This year should see record returns for plant bakers. As good news stories go, that is not a bad one to kick off the New Year. And it is all down to confident pricing on branded sliced loaves, says a leading city analyst. A better understanding of consumer trends is driving competition where price was once king. Meanwhile, the gains from premiumisation of the market have yet to be fully mined. In fact, a “fundamental change in plant baking economics” is underway, no less.These are the views of industry expert David Lang of city analysts Investec, who believes a completely new plant baking business model is being created. “Ten years ago, most plant bakers had to run flat out to eke a profit. A few sacks a week were often the difference between a profit and a loss,” he says.But the upturn in baking and retail has seen UK bread value nearly treble profitability from a decade ago. Mr Lang says a distinct shift from a commodity mindset towards a marketing one has brought a fundamental shift in the economies of plant baking. Looking ahead, he predicts that over the next 10 years plant baking should see a continuation of price rises, improvements in quality, with production becoming more flexible, and deep-rooted shortcomings in the distribution chain overcome.Changing demographicsAnd the demographic tectonic plates will continue to move, shaking up how plant bakers approach their product portfolio. Increasingly, consumers are trading up – a forecast that is set to continue for at least the next five years, according to futurologists. An increase in the number of affluent shoppers will be mirrored by a corresponding decline at the middle and bottom end of the scale.While this may be good news for premium brands and speciality lines, private label is likely to fall further behind. UK prices remain among the cheapest in Europe, notes Mr Lang, but premium-branded innovations will continue to drive up prices. “The move is away from the old manic, capacity driven, price-obsessed, flour-dominated, commodity game, towards something much more closely aligned to the rest of consumer goods civilisation,” comments Mr Lang. “For private label, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference could point to a possible premium way forward. But big questions are begged about the down-at-heel standard product. Improved quality and ‘reassuringly expensive’ looks the only way forward, particularly as below-cost supply has been nuked.”He cites the wrapped ‘bakery occasions’ snacking market as providing opportunities for incremental sales for plant bakers. This category includes traditional and continental breakfast items, cakes and fruited snacks, and is valued at £677m, with growth of 7.3% (AC Nielsen Scantrack, 52w/e July 2005). Unlike the closely related £209m rolls and baps category (up 5.5% in value year-on-year), where the big brands have a representative presence, bakery occasions supply is splintered, he comments. “Some areas like fruited snacks, and crumpets are getting increased attention. In others, like speciality breads, the brands struggle to stretch with consumers demanding authenticity. Look at Poilåne French Country Bread, shipped from Paris. It’s flying off Waitrose’s shelves at £4.99 a kilo.”Developing ‘parallel’ brands could provide one solution for plant bakers to break into niche markets, best illustrated by Cadbury’s acquisition of organic chocolate brand Green & Black’s in early 2005. But greater activity from the major bakery players is inevitable, says Mr Lang. “The bakery occasions opportunity is too big for the majors to miss, particularly as it’s in line with premium, luxury and lifestyle trends.“When people get richer they don’t eat more, they eat better – market growth becomes all about premiumisation,” explains Mr Lang. “Consumer branding and customer management are becoming paramount, with efficient, high-quality production and service.” Interestingly, he speculates that the trade up could ultimately be at the expense of the multiples, with people more inclined to seek out specialists and small independents. As consumers get richer, the supermarket share of growth declines, he says – a shift that would benefit local shops, petrol stations and railway station concourses. Because of this possible fragmentation of the retail trade, a 40-year bakery consolidation trend could be halted as bread is baked closer to market.But the retail trade has played a key role in squeezing out value bread and backing the brands, he adds. “My rough calculations suggest supermarket bread operating margins of approaching 20%, and that’s despite a break-even situation in private label. So the bread department’s been restored to rude health.”Although promotion still plays too big a part in the industry’s marketing mix, long-term brand-building investment and media spend is on the up. “Moreover, managements – particularly British Bakeries’ – have felt confident enough to take pricing on to an entirely new plane. An already yawning price gap between branded and private label has been stretched beyond breaking point, and still sales are shifting to the brands. Consumers seem to want the reassurance that premium pricing brings.”However, improvements still need to be made with the supply chain, he observes. “Quality doesn’t just mean good ingredients and bread baked by proper bakers; it means freshness too,” says Mr Lang. “Shorter delivery lead times, with fresher bread and improved service levels, requires a less extended and more flexible supply chain”. “Distribution can run at more than 10p a loaf and it’s often massively inefficient. Ultimately, we could see more smaller, strategically placed units, making a broader range of fresher products delivered through the day.” Over £300m of cost could be at stake – a figure that is rising with increasing energy costs and regulation, he says. Flour costsPlant baking is also seeing a change from being production driven to marketing led. But the future cost of flour could emerge as an issue, says Mr Lang. “The last decade has been a doddle for flour buyers. Prices have fallen sharply, with partial recovery relatively gentle. “Looking ahead, life could become a lot more dangerous. Up for grabs are the last vestiges of European agricultural export subsidies. If they don’t go in 2007/8 then they’ll come under even greater attack afterwards. Their demise seems inevitable.”Consequently, the long-term future for UK millers is uncertain. “The huge increase in UK wheat production since Common Market entry is already showing signs of faltering,” says Mr Lang. “By 2008/9 flour millers could struggle to find adequate domestic supply. Millers could start to see much more volatile grist costs. For some, the experience could be terminal.”So, how will the plant baking landscape look in 2015, and will the ‘Big Three’ – British Bakeries, Allied Bakeries and Warburtons – still dominate? “There is no question that three overlapping brands plus own-brand is too complicated for the chains,” says Mr Lang. “Waitrose could be pointing the way with its British Bakeries/Warburtons duopoly experiment.”British Bakeries has been “fearless” in its price leadership, although it has been investing a lot less than its peers, Mr Lang comments. Meanwhile, Allied’s new CEO Brian Robinson, could be the fillip that Allied needs, he adds.Warburtons’ advantageFor the eventual winner, however, some pundits find it hard to look further than Warburtons. “Having ownership and management in the same hands is a priceless advantage,” he says. It could also be strengthened by expansion into new regions. “With Warburtons opening up in Wales next year and establishing a bridgehead to attack British Bakeries’ west country citadel, the battle for the south of England is going to hot up.”But the fight will not just involve the Big Three, he says. “Harry Kear plans to re-establish the Rathbones brand. His lock-in with Morrisons could provide a strong expansion base and history says you under-estimate him at your peril.” The same goes for Brace’s, he observes. “It’s got brilliant Welsh credentials and is already eating into the south west.” Moreover, with Rathbone Kear back on an even keel, and with a miniaturised Harvestime likely to follow, higher returns are expected across the trade, and in particular Allied, he comments.Mr Lang’s working title for the talk he gave at British Baker’s Baking Industry Summit was ‘Pimp My Loaf’ – a reference to the TV programme Pimp My Ride, in which clapped out cars are transformed with a radical makeover. It is a sage analogy for an industry already on the right road.
Sales of WeightWatchers cakes grew by 38.1% in the year to July 2005, according to TNS figures, says Anthony Alan Foods (Barnsley, Yorkshire), which supplies the cakes under licence. UK sales director Mark Rooza says: “NPD is at the heart of the sales success. We’ve developed techniques to produce what health-conscious consumers want: cakes that are as good as the best, but are lower in fat and lower in calories.”Growth in the healthy cake category is in stark contrast to the total cake category, he adds.“The total cake market only grew by 3.9% last year. Our figures suggest manufacturers that adapt to the market’s demands can generate new business. Consumers want cakes, but they want them to be healthier.”Total sales for low-fat cakes also bucked the trend, growing by 11.4% last year. However, the WeightWatchers brand is growing rapidly – over half the low-fat cakes purchased in the year to July 17, 2005, were Weight Watchers, compared to less than one-third two years ago.
Inter Link Foods and Finsbury Food Group, both reveal they are on missions to improve efficiency in their business this week. The two companies are profitable, but say trading conditions are “challenging” in the cake market. They say they want to control costs – read “reduce prices”. Inter Link may be the UK’s second biggest cake company, but chief executive, Paul Griffiths, talks about “toughing it out”. He is quite right, competition is cut-throat in the cake aisles of the supermarkets – particularly at the cheap end. For example, a kind-hearted colleague came back after lunch recently, loaded with two boxed chocolate cakes bought for 49p each. The manufacturer of said delicacies shall remain anonymous, but it was neither of the ones mentioned above.Needless to say, there was much tucking in, after which the general consensus was that the cakes tasted of sweetened cardboard, not such a bargain (thanks anyway!) But I am sure the supermarket buyer was thrilled by this taste of really cheap cake. And a new price precedent has been set. It’s traditional to blame the supermarkets for this sort of thing, but who exactly is offering the generous special offers in the first place? An individual supplier may strike a listing on the back of a cut–price bargain, but in the longer term everyone’s business is devalued, everyone is put under more pressure – particularly smaller suppliers. Is anyone going to back down on reducing prices, or has duffing each other up become too much of a habit for the cake suppliers? We have seen where that road leads on economy bread. Also in the news this week, Gb Ingredients has revealed (pg 5) that its business is to be split, confirming rumours which have been circulating since the Dutch investment house Gilde acquired it from DSM last July.It’s a move which will bring a large new entrant, Werhahn, into play as a bakery ingredients supplier in the UK – trading as GB Plange UK. It will be interesting to see how its arrival changes the status quo.And the yeast side of Gb is also set on growth across Europe, probably through acquisition. Exciting times for both sides, who said breaking up was hard to do?
Entries received so far for the 2006 World Scotch Pie Championship suggest the event could be a record breaker, beating the 350 entries received last year.The awards ceremony will be held during Scotch Pie Week, which runs from 25 November to 2 December. Bakers throughout Scotland are being asked to raise funds for The Scottish Society for Autism, a charity supported by TV personalities Lorraine Kelly and Richard Park.Piemen are being encouraged to organise in-store competitions, create exciting window displays and involve local schools.Alan Stuart, the Buckhaven-based founder and organiser of the event, said: “The Scotch pie is Scotland’s original takeaway and is produced with the finest Scotch beef and lamb.”
After we broke the news last week of another impending rise in the price of flour many of you have remarked that both British and Canadian wheat harvests were very good, therefore it is hard to believe that other factors would have such an adverse effect on prices.So this week Alex Waugh, director of the National Association of British and Irish Millers, explains precisely why those other factors, ’world events’, are having such a dramatic impact (pg 18). The graphs summarise the situation and show why bread prices simply must rise as a result.There is no way plant bakers, craft bakers or biscuit-makers can swallow the price rises. That is why it is so vital to continue communicating the reasons for the rise through the national media.Every single craft customer and supermarket shopper should know why they have to pay more – again. We have seen in the past that consumers accept a repeat increase on coffee and fuel. This time it is the turn of bread.Elsewhere we report on how Britain’s three biggest high street bakery retailers are having to re-jig their offering or remodel their business plans. Why? Because high street trading conditions demand it (pgs 14, 15). Lyndale and Three Cooks have taken a hard look at their trading plans and shops, while Greggs, though still seeing improved profits, has seen margins drop. Hot summers can wreak havoc on hot takeaway but coffee shops and sandwich chains such as Amano and FooGo continue to proliferate (pgs 4,5).Pasty outlets are popping up everywhere too (pg 25). In just three years, sales of pasties, as a percentage of total pastry snacks, have risen from 21.6% to 28.1%. London, not Cornwall, is where most of the pasty outlets are based, but Proper Cornish’s account manager says optimistically: “There are still lots of places in Britain that don’t have them.”Pasties are a very traditional Cornish product and, like the Melton Mowbray pork pie, are guarding their origins carefully. Tradition with a modern twist is a great seller, just look at the design of up-to-date pasty outlets. But tradition alone is not good enough – a point firmly made by our Friday essayist this week (pg 13). Do you agree?
I am writing to support John Gillespie’s idea, outlined in a recent issue of British Baker, for an industry that speaks with one voice.The National Association of Master Bakers, which is the association for craft bakers in England and Wales, would be delighted to give its backing.There are currently various sectors of the baking industry going off at a tangent with no strategy or coordination, so yes, it is time to get moving on a new coordinating council.The suggestion of Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association as an Academy Centre for Baking (letters, British Baker July 13) also appears to be a sound suggestion.Gill Brooks LonicanChief ExecutiveNAMB, Herts
Mantinga, the specialist bread company, is to distribute the Manoucher range of soft Mediterranean-style breads outside London and the M25.The line of eight handmade soft breads includes the pre-sliced Barbaree loaf for sandwiches, Basil Loaf, Fokachio, Garlic Loaf, Mediterranean Sunset, Summer Dreams and Persian Noon.Manoucher was set up by Iranian businessman Manoucher Etminan in Canada in 1983 and grew out of his passion for making and eating food.Gloucestershire-based Man-tinga supplies more than 260 speciality frozen bakery products from regional artisan craft bakeries across Europe. The company is already well-established inside the M25, with customers including British Airways and Virgin, but, until now, did not have the logistical capabilities to expand beyond Greater London. “I am very excited about this partnership as we share very similar values and a passion for bread,” commented Steven Mackintosh, director of Mantinga.
Not content with throwing televisions out of the window, rock stars are turning their destructive tendencies to bread, it would seem.Speaking on last Thursday’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks, musician and record producer-of-the-moment Calvin Harris described how, when working in a bakery when he was younger, he and colleagues used to hollow out loaves of bread at the end of the day and put them on their arms, legs and feet and wander about in something akin to a suit of bread body armour. Well, that’s one way of ticking the ’health and safety’ box.
Gingerbread maker Image on Food has launched its new Christmas range. Building on its successful line last year, it will feature Percy the Christmas Penguin and Snowy the Snowman cookie pops. These new products will join its already popular Deluxe Father Christmas and Reindeer gingerbreads. The RRP of the products ranges from £1.49 to £2.79.The new gingerbreads will be available from the autumn, either directly from Image on Food or through Hider or Cotswold Fayre.The Market Drayton-based family firm has been making gingerbread for 24 years, and supplies stores such as John Lewis, Waitrose, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, along with a large number of farm shops, delis, gift shops and tourist attractions. “We always like to ensure that our customers have something new to offer their customers and we pride ourselves on developing new products for each season,” said sales and marketing executive Vhari Russell.
Pinterest Twitter By Network Indiana – June 4, 2020 1 360 Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill on the state of race relations Facebook WhatsApp (Photo supplied) INDIANAPOLIS — The deaths of black people at the hands of police officers, whether they be white or black, is a delicate issue in America today.Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill certainly understands the perspective of both sides of the coin, both as a black man and a law enforcement official. Hill says peaceful protesters have valid reasons to be upset.“There is a problem in this country with the level of violence that seems to be happening towards African-American males. We need to address it,” Hill said. “But, on the same token, we need to do so in a proper manner.”He calls the riots, looting, and destruction of property in cities like Indianapolis “troubling”, but that the riots themselves are a “separate issue.”“It’s imperative the angst of the black community,” Hill added. “Slavery is a legacy that lives on today in the minds and hearts of black citizens. When a black person walks into a restaurant or walks into a store and someone is looking at them more so than a white individual.”Hill also alluded to the viral video of a woman in Central Park in New York City of an argument between a black man and a white woman walking her dog who was not on a leash.“The woman was some several feet away from the black gentleman and threatened him by using the trigger words: ‘an African-American man is threatening me’,” he said. “So as to say that an African-American man threatening her was more dangerous than a white man threatening her.”Hill said we as a greater society need to start better recognizing that these are the types of things African-Americans are experiencing in today’s society.“Here is the reality, each of us harbors stereotypes, implicit biases, prejudgments on other people,” said Hill. “It may be subtle. But we all have that baggage in our systems. It’s imperative that the first thing we do is a self-examination and recognize and acknowledge that we have that shortcoming. We can acknowledge that shortcoming … we can be more forgiving of the person who we accuse of having that shortcoming.”However, Hill is not laying all the blame on people who do not understand the perspective of African-Americans.“On the other hand we also have to preserve the role of law enforcement and the rule of law in this country,” Hill said. “It is absolutely vital to the protection of everybody in the community but also the black community. So there is a big, heavy lift of understanding that needs to take place from all sides.” Previous articlePerson struck, killed by train in western St. Joseph CountyNext articleNo spectators for IndyCar, NASCAR races on Fourth of July weekend at IMS Network Indiana Google+ Google+ IndianaNews Twitter
TAGSapplicationsCommon Council Standing CommitteeCommunity Investmentcommunity relationsHealth and Public SafetyIndianaInformation and TechnologyPARCPersonnel and FinancepositionsPublic Works and Property VacationResidential NeighborhoodsSouth BendSouth Bend Common CouncilutilitiesZoning and Annexation Facebook Pinterest Pinterest WhatsApp WhatsApp Twitter Google+ Twitter By Brooklyne Beatty – January 18, 2021 0 556 Google+ (Photo Supplied/City of South Bend) The South Bend Common Council is now accepting applications for Common Council Standing Committee positions.The following positions are available:Community Investment CommitteeCommunity Relations CommitteeHealth and Public Safety CommitteeInformation and Technology CommitteePARC Committee (Parks, Recreation, Cultural Arts & Entertainment)Personnel and Finance CommitteePublic Works and Property Vacation CommitteeResidential Neighborhoods CommitteeUtilities CommitteeZoning and Annexation CommitteeApplicants must be a resident of the City of South Bend for at least one year, be available to attend meetings on a regular basis and have some background on the committee’s topics.Applications must be completed by Friday, January 29. To apply, click here. Previous articleResults of Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over holiday blitz in Elkhart County releasedNext articleA slippery start for your Monday morning drive Brooklyne Beatty Facebook South Bend Common Council accepting applications for Standing Committee positions IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market
WhatsApp Google+ Facebook WhatsApp IndianaLocalNews Indiana high court rules creditors can take your stimulus check By Network Indiana – March 23, 2021 2 249 Twitter Pinterest Pinterest Facebook Google+ (“Court Gavel” by Best Law, Public Domain) If you’re in trouble with creditors and are expecting a stimulus check, they can take all or part of your money, says the Indiana Supreme Court.The court declined to stop those kinds of seizures, despite requests from groups like Indiana Legal Services, Prosperity Indiana and the Indiana Institute for Working Families.The decision was made Monday morning and the court did not explain the decision. The previous stimulus payments could not be touched by creditors or debt collectors.Many Hoosiers began getting the new $1,400 payments last week. Twitter Previous articleIndiana, Michigan move income tax deadline to May 17Next articleFederal hunger relief coming to Indiana Network Indiana
The characteristics that were most strongly predictive of PIRLS performance included prior achievement in the Year 1 Phonics Check. It belongs to that strand of curricular thinking sometimes known as constructivism. The essence of this view is that studying bodies of knowledge is pedagogically ineffective. Knowledge goes quickly out of date, and learning it is dull. Children emerge allegedly unable to think for themselves, unskilled for work in the new economy, and unprepared to act as democratic citizens. Instead, children should be enabled to construct knowledge for themselves. It is increasingly clear from international comparisons that neglecting knowledge is educationally disastrous. One body of international evidence for that is assembled by E. D. Hirsch in his 2016 book Why Knowledge Matters. Especially cogent arguments in the same vein have come from two teachers in England who have become eloquent writers – Daisy Christodoulou’s ‘Seven Myths About Education’ (2013) and David Didau’s ‘What If Everything You Knew About Education Was Wrong’ (2015). The critique does not deny that skills matter, but rather says that the best way to acquire skills is through gaining knowledge. This statement essentially describes all of chemistry. So what should teachers actually teach? What are the key concepts which children should know and apply? Thank you.How can and should policy be developed to ensure education equity? A knowledge-rich curriculum should be at the heart of all schools. We believe that is key to ensuring education equity. Endowing pupils with knowledge of ‘the best that has been thought and said’ and preparing pupils to compete in an ever more competitive jobs market is the core purpose of schooling.And ensuring that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds have the same opportunities as their more affluent peers to benefit from the cultural capital of a stretching and rigorous curriculum is key to addressing the burning injustices in our societies and driving forward social mobility.Designing and implementing these curricula should follow a thorough interrogation of the research. It is right that debates are had about what knowledge we wish to ensure all pupils possess. It is understandable that there are differing opinions about how best to prepare pupils for the challenges of the 21st century. But opinions must change as the facts change.In 2010, the government came to office in Britain. We inherited a curriculum that was not fit for purpose. The national curriculum had been stripped of knowledge, leaving pupils without the cultural literacy they needed.England was stagnating in the international league tables and too many pupils were leaving school ill-prepared to compete in our increasingly globalised world. Data from 2012 shows we were the only OECD country where the numeracy and literacy of our 16-24 year olds was no better than that of our 55 to 65 year olds.We reformed the national curriculum, restoring knowledge to its heart and clarifying what we expected children to be taught. The issues with the 2007 National Curriculum were best summed up by the statutory requirement of secondary chemistry pupils to understand ‘that there are patterns in the reactions between substances’.In ‘Could Do Better’ Tim Oates used this example to highlight the vagueness of the 2007 curriculum, writing: Thanks to the hard work of teachers and by twinning carefully sequenced, knowledge-rich curricula with wider support, the government is raising standards in our schools.In carrying out the reforms implemented since 2010, the government was careful to pursue evidence based policies. In the world of education, there are many voices who argue that the 21st century has somehow changed how education must be done. They conclude that the technological age necessitates a different approach to education. With the support of some in the business world, they encourage teachers to turn their attentions to developing the creativity, problem solving and critical thinking skills of their pupils.Around the world, many educationists – and I see one or two of them here – promote skills-based curricula as the way to prepare pupils for life in the 21st century. Often, knowledge-rich curricula are derided as an impediment to helping pupils to become creative critical-thinking problem solvers, but this is to confuse means with ends.The mistake made by these influential voices in education is to believe that creativity is a skill independent of subject domain-specific knowledge; that critical thinking can be taught discretely from the subject being thought about, or that one becomes a better problem solver simply by practicing solving problems.Just as musicians become proficient by learning their scales, it is as important that pupils build up the underlying knowledge they will need. We cannot expect a pupil to think critically about the causes of the First World War without an understanding of the delicate balance of power that existed at the turn of the 20th century. And we will not prepare pupils to be the creative, problem solving mathematicians of the future without giving them a firm grounding in the foundations of mathematics.This government in the UK is determined that the new national curriculum endows pupils with the knowledge they need, so that they are best prepared for the rigours of a globalised 21st century jobs market. But doing so must be done with due regard for the evidence. There are too many examples of governments around the world that have mistaken ends with means in the hope of preparing pupils for the 21st century, damaging educational standards in the process.Writing for the London School of Economics, Professor Lindsay Paterson of the University of Edinburgh has been a vocal critic of movements calling for skills-based curricula, writing of the underlying philosophy: This description exemplifies the belief system behind such changes. But this view is not supported by the international evidence. As Professor Paterson goes on to say, referencing teachers who are leading the knowledge-revolution in England: The new maths national curriculum for primary schools provides many examples of the specificity and detail needed for a successful curriculum, such as the structured sequence of efficient written methods of calculation that pupils are expected to have mastered at different ages.But the curriculum does not sit in isolation. The government also embarked on an ambitious reform of our national qualifications. Grade inflation was rife under the previous government and too many pupils – particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds – were being entered into low quality qualifications. Public confidence in the education system had been knocked.The government put an end to grade inflation and is introducing new GCSEs and A levels that put England’s exams on a par with the best in the world. These changes are breathing life back into the country’s education system.However, the introduction of new assessments has also been important. The government has announced the introduction of a multiplication tables check for year 4 pupils – a short online assessment designed to support the curriculum stipulation that pupils should know their tables by age 9. The government is determined that no child leaves primary school without securing the basics of mathematics.Already, the government has had success thanks to another curriculum change supported by a short assessment. Conscious of the overwhelming research in favour of teaching children to read using systematic synthetic phonics, the government embarked on a campaign to ensure every child is taught to read using the most effective methods. As well as requiring schools to teach using an evidence based phonics programme, the government introduced the phonics screening check – a short assessment of a pupil’s ability to decode simple words.The phonics screening check was introduced for the first time in 2012. That year, just 58% of 6-year-olds could correctly read 32 or more words from a list of 40. Thanks to the hard work of teachers and the government’s drive for phonics, there are 154,000 more 6-year-olds on track to be fluent readers this year. The proportion passing the phonics screening check in year 1 has risen to 81%, with 92% having passed the check by the end of year 2.The success of this policy has been confirmed by international results. The PIRLS international study of 9-year-olds’ reading ability in 50 countries around the world showed that England has risen from joint 10th place in 2011 to joint 8th place in 2016, thanks to a statistically significant rise in our average score. And the data is clear on the role that the phonics reforms played in these results, with the report accompanying the results concluding that: This nuanced understanding of the relationship between knowledge and skills is crucial to approaching curriculum design. In particular, the importance of subject domain specific knowledge to skill acquisition and transferability should be more widely understood.A successful curriculum should enable pupils to participate in the great conversations of humankind, and it should prepare pupils to thrive in an ever more globalised and competitive economy. Both of these ambitions require a curriculum designed to give pupils access to the best that has been thought and said. Pupils deserve a rich and stretching knowledge-based curriculum that provides them with cultural literacy and a foundation of knowledge to use and apply in a variety of contexts.We should judge our curricula by their success in achieving these aims.Thank you.
publish a programme of work to support the IP valuation market by autumn 2018. We will also work with industry to help identify solutions to address skills gaps around IP valuation organise roundtables with online intermediaries and rights holders. These will consider the practicalities of agreeing new Codes of Practice in social media, digital advertising and online market places support the Creative Content UK campaign, Get it Right from a Genuine Site, by providing joint funding of £2 million with DCMS On 28 March, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Business jointly launched the Creative Industries Sector Deal. More than £150 million will be invested by government and industry to help the country’s world-leading cultural and creative businesses thrive.This follows on from the government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper that was published in November. The strategy committed to roll-out Sector Deals, which are partnerships between government and industry to increase sector productivity.The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has been working with DCMS and the Creative Industries on including intellectual property (IP) in this Sector Deal. We have committed to: consider site blocking and ways that this could be introduced continue our work to help address the value gap, both within the Digital Single Market copyright proposals and at domestic levels For more information, read the full Creative Industries Sector Deal.
