July holiday.Anguilla, a British territory in the Caribbean, is the latest location to report local Zika virus transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today in its weekly situation report. It also noted that Guadeloupe has reported one more patient with a severe neurologic condition, raising its total to four. The number of countries reporting microcephaly, sexual transmission, and GBS remained the same as last week. The WHO said its risk assessment hasn’t changed and that overall Zika activity isn’t declining, though cases have fallen in some countries and in some parts of countries.The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today awarded $742,000 to three health centers in American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands to help battle Zika virus. The two US territories are reporting local spread of the virus. HHS said in a statement that the money is meant to help expand preventive and primary care services, outreach, patient education, and screening. The health systems have 12 delivery sites that served nearly 26,000 patients in 2014, including 6,000 child-bearing-age women.See also:Jun 23 Nature Immunol abstractJun 23 Imperial College London press releaseJun 23 Nature abstractJun 23 Pasteur Institute press releaseJun 22 CDC update on birth outcomes in pregnant women infected with Zika virusJun 22 CDC update on Zika infections in pregnant womenJun 22 CDC update on Zika virus in the USJun 22 ODH news releaselast_img read more

Microcephaly case series points to need for expanded Zika screening

first_imgMicrocephaly screening for Zika complications in newborns might miss some birth defects, according to a long-awaited analysis of the first 1,500 suspected cases in Brazil, which revealed instances of brain damage in babies with normal head circumference, a team from Brazil reported yesterday.In the largest case series to date, published in The Lancet, researchers from Brazil said screening criteria should be adjusted to include signs and symptoms of brain abnormalities.In a related research development, pathology examination of postmortem samples from infants and fetuses from Brazil at US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labs revealed Zika antigens, cell damage, but no sign of Zika outside of the central nervous system and no indication that other pathogens are involved.Defects in babies with normal head sizeIn the surveillance study, the researchers analyzed investigations completed as of Feb 27 by medical teams of 1,501 live-born babies with suspected microcephaly.Using clinical data from Brazil’s Ministry of Health, they grouped the cases into five categories based on neuroimaging and Zika virus lab findings. Categories ranged from definite microcephaly to discarded. The team also looked at head circumference, first-week mortality, and history of maternal rash.Of the total, 899 cases were discarded. Among the remaining 602, 76 were definite, 54 highly probable, 181 moderately probable, and 291 somewhat probable. Compared with the discarded cases, definite or probable ones had small head circumference, and mothers were more likely to have had a rash during pregnancy (21% vs 61%). Infants in the definite and probable groups were also four time more likely to die during the first week of life.The analysis also revealed brain abnormalities in babies with normal head size who were born to mothers who had a Zika-like rash in late pregnancy. The investigators noted that cranium development is generally complete by week 30 of gestation, so infants can be born with normal head size and still have brain damage. They also said the findings raise the possibility that Zika infection in newborns might lead to brain damage.Cesar Victora, MD, PhD, the study’s lead author, said in a Lancet press release, “Although we believe that the underreporting of microcephaly cases is rare during the epidemic, newborns infected with the virus late in pregnancy may go unreported due to their head size being within normal range.” He also noted that about a third of the mothers of babies in the definite and probable group reported no rash during pregnancy.Examination of all newborns during epidemic waves should be considered, Victora said, and he warned that because southern Brazil experienced a wave of Zika in early 2016, the country could see a second spike in microcephaly at the end of the year.In a related commentary in the same Lancet