Month: January 2021

Students, University respond to arrests

first_imgIn response to the large number of students recently arrested and incarcerated for underage drinking, representatives from the University and student government met with the South Bend Police Department (SBPD) this week.  “It’s the pattern to me that is of most concern,” he said. “We need to make sure that our students’ rights and their dignity is protected and that’s why we went down to meet with them face to face.” He added that it is not excise officers’ protocol to incarcerate people for underage drinking, but certain conditions may provoke it. Doyle asked students, especially those who are underage, to be “model citizens” in the community this weekend. Trent expects complaints will subside once the weather cools down because parties will move indoors and residents will sleep with their windows shut.  Indiana State Excise Police Commander Lt. Tim Cleveland said excise police will also be in St. Joseph County this weekend, but does not have plans to step up enforcement. Doyle said the University met with police because students repeatedly shared stories in which they felt their rights or dignity had been violated when interacting with law enforcement officers.  These meetings opened communication channels and resulted in small changes in SBPD procedure, Fr. Tom Doyle, vice president for Student Affairs said. The recent trend to incarcerate students — rather than issue citations — stems from the fact that police hold a certain amount of liability for students who are allowed to go home, Trent said. “There were lots of conversations we can work on within student government that can lead to greater changes,” she said. “As long as they’re in proximity to the car, there will be an audio account,” he said. “This is for the officer’s security and this is for everybody’s security.” “I expect my officers to be respectful of those that they’re citing or arresting, and likewise we expect those who are being issued summons or arrested to be respectful as well,” he said.  South Bend police officers will wear and activate body microphones, Doyle said. “We’re not in a situation any longer where we can just shrug and allow 50 or 100 students in a residential neighborhood to just disperse,” Trent said.  Trent said officers are responding to noise complaints and are “not trying to hinder or put a stop to the college experience.” “From our perspective, we’re getting calls from people and they’re saying ‘I’m trying to sleep and there’s a mob behind my house,’” he said. But Doyle also said there are two sides to every story and used the University’s meeting with police Tuesday as an opportunity to hear from the other side.  Cleveland also encouraged students to work with law enforcement officers and said “a little cooperation goes a long way.”  “If they’re not cooperative or they’re too intoxicated, then I’ll leave that to my officers discretion as whether to incarcerate,” he said.  Going into the first home football weekend, there will be 25 South Bend police officers patrolling the city Friday and Saturday night, Soler said.  “They have a very hard job to do and we understand that,” he said.  Doyle said SBPD was “receptive” and Soler agreed. She said student government plans to meet with police again within two weeks.  For example, if a group of people are stopped on Washington Street, two miles from campus, they would have a lengthy walk back to campus after being issued a citation and could potentially get into trouble. Police have also noticed younger students appear “profoundly drunk,” even when they have low blood alcohol contents, because of their lack of experience with alcohol.  SBPD spokesman Capt. Phil Trent attributes this change to circumstances, rather than a “conspiracy.” Trent said Notre Dame student off-campus housing used to be concentrated around Eddy Street and Notre Dame Avenue, as were the bars and night spots for students.  Now, students live in more residential neighborhoods and parties draw more complaints. Student body president Catherine Soler met with the SBPD Thursday night, and said the aim of this meeting was to decrease tensions between the student body and law enforcement officers. Both the University and police recognized the attention to, and punishment for, alcohol related violations this year is different than it has been in the past. “Our hope is that we can get through this weekend without significant incident or conflict, that we can start to build the kinds of communication channels between administration and students and law enforcement where we’re not so much in conflict with one another,” he said. Soler said the student body can expect an e-mail from student government detailing the meeting with SBPD sometime today.  “They are going to continue to do their job, but with a bit more of an understanding of the student’s perspective,” student body president Catherine Soler said after Thursday night’s meeting. “There is definitely going to be more discretion in the situations involving arrests and ticketing.”last_img read more

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Saint Mary’s prepares to welcome mothers

first_imgThis weekend Saint Mary’s will continue the tradition of welcoming mothers from across the nation as it celebrates Junior Moms Weekend. The weekend, sponsored by the class of 2013, will feature fine dining, tea and a ring blessing ceremony. Victoria Thompson, president of the class of 2013, said she is looking forward to this weekend’s activities. “[Vice president] Taylor Hans, my board and I started planning Junior Moms [Weekend] in November,” Thompson said. “It’s been a long process, but well worth it knowing that everyone will enjoy it in the end. “ A wine and cheese party kicks off the events Friday, she said. A silent auction will follow the tastings. “I am excited for the wine and cheese [party and the] silent auction,” Thompson said. “Due to the generosity of parents and some local businesses, we were able to put together 45 great baskets. I am anxious to see how much money we will be able to raise.” Thompson said Saturday’s events will be highlighted by the blessing of the rings ceremony. The tradition has not been held for several years, she said. “We really pushed for the ceremony because we felt that our class rings are an important part of our connection to Saint Mary’s, as current students and after we graduate,” she said. Other events for the weekend include a tour of the Riedinger House, a tea party and a formal dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn, she said. “We were able to come up with some really great ideas this year,” Thompson said. “We have a photo booth, a candy bar, [2011 Notre Dame graduate] Zach DuBois will be performing and our place cards are photo booth-sized picture frames for everyone to keep.” Junior Caroline Keep said she has looked forward to this event since freshman year. “I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with my mom and having her meet all my friends and their moms,” Keep said. “I think junior moms weekend is a wonderful tradition at Saint Mary’s … and it will be a memory we hold onto forever.” Thompson said this tradition supports the college’s emphasis on strong women leaders and role models. “I believe it’s common that many daughters look up to their mothers as a role model,” Thompson said. “Each student is able to meet her friend’s mothers and learn about each of them, what they do in their every day lives and increase her knowledge of what women can do to have a positive effect on our world.”last_img read more

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Week-long game returns to campus

first_imgNerf gun? Check. Balled-up socks? Check. Orange armband? Check. The moderated tag game “Humans vs. Zombies” (HvZ) is back for its fifth annual session at Notre Dame. Senior Alex Muench, the game’s primary moderator, has helped run the event hosted by WVFI radio station since Notre Dame’s first game in the spring of 2011. “I’d say it’s a week long game of team-based tag. With Nerf and zombies,” Muench said.  The game involves campus-wide strategy and is played at colleges throughout the United States. According to the rules listed on the game’s website, everyone who signs up to play is automatically registered as “human” and is distinguished by an orange armband tied around his or her arm. When the “Original Zombie” tags the first “human,” he or she becomes “infected” and must play on the “zombie” side, the website stated.To protect themselves, some humans buy large Nerf guns or carry socks. If they “kill” one of the zombies, they earn a 15-minute time out. Zombies hit with a projectile must move their bands down to their neck to show they’re inactive and cannot “feed” on other humans, the website stated.There are also missions every night when the humans come out to complete tasks that can create more safe zones for humans to hide from zombies or earn longer time-out times to prevent zombies from attacking. It all comes down to a huge showdown on Sunday night: If any humans are left standing at the end of the mission, humans win, the website stated. Despite the formulaic procedure, Muench said every game is unique. “What really makes a difference is the players,” said. “A small sub-group of friends can gain notoriety and change the course of the game this semester. And that’s what always makes things interesting.” Into its third year at Notre Dame, HvZ is closing in on just over 150 players. This year’s game runs from Sept. 25 to Sept. 29.  The game is open to all students at Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross.  Sign-ups are accepted until Sept. 21 and can be accessed at www.hvzsource.com/nd. Contact Charmagne Solomon at [email protected]last_img read more