Irish republic £166.4m £201.8m £214.2m Our products are sold as far away as Australia, and we are keen for more people around the world to enjoy our artisanal, indulgent chocolates. The Grown Up Chocolate Company, founded in 2010 and now with 37 employees, also benefits from exporting its indulgent versions of childhood favourites overseas.Last year the company had an annual turnover of just over £2 million and they are hoping to expand to a larger site.James Ecclestone, of the Grown Up Chocolate Company, said: Country exported to 2015 2016 2017 USA £13.6m £21.7m £16.9m Britain’s independent chocolatiers are making the most of the growing global demand for their tasty treats this Easter.Last year over £680 million of chocolate from the UK was snapped up by foreign consumers, who are showing an increasing taste for quality products. Exports have risen significantly from £370 million in 2010 – an 84% rise.The number of independent chocolatiers in the UK has also grown in recent years, with more artisanal and specialised products being launched to meet consumer demand – both here and abroad. The manufacture of cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery is now worth £1.1 billion to the UK economy.The government is supporting many small businesses to taking advantage of this by helping them explore export opportunities in the 149 worldwide markets that currently import UK chocolate.Food and Farming Minister George Eustice said: Exporting is vital for me and my brand. It can be hard work but I am quite resourceful. I’m excited about now expanding into the US and the Middle East. There has been a huge growth in the number of independent chocolatiers in the UK and they are very adept at creating delicious products that are shaping consumer tastes around the world. There are great opportunities to increase our food and drink exports and increasing market access around the world is a major focus for government. Australia £23.7m £17.5m £19.5m The government, and its team of trade experts, continues to encourage and support UK business as they consider launching into overseas markets or expanding their current global customer base.This is complemented by the government’s Food is GREAT campaign, which highlights the success of current exporters and showcases the UK’s top quality food and drink.The Department for International Trade is currently working with business on the development of a new Export Strategy, which will explore the barriers to exporting and identify the best ways in which government can help drive and support UK companies to increase exporting activity and unlock high potential opportunities overseas.Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said: Poland £24m £29.8m £30.6m UK Export Finance – the UK’s export credit agency exists to ensure no viable export deal fails due to lack of finance and insurance, including working capital loan and contract bond support for UK exporters. UKEF has £50 billion in capacity to support UK exports globally and has recently partnered with five of the UK’s biggest banks to help small businesses better access this support. Face-to-face support for exporters in England – delivered via a network of around 250 International Trade Advisers (ITAs). ITAs are managed by 9 delivery partners who operate in each of the 9 English regions. Trade shows – DIT supports trade shows across the world to showcase the best of UK companies from sectors including life sciences, automotive and food and drink. Top 5 ways the government supports businesses to export: Board of Trade – with representatives from the business community to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of modern businesses. It meets 4 times a year rotated around the UK guaranteeing all parts of the Union have a chance to raise the issues most important to them. Exports are a key part of what we do and represent over a quarter of our business. great.gov.uk – export platform which lists thousands of export opportunities worth millions of pounds. It also puts firms in touch with global buyers at the click of a mouse. The Government has also just launched a step by step exporting guide here. It is great to see British businesses exporting increasing amounts of chocolate around the world as they seek to meet the ever-growing demand for our produce. Germany £40.7m £49.4m £50.6m Export support is a key way that the government can help businesses succeed and grow, which is why I am currently developing a new Export Strategy to break down the barriers companies face when doing business on the international stage. One business taking advantage of the increasing global demand for Britain’s high quality, artisan chocolates is Amelia Rope Chocolate, which started as a kitchen business in 2007 creating truffles and chocolate-dipped crystallised flora and now sells products in Hong Kong and Asia. The company’s hand-foiled salted butter caramel Easter eggs will be served to business class customers on the Eurostar over the coming weekend.Founder Amelia Rope has a passion for creating chocolate using sustainable ingredients and using recyclable material in her packaging – this year her Easter eggs are being sold in biodegradable bags rather than large amounts of cardboard and plastic.Founder Amelia Rope said: Canada £22.8m £23.4m £21.8m Netherlands £66.7m £69.2m £70.2m UAE £14.6m £13.7m £17m France £34.3m £36.3m £37m
Costain use drones for inspections at Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station, saving 50% of costs compared to the use of helicopters or human inspection teams the inspection of a wind turbine typically costs around $1,500 per tower. Performing the same inspection using a drone cuts the cost by around 50% Network Rail are using drones to improve track maintenance and boost field worker efficiency, whilst reducing the amount of work at height required on Network Rail’s assets the use of drone to deliver parcels significantly reduces costs, research by Deutsche Bank showed that drones cost less than $0.05 per mile to deliver a parcel the size of a shoe box, compared to delivery costs of up to $6.50 for premium ground services television shows such as Planet Earth II use drones to film wildlife hundreds of feet in the trees Switchboard 0300 330 3000 We are seeing fast growth in the numbers of drones being used, both commercially and for fun. Whilst we want this industry to innovate and grow, we need to protect planes, helicopters and their passengers from the increasing numbers of drones in our skies. These new laws will help ensure drones are used safely and responsibly. Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 We welcome the clarity that today’s announcement provides as it leaves no doubt that anyone flying a drone must stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields. Drones open up some exciting possibilities but must be used responsibly. These clear regulations, combined with new surveillance technology, will help the police apprehend and prosecute anyone endangering the travelling public. In addition to these measures a draft Drones Bill will be published this summer, which will give police more tailored powers to intervene on the spot if drones are being used inappropriately.Drone operators will also eventually be required to use apps – so they can access the information needed to make sure any planned flight can be made safely and legally.For model aircraft flying associations who have a long-standing safety culture, work is underway with the CAA to make sure drone regulations do not impact their activity.Drones filmAs part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy the Nesta Flying High challenge has already identified 5 cities with plans for how drone technology could operate in their complex city environments to address local needs.The future of mobility is one of the modern Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges and forms part of a long term plan to build a Britain fit for the future through a stronger, fairer economy. Through this, the government is helping businesses to create better, higher-paying jobs – setting a path for Britain to lead in the high-tech, highly-skilled industries of the future.Background informationThe new laws are being made via an amendment to the Air Navigation Order 2016.Drone users who flout the new height and airport boundary restrictions could be charged with recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an aircraft. This could result in an unlimited fine, up to five years in prison, or both.Users who fail to register or sit the competency tests could face fines of up to £1,000.There has been a significant increase in the number of commercial permissions issued by the CAA in the last year. The number of active commercial licences increased from 2,500 to 3,800 in 2017, a year on year growth of 52%.There has been a year on year increase in drone incidents with 71 in 2016 rising to 93 in 2017.A recently released PwC report highlighted that the uptake of drones could be worth up to £41.7 billion to the UK GDP by 2030.Drones are currently being used for a broad range of purposes across different industry sectors: Chris Woodroofe, Chief Operating Officer, Gatwick Airport, said: Aviation, Europe and technology media enquiries Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 the government is introducing height limits to help make sure drones are used safely as the sector grows limits around airports are being tightened up with new restrictions to prevent drones from causing harm drone users will have to register and take online safety tests to improve accountability New laws being introduced today (30 May 2018) will restrict all drones from flying above 400 feet and within 1 kilometre of airport boundaries.Following a year-on-year increase in the report of drone incidents with aircraft – with 93 in 2017 – these measures will reduce the possibility of damage to windows and engines of planes and helicopters. The changes will come into effect on 30 July 2018.The new laws will also require owners of drones weighing 250 grams or more to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and for drone pilots to take an online safety test to ensure the UK’s skies are safe from irresponsible flyers. These requirements will come into force on 30 November 2019.Drone filmThe changes are part of the future of mobility Grand Challenge, which was laid out in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. Ensuring drones are being used safely will pave the way for the devices to play an increasingly important role in society.Drones have the potential to bring great benefits to the UK, they already help inspect national infrastructure like our railways and power stations, and are even aiding disaster relief speeding up the delivery of blood. PwC has predicted the industry could be worth £42 billion in the UK by 2030.The CAA and airports will have the power to make exceptions to these restrictions in specific circumstances.Baroness Sugg, Aviation Minister, said:
These pilots will prove pivotal to our understanding of the situation and to inform any future accommodation provision. This will help improve the outcomes for ex-offenders across the country. When leaving custody, ex-offenders should all have a safe and suitable home to go to and there is work to be done to ensure this is the case. As well as ensuring people have somewhere to live, dedicated key worker support will help ex-offenders manage the practical challenges of finding a job and other issues that come with trying to reintegrate into society. Housing benefit top ups and rental deposits will ensure that accommodation will be provided from the day offenders leave prison, bolstered through wrap around support from key workers to address other needs which may normally cause the loss of a tenancy, such as attending appropriate probation and employment appointments.Heather Wheeler MP, Minister for Housing and Homelessness said: Once the trial has completed, it will be fully evaluated to assess the potential for the scheme to be rolled out more widely across England. We will also be working with the Welsh Government to deliver a similar accommodation solution.The Rough Sleeping Strategy was launched in August 2018 and sets out to halve rough sleeping on England’s streets by 2022 and end it altogether by 2027. It is backed by an additional £100 million and developed across government in conjunction with charities and experts.The strategy lays out a 3-pronged approach to tackling rough sleeping, including preventing rough sleeping by providing timely support, intervening to help people already on the streets get swift, targeted support and helping people recover, find a new home quickly and rebuild their lives. Leeds, Pentonville and Bristol prisons have been chosen to spearhead the £6 million pilot programme aimed at helping vulnerable ex-prisoners find and stay in stable accommodation.Research shows that those who are homeless or in temporary accommodation are significantly more likely to reoffend within a year than those with a stable place to live.The pilots are aimed specifically at prisoners serving short sentences who are at high risk of returning to prison. This represents the latest in a series of measures aimed at breaking the cycle of reoffending, from improving prisoners’ employment prospects to reinforcing family ties.The sites will pilot a new partnership approach between prisons, local authorities, probation staff, charities and others who will work together to provide the support prisoners need when they are released – such as signing up for benefits – but will primarily be focused on finding them suitable accommodation.The two-year programme forms part of the Government’s £100m Rough Sleeping Strategy announced over the summer.Justice Secretary David Gauke said: Every time we help an ex-prisoner into a new life – with a stable home, strong relationships and a regular job – we increase the chances of seeing fewer victims of crime in the future. These ground-breaking pilots will help prevent rough sleeping among vulnerable ex-offenders and support them as they start a new life after prison. Three prisons to pilot new scheme to support at-risk offenders Dedicated housing funding to provide stable accommodation for up to two years Support to help prisoners integrate into communities for the long-term
These documents have been developed with and tested by overseas visitor managers to help the NHS recover the costs of healthcare from visitors and migrants.
This document is a resource for agencies wishing to develop their AMHP services. It contains a summary of all the current guidance.It is for: local authorities directors of adult and children’s social care NHS mental health trusts integrated care system workforce leads
The Coronavirus Status Checker, which is the latest example of the NHS harnessing the power of technology and data to help it tackle the epidemic, is part of the NHS coronavirus service. It complements the NHS 111 online coronavirus tool launched earlier this month, which gives the public digital access to health advice, isolation notes and a daily text messaging service for those self-isolating with symptoms.The Status Checker will not identify users from the information they provide, although it will cross-reference data from other sources to ensure it avoids counting people twice.The answers given by the public will only be used by the NHS and trusted organisations working directly with the NHS in response to coronavirus. The information will not be retained any longer than is strictly necessary post COVID-19.Prof Keith Willett, Strategic Incident Director NHS England, said: Technology and data is playing a vital role in battling coronavirus and supporting our heroic NHS frontline workers to save lives, protect the vulnerable, and relive pressure on the NHS. We must learn as much as possible about this virus, and we are asking the whole nation to join this effort. If anyone has experienced symptoms of COVID-19 I would urge you to use our new status checker app to help us to collect essential information on the virus and allow us to better allocate NHS resources where they are needed most. The survey can be accessed on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-status-checker why they are staying at home to choose from a series of options to describe how they are feeling whether they have any other health problems their date of birth their postcode how many people are living in their home. A new Coronavirus Status Checker that will help the NHS coordinate its response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak has been launched today by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.People with potential coronavirus symptoms are now being asked to complete the status checker and answer a short series of questions which will tell the NHS about their experience.It is open to anyone in the UK to use on the NHS website and in its initial phase the NHS is particularly keen for anyone who thinks they may be displaying potential coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, to complete it.Status Checker users are clearly told at the beginning and the end of the survey that it is not a triage or clinical advice tool, and that they should visit 111 online for medical advice about their symptoms.The information gathered will help the NHS to plan its response to the outbreak, indicating when and where more resources like oxygen, ventilators and additional staff might be needed and will provide valuable insight into the development and progression of the virus across the country.Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: We know large volumes of people are visiting NHS 111 online each day, reporting potential coronavirus symptoms and being advised to self-isolate, and it will be hugely valuable for the NHS if we can learn more about these people and their experiences. By taking a few moments to answer these questions, you can play your part in helping the NHS put its resources in the right places, at the right time, to save lives. The service is hosted on the NHS website and is available to access openly, with links directly from the NHS 111 online coronavirus service and NHS coronavirus pages.The initiative is a collaboration between NHS England, NHSX, NHS Digital and Public Health England at the request of the Health and Social Care Secretary.The creators of a number of independent apps and websites which have already launched to collect similar data have agreed to work openly with the NHS and align their products and data as part of this central, national effort.Information collected by the NHS Coronavirus Status Checker will form part of a core national COVID-19 dataset held by NHS England.The tool is live now and people can complete the survey either for themselves or on behalf of someone else with their permission.It asks them: Notes to editors The Coronavirus Status Checker has initially been developed for NHS England. Data will be made available for the devolved administrations to support their response needs
The campaigning efforts of independent coffee shop businesses and local residents have resulted in Costa Coffee backing out from opening an outlet in a Devonshire town.Chris Rogers, managing director of the Whitbread-owned coffee shop business, wrote a letter to local residents of Totnes, the BBC News website revealed, explaining the company had “recognised the strength of feeling” against national brands in the town.He added that Costa had taken into account the “specific circumstances” of Totnes, which is home to more than 40 independent coffee shop businesses, and came to the decision following discussions with local groups.Costa gained approval for the new site on Fore Street from South Hams District Council back in August, but felt the brunt of the anti-Costa campaigning group NoToCosta, which managed to accumulate more than 5,700 signatures on a petition against the move.NoToCosta published a statement on its website last week, which said: “This is a major milestone for local communities and is a day when the value of localism comes into its own, albeit belatedly. Unfortunately, we’re now left with a situation where planning has been granted for change of use. We’d encourage South Hams District Council to learn the lesson that Costa Coffee has had to correct. If localism means communities have the right to decide what happens in their towns, its time for planners to understand this as well.”The letter to Totnes’ residents was also signed by the town’s MP Dr Sarah Wollaston and Mayor Pruw Boswell, who thanked Costa for “listening to our concerns and showing they care”.Last week, Whitbread announced as part of its financial results for the six months to 30 August 2012 that Costa had opened 141 net new coffee shops, taking its total store count to 2,344.The company featured on British Baker’s BB75 list of the top 75 UK bakery firms as this year’s fastest-growing business, adding 852 new stores to its estate over the last five years and opening stores at more than twice the rate of high street bakery retailer Greggs.
More needs to be done to publicise industry apprenticeships to young people, according to Craft Bakers’ Association (CBA) president Anthony Kindred. Commenting on a recent report by The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), which praised apprenticeships over “dead-end” college courses, Kindred said that apprenticeships were not given enough publicity.“A lot of it isn’t very good publicity. Sometimes young people aren’t always the best at finding out information, and they have to search for it when they go to job centres. There’s not really enough information on what local companies might offer.”The new report, Condition of Britain briefing 2: Growing up and becoming an adult, is the second in a series of three published by the IPPR on young people, work and benefits. A summary of the report states that for those in their teens and early 20s, “life has become, for many, more difficult and insecure in recent decades”.It states that without sufficient skills, some young people will spend their time moving in and out of “dead-end jobs” and “low-value training programmes”.Angela Coleshill, director of employment and skills at Food and Drink Federation, said: “There is no doubt that skills are the driving force to a successful industry. Growing our talent pool through apprenticeships is a key priority for food and drink manufacturers and is essential to our ability to deliver future growth. “We are currently taking action to address this via a number of projects and initiatives. For example, in 2011, our sector pledged to double the number of apprenticeships within food and drink manufacturing but we in fact smashed this target by quadrupling apprenticeships.” She added: “Building on this pledge, food and drink manufacturing is now one of the eight sectors, including automotive and aerospace, chosen to lead Apprenticeship reform as part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Apprenticeship Trailblazer initiative to develop ground-breaking new standards for apprenticeships across the country.”In 2012, Kindred provided an apprenticeship for now 19-year-old Jordan-Reece Reed who had previously been completing a hospitality course in south London. “He’s absolutely excellent,” said Kindred. “I don’t think, if he’d stayed on his course, he would have got the right sort of job.”For the craft baker, apprenticeships provide young people with vital trade skills, enabling them to find work regardless of location.“It goes back to the old thing of learning a trade. I was always taught when I was young that if you’ve got a trade, you can work anywhere in the world. If you can’t find a job in your own town, you can start looking at the next town. If you’ve got a trade you’ve got a reason for somebody to give you a job.”Coleshill added: “Companies who employ apprentices gain a valuable staff member with the talent to make a difference to the business, the apprentice gains the confidence, ambition and sense of value which goes hand-in-hand with earning a recognised qualification, inspiring loyalty and the drive to take their career in food and drink further.”
Batch, an event for bakers organised by Real Bread Campaign, is to take place in Edinburgh on 18 June.The Edinburgh event, which follows the success of Batch in Somerset and London in 2018, will take place at Cafe St. Honoré, and will comprise a three-course meal crafted by the team at the eatery to showcase seasonal ingredients and real bread.Between courses there will be talks by guests including Pam Brunton (Inver Restaurant), Neil Forbes (Cafe St Honoré, BBC Radio Scotland, The Scotsman) and Andrew Whitley (Bread Matters, Scotland the Bread).There are only 40 places available, priced at £30 for Real Bread Campaign supporters and £35 for their guests. A share of the proceeds will go towards the running of the Real Bread Campaign.Last month, the Real Bread Campaign revealed a new line-up of ambassadors including 12 women, after it came under scrutiny for a lack of gender diversity among its ambassadors last year. The new ambassadors will be vocal champions for the Campaign and real bread in general.
Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods has named its UK managing director Alex Whitehouse as chief executive officer.The business has also announced that Colin Day has been appointed non-executive chairman, and that acting CEO Alastair Murray is leaving the business. All the changes take effect from today (30 August).Whitehouse (pictured right) joined Premier Foods in July 2014 and was appointed managing director of the grocery division two months later. He became UK managing director in April 2017 and has been responsible for leading the grocery business, which includes flavourings, cooking sauces and home baking.Premier said Whitehouse has more than 20 years’ international, marketing, sales, strategy, innovation and general management experience.He spent 18 years with Reckitt Benckiser where he held senior marketing and general management roles including managing director, New Zealand, and was most recently worldwide head of shopper and customer marketing.Whitehouse said he was looking forward to working with Day and the board to drive further value from Premier’s brands.“I’m very encouraged by the improved performance of the business over the last couple of years and see this as something we can build on further,” he added.Day retired as chief executive of components manufacturer Essentra in 2017. He was previously chief financial officer at Reckitt Benckiser for more than 10 years. Currently a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) board member, he has chaired the Defra audit and risk assurance committee since July 2018. He is a non-executive director and audit committee chair at Meggitt plc and Euromoney plc.Premier’s chief financial officer Alastair Murray, who has held that role for six years and has been acting CEO following the departure of Gavin Darby in January, has agreed to leave the business and step down from the board.”On behalf of the board I would like to thank Alastair Murray for his outstanding contribution to the business, both as CFO and more latterly as acting CEO, and wish him all the best for the future,” said senior independent director Richard Hodgson.Duncan Leggett, group director of financial control and corporate development, will become acting chief financial officer pending a permanent replacement for Murray.
Source: Getty ImagesGroceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Mark White is seeking views from bakery companies which supply the supermarkets to find out whether they are being treated fairly.It forms part of the GCA annual survey and is described as a valuable opportunity for baked goods suppliers to the UK’s largest supermarkets to tell GCA about any code issues they are facing and whether the regulated retailers are treating them fairly and lawfully.GCA regulated the relationship between direct suppliers and the UK’s 13 largest supermarkets.For the first time the survey will also ask suppliers to provide positive feedback to their retailers as well as saying what has not worked so well.This will be the eighth year the survey has been conducted and, as in previous years, it will be carried out by independent polling company YouGov.From the beginning, the survey has played an important role in helping the GCA to achieve progress for suppliers, demonstrating where retailers’ efforts have improved Code compliance and identifying areas for them to make improvements, it said.“This survey will be immensely valuable in helping me identify the issues the groceries sector is facing as well as guiding my future work. What suppliers can tell me is particularly important as this is my first year as GCA and the sector is still working under the challenges of Covid and Brexit so I am asking them to be as frank as possible. Their answers can help their businesses,” said White.“I have decided to include two innovations this year. First, I would like to hear from suppliers who think the retailers are doing a good job so I can highlight success and share good practice.”The second is that after the main survey has closed, YouGov will carry out some detailed interviews with suppliers on issues arising from the findings. Those interested in taking part should provide contact details at the end of the survey.“For example, in the last survey just over a third of respondents still reported Code-related issues even though the results showed progress across many areas. I would like to understand more clearly why this is the case,” he added.White emphasised that all information will be treated with complete confidence.The survey closes on 21 February and GCA will publish the results in spring/summer. You can take part in the survey via this link.
This summer is surely shaping up nicely, as the newest festival to announce their lineup is High Sierra Music Festival. The four night excursion will take place from June 30-July 3rd in Quincy, CA, capitalizing on the beautiful Northern California climate for an early summer throwdown.Headlining the festival will be Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Thievery Corporation and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. The full lineup is stacked with sets from Dr. Dog, Greensky Bluegrass, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, JJ Grey & Mofro, Xavier Rudd, Leftover Salmon, Lettuce, North Mississippi Allstars, ALO, The Floozies, The California Honeydrops, DRKWAV (John Medeski, Skerik & Adam Deitch), The Motet, The New Mastersounds, Turkuaz, Elephant Revival, The Soul Rebels and more! TAUK, Twiddle, The Main Squeeze, Break Science are also featured on the bill.Considering this is just a phase one announcement, we’re certainly optimistic for this great festival. Tickets and more informaion are available via the High Sierra Music Festival website.
This year’s Sloss Music & Arts Festival will take place at the Historic Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama on July 16 & 17. Headliners for the 2016 festival include The Flaming Lips, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Death Cab For Cutie, and Ryan Adams, with supporting performances from White Denim, The Arcs, Dr. Dog, Ghostland Observatory, Shovels & Rope, and many more.You can peep the full lineup in this video announcement:With over 30 bands, 3 stages, in just 2 days, the event also features handcrafted cocktails from Redmont Distillery, a new collaboration between Starr Hill Brewery and Trim Tab Brewing Company, crafted especially for the 2016 Sloss Fest. Also new this year is a technology-focused event presented by BBVA Compass and TechBirmingham. For more information, visit the festival’s website. Tickets go on-sale March 4th. Full lineup below:
Load remaining images Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass at The Castle Theatre, Bloomington, IL – 3/16/16Set 1: Help!, Lose My Way, Windshield, Working on a Building, Wheel Hoss, The Four (1) > Wings for Wheels, All Four, DemonsSet 2: In Control, That’s What Love Will Make You Do, New Rize Hill, Casual Wednesday, Cold Feet, Leap Year (2), Old Barns, Hit Parade of Love, Bottle Dry, Better Off, Living OverE: Gumboots(1) Extended jam out of “The Four”(2) Bustin’ Loose teasesFull gallery of images below: There’s just no denying that Greensky Bluegrass is a band on fire. Their live shows continue to bring a passionate intensity, and fans everywhere can’t get enough of their music. The group recently rolled in to The Castle Theatre in Bloomington, IL, playing their hearts out for a fun-loving show. The group opened up with a cover of The Beatles’ “Help!” and went into newer songs “Lose My Way” and “Windshield,” keeping up the energy throughout. A cover of Jerry Garcia’s “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” and Jimmy Martin’s “Hit Parade Of Love” punctuated a great second set full of Greensky originals.Thanks to photographer Rily Cochran, we have a gallery from the performance. Dig it:
For anyone who was hoping Simon & Garfunkel reunion, don’t hold your breath. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Paul Simon was asked about any possibility of working with Art Garfunkel in the future.Simon sternly responded, “No, out of the question… We don’t even talk.”The singer/songwriter also talks about how he plans to craft setlists for his upcoming tour, saying that fans should expect a selection of songs from Simon’s new album, Stranger to Stranger, which is due out on June 3rd. The new release sounds rather exciting, actually, as Simon explores one-of-a-kind instruments and unique tonal structures.Of course, all of the classics will also be in store. “They wanna hear ‘You Can Call Me Al,’… So I play it. It’s not like I would pick out ‘You Can Call Me Al’ and play it because I really want to, but people like it so much that I’m like, ‘Of course I’ll do it.’ I’ll play ‘Me and Julio [Down by the Schoolyard]’ too, though I actually like ‘Me and Julio.’”Simon’s tour kicks off at Jazz Fest next week, and runs until June. Tour dates can be seen here.[Via Rolling Stone]
With such a lengthy and successful career as Neil Young’s, it’s surprising that anything he does could be a “first” anymore. Then again, Young did just release the first live album to be mixed with choirs, animal noises, traffic and more (read the review here), so it is readily apparent that the singer/songwriter is continuing down a path of novelty, even at age 70. Whether the rejuvenation comes from his work with Promise of the Real, from within, or from somewhere else, it’s quite nice to see Neil Young hard at work.Today we’ve learned that Neil Young will make another first, performing with Promise of the Real at Town Park in the beautiful Telluride, CO. From September 30-October 1st, Young will hit the stage with POTR for what is sure to be two magical evenings of music. The Colorado town has hosted the likes of Phish, Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and more during its musical tenure.Telluride tickets go on sale next Tuesday, July 26th in Telluride, and will be released to Neil Young’s fan club on the 27th, before a general on sale one day later, on July 28th. Seeing Neil Young’s first-ever Telluride performance is sure to be a memorable experience! All the information can be found here.
Just when you thought all hope was lost for the music business, it turns out that some things do, in fact, get better. Last week, during the 48th week of 2016, vinyl album sales beat digital downloads in the UK for the first time ever. This new statistic, brought to us by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and The Vinyl Factory, expresses a huge growth in the vinyl market in just one year’s time.Vinyl sales in the UK tallied £2.4M to digital’s £2.1M in sales last week. For comparison, last year’s sales during the 48th week of the year saw £1.2M in vinyl sales to digital’s £4.4M. This shows a huge shift in consumer preference, as the popularity of vinyl amongst music lovers seems to be growing exponentially.This comes directly after Record Store Day Black Friday and the overall beginning of Christmas season, which may influence results in some way, but the outcome is all the same. Vinyl, at least for a week, is king. While the sales of digital downloads and CDs are plummeting, the sales of vinyl records are on the rise in a huge way.[photo courtesy of David’s Used Books]
Gov’t Mule brought their Southern rock style out West last night, performing at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas along their ongoing late winter tour. Mule put down a great performance in Sin City, calling on blues guitarist Chris Tofield and Chris Vos, of opening band The Record Company, for a memorable night of music yesterday, March 4th.The collaborations began when Mule called on Tofield at the end of the first set, jamming out the song “Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home.” Vos would join in during the encore, letting loose on the blues standard “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” before Tofield joined again for the finale, “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.”Check out some YouTube videos of the collaboration as well as the setlist, all posted below. Setlist: Gov’t Mule | Brooklyn Bowl | Las Vegas, NV | 3/4/17Set One: World Boss, Mr. High & Mighty, Steppin’ Lightly, About To Rage, Whisper In Your Soul, Doing It To Death, Time To Confess, Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home*Set Two: Railroad Boy, She Said She Said, Tomorrow Never Knows, Fallen Down, The Other One Jam, Kind Of Bird, 30 Days In The Hole, I Don’t Need No DoctorEncore: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl&, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man*&* = With Chris Tofield& = With Chris Vos[Photo by Rex-A-Vision]
When Strange Design’s Adam Chase and Matthew Chase decided to put together their Phish and James Brown tributes, Jazz Is PHSH and The James Brown Dance Party, it was anybody’s guess that both concepts would take off as much as they have. But performance after performance, the Brothers Chase have brought in some of the most talented musicians from across the jam, funk, and jazz spectrum, and each show is always a treat for spectators who can’t get enough of the two projects. With a performance at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, serving as their backdrop, both acts are primed and ready to take things to the next level on Saturday, June 3rd. We have a feeling you’ll want to be at The Capitol Theatre when it goes down, particularly when considering Fred Wesley of James Brown Band and the J.B.’s, Eric “Benny” Bloom of Lettuce, and Kofi Burbridge of Tedeschi Trucks Band have all been confirmed for the evening, with more even announcements about special guests on the way (purchase tickets here).Across the various iterations of the James Brown Dance Party and Jazz Is PHSH, both groups have boasted guests from stellar acts such as Snarky Puppy, Trombone Shorty, Galactic, Trey Aanastasio Band, The J.B.’s, James Brown Band, Bootsy Collins Band, Lettuce, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Victor Wooten Band, Break Science, Pretty Lights Live Band, Kung Fu, and more. The rotating cast of all-star musicians just gets better and better each time either tribute comes together, and The Capitol Theatre show will be no different.Clearly, The Capitol Theatre performance is fixing to truly be a heater of a show! Tickets for James Brown Dance Party and Jazz is PHSH show on Saturday, June 3rd are currently on-sale and available at the venue’s website. For show updates and additional information, join the Facebook Event page.[cover photo courtesy of Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography]
Pink Talking Fish is kicking off 2018 with a national winter tour, rocking through a mix of northeast ski destinations, a run through Virginia, and visits to Colorado and New Mexico. The ten-stop tour will culminate with a blowout show at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York with a very exciting show. Following the momentum from last year’s celebration–when the band hosted a 3+ hour performance of the Talking Head’s film Stop Making Sense with special guests from The Meters, Turkuaz, Deep Banana Blackout, and more–Pink Talking Fish have officially one-upped their own game. On February 10th, the Capitol Theatre will present Pink Talking Fish: The Wall.Pink Talking Fish: The Wall will be a full rendition of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece The Wall with Phish and Talking Heads songs intertwined through the album cuts. Like last year, this will be a marathon performance and this interpretation of The Wall promises to explore uncharted territories beyond comprehension. As special guests for the evening, Dopapod guitarist Rob Compa, as well as Sammi Garett and Shira Elias from Turkuaz will be special guests for this event, with many more surprises in store.Here is a full list of upcoming Pink Talking Fish Tour dates:FALL TOUR:11/15: Charleston SC at The Pour House11/16: Charlotte NC at The Rabbit Hole11/17: Birmingham AL at Old Car Heaven11/18: Asheville NC at New Mountain AVL11/19: Atlanta GA at Terminal West11/30: Columbus OH at Woodlands Tavern12/01: Columbus OH at Woodlands Tavern12/02: Columbus OH at Woodlands Tavern12/14: Asbury Park NJ at The Stone Pony12/15: Saratoga Springs NY at Putnam Den12/16: New Haven CT at Toad’s Place – Kung Fu’s Annual Toy’s For Tots BenefitNEW YEARS RUN:12/29: Portland ME at Aura – double bill w/ Kung Fu12/30: New York NY at Irving Plaza – Phish Afterparty12/31: Worcester MA at The Palladium – Big Ball Jam w/ Keller Williams, Percy Hill & Bearly DeadWINTER TOUR:1/12: Plymouth NH at The Flying Monkey1/13: Mount Snow VT at The Snow Barn1/18: Roanoke VA at 5 Points Music Sanctuary1/19: Richmond VA at The National1/20: Norfolk VA at The NorVa1/27: Jay VT at Jay Peak Resort2/03: Crested Butte CO at The Tap Room2/04: Taos NM at Taos Mesa Brewing Company2/05: Denver CO at Cervantes Other Side2/10: Port Chester NY at The Capitol Theatre4/19-21: Live Oak FL at Wanee Music Festival
On June 19th, a new book on the Grateful Dead will be released titled Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter Of The Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip. While numerous books have been written on the Grateful Dead—ranging from near-academic chronological accounts of the band’s long-storied history to highly specific tomes dedicated to single shows—Fare Thee Well sets itself apart, diving deep into the frequently turbulent relationships among the surviving members of the band following Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995.Written by Joel Selvin, a noted music critic who came to fame with his weekly column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Fare Thee Well holds nothing back in detailing the frequently messy lives of and in-fighting among the surviving Grateful Dead members from 1995 up to the Grateful Dead’s final, historic Fare Thee Well concerts in 2015. With a focus on Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart, the book’s approach is specific yet expansive, tracking other key figures in the extended Grateful Dead family as they weave in and out of the Core Four’s post-Jerry lives.As a fan of the Grateful Dead, in all honesty, the book can be difficult to get through; it shows our musical heroes from the storied band at their sometimes-best but frequently worst, leaning into all the messy details and drama that plagued the Grateful Dead following Jerry’s death. If Amir Bar-Lev’s recently released documentary, Long Strange Trip, implied that Deadhead’s god-like reverence of Jerry Garcia played a hand in the drug addiction that finally did him in, Fare Thee Well refuses to let readers see the surviving members of the band as anything but truly and deeply human.The tales told in the book range from feel-good to hauntingly sad, cringe-y to enraging. Perhaps most interestingly, the book establishes early on the moral code that the Grateful Dead adhered to while Garcia was alive—the all-for-one mentality and the band’s strict adherence to a code of silence when it came to the personal relations among the band—and slowly shows how many of these chief principals decayed with Jerry’s loss. As a reader, this is inherently guilt-inducing: knowing that the band at one point wanted to keep these secrets close to their sleeves, then reading through a 268-page book laying out all the dirt for fans to consume.In fact, Selvin recognizes this in the acknowledgments section of the book,Even all these years later, the remnants of the band’s code of silence remain. People around the musicians continue to be reluctant to openly discuss personal matters or band politics. Many declined the opportunity. Most of the people would have likely demurred had it not been for long-standing personal relations.While the acknowledgments offer a rundown of well-known figures close to the Grateful Dead, it seems as though only Bobby and Mickey spoke to Selvin for the book. That said, Fare Thee Well seems well-researched, though it’s difficult to tell how much contributors’ long-standing resentments have shadowed the “truth” of the book.It seems glaringly obvious throughout that Phil Lesh and his wife, Jill, had very little if anything to do with the project. The writing on them is unforgiving, and Lesh frequently plays the antagonist in Fare Thee Well, with him and his wife depicted as egotistical, combative, unfair, and, at many points, cruel. While it’s likely that they were menaces at points in the years after Jerry’s death, it’s interesting to see how the book is so quick to vilify them.While many passages go deep into the various terrible things the Leshes exacted on the other members of the band—and this is not to defend some of their actions, because they range from annoying (declaring themselves the only ones capable of carrying on the Grateful Dead’s spirit) to despicable (Jill Lesh yelling at a backup singer on tour in front of her child that the singer will always be a nobody)—one wonders what is lost by not having the Leshes’s perspectives on certain situations.At one point late in the book, after paragraphs have been dedicated to outlining various fights between the Leshes and other members of the band, in less than a sentence, Selvin offers why Phil and Bill Kreutzmann had such an on-going tense, if not bad, relationship: Phil always held onto the fact that Bill Kreutzmann had drunkenly groped his wife’s breasts backstage at a show. That incident is glossed over, shockingly so in the era of #metoo, and never referenced again outside that one sentence—highlighting how eager the book is to find the bad guy without contextualizing the various hurts they might have experienced.However, the book is more than a collection of accusations levied against the Grateful Dead bassist. There are charming stories, like a brotherly fight between Mickey and Bobby, with spaghetti central to the fight itself and the way the two lovingly made up the next day. There are stories that are so terrible it’s almost funny, like Bob Weir unceremoniously using a hose to spray Jerry Garcia’s ashes off the side of a boat during an ash-spreading ceremony gone truly awry (“You’ve got to get it all in the water!” he tells those on the boat). There are stories that are truly devastating, like most passages with Vince Welnick, who is a hauntingly sad presence throughout Fare Thee Well.Overall, Joel Selvin’s Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter Of The Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip is a captivating and fairly comprehensive summary of the Core Four’s years after Jerry Garcia’s death. It’s not necessarily a pretty read—it can brutal at points—but if anything, it will make readers so grateful for the Fare Thee Well shows and that we have been able to see the four of them performing altogether, knowing that will never happen again.You can read a description of Joel Selvin’s upcoming book on the members of the Grateful Dead and their lives after Jerry below. You can also pre-order the book, which is due out on June 19th, via Barnes & Noble.The Grateful Dead rose to greatness under the inspired leadership of guitarist Jerry Garcia, but the band very nearly died along with him. When Garcia passed away suddenly in August of 1995, the remaining band members experienced full crises of confidence and identity. So long defined by Garcia’s vision for the group, the surviving “Core Four,” as they came to be called, were reduced to conflicting agendas, strained relationships, and catastrophic business decisions that would leave the iconic band in shambles. Wrestling with how best to define their living legacy, the band made many attempts at restructuring, but it would take twenty years before relationships were mended enough for the Grateful Dead as fans remembered them to once again take the stage.Acclaimed music journalist and New York Times bestselling author Joel Selvin was there for much of the turmoil following Garcia’s death, and he’ll offer a behind-the-scenes account of the ebbs and flows that occurred during the ensuing two decades. Plenty of books have been written about the rise of the Grateful Dead, but this final chapter of the band’s history has never before been explored in detail. Culminating in the landmark tour bearing the same name, Fare Thee Well charts the arduous journey from Garcia’s passing all the way up to the uneasy agreement between the Core Four that led to the series of shows celebrating the band’s fiftieth anniversary and finally allowing for a proper, and joyous, sendoff of the group revered by so many.