issue, two experts from Brazil said adding new neurologic symptom criteria to detect Zika cases would be useful for identifying all affected infants, but many medical settings don’t have the specialized personnel. The authors are Jorg Heukelbach, MD, MPH, PhD, a community health specialist from the School of Medicine at Federal University of Ceara, and Guilherme Loureiro Werneck, MD, PhD, with the epidemiology department at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.Another option would be incorporating an accurate serologic test into routine prenatal care, and they said validation of such a test should be a research priority.Damage in postmortem and placental samplesIn the pathology study, also published yesterday in The Lancet, researchers from the CDC and collaborators in Brazil analyzed tissue from three babies born with microcephaly who died and two placentas from mothers who miscarried at 11 and 13 weeks’ gestation. In all five instances, the mothers reported Zika symptoms during their first pregnancy trimesters.In the three fatal cases, investigators found Zika antigens in neurons and glial cells. Brain tissue analysis showed cell damage, calcium deposits, and death. Unlike for other infections such as herpes, they found no sign of substantial inflammatory response or specific structural effects.No evidence of Zika virus were found in other organ systems, and the three babies showed a range of birth defects and brain abnormalities.In placental samples from the two miscarriages, investigators found Zika virus antigens. For all five cases, tests ruled out other infectious causes.The authors said the mechanism that causes the birth defects still isn’t clear, but it is probably related to the virus attacking the nervous system, resulting in brain damage and muscle impairment.In an accompanying commentary, two US-based experts said though the CDC has concluded that Zika virus causes microcephaly, detections of Zika virus in tissues are scarce. The authors are Drucilla Roberts, MD, a pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Matthew Frosch, MD, PhD, a neuropathologist at MGH and Harvard University.They said more detailed pathology studies are needed to identify the full spectrum of Zika virus infection and to confirm the link to perinatal complications. Roberts and Frosch also recommended that future studies should include histopathologic examination of tissue at different gestational ages.”This report highlights that we can learn much about the pathogenesis of Zika virus congenital infection through careful pathological investigation, but leaves us with many questions for study,” the two wrote.Other developmentsThe CDC today reported 4 more Zika-related birth defects in US pregnant women, raising the total to 12 as of Jun 23. Three of the new cases involved live births, and one involved a pregnancy loss. The number of Zika-related birth defects in the US territories remained the same, at one. In other numbers updates, the CDC reported 22 more Zika infections in US pregnant women (raising the total to 287), and 34 more in pregnant women in the US territories (raising the total to 250). Regarding infections in the general population, the CDC reported 166 more cases in US territories where the virus is spreading locally, most of them in Puerto Rico. The total in the region stands at 2,020 now, and 3 more Guillain-Barre syndrome cases were reported, boosting the total to 10. US states reported 115 more Zika illnesses in travelers, increasing the total to 934, plus 2 more sexually transmitted Zika cases, putting that number at 13.Though most Americans have heard of Zika virus, only 13% are aware of the impact on adults and only half know that the virus can spread sexually, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported today in a health tracking poll for June. The poll also found widespread support for Zika funding, including assistance with reproductive services for women in outbreak areas in and outside of the United States.The CDC on Jun 28 added Anguilla to its level 2 travel notice for Zika virus. There are now 49 countries or territories listed among the CDC’s Zika travel advisories.See also:Jun 29 Lancet report on Zika microcephaly surveillanceJun 29 Lancet related commentaryJun 29 related Lancet press releaseJun 29 Lancet report on Zika birth defect pathologyJun 29 Lancet related commentaryJun 29 related Lancet press releaselast_img read more