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Observer finds success at ICPA

first_imgThe Observer won third place in the Division I “Newspaper of the Year” category at the Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA) awards ceremony held Saturday at Indiana University in Bloomington. Staff members took home 20 other awards. Former Assistant Managing Editor Andrew Owens was named the Brook Baker Collegiate Journalist of the Year, making him the third Notre Dame student in four years to be honored. The award, which began in 1999, is named for a deceased student journalist at Vincennes University. Owens placed in the “Best Entertainment Feature Story” category as well, winning second for his Oct. 22 piece “College GameDay.” The Observer took second place in the “Best Single Issue” category for the Nov. 27 issue “Miami Bound,” published after the football team’s victory over USC. First place in the “Best Stand-Alone/Pullout Section” category went to The Observer’s “Pre-national championship coverage.” The 2011-12 Observer Editorial Board took first place in the “Best Staff Editorial” category for its April 27, 2012, piece “Jenky should issues a formal apology.” The former board also won second place in the same category for the Sept. 14, 2012 editorial “Getting serious about sexual assault.” Former Assistant Managing Editor Sam Stryker won second place in “Best News Feature Story” for “Gay students discuss coming out at Notre Dame,” the second in a three-part series in The Observer last year. Stryker also took third place in “Best Entertainment Feature Story” for his coverage of Student Union Board’s Seth Myers comedy show in September, titled “Seth Myers brings the laughs at Stepan.” 2011-12 Managing Editor Sarah Mervosh, class of 2012, won third place in the “Best Breaking News Reporting” category for “University addresses LGBTQ concerns,” published April 26, 2012. Assistant Managing Editor Matthew DeFranks took second place in “Best News or Feature Series” for “Waking the Echoes,” a series highlighting past Notre Dame football players and their lives after graduation. Scene Editor Kevin Noonan took second place in “Best Entertainment Column” for his piece on the film saga’s move to Disney, titled “Star Wars moves to the dark side.” Kirby McKenna, multimedia editor, won second place in “Best Feature Photo” for her August Boys Like Girls concert photo “Boys Like B1.” Former Multimedia Editor Sarah O’Connor took third place in the same category for her September photo “Seth Myers at Notre Dame.” Former Photo Editor Suzanna Pratt took first place in “Best Sports Photo” for her action shot during the Oct. 27 football game against Oklahoma, called “Statement win.” Second place in “Best Blog” went to “Observer Passport,” featuring the study abroad experiences of former Editor-in-Chief Allan Joseph, former Managing Editor Megan Doyle, Assistant Managing Editor Marisa Iati, Saint Mary’s Editor Kaitlyn Rabach, Photo Editor Grant Tobin, News Writer Mel Flanagan and Scene Writer Troy Mathew. O’Connor and Web Editor Kevin Song won first place in “Best Video” for “Bengal Bouts 2012,” showcasing the experiences of members of Notre Dame’s men’s club boxing team. Former Graphics Editor Brandon Keelean won first place in “Best Design of Black-and-White House Ad” for “Congratulations.” Keelean also took first in “Best Design of Full-Color House Ad” for “Final Four.” The Observer took third place in “Best Rate Card,” crediting Keelean, Joseph, Advertising Manager Emily Kopetsky and former advertising manager Monica McCormack. All four were also honored with first place in “Best General Media Kit.” Other University publications represented at ICPA were Scholastic, which took first place in “News Magazine of the Year,” Dome Yearbook, which won second place in the Division I “Yearbook of the Year” category and The Juggler, which took second place in “Literary Magazine of the Year.” The Observer’s award-winning submissions are available on its website, www.ndsmcobserver.com.last_img read more

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Student runs race for charity

first_imgSaint Mary’s junior Maddie Helman isn’t celebrating her 21st birthday like most young women. Helman will be running the Walt Disney World Marathon on Jan. 12 to raise money for Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization that provides guidance through running to young girls ages third through fifth grade. In addition to the marathon falling on her 21st birthday, Helman said this year’s marathon marks the 20th anniversary of her mom’s first marathon at Disney. Jamie Helman said she ran her first marathon at Disney two days before her daughter’s first birthday. As a baby, Maddie Helman was hospitalized at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis three weeks before the marathon, and Jamie Helman said she shifted her focus from training to her daughter. Fortunately, Jamie Helman said her daughter recovered fully before the race. “It was a great accomplishment for us both, and I know running this marathon together on her 21st birthday, in 2014, will be an even greater cause for celebration,” Jamie Helman said. Maddie and Jamie Helman have partnered with the Michiana Council of Girls on the Run through a program called SoleMates, which teaches health and nutrition to the girls and trains them for a 5K race over the course of 12 weeks. according to the Girls on the Run website. SoleMates raises money by encouraging runners to get sponsors, according to the Girls on the Run website. Maddie Helman said her goal is to raise $2,100 in honor of her 21st birthday, and Jamie Helman said her goal is to raise $2,000 in honor of the 20th anniversary of first running the Disney marathon. Maddie and Jamie Helman’s impact on the organization goes beyond just fundraising. Jamie Helman said she serves as the co-chair for development for Girls on the Run, and Maddie Helman said she is a coach. As a coach, Maddie Helman said she understands the direct impact her fundraising will have on the girls. When her team finished the 5K last spring, she knew what she was doing something meaningful, she said. “You could see the sense of accomplishment on their faces,” she said. Maddie Helman said running is a prominent part of her life and her inspiration comes from her favorite running partner: her mom. “My mom inspires me to dig deep and keep going even when it’s not fun,” Maddie Helman said. Maddie Helman said she started running in seventh grade and didn’t enjoy it at all, but she grew to love it and ran her first half marathon in eighth grade. “It’s about mind over matter; it’s about never giving up,” she said. Maddie Helman said her love for running has only grown since, culminating in running her first marathon in Chicago in 2011. “I can’t go for a run and not say thank you,” she said. “It automatically makes the day better.” For more information on Maddie Helman’s training and fundraising, visit her blog at http://twentyseventhmile.wordpress.com/.last_img read more

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Junior class welcomes parents to campus

first_imgMothers and fathers of members of the junior class are traveling from all around the country for Notre Dame’s annual Junior Parents Weekend (JPW).“I want this weekend to be really special, and I want parents to have a magical experience at Notre Dame,” JPW chairperson and junior Shannon Hagedorn said. “This is one of the three big events for parents and students, and I have been trying to do everything I can to make sure it is fabulously wonderful.”Junior Christian Knight said JPW offers a rare opportunity to bring families together on campus. Keri O’Mara | The Observer “With there only being three events on campus — Frosh-O, graduation and JPW — that bring all the parents on campus, it will be cool to have them here one last time before graduation,” Knight said.The weekend will kick off with an opening gala Friday night, held in the Joyce Center, according to the JPW website. Each undergraduate college will host events throughout Saturday afternoon, and families can attend JPW Mass at 5:30 p.m. in Purcell Pavilion, followed by a President’s Dinner, the website stated. The weekend will conclude with a closing brunch Sunday morning.Junior Shane O’Connor said he timing of JPW allows parents and students to enjoy the weekend together while the juniors still feel committed to campus life. He said the special events would complement the time his family has to relax and explore Notre Dame.“I am excited for JPW so that I can have the chance to show my parents what life is like while I’m actually at Notre Dame and not when I’m about to leave.” O’Connor said. “I think that JPW is a nice tradition and I’m most excited to cut a rug at the gala.”Junior Maggie Miller said she looks forward to showing her parents a typical Notre Dame weekend.“I’m most excited about having time on campus with my parents when it’s not a game,” Miller said. “To just hang out, the three of us, without all of the tourists on game day.”Hagedorn said when the junior parents weekend tradition began many years ago, University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh would deliver the benediction at the JPW brunch.“He often spoke about the humble origins of JPW, created under his administration and leadership,” Hagedorn said. “The first JPW was simply a dinner at the Morris Inn for a relatively small number of families, and it grew from that humble beginning.”Hagedorn said she is in charge of a committee of 13 juniors who work together to ensure the weekend goes smoothly.“In a nutshell, my job has been to coordinate everything for the weekend, including recruit a committee of chairs, delegate the jobs for the different events, coordinate various items with multiple vendors, arrange tables for the meals, respond to the emails to the JPW account and make sure that everything is taken care of for the weekend,” Hagedorn said.She said she is most looking forward to seeing her own parents and watching all of the students and parents meet each other.“I can’t wait to see the Notre Dame family and personal families come together and share the special moments of the weekend,” Hagedorn said. “There has been a lot of planning and coordinating, and I’m ready to see the product.”Tags: Community, family, JPW, Junior Parents Weekend, Notre Dame, parentslast_img read more