Next month, Rooster Conspiracy will make its San Francisco debut, with guitarist Eric Krasno, bassist Reed Mathis, keyboardist Todd Stoops and drummer Jay Lane offering up their psychedelic, improvisations. Rooster Conspiracy’s San Francisco debut is scheduled for July 26th at The Independent—the night in between Phish’s highly anticipated West Coast performances in San Francisco and Los Angeles.Rooster Conspiracy was actually born from Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann‘s good intentions and celebratory spirit during the first few days of 2017. Having just rung in the new year in a friend’s backyard in Hawaii with a band that included his Billy & the Kids bandmate Reed Mathis and Mathis’ Electric Beethoven bandmate Todd Stoops, Kreutzmann was in the mood to keep jamming. When he heard that Eric Krasno just arrived on his little island of Kauai, he invited the guitarist to join in.In the time since the project’s inception, Rooster Conspiracy has taken on a life of its own. While the Grateful Dead drummer is often unable to make performances on the mainland, Kreutzmann’s presence is still felt in the band’s song selections, which frequently use Grateful Dead songs as a jumping point for creative, exploratory jams. In Kreutzmann’s stead for the upcoming San Francisco show, the band has once again tapped Ratdog and Primus drummer Jay Lane, who has become a staple of the project, previously performing with Rooster Conspiracy at the group’s East Coast debut at Brooklyn Comes Alive in 2017 and more.Tickets for Rooster Conspiracy’s upcoming San Francisco debut at The Independent on July 26th go on sale on Thursday, June 28th, at 12 p.m. (PT) via Ticketfly.
Following their first three-night run ever at The Gorge Amphitheatre in picturesque George, WA, Phish returned to San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, a venue that’s become a favorite for the band and fans alike in the 3.0 era. 2018 marks the fifth run Phish has played at the Bill Graham, yet the first time they’ve played only 2-nights, rather than the usual three-night run. Only five shows into tour, Phish is quickly finding their groove, displaying an impressive amount of guts paired with extreme syncopation and precision.“46 Days” got the show off to a roaring start, as the band took the stage right after 8 p.m. Pacific Time. Being an 8,500 capacity, entirely general admission venue gives the Bill Graham a very special feeling, aside from being in the heart San Francisco, a city rich in rock and roll and psychedelic history. Trey Anastasio‘s tone is sounding impeccable these days, and “46 Days” was a perfect example, as Page McConnell kept pushing Trey to continue peaking during the opening number of the night. Giving Anastasio a chance to catch his breath, McConnell tickled the opening notes of “McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters”. Page laid down some serious work on the grand piano throughout the song, leading the way through the breezy Gamehendge journey.Trey’s opening riff to “Pigtail” rang out next, and the crowd seemed loose and settled-in, singing along to the Anastasio/Tom Marshall tune, which was debuted at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA 12/28/2010 but only recently entered a semi-regular rotation in the band’s live shows. With fairly little improvisation, the band was quickly on to “Cities”, with Mike Gordon hammering away, looking lean and mean. Following the main-theme of the Talking Heads tune, the band slowly crept into blissful territory with a sprinkle of some dark-Phish, taking the “Cities” jam out for a ride. Jon Fishman‘s almost metronome-like attentiveness allowed for Anastasio and Gordon to lock into a solid groove before pumping the breaks and moving on.The band changed gears from there, with Gordon taking vocal duties on “Nellie Kane”, the classic penned by bluegrass pioneers, Hot Rize. Trey laid down some seriously aggressive licks, before hopping into a funk-filled bowl of “Gumbo”. McConnell quickly took matters into his own hands, standing up and tinkering away on the clavinet. When Page stands, everyone stands, and the intimate room roared as McConnell kept soaring higher and higher. Crashing back into the chorus, the band kept their momentum going, marching into the sweet-sounding opening of “Guyute”. Phish nailed “Guyute”, reciprocating the crowd’s raucous energy at the first indoor venue of the tour. Anastasio’s lofty peaks in the final minutes of “Guyute” bounced off the walls, with Fishman keeping up the perfect pace.Following in the “animal” theme of the first set, “serpents, snails, and slugs” of “Axilla” came out to play, leading way to another creature, “The Dogs”. With Page’s signature dog-howling effect taking charge, Trey seemingly mimicked the dogs on his Languedoc, blasting off into a fierce and fiery solo on the Chilling, Thrilling tune. The setlist did not have any crazy Type 2 improv, but the song selection was on point, as things kept flowing into the emotional opening whistles of “Dirt”. Free from push and shove, the rowdy mood of the Bill Graham toned down, and Phish showed off their vocal prowess as Gordon and McConnell blended a tasteful harmony behind Anastasio’s lead. Everyone needs a moment to reflect on all of life’s gifts and sometimes hardships, and “Dirt” last night provided just this. Changing gears once again, “David Bowie” brought set one to a close, highlighted by some soaring guitar peaks, as Big Red continued to pick up the pace through the jam’s final climax.Phish came back out for second set opening with “Moma Dance”, marking only the third time the band has opened second set with it since 2009, the other two times being in 2009. This “Moma Dance” also marked the first repeat of 2018’s summer tour, as well as the first “Moma” at the Bill Graham since 2014’s memorable rendition, when Phish worked in a “We Are The Champions” jam to resounding applause as the local San Francisco Giants simultaneously wrapped up their World Series game 7 victory in Kansas City. Harnessing the Bill Graham’s unbeatable energy, Anastasio ripped through “Moma”, getting the dance party fully engaged.Smoothly segueing into “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing”, the band prepared for liftoff and took the jam deep into a realm of exploratory sonic textures. McConnell kept the upbeat “ASIHTOS” rolling, as his three bandmates followed behind his delicate work on the organ. This led the way to a massive explosion by Anastasio, letting it all hang out. With the building practically in flames, Anastasio and McConnell pushed back into the main theme of the song, delivering a final verse and chorus.“Mercury” has quickly became a favorite second-set staple in the Phish catalog since its 2015 debut, and last night the band worked through the complex and ambitious jam precisely, with Anastasio putting on a show with his washy Leslie speaker effect that he’s been thoroughly enjoying utilizing since the tart of summer tour. The jam patiently worked its way into a spacey-voyage, with Trey sustaining bold, peaking notes, allowing Gordon and Fishman to create a complex rhythmic backbone. Things kept escalating and growing, with McConnell tickling the ivories in between Anastasio’s monstrous solos, leading to a massive peak.The heavy jams kept coming as “Carini” approached, quickly moving into a fast-paced funk bounce, with Anastasio providing splashy riffs behind an infectious Gordon groove. Tuesday’s “Carini” had a unique flow, harnessing speed and tenacity from start to finish. The jam cruised into a feel-good segment out of the funk, with Anastasio taking full reins as his bandmates followed attentively, leading to a gargantuan, explosive Anastasio peak. There are moments when Phish starts sounding perfect—and last night’s “Carini” was A+, top-notch, perfect Phish.The jam slowly fizzled out, and the San Francisco crowd erupted, leaving nothing for the band to do but drop into another fast-paced favorite, “Maze”. As Fishman’s opening signature drumbeat grew louder, “Maze” took off, and the race between Anastasio and McConnell was on. The energy of the night never stopped growing, as Trey’s final peaking segment of “Maze” could have shattered any glass window within 500 feet. As Mike’s sticky bass tones signaled the start of “Boogie On Reggae Woman”, any thought of a slower song getting in the way of this top-notch Phish set was in the rearview mirror.The “Boogie” was short-lived, but seamlessly flowed into the opening of “Harry Hood”. Picking away delicately and effortlessly, Anastasio glimmered beneath Chris Kuroda‘s spectacle of a light show, with the 8,500 person crowd bouncing along in unison. Continuing in the theme of the night, Anastasio and McConnell interlocked in an exploratory space voyage, with McConnell charging to the finish line on the grand piano, forcing Anastasio, Gordon, and Fishman to chase him down. Everyone at last nights show can feel good about Hood, and the band sure as hell did, too. Phish came back out for their encore with “Squirming Coil”, letting McConnell steal the show one more time as Fishman, Anastasio and then Gordon, slowly exited the stage, leaving the Chairman of the Boards to take the final bow.Phish returns to the Bill Graham tonight for their second of two performances tonight, which they will webcast free of charge. Next, they’ll head south to The Forum in Inglewood, CA for a pair of performances on Friday and Saturday. For a full list of Phish’s upcoming dates, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Phish | Bill Graham Civic Auditorium | San Francisco, CA| 7/24/2018Set I: 46 Days, Mcgrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters, Pigtail, Cities> Nellie Kane, Gumbo, Guyute, Axilla, The Dogs, Dirt, David BowieSet II: The Moma Dance> A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing> Mercury> Carini> Maze, Boogie On Reggae Woman> Harry HoodE: Squirming Coil
[Video: LazyLightning55a]Grammy Award-winner, Maurice “Mo Betta” Brown, is a renowned trumpeter who defies genre, having performed with huge names from the worlds of jazz, blues-rock, and hip-hop. Formerly of Tedeschi Trucks Band (with whom he won a Grammy for Best Blues Album in 2012, after arranging the horn parts on the group’s debut album, Revelator), Mo Betta has recorded with Aretha Franklin, Wyclef Jean, De La Soul, Macy Gray, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lettuce, and The Roots, among others, and produced tracks for Talib Kweli, Omar, and Prodigy. The sensational performer is also a veteran of Brooklyn Comes Alive, having served as an unofficial artist-at-large last year when he was invited up as a surprise guest for numerous sets across the weekend.Herbie Hancock Tribute featuring Maurice Brown – “Watermelon Man” – Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018 Trumpet star Maurice Brown, improvisational virtuoso Dave Harrington, and the Disco Biscuits‘ keyboard wizard Aron Magner have all been announced as Artists-at-Large for this year’s edition of Brooklyn Comes Alive. All three musicians will be on hand throughout the day to sit-in with the many supergroups, tribute sets, and once-in-a-lifetime collaborations that Brooklyn Comes Alive has to offer.In addition to being one-fourth of one of the most celebrated jam bands in the scene, The Disco Biscuits’ Aron Magner has become a staple at Brooklyn Comes Alive. The versatile keyboardist has been a fan-favorite player and collaborator for years, frequently performing with a number of heavy-hitting super jams and rare side projects—such as Breaking Biscuits, a group featuring the Biscuits’ Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein and Break Science‘s Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee, which he debuted in 2016 at Brooklyn Comes Alive— and supergroups, such as his tenure as a member of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann‘s 2014 solo project, Billy & The Kids.Breaking Biscuits – “Little Fluffy Clouds” – Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018 The fourth-annual Brooklyn Comes Alive will return to Brooklyn’s beloved Williamsburg neighborhood on September 29th for an all-day music marathon at Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg and Rough Trade. Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive brings together more than 50 artists, allowing them to carry out passion projects, play with their musical heroes, and collaborate in never-before-seen formations. Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite. Visit BrooklynComesAlive.com for more information. [Video: Live For Live Music]The third and final artist-at-large at Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018 is Dave Harrington, who is also scheduled to appear with the Karina Rykman Experiment at the festival along Robert Walter of the 20th Congress. A critically acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and improvisational guru based out of New York City, Harrington blurs genres, blending sounds in a unique way that makes him one of the more exciting and unpredictable players on the scene. He is a former member of Darkside, which featured him and frequent collaborator Nicholas Jaar, and also often plays with Joe Russo, occasionally performing together as an experimental duo. Dave Harrington is also a BCA vet, having led Dave Harrington’s Merry Pranksters last year, which was one of the most psychedelic and buzzed-about sets of the weekend.Dave Harrington & Joe Russo – Nubul – New York, NY – 3/2/2018 [Video: LazyLightning55a]
Tedeschi Trucks Band has announced their first fall tour dates for 2019, as the 12-piece band will play a trio of shows in the Southwest this November.Tedeschi Trucks Band will open up the run at Tulsa, OK’s Brady Theater on November 12th, followed by a show at San Antonio, TX’s Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on November 14th. TTB will finish out the run with a performance at Austin, TX’s Bass Concert Hall on November 15th.A fan pre-sale is currently underway using the code “TRUCKS.” Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, March 1st at 10 a.m. (CST).Tonight, Tedeschi Trucks Band continues their winter tour with a performance at The Met in Philadelphia, PA. On Thursday, the band will then head to Birmingham, AL’s Alabama Theatre, followed by shows at Augusta, GA’s William B. Bell Auditorium and Asheville, NC’s Thomas Wolfe Auditorium this weekend.Head to Tedeschi Trucks Band’s website for a full list of upcoming tour dates and more information.
The B-52’s have announced an extensive world tour in celebration of their 40th anniversary, which began in 2018 and will continue through this fall. OMD and Berlin will offer support at select U.S. stops along the tour.The B-52’s will open up their tour in May with festival appearances at West Palm Beach, FL’s Sunfest (5/4); Arlington, TX’s KAABOO Texas (5/12); and Nashville, TN’s Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender, followed by a series of European performances throughout June and early-July.The band will open up their extensive North American run of shows at Costa Mesa, CA’s Pacific Amphitheatre on August 1st, and will continue through September 24th with a special tour-closing performance at New York City’s Summerstage – Central Park.“Who knew that when we played our first house dance party in Athens, Georgia in 1976 that we would be still be rocking the house in 2019?” vocalist Kate Pierson explains in a press release. “Visiting over 10 countries to perform for our fans around the globe makes us so incredibly happy. Let’s rock!” vocalist Cindy Wilson adds.Additionally, Billboard notes that the band has teamed up with producer Fred Armisen and director Craig Johnson for a forthcoming documentary.Head to The B-52’s website for ticketing and more information.The B-52’s 2019 World Tour Dates:May 4 West Palm Beach, FL Sunfest*May 12 Arlington, TX KAABOO Texas*May 26 Nashville, TN Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender*June 21 Vitoria, Spain Azkena Rock Festival*^June 23 Amsterdam, Netherlands Paradiso**^June 24 Brussels, Belgium Ancienne Belgique**^June 26 Cologne, Germany E-Werk**^June 27 Berlin, Germany Columbiahalle**^June 29 Gateshead Sage, UK Gateshead Sage**^June 30 London, UK Eventim Apollo**^July 2 Nottingham, UK Royal Concert Hall**^July 3 Manchester, UK O2 Apollo**^July 5 Paris, France Olympia**^July 7 Argeles Sur Me, France Festival les Deferlantes*^August 1 Costa Mesa, CA Pacific Amphitheatre**August 3 San Diego, CA Bayside Summer Nights @ Embarcadero Marina Park**August 4 Los Angeles, CA Microsoft TheaterAugust 6 Portland, OR Oregon Zoo AmphitheaterAugust 7 Seattle, WA BECU ZooTunes Concert SeriesAugust 8 Missoula, MT Kettlehouse AmphitheaterAugust 10 Bend, OR Les Schwab AmphitheaterAugust 11 Murphys, CA Ironstone AmphitheatreAugust 12 Saratoga, CA TheMountain WineryAugust 14 Phoenix, AZ Comerica TheatreAugust 16 Salt Lake City, UT Red Butte Garden AmphitheatreAugust 17 Dillon, CO Dillon Amphitheater**August 18 Greenwood Village, CO Fiddler’s Green AmphitheatreAugust 21 San Antonio, TX The Majestic TheaterAugust 22 Austin, TX Bass Concert HallAugust 24 Sugarland, TX Smart Financial CentreAugust 25 New Orleans, LA Saenger TheatreAugust 28 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd HallSeptember 6 Greensboro, NC White Oak Amphitheatre at Greensboro Coliseum ComplexSeptember 7 Atlanta, GA Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain ParkSeptember 8 Huber Heights, OH Rose Music Center at the HeightsSeptember 11 Grand Rapids, MI Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer GardensSeptember 13 Toronto, ONT, CA Sony Centre for the Performing ArtsSeptember 14 Detroit, MI Meadow Brook AmphitheatreSeptember 17 Washington, DC The AnthemSeptember 19 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center for the Performing ArtsSeptember 20 Mashantucket, CT Foxwoods Resort Casino – Grand TheaterSeptember 22 Asbury Park, NJ Sea.Hear.Now Festival*September 24 New York, NY Summerstage – Central ParkAll dates are with The B52s, OMD and Berlin unless noted below.*Festival Date^European Tour**Headline DateView Tour Dates
“This is a wonderful story of collaboration and imagination,” said Harvard President Drew Faust, moments before cutting a ribbon yesterday afternoon to open the new Harvard Center for Biological Imaging (CBI).The facility, on the second floor of the BioLabs at 16 Divinity Ave., is not just another room filled with microscopes. For everything about the facility is unique, from its conception, to its open design, to the fact that its equipment will be replaced every 24 to 36 months.But what may be the most important aspect of the CBI, Faust said, is not its collection of cutting-edge scientific instruments, but rather that “it makes the instruments the instruments of collaboration, as well as the instruments of science. And that, to me, is tremendously important.” The fact that the new center is furthering interdisciplinary, collaborative science at Harvard is why Faust offered to help provide funding for it.Jeremy Bloxham, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Geophysics, professor of computational science, and dean of science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, told those attending the ribbon cutting that “as I look back over the last five to 10 years, there’s a real change to how science is supported at Harvard. It used to be that individual investigators were supported, [and] equipment would disappear into their labs and wouldn’t be used by anybody other than the members of that particular lab group.“Now, we have a much stronger emphasis on building centers. We do that not just [because it’s] financially more effective to build centers, but because it’s scientifically more effective to build centers. … It’s having people interact with each other … having people bump into each other while using the instrumentation [helps to ensure] that new ideas emerge and people find new ways of doing things,” Bloxham said.Quoting 18th century satirist and essayist Jonathan Swift, Faust noted, “‘Vision … is the art of seeing things invisible.’ I thought of this not just because the center is dedicated to making the invisible visible,” Faust said, “but also because every step in its creation … was made possible by this ability to make the invisible possible.”The envisioning of the center began with Jeff Lichtman, a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), asking first himself, and then colleagues in his and other departments, what doesn’t work about the way most imaging is done, and what might correct that.“I’ve been a director of imaging centers for 20 years,” said Lichtman, who is now the director of the new CBI, “so I know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and there were a number of weaknesses I wanted to address. One serious problem,” he said, “is that the expense of these devices [the microscopes] is enormous — they literally cost what a house costs. And with the pace imaging technology is moving forward, within three or four years they’re out of date.“We needed an evergreen imaging facility,” Lichtman said in an interview. As an observer of the “sociology of science,” Lichtman said, “Laboratories know certain technologies, but when you have a field that’s moving forward rapidly, you can have a mismatch between the gray-head lab heads and the microscopists. The students are young and open-minded … but normally there’s no opportunity for students using one piece of equipment to have real exchange with people using others.”Lichtman, MCB assistant professor Sharad Ramanathan, and MCB chair Catherine Dulac, the Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, proposed creating a center with a unique open architecture. Rather than have individual microscopes sequestered in closed rooms, the center’s scopes would all be at stations in an open space, with direct-down lighting, and easily moveable 5-foot-high partitions around the instruments. With that arrangement, scientists and students would all be exposed to all of the technologies being used, and the work going on, in the center. The CBI eventually will have a dozen microscopes, including several that have been placed there by individual researchers, including Dulac and Doug Melton, the chairman of the new Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (SCRB).Additionally, they developed what Lichtman calls a unique “health club” model for the use of the center. “Normally, facilities work on an hourly rate, typically $30 to $60 per hour to use the equipment,” he explained. “That is a tremendous damper on students trying to learn to use devices; they spend 10 hours, and it’s $600. Instead, labs wanting to use the CBI will purchase annual memberships at $2,000 per year per person. That works out to about an hour-and-a-half a week at $30 an hour, and most labs use way, way more than 1.5 hours per week,” Lichtman said.Then came the question of how to ensure that the CBI is always filled with state-of-the-art equipment. Jim Sharp, president of Carl Zeiss Microimaging, came up with a unique solution to that problem: Rather than purchase microscopes, at upwards of a half-million dollars each, the CBI and Zeiss worked out a leasing arrangement that not only guarantees that the microscopes will be replaced with the latest equipment every 24 to 36 months, but also provides for a Zeiss engineer to be at the CBI full time, maintaining the delicate instruments and helping the researchers work through any problems with them. Additionally, Zeiss will ask Harvard scientists working in the CBI to evaluate Zeiss equipment still in the alpha and beta stages of development.“We would like to learn from you; we’d like to look over your shoulder so we too can improve,” Sharp said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.Though the new imaging facility is in the BioLabs, it is open to researchers from all across the Cambridge and Longwood campuses, as well as to those with laboratories in affiliated hospitals throughout the area.One of those attending the opening was CONTACT _Con-3C179B75AAE Jeffrey Macklis, a professor in SCRB, whose laboratory is moving from Massachusetts General Hospital to the Bauer Building in Cambridge. Macklis said he’d been talking about such a facility with other members of SCRB for some time, so when he heard the idea of the center, he embraced it, and has already purchased CBI memberships for 20 members of hislab. “We’re very excited about coming together with our MCB colleagues,” Macklis said. “Just having Jeff Lichtman thinking about our microscopy is worth the membership alone.”
HLS Dean Martha Minow received the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse from the College Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin at a ceremony on Nov. 13, 2012. The College Historical Society, popularly referred to as “The Hist,” is one of the world’s oldest undergraduate debating societies, established in 1770. It is “built on a belief that discourse and intellectualism are vital to the program of society.”Minow received the award for her leadership in the area of human rights and her advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. Upon accepting the award, she gave a lecture on the question, “Should Child Soldiers be Forgiven?”Previous recipients of the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Public Discourse include Iranian judge and civil rights activist Shirin Ebadi, Burmese politician and democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, author, activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky, economist Jeffery Sachs, economist Joseph Stiglitz and former president of South Africa F.W. de Klerk.The late Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was also a recipient. Upon receiving the medal, he stated, “I consider this occasion one of the greatest honors of my public life, as well as an opportunity to express myself in matters that I feel are vital to our time.”
When the American runner Jesse Owens outdistanced the competition on his way to winning four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Nazi leader Adolph Hitler’s response was to suggest a possible link between Owens’ performance and the fact he was African-American.This led the anthropologist W. Montague Cobb to publish the 1936 article “Race and Runners,” which was intended to dispel the idea that Owens’ winning performance was somehow related to race. Through numerous measures and physical tests, Cobb found no distinct evidence that would attribute Owens’ abilities to his race.Cobb’s study, along with many other examinations and investigations of differences in human physiology — such as noses, hair, sweat glands, ears, and feet, and reactions to many diseases — are examined in “The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics” by Harvard College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds. The book examines the many instances throughout history where race played a role in the scientific investigation of human differences.Hammonds discussed her book Friday in Sever Hall before about 50 students. She said her intention in putting the book together was to show that over time, society’s preconceptions of race have played a role in many scientific, medical, and anthropological studies.“When people think about science, they think about it being objective. Therefore, the idea that something like race could be part and parcel of scientific questions is not intuitive for many people because science is supposed to provide unambiguous answers and not leave you with lots of questions,” she said.Hammonds, the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and professor of African and African American studies, presented her talk as part of Wintersession, the time between terms that allows students who have returned before the start of classes to experience unusual opportunities. A College-led programming initiative, Wintersession offers students a wide range of elective activities, allowing them to pursue artistic or creative passions, explore a career interest, or participate in recreational activities with friends.Hammonds told the students she was surprised that after the Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt won successive gold medals in 2008 and 2012, questions about what made him excel were raised, similar to the way they were raised about Owens.“All humans have differences. Why is it so hard to leave it at that? Why can’t that answer be the definitive end one about our differences?” she said. “It still surprises me that a fraught, imprecise, historically contingent concept like race is still offered as an explanation for human differences in the 21st century. When I first read about Jesse Owens, I wasn’t surprised at what happened in 1936. But when I saw sportswriters were asking similar questions about Usain Bolt, I couldn’t believe that people are still asking questions about the relationship between race and athletic performance.”After the talk, the students said the information Hammonds discussed was eye-opening.“This was a really good talk. I thought the different physiological studies of the 1800s was kind of surprising,” said Kimberly Mihayo ’15. “The persistence of the question of race, and why the discussions about race have not changed over time, I also found interesting.”“The Nature of Difference” republishes several studies of human dissimilarities, from the time of Thomas Jefferson to the present. Hammonds stressed it is important to look at the long history of the study of differences in humans because even though scientific methods and societal perceptions change, the study of such differences has tried continuously to answer the same questions.“If there is one thing we hope students learn from this book, it is we are these debates. We are the ones who keep raising these questions in the same ways, over and over again,” Hammonds said.The first 40 students received copies of the book, with a chance to have Hammonds sign them. But the chance to hear directly from the scholar is what brought most students to Sever Hall during Wintersession.“I thought it was really fascinating. I know people who have had her in class, and I have heard really good things about her as an intellectual. Not only is she the dean, but she is also a scholar, so this was a good opportunity to hear her speak,” said Elise Baranouski ’15.