Genetic tests reveal more about new H5N6 reassortant

first_imgThe latest analysis of reassortant H5N6 avian flu viruses from South Korean wild birds and domestic ducks shows that the strain is a close relative of an H5N6 virus that first turned up in Greek poultry last season, but it has two mutations that might alter its susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors, according to an expert familiar the test results.In other avian flu developments, the animal health officials in the United Kingdom (UK) issued a new risk assessment for avian flu in Europe, and French veterinary authorities reported another low-pathogenic H5N3 outbreak in poultry.H5N6 mutations might lower susceptibilityViruses from recent outbreaks in South Korea underwent further analysis at the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency of the Republic of Korea and the International Reference Laboratory in the UK government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency lab at Weybridge. And a reliable but anonymous source outlined the findings yesterday in a post to ProMED Mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.Earlier this week, the Netherlands became the fifth country to report the H5N6 reassortant, which is different than the one that has caused human infections in China and has been found in poultry outbreaks in a few Asian countries. In November, South Korea reported its first outbreak involving the reassortant, which was quickly followed by detections in Japan and Taiwan.According to the source, phylogenetic analysis showed that the recent H5N6 virus from South Korea differs from the strain implicated in outbreaks last winter. Also, all genes except neuraminidase are from the European H5N8 lineage that triggered widespread outbreaks last season and is still causing sporadic outbreaks.The neuraminidase gene, most similar to the H5N6 reassortant detected in Greece last winter, is related to low-pathogenic Eurasian influenza A virus circulating in wild birds. The expert said, however, there are differences between the neuraminidases in the Greek and South Korean isolates, and one of the viruses can’t determine the risk for the whole lineage. “Indeed, the Korean isolate has 2 mutations, which might confer altered susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors.”The findings point to ongoing H5 lineage circulation in multiple geographic regions, likely spread by wild birds.Though so far sequence analysis doesn’t show that the virus poses a zoonotic threat, heightened vigilance should be maintained for potential spread from wild birds to poultry, the expert said. The source added that the findings also underscore the complex evolution of H5 clade 2.3.4.4 viruses that will likely have different phenotypic properties in a range of hosts, possibly including humans.DEFRA weighs H5N6, H5N8 threatsIn a new outbreak assessment update, the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the recent H5N6 outbreak in the Netherlands probably reflects a new incursion into Europe, given that the only previous detection on the continent was the earlier poultry outbreak in Greece.The agency added that the same farm in the Netherlands was struck by an H5N8 outbreak last year. So far, early analysis suggests it is a reassortant between H5N8 and low-pathogenic H5N6.DEFRA also weighed in on the H5N8 threat, saying that since late October, outbreaks have continued, but at a lower rate than last season in just four countries: Russia, Italy, Germany, and Bulgaria.Wild migratory waterfowl have arrived from Asia for overwintering in northern Europe and the UK, and compared with this time last year, the outlook is more favorable for central Europe, with relatively fewer cases in wild birds. However, DEFRA added that it’s possible that wild birds have asymptomatic infections or are immune after exposure to the virus last season. Also, it’s possible that local birds could be maintaining the H5N8 virus, which could spread by other routes.With uncertainty about H5N8 prevalence in wild birds and the new development with the H5N6 ressortant, DEFRA is keeping the risk level at “medium” for now, with the risk staying at “low” for individual poultry farms.Low-path H5N3 in FranceIn outbreak developments, veterinary officials in France reported another low-pathogenic H5N3 outbreak, the second involving the strain this month, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).The new outbreak began on Dec 2 at a turkey breeding farm in Maine-et-Loire department in west central France. Farm workers noticed an excessive death rate and a drop in egg production in one of the facility’s four pens. The virus killed 30 of 9,200 turkeys, and the remaining ones are slated for culling.See also:Dec 12 ProMED Mail postDec 11 DEFRA reportDec 11 OIE report on H5N3 in Francelast_img read more

News Scan for Dec 27, 2019

first_imgThree MERS cases confirmed in Qatar’s capitalQatar has reported three more MERS cases to the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHO said yesterday. The three cases are related, and all case-patients are from Doha.The first case-patient is a 67-year-old woman who developed symptoms of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection at the end of November, and died on Dec 12. The source of her illness is still under investigation.”The patient had neither a history of contact with dromedary camels nor recent travel. Follow up and screening of seven household contacts and 40 healthcare worker contacts is ongoing and two asymptomatic secondary cases have been identified so far,” the WHO said.The woman’s son, age 50, and a 32-year-old case contact have also been diagnosed as having MERS-CoV. Both patients were asymptomatic and identified during contact tracing. The WHO said a total of 47 identified contacts of the patient have been monitored daily for the appearance of respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms for a period of 2 weeks following their last exposure to the patient.From 2012 through Nov 30, 2019, a total of 2,494 laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases and 858 associated deaths have been reported to the WHO, the vast majority in Saudi Arabia.Dec 26 WHO report Six countries report more polio cases; WHO extends polio emergencyIn the latest global polio developments, Afghanistan and Pakistan reported more wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases, and four African nations reported more circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases, according to totals reflected on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) tables, which include data reported as of Dec 24.The GPEI didn’t publish its full report wit