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Students, faculty remember Cathy Pieronek

first_imgLast Thursday, Catherine “Cathy” Pieronek, an associate dean in the College of Engineering and the director of the women’s engineering program, passed away suddenly at the age of 52.According to College of Engineering Dean Peter Kilpatrick, Pieronek proved to be a champion of the women engineers on Notre Dame’s campus, but also on a national level. Students have recalled her dedication to the engineers and also to the school as a campus leader who sought to continually improve the University and, specifically, the College of Engineering.In an email, Kilpatrick described one of Pieronek’s large contributions to the women’s engineering program that dealt with residence halls. When Pieronek joined the engineering faculty in 2002, female enrollment in the college was lower than it was now, and each women’s residence hall only had “one to two” engineers living in it.“This meant that women who wanted to study with their classmates and other engineers would have to go to another residence hall (often a male residence hall) and when the parietals require women students leaving male dorms at midnight (despite whether the homework or studying was all finished), this placed a hardship on the women engineering students,” he said.“So Cathy, in concert with others in the College, got [the Office of Residence Life] to start clustering women engineers in fewer dorms so women could develop natural study partners in their own residence hall. This strategy, and many others, has led to a dramatic increase in both the retention and the numbers and percentages of women in engineering here at Notre Dame. We are now well over 30 percent, a remarkable increase in the last 10-plus years. Cathy played by far the dominant role in this transformation.”Kilpatrick and others recalled her tendency to be extremely direct with students in her role as an advisor.“I have so many memories of Cathy, but perhaps my favorite memory was when I shared with her recently how grateful a parent was for the direct and forceful advice that Cathy gave his son on the occasion of struggling academically and disciplinarily and the way the young man had been able to turn things around with Cathy’s support and encouragement,” he said. “Cathy gave me a simple ‘aw, shucks’ response and immediately deflected the accolade.“This was classic Cathy. She did what she did for our students because she was deeply committed and cared about them as persons. In this regard, Cathy taught us how to be fully human and fully Christian.”Senior Cecilia Ruiz said she met Pieronek when she was a first-year engineering student and member of the First Year Engineering Council.“What I remember the most is her passion to education and her devotion to her students,” Ruiz said in an email. “She touched many lives with her advice and picked up many of us who struggled through some of our semesters.“Always understanding, but firm, she encouraged me to continue in my endeavors and challenged all whose lives she touched to be the best version of themselves. I can’t think of a better role model to follow as an aspiring female aerospace engineer, and I am grateful for her presence in my life.”Senior Maggie Miller said her relationship with Pieronek began during her freshman year. She said Pieronek took an interest in her summer job with Notre Dame’s Introduction to Engineering Program and talked to her frequently throughout the summer.“Most of the conversations we would have were about how we could make the College better, how we could improve the perception of engineers on campus,” Miller said in an email. “This was especially pertinent to me as I have been heavily involved with various performing arts groups during my time at Notre Dame, and Cathy always took a surprising interest in this and in other students that were leaving their mark on campus in areas other than engineering. She wanted us to feel like we were students and to get away from seeing ourselves as nerds who could only sit in their rooms and study.“She fought relentlessly for the students in the College, and even though she was often very hard on struggling students they were always better for it. Tough love was definitely her approach, but it was in fact a deep love that she showed the students.”Miller said Pieronek was especially important for the women of the College, which she witnessed firsthand as a student representative on the College of Engineering Council.“I remember in one meeting looking around and realizing that Cathy and myself were the only women in the room of 20 or so other people, and Cathy always played a large role in running those meetings,” Miller said. “She became someone I very much wanted to emulate in her confidence and in her caring.”Senior Ryan Griffin said Pieronek cared about all her students in the College of Engineering, which led to a tough but rewarding mentoring style.“She expected you to own up to your mistakes and act like an adult,” Griffin said in an email. “But if you were capable of doing that, Cathy would match you every step of the way working with you, teachers, the department, advisors, you name it, in order to help you succeed. She was also an incredible mentor to the students who got close to her.“Those of us who were lucky enough to call her a mentor will forever treasure the advice she gave us and carry her words with us in our careers.”Tags: Cathy Pieronek, College of Engineering, SWE, Women’s engineeringlast_img read more

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ND seniors receive fellowships, grants

first_imgThirteen students from the class of 2015 have received fellowships this year from prestigious programs such as the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the National Science Foundation, Dr. Jeffrey Thibert said.“This success is a testament to the outstanding undergraduate education that our students receive, not only in terms of their academic work but also in terms of the scholarly engagement activities that they pursue beyond the classroom both in the U.S. and abroad,” said Thibert, the assistant director of national fellowships for the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE).“CUSE looks forward to continuing to work with the Class of 2015 as they become alumni — it’s never too late to apply for some of these fellowships, and every year, alumni receive major awards like the Rhodes Scholarship, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship or the Fulbright.”The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for international research or study projects and English teaching assistant programs, according to the program’s website. Nine seniors received Fulbright grants this year, and Notre Dame had 17 recipients as an institution, the most the University has ever had, Thibert said.Claire Donovan will travel to Togo in West Africa to research “Micronutrient Fortification and Maternal Health in Togo: A Model for Sustainable Aid” on a fellowship.Christina Gutierrez received the Fulbright/Casten Family Foundation Award to study at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. Gutierrez is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, as well as a Kellogg Institute International Scholar.(Editor’s note: Gutierrez is the business manager for The Observer.)A Kellog Institute International Scholar, Alexis Palá will be studying in Chile on a Fulbright.Three students earned English Teaching Assistantship grants from the Fulbright program: Leila Green, Kendra Reiser and Ryan Schultheis. Green will be teaching in South Africa, Reiser in Indonesia and Schultheis in Mexico.The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships provide funding for research-based study leading to a master’s or doctoral degree in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), according to the Fellowships’ website.The program receives more than 16,000 applications for 2015 and awarded 2,000 fellowships.The three recipients of the fellowship were Ashley Armstrong, a mechanical engineer; Patrick Marino, a physics and mechanical engineering double major; and Annie Stephenson, a physics major.Tyler Barron, a sociology and American Studies double major, was awarded the Udall Native American Congressional internship. The internship provides American Indian and Alaska Native students an opportunity to understand the government-to-government relationship between Native Tribes and the federal government, the program’s website said. Barron is the first recipient from Notre Dame in the school’s history, Thibert said.Two students received the Austrian Teaching Assistantship, which provides graduates with an interest in Austrian students to work at secondary schools throughout Austria, the website said. Eric Donahue and Rachel Ruddick, both majors in biological sciences with minors in German, both declined for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.Eric Donahue also was awarded the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, German for ‘German Academic Exchange System’) Study Scholarship.CUSE encourages the class of 2015 to continue to apply for fellowships; alumni are eligible to apply for scholarships such as the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships, Thibert said.“These fellowship opportunities can significantly enhance a recipient’s profile while advancing their academic and professional trajectories in unique ways and connecting them to future leaders in a variety of fields,” Thibert said.To learn more about these opportunities, visit http://fellows.nd.edu/fellowships.Tags: Austrian Teaching Assistantship, Class of 2015, CUSE, DAAD Study Scholarship, Fellowships, Fulbright U.S. Student Program, NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, Udall Native American Congressional Internshiplast_img read more