For those who practice medicine, the fee-for-service business model and “production pressure”—the requirement to see as many patients in as little time as possible—are impediments, according to Lucian Leape, adjunct professor of health policy at Harvard School of Public Health and a leader of the patient safety movementIn a Q&A with MedPage Today, Leape was asked for the most important advice he could give to medical students or new doctors. “Don’t let the paperwork, red tape, data collection, and bureaucratic nonsense keep you from enjoying the reality of taking care of patients,” he said. Read Full Story
In 1994, Richard Lazarus was named to the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly created federal advisory committee on environmental justice. Among its responsibilities: helping implement President Bill Clinton’s executive order on environmental justice. But the task force’s first act, recalled the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law, amounted to a coup.Then-EPA chief Carol Browner????s decision to have the head of a state agency lead the group was “a major misstep” said Lazarus, and the committee promptly rejected her choice. “You don’t put the head of a state agency in charge of anything to do with environmental justice.”The rebuff highlighted a glaring disconnect within the environmental justice movement at the time, Lazarus said. “The whole problem was that mainstream environmental groups and agencies had not been paying attention to the needs and distinct interests, from the environmental protection perspective, of low-income communities and communities of color in the United States.”When the student-led Harvard Environmental Law Society (HELS) hosts the 26th annual National Association of Environmental Law Societies Conference Friday and Saturday at HLS, decision-makers representing a range of sectors in the environmental justice movement will be part of the discussion. In recognition of the 20th anniversary of Clinton’s executive order, the two-day event will explore the current environmental justice landscape, as well as strategies to uphold environmental law as a national priority.“Unlike the EPA back in the 1990s, the students got it,” said Lazarus who praised the conference planners for bringing together community organizers with “people who have been major players and inspirational leaders in this area from all walks.”“This is not just something where there are going to be a bunch of national leaders who run the show. It is all about community empowerment.”In preparing to bid for the national conference, a team of students led by HELS co-presidents Genevieve Parshalle ’15 and Cecilia Segal ’15 considered a framework built around a hot-button issue such as climate change or hydraulic fracking. They opted instead for a subject they think has received less attention, but could “gain traction” with other students.“Environmental justice is more interdisciplinary and touches on things like social justice, civil rights,” said Segal. “A lot of people are passionate about those topics and we realized we would get a much broader appeal with a topic like this; this is actually more about humans affected on a daily basis.”Among the roughly 200 attendees will be social scientists, lawyers, community organizers, representatives from state and federal agencies, grass-roots activists, and students.“I am thrilled to be attending Harvard Law School’s Environmental Justice Conference,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA New England. “Environmental justice is such an important topic, one that is in fact critical to EPA’s mission.”The first day of the conference will explore the roots of the environmental justice movement and include a talk by Texas Southern University’s Robert Bullard, whom many consider the father of the environmental justice movement. Lisa Jackson, former EPA head and now vice president of environmental initiatives at Apple, will also speak.On Saturday, the discussion will turn to specific issues of food justice, urban environmental justice, and access to clean energy. The event will conclude with a series of informal discussion sessions with Spalding and representatives from other federal agencies. Organizers plan to blog about the conference for the EPA’s website.“I think it is just an amazing opportunity to see what happens when you get all these people together with the express purpose of thinking about what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and how can we move forward on this topic,” said Parshalle. “It will be really exciting to see what suggestions come out of it, and to see if we can really help move the conversation forward.”Harvard is emerging as a national presence in environmental law, said Lazarus. In 2005, the School hired Jody Freeman, a leading scholar in administrative and environmental law, to launch its environmental law program. Today the program includes a clinic and the Environmental Policy Initiative, a resource for federal and state officials.“It would have been unimaginable anytime before now since 1970 to have Harvard host this meeting,” said Lazarus. “But the fact we are really is a statement about where the program has come.”Both the Law School’s commitment to the issue and the students involved in the environmental program were critical in securing the conference, he added.“The students are extraordinary. They put in the bid. They came up with the environmental justice theme. They did it. … It’s a wonderfully, sensitively constructed program.”Asked about the status of environmental justice 20 years after Clinton’s order, Lazarus said, “In the mid-’90s there was a tremendous sense that we were going to see a sea change in the ways that environmental laws were administered and enforced. I think that those very optimistic sentiments have been realized, but only in part.”To learn more about the conference, visit the NAELS 2014 website.
Anne Peretz, founder of Parenting Journey (formerly The Family Center, Inc.), and Chris Byner, interim executive director of Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF), will be honored at this year’s Summer Urban Program Auction, an annual fundraiser held by Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA). The auction, which will take place at Harvard University’s Knafel Center on April 15, raises money for PBHA’s award-winning summer camps for low-income families, while celebrating community members whose work enriches the lives of youth and families in Boston and Cambridge.Peretz is the founder of The Family Center, Inc., a family therapy clinic and family support program geared to low income and immigrant families. The Family Center (now known as The Parenting Journey) has also developed powerful curriculum for new parents, as well as training social workers and teachers in how to support families more effectively. There are currently over 500 Parenting Journey sites in several cities and Peretz has recently developed a comparable program in Burundi.Byner oversees BCYF’s network of 35 community centers, located in nearly every neighborhood in Boston. Byner is a former manager of the Streetworkers Program, a national model for effective youth violence prevention and intervention services. The success of the Boston Streetworkers Program has caused community and police groups to seek Byner’s help in setting up similar programs in other cities across the country. Read Full Story
On Saturday nights, Mark Mauriello ’15 sprinkles an eerie magic in Oberon, the black-box space of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.). Painted in gold and green, dusted in glitter, and swirling on roller skates, Mauriello portrays Dr. Wheelgood, a fairy-like creature with a love of foreign substances in “The Donkey Show,” Diane Paulus’ disco-inspired version of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”But this week, Mauriello will forego his skates for a turn as playwright and author Oscar Wilde during a three-night run at Oberon of his show “OSCAR at The Crown and the love that dare not speak its name.” The production, his senior project, is the culmination of his four years in Cambridge, he said, where he crafted his own concentration in theater arts and performance and immersed himself in Harvard’s rich arts scene, working closely with the A.R.T. and the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club.“It’s like a combination of the work that I’ve done here in my special concentration,” said Mauriello, “living between a world of theater and theater studies, dramatic-arts courses and dramatic literature courses in the English department, and also taking some art-history courses, and VES [visual and environmental studies] courses that are studio-based.”It was one of those courses that led him to Wilde, in a sophomore seminar that explored his work and his successful yet tragic life. The story was meant for the stage, said Mauriello, whose play opens on Wilde at the height of his career and charts his destruction following three very public trials, his conviction in 1895 for gross indecency for having sexual relations with a man, and his sentence to two years of hard labor. One of the show’s main themes, said Mauriello, is the notion of the public versus private persona, and how far people go to control their image: “In the beginning of the play, Wilde is at his peak. He has immense control over himself and the way he was being perceived by others, and the way he interacted with the world.”Mauriello, who also directs the show, thinks the piece will resonate with audiences familiar with the ubiquitous form of self-expression known as the selfie, and the desire to present a picture-perfect image to friends, relatives, and even strangers via social media. But he also hopes to offer them something unexpected. “The idea behind the show is that as [Wilde’s] life and his world begin to deteriorate, the show starts to deteriorate,” Mauriello said.The first act opens with a party-like atmosphere. Singers and dancers appear onstage alongside Wilde, who acts as if “he owns the room.” Once the party devolves, a brief video interlude fills in the story of Wilde’s three trials. In the third act, the dancing girls, electronic music (composed by Mauriello’s friend Andrew Barret Cox, an Emerson College graduate), and flashing lights are gone. In their place is Mauriello, alone on stage with a piano.“Even the theatrical structure, like character, get teased apart,” said Mauriello, who wants to leave his audiences wondering, “Is that Oscar Wilde? Is that an actor playing Oscar Wilde? Is that Mark?“My hope for the audience … is that we kind of surprise you with where we go.”Mauriello’s concentration looks a lot like the new theater, dance, and media concentration recently approved by members of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He said he likely would have chosen that option had it been available when he was a sophomore, but Harvard’s flexibility and support enabled him to chart his own artistic course regardless.“I feel like I’ve found the right path, and looking back it was exactly the right thing for me. It feels good to get to the end and think, ‘OK, I think I did it right.’”Still, Mauriello is thrilled for the students coming up behind him who can take advantage of the new concentration.“Harvard has done so much for the arts, especially in recent years, to recognize them and to elevate them and make them an important part of our culture … I think just putting them on this equal plane with other academic fields says a lot.”“OSCAR at The Crown and the love that dare not speak its name” runs April 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. and April 17 at 10:30 p.m.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recently announced the election of seven Harvard faculty members among its 84 new members and 21 foreign associates. Members are chosen for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, and will be formally inducted into the NAS at its annual meeting next year.The newly elected members of Harvard include:Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government in the departments of government and African and African American Studies. Bates’ research focuses on the political economy of development, particularly in Africa, and on violence and state failure.Catherine Dulac, Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dulac’s group uses molecular, genetic, and electrophysiological techniques to explore the molecular and neuronal basis of innate social behaviors in the mouse. They investigate the architecture and functional logic of neuronal circuits underlying pheromone signaling and the phenomenon of genomic imprinting in the brain.Scott V. Edwards, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, curator of ornithology, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Edwards’ major interests include multilocus phylogeography and speciation in birds, genome evolution during the transition from reptiles to birds, host-pathogen interactions, the evolutionary consequences of disease outbreaks, and statistical models for inferring multilocus phylogenies, and historical demography.Alfred L. Goldberg, professor of cell biology, Harvard Medical School. Goldberg’s major discoveries have concerned the biochemical mechanisms and physiological regulation of protein breakdown in cells and the importance of this process in human disease. His laboratory first demonstrated the non-lysosomal ATP-dependent pathway for protein breakdown, now termed the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway.Jeannie T. Lee, professor of genetics and pathology, Harvard Medical School, molecular biologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Lee specializes in the study of epigenetic regulation by long noncoding RNA using X-chromosome inactivation as a model system. Her lab has made several contributions toward understanding how RNA directs chromatin and gene expression change.Bruce Western, professor of sociology, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy, director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, faculty chair of the Criminal Justice Policy and Management Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Western’s research broadly studies the relationship between political institutions and social and economic inequality. He has long-standing interests in criminal justice policy, incarceration, and the effects of incarceration on poor communities.Hao Wu, Asa and Patricia Springer Professor of Structural Biology, professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, and Boston Children’s Hospital’s program in cellular and molecular medicine. Wu’s lab focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanism of signal transduction by immune receptors, especially innate immune receptors. Her lab uses X-ray crystallography in conjunction with other biochemical and biophysical methods, such as electron microscopy, to elucidate the protein-protein interactions involved in these processes.The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council — provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.
In the opening sequence of “Love Story,” a voiceover declares that the film is about a young woman named Jenny Cavalleri who dies at 25. That young woman, played by Ali MacGraw, loved “Mozart, Bach, the Beatles … and me.” The “me” is Oliver Barrett IV, played by Ryan O’Neal.Depending on whom you ask, the movie is either corny or enduring. But when “Love Story” was released in 1970 it became a zeitgeist hit, a modern “Romeo and Juliet” that lifted its young leads to stardom.And it all started at Harvard — the movie, written by Erich Segal ’58, A.M. ’59, Ph.D., ’65, was one of the last granted permission to film throughout campus, in spots as iconic as Harvard Stadium and alongside University students.In the 45 years since its release, “Love Story” has remained a touchstone for people who came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, as well as incoming Harvard freshmen, for whom a pre-semester screening has become a rite of passage.Some of those freshmen turned out at Kirkland House on Monday for an Office for the Arts-sponsored discussion with MacGraw and O’Neal, who pulled up in a vintage MG convertible like the one Oliver commandeers in the film. Draped in a crimson and ivory scarf, O’Neal could have been Oliver returned to campus for his 50th reunion and, if not for her character’s premature demise, MacGraw might still have been Jenny — the Radcliffe musician from a working-class family who upends Oliver’s world. Hand in hand, they strode across the street looking the same, but older.Of course the cameras were there to receive them, and when a passing student asked what was happening, he looked confused when the cameraman prattled off the actors’ names.“Google it!” the cameraman said with a laugh.Inside Kirkland House, the Harvard Arts Blog’s editor-in-chief, Alicia Anstead, led a discussion with the stars that ranged from their early impressions of Harvard to working together again after all these years. MacGraw and O’Neal are currently mid-tour for A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters,” which runs through Saturday at Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Theater.O’Neal called Harvard “a character in our story,” and MacGraw noted that it still looked the same.The actors, now in their 70s, have weathered divorces and deaths and everything in between. MacGraw married producer Robert Evans and then her co-star Steve McQueen; bad boy O’Neal finally settled into a decades-long romance with Farrah Fawcett, who died from cancer in 2009.“I had done one film — zero experience — and this was my second film. It was this joyful experience,” recalled MacGraw. “I might tell you in the ensuing decade it was rarely duplicated in terms of fun or optimism.”She was paid just $20,000. “Not enough to pay my alimony,” quipped O’Neal.The success that followed the low-budget film, including Academy Award nominations, surprised them both. “We were just hardworking people who got lucky and became actors,” said O’Neal. “You have to keep your feet on the ground because it’s easy to lift off and behave badly. And I know.”On set, the two clicked immediately, said MacGraw. When pressed by Anstead to explain why, she answered: “There’s a chemistry and a caring, and we’re both Aries —”“She’s a good kisser,” O’Neal interjected. “Wow!”The longstanding mutual affection prompted one brave audience member to wonder aloud whether there was more to their story. Though they were both married at the time, “We had tremendous crushes on each other,” revealed MacGraw.As for Jenny’s famous line — “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” — MacGraw said, “I never questioned that — except for the next 45 years.”
In his book “Being Mortal,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Professor Atul Gawande explored how conversations between patients and doctors can make end-of-life care more meaningful. In an effort to bring this message to a broader audience, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) and the John and Wauna Harman Foundation organized a series of community screenings of the Frontline documentary based on the book. Held in 39 communities around California, these events reached a higher percentage of viewers from communities of color than the documentary did when it aired on public television last year. In a post-screening email survey, 81% of respondents said that they had spoken to someone about their wishes around end-of-life care after viewing the documentary.Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and executive director of Ariadne Labs, told CHCF that he is “incredibly gratified” by hearing the stories of people who have applied “Being Mortal” to their own lives. In an interview published online February 8, 2016, he said, “They are feeling that they can have these conversations that defined what mattered most to them or to their family — and in many cases, translated into the doctor’s office, where they can advocate for themselves. I’m definitely also seeing the conversation among my colleagues — doctors and nurses — who are finding the words to ask people about their fears and hopes and the limits that they would place around what they’re willing to endure.” Read Full Story
Back home earlier this summer, I walked around the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, a public charter high school in Lincoln Heights, Calif., and gazed up at what looked like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It was my first day as an operations intern at the school’s massive hillside urban oasis, affectionately dubbed LALA Farm.I had applied from Trinity College in Dublin, where I was studying during the spring semester, for a number of internships through Harvard’s Center for Public Interest Careers. The center organizes almost 100 paid summer fellowships with public-service organizations nationally, along with international opportunities and postgraduate fellowships, including the Mindich Service Fellowships, which funded my internship. Generally, the center compensates student fellows with a stipend of $3,000 to $5,000 for 10 weeks of work, supplemented by online readings and reflections designed to challenge students to engage intellectually with their experiences, while developing skills and knowledge through their own and their peers’ work in the nonprofit sector.As I sat in the library in Ireland during exam period so far from home, I felt extraordinarily unable to envision what I might do this summer — my last as a Harvard undergraduate. Spending it at home in Los Angeles was not a part of my travel-minded agenda. Then, about a month before leaving Ireland, I got an email offering me the chance to garden, work with high school students, and seek funding for an interesting project in food justice, all in one package. It was a perfect fit for my skill set, and my family missed me. So I accepted. Still, my worldly mind maintained its reservations as I packed my bags: How much could my home city really teach me, in comparison to far-flung lands?That’s how I found myself staring up at a quarter-acre of terraced hillside tucked next to a basketball court, a wavering line of stairs climbing toward a priceless view of downtown L.A. I had worked on a full-scale organic farm before, but I realized I knew nothing about what I was getting into. The farm was revitalized a year ago when Britt Browne, a local artist and grower, came on as manager. She began an after-school farm program and had the hillside terraced, increasing its production capacity.Roger Lowenstein, a Harvard Law School alumnus (J.D. ’68), had founded the school, which is located in a low-income area of L.A., in 2002 as a social justice-themed academy focused on developing leadership skills.I quickly saw that I too would grow over the summer. During the week, I worked directly with Britt, while Roger played the role of mentor extraordinaire. As Britt and I watered, transplanted, and tended to the plants early each day, the farm flourished before my eyes. But there is nothing easy or simple about growing organic, on the side of a hill, amid residential surroundings, in an area that has been experiencing a four-year drought. Pests constantly attacked our corn, onions, and cucumbers. The heat scorched our lovely young native California trees. A neighbor’s dog dug up the strawberries. Sometimes it was a daily battle, making it difficult at times to remember why it was so important to refrain from using pesticides, to pursue small-scale, diversified farming, and to share that information.Nourishing the plants and soil sustainably was satisfying. But the most unexpected, beautiful, and rewarding part of my internship came in spending time with the LALA students, rather than the LALA vegetables.‘Learning a little about an unfamiliar area from a new point of view challenged me to search for the needs and assets in my own backyard just as diligently as the ones further afield.’ — Amanda BeattieFor 20 days in mid-summer, 10 to 15 LALA high school students showed up every day, eager to farm. We’d pump the tunes and enthusiastically dig, plant, build, harvest, learn about food justice, and brainstorm for the Lincoln Heights Farmers Market, where we soon began to sell bunches of herbs and other treasures from the farm’s first summer.The students were smart and dedicated, coming up with products for the market, unashamed to ask questions about farming, and working with more wholeheartedness than our organized volunteer groups. A student named Rene shared how he took his health into his own hands in middle school, through reading about the food system and changing his eating habits, Jen and Brenda came up with a best-selling product, and Brian diligently took notes on customer buying habits at the market in order to improve our marketing. The students switched easily between English and Spanish to engage customers. They all had their own trials to negotiate, but their joy and passion were contagious.I could simply say that it was rewarding to encourage high school students to believe in themselves and to learn to grow their own food (in an urban setting, no less), or that it was invaluable for me to learn how to locate and apply for grant funding and use that knowledge to secure backing for LALA Farm’s future. I could say that working at the intersection of education, food justice, nonprofit work, and even art, all in the heart of my own city, has deeply influenced my life and career trajectory. And all of that would be true. It turned out that working “at home” afforded just as many challenges and nuances as studying abroad, and learning a little about an unfamiliar area from a new point of view challenged me to search for the needs and assets in my own backyard just as diligently as the ones further afield.But if I’m being honest, what will stay with me the longest are the excited faces of Rene, Jen, Brenda, Brian, and all of the other students at LALA as they worked alongside me, sharing glimpses of their lives along the way. They reminded me in their actions that though life and high school can be pretty difficult, often the most powerful thing we can do is show up, share our true selves with each other, and be willing to give what we can to a good cause. We weren’t about to solve the world’s problems. But we were real people trying to have an impact, however small. To me, that humble willingness of the human spirit to do what we can to help each other is what sustains all good nonprofit work — at home or abroad.Amanda Beattie is a Harvard College senior with a concentration in the comparative study of religion, focusing on religion and society, with a secondary in ethnicity, migration, and rights. Mindich Service Fellowships and internships at Harvard’s Center for Public Interest Careers are available in various locations, and all interested students are invited to apply. SaveSave Students prepare bouquets of crimson clover, a cover crop grown on the farm to enhance soil structure. Photo by Amanda Beattie Seedlings were nurtured in the hoop house on the roof of Los Angeles Leadership Academy before being transplanted into the hillside beds. Photo by Amanda Beattie Students harvested beets for the weekly Lincoln Heights Farmers Market. Photo by Amanda Beattie The view of Los Angeles from the LALA Farm. Photo by Amanda Beattie
Read Full Story Harvard University opened its first cross-disciplinary research center in Sub-Saharan Africa, building a new platform for African and Africanist academic exchange. Working with its companion office on Harvard’s Cambridge campus, the Harvard University Center for African Studies Africa Office will lower barriers to research for African and international scholars across the continent and serve as a resource for the increasing number of Harvard students and faculty members conducting research and traveling to Africa.The office will also facilitate and strengthen relationships with business, cultural, and academic leaders across the African continent. A key objective for Harvard CAS is to build upon existing connections with universities and other educational institutions by facilitating inter-faculty research and student exchange, both on Harvard’s campus and on the African continent.As part of the opening of the office, University Provost, Professor Alan M. Garber, the Center for African Studies’ Faculty Director Emmanuel Akyeampong, and Obenewa Amponsah, the recently appointed Africa Office Executive Director, facilitated a roundtable discussion of academic leaders from Harvard and academic institutions from across Africa. Participants convened to discuss mutual areas of research and to develop strategies for educational development. The Center for African Studies also hosted its Second Annual Hakeem and Myma Belo-Osagie Distinguished African Business and Entrepreneurship Lecture, which draws lessons from prominent African leaders.
Braxton Shelley believes in the holy power of sound.Harvard’s newest assistant professor of music brings years of experience as a composer, pianist, choir director, and minister to his intellectual pursuit of spiritual music.“Having a strong academic study of religion beside the vocational life has enriched me; it adds to the music,” said Shelley, who is also the Stanley A. Marks and William H. Marks Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute. “There’s another level of rigor and sophistication that I think matters because a lot of what animates gospel music is inseparable from the articulation of belief.”The Rocky Mount, N.C., native, whose “Groove” may be the best-named course in the fall catalog, said that all of his formative music experiences took place in church. His first piano teacher was the church musician, and by age 9 Shelley played piano or organ every Sunday at Rocky Mount’s Church of the Open Door-Baptist.Being equally passionate about social justice, he planned to study law and become a politician, but a music theory course provided intellectual depth to the somatic understanding of sound he’d internalized for years.“I knew chord symbols and how to talk about harmonies, but a lot of my early church playing was by ear,” said Shelley, whose second album “I’ve Gotta Tell It” comes out later this year. “A lot of the work is still by ear. Theory put words to what I felt. And at the same time, some of my brighter curiosities related to the social and religious phenomenon coalesced with my interest in music.”Performing provides a constant source of inspiration, Shelley said, pointing to a 2013 concert at Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, N.C., as an example. The show featured original compositions by Shelley, including a fast-paced, groove-based song called “Mighty God” in which an ecstatic shout-and-dance broke out. Shelley sees these moments as “sacraments, extensions of divine presence.”“I was at the piano, watching what I spent a year and a half trying to put to words manifest before my eyes,” he said. “That was a nugget of experience that said to me, ‘Yeah you’re on to something.’”Though he plays piano and organ, sings, and has a master’s in divinity and a Ph.D. in history and theory of music, Shelley said his musical strength lies as a composer.“I have written songs during a church service, sitting at the organ playing,” he said. “I’ve written songs at the piano during practice time during chill meditative moments, and I’ve just heard melody or words and pitch and then I’ll go work it out.“I’m really patient. I routinely let songs sit in my head six to eight months. I don’t write them down until they’re done, and I know when they’re done. I could finish a song if I wanted to, but I prefer them to work out themselves, so I wait to feel inspired and it’s kind of completely itself.”In “Groove,” a graduate seminar, students will examine the interrelation of rhythm and movement across a historical span reaching back to 17th-century dances such as the passacaglia and chaconne.“The phenomenon of groove is embedded in a long history of music and dance,” Shelley said. “At some level groove is thought to result from the interaction between instrument and/or performers. In this case, groove seems to be understood as both a feeling and a musical entity that facilitates the production of that feeling.“In a broader sense, it’s a cut or ridge that facilitates movement, so I want to see what happens when we put together all of the conversations of the way we think of groove.”Music professor Braxton Shelley directs “Due Glory”
In a time when a U.S. president has been known to call journalists the “enemy of the people,” the everyday work of reporting the news has rarely been more challenging. That’s how Margaret Sullivan, the media columnist for The Washington Post, sees it.Following the death of New York Times media analyst David Carr in 2015, Sullivan is one of the few national voices in print and on the web who speaks hard truths about the embattled news industry’s shortcomings and offers thoughtful remedies amid heightened public skepticism about the value that journalists bring to society.Sullivan, former editor of The Buffalo News, rose to national attention in 2012 when she became the first female public editor of the Times, charged with holding it ethically accountable for its actions. She moved to The Post in 2016.On campus this week for a visit to the Shorenstein Center at Harvard Kennedy School, Sullivan spoke with the Gazette about the state of the news business, why it was a mistake for The Times to eventually eliminate the public editor position, and what young journalists should know about the craft.Q&AMargaret SullivanGAZETTE: The media have been a big part of the news in the last year or two. What’s the state of journalism today? What should reporters and editors be doing that they’re not?SULLIVAN: I think we are in a period of incredible turmoil. And in some news organizations I would even go so far as to say chaos. But we’re in a time of great change. We’re under attack, certainly, from the president.On the issue of trust, I have a more nuanced point of view. I spent this past summer really trying to talk to non-coastal, regular folks about their feelings about the news media. I came away feeling like the reality wasn’t quite what I had seen portrayed in public opinion polls. It was a more nuanced picture than that. A lot of people don’t think the news media is perfect, but they do feel like they can get credible information from their own news media. There is sort of a split between this idea of “the media” that’s out there and “my media,” which is more trusted. So, if you read The Boston Globe and look at The New York Times online and listen to NPR, you feel like, “Yes, I know what’s going on.” But if I were to ask you about “the media,” you might get this idea that I’m talking about all kinds of things: Facebook, Sean Hannity, CNN. So I don’t think we’re defining it well. I think it’s extremely misleading to talk about “the media” as if it’s some sort of cohesive entity. It isn’t. I think it needs to be examined a little more closely, and that [will begin] to give us a better picture.In terms of what journalists should be doing at this point, part of what’s going on is we’re covering a president who is unlike any other. And so, we can’t really just do things the same old way and expect that to work. Some of the things I’m seeing that I think are good involve the new emphasis on fact-checking. Fact-checking done in real time is extremely important. Any kind of explainer journalism is very helpful. Take this whole thing with the [Rep. Devin] Nunes memo: If you asked people to explain that to you, I think they would have a hard time doing so except as a fight between the president and Republicans in Congress and the Democrats. Can people really describe what the issues are? Probably not. So I think we need to do a better job of catching people up on issues so they can have a better understanding.GAZETTE: There was much hand-wringing after the election about the press coverage. Has the media learned lessons from the start of the 2016 presidential campaign?SULLIVAN: I think we’re doing a better job with paying attention to some of the parts of the country that we weren’t very much in tune with — at least some news organizations are. I can speak about The Washington Post for one, which has something called the America Desk, that makes an effort to cover all of the United States and get away from just the Acela corridor. The Post was doing that before as well, but now we’re doing more of it. Part of the reason for that is that we know we didn’t capture the feeling of the country fully, and election night was a big wake-up call.GAZETTE: At a time when trust in the news is low, and demand for accountability and reader engagement are high, why have so many newspapers, including The Post and The Times, done away with the public editor or ombudsman position? That seems counterproductive.SULLIVAN: I think news organizations find ombudsmen/public editors to be something of a burr under the saddle. You’re there to critique them, basically, and it’s not very fun to be critiqued. And it’s worse, in some ways, when it’s coming from inside.But I think that the biggest news organizations, and I would certainly include The Times in this, did benefit from the role because it made readers feel like they had an advocate inside the paper. I don’t accept the argument that, “Well, there’s so much outside criticism that that should take care of it. All we really need to do is bring that criticism to the surface and answer those questions.” That’s not the same thing as having an experienced journalist able to go to the top people and get some answers.GAZETTE: Last month, you wrote a column critical of The Times in which you talked about the paper being “addicted” to its unique access to power, and how that has harmed its coverage, exacerbating what appears to be a crouch the paper enters when people criticize it. For example, there was a 2017 feature story about a white supremacist that appeared empathetic, and a recent opinion page given over to Trump voters. Those drew flak for seeming to accommodate a “both sides” equivalency. Why are they defensive about criticism?SULLIVAN: The Times is a unique institution, and one of the reasons I wrote that column was that I think that what The Times does is very important. It affects the entire media system. And so, it’s especially important for them to be transparent, it’s especially important for them to own their mistakes. All journalists make mistakes, and all news organizations make mistakes. The Times also attracts a tremendous amount of criticism.Someone observed, when I was public editor, that criticizing the Times is a form of performance art. It’s kind of like, “Here’s a way that I can get attention, too — by criticizing The Times.” So all of those things are part of the mix. The Times does a lot of things extremely well, but I do say they have a tough time fully owning their mistakes. And that’s why I think having a public editor there, although it may not be pleasant, is useful.GAZETTE: There’s a fascinating piece in Politico magazine that explains how the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag was a coordinated campaign, an example of computational propaganda with ties to Russian bot networks and aided by U.S. residents and others on social media and conservative media. The goal of computational propaganda, the piece explains, is to shape news coverage, frame issues in a favorable way, and shape the behaviors of both lawmakers and the public. By that measure, #ReleaseTheMemo wildly succeeded. Do you think people working in news understand that newsgathering and other trappings of news (exposes, analyses, punditry) are being used as a tool of information warfare and that in some cases, as with Russia, straight-ahead reporting is being used to advance an agenda?SULLIVAN: I think we’re beginning to grapple with that. It’s a huge change in our business and one that’s very hard to get your head around and extremely important to do so. I’m not sure how it translates into action, actually, because O.K., even if you know that this is going on, how is it supposed to change? You can certainly write about it, you can explain it to people, you can take it into account. But in the end, you’re doing your best to gather the news and present it as truthfully as possible. There may be some brilliant answer to how to deal with this new reality, but I don’t know what it is.GAZETTE: Has the industry sufficiently recognized how President Trump has been able to control the news cycle by getting outlets to chase tweets and remarks that serve his interests, but that may have no real public policy implications? His “treason” remarks this week about Democrats who didn’t clap for him at the State of the Union address is an example. Related Trump’s language, unseemly to critics, reassures his base First as candidate and now as president, his word choices and stances are regularly directed at the worried working class, professor says SULLIVAN: When the president of the United States speaks, especially speaks in an unusual, outrageous, accusatory way, we have to pay attention to that and also point out, in this case, what the actual meaning of treason is, and that this isn’t treason. Treason is right up there with calling the press “the enemy of the American people.” It’s a very harsh kind of criticism to level. The president has a relationship with language that’s nontraditional, to say the least. He uses expressions and descriptions in a way that are very exaggerated. Do we overreact to that sometimes? Yes, I think we do.I don’t think that we should be in the business as journalists of chasing every tweet and writing stories about every tweet. But when President Trump is tweeting, these comments become part of the political record. These are statements from the president, who’s extremely powerful and influential, and I don’t know how we ignore them. But I don’t think we have to react to each one of them as if we’re responding to a five-alarm fire.GAZETTE: What advice do you give aspiring young journalists? Should they go into the industry and, if so, what should they know and know how to do?SULLIVAN: I’m generally encouraging to students who are really committed to being journalists. If they have a passion for it and they’ve done the internships and the student newspapers and all the things you have to do, I think there are still opportunities out there. Certainly, the work couldn’t be more important than it is now, so I never want to say to someone who is a passionate student journalist, “Forget it; you need to go to law school.” I wouldn’t and I don’t say that. But I do think we need to be realistic. The old path is not there anymore: the idea that you might go to work for a small-town paper and quickly get yourself to a regional and then move on to a really big paper. That path, while it hasn’t disappeared entirely, is much less dependable than it used to be.Some of the digital-only news organizations based in New York or Washington, they aren’t very fulfilling places to work because their business model is based in part on volume of readership, also known as clicks, and so the writers have to generate a lot of work. It’s kind of a hamster wheel, in some cases, so that is not always very satisfying. But I also know a bunch of young journalists who have managed to get really good jobs and do fine work. I do think they need to master the old skills and also need to be able to do a lot of the newer things. They have to be strong on social media. They might need to be able to shoot their own videos or do others things like that. They need to have a combination of the old and the new.This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
According to polls conducted last year by the Pew Research Center and The Wall Street Journal/NBC News, many Americans are souring on higher education. There is a concern among many that college is becoming an opportunity limited to the privileged, and a growing sense that the expense doesn’t justify the return. Other detractors paint colleges as anti-American barracks in the culture wars.Harvard is perhaps the best-known institution of higher education in the U.S., but with that popularity comes a vulnerability to stereotypes.Harvard students are some of the brightest and most ambitious, but they are still regular people who need to relax and pursue interests outside of school. Harvard’s new Instagram series, #HarvardUnwind, seeks to showcase that lighter side of the student body. Students like music and TV that they are reluctant to admit to. They have profound thoughts but also puzzling pet peeves, and, just like anyone who has been working hard, they are eager for an excuse to take a break.Follow #HarvardUnwind on Instagram to see how Harvard students unwind.,Dan Kim ’19Q: How do you take a break?“I like to run, I’m actually going to go on a run later today. It’s very therapeutic, and there are a lot of really nice running routes around here. Like Fresh Pond, down the river. There’s a castle all the way down in Somerville. It’s just a way to stop thinking about things.”,Sarah King ’21Q: If Harvard had a smell, what would it be?“Mulch. It doesn’t smell like mulch ever, really, but when I came for Visitas, I think they redid the mulch. I came in through Agassiz, and they have really good landscaping, so I think they had fresh mulch. So that was the first thing I smelled here, and now every time I smell mulch I’m just like [inhales], ‘Ah, Harvard.’ ”,Haley Daniels ’18Q: What’s a strong opinion you have about something trivial?“I get furious if someone doesn’t tell me that they are going to cut their hair before they get a haircut. Because I’m being affected the most by having to watch you have different hair. That’s jarring. I should at least get a warning.”,Sam Benkelman ’20Q: What blows your mind?“There are a few languages in the world that use clicks in them, and that phoneme is a remarkably easy one to produce. Everyone can do it; children will do it automatically when they’re growing up. Yet it’s only found in a few thousand native speakers. So that’s kind of mind-blowing, to wonder why don’t more languages have clicks in them.”,Riya Sood ’20Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?“Probably occasionally listening to pop music because I claim to be a very big alternative fan — which I am — but we all have our moments. I generally go to throwbacks, so pretty much anyone who was singing in the early/mid-2000s, that’s great: Britney, Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers, the fun stuff.”,Mollie Todt ’18Q: What’s taking up too much of your time?“That’s a really difficult question because I’m such an organizer. I really delegate well. So, I guess I would have to say sleep. I wish I could get less of it, but I have to have nine hours in order to be able to function. I work over at St. Peter’s School in Cambridge, so I’m up at 6:30.”,Julian Nunally ‘17, J.D. ’20Q: What’s something you’re interested in that most people don’t know about?“I went here for undergrad; I studied comparative religion. Now I’m in the Law School, and I want to be a minister. Most people don’t see the connection there. I think law and religion have a lot of things in common, basically in how you interpret the text, whether you use the literal meaning or you use context to imbue meaning into that text, whether reading either a statute, or a contract, or a holy text. I think that’s really cool.“So, in practical use, I really want to be a minister of a church, but I also want to run non-profits off of that. There’s a lot of laws surrounding what a non-profit can or can’t do, and so the ability to manipulate those laws in order to do more good is where the Law School comes in. But also, there’s a lot of moral issues that law can’t fix. So, in order to fill in those holes, I think religion gives you that morality to fix.”,Gabby Sims ’18 and Kirsi Anselmi-Stith ’18Q: What’s your favorite show right now?Anselmi-Stith: We’re on a “Bachelor” kick right now.Sims: We’re really into the latest season.Anselmi-Stith: It’s just smutty TV to distract from any larger goals.Unfortunately, the subject matter of this interaction lapsed before the roll out of #HarvardUnwind could be finalized, and was not posted to Instagram.,Jessie Laurore ‘18Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus?“My room in Cabot, hands down. I meditate there. I really like decorating, so I took my time. I’m very proud of it. I have my plants. I dunno, I just try to make it a space where I feel really at home: very warm.”,Kun Luo, M.Arch. ‘20Q: What’s something you loved as an undergrad that you never thought you’d give up?“I was a drummer. I had a band, I was kind of a drum teacher, and I had performances every weekend. But now I totally lost all of that. I never play drums anymore.”
“Wait times were much shorter than we expected. We think this implies that interventions to increase awareness of available prescribers could provide a short-term boost for access to addiction treatment,” said Barnett.Other Harvard Chan School researchers included Tamara Beetham and Marema Gaye.Funding for this study came from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Pharma-to-doc marketing a vulnerability in opioid fight Harvard-Michigan summit on issue explores addiction, policy First-time opioid prescriptions drop by 50 percent Related Yet this all-or-nothing approach may not be to patients’ advantage Buprenorphine-naloxone (buprenorphine), a highly effective, evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), is difficult to access in states with high rates of death associated with opiates, according to new research led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study also found that access to buprenorphine is especially challenging for patients with Medicaid coverage.“We were surprised to find roadblocks at every step of the process of getting buprenorphine, from finding a clinic with any prescribed, to finding one that will take public insurance,” said Michael Barnett, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard Chan School.The findings were published online June 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.Improving treatment for OUD is a national priority. Use of buprenorphine, which can be prescribed in both office-based and outpatient settings, has been associated with substantial reductions in opioid overdose deaths and greater likelihood of long-term recovery among OUD patients. However, numerous barriers limit access to the treatment.For this study, Harvard Chan researchers and colleagues at Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health wanted to assess real-world access to buprenorphine among uninsured and Medicaid-covered patients. To do so, they created an audit survey, also known as a “secret-shopper study,” in which each health care provider was called twice, once by a caller posing as a Medicaid enrollee and once as an uninsured patient. The calls were limited to providers in six areas of the U.S. that have high burdens of OUD, including Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.Overall, there were 1,092 “patient” contacts with 546 buprenorphine prescribers. The findings showed that 38 percent to 46 percent of callers who reported current heroin use were denied an appointment, which the authors said may represent a substantial barrier for patients who are hoping to access care rapidly. The study also found that only 50 percent to 66 percent of clinicians booking new appointments allowed buprenorphine to be prescribed on the first visit. Additionally, a smaller percentage of callers with Medicaid coverage than those paying with cash were offered appointments.The researchers said that the scarcity of clinicians accepting new patients is a prominent barrier to care. However, among clinicians who were accepting patients, wait times were generally less than two weeks, indicating that there are opportunities to improve access to buprenorphine.
The positive effects of optimism Julia Boehm, a former research fellow at Harvard Chan School and current associate professor in the Cream College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at Chapman University, agrees that staying upbeat these days can be a challenge. “It’s something I’m working hard on in my own life. The thing to do is to hold onto what we can in these unusual circumstances. We might be losing something in terms of larger social relationships but there are ways of cultivating that, like having game nights over Zoom and really holding onto the people in your bubble. We can still practice kindness toward others in this time, which is something that’s shown to produce feelings of happiness. And you can always say, ‘The sun still rises every day, and the sunset still looks beautiful.’”Optimism may not come easy, but evidence is growing that it makes a measurable difference. “What we have done is to understand that optimism is in some way protective for health,” Kubzansky said. “Higher levels of optimism been shown to be associated with lower risk of developing diabetes, coronary heart disease, and poor lung function. And it can contribute to greater likelihood of achieving exceptional longevity — as well as healthier aging. This is important, because living longer but sicker is not something anyone aspires to. We have documentation of these associations, and we’re looking more closely into the mechanism.” More risk of physical, psychological damage, less access to health care unevenly tip scales Lower risk of depression with elevated exercise Mindfulness meditation and relaxation response affect brain differently Beyond its intrinsic value (that is, being optimistic is a positive facet of mental health in its own right), optimistic people tend to make healthier decisions. “They tend to be more goal-orientated, willing to delay gratification: ‘It may be more fun to sit on the couch and eat bonbons, but I also have this goal of being fit, so I’m going to the gym’ and optimism can help keep people focused on their larger goals. Data suggest this is the case. Optimism is linked with better health behaviors, a better diet, less likelihood to smoke. So behavior is one pathway, but we are also looking at potential biological pathways that might link optimism to better health including cellular markers. Some initial findings suggest some biological pathways are plausible. For example, people who are optimistic have healthier lipid profiles, and less risk of developing hypertension.”Boehm adds that studies have indicated that a positive attitude reduces the risk of heart disease by anywhere from 10 to 40 percent. “Let’s be honest, optimism is not going to stop you from getting cancer if you have a history in your family and aren’t taking care of yourself. Where it comes into play is there are often factors that encourage us to take actions that help our health. And people who are optimistic tend to engage in healthier behavior than people who are not.”A devil’s advocate could certainly argue that there are a lot of old cranks out there. The caustic Dorothy Parker outlived most of her Algonquin Round Table colleagues, and Bob Dylan just released one of his darkest albums at age 79. “There are always going to be people who appear to be the outliers,” says Boehm. “But maybe that cranky person is the one walking around with some resolve for the future.” 35 minutes a day of physical activity may protect against new episodes, even in the genetically vulnerable Related Positive thinking linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular events COVID’s triple whammy for Black students Study finds a host of health benefits accompany an optimistic attitude Study found that each program showed unique patterns of brain activity Protecting the heart with optimism Bad day, or week? Or maybe it’s the endless eon that 2020 and the first month of 2021 have felt like?A Harvard expert has some advice, and it doesn’t involve diving ever deeper into coverage of the pandemic or politics.“Try to have some perspective,” says Laura Kubzansky, Lee Kum Kee professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). “If you look at the history of world events, things are always changing. So it helps to avoid saying things like, ‘This will never change, we’ll be in this situation forever.’ And it helps to recognize where the silver linings are — which I’d say the news media is especially bad about doing.”If you can’t conjure up some optimism, she says, try focusing on the hopeful things in your life. “Sometimes it’s just about realizing there’s a certain amount of randomness in the world and you need to roll with it. Maybe now that the world is disrupted, you can find out things about your kids that you wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Maybe you can notice that it’s a beautiful foliage season, and spend time outside. And maybe you can think that we’ve just been too driven, we all need to slow down.“Finding perspective isn’t just about optimism — it’s also about the things that travel with it, in terms of feeling a sense of meaning and purpose. And that goes with the understanding that you’re not going to feel good all the time — that’s OK. It’s a hard time and nobody’s saying ‘Look on the bright side every minute.’” “Higher levels of optimism been shown to be associated with lower risk of developing diabetes, coronary heart disease, and poor lung function.” — Laura Kubzansky, Harvard Chan School The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.
Next week VCE will join thousands of IT professionals and innovators at VMworld 2014 in San Francisco. As a trailblazer in virtualization, at VMworld VMware will explore the next evolution of the software-defined enterprise as well as new innovations in the hybrid cloud and end-user computing.VCE is transforming the way our customers deliver IT by providing the ideal infrastructure foundation for rapidly deploying new workloads and applications with the highest performance and availability and lowest total cost of ownership.VCE is a Gold-level sponsor this year and will be discussing a key use case for converged infrastructure on Monday, Aug. 25 at 3:50 p.m. PT and Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 8:30 a.m. PT. Jay Cuthrell from the VCE office of the CTO will explain how to leverage converged infrastructure, a policy-based management framework and other enabling technologies to virtualize SAP landscapes and rapidly achieve ROI in Virtualizing SAP: Real Enterprise Experiences on VCE Vblock Systems. Jay will also be participating with George Viebeck of VCE in a Tweet Up on Aug. 26 at 5:00 p.m. PT at the VCE booth 1043 to discuss virtualizing SAP.“Attendees should join us in the VCE booth to see Michael Somerville of the University of San Diego discuss the school’s Vblock System implementation, as well as other VCE experts who will provide demos and presentations on VCE solutions for VDI, big data, SAP and Oracle (view the full list).ShareWith so many sessions to see at VMworld, here’s a snapshot of additional VCE presentations attendees won’t want to miss:Building Heterogeneous Private and Hybrid Cloud Environments to Drive Today’s Business Demands (HBC3159-SPO) – This session we will cover the considerations for building private clouds on heterogeneous environments as well connecting those resources seamlessly across multiple private clouds and into the public cloud. Monday, Aug. 25, 11:30 a.m.Virtualizing SAP: Design Guidelines and How They Are Used in EMC IT’s Successful SAP Implementation (VAPP2309) – This session will cover guidelines for sizing and architecting the SAP stack on vSphere and then show how some of the guidelines were used in EMC IT’s successful implementation of virtual SAP. Monday, Aug. 25 1:00 p.m.McKesson OneCloud – The One Cloud to Rule Them All (MGT2385) – McKesson will discuss the evolution of its true private cloud to enable data center consolidation of multiple business units through VCE converged infrastructure, VMware orchestration and automation and HyTrust security policy controls and visibility. Tuesday, Aug. 26, 4 p.m.Moody’s IT Transformation: The Journey, the Process, Achievements and Benefits (OPT2089) – Moody’s is in the midst of a transformation to become a broker of IT services. This journey is starting through the implementation of VMware vCloud Automation Center. Tuesday, Aug. 26, 12:30 p.m. How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud (INF3037-SPO) – Learn how customers can leverage best practices to assemble intelligent components to rapidly deploy a hybrid cloud through integrated VMware and EMC solutions. Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2:30 p.m.If you’d like to learn more about VMworld activities, keep a close eye on the VCE Vblog for live blogging and videos during the show, as well as our events page for full coverage and our Twitter feed. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!
Last time you heard from me, I was headed to Strata, excited to be announcing the coming of the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Hortonworks Hadoop. This week at DATAWORKS SUMMIT, I’m proud to announce it has arrived. The Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Hortonworks Hadoop was released for general availability last week – it is now available! This solution is uniquely delivering real value to customers, focusing on three key pain points:Faster time to value to get to a fully-implemented solution: Dell EMC delivers an end-to-end solution guide to simplify the architecture, use case and configuration for customersReduce the risk: The Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Hortonworks Hadoop enables increased productivity with the delivery of a certified architecture and infrastructure guideControl costs: Realize greater return on investment by reducing the total cost of ownership while seamlessly integrating with existing investmentsWhile this is valuable, customers that want to leverage Hadoop often do not know the critical pieces needed to make it real for the business. The business needs to see the value of investing in new technologies like Hadoop. When I say “value,” what I really mean is do more with less. Bill Schmarzo, Dell EMC’s Dean of Big Data, has a great saying when talking to the business folks about Hadoop, “Don’t make it about the 3-Vs, for the business it has to be about-Make Me More Money!”If you’re ready to “show the business the money”, then please come have a conversation with the Dell EMC and Hortonworks folks at the DATAWORKS SUMMIT.Let’s start with a business problem that is an issue across many vertical markets –- data management. Gartner research found that 70% of all Enterprise Data Warehouses (EDW) are performance and capacity constrained. Software processes that clean and transform data before it can be used are eating up way too many resources in the EDW. Gartner says that up to 80% of the EDW capacity is being driven by data integration and transformation jobs. This results in longer data ingestion and preparation times, inability to meet SLAs for business reporting and excessively long ad hoc query response times leading to fewer business insights. This is a pain of which both Hortonworks and Dell EMC are keenly aware.Many people only think about Hadoop only in terms of data storage and analytics, however Hadoop Distributed File System and MapReduce together with technology from Syncsort form a high performance data cleaning and transformation alternative to the “best practices” for traditional EDW ETL approaches.“Enterprise Data Warehouse has become an organization’s central data repository built to support business decisions. Yet, the complexity and volume of data poses significant challenges to the efficiency of the existing EDW solution, causing a huge impact to the business. Hortonworks is excited to partner with Dell EMC to help solve this problem with the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Hortonworks Hadoop in the ETL Offload use case configuration.” – Nadeem Asghar, Field CTO and Global Head of Technical Alliances/Partner Engineering at HortonworksWe will be highlighting the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Hortonworks Hadoop in the ETL Offload use case configuration with Syncsort at the DATAWORKS SUMMIT. Let us show you how it is uniquely suited to solve this business problem with lower cost and more performance than traditional ETL approaches.It’s been 7 years since the initial release of Hadoop Version 1 by the Apache Software foundation but there is still a shortage of people with experience in all aspects of Hadoop including design, implementation and operation. Since 2011, Dell EMC has helped organizations solve this Hadoop skills gap by providing expert guidance and knowhow to streamline the architecture, design, planning, and configuration of Hadoop ETL environments. Dell EMC and Hortonworks help customers by-Removing Barriers-Avoid code generation, making it easier to deploy and maintain with no performance impactFast Tracking Projects – Allows customers faster time to value by reducing the need to develop expertise on Pig, Hive, and Sqoop, instead using SILQ for creating ETL jobs in MapReduceClosing The Skills Gap – One of the biggest barriers to offloading from the data warehouse into Hadoop is legacy SQL scripts built and extended over time. SILQ takes an SQL script as an input and then provides a MapReduce output without any codingSyncsort DMX-h was designed from the ground up to make big data integration simple – combining a long history of innovation with significant Syncsort contributions to the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. With Syncsort’s DMX-h, users can begin developing Hadoop ETL jobs within hours, and the system can become fully productive within days by using a drag-and-drop interface rather than learning additional complex technologies. Adding to this convenience, the SILQ offload utility helps to obtain drilled-down, detailed information about each step within the data flow, including tables and data transformations. This can reduce expert analysis from 20-plus hours to less than 30 minutes.All the Dell EMC Ready Bundles for Hadoop enable companies to reduce Hadoop deployment times from unpacking the equipment to full productivity within days. The new Ready Bundle for ETL offload expands the impact of our offering to include reducing development time of ETL jobs to hours instead of days or weeks.At the Dataworks Summit, we encourage you to stop by to discuss your Hadoop implementation and learn how we can help you build a solution that will “Show the Business the Money!” Gartner. “The State of Data Warehousing in 2014.” June 19, 2014.
1 “The Total Economic Impact of Dell EMC Ready Solutions Hadoop,” commissioned byDell EMC | Intel, May 2018, https://www.emc.com/collateral/white-papers/forrester-total-economic-impact-study-dell-emc-ready-solutions-for-hadoop.pdf2 “Access to instant, personal clusters,” BlueData, August 2018, https://www.bluedata.com/product/solutions/3 “Streamlined operations,” BlueData, August 2018, https://www.bluedata.com/product/solutions/ It’s a big data boom with Ready Solutions for Big DataIt has taken years, but big data analytics has evolved from the latest IT buzzword into a core part of the enterprise. While the term “big data” has been around for quite some time, the big data market is still booming with hundreds of competing technologies in every stage of the data pipeline. Organizations are starting to realize that big data success is not about implementing one application or one piece of technology, but instead requires an optimized technology stack that allows them to get more performance and flexibility out of IT investments, and to scale more quickly and cost-effectively as business needs grow.At the same time, the perception that “everything should go into the public cloud” because it’s cheaper and easier requires a reality check. When it comes to handling big data, the public cloud is often more expensive and slower than on-premises private cloud solutions, and many times security and compliance policies dictate where data must reside. You can survive the big data boom with a big data as a service (BDaaS) solution that provides the self-service, economics and simplicity of public cloud with the on-premises security and compliance organizations demand.Dell EMC has worked closely with customers and its partners, BlueData® and Intel® to create an elastic architecture named Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data. This architecture provides self-service access to a variety of Big Data analytics and data science workloads — such as Hadoop, Apache Spark®, Kafka, Cassandra and more — at the same time, on the same infrastructure without sacrificing performance. It includes the latest PowerEdge servers with Intel® Xeon® Processors for maximum scalability and throughput. Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data come with the software, hardware and services needed for IT to provide on-premises BDaaS so your team can save up to 12 months in standing up new big data analytics systems.1How can you use Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data?Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data enables the following use cases:Consolidation of multiple data analytics deployments — Multiple data analytics environments can be difficult and costly to scale while the demand for analytics grows.Create an on-demand consumption model for big data infrastructure and applications — Allow data teams to quickly and easily create big data environments while simplifying IT resource management.Enable self-service job creation — Data scientists and analysts can run a variety of jobs against their data.Leverage the right big data tools for every job — Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data enable data teams to use their favorite tools for big data analytics. It supports Cloudera® Hadoop, Hortonworks® Hadoop, Spark, Cassandra, Kafka, MapR®, TensorFlow™, and custom images for other services. It’s even possible to create multiple environments using different Hadoop distributions, as well as set-up different versions of the same distribution on the same infrastructure.The ultimate goal of Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data is providing self-service data analytics, lowering costs and simplifying deployment and support.Self-service analyticsSpeed is a key element of success. Data scientists, analysts and developers require on-demand access to real-time analytics to support business needs. Siloed legacy resources can’t deliver the same on-demand access as public cloud providers, but the public cloud has trade-offs, too. On-premises infrastructure integration and deployment for big data analytics applications can be complex and can take months.Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data give data analysts on-demand access to infrastructure resources and analytics tools — such as Hadoop, Spark, NoSQL, Apache Cassandra®, Apache Kafka® and others — in minutes.2 This enables IT to provide self-service data analytics with the performance, compliance and security of an optimized on-premises solution. Data teams can quickly and easily provision their own resources, run jobs using their choice of tools, and even run multiple analytics workloads simultaneously thanks to multi-tenancy enabled by policy-based automation and management. Lines of business can create and execute their own use cases from a single pool of resources with the responsiveness required by modern big data analytics applications.Lower costsWhen it comes to containing costs for big data analytics, customers are caught between legacy IT that requires increasing resources to maintain, and paying skyrocketing monthly fees to a public cloud services provider. Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data offer a balanced approach by providing an automated, self-service portal built on a bedrock of Dell EMC servers and networking infrastructure delivered by Dell EMC deployment experts.Because Dell EMC has optimized and integrated the solution stack, you can reduce stand-up time from months to weeks.1 The savings continue past deployment, with reduced management complexity and no unpredictable, recurring monthly charges. The ability to scale compute and storage resources independently, as well as run multiple analytics instances on the same infrastructure helps eliminate costly cluster sprawl and maximize utilization rates while reducing cost. BlueData® reports that you can save up to 75% compared to bare-metal deployments while increasing server utilization by up to 350%.3Simpler deployment, simpler supportReliability and operational simplicity are critical to supporting any enterprise IT environment. Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data include everything you need to provide BDaaS, including the hardware, software, consulting, deployment and support services, so you can spend more time on strategic projects. How much time? Customers report that if they tried to implement on their own, it would have taken up to 12 months longer to hire the expertise, figure out the correct configurations, and deploy a solution.1Dell EMC consultants work with customers from the onset to identify the analytics use case that will have the most business impact, gather requirements and design the solution architecture.Dell EMC has partnered with BlueData to deploy its EPIC™ (Elastic Private Instant Clusters) software on Dell EMC servers, networking and storage. Our teams install, configure and integrate the hardware and software into the customer’s environment for the prioritized use case, saving the months of time required to configure your own analytics environment. BlueData enables you to spin up or down environments for analytics in minutes.2 The software provides a simple and easy way to provide self-service provisioning, policy-based automation, and push-button upgrades.Customers also receive Dell EMC ProSupport to help ensure optimal system performance and minimize downtime through comprehensive hardware and collaborative software support. They can also opt for ProSupport Plus to get a Technology Service Manager who serves as a single point of contact for the entire solution.For more information, please visit Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Big Data.
BERLIN (AP) — A German state governor has apologized for referring to Chancellor Angela Merkel as “little Merkel” during a recent online event, saying he had unintentionally displayed macho behavior. Bodo Ramelow, who governs the state of Thuringia, told German weekly Die Zeit that he greatly regretted using the term “Merkelchen” while talking chatting with other politicians and the public on the social networking app Clubhouse. Zeit on Wednesday quoted Ramelow saying that he should have used the diminutive form in reference to male politicians and doing so for a woman was “was dumb and appeared disrespectful.” The 64-year-old has also faced criticism for playing the game “Candy Crush” during lengthy video meetings with Merkel and other governors to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.
TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Justin is trying reassure Canadians his plan to vaccinate them is working despite what he calls are short term delays and criticism his government is not moving fast enough. Trudeau said that while there is a lot anxiety, Canada is still on track to get 6 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines by the end of March and 20 million in the spring. He reiterated that all Canadians who want to be vaccinated will be by September.
Excitement builds around campus as the Saint Mary’s community prepares for the first Notre Dame home game of the season, as the Irish prepare to square off against Purdue on Saturday. For many first-year students, this will be their first experience attending a Notre Dame football game and their first time in the student section. “It will be my first game,” first-year student Mary Margaret Artman said. “All I know is that I’m very excited … I’ve heard a lot of great things from the other students.” Even though she is from Georgia, Artman said she is prepared for game day. “There are actually quite a few people from where I’m from in Georgia who are Saint Mary’s College alumnae,” Artman said. “They gave me some advice on what to expect from the Notre Dame-Saint Mary’s connection.” Artman said she is prepared for an exciting game day. “I have jerseys, tattoos, all the decor for the football game,” she said. “I’m going to go all-out. I might look a little ridiculous, but it’s all for team spirit.” Some of the pre-game traditions Notre Dame has to offer are especially exciting to Artman. “One of my roommates’ parents are having a tailgate, so I’m probably going to stop by there,” she said. “Apparently Notre Dame tailgating is the best, so I’m very excited!” Artman is not alone in her enthusiasm on campus. Saint Mary’s senior Megan Lord said she is excited to cheer on the Irish with her friends. “I have six roommates, so I’m sure all of us will go together,” Lord said. “We have a large group in our section … It’s just fun, we all get out, cheer for [the] team … Usually we’ll end up dressing weird.” Lord, who grew up in the area, has a long personal history with Notre Dame football. “My family goes to the games,” Lord said. “I grew up around Notre Dame football. My first game was probably when I was six … The student section is always great; since I’ve been a [first-year] I haven’t missed a game. Everyone’s more into it!”. Football rivalries between Notre Dame and other colleges are something Lord said she understands very well. “Purdue versus Notre Dame is a big game around here,” Lord said. “I expect a great outcome.” In addition to the actual competition, Lord said she enjoys many pregame traditions. “My favorite aspect is the tailgating [and] getting to meet everybody’s family,” she said. After graduation, Lord said she plans to get season tickets and continue attending games, but she said it will be different from sitting in the student section. “The student section is the life of the stadium,” she said.
With the election approaching rapidly, undecided voters must hone in on the issues most important to them. For some, that paramount issue might be gay rights. Political science professor Geoffrey Layman said gay issues have played a limited role in this year’s election, despite major developments in gay and lesbian rights recently. “Like all other issues, they have been dwarfed in importance by the economy,” he said. These issues have also been sidelined due to Republican hesitation to broach a topic that would likely benefit the Democrats more than their own party, Layman said. “Public support for same-sex marriage and for gay and lesbian rights more generally has been increasing rapidly,” he said. “These things are very unpopular among the activist base of the GOP, but are much more popular among the undecided voters on whom general election campaigns focus.” Further, Layman said the limited space in the public mind for moral issues has been occupied by topics besides gay rights. “The controversies over President Obama’s health care program and especially the HHS mandate have brought abortion and reproductive issues once again to the forefront,” he said. Layman said the limited focus on gay issues in this election is similar to the 2008 election. Then, as now, the election was dominated by economic crisis. But in the 2004 election, Layman said the issue of gay rights was a crucial topic that was addressed frequently. “Same-sex marriage was more important for the 2004 election because key battleground states – Ohio in particular – had same-sex ballot initiatives and those affected the turnout of supporters and opponents of those initiatives in the presidential election,” Layman said. Although several states had same-sex initiatives on the ballot in 2008, Layman said they did not largely impact the election because they were not battleground states. Despite the increased prevalence of gay issues in today’s culture, Layman said he does not believe they typically have a large impact on an individual’s vote. “To the extent that people consider issues at all, they base their voting decisions far more on economic issues than on cultural and moral issues like gay rights, same-sex marriage and abortion,” he said. He did acknowledge these issues play a large role in determining the votes of certain groups of people. “For example, gay and lesbian voters themselves and the traditionalist Christian voters who are staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage and other advances in gay and lesbian rights,” Layman said. Layman said it is difficult to determine for certain whether homosexual citizens tend to ally with a particular party due to the small number of self-identified gay and lesbian voters in national sample surveys. “However, the existing evidence suggests that gay and lesbian voters lean strongly toward the Democratic Party,” he said.
The five-time Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks arrived on campus Thursday for their second straight training camp trip to Compton Family Ice Arena, with public practices on Saturday and Sunday.Tom Nevala, general manager of the Compton Family Ice Arena, said the training camp was first set up last year through discussions with Blackhawk’s manager Stan Bowan, a 1995 Notre Dame alumnus.Observer File Photo “With the facilities we have available to them, the campus environment, they thought it would be a great way to start the season,” Nevala said.The team completed physical testing at the United Center in Chicago Thursday morning before traveling to the University, where Nevala said they will reside at the Morris Inn for the duration of their visit.While at Notre Dame, Nevala said the team will participate in both private and public events.“They are doing some things, but they are private functions on campus,” he said. “They are doing some things in the community as well. I think they’ll go to the Robinson Learning Center, I want to say on Friday afternoon.”Team practice on Friday will be closed to the public, but faculty, staff and students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross are welcome to join the team for an exclusive practice at the Compton Family Ice Arena from 10:00 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. The training camp itself will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10:15 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.“Hopefully it’s a chance for everyone [to benefit],” he said. “That’s why we have the Friday event specifically for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students, faculty and staff. It’s a great chance to get out and see these guys live in a much smaller venue than the United Center.”Nevala said hosting the team is a special experience that “certainly comes at a great price.” According to the Notre Dame website, the now sold-out general admission tickets for the weekend scrimmages were available for purchase for $10.“I think, more importantly, the 60 guys who come here as part of the Blackhawks enjoy being around the atmosphere that you enjoy every day,” he said. “Maybe a third of an NHL team played hockey in college, most of them [now] have the opportunity to experience the college environment and enjoy kind of being like you guys.”Nevala said the team seems to enjoy the training program set up at Notre Dame.“Before they’ve even started camp this year, they’re already looking forward to returning again next year,” he said.Tags: Chicago Blackhawks, Compton Family Ice Arena, Training Camp
Katherine Robinson Wednesday evening, professor of anthropology Agustín Fuentes delivered the first annual Sorin Scholars Lecture at Hayes-Healy Center. Each year, the Sorin Scholars organization picks a theme to encourage discussion and reflection on an intellectual problem. In light of this year’s theme, inequality, Fuentes discussed the relationship between race and inequality in his lecture “Race, Inequality, and Reality: What We Know and Why It Matters.”Fuentes said one of the biggest problems the United States has had and still has today is the inability to talk effectively about race.“Race and inequality have a particular relationship in our present and in our history,” Fuentes said. “…This is one [issue] that has a very high potential for change in the future. This is not a fixed reality, but it is an important one.“If we don’t understand it, think about it, talk about it, [and] engage with it; it is not going to change. Because right now, it is not sustainable, and it is not right.”Fuentes said in our society, almost everyone believes that Black, White, Latino, Asian, and others are distinct biological entities.“I want to demonstrate what we know from rigorous scientific studies, that races as we use now are not biological entities,” Fuentes said. “We all have 100 percent of the same genes. What varies is that each gene comes in multiple forms – two, 17, 140 – and it’s the variation in the presence of those different forms in a population that is human genetic variation.”Fuentes said that most racial definitions perceived by society, such as gene types, body forms, skin colors and genetic diseases, are not backed by biology.“All of our racial definitions are socially constructed,” he said. “We made them up, and we use them, but they have real effects. Race is not biological, but race is distributed and impacted in unequal ways by the structures – the political, historical and social structures.”Social contexts and the expectations of individuals in a society can have a massive impact on health, he said.“Race is not biological, but it can become biology,” Fuentes said. “Racial inequality creates biological differences in people.”Fuentes stated that we are not in a post-racial society, and that race matters in our society.“So when you are with a cluster of your friends, or your family, or in a classroom – if someone said something that is wrong, that is not true, that is not based on the biological and social historical facts that we have available, it is your response to act,” he said.Tags: agustin fuentes, biological issues with race, racial issues, sorin scholars lecture
The Department of Education at Saint Mary’s College and the Michiana Writers’ Center are teaming up to host a teen writing conference Saturday called Get Inked on Saturday in the Carroll Auditorium of Madeleva Hall.The conference, open to students in grades 8 to 12 and held on the Saint Mary’s campus, will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event will feature keynote speaker Tracy Bilen, author of the young adult novel “What She Left Behind.”Kathy Higgs-Coulthard, director of the Michiana Writers’ Center and education professor at Saint Mary’s, said the conference hopes to strengthen teens’ writing skills with engaging workshops and guest speakers.“The Get Inked Teen Writing Conference is designed to provide teen writers with the same types of experiences adult writers get at their writing conferences,” Higgs-Coulthard said. “Our guest author, Tracy Bilen, is a huge draw.”The teens attending the conference will not only get to hear Bilen speak, Higgs-Coulthard said, but will also be able to write with her in small group sessions.Saint Mary’s junior Teresa Guerrero will co-teach some of the workshops.“As an English major and Secondary Education minor, my involvement in the conference is to help teach a brief lesson about the workshops I am helping to conduct and help students with any[thing] they may need,” Guerrero said.According to a list provided upon registration, students can choose from workshops covering a variety of topics including how to find inspiration, write body language, establish effective settings and write compact stories. Beyond traditional story themes, the conference will address additional topics relevant to teens through a college essay workshop.Higgs-Coulthard said the biggest benefit for the attending students will be the opportunity to meet like-minded teens.“The conference is geared toward students in grades 8-12 because those writers are usually functioning at a more sophisticated level of writing — both creatively and analytically — than younger students,” she said. “Those students are often able to adopt new strategies into their writing and consider suggested revisions.”Guerrero said she is excited to work with the students who are willing to devote their Saturdays to writing.“I was motivated to get involved with the conference because of the students who are coming,” she said. “Hopefully I can incorporate some of the ideas presented at the conference into my own teaching one day.”The conference is also going to be helpful for writing teachers, Higgs-Coulthard said.“Area teachers are invited to attend the morning session for free in order to learn more about teaching writing,” she said. “Mary Nicolini, the site director for our area’s National Writing Project, will be on hand to answer questions.”Additionally, most presenters are not just teachers, but writers themselves, Higgs-Coulthard said. This gives the presenters an increased understanding of the struggles the teen writers are facing, she said, which will help make them more able to help the teens.She said this is the second year for what she hopes will become an established annual conference.“The conference exists to celebrate and support teen writers,” Higgs-Coulthard said. “While sporting events showcase athletes and other events like band concerts and theater plays showcase performers, there is nothing else around to showcase the talents of Michiana’s young writers.”The Get Inked registration website advertises an autographed copy of Bilen’s novel, “What She Left Behind,” for each attendee. The $40 registration fee covers a full-day’s attendance and lunch.“Saint Mary’s education students are invited to attend the morning session from 8-11:30 in Carroll Auditorium for free,” Higgs-Coulthard said, but must email her at [email protected] to RSVP.“I hope that students will take away new ways to write,” Guerrero said. “I am still learning … just as these students are.”Tags: Department of Education, Get Inked, Kathy Higgs-Coulthard, Michiana Writer’s Center, Tracy Bilen, Writing Conference
Saint Mary’s hosted an interactive panel Tuesday called LeadHER, featuring Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and her Chief of Staff, Tonya Brothers-Bridge, to discuss topics including fearless leadership and the power of women mentorship. Along with Ellspermann and Brothers-Bridge, panelists included president and CEO of Michiana Partnership Regina Emberton, president and CEO for the YWCA North Central Indiana Linda Baechle, senior business major Ambar Varela and senior global studies major Eleanor Jones. The discussion was moderated by associate project director of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) Joan McClendon.“Saint Mary’s College has educating women leaders since our founding in 1844,” College president Carol Ann Mooney said in her welcome. “I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that after attending the WEI leadership event in the spring, Tonya Brothers-Bridge from the Lieutenant Governor’s office realized that Saint Mary’s was the perfect place to return to and talk about women’s leadership.”Both Ellspermann and Brothers-Bridge talked about their experiences as women in the professional world and in politics specifically. They both said they do not try to step away from who they are as women but rather work to gain respect as women in male-dominated fields. Ellspermann said she tries to bring in new ways of thinking and problem solving from her female perspective and thinks it is important to bring in other minorities because everyone has something new to offer.Jones posed the question of whether or not fearless leadership exists and what fears Ellspermann and Brothers-Bridge face in their careers in politics. “I think a career life is meant for taking on the fearless opportunities,” Ellspermann said. “It’s taking on a job you’re not sure you can do and realizing that each time you do it, you get confidence for the next position.” Brothers-Bridge said that she does not believe fearlessness exists. “I think if you’re not scared, your goals are not big enough or your dreams aren’t lofty enough,” Brothers-Bridge said. “I don’t try to go through life fearless. I try to go through life taking the appropriate risks and managing those risks.”The women also discussed the power of women mentorship; both attested to its importance in paving the way for future generations of women leaders. “Mentoring to me is having a very personal, sincere, open, honest relationship with someone that you trust,” Brothers-Bridge said. “I love to mentor others. I’ve had some really terrific mentors in my life, and I feel that is a way I can give back. “We take it seriously that we should mentor other people,” Ellspermann said. “We should encourage them, and when they step forward [in leadership roles], we should get behind them. … We need to be active in that role so that our daughters, my four daughters, won’t see politics as ‘that ugly thing.’”Ellspermann said the way for women to advance to leadership position is to not be afraid to ask for it. She said women should not lower expectations or accept lesser pay when they deserve more. “Life is too short,” Ellspermann said. “You need to be doing something where you’re making a difference, where you’re loving to get up everyday, where you’re loving to engage in what you’re doing.“As women, we try to prepare the way so that those who are out there can do whatever they want to. Whether you want to be a stay-at-home mom, or whether you want to be a Ph.D., or whether you want to be the president of a bank or whether you want to start your own business. We want all of those options out there.”Tags: LeadHER
Associate professor emeritus of finance Adam S. Arnold Jr., the first African American faculty member at Notre Dame, died April 14 at the age of 94, the University announced in a press release Monday.According to the press release, Arnold joined the department of finance in 1957 after serving in World War II and spent 30 years as a University faculty member. As well as being the first African American faculty member, he was also the first to receive tenure.Arnold spent much of his youth in Danville, Kentucky, according to the press release. He met his wife, Helen, while attending West Virginia State College. He was drafted into the U.S. Army after graduation and left it at the rank of staff sergeant. Afterwards, he earned his MBA as well as a doctorate in finance at the University of Wisconsin.In a statement in the press release, University President Fr. John Jenkins said Arnold was a groundbreaking faculty member.“After serving in the Army in World War II, Dr. Arnold came to Notre Dame in 1957 and served on our finance faculty for the next 30 years,” Jenkins said in the press release. “He was a pioneer who served Our Lady’s University with distinction. Our prayers and best wishes are with his family.”Arnold received the William P. Sexton Award — which is “given to non-alumni faculty or staff whose lives exemplify the spirit of the University,” according to the press release — in 2003, the press release said.A memorial funeral service will be held for Arnold at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton, Virginia, at 11 a.m. on May 5.Tags: professor emeritus dies
Tucked away at the edge of campus on a shady hill lies the modest cradle of Notre Dame — Old College.Old College is the oldest standing building at Notre Dame. Founded by Fr. Edward Sorin, and constructed in 1843, the building is coming up on its 175th anniversary this spring. In the past, Old College housed the Congregation of Holy Cross sisters, brothers and priests, including Fr. Sorin himself. According to the Notre Dame archives, in addition to dorms for students and Holy Cross priests and brothers, Old College once held a classroom, a clothing room, a bakery and a dining hall. Molly Chen | The Observer Old College, pictured, hosts a seminarian program that aims to foster community. The building is Notre Dame’s oldest standing structure.There are not many Old Collegians, as even the building itself is small compared to other residence halls on campus.“Physically, we could probably only fit about 18 or 20 [people],” sophomore seminarian Keenan Bross said.But such a small number has fostered a tight-knit community, sophomore seminarian James Mahoney said.“It’s smaller than dorm life, but we’re a family,” he said. “I expected formation and growth, and I have seen that. I expected a life of preparing yourself for religious life, and I really do see that in Old College. That’s how it’s structured in our community life.”Bonding naturally takes place as a result of this arrangement, Bross said.“It really is like a family, which is what we’re preparing for: to live with one another for our whole life … and live in a small, tight-knit community where there’s a lot of love, accountability, taking care of and being aware of one another, nourishing one another and just having fun sometimes,” he said.Seminarian Daniel Simmons, now in his second year at both Notre Dame and Old College, said he fell in love with the program during his senior year of high school.“Having a community of 10 guys like we do as [undergraduates] is really nice because they’re all going through the same things,” he said. With only 10 men in the program, Notre Dame’s Old Collegians are of top merit and are held to high standards. Men who decide to apply to Old College must be accepted into the program separately from Notre Dame or Holy Cross, Bross said. Before they start their undergraduate degrees, Bross said, the men are required to write essays and make two separate visits to Old College: one informal, where prospective seminarians get information about the program and the second formal, consisting of five separate interviews. Bross said this extensive application process ensures Old College will thrive.“They really want to know who you are to make sure that they’re bringing in someone who … is going to fit in with the community here,” he said. “It was a lot, but you aren’t trying to be impressive in the way you are in a college application. Sure, I wrote a 12-page essay about myself, but it was just kind of like, ‘This is me.’ I wasn’t trying to be fancy or elegant.”Once accepted, the life of an undergraduate seminarian is busy with activities such as Mass, morning prayer, holy hour and rosary, Simmons said. “It’s not the typical college experience,” he said. “For the most part, we’re normal college kids, except we have a really busy schedule.”Bross said he finds fulfillment from a tight schedule.“While being very busy, it’s very nourishing,” Bross said. “Everything that’s on our schedule, whether it be Mass or community meals together … it’s all really nourishing. So in a way, yeah, I’m the busiest I’ve ever been … but I love it. It doesn’t feel like work having to do all of the things that we do.”Aside from the focus on community and inclusion within the seminary, Bross said what makes the program at Old College distinctive is that apart from being required to take 30 philosophy credits and 12 theology credits, Old Collegians can major in any of the undergraduate programs Notre Dame or Holy Cross offers. “Something beautiful about Holy Cross is … that we understand the world in such a way that all is gift from God and all is truth, and it’s really good to be learning things like physics, it’s really good to be learning things like French,” Bross said. “These all contribute to our understanding of our creator and are things that can be useful in the future for a practical sense. I might teach physics in the future as well as be a Holy Cross priest or brother.”Simmons, who is majoring in music theory, history and philosophy, said he appreciates having the opportunity to pursue his passions.“I really did not want to study just theology and philosophy,” he said. “I have other interests than that. We can major in whatever we want to, which is rare for an undergraduate seminary. Normally, kids have to do philosophy and theology as undergrads.”Mahoney said he has found the entire program to be enriching, and the community plays a big part in this. “[The community is] a great group of guys around your age under the guidance of some great Holy Cross priests and brothers who want to prepare you for life as a Holy Cross religious, and above all, to help you know where the Lord is calling you,” Mahoney said.As campus continues expanding, the history of Notre Dame still revolves around Old College, Simmons said. “I think a lot of times it’s a little forgotten point of campus,” Simmons said. “The Dome and the Basilica tend to be the focal points, when [Old College] was the cradle of the University.”Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Congregation of the Holy Cross, old college, Rev. Edward Sorin, the Dome
Holy Cross College will extend online classes for the rest of the semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, College President Fr. David Tyson said in an email sent out to students Thursday. “Like you, I was hoping and praying that the College community would be able to reassemble for the last part of the semester,” Tyson said in the email. “Unfortunately, we simply cannot do so if we are to exercise proper vigilance and prudent judgment at this time.”Distance learning for Holy Cross will continue until May 1, and final exams are scheduled to take place from May 4-8, according to the email.Tyson said in the email he intends “to do everything in [his] power to make sure that graduation takes place,” though extenuating circumstances regarding the COVID-19 progression may affect these plans. “I again ask your continued good will and patience during these days and in this somewhat unprecedented situation for Holy Cross College, our country, and, indeed, the world,” he said.The campus will remain closed until further notice, and information regarding the move-out process and room-picks for the 2020-2021 academic term will come in the next few weeks, dean of students Andrew Polaniecki said in a follow-up email.Due to the closing of the residence halls, the College plans on prorating room and board expenses, Polaniecki said, but the administration is still working out the details.Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, fr david tyson, Holy Cross College
University President Fr. John Jenkins wrote a letter Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the State Department to expedite the process for international students to obtain student visas. In the letter, Jenkins noted he and University personnel had determined it would be safe to reopen campus to students in the fall. However, he said Notre Dame international students are facing more difficulties in regard to the global pandemic as many visa appointments are not scheduled until October or November, months after Notre Dame’s fall semester start date in August. “Approximately 400 international first-year students and graduate students who Notre Dame expected to enroll have been seriously delayed. Some academic departments will lose more than half of their incoming cohort of graduate students if visa appointments are not scheduled in the next few months,” Jenkins said. One of the nation’s leading universities for Fulbright Scholars, Jenkins said Notre Dame would have no scholars in the Fulbright program on campus in the fall if this issue is not resolved.“I ask that you help us in continuing the storied success of public diplomacy that the Fulbright program has come to represent,” he said. Tags: Mike Pompeo, pandemic, State Department, student visas, University President Fr. John Jenkins
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Why are we not just saying we will run our county the way we feel is right. I vote we tell Cuomo to put it where the sun don’t shine.,If phase 4 is the last and final stage… why isn’t everything open 100%,Where are banks in this? Pixabay imageMAYVILLE — While the Chautauqua County Executive is disappointed gyms and mall are not reopening early in New York’s fourth phase, he vowed to keep pushing to change that.Wendel, State Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andy Goodell issued a joint statement Thursday in which they blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo for what they call arbitrary decision making.“I’ve been advocating for gyms since this started. I feel no reason why gyms should not be open,” County Executive Wendel told WNYNewsNow during an interview Wednesday. “The point that they made is they weren’t going to be open on day one of phase four.”“We want to make sure our voices are heard,” he said. WNY News Now Image.“Obviously I enjoy working out, but when we’re looking at people and you want to get their health motivated, you want to get people moving that have been shut down for three months,” Wendel said, adding “The industry itself lends itself to sanitation and cleanliness and hygiene, so I beg to differ.”Local businesses have been stifled for the last several months, he said.“I’ll be pushing,” he said adding that if people can go to big box stores “There’s no reason you can’t go to a gym.”“It is incredibly disappointing that the Governor is once again making arbitrary, last-minute decisions on New York’s reopening process. After waiting patiently for months and investing great time and resources towards developing reopening plans, deep cleaning their facilities and reconfiguring their spaces to meet strict safety protocols, businesses previously scheduled to open in Phase 4 are once again on hold per guidance issued by the state last night,” the joint statement read.“It is hard to fathom why a cavernous shopping mall cannot open in Phase 4 when similar-sized big box retailers have been allowed to operate from day one. Or why safely managed and capacity-limited gyms and movie theaters present more of a risk than restaurants or nail salons. This latest directive will likely be the last straw for many businesses who have been hanging by a thread but were determined to push through as Phase 4 drew closer.”“These illogical directives are more than an inconvenience for consumers and the public, they are a blow to the livelihoods of thousands of small business owners and their employees and a barrier to our economic recovery. We urge the Governor to rethink this decision and allow these businesses to reopen as planned.”
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Stop locking people up for victimless crimes, and you won’t have to worry about a budget increase. Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone is seeking an expenditure increase of more than $520,000 from the 2020 adopted budget, according to the 2021 County Executive Tentative Budget. Quattrone told members of the Chautauqua County Legislature during a budget review last week that he budgeted 2021’s jail expenditures in anticipation of more call-offs, etc. should COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen.For years, the Chautauqua County Jail budget has experienced a degree of fiscal stress due to overtime costs and other salary expenditures.Quattrone says, however, that the overtime costs in 2020 has decreased significantly from years past. According to the Tentative Budget, the 2020 amended jail budget is more than $450,000 less than the 2020 adopted budget. He explains that there were multiple reasons for the decrease.“Part of (the lower costs) is because of the lower jail population (because of bail reform),” Quattrone said. “With COVID, people have taken less time off, less call-in time. Last year, we increased the number of full-time staff and reduced the number of part-time staff.”Quattrone says he budgeted 2021’s jail expenditures in anticipation of more call-offs, etc. should COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen. The Sheriff is seeking an expenditure increase of more than $520,000 from the 2020 adopted budget, according to the Tentative Budget.Legislator Terry Niebel asked Quattrone why there hasn’t been a cost-reduction in the jail budget as a whole despite the lower jail population. Quattrone says that the overtime costs, as well as increase in base pay for employees, are the major reasons.The Sheriff acknowledged that he’s been approached before about closing parts of the jail in an effort to reduce staffing costs. He says his office has done that to an extent, adding that he also has to consider various requirements from New York State when considering those moves.Additionally, the Sheriff confirmed during the review that three SRO’s were recently laid off due to some school districts pulling from agreements due to COVID budget concerns. He says that two of the three SRO’s were hired by the Jamestown Police Department.The third SRO, meanwhile, is working on logistics in an effort to obtain employment, according to Quattrone.
Watch out Winter Storm Janus, it’s about to get hot in here. Broadway fave Christopher Sieber will take it all off lead the cast of Broadway Bares dancers in Winter Burlesque. As previously announced, the winter show will get the 24th season of Broadway Bares off to a start with two performances on January 26 at XL Nightclub. The season also includes Broadway Bares: Solo Strips in May and Broadway Bares 24 in June at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Star Files View Comments Joining Sieber and Zarley are dancers Cesar Abreu, Matt Anctil, Kristine Bendul, Patrick Boyd, Barrett Davis, Elizabeth Dugad, Carlos Gonzalez, Benjamin Horen, Anne Otto, Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva, Daniel Robinson, Michael Scirrotto, Justin Smith, Billy Steeves, Jena VanElslander, J. Morgan White, Ryan Worsing, Sidney Erik Wright, Heather Lea Bair, Julius C. Carter, Anthony Rooar Decarlis, Rashaan James II and Matthew Rossoff. Directed by Michael Lee Scott, this year’s Winter Burlesque show, entitled Calendar Girl, will follow the dancers in a stirring strip-a-month trip through the calendar. Tony nominee Sieber will open the show, leading the company in an number celebrating his reasons to love each month of the year. The evening’s finale will feature Broadway vet Matt Zarley singing his single “Everybody 4 Somebody.” Afterward, Sieber will direct Bares’ famous “rotation,” where the cast freestyle dances for individual donations. Christopher Sieber
Grease 2, the 1982 movie sequel of Grease, tells the love story of Pink Lady Stephanie Zinone and English transfer student Michael Carrington. The musical follows their road to romance from bowling alley to burger joint, sing-a-long-a-sex education class to talent show, and long (and beautifully lit) romantic motorcycle rides to a slightly incongruous luau ending. View Comments One-night-only was clearly not enough for fans of Grease 2. Cool Rider, the stage adaptation of the cult musical sequel to Grease, is to return to the west end for one-week-only. Ashleigh Gray and Aaron Sidwell will once again sing the roles of Stephanie and Michael, immortalized on screen by Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield. The concert will play at the Duchess Theatre April 15 through 19, with opening night set for April 16. The concert will feature the songs “Who’s That Guy?,” “Score Tonight,” “Cool Rider” (which will be sung precariously atop a step ladder without the aid of wires for safety), “Girl for All Seasons” and the haunting melody of “Rock-a-Hula Luau (Summer Is Coming).” Cool Rider is directed by Guy Unsworth and choreographed by Matt Krzan, with musical direction by Lee Freeman, lighting design by Charlie Morgan Jones and costume design by Christopher Wilmer. Further casting will be announced in due course. At least one member of the Broadway.com team is already booking his flights to London.
Mala Hierba will run July 14 through August 10, with an opening night set for July 24. Liliana has a sparkle few can deny and no one can resist. The trophy wife of a border magnate living in Texas, she’s seemingly impeccable. But beneath that polished exterior lies a fierce determination to survive at any cost. When Liliana’s true desires break the surface, she’ll have to decide between the value of obligation versus the price of freedom. American Hero is a supersized dark comedy about life, liberty and the pursuit of sandwiches. The show will run May 13 through June 8, with an opening night set for May 22. At a toasted subs franchise in the local mall, three up and coming “sandwich artists”—a teenager, a single mom, and a downsized refugee from corporate banking—are perfecting the mustard to cheese ratio according to the company manual. But when their shot at the American dream is interrupted by a series of strange events, they become unlikely allies in a post-recession world. View Comments Two new American plays are set to have their New York premieres as part of Second Stage Theatre’s twelfth annual Uptown Series this summer. First up will be Bess Wohl’s American Hero, directed by Leigh Silverman. This will be followed by Mala Hierba, penned by Tanya Saracho (HBO’s Looking and Girls) and directed by Jerry Ruiz. Both productions will be run at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre.
View Comments Oscar, Olivier and Golden Globe winner Sam Mendes will be honored at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2014 Spring Gala, In Here, Life Is Beautiful. The event, where Mendes will be presented with the Jason Robards Award for Excellence in Theatre, is set for March 10 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Mendes’ association with Roundabout began by directing the Tony Award-winning Cabaret in 1998, and he is currently working on the Broadway revival starring Cumming and Michelle Williams. Mendes’ other multiple stage credits include Oliver!, Company, Gypsy and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has helmed films including American Beauty, Road to Perdition and Skyfall. The evening will feature an all-star tribute to Mendes including performances by Ethan Hawke, Bernadette Peters, Marc Shaiman, Alan Cumming, Brian d’Arcy James and Aaron Krohn. Appearances will also be made by Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon, Kathy Bates, Dylan Baker, Richard Easton and more.
Knight is making her West End debut in The Bodyguard. Known as the Queen of British Soul, she has sold over a million albums in the U.K., scoring several top 10 hits and four gold certified albums. Knight has released six studio albums to date and her hit singles will include “Greatest Day,” “Get Up!” and “Come as You Are.” She appeared on BBC One’s Just the Two of Us and performed at London’s 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony. The Tony-winning musical Memphis is heading to London’s West End, with Beverley Knight headlining the production. According to the Daily Mail, Memphis will open at the Shaftesbury Theatre in October. Knight is currently starring in The Bodyguard at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre and will depart the tuner on May 31; the show will remain at the venue until August, when it makes way for the stage adaptation of Made In Daghenam. Memphis takes place in the segregated ’50s, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun fell in love with everything he shouldn’t: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer. The show won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. View Comments
The curtain is coming down on Kirstie Alley’s (televised) Broadway career. According to The Hollywood Reporter, her TV Land series Kirstie has been canceled after one season. The show, which featured Alley as a high-maintenance Broadway star, concluded its 12-episode season in February, after which time creator and showrunner Marco Pennette left the project. During the show’s first (and only) season, guest stars included Kristin Chenoweth, Cloris Leachman, Jason Alexander, Kathy Griffin, John Travolta and George Wendt. The series followed Madison “Maddie” Banks (Alley), a Broadway diva whose life is flipped upside down when the grown son she gave up for adoption (Broadway alum Eric Petersen) tries to enter her life after the death of his adoptive mother. Additional cast members included Rhea Perlman and Michael Richards. View Comments
Related Shows Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. GOT’s Alfie Allen Set for Jesse Eisenberg’s The SpoilsThis is some lineup! Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Katie Brayben (Beautiful, King Charles III) and Annapurna Sriram (Billions) will join the previously announced Jesse Eisenberg and Kunal Nayyar in the European premiere of The Spoils. Directed by Scott Elliott, the off-Broadway hit, penned by Eisenberg himself, will play a limited engagement May 27 through August 13. Opening night for the millennial comedy is set for June 2 at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios.A Better Place Pushes Back Start DateOff-Broadway’s A Better Place will now begin performances on May 5; it had previously been set to start on May 4, but the performance has been canceled owing to the need for additional technical rehearsals. Directed by Evan Bergman and starring Edward James Hyland, the show will officially open on May 15 at the Duke On 42nd Street. Broadway.com customers with tickets to the cancelld performance will be contacted with information on refunds or exchanges.Chita Rivera Schedules Encore Shows at the Café CarlyleCouldn’t make the dates work in getting to see Chita Rivera’s turn at the Café Carlyle? Well fear not, the Broadway legend has announced four encore performances at the New York hotspot, May 18 through May 21. Rivera will be joined by music director Michael Croiter (percussion and guitar), associate music director Michael Patrick Walker (piano), Jim Donica (bass) and Dan Willis (reeds). And just because you deserve an extra treat on this Tony Tuesday, here’s the two-time Tony winner’s classic performance of “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin'” on The Judy Garland Show. You’re welcome. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on June 11, 2016 A Better Place Alfie Allen(Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
Reed Birney View Comments Jayne Houdyshell Arian Moayed, Joe Mantello, Stephen Karam, Cassie Beck, Sarah Steele, Jayne Houdyshell & Reed Birney(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Star Files With six Tony Award nominations, The Humans’ cast and creative team have much to celebrate. The stars, scribe Stephen Karam and director Joe Montello recently assembled at Sardi’s Restaurant as Tony nominees Jayne Houdyshell and Reed Birney were honored with caricatures. The Theater District institution’s owner Max Klimavicius presented the pair with their portraits. Houdyshell’s Broadway credits include Fish in the Dark, Romeo and Juliet, Dead Accounts, Follies, The Importance of Being Earnest, Bye Bye Birdie, Well and Wicked while Birney’s include Casa Valentina, Picnic and Gemini. Congrats to these stage regulars, and be sure to catch Karam’s hilarious and heartfelt play at the Helen Hayes Theatre!
P.S. Tony nominee Josh Gad will be joining Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr., Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench and more in Kenneth Branagh’s film remake of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gad is set to play the slightly alcoholic, nervous assistant to Depp’s character.P.P.S. The 28th Annual Gypsy of the Year competition will take place on December 5 and December 6 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the event celebrates ensemble members. Sophie Okonedo(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Sophie Okonedo to Star Opposite Damian Lewis in The GoatSophie Okonedo will join the previously announced Damian Lewis in a new production of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? in the West End. She won a Tony for A Raisin in the Sun and garnered a Tony nod for The Crucible earlier this year; Okonedo also received an Oscar nomination for Hotel Rwanda. Directed by Ian Rickson, the show is scheduled to play a strictly limited 12-week season at London’s prestigious Theatre Royal Haymarket from March 24, 2017 through June 24.Sell/Buy/Date Extends Off-BroadwaySell/Buy/Date, the new play written and performed by Tony winner Sarah Jones, has extended by a week off-Broadway through November 20. Directed by Carolyn Cantor, the limited engagement, an exuberant new show inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry, is playing at New York City Center’s The Studio at Stage II.Daveed Diggs & More Set for The 24 Hour PlaysTony winner Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), Justin Bartha (The Hangover), Jason Biggs (Orange is the New Black), Paul Schneider (Parks and Recreation), Raúl Castillo (Looking), Thomas Sadoski (The Newsroom), Tracie Thoms (Falsettos), Jenna Ushkowitz (Waitress) and so many more have boarded this year’s The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. The event, which brings together talent that writes, directs and perform six original plays within 24 hours, is slated to take place at the American Airlines Theater on November 14.Fox’s Rocky Horror’s Ratings InPreliminary ratings are in for Fox’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show and they’re down on the 12.2 million viewers that Grease: Live picked up for the network. The remake garnered 4.9 million total viewers, landing in fourth place compared to other stations, although it moved up to second in the all-important 18-49 demographic. The Wrap reports that CBS won the night with its football coverage.Watch Heidi Blickenstaff in Freaky FridayCheck out below a sneak peek video of Broadway favorite Heidi Blickenstaff singing “After All of This and Everything” from the second act of Disney’s Freaky Friday. Penned by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Signature Theatre’s world premiere production is running through November 20 in Arlington, VA. View Comments
Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 8, 2017 In the corporate world, employees leaving a job are often asked to sit through an exit interview with HR about their time at the company. That concept doesn’t exist for Broadway performers, but we love checking in with stars as they finish up a successful run. Danielle Brooks received a Tony nomination for her delightfully boisterous Broadway debut as Sofia in The Color Purple. Brooks will leave the Tony-winning revival at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on November 13. In her Broadway.com Exit Interview, Brooks shares why she’s leaving, what she’ll miss and how the role has changed her.How did you feel when you first got this job?I was super elated. I couldn’t believe it. When my manager told me they had offered me the job, I kept saying “Are you serious? No, are you serious?!”How do you feel now that you’re leaving?I feel ready. I’m going to miss working with my castmates and John Doyle. I feel like I have gained so much from this experience as an actress and as a person and have given a lot of myself every night onstage in service to those who come to see our play. Now, it’s time for the refueling of my mind, body and spirit.What are three words you would use to describe your experience?Spiritual. Taxing. Earned.What was the easiest thing about this job?I don’t think there was anything easy about this job. I can’t think of anything.What was the hardest thing?Every night it’s been something different. Sometimes it’s difficult to release the character at the end of the night; sometimes I’m vocally tired and I have to push through. Other times, I’m tired of laughing and all I want to do is cry, and others I’m tired of crying and all I want to do is laugh.What was the highlight of your time at this job?Getting to perform for my family. Having both my parents watch their first born live their dream was a highlight. And also my baby brother getting to see his big sister in his first Broadway show. That I will forever cherish.What skills do you think are required for future job applicants?Number one: she has to be honest. Don’t come in not being authentic. She has to have a sense of humor, an old soul, backbone, grit and a lot of heart.What advice would you give to future employees in your job position?For anyone ever tackling the role of Sofia, you have to come from an honest place. Don’t ever play for laughs and don’t allow the character to ever have pity on herself. She represents strength and perseverance. She’s the strongest bird in the pack that looses her wings, so it’s even more challenging for her to gain her strength back.How do you think you’ve grown?After doing this play over 400 times, I am finally convinced that I am and have always been capable of playing Sofia. What people might not know is that the casting director asked to see me; I didn’t ask to be seen. I had so many doubts and fears coming into this project that I had masked from the hardcore desire to play this part. Some days it took everything in me to step on that stage; I had so much anxiety the first few months of the show, but then something happened in my spirit. Maybe it was the audience, maybe it was the words of the play, but I realized my purpose is greater than my fears. So from then on, I was ready to go out there and share myself without any hesitation.Why are you leaving?I’m leaving because it’s time. I’ve stretched myself and grown as much as I could in this play. It’s time to learn new lessons from another character. I’ll be back to engulf in the bliss of the Great White Way again. Danielle Brooks(Photo: Matthew Murphy & Bruce Glikas) The Color Purple View Comments
Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses will now close on Broadway on January 8, 2017; the Josie Rourke-helmed production had been scheduled to end its limited engagement on January 22. Headlined by Tony winners Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber, the show began performances at the Booth Theatre on October 8 and opened officially on October 20.The dark comedy, based on the 1782 novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, followers lovers-turned-rivals La Marquise de Merteuil (McTeer) and Le Vicomte de Valmont (Schreiber) as they challenge each other to games of reputation-ruining seduction. Among their targets is the young convent girl Cécile, whose love for her music teacher is exploited to thwart her engagement.The cast also features Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Madame de Tourvel, Raffi Barsoumian as Le Chevalier Danceny, Ora Jones as Madame de Volanges, Elena Kampouris as Cécile Volanges, Katrina Cunningham as Émilie, Josh Salt as Azolan, Joy Franz as Victoire, David Patterson as Major-domo, Laura Sudduth as Julie and Mary Beth Peil as Madame de Rosemonde.Broadway.com customers with tickets to canceled performances will be contacted with information on refunds or exchanges. Les Liaisons Dangereuses Related Shows View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 8, 2017 Janet McTeer & Liev Schreiber in ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses'(Photo: Johan Persson)
It’s not easy to fool a pecan tree. And if pecan lovers will be equally hard tomislead, Georgia growers could be headed for a big year.”We didn’t have any cold damage at all,” said Tom Crocker, a horticulturistwith the University of Georgia Extension Service.Late-winter freezes almost never hurt pecan trees. That’s because they’re so slow toact when the weather warms.”The old adage is that when the pecan trees start budding out, spring is here forsure,” Crocker said.That slow response to warm days serves the trees well. “The last year we sufferedreal cold damage was 1955,” he said.So unlike the state’s peaches, which the late freezes hit hard, Georgia pecans are offto a strong start. “We’re looking to have a big year,” Crocker said.A big year for Georgia pecans is truly a big year. Trees here produce more pecans thanin any other state — about a third of the nation’s total.That leaves the state’s growers to tend to their trees and hope the people who buytheir crop aren’t fooled by a few detractors.The new food labels’ focus on fat has led some people to pan pecans. But these nuts arehealthy.Pecans may actually help lower your risk of heart disease, said Holly Alley, a food,nutrition and health specialist with the University of Georgia Extension Service.”It’s true that pecans are high-calorie foods,” Alley said. “And theyget nearly all of their calories from fats. But pecans are low in saturated fats and highin monounsaturated fats.”It’s the mono fat that may make pecans a good-for-your-heart food.”Monounsaturated fats may have a useful role in the dietary prevention of heartdisease,” Alley said.She cited studies in which people who ate nuts one to four times a week hadthree-fourths the heart-attack risk of people who almost never ate them. People who atethem five or more times a week had half the risk.The mono fats may help reduce high blood triglycerides, a risk factor for heartdisease.People with diabetes often have high triglycerides, Alley said. For them, the mono fatsin pecans can be helpful.A one-ounce serving of pecans, she said, contains 190 calories. Of 19 grams of fat, 12are monounsaturated. Less than two are saturated. Five are polyunsaturated.One cup of pecans is about 3.5 ounces. Five pounds of unshelled pecans yield aboutthree pounds shelled. Each shelled pound is about 4.5 cups.”Pecans are fairly high in dietary fiber, too: 1.8 grams per ounce,” Alleysaid. “That may be another reason people who eat them have lower risk of heartdisease. We’re not really sure why the risk is lower.”The best way to put pecans in your diet, she said, is to replace foods high in otherfats.”Pecans can be more satisfying than low-fat foods,” she said. “Andthey’re better for you than foods high in saturated fats.”
Can’t use it, can’t lose it. That’s the dilemma farmers have faced for years withcanceled chemicals and empty pesticide containers.But two programs run by the University of Georgia Extension Service and the Georgia Department of Agriculture (DOA) offer alegal, low-cost option that helps farmers protect the environment.”The Pesticide Container Recycling and Georgia Clean Day programs help farmers whoreally want to do the right thing,” said Paul Guillebeau, an Extension Serviceentomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.”They know it’s best to safely dispose of containers and pesticides,” hesaid. “But they haven’t always had a good way to do that.”Hundreds of tons of canceled chemicals and empty pesticide jugs sit in or behind barns,shelters and outbuildings on farms across the state. Canceled pesticides were once-legalproducts that have become illegal because of Environmental Protection Agency regulationsor voluntary action by the manufacturer.Farmers must get rid of them carefully to keep from contaminating groundwater or soil.Guillebeau works with Jarrell Jarrett, aDOA special projects coordinator. They arrange to safely dispose of high-densitypolyethylene jugs and farm chemicals all around the state.Jarrett said the jugs are fairly easy to take care of.”They have to be rinsed properly by the farmer, collected, chipped and shipped toa facility in Texas,” he said. “There, they’re melted and recast into plasticgoods like pallets and fence posts.”That’s an aspect Guillebeau likes best about the program. “The products arereused,” he said, “but also end up saving wood by replacing it in products thatare otherwise made from trees.”Farmers have two legal ways to get rid of pesticide jugs: recycling or landfills.”But they take up so much space in landfills,” Jarrett said. “And manylandfills won’t take them because of pesticide residue concerns.”In 1997, Georgia farmers recycled 200,000 pounds of containers, or more than 260,0002.5-gallon jugs.Safely disposing of the canceled pesticides takes a little more effort. Georgia CleanDay began in 1991 to help farmers get old chemicals to a safe disposal site.Jarrett works with Guillebeau and county extension agents to plan collection days. Theagents arrange a place in the county and advertise the Georgia Clean Day.Farmers must make reservations. They fill out a form telling the kind and amount of thechemical and the condition of its container.The agents tally the amounts and send it to Jarrett, without names. “This programis anonymous,” he said. “On the collection day, you don’t even have to get outof the truck.”The waste pesticides are collected, sorted, stored and shipped to a contractedhazardous waste disposal company.Guillebeau said the products are usually incinerated. The company burns them at veryhigh temperatures. It pipes the smoke and fumes through air scrubbers to remove any toxinsbefore they reach the atmosphere.Both programs are free to farmers. The DOA, Extension Service and United Ag Productsteam up to fund the pesticide and container collection and disposal.In 1998, for the first time, the Georgia legislature funded the Clean Day. Theyallocated $240,000 to expand the program to more sites. “That funding will allow usto safely dispose of 162,000 pounds of chemicals,” Guillebeau said.The programs are for farm chemicals only. But Guillebeau and Jarrett hope to expandthem to include other toxic products such as household pesticides. The main barrier ismoney. “We simply don’t have the funds right now to cover it,” Jarrett said.Want to know more about safely getting rid of such chemicals? Call your countyextension office. Ask for the “Guide to Best Management Practices for HouseholdHazardous Waste.”
By Brooke HatfieldUniversity of GeorgiaOrganic farming is on the rise in the United States, and it could change the way U.S. farmers tend to their soil.”With an organic farm, we have a whole-farm approach,” said Luanne Lohr, associate professor of agricultural and applied economics with the University of Georgia.”You don’t choose one practice and apply it,” she said. “You have to come up with a combination of things you can do that work for your particular farm ecology.”Organic farming is defined as an ecology-conscious system that strives to minimize the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals.For a vegetable crop to be “certified organic,” a state or private certification organization accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture must vouch for it.According to the USDA, sales of organic fruits and vegetables increased from $181 million in 1990 to $2.2 billion in 2000. Sales of organic livestock and milk are also increasing.Lohr said this is due partly to consumer support, citing a 20-percent annual growth in retail sales for each of the past 12 years.Large companies like Pillsbury and Heinz have entered the organic market as well. This not only makes shoppers more aware but puts more organic food into mass-market grocery stores.More information for farmers on converting regular farmland to organic farms and on the regulations on growing organic crops is also available .Health reasonsMany people choose to go organic for health reasons, Lohr said. But the benefits of fruits and vegetables grown without synthetic chemicals could extend beyond the consumer.”One can expect to have better overall farmer health with reduced exposure to chemicals,” Lohr said.Organic farming can help the environment. “(With conventional farming) there are greater water-quality concerns, both for drinking water and for (water used in) recreation,” she said.As organic farming expands its foothold in agriculture, more limits are being placed on chemicals used on all farms.”The Environmental Protection Agency is now reviewing all organophosphate insecticides,” Lohr said. “Many uses are becoming more restrictive, particularly in fruits and vegetables that will be consumed raw.”Starting a farmGetting an organic farm up and running can take more time than starting a regular farm.”Choosing an organic method requires some practice,” Lohr said. “It requires a slow pace to get established. It requires that the farmer to know a lot about his own property and farm ecology. Most farmers know that information, but maybe they aren’t applying it yet.”An organic farming community helps ease the transition.”Organic farmers tend to share information very freely and are more likely to network,” Lohr said. “About 98 percent of organic farmers get information from other farmers about practices to try on their own farms.”Future of organicOrganic farming is growing. “Farmers are looking for alternatives,” Lohr said.This increase may help conventional farmers. “It isn’t necessarily true that only organic farmers benefit from organic methods,” Lohr said.”Aside from some methods that are experimental on farms,” she said, “(about a dozen organic) methods can be applied on a farm that does use chemicals as a way to reduce chemical use.”The Southern Organic Horticultural Workshop will be in Statesboro, Ga., Feb. 21-22. It will include a roundtable discussion and isn’t restricted to organic farmers.The workshop will be followed Feb. 23-24 by the Georgia Organic annual conference, also in Statesboro. For more information, go to www.georgiaorganics.org. For information on late registration, contact George Boyhan at [email protected]
By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity ofGeorgiaOpen the door to any Halloween party, and the basics — costumes and candy — still swirl around the room. But it’s not just kids enjoying the festivities. Increasingly, adults are adding to the dangers.“More and more adults are having Halloween parties,” said Don Bower, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension human development specialist. “More and more adults are hosting or going to these parties. It’s becoming more common.”Parties involving adults have the usual concerns of drinking and driving. Add trick-or-treating children to the mix, and the danger is even greater. “Having kids out walking the streets and adults driving who may not be completely sober is a dangerous mix,” Bower said.With the holiday falling on Monday this year, most adults will plan their parties for the weekend. This will help alleviate the problem, he said.As in any situation, though, people who drink should find a designated driver. And those who drive should watch out for the extra children wandering up and down the roads.Safety on Halloween, however, isn’t just about the adult-children mix on the roads. For parties involving adults or children, health concerns often roll back to the kitchen.”To serve your food safely at your party, keep hot foods hot using warming trays, crock pots or Sterno cans,” said Judy Harrison, a UGA Extension food specialist. “Keep your hot food at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Cold foods should be kept at 40 degrees or below.”Harrison suggests ways to hosts safely prepare party foods.To clean, “wash your hands before you prepare the food,” she said. “And make sure surfaces are clean when you prepare food for the party so there is less risk of contamination.”If you have raw meat in the kitchen, “make sure you’re keeping it separate from other food that’s ready to eat,” she said. “Use separate cutting boards for meats and ready-to-eat foods like cheese, fruits and vegetables. Or wash your used cutting board thoroughly in hot, soapy water and then sanitize it in one teaspoon of bleach in a quart of warm water or by using the sanitizing cycle of your dishwasher.”When cooking, “use a food thermometer to make sure foods you prepare are thoroughly cooked,” she said. “Meats like beef and pork need to reach 160 degrees and poultry 180. For ground poultry, the temperature should reach 165.”To chill, “make sure you keep cold foods cold,” she said. “Use a refrigerator thermometer to make sure your refrigerator is keeping food at 40 degrees or colder.”She suggests dividing foods into several small serving dishes you can store at the proper temperature until needed. “This way,” she said, “you can replace the dishes on your serving table often, to reduce the chances for contamination and the time for bacteria to grow.”Be especially mindful of temperature when serving foods such as tuna and egg salad and other salads or hors d’oeuvres that contain meat.”Don’t leave perishable foods at room temperature for more than two hours,” she said.(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
By Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaJ. Scott Angle, dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, announced today that Steve L. Brown will be interim assistant dean of the UGA Tifton campus.Brown, a professor of entomology and UGA Cooperative Extension program coordinator, will serve in the position being vacated by David C. Bridges, who was recently named president of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.A national search will be conducted for a new assistant dean for Tifton.”Dr. Brown brings a wealth of experience to the position, having spent nearly 16 years working on the Tifton campus,” Angle said. “There are many new programs just getting under way on the campus, and I look forward to working with Dr. Brown to move each of these forward.”Brown played a key role on a team of scientists that developed practical programs and management strategies for tomato spotted wilt virus, a deadly plant disease that attacks tobacco, tomatoes, peppers, peanuts and other Georgia crops.He developed the UGA Spotted Wilt Risk Index, a planning tool that helps growers assess and lower their crop’s risk for the disease. Economic analysis shows that Georgia farmers who use the risk index can see a net return of as much as $280 per acre.Brown is also a leading expert in the Southeast for insect control in stored grains, peanuts and cottonseed. He oversees the South’s only demonstration grain treatment and storage facility, which provides hands-on training for UGA Extension county agents and growers.The UGA Tifton campus is home to the Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton Conference Center, CAES academic programs and the Rural Development Center.Brown will begin in his new role in mid-June. The search for a permanent assistant dean will begin following a review of the structural relationship between the CAES operations in Tifton, Griffin and Athens.”This review is a part of an ongoing effort to better align the administration of our college to meet the needs of our students, our researchers and the public we serve,” Angle said. “Our aim is to develop a structure that will help us run more efficiently and be more effective in meeting our mission.”
University of GeorgiaWhether you’re managing 10 acres of land or 200, the Agroforestryand Wildlife Field Day Sept. 28 offers valuable information on theUniversity of Georgia campus in Griffin, Ga.This all-day event is designed to show private landowners, huntersand those in forestry or agribusiness how to make the most of theirland.You’ll hear research-based updates from experts with UGA, theGeorgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife ResourcesDivision, Georgia Forestry Commission, U.S. Department ofAgriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and Fort ValleyState University.The field day enables landowners and other outdoor enthusiasts totalk with wildlife biologists, entomologists, agronomists and otherspeakers. They’ll discuss quality management of various wildlifespecies and the ways wildlife can benefit their land. And they’llshow ways the participating agencies can help them better managetheir land. Some of the more than 25 topics include:* Wildlife opening management.* Managing nuisance wildlife problems in Georgia.* Pond management.* Managing for wild turkeys.* Pine straw production.* Prescribed burning.* Cost-share assistance programs.* Bobwhite quail habitat management.* Thinning tree stands.* GPS/GIS.* Invasive insects, diseases and plants.The cost is $30 per person before Aug. 29 and $40 after that. Thefee covers lunch, field day presentations and a program bookletwith a short synopsis of each topic. If you preregister, you’reguaranteed a field day ball cap, too.You may choose which presentations to attend and board trams tolectures and demonstrations. You may also visit with agency andsponsor representatives and others at an exhibitor booth area.For more information or a registration form, visit the AWFD Website at www.caes.uga.edu/events/awfd06.
By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaDesigned to help Georgians save water during a drought, the state’s outdoor water-use regulations include some helpful exemptions.Under the level-2 schedule, for instance, you can water your home food garden any day. And you can water newly installed turfgrass or landscape plants every day for 30 days.University of Georgia water specialist Rose Mary Seymour says there are ways to complete your outdoor tasks without breaking the law.Certain days, timesGeorgia is now using its level-2 outdoor water-use schedule. Outdoor water uses are allowed only from midnight to 10 a.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at odd-number street addresses and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at even-number addresses. Outdoor watering is banned all day on Fridays.”If you install new plants or new sod, you’re allowed to water it for 30 days,” she said. “You can water any day, as long as you do so during the designated hours.”Irrigating “home personal food gardens” is exempt from outdoor watering regulations, too. “Personal food gardens would cover both vegetable and herb gardens,” Seymour said.Use creative sourcesUsing captured or reclaimed stormwater or water from your cooling system is also exempt from the rules. Reuse of gray water is exempt, too, as long as local ordinances allow its use.”Gray water is water from washing machines, sinks, showers or anything household, except the toilet,” Seymour said. “You just have to check to be sure your local water purveyor allows gray water usage.”Many businesses exemptCommercial businesses have several exemptions.”Certain businesses are exempt from many of the rules because they rely on water for their livelihood,” Seymour said.Commercial businesses exempt from the watering regulations include professionally licensed landscapers, irrigation contractors, sod producers, ornamental growers, retail garden centers, fruit and vegetable growers, hydro-seeders, construction sites, food and fiber producers, car washes, power washers and other activities essential to daily business.”At this level, homeowners are still allowed to wash their cars and fill their swimming pools,” Seymour said. “But you can’t use water to wash off your driveway or deck.”
By Megan ForgraveWorld Food Prize FoundationWashington, D.C. – The World Food Prize Foundation awarded its Borlaug Medallion to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities today. The award was presented during a ceremony in Washington D.C. celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land-grant Act of 1862. Written by Senator Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont and signed into law on July 2, 1862, by President Abraham Lincoln, the legislation provided grants of federal lands to the states for the establishment of public universities and agricultural education programs nationwide, and led to the democratization of higher education. “Land-grant institutions have played a critical role in inspiring multiple generations to attain the highest levels of education and scientific research; fostering the most prolific era of agricultural production ever recorded in human history; and providing a model for emulation around the world as we endeavor to eliminate the scourge of hunger from the face of the earth,” said Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize.Quinn presented the award to Scott Angle, chairman of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly and Dean of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Borlaug Medallion honors those organizations and Heads of State who would not ordinarily be eligible for the World Food Prize, but who have made an especially noteworthy contribution to improving the world’s food supply and ensuring adequate nutrition. In the past it has only been presented to King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand; the Sasakawa Family and its Nippon Foundation of Japan; and Kofi Annan for his leadership of the United Nations.Quinn noted that Dr. Norman Borlaug – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, founder of the World Food Prize, and known as the “Father of the Green Revolution” – was a graduate of a land-grant university.“APLU should be extremely proud of its stewardship of the universities across our country, and of the critical work and research that continues to occur at institutions across America,” Quinn said. “We continue to make great strides in science and agriculture, and we are committed to working with you to inspire future generations to take on the complex issues that we face around the globe.”The sesquicentennial celebration featured a keynote speech by Bill Gates; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also participated in dynamic panels about the future of education. There are currently 106 land-grant universities, including at least one in every state.Details about the World Food Prize Borlaug Medallion and a downloadable image of it are available online at www.worldfoodprize.org/borlaugmedallion.
Leading plant genomics researchers and breeders from the University of Georgia and across the world will meet May 18-21 at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, to discuss the latest genomic technology in plant breeding and crop improvement. Presented by HudsonAlpha and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the CROPS 2015 conference will focus on improving crop sustainability through genomics. The conference will be co-chaired by Jeremy Schmutz, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and manager of the Genome Sequencing Center, along with Scott Jackson, director of the UGA Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, and Peggy Ozias-Akins, director of the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics.CROPS 2015 will bring together leading researchers who are applying genomic-based techniques to crop improvement, plant molecular breeding experts and traditional breeders interested in applying these techniques within their crops of interest.“We are honored to partner with the HudsonAlpha Institute to bring the best researchers in the world—working on the application of genetics and biotechnology to crop improvement—to share their cutting-edge research with crop scientists from around the world,” Jackson said. Tremendous progress has been made in plant genomics in just a few short years. Plant researchers have gone from generating a single reference genome for a single plant to generating hundreds of reference plant genomes. “Applying genomic technology in plant research is very powerful because we can actually breed plants to achieve a desired outcome,” Schmutz said. “With the advancement of genomic technology, we are able to identify the target traits in a plant that may be crossed to produce coveted characteristics.” For more information about speakers, abstracts, poster submissions or to register, visit www.CROPSconference.org.
Athens, Ga. – Steven Stice is leading researchers at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center in a newly funded research consortium designed to hasten the development of advanced cell therapies for a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.With $20 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, the Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies, dubbed CMaT, will bring together RBC researchers, industry partners, clinicians, engineers, cell biologists and immunologists.”Partnerships of this nature-that span different universities and sectors-are critical to advancing human health around the world,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead, “and I want to congratulate Dr. Stice and his team at the University of Georgia for helping to drive this important research center.”The flow of innovative ideas and techniques from this regional “manufacturing hub” based at the Georgia Institute of Technology could create a pipeline of therapies and lifetime cures for an aging population challenged by escalating chronic diseases.”We have a richer set of engineering resources to draw on than ever before, due in large part to the incredible talent UGA has been able to attract from across the country and around the world,” said Stice, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and D.W. Brooks Distinguished Professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Working alongside seasoned veterans like GRA Eminent Scholar Art Edison in the university’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, we can break through manufacturing bottlenecks and bring a new approach in CAR-T cell therapy to treat cancer.”Georgia Tech is able to host this research thanks in part to a previous gift of $16 million from the Atlanta-based Marcus Foundation to build a research center for therapeutic cell characterization and manufacturing. Additional funding from the Georgia Research Alliance and Georgia Tech sources bring the total investment in the center to $23 million.”The support of the Georgia Research Alliance and investments by the University of Georgia in talented faculty members who are committed to working with colleagues across the state and beyond is cementing Georgia’s reputation as a hub of research activity,” said UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten.UGA is one of three major partners, including the University of Wisconsin and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, as well as affiliate partners such as the University of Pennsylvania, Emory University, the Gladstone Institutes and Michigan Technological University. Additional international academic partners, as well as industry and the U.S. national laboratories, also will be critical to this large-scale, collaborative effort.CMaT’s vision is to bring together a diverse group of scientists who can yield new levels of efficiency and productivity to make cell therapies more affordable and, therefore, more accessible.UGA’s College of Engineering Dean Donald J. Leo noted the benefits of the partnership for CMaT.”The distance between discovery and delivery is dramatically shrinking,” said Leo. “Now is the time to bring people with different expertise together to work as one-something we’re all really excited about.”Numerous clinical trials with various types of cells already have been completed, and many others trials are underway. However, the next “scalable method” as highlighted by the group, points to the translational challenge of creating a reliable, mass-produced “living cell” supply chain.”Unlike pharmaceuticals and other products now used in medical treatments, cells are living entities that can significantly change depending on nuances in the way they are grown, stored and otherwise manipulated,” said CMaT Director Krishnendu Roy. “The center will develop new engineering tools and scalable methods to better characterize, expand, transport and store cells so they provide consistent therapeutic effects, allowing them to be used in standardized therapies by clinicians to serve large numbers of patients worldwide.”In research laboratories and hospitals across the country, therapeutic cells often are processed in small non-uniform batches, a very expensive and time-consuming process with limited capacity to service large population groups affected by disease. “The field is maturing to a point where we can now say it’s no longer at the developing stage,” said Stice. “We’re past the discovery point. Now is the time to scale-up, streamline and become more efficient.”CMaT research has three primary goals.The first is to advance new innovations and tools, such as predictive cell therapy, in which properties or biomarkers of a given type of cell “predict” its safety, efficacy or potency. Tools like this could aid in the development of patient-specific therapies.The second goal is to develop regulatory guidelines and standards that will reduce the time it takes for technologies to move from the laboratory to commercial scale.The final goal centers on workforce development and the use of education as an instrument to recruit, inspire and train the next generation of engineering innovators and leaders.”CMaT’s leadership will create more agile partnerships across universities, the healthcare community and the biotech industry,” said UGA Vice President for Research David Lee. “By creating a regional hub, we are bridging the innovation gap and making it easier to advance ideas that spur economic development.”Regenerative Bioscience Center The Regenerative Bioscience Center at UGA links researchers and resources collaborating in a wide range of disciplines to develop new cures for devastating diseases that affect animals and people. With its potential restorative powers, regenerative medicine could offer new ways of treating diseases for which there are currently no treatments-including heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and stroke. For more information, see www.rbc.uga.edu.
A dual degree master’s program that evolved from a partnership between the University of Georgia and the University of Padova (UNIPD) in Padua, Italy, has also led to collaborative research between the two institutions.Katrien Devos, a professor with joint appointments in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences on the UGA campus in Athens, Georgia, coordinates research on the genetics of economically important grasses, including switchgrass as a bioenergy crop, seashore paspalum as a salt-tolerant turfgrass, and millets as subsistence food crops for the developing world.Her lab also served as the proving ground for research by Fabio Palumbo, a graduate student from UNIPD, working under the supervision of professor Gianni Barcaccia. During his Ph.D program, Palumbo mapped the male sterility gene in leaf chicory to better understand the genetic bases of this reproductive barrier that acts in flowering plants and to exploit it for breeding new F1 hybrid varieties, specifically in leaf chicory. A leafy vegetable that is widely cultivated in Europe, well-known types of leaf chicory are Belgian endive, sugarloaf and Italian radicchio.Barcaccia’s lab developed plant materials and performed experiments for genomic data production, while Devos’ lab assisted with genetic mapping analysis and data interpretation, and provided significant input during the manuscript preparation for Palumbo’s research. The two institutions published a joint paper this spring that detailed the first high-density linkage map construction through genotyping by sequencing in leaf chicory. This research project was funded by an Italian seed company that collaborates with UNIPD and that now uses this information for marker-assisted selection programs.Genotyping by sequencing, also called “reduced representation sequencing,” is a technique where a fraction of the genome is sequenced. The key is to sequence the same fraction of the genome in all samples so that the results can be directly compared. The sequence data can be used to develop markers that can be analyzed for their association with traits of interest.Many of the techniques and analyses methods that the Devos Lab normally implements can be transferred to other non-model species, such as chicory.“The six months spent with Professor Devos’ group were really important. First, they helped me a lot to improve my bioinformatic skills, with a special thanks to Dr. Peng Qi for his patience,” Palumbo said. “Secondly, Professor Devos involved me in two projects; one in switchgrass and one in aspen. This mutual cooperation was really fruitful.”Because of his collaboration with Devos and her research group, Palumbo was able to characterize the putative gene and understand some of the genetic bases of this reproductive barrier that acts in chicory and other flowering plants, as well as develop molecular assays of importance for breeding F1 hybrid varieties.“It was terrific working together. We had tons of molecular data, they had strong bioinformatic skills, and by putting everything together, it was possible to achieve excellent results. That’s a brilliant example of how university collaborations should work,” he said.Devos said she was impressed with Palumbo’s “scientific drive, level of independence and work ethic.”“This particular project provided training on a technique, and knowledge on this technique has now been transferred to Padua,” Devos added.For more information about the research project, visit https://bit.ly/2KhrS29.Palumbo worked with UGA through an existing partnership between the UGA Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and the UNIPD Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment in Italy. The two-year program that allows students to earn dual master’s degrees simultaneously at UGA and at UNIPD.Aaron Bruce of Lakeland, Georgia, and Samuele Lamon of Moniego Di Noale, Italy, graduated from the program this spring. They are the third and fourth students to graduate from the program.For more information about the dual degree program, see https://t.uga.edu/4Zs.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, families and young people struggled to find time in their busy schedules to be outside. Coined in 2005 by Richard Louv, nature-deficit disorder is a nonmedical term used to describe the disconnect more and more humans are experiencing with nature. Hunter-gatherer and agrarian societies were directly tied to the land. With the industrial age and advancements in technology over the last two centuries, humans are spending less time outside and more time on electronic devices.When young people spend time outdoors, they gain a greater appreciation for the natural resources around them. They can explore and be creative and curious — whether that means observing a worm wiggling on the pavement, looking at the different shapes of tree leaves or spending time digging in the dirt. A growing body of research suggests that there are numerous physical and mental health benefits to spending time outside, such as reduced stress, greater cognitive functioning and increased physical activity.Technology is powerful. Children and youth can read books, listen to podcasts, access the news, watch educational videos and even play cognitive games. These devices have been a tool during this time of quarantine and social distancing, connecting friends and family members through online meeting spaces. With many school systems switching their delivery mode to a virtual or hybrid model, there is even more concern for young people to have intentional time for screen disengagement. The following are some easy ways to take breaks from screen time. Make time to be outside. Can youth take their devices outdoors for instruction time? Can they read a book sitting on a bench in the public park or build a homework fort in the backyard? Finding intentional ways for kids to be outside while completing their required studies can help provide clarity and focus.Schedule breaks. Sitting in front of a screen for too long can cause eye strain and anxiety. If children are participating in virtual education, consider building in time for breaks. Even a quick stretch or walk around the block can increase their focus once resuming a task. Using a timer or device to schedule breaks can add fun and spontaneity.Involve the entire family. Instead of a Friday night movie, plan a hike instead. Create a fun and healthy snack to enjoy on a blanket in the backyard instead of eating at the kitchen table. Could you meet a relative or friend at the park for a picnic dinner? Engage in a civic science project — like monitoring the weather — that families can complete together.Allow unstructured play. It’s great for kids to complete an outdoor scavenger hunt or try to identify birds based on their songs and calls, but allowing some unstructured playtime outside encourages exploration. If the environment is safe, have young people simply wander and use their observation skills. Turn over a fallen log and see what is living under there. Dig in a hole in the dirt and feel the soil. Run around and enjoy the natural surroundings.At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., Richard Louv, co-founder of the Children and Nature Network, compiled a list of activities to help families at childrenandnature.org.As with anything, having an intentional approach is the key to success. Start with small, incremental changes and track your family’s progress over time. Involve children and youth in the decision-making process — perhaps they have some ideas of their own. Helping young people to realize that technology can be beneficial but must be balanced with outdoor time is critical to their development.
Charleston and Church won the grand prize in the University of Georgia’s 2020 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest for its savory Cheddar Rounds snacks.Warren and Jen Simmons, owners of the Atlanta company, developed the product in 2016 from a handwritten recipe by his grandmother, who was an avid hostess of friends and family at her home in Charleston, South Carolina. The couple topped the savory snack food with Georgia pecans to complete a “deliciously Southern” treat, as the package reads.The couple were among 30 finalists who gave virtual product pitches from their businesses and home kitchens to a panel of socially distant judges who sampled submitted products in Athens on Oct. 27. The final round of judging was postponed from the original judging and awards date of April 7.A signature event for UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Flavor of Georgia has launched many market-ready and established products into success, often garnering increased sales and publicity for businesses.“Contestants represent the intersection of culinary skill and entrepreneurial spirit. Both ingredients are essential to bring a new food product into the marketplace and for the overall viability of the business,” said CAES Interim Dean Joe West during the virtual awards celebration.Entries are judged on technical aspects such as flavor, texture and ingredient profile. The judge also consider consumer appeal including packaging, innovation or uniqueness, and how well the product represents the state of Georgia.The winners by category, product name, company and city are listed below.Barbecue Sauces: Strawberry Balsamic and Rosemary Barbecue Sauce, Aubs Company, DecaturBeverages: Georgia Grey Black Tea, Thistle & Sprig Tea Company, AtlantaCondiments and Salsas: Georgia Peach Balsamic Vinegar, A&A Alta Cucina Italia, Johns CreekConfections: Georgia Fried Peanut Cluster – Vanilla, Georgia Fried Peanut Company, EdisonHoney and Related Products: Wildflower Honey, White Oak Pastures, BlufftonJams and Jellies: Apple Fig Pepper Jelly, Wisham Jellies, TiftonMeats and Seafood: 920 Pork Sausage, 920 Cattle & Co., MillenMiscellaneous: Lemon Cream Cheese, Bootleg Farm, SpringfieldSauces and Seasonings: You Saucy Thing Soy Ginger Vidalia, Chinese Southern Belle, SmyrnaSnack Foods: Cheddar Rounds, Charleston and Church, AtlantaThe winners and finalists include a mix of new and returning contestants, who often come back to compete with different products or flavors. A&A Alta Cucina Italia won the grand prize and salsas, chutneys and condiments category in 2015 with Balsamico Al Mirtillo (blueberry balsamic vinegar). This is the second year winning for the Georgia Fried Peanut Company in confections — their chocolate flavor won in 2017. Bootleg Farm’s feta cheese was a finalist in 2018. White Oak Pastures began entering the contest in 2008 and was a finalist in 2016 with chorizo sausage and again in 2018 with grass-fed beecon grind; their organic pepper jelly and spicy pork snack stick were also finalists this year. Chinese Southern Belle’s My Sweet Hottie (Mild) Homestyle Sweet & Sour Sauce won the sauces category in 2013 and the Wild Wild East Asian BBQ Teriyaki Pineapple was a finalist in barbecue sauces last year. Wisham Jellies won jams and jellies previously with the Wild Mayhaw Pepper Jelly in 2016 and the people’s choice award in 2015 for its Cranberry Pepper Jelly. Aubs Company took home the people’s choice award in 2019 with its signature AubSauce barbecue sauce.All winners and finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the Flavor of Georgia logo and the signature contest apron.Since 2007, more than 1,600 products have been submitted to Flavor of Georgia. A total of 117 products were entered this year, all of which are featured in the annual directory on the contest website.“The phrase ‘culinary delights’ takes on a whole new depth this year,” said contest coordinator Sharon P. Kane, an agricultural economist for the college. “Many people turned to food and drink for nourishment and comfort this year, and it’s more important than ever that we support these local businesses.”Food and drink manufacturing businesses represent nearly 10% of employment in Georgia’s agricultural system and is the largest manufacturing sector in the state for employment, sales and value-added products, according to Kane’s research.The contest is supported by sponsorships from the Georgia Agribusiness Council and the Georgia Department of Agriculture and its Georgia Grown marketing program, to which finalists receive a one-year membership.More information about the contest is available at www.flavorofga.com and by following the contest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @flavorofga.
Morrisville VT Responding to steady growth and expansion, Union Bank is very pleased to announce the following promotionsand responsibilities.Cynthia Borck, Executive Vice President, will lead the Banks Product Development, Item Processing and Deposit Operations departments. Ms. Borck is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank. She has been with Union Bank since 1987 and residesin Wolcott.Stephen Kendall, Vice President, returns to the Banks Main Office to lead the Consumer and Retail Mortgage Lending activities. Mr. Kendall has been serving as Branch Manager at the Banks Fairfax office. He has been with Union Bank since January of 2002 and resides in South Burlington.Jeff Coslett, Vice President, currently heads the Banks Human Resources department and will add Branch Administration to his duties. Mr. Coslett joined Union Bank in February 2003 and resides in Jeffersonville.Lorraine Gordon, Assistant Vice President, will lead the Banks Training programs and assist with Human Resource responsibilities. Ms. Gordon returns to the Bank from New Zealand to assume this very important role. Ms. Gordon became a part of Union Bank in May 2001 and resides inMilton.Peter Eley, Senior Vice President, will focus on the Banks fast growing Electronic Banking/ATM and Security department. The increase in E-Commerce, telephone, Internet and ATM traffic; as well as its many levels of risk management are important aspects of Mr. Eleys many responsibilities. Mr. Eley joined the bank in September of 2003. He resides in Stowe.Don Goodhue, Information Systems Officer, will consolidate his responsibilities into managing the Banks network and information systems. Mr. Goodhue is responsible for all telephone and data connections in all the Banks 14 facilities. He has been with Union Bank since May 2002 andresides in Morrisville.These individuals represent a combined banking experience of over 120 years, and are a valued asset to the Banks long history of service to the community. Union Bank, with headquarters in Morrisville, Vermont, offers deposit, loan, trust and commercial banking services throughout northern Vermont and New Hampshire. As of December 31, 2005,Union Bank had approximately $375 million in consolidated assets and operated 12 banking offices, 30 ATM facilities in Vermont and loan origination offices in St. Albans, Vermont and Littleton, NewHampshire. The Bank has 170 members on its team. For more information, please call Joann Tallman, Assistant Secretary, at(802) 888-6600.
Customers interested in signing up for Greener Mountain Power can go to www.greenmountainpower.biz(link is external) or callGreen Mountain Power at 1-888-TEL-GMPC (1-888-835-4672.)Greener Mountain Power is a five-year commitment,by calendar year. Customers may withdraw at any time, but cannot sign up againuntil the end of the original five-year period. GREENMOUNTAIN POWER INTRODUCES NEW RENEWABLERATE David OBrien, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, said,We are very pleased that Green Mountain Power is implementing a green rate.This is an ideal way to offer consumers a choice of what energy sources theywish to support. Green Mountain Power Corporation (www.greenmountainpower.biz(link is external)) is aVermont-based energy services company serving 90,000 electriccustomers. Green Mountain Power will purchase certified renewable resources on theNew England power grid equal to the portion ofelectricity customers designate to purchase through Greener Mountain Power. Theprice of those resources will be locked in for five years, which will helpstabilize the Greener Mountain Power rate. When Vermont projects are available, they willreceive a priority. Likely candidates for inclusion would include wind, biomassand biogas. Green Mountain Power worked closely with the Vermont Department of PublicService and Renewable Energy Vermont in developing the program. The program is available to residential, commercial and industrial customers.Residential and small commercial customers can choose to have 25 percent, 50percent or 100 percent of their power come from renewable resources. Largeindustrial customers may choose a ten percent level, but greater amounts requirepermission from the Company. Our customers have expressed interest in being able to choose renewableresources and Im pleased that we will now be able to offer them that choice.Green Mountain Powers overall power mix is already low in fossil fuels, butunder our new program, customers can choose 100 percent renewable resources,said Chris Dutton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Green MountainPower. Weve called the program Greener Mountain Power to reflect thatgreener choice. -30- Customers pay a premium for the renewable resources of just over four cents perkilowatthour. For residential customers using 750 kilowatthours a month, signingup for 25 percent of their use under Greener Mountain Power would add $7.88 totheir $97.55 monthly bill, for a total of $105.43. March 14, 2006 Due to the laws of physics, actual electrons flow to the nearest need and cannotbe directed to specific locations. Through Greener Mountain Power, customerswill be financially supporting qualifying new renewable energy sources connectedto the New England electric grid but that powerwill not necessarily flow to their home. Andrew Perchlik, executive director of Renewable Energy Vermont, said, We werepleased to work with Green Mountain Power to develop this new renewable rate. Wethink it is important that Green Mountain Power customers now have the option ofa green rate to support renewable energy in Vermont and NewEngland. COLCHESTER, VT . . . Green Mountain Power Corporation(NYSE:GMP) announced today that its customers now have the choice of buying allor a portion of their power from renewable resources. The Vermont Public ServiceBoard has given its final approval to the program, effectiveimmediately. For further information, please contact Dorothy Schnure, Manager of CorporateCommunications, at 802-655-8418, David OBrien, Commissioner of VermontDepartment of Public Service at (802) 828-2321, or Andrew Perchlik, ExecutiveDirector of Renewable Energy Vermont at (802)229-0099.
LaborCommissioner to RetireGovernor Praises Her Commitment to Public Service Montpelier, Vt. — Vermont’slabor commissioner Patricia McDonald will retire from state governmenteffective May 31, the office of Governor Jim Douglas announced April 3, 2006. During her career in state government, she has worked for threeGovernors and has held seven appointed positions. In addition to thepositions noted above, she has also served as Secretary of Transportation;Deputy Commissioner of Education; Commissioner of Motor Vehicles; andCommissioner of Personnel, a position she held twice. In addition to serving Governors Snelling, Dean and Douglas, McDonaldworked with legislatures controlled by both Republicans and Democrats. “And all admired her for her ability to work with them, and to get thejob done,” Douglas added. “Pat hascertainly earned her retirement, but I do hope that she will seek other ways toserve our wonderful state.” She is a former member of the Berlin Planning Commission, CentralVermont Regional Planning Commission, and Vermont Council on RuralDevelopment. She is married to Retired Captain J. Bruce McDonald, VermontState Police and has a daughter, two stepsons, and two grandsons. Prior to her public sector career, McDonald enjoyed a nineteen-yearcareer with CIBA-GEIGY Corporation, where she held several key managerial andadministrative positions within the corporate and human resourcesoffices. She was also employed by the Merchants Bank for more than threeyears and served as Vice President of Human Resources and RegulatoryManagement. ABOUT PATRICIA MCDONALDPatricia A. McDonald was appointed Commissioner of the VermontDepartment of Labor on July 1, 2005. Prior to this appointment, she wasCommissioner of the Department of Employment and Training. Her primaryfocus was to oversee the merger of the Department of Labor and Industry and theDepartment of Employment and Training. Ms. McDonald serves as Chair of the Vermont Employment Security Board,the Governor’s Interagency Workforce Development Committee and the StateApprenticeship Council. She is also a member of the Governor’s JobsCabinet and the Human Resources Investment Council. Ms. McDonald resides in Berlin, Vermont and is Chair of theBerlin Selectboard. She also serves as Chair of the Berlin Capital BudgetCommittee and is a member of the Town Center Task Force. McDonald, who has worked in state government for more than 13 years,has served three governors in a total of seven appointed positions. “Pat has had a remarkable career,” Governor Douglas said.“She has served the state in so many ways; as commissioner of both theDepartments of Human Resources and Motor Vehicles, as secretary of the Agencyof Transportation, and most recently she undertook for me the challenge ofmerging the Department of Labor and Industry and the Department of Employmentand Training.” The merger is one which had been discussed foryears, but Douglas credits McDonald’sskilled leadership for making it happen. Jason GibbsGovernor’sCommunications Director109 State Street ¨ The Pavilion ¨ Montpelier, VT 05609-0101¨ www.vermont.gov/governor(link is external)Telephone: 802.828.3333 ¨ Fax: 802.828.3339 ¨ TDD: 802.828.3345 ###
This year marks the fifth consecutive year that the University of Vermont has seen record-breaking enrollment numbers. Approximately 13,100 students will begin classes on Monday, Aug. 31, a number that includes 10,200 undergraduates, 1,450 graduate students, 450 medical students and 1,000 non-degree students. Also breaking records in numbers this year are UVM’s ALANA (Asian-American, Latino, African-American, Native American and multi-racial) students. Approximately 1,090 ALANA students are expected to enroll this fall, a 13.8 percent increase over last year. That gain is in large part attributed to a 51.9 percent increase in first-time, first-year ALANA students, up to 313 from 206 last year, making the Class of 2013 the most diverse in UVM history.The evening before classes begin, the university will celebrate the new academic year with a convocation ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Patrick Gymnasium. This year’s keynote speaker is Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. The event is free and open to the public, however, tickets are required.Visit the convocation website: http://www.uvm.edu/~presdent/ceremonies/convocation/(link is external) to learn more about the event and acquiring tickets.After convocation, which will also include remarks from campus leadership, participants are invited to process down Main Street to a candlelight induction ceremony for the Class of 2013 on the UVM Green. The ceremony is just one of the events the approximately 2,620 first-year students will participate in over Opening Weekend, an annual program that helps acquaint new students to college life. The incoming first-year students, who will arrive on campus for Opening Weekend on Friday, Aug. 28, are one of the brightest classes to enroll at UVM; 29 percent were among the top 10 percent of their graduating high school class and 66 percent were among the top 25 percent.Several changes in academic programming are new this year. The Area and International Studies Program has become the Global and Regional Studies program, an expansion of the program that will allow students to complete a major in one of six areas of study ranging from Asian studies to Latin American studies and/or a minor in one of eight. UVM students will now be able to pursue a bachelor of arts in engineering, allowing for more educational breadth in the liberal arts than is possible with the various engineering bachelor of science degrees. Other new degree and certificate options include a minor in public communication, a master’s degree in accountancy, and a certificate of graduate study in complex systems. Also new this fall: students are no longer required to complete two credits of physical education.Students will return to campus to find progress on James M. Jeffords Hall, the $55.7 million, 97,000 square foot research, laboratory, and classroom building scheduled to be completed in March 2010 and two completed construction project: the McAuley Hall renovation on Trinity Campus which returned the building to its former state as a residence hall and the infill of the Given Courtyard, which added 30,000 square feet of space for College of Medicine faculty and staff. All three projects are registered for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification.
NBT Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Dietrich announced that Matt Durkee has been hired as regional president of NBT Bank’s operations in Vermont. In this position, Durkee will develop and manage all of the bank’s activities in the state. The bank has opened a regional office at 150 Bank Street in Burlington, where Durkee and the team he is assembling will be based. Later this year, the bank plans to open a branch at the same location. “We are very happy to have Matt Durkee at NBT Bank,” Dietrich said. “His extensive banking experience and knowledge of Vermont’s business environment will help us establish and expand our presence in this attractive market, which complements our operations in northern New York. For more than 150 years, our community banking approach has focused on highly personalized service, responsive decision making and a wide array of products and services. We look forward to bringing this approach to individuals and organizations in Vermont.”Durkee has more than 23 years of banking experience. Before joining NBT Bank, he was senior vice president of regional financial services and president of Chittenden Canada for People’s United Bank, based in Bridgeport, Conn., and its predecessor, Chittenden Bank, based in Burlington. He began working for Chittenden Bank in 1985. Over the years, he oversaw functions related to commercial banking, international banking and consumer banking as well as trust and insurance services.A resident of Williston, Durkee has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Green Mountain College and a graduate degree in banking from the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He is involved in several community and professional organizations, including the United Way of Chittenden County, the American Heart Association and the Commercial Finance Association.NBT Bank provides personal banking, asset management and business services. The independent community bank, based in Norwich, N.Y., has 84 offices in upstate New York. The bank recently expanded into Vermont by opening a regional office in Burlington. NBT Bank’s parent company, NBT Bancorp Inc., had assets of $5.4 billion as of June 30, 2009.Source: NBT. NORWICH, N.Y. (OCTOBER 22, 2009) –
As elevated levels of radioactive isotopes continue to leak into groundwater surrounding the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, one of Vermont’s leading environmental organizations today filed a motion to intervene in the docket before the Public Service Board on the matter.The Vermont Natural Resources Council cites the organization’s interest in protecting the state’s groundwater – a resource legally held in trust for the common good of all Vermonters –and the critical need to assure the state interprets the new groundwater public trust law correctly.“Protecting Vermont’s groundwater is the responsibility of the state, and it is imperative to safeguard our state’s primary drinking water supply and an invaluable resource for farming, recreation and much more,” said VNRC Water Program Director and Legal Counsel Jon Groveman. “The recent news that underground pipes at Vermont Yankee are leaking increasingly elevated amounts of radioactive tritium into area groundwater spurred us to intervene. VNRC is deeply concerned that this radioactive material could contaminate drinking water supplies of neighboring communities as well as the Connecticut River.”VNRC successfully helped lead a four-year effort that culminated in 2008 to statutorily declare Vermont’s groundwater a public trust resource. The public trust provision for the state’s groundwater – which was been afforded Vermont’s surface waters for more than a century – offers an important layer of legal protection to help safeguard the resource.“Legal protection for Vermont’s groundwater is crucial, especially right now,” said VNRC Executive Director Elizabeth Courtney. “The source of the leak at Vermont Yankee continues to elude investigators. The contamination has rapidly increased. And the underground plume appears to be spreading. This is a startling and potentially dangerous picture.”“VNRC and all Vermonters have a serious stake in how the state negotiates this issue,” said Groveman. “That’s why it’s incumbent upon the state to fulfill its obligation to protect and manage Vermont’s groundwater for the good of all Vermonters. In this case, that means the state has a responsibility to consider the impact of relicensing Vermont Yankee on groundwater. Clearly, with the serious and significant levels of radioactive materials leaking into Vermont’s water recently, this is an issue of grave concern and importance.”About the Vermont Natural Resources CouncilVNRC is an independent, nonprofit research, education, and advocacy organization founded in 1963 to protect Vermont’s environment, economy, and quality of life. Nearly 6,000 households, businesses, and organizations have joined VNRC in support of our mission to establish an approach to development that strengthens communities, enhances economic opportunity and protects Vermont’s irreplaceable natural resources.Source: VNRC. 2.9.2010###
The Honorable John BoehnerSpeaker of the HouseU.S. House of RepresentativesWashington, D.C. 20515 The Honorable Mitch McConnellMinority LeaderU.S. SenateWashington, D.C. 20510 The Honorable Nancy PelosiMinority LeaderU.S. House of RepresentativesWashington, D.C. 20515 Governor Peter Shumlin, along with the other five governors of New England states, has sent a letter to Congress urging members not to reduce funding for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Governor Shumlin made the following statement regarding the letter: ‘As winter draws closer, I am very concerned that federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) might be reduced. A decrease in LIHEAP funding would put additional stress on our most vulnerable Vermonters, at a time when we are already stretched thin from the effects of Tropical Storm Irene. This issue cuts through party lines, as demonstrated by all six New England governors coming together to urge Congressional leaders to maintain LIHEAP funding at $5.1 billion. As New England Governors, we recognize that Northeast households face some of the nation’s highest home heating bills due to the long winters and high price of delivered fuels. In our letter to Congress, we outline the urgent need for this modest but vital relief for households already struggling with unaffordable energy bills. I cannot emphasize enough the need to fund this important program so all Vermonters get the heat they need this winter.’ Please see the letter below: The Honorable Harry ReidMajority LeaderU.S. SenateWashington, D.C. 20510 Dear Majority Leader Reid, Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and Leader Pelosi: As our states prepare for the coming winter heating season, we are deeply concerned over reports that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding in FY2012 could be reduced by as much as 50 percent. This reduction would jeopardize meaningful assistance for the most vulnerable low income households struggling to pay unaffordable home energy bills. We recognize that you face difficult budget decisions in the coming days. However, as home heating fuel prices continue their upward trend, we respectfully urge you to support LIHEAP funding at the level of $5.1 billion, the last level Congress authorized. Households in the Northeast face some of the nation’s highest home heating bills due to the long winter heating season and heating fuel prices that typically exceed national average prices regardless of the fuel used. Households in our states are more likely to be dependent on expensive delivered fuels, such as home heating oil or propane. In August, home heating oil prices in the Northeast were approximately $3.80/gallon ‘ a 15 percent increase over 2008 prices and a more than 25 percent increase over 2010. The Energy Information Administration projects that the price of home heating oil will reach $4.00/gallon this winter. At these prices, the cost of filling a typical tank is over $1,000. If LIHEAP funding in FY2012 is reduced to the level of $2.57 billion, our states will be required to take drastic measures that will endanger the most vulnerable LIHEAP households. As outlined in the enclosed fact sheet prepared by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG), these include reducing benefit levels from 25 to up to 50 percent, tightening eligibility standards, or delaying payments until the coldest part of the winter or shutting the program down when the weather is still cold. Each option holds potential risks for the households, particularly the 60 percent of LIHEAP households in the Northeast with income below the federal poverty level of $15,000 for a two-person household. Changing LIHEAP eligibility standards could cut off households from other public and private assistance such as shut off moratoriums and assistance with paying down arrearages. If the basic LIHEAP benefit is reduced as much as 50 percent this winter, it would not cover the cost of the minimum delivery required by home heating fuel dealers. We urge you to support a funding level of $5.1 billion in FY2012 so that this vital program can continue to offer modest yet urgently needed relief to millions of our nation’s most vulnerable households struggling with unaffordable energy bills. Sincerely, Dannel P. MalloyGovernor of Connecticut Paul R. LePageGovernor of Maine Deval L. PatrickGovernor of Massachusetts Peter ShumlinGovernor of Vermont Lincoln D. ChafeeGovernor of Rhode Island John H. LynchGovernor of New Hampshire
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:A Colorado electric cooperative filed with state regulators Thursday to ditch its coal-heavy generation supplier in pursuit of cheaper renewable energy, part of an industry-wide move toward wind and solar.The Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to adjudicate a fair exit price to end its generation contracts with the Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, a multi-state power provider that requires member utilities to purchase 95% of their power from its largely fossil fuel fleet.DMEA’s exit could prompt moves from other Tri-State members, who have pressured the utility in recent years to allow more local renewable energy investment. Two of Tri-State’s rival utilities in Colorado this week pledged to move to 100% clean energy, and a recent economic analysis of Tri-State’s fleet suggests wind and solar could undercut its existing coal plants. DMEA’s decision to leave Tri-State demonstrates how the increasing competitiveness of renewable energy is upending the economics of power production in the American West.In a statement Thursday, DMEA officials said their primary motivator for splitting from the generation supplier is to limit costs to their customers. “Tri-State’s annual reports show that average member rates have increased 56% since 2005, which is more than double the increase in the Consumer Price Index over the same time period,” the co-op said. “This stands in stark contrast to the overall energy market in which prices have decreased significantly over the same period.”More: Colorado co-op seeks exit from coal-heavy Tri-State to pursue renewables Colorado distribution co-op wants out of coal-heavy power supply contracts
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Germany’s solar market witnessed its strongest growth in half a decade during 2018, adding almost 3 gigawatts of capacity, according to industry figures.The German solar association Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft (BSW) said the 2018 figures represented a 68 percent increase over those for the previous year. The capacity additions mean there are now 46 gigawatts of solar power installed across the country.This makes Germany the fourth-largest PV market in the world. Germany ranks behind China, which has 174 gigawatts of solar capacity, the U.S., which has 63 gigawatts, and Japan, which has 60 gigawatts, the Associated Press reported.Tom Heggarty, senior solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, said much of the growth in 2018 was from commercial and industrial energy consumers. Along with residential PV system owners, these companies benefit from feed-in tariffs for solar energy, he said.Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables expects between 3.3 gigawatts and 4.1 gigawatts of solar to be installed per year in 2021 and 2022, compared to an annual average of around 1.6 gigawatts between 2014 and 2018. The upward momentum in Germany’s solar market is being helped by significant reductions in the cost of technology. Global PV module prices fell by around 30 percent between 2017 and 2018, said Heggarty.More: Germany sees solar installations spike to nearly 3GW in 2018 German solar installations topped 3GW in 2018
Sunrun lands big contract for linked residential solar-plus-storage systems in Hawaii FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Sunrun won another big deal to deliver residential solar-battery systems at grid scale, this one fine-tuned to serve utility Hawaiian Electric’s unique island grids.Sunrun, the leading U.S. residential solar installer, announced Wednesday that it has pledged to install up to 1,000 of its Brightbox home solar-battery systems on the island of Oahu by 2024, as part of a contract with Open Access Technology International (OATI). That is the Minneapolis-based grid technology provider that’s running HECO’s new “demand response” program, which looks more like a miniature version of what a transmission grid operator like PJM or CAISO does than the traditional definition of demand response.The 1,000 Brightbox battery systems Sunrun will install over the next five years will add up to about 4.3 megawatts of capacity on Oahu, out of the 17.8 megawatts of capacity and grid services that OATI has pledged to deliver on the island, according to figures provided by Sunrun.This isn’t the first time that Sunrun has bundled solar-battery systems for grid needs. In February it won a bid to deliver 20 megawatts of capacity to ISO New England by 2022, which it intends to deliver through a network of about 5,000 homes across the grid operator’s six-state region. And in July, Sunrun landed two contracts in California — one with community choice aggregator (CCA) East Bay Community Energy to deliver 2 megawatt-hours of residential solar-plus-storage capacity, and another with municipal utility Glendale Water & Power for 12.8 megawatts of capacity.The new Hawaii deployment will expand on the scope of services Sunrun has been asked to provide from its aggregations so far, Robert Harris, Sunrun director of public policy, said in an interview. That’s largely because HECO, which faces a 100-percent-by-2045 renewable mandate, faces challenges that mainland utilities don’t in stabilizing its grid to manage this rising share of renewable energy.“This is a bit more sophisticated than what we’ve done in the past,” Harris said. While Sunrun’s New England and California contracts are focused on multi-hour capacity, HECO and OATI will need to call on its resources for so-called “fast frequency response,” or FFR, as well.More: Sunrun lands another big virtual power plant deal, this time in Hawaii
Controversial Keystone XL pipeline project still faces serious economic questions FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Omaha World-Herald:The Keystone XL pipeline has faced bureaucratic hurdles, court challenges and the determined opposition of environmental groups. But the biggest challenge to the project at this point could come from basic economics.Weak oil demand and cheap alternative sources mean pipeline developer TC Energy should consider putting construction plans on pause — perhaps forever, said Charles Mason, chair in petroleum and natural gas economics at the University of Wyoming. “I don’t know if it’s dead,” Mason said of the pipeline. “It’s absolutely on life support.”The Keystone XL would transport up to 830,000 barrels a day from the oil sands of western Canada to a terminal in Steele City, Nebraska. It would ultimately supply oil refineries on the Gulf Coast.TC Energy has pushed back on skeptics who suggest that the pipeline is obsolete. While it has yet to make a “final investment decision,” the company says it is planning for construction to start this year.Major pipelines require a huge upfront investment that is based on a future stream of supply and the revenue that comes with it. Those contemplating new oil sands projects face similar arithmetic. Spending more than $60 to extract a barrel of oil that’s worth less than $50 is a tough way to make money, after all. The uncertain future of oil sands development was illustrated when Teck Resources recently announced that it is abandoning a major project.“The Canadian oil sands aren’t the only game in town, and I think their time has sort of come and gone,” Mason said. “It’s a remote deposit that’s hard to get to market in a world in which there are increasingly more attractive and more accessible sources of supply. The economics just don’t really stack up for the oil sands right now.”[Joseph Morton]More: Will simple economics deal fatal blow to long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline?
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal ($):Wind and solar farms are attracting interest from investors hungry for low-risk, stable-yield opportunities at a time of extraordinary market volatility.That interest is a boon for renewable projects, and could give them a financial boost in coming months and years. However, developers could face challenges in getting additional new projects financed and built amid the turmoil created by the new coronavirus.It might seem an odd time for a renewable-energy uptick, given the economic slowdown and a historic crash in oil prices that is making fossil fuels cheap. But wind and solar farms experienced a similar surge after the 2008 financial crisis, when investors seized on the projects as safe-harbor investments with yields in the mid-single-digit percentages.Wind and solar farms have contracts to sell their electrical output to utilities and companies with good credit ratings for a decade or longer, making their returns stable and relatively low risk.Corporations contracted for 46% of the 20.2 gigawatts of renewable energy added to the U.S. grid last year, according to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, a group that represents corporate purchasers. The largest buyers last year were Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc. unit Google and AT&T Inc. Corporations have been contracting for renewable energy because prices are low and because many have made pledges to lower their carbon output. “No one has yet indicated that they intend to slow their purchase,” said Miranda Ballentine, the group’s CEO.“Renewable-power generation is largely uncorrelated to oil and natural-gas markets, which further strengthen their overall appeal, and may well be one of the first assets classes to unfreeze,” said Keith Derman, co-head of Ares Infrastructure and Power at Ares Management Corp.[Russell Gold]More ($): Wind, solar farms are seen as havens in coronavirus storm Interest in low risk, stable yield renewable energy projects remains strong—market participants