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University explains assault report process for study abroad

first_imgEvery year, Notre Dame students travel abroad to more than 30 sites in more than 20 countries. According to the University’s admissions website, more than 50 percent of its students will participate in one of these programs. While studying abroad offers students the opportunity to learn from another culture, the immersive experience also includes new risks and can bring students face-to-face with sexual harassment and assault.Tom Guinan, associate vice president for administrative operations for Notre Dame International, said much like for students studying on the main campus in South Bend, preventing sexual assault is emphasized to those traveling abroad.“This is one of the most important topics that we address prior to students going abroad, and we have mandatory training sessions for all students going abroad,” he said. “We have them in the spring and fall and summertime … we have Keri Kei [Shibata, deputy chief of safety services] and some of the other folks around campus advise students on just prevention.”According to Guinan, there are three main types of study abroad programs: students who are fully enrolled in an overseas institution, third party providers who put students into places where they want to study and “global gateways,” such as the London program, where Notre Dame staff are actually “on the ground” to work with students. The first two categories have their own “mechanisms for reporting, preventing and dealing with sexual assaults that happen on their campuses,” Guinan said.“The one obvious complicating factor here is that St. [Joseph] County and [Notre Dame Security Police] typically would be involved in the criminal investigations,” he said. “We have relationships with offices in each location so the students know legal remedies they might pursue in those countries and the laws related in each country to sexual assaults are different.”Guinan said if a student is assaulted abroad, especially if the complainant and respondent are both Notre Dame students, resources are available on campus for them to use. Once a student reports an assault to the University, the priority is to help the student receive any necessary medical attention, he said.“In any of those circumstances, if a student is a complainant, and the respondee is a Notre Dame student, to the extent we are notified about this, either on campus or through our through third party providers and the folks overseas, the first step we take is to be sure the student is aware of medical resources overseas,” he said.“We then contact the student in varying ways, based on where they actually are and offer them pretty much the same types of services we would offer if they were on campus,” Guinan said. “If it’s a known Notre Dame situation, we would actually refer them back to the Title IX coordinator on campus, because even though the host institution has their own protocols and wants to take action, it is something that would come back to Notre Dame and the resources available through the Title IX Coordinator would be made available to that student.”Even with these resources available, Guinan urges students to be more vigilant abroad than they might be while on campus.“We remind the students, both before they leave and when they arrive on site, that they are still Notre Dame students and so that the expectations and standards of conduct are still with them as they go abroad.”Tags: Global Gateway, NDSP, sexual assault, study abroad, Title IXlast_img read more

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2016 Election Observer: Matthew Hall

first_imgEditor’s Note: Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, The Observer will sit down with Notre Dame experts to break down the election and its importance to students. In this sixth installment, News writer Rachel O’Grady asks professor of political science and director of graduate studies Matthew Hall about the consequences of the results of the Nevada caucus and the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries.  Rachel O’Grady: Trump just pretty handily won Nevada, and this is his third win in a row. What does this mean for the Republican Party? Can Trump secure the nomination?Matthew Hall: I’d say it means two things for the Republican Party. First, the anger and frustration the party’s base feels toward the party elites has [been] reaching an unprecedented boiling point, and the voters are rejecting their leadership’s direction. Second, if Trump succeeds, it may mean a fundamental redefinition of the party’s stance on issues such as trade, taxes and foreign policy. Can Trump win? Of course he CAN win. Technically you or I CAN win — the votes haven’t been cast yet, and anything could happen if this election goes to a brokered convention. Will he win? There’s no way to tell for sure, and if this election has taught us anything, it’s that experts can’t predict what is going to happen.ROG: Super Tuesday is this coming Tuesday. What should we be looking for? How much does it matter?MH: Ordinarily, Super Tuesday favors candidates who can compete on a large scale. Unlike the early states, in which retails politics can propel an unknown candidate into the spotlight, on the Super Tuesday the advantage goes to candidates with name recognition, media attention and money. That means it should be even easier for Trump to win big. The real questions: Can Rubio or Cruz win any state at all — other than Cruz winning Texas? If not, Trump appears to be unstoppable.ROG: Looking more at the Democrats, Sanders beat Clinton significantly on young women 18 – 24 years old. What does this mean for either one of their campaigns? Will this hurt Clinton long term?MH: I doubt Clinton’s lack of support among young voters — or specifically, young women — will hurt her if she secures the nomination. I’d wager that most of these young voters will support Clinton in a general election. The critical questions moving forward are: 1. whether young people turn out to vote in large numbers and 2. whether younger Hispanic and African American voters continue to move toward Sanders. If either or both of those things happen, Clinton may have a difficult time securing the nomination.ROG: In your research and opinion, what do you think will be the most important issue in the general election?MH: I think it largely depends on world events, which I cannot predict. What happens in Syria. What happens on the stock market. Usually, events drive the discussion more than anything else, so I can’t predict what the discussion of issues will look like. If it’s Trump vs. Clinton, I would expect little focus on issues at all. Instead, I’d expect a campaign of insults, posturing and scandals.ROG: Taking it back to college campuses, particularly here at ND, primaries in many of our home states are coming up. What is something we, as college students, should be paying particular attention to?MH: Everyone should be figuring out right now where and how they can vote. Can you register here in Indiana? Can you vote absentee back home? Our current politics look the way they do because young people don’t participate. If every college student who talked about the election on soil media actually voted, we would get wildly different outcomes. Tags: 2016 Election Observer, Clinton, Matthew Hall, Nevada caucuses, Sanders, Super Tuesday, Trumplast_img read more

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Panelists reflect on history, tradition of Sisters of the Holy Cross

first_imgViewing injustices through the lens of those who endure mistreatment can help realities click and breakthroughs come into focus, Sister Mary Turgi said at a panel discussion about the Sisters of the Holy Cross, which took place in Rice Commons on Thursday.Turgi said her role as director of the Holy Cross International Justice Office affords her the rewarding opportunity to attend to relevant societal issues and develop action strategies.“[The Sisters of the Holy Cross] have a very strong and long-standing commitment to working toward systemic change,” she said. “That tends to be where our congregation has done the most work.”The irrepressible desire to seek avenues for reform, Turgi said, motivates her congregation to address issues such as human trafficking, climate change and immigration.“We have a number of corporate stands, one on water as a human right,” she said. “Even though I trained as a mathematician, most of my ministries in my 54 years in the congregation have been working in some form with social justice activities.”The Holy Cross International Justice Office, she said, has promoted what it considers to be worthy causes ever since its conception.“Back in the late 1990s, there was a movement among the congregation to bring some project together that would really, really force our unity and our working together, and a committee was set up to organize that,” Turgi said. “The idea of creating an office that would support the idea of justice surfaced very quickly, and after a lot of discussion and dialogue, they decided that that’s what they would do. … In total, we serve 20 countries in the world.”Senior Katherine Soper said she has observed firsthand the love and dedication that radiates throughout the Holy Cross community. As a first year, she joined an organization known as Friends with Sisters, which promotes bonding and camaraderie between students and sisters by allowing them to share conversations and meals.“For those of you who haven’t been over [to the convent] for dinner, it’s amazing,” she said. “You sit in that room, and you know you’re just surrounded by women of God who are doing everything that they can to support human dignity — which is, I believe, the bottom line of social justice.”The sisters’ support and encouragement, Soper said, led her to apply for the Uganda Summer Practicum — a service-oriented study abroad program that allows education and nursing majors to work alongside sisters in the Moreau Nursery and Primary School and the Kyembogo Holy Cross Health Centre.“My time in Uganda was eye-opening,” she said. “I saw the sisters going each and every day and giving their all and looking at those students in the eyes and believing in them and telling them ‘You don’t know what your future is. You don’t know what God’s plan is for you, but let’s take the first step right here by learning two plus two.’”Senior Therese Dudro also partook in the Uganda Summer Practicum, though she assisted Holy Cross nurses at the health clinic — an opportunity she said she learned of during the first tour she took of Saint Mary’s and one that swayed her college decision.“I just knew that I wanted to do that,” Dudro said. “[The sisters] don’t ask for anything in return. They just do it out of love because they know Christ’s love, and they want to share it with everyone.”Dudro said observing the sisters’ grace and compassion under all circumstances showed her how to embrace the unexpected.“Every day, [the sisters] walk into that clinic, and they don’t know the challenges that they’re going to be faced with, but they face them with smiles on their faces, and they just exude love wherever they go,” Dudro said. “They fight for all their patients.”The sisters exemplified selflessness and recognition of a common humanity, Dudro said. “We had some patients whose families could not afford the care that we were giving, but the sisters do not care,” she said. “They said ‘No, your child is getting this treatment. You’re not going anywhere. We don’t care what you’re going to say. We’re going to treat the patient.’”Soper said the sisters’ influence was not solely academic or medical, for their spiritual example resonated with the students too.“I’ve never seen anyone pray as hard as those students do,” she said. “The joy they show in their faces while they’re praying was very inspiring and makes the work that the sisters are doing and that Saint Mary’s students are able to experience there worth it.”Tags: Friends with Sisters, Kyembogo Holy Cross Health Centre, Moreau Nursery and Primary School, Sisters of the Holy Cross, Uganda Summer Practicumlast_img read more

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Student Peace Conference strives to promote peace-building initiatives

first_imgThe annual Notre Dame Student Peace Conference, a Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies sponsored event, took place Friday and Saturday at the Hesburgh Center to encourage students to have discussions about peace-building and social justice.The conference was organized by senior co-chairs Elizabeth Hascher and Erin Prestage, who said they have been planning the event since September.“Something that’s hard when you plan anything this big is that you have to rely on other people,” Hascher said. “There were some bumps along the way, but ultimately we had so much help from our professors, our advisors [and] the other students on the committee who showed up early and stayed after we told them go home.” Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hascher Professors, advisors and co-chairs present at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies’ annual Student Peace Conference. The conference took place April 13 – 14 and was themed ’Toward Just Peace.‘In addition to professors and advisors, the co-chairs said they worked with students who were part of the academic committee, hospitality committee or publicity committee.“I think with any event it’s always challenging because obviously not everyone is going to be as excited as we are because we spent the last eight months working towards this,” Prestage said. “I definitely think our committee members rose to the occasion and made sure that what we envisioned the conference to be like not only would go that way but would go so much better.”This year’s theme was ‘Toward Just Peace,’ a topic chosen by Hascher and Prestage, they said, because of its applicability to other areas of interest outside of peace.“We were hoping to get more presentations and papers talking about the intersections between justice and peace,” Hascher said. “We had felt that this was something that can be overlooked in a lot of conversations because sometimes justice and peace are not necessarily compatible, and we want to challenge people to think about getting to a place where they are.”The universal nature of their theme attracted a more diverse group of students to the conference this year, Prestage said.“I think our theme was so inclusive towards justice rather than just different ways of peace, which is what it has been in the past,” Prestage said. “It focused a little bit more on the compatibility between the two themes; I think it welcomed a lot more majors that otherwise wouldn’t really be interested in just a conference about peace.”Hascher and Prestage said that although the conference’s goal was to promote discussion about issues related to justice and peace, they hoped it would accomplish more than conversations.“It’s one thing for us to have these conversations, but we’re really hoping that people will feel compelled to go out and do something,” Hascher said. “Because if we’re just talking about it, if we’re not actually doing something, we’re not showing up, we’re not speaking out, we’re not protesting and organizing and generally engaging with experiences of violence, we kind of lose the point.”The highlight of the weekend for Hascher and Prestage, they said, was their keynote speaker Alexis Templeton, an activist who they discovered in the documentary “Whose Streets?” when the Center for Social Concerns sponsored a screening of it last semester.“Their presentation exceeded all my hopes for this conference,” Prestage said. “They really provided a wake-up call to everyone who was at the conference to that fact that words only mean so much if you’re not showing up and actually putting action to what you’re talking about.”Tags: Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, peace building, Social justice, Student Peace Conferencelast_img read more

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Jamestown DPW Announces Additional Street Projects For This Year

first_imgJAMESTOWN — The City of Jamestown Department of Public Works has announced additions to the annual streets program that are being made possible through an increase in anticipated funding through the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program, known as CHIPS.These new projects, in addition to the previously announced streets, are planned to be completed by the end of the summer-fall season, depending on the weather, the flow of public funding, contractor availability and the changing price of materials.The additional street projects are as follow:Mill and Overlay (Starting Aug. 24)South Main Street from the Arterial to the Main Street Bridge; Delaware Avenue from Summit Avenue to Newland Avenue;  Prather Avenue from the Arterial to Main Street.; Crescent Street from Second Street to Bishop Street..Curb and Brick Improvements on Ellicott Avenue from Pullman Street to King Street.Curb Improvements on Andrews Avenue from Harding Avenue to Third Street. 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)last_img read more

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Mainly Quiet Labor Day Weekend Ahead

first_imgJAMESTOWN – Labor Day weekend will be mainly dry with seasonable temperatures, before a warm-up takes shape early next week. For today, partly to mostly cloudy with a slight risk for an afternoon shower. Highs in the lower-70’s.Tonight, mostly cloudy with a early evening shower possible. Lows in the lower-50’s.The weekend will close out on Sunday with sunny skies and highs near 75. Temperatures will begin to rise for Labor Day. Partly cloudy skies with highs near 80. A slight risk for a shower or storm is possible.Through mid-week it will remain sunny with temperatures in the lower-80’s and moderate humidity levels.WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.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)last_img read more

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John Lloyd Young to Star in London’s Jersey Boys

first_imgTony winner John Lloyd Young will star as Frankie Valli in the West End’s Jersey Boys when it moves to the Piccadilly Theatre on March 15. Young, who originated the role on Broadway in 2005 and won a Tony Award for his performance, will headline the London production through April 27. The cast of the Tony and Olivier-winning musical, which follows the rise of Frankie Valli and his chart-topping group the Four Seasons, will also include Matt Nalton as Nick Massi, Edd Post as Bob Gaudio and Jon Boydon as Tommy De Vito. Michael Watson will play the role of Frankie Valli at certain performances. 

Young earned a Tony Award and a Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for his Broadway debut as Frankie Valli. He starred in the indie film Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay! and appeared on Glee. His off-Broadway credits include The Summer of Swans and Sarah, Plain and Tall. He revisited the role of Frankie Valli in Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of Jersey Boys, due out in June 2014. Jersey Boys opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre in 2008 and will play its last performance there on March 9.center_img The cast at the Piccadilly will also feature Nicola Brazil, Sophie Carmen-Jones, Thomas Goodridge, Lucinda Gill, Matthew Hunt, Mark Isherwood, Charlotte Jeffery, Ben Jennings, Stuart King, Sandy Moffat, Sean Mulligan, Tom Senior, Emma Stephens, Matt Thorpe, Graham Vick, Ben Wheeler and Rob Wilshaw. View Commentslast_img read more

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Courtney Love Reveals Kurt Cobain Musical ‘Very Likely’

first_img View Comments Nirvana formed in 1987 and went on to establish itself as one of the most famous grunge bands in the world, releasing a number of successful songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Heart-Shaped Box,” “About A Girl,” “Come As You Are” and “Lithium.” Love has been embroiled in several legal battles with the surviving members of the band over song rights. Why did Love change her tune? She revealed that she had been “swarmed by tons of Nirvana fanmail and social media posts pushing for a musical to become a reality.” The key to the production getting off the ground? Love said that “there would have to be a story, and a great story, one that hasn’t been told before.”center_img Broadway might be smelling like teen spirit! The Kurt Cobain bio-musical, which was reported to be in the works before the idea was quickly squashed by the late musician’s wife Courtney Love, is back on. Love spoke with NME as part of the magazine’s tribute to the Nirvana frontman and said that if she could get the right people involved “then a Broadway musical is very likely to happen.”last_img read more

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Oscar Winner Christopher Walken Will Star in NBC’s Peter Pan Live!

first_img View Comments An Oscar winner for The Deer Hunter, Walken is no stranger to bringing Broadway musicals to the screen, having starred in this summer’s Clint Eastwood-helmed Jersey Boys and the film adaptation of Hairspray (produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who will reunite with Walken for Peter Pan). Walken’s  many films include Stand Up Guys, A Late Quartet and Seven Psychopaths. The actor began his career in the 1950s as a Broadway dancer. He received Tony nods for his performances in The Dead and A Behanding in Spokane. According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt confirmed at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour that the titular role will be played by a woman, as it is traditionally performed. The network honcho revealed that Frozen star Kristen Bell was at one point considered for Peter, saying, “she was interested but she’s doing House of Lies. It’s tricky finding the right person in the schedule that we need but we’re actually close.” “I started my career in musicals,” Walken said in a statement, “and it’s wonderful after all this time, at this point in my career, to be in this classic musical I watched as a child and to work with Neil Meron and Craig Zadan again after Hairspray. It’s a chance to put on my tap shoes again.”center_img A Great White Way family classic, Peter Pan premiered on October 20, 1954 at the Winter Garden Theatre, featuring a book by J.M. Barrie, music by Mark “Moose” Charlap and Jule Style, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins and Mary Martin in the lead role of the boy who won’t grow up. NBC has broadcast the musical live a total of three times previously: in 1955 (when it reached 65 million viewers), 1956 and 1960. The musical has been revived five times on Broadway since. Who’s the swiniest swine in the world? Oscar winner and Tony nominee Christopher Walken will headline NBC’s previously announced Peter Pan Live!. Walken will take on the role of the self-proclaimed “greatest villain of all time,” Captain Hook. The Peacock Network’s follow-up to the highly rated Sound of Music Live!, which starred Carrie Underwood along with many Broadway favorites, Pan will broadcast on December 4. Additional casting will be revealed at a later date.last_img read more

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Tickets Now Available for A Walk in the Woods Off-Broadway

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 18, 2014 Related Shows Tickets are on sale now for Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods. The Keen Company mounting marks the first major New York revival of the Pulitzer and Tony-nominated play. Jonathan Silverstein will direct the show, which begins performances on September 9 at off-Broadway’s Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row, where it will run through October 18. Opening night is set for September 30. View Comments The drama tells the story of a Russian veteran and an American newcomer who meet informally after long, frustrating hours of peace talks. Kathleen Chalfant will take on the gender-swapped role of Botvinnik; Paul Niebanck will play John Honeyman. Chalfant garnered a Tony nomination for Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. She also starred in Wit off-Broadway and appeared in Painting Churches with Keen Co. Niebanck’s stage credits include In the Next Room on Broadway, as well as RX, Blood and Gifts, Shockheaded Peter and Bill W. and Dr. Bob. A Walk in the Woodslast_img read more

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Lessons of the Week! Jeremy Jordan, Kelli O’Hara & More

first_imgIt’s time to rip off your work clothes (preferably like this) and change into sweatpants…because it’s finally Friday! Yay! To celebrate, Broadway.com is bringing you a recap of all the weird stuff that happened this week. From Sarah Jessica Parker’s house-sized closet to the food obsessions of our favorite Broadway stars, it’s all right here in the Lessons of the Week.Matt Morrison & Adam Jacobs Are in a CultBefore going the clean-cut route in Aladdin and Glee, these Broadway bros were apparently involved in some dark stuff. In college at NYU, the stars belonged to a creepy sounding group called “The Tribe,” which Jacobs joked was “a secret cult.” Hey, you guys need some more members? We’ll drink that Kool-Aid any day of the week.The Secret Brought Sailors to BroadwayHow do you get a musical on Broadway? No, don’t bother asking for donations from your rich friends—just pick up a copy of The Secret! You know, that book from your aunt that you re-gifted to Goodwill 10 years ago? On the Town’s Jay Armstrong Johnson insists that the Law of Attraction got the show to Broadway. You think if we put this on our vision board, he’ll show up too?Wanna See If/Then? Pray.If your If/Then vision board doesn’t score you tickets to the hit musical, saying a Hail Mary might help. James Snyder took a field trip to the If/Then lottery this week and discovered that praying actually helped one hopeful audience member snag tickets. Hey, it worked for Jean Valjean. Didn’t work so well for Tricia in A Chorus Line, though.Glenn Close Is Still Ready For Her Close-UpMr. DeMille, it might have been two decades since the three-time Tony winner appeared in Sunset Boulevard, but she’s still making it clear she’d love to reprise the role of Norma Desmond in the film adaptation. You’ve convinced us, Glenn! Now you’ve just gotta convince the Material Girl.Jeremy Jordan Has a Secret TalentThe Last Five Years movie star is really great at a lot of things, including nailing that high note in “Santa Fe” and growing beards. But did you know he can also drive while simultaneously ripping his clothes off and making out with Anna Kendrick? That’s some serious coordination, Jeremy. Like, Cups-level coordination.Kelli O’Hara Needs Side-Eye LessonsBroadway darling Kelli O’Hara is about to become a TV darling, too! The Tony nominee will play, um, Mrs. Darling in the Peter Pan telecast on NBC. Will Sound of Music star Laura Benanti show O’Hara how to steal scenes with her shady side-eye? Will the world make thousands of O’Hara GIFs? We’ll find out in 83 days and counting.SJP’s Closet Is Bigger Than Your HouseWe always assumed Sarah Jessica Parker had some old Sex in the City costumes lying around, but it looks like she made off with the whole wardrobe trailer. She and Matthew Broderick (currently in It’s Only a Play) just put their townhouse up for sale, and SJP’s closet is bigger than some small countries. Will we be seeing any of that stuff at the BC/EFA Flea Market, SJP?Broadway Stars Are Food-ObsessedWhen we asked the cast of On the Town what they’d do if they were in New York City for only one day, we were surprised to hear almost every single answer revolved around food. Hot dogs, pretzels, Katz’s, Rosa Mexicano, soul food, the list is endless. Wow, you guys have a one-track mind! (It’s OK, we can’t go a week without thinking about peanut butter cups.)It’s Cool to Sleep Through The RiverA bunch of Broadway stars have made it clear that they’re not exactly thrilled about audience members talking, crinkling wrappers, clinking ice and filming bootlegs during their shows. Hugh Jackman, on the other hand, totally understands if you need to take a nap during The River. Great, we’ll just snuggle up to this, this and this.Don’t Mess with Angry Broadway FansWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—never, ever make a Broadway fan angry. Case in point: When the Broadway League ruled that they would not dim marquee lights for the late Joan Rivers, you spoke up and the decision was totally reversed within 24 hours. Great job, guys! This is one gang you do NOT want to run into in a brightly lit alley. View Commentslast_img read more

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See Honeymoon’s Brynn O’Malley Shop ‘Til She Drops on Say Yes to the Dress

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on April 5, 2015 View Comments It’s wedding bells for Honeymoon in Vegas star Brynn O’Malley—no, she’s not getting hitched in real life just yet, but she’ll Say Yes to the Dress on the hit TLC wedding reality show on March 6. O’Malley enlisted the help of co-stars Tony Danza and Rob McClure to pick out the perfect wedding dress to wear onstage in the hit musical. Check out these photos of O’Malley looking radiant in white, then see her and the gorgeous dress in person at the Nederlander Theatre! Honeymoon in Vegas Related Showslast_img read more

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Happy Birthday, Grease! 37 Fun Facts About Rydell High

first_imgSandy, Danny and the Rydell High gang are turning 37 today! The smash-hit movie Grease was released June 16, 1978, starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing and Jeff Conaway as the coolest high schoolers in history. Filmed on a shoestring budget, the movie adapted from the hit Broadway musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey went on to become the highest-grossing movie musical ever. Isn’t it the most, to say the least? Check out these 37 automatic, systematic, hydromatic facts all about our pals at Rydell High.1. The 1978 film was based on the 1972 Broadway musical of the same name, which originally ran for 3,388 performances and has since been revived twice.2. Several changes were made for the big-screen adaptation—the “Burger Palace Boys,” as the greasers were called in the Broadway show, were changed to the much catchier “T-Birds” in the movie.3. Originally, producers had the idea to make Grease an animated movie—they settled on a live-action film with animated opening credits instead.4. Four Grease film stars also appeared in the Broadway production: John Travolta (Doody on Broadway and Danny in the movie), Jeff Conaway (Danny on Broadway and Kenickie in the movie), Barry Pearl (Sonny on Broadway and Doody in the movie) and Jamie Donnelly (Jan on Broadway and in the movie).5. The majority of the cast hadn’t seen the inside of a high school in quite a while: John Travolta was 23 at the time of filming, Olivia Newton-John was 28 and Stockard Channing was 33.6. Frankie Valli sang the film’s title song “Grease,” which plays during the opening credits.7. Henry Winkler was considered for the part of Danny but he turned it down because he didn’t want to be typecast after starring on Happy Days.8. Susan Dey (The Partridge Family) and Deborah Raffin (7th Heaven) were both considered for the role of Sandy.9. John Travolta was initially star struck by singer Olivia Newton-John—he went to her house to convince her to co-star in the movie and was very impressed that she had a pool.10. To capitalize on Olivia Newton-John’s popularity, the film’s creators opted to keep her Australian accent and change Sandy’s last name from Dumbrowski to Olsen.11. Elvis was originally offered the role of Teen Angel, but he turned it down. It was played by Frankie Avalon in the movie.12. Another Elvis connection: In the play, “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” had a reference to Sal Mineo, but he was murdered in 1976, so the reference was changed to Elvis for the film. Elvis died on August 16, 1977, the same day the scene was filmed.13. Dinah Manoff, who played Marty, couldn’t dance, so she was conveniently missing from most of the dance scenes.14. Lucie Arnaz was the studio’s original choice for Rizzo, but her mother Lucille Ball refused to let her do a screen test.15. Gerald Ford’s son Steven was initially cast as Sandy’s jock boyfriend Tom, but even though the part had no lines, he decided he was too nervous. The role went to Lorenzo Lamas instead.16. During the movie’s shoot, the cast reportedly chewed 100,000 pieces of bubble gum.17. “You’re the One that I Want” was filmed at a traveling carnival that was only in town for the day. Portions of the carnival had to be re-created later for close-up shots.18. The hickeys on Rizzo’s neck in the diner scene were authentic, given to Stockard Channing by Jeff Conaway, who played Kenickie. Talk about method acting!19. The song “Greased Lighting” was originally supposed to be sung by Jeff Conaway, but John Travolta convinced producers to let him sing it instead.20. In Mexico and Venezuela, Grease was released under the name Vaselina.21. John Travolta was disappointed when the last shot of the song “Sandy” ended with a cartoon hot dog jumping into a bun. “He wanted a close-up [on him],” director Robert Kleiser told The New York Post. “But that hot dog was fantastic. I didn’t want to shoot the close-up because I loved the hot dog. That was a battle, but I won.”22. The movie soundtrack had two number-one singles: “Grease” and “You’re the One That I Want.”23. Although he was taller than John Travolta, Jeff Conaway slouched when he was filmed with the star so he would appear taller.24. Most of the dancers had character names like Sauce, Trix, Cee Cee, Woppo and Bubba, even though they were never used in the movie.25. It was 116 degrees during the filming of the Rydell prom scene, which took two weeks to film in downtown Los Angeles. Several extras were treated for heat-related illnesses.26. In the final carnival scene, Eddie Deezen, who played Eugene, was filmed on a spinning ride. Afterwards, he got sick and threw up in the middle of the carnival lot.27. Annette Charles (Cha Cha), who had been in the hospital undergoing tests for pain, checked herself out to film the drag race scene. That night, she was rushed into surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.28. Sandy’s pants in “You’re the One That I Want” really belonged to Olivia Newton-John—they were 25 years old and she had to be sewn into them when her zipper broke.29. The producers had hoped for a product placement deal with Coke, but it fell through. There are several shots of Coca-Cola products and signs in the scenes taking place in the Frosty Palace that have been blurred out or digitally removed.30. After the success of the movie, Paramount had plans for a Grease franchise, featuring three more movies and a TV series. But when Grease 2 flopped in 1982, these plans were put on hold.31. The writers of Grease were inspired to write the song “Beauty School Dropout” after seeing a news story about a teenage murderer who had recently dropped out of beauty school.32. Kleiser originally wanted to direct the song “It’s Raining on Prom Night” as a Singin’ in the Rain-esque sequence with Sandy, but that was vetoed in favor of a new ballad, “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”33. The actors behaved almost like real high-school students on set. “We were so bad,” Susan Buckner, who played Patty Simcox, told People. “Almost everybody would come in two, three hours late. They had to bring us all in and give us a lecture.”34. Jamie Donnelly had prematurely grey hair, so she had to dye it black to play Jan.35. Jeff Conway (Kenickie), later married Rona Newton-John, Olivia’s sister.36. Grease 2 had double the budget ($13 million) of the original film but only earned $15 million at the box office.37. Grease only cost $6 million to make, but has taken in $400 million internationally to date, making it the highest-grossing movie musical of all time. View Commentslast_img read more

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Off-B’way Hit The Humans Sets Main Stem Dates & Theater

first_img View Comments The rumors were true! Stephen Karam’s The Humans will move to the Main Stem’s Helen Hayes Theatre with the cast from the current off-Broadway Roundabout production—including Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell—intact. Directed by Joe Mantello, the show will begin performances on January 23, 2016 and officially open on February 18.In addition to Birney (Casa Valentina) as Erik and Houdyshell (Fish in the Dark) as Deirdre, the company includes Arian Moayed (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) as Richard, Lauren Klein (Other Desert Cities) as Fiona, Cassie Beck (Picnic) as Aimee and Sarah Steele (The Country House) as Brigid.The Humans follows Mr. Blake, who, after a sleepless night, brings his family from Pennsylvania to his daughter’s new apartment to celebrate Thanksgiving. Family tensions reach a boiling point as things start to go bump in the night. The production is currently playing an extended engagement at the Laura Pels Theatre through January 3, 2016.The creative team includes sets by David Zinn, costumes by Sarah Laux, lighting by Justin Townsend and sound by Fitz Patton.Dames at Sea will vacate the Helen Hayes on January 3, 2016.last_img read more

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton Will Launch Tour in September 2016

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster Broadway musical Hamilton will launch its first national tour in Chicago. The production will kick off with an open-ended run at the Windy City’s newly named PrivateBank Theatre beginning September 27, 2016. According to The Chicago Tribune, a second production will launch on the West Coast before continuing to cities across the country. Casting and further dates for the tour have not yet been announced.”I’m going to bring to Chicago a production of the same size, volume and quality as the one at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York,” lead producer Jeffrey Seller told the Tribune. “Chicago is the biggest theater market after New York. I wanted to sit down in a city that could support the show for a long term.”Directed by Thomas Kail and featuring a book, music and lyrics by Miranda, Hamilton is inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. The new musical follows the scrappy young immigrant who forever changed America, from bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Hamilton and lifelong Hamilton friend and foe, Aaron Burr, all make appearances in the tuner about America’s fiery past.Starring Miranda in the title role, the Broadway cast of Hamilton includes Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Anthony Ramos as John Laurens and Phillip Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis De Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson and Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler. Javier Muñoz plays Hamilton at select performances. Lin-Manuel Miranda Star Files View Comments read more

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Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick Reprise Producers Roles to Send Up Trump

first_img View Comments Star Files Nathan Lane Matthew Broderick & Nathan Lane Bialystock and Bloom are at it again! Tony winners Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reunited on Jimmy Kimmel Live to give The Producers a 2016 election season makeover. Take a look at their sendup of a certain presidential campaign, complete with musical numbers, “checkies” from Cloris Leachman and a whole lot of Trump masks. You can catch Lane on stage on March 7 in White Rabbit Red Rabbit and on screen in American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.last_img read more

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Tix On Sale for Rockettes’ New York Spectacular

first_imgRadio City Rockettes in ‘New York Spectacular'(Photo courtesy of MSG Entertainment) View Comments Related Shows NY Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettescenter_img Tickets are now on sale for the Rockettes’ New York Spectacular’s welcome return to Radio City Music Hall! The 75-show engagement will begin performances on June 15. Three-time Emmy winner Mia Michaels has been tapped to direct and choreograph while Douglas Carter Beane will pen the musical love letter to the Big Apple, which is scheduled to run through August 7.The production, which celebrates the magic of New York City, debuted in 2015, where it was headlined by Tony winner Laura Benanti and Derek Hough. Casting for this year’s run will be announced later.New York Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes celebrates New York City in the summertime centered around the trip of a lifetime for two kids, who, while on a vacation in New York, are separated from their parents. The city magically comes to life to show them its many splendid wonders and helps to reunite their family in the end. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 7, 2016last_img read more

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Odds & Ends: Phillipa Soo’s Next Eliza Project & More

first_img Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Phillipa Soo’s Next Eliza Hamilton ProjectHamilton’s Phillipa Soo is non-stop! The 2016 Tony nominee and future Amélie, who as we all know by now originated the role of Eliza in the Tony-winning tuner, will contribute a foreword to a new children’s picture book biography about her. “I have lived and breathed Eliza’s story for the past two years,” said Soo in a statement. “I could not be more thrilled to be included in her narrative for young readers.” Margaret McNamara’s Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton will be published in 2017 by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.Juliet Stevenson & Lia Williams Switch It UpTwo queens. One in power. One in prison. It’s all in the execution. Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly, Deeply) and Tony nominee Lia Williams (Skylight) will trade the central roles of Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, decided at each performance by the toss of a coin, in Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart at London’s prestigious Almeida Theatre. Adapted and directed by Robert Icke, the production is scheduled to play a limited engagement December 2 through January 21, 2017. Opening night is set for December 9.Emma Watson’s Cursed Child VisitEmma Watson went to see the West End’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, starring Noma Dumezweni as Hermione, and what she had to say about it was everything. “Some things about the play were, I think, possibly even more beautiful than the films,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Meeting Noma and seeing her on stage was like meeting my older self and have her tell me everything was going to be alright, which as you can imagine was immensely comforting (and emotional)! The cast and crew welcomed me like I was family and Noma was everything I could ever hope she would be.” The play is currently in previews at the Palace Theatre, with the opening gala scheduled for July 30. If you fear you won’t be seeing the show anytime soon, the official script will be published on July 31. #KeepTheSecrets View Comments Phillipa Soo(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Phillipa Soo Star Fileslast_img read more

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Euan Morton Will Lead National Tour of Hedwig

first_img Star Files View Comments Euan Morton Come on, Sugar Daddy, bring it home! Tony and Olivier Award nominee Euan Morton will headline the national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, beginning November 29 at the Civic Theatre in San Diego. In addition, Hannah Corneau will take on the role of Yitzhak. Following the engagement in San Diego, the Hedwig tour will continue to play major cities across North America through July 2017 with Morton and Corneau.Morton earned Tony and Olivier nominations for his performance as Boy George in Taboo. He’s also appeared on the New York stage in Cyrano de Bergerac, Sondheim on Sondheim and Atomic. Corneau is making her Broadway national touring debut.Featuring a book by original star John Cameron Mitchell and a score by Stephen Trask, the touring production of Hedwig will also feature the members of Hedwig’s band “The Angry Inch”—aka “Tits of Clay”—including music director Justin Craig (guitar and keyboards), Matt Duncan (bass), Tim Mislock (guitar) and Peter Yanowitz (drums), all of whom originated their roles on Broadway. Rounding out the company are Mason Alexander Park, Shannon Conley, Dylan Fusillo and Matt Katz-Bohen.Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Darren Criss and Tony winner Lena Hall kicked off the national tour of Hedwig, reprising their Broadway performances as the titular transgender rocker and Yitzhak, respectively, at San Francisco’s SHN Golden Gate Theatre on October 2, where it’ll run through October 30. The show will then move to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in L.A. from November 1 through November 27, starring Criss and Hall, before Morton and Corneau take over the roles.Directed by Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of a fictional rock ‘n’ roll band, fronted by Hedwig, a transgender woman from communist East Berlin. Between rock songs, Hedwig regales the audience with both humorous and painful stories about her life, including her botched sex change operation. Trask’s score features “Tear Me Down,” “Wig in a Box,” “Wicked Little Town,” “The Origin of Love,” “Angry Inch” and more.The 2014 Broadway revival of Hedwig ran for over 500 performances and won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival. Over the course of its run, the role of Hedwig was also played by Neil Patrick Harris, who won the Best Actor in a Musical Tony Award for his performance, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall, Darren Criss, Taye Diggs and creator Mitchell. Euan Mortonlast_img read more

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Making Burgers Safe

first_img“The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking ground beef to 160 degrees,” hesaid. “That allows for a margin of safety.” “It’s easy to eliminate the risk of contaminated hamburgers,” said Mike Doyle, director of theUniversity of Georgia Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement. “Just make sureyou cook them properly.” “I continue to tell people to cook a hamburger until it’s no longer red inside and the juices rungray or are no longer pink,” he said. “But there is evidence that color isn’t always reliable.” Checking hamburger patties with most meat thermometers is hard, if not impossible. “Thereare some new ones that cost about $10,” he said. “They’re thinner and can be inserted into apatty easier than standard meat thermometers.” Young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are the mostsusceptible to foodborne illness. UGA studies have shown that heating ground beef to 155 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 secondswill kill E. coli bacteria, Doyle said. While scientists work on ways to stop E. coli 0157:H7 contamination of food products, it’seasy to protect yourself. The latest USDA recommendations call for using a meat thermometer to check the internaltemperature. And Doyle concurs that it’s the only perfectly safe way to check. E. coli 0157:H7 causes severe stomach cramps and diarrhea which oftens turns bloody aftertwo or three days. The symptoms usually go away by themselves after six to eight days. But Doyle said just getting a 160-degree reading isn’t a perfect indicator. “There can be a10-degree variation from one spot to another in some hamburgers,” he said. “The coldest spotisn’t always the center.” In a small number of people, most often children, the E. coli strain can cause a rare butserious problem called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can lead to kidney failure anddeath.last_img read more

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Griffin Field Day.

first_imgThe Agroforestry and WildlifeField Day Sept. 28 in Griffin, Ga., has something for everyone,whether you’re a forest landowner or a wildlife enthusiast.The event was previously calledthe Land Use and Forest Management Field Day. But the name andprogram have been changed to reflect the trend of landowners usingtheir land to make the most of the environment. This includesgrowing trees and crops together and allowing wildlife to flourishon the same property.ForHunters and Wildlife EnthusiastsFor hunters, the field day willoffer information on managing deer, wild turkey and bobwhite quail.Wildlife enthusiasts can learn about the benefits of attractingwildlife, creating a backyard habitat, controlling wildlife damageand managing threatened or endangered species.Forest landowners will benefitfrom the information on prescribed burning, forest health, marketingand selling timber, Georgia’s Forest Stewardship Program, bestmanagement practices for forest roads and annual pine straw removal.Those with wetlands on their propertywill want to attend the sessions on pond construction and renovation,waterfowl management and best management practices for streamsides.Leavell to Speakand EntertainChuck Leavell, 1998 American TreeFarm Program’s Outstanding Tree Farmer and keyboardist for theRolling Stones, will be guest speaker for the field day. Leavellwill also perform for the field day crowd during lunch.A $15 fee covers the presentations,lunch, a program booklet and field day hats to the first 300 registrants.The field day is sponsored by the University of Georgia Collegeof Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Warnell Schoolof Forest Resources, the Georgia Forestry Commission, U.S. Departmentof Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service and theGeorgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division.For more information, call (770)228-7318. Or visit the AWFD Web site at www.griffin.peachnet.edu/awfd.last_img read more

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Food Prices.

first_imgThe Consumer Price Index for all foodincreased 2.3 percent in 2000 and should rise about the same amountin 2001, say University of Georgia experts. After near-recordgrowth last year, beef and pork price increases are expected toslow. Other food items should see only small increases.”The slowing economy during the last quarter of 2000 is aforecast of a slower rate of economic growth during 2001,”said Bill Thomas, an agricultural economist with the UGA Collegeof Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Because farm commodities account for only 20 cents of eachretail food dollar, it’s more important to look at what’s happeningin the rest of the economy than to focus on farm prices,”Thomas said.What’s Driving Cost? Photo:USDA Americans can expect food prices to rise about 2 percent to 3 percent during 2001. Higher energy prices last year won’t necessarilytranslate into higher food prices, because transportation andenergy costs are small components of the total food marketingbill.”The total marketing bill equals 80 cents for every dollarconsumers spend on food,” Thomas said. “Transportationcosts are 4 percent and energy costs 3.5 percent of the marketingbill. If energy costs continue to be this high through 2001, another0.2 percent could be added to the rate of inflation in food.”Food price changes are a key to determining the portion of consumers’income that is spent on food. In 1999, consumers spent 10.4 percentof their household disposable income on food, with 6.2 percentfor food at home and 4.2 percent for food away from home. “During 2001, the long-run downward trend should continue,resulting in consumer expenditures for food amounting to only10.3 percent of their income,” Thomas said.Item-by-item CostThomas and other UGA economists make theseforecasts for individual food sectors:Meat Products: A booming economy continues to fuel demand for meatproducts, and overall meat prices were up 5.6 percent in 2000.Large meat supplies should limit gains to 3 percent to 4 percentin 2001.Fish and seafood: Prices should climb 2 percent to 3 percent in2001. A strong domestic economy is boosting sales in the restaurantand food-service sectors, which claim a growing share of totalseafood sales.Eggs: Prices will rise as much as 1 percent in 2001. Higherproduction levels and slower growth in exports have led to lowerretail prices the past four years.Dairy products: The CPI is expected to increase 1 percentto 2 percent in 2001. Strong consumer demand for gourmet ice cream,cheese and butterfat products, is expected to continue into 2001.Fresh fruits: It’s too early to know the full impact ofthe freezes in Florida on citrus prices. However, continued demandfor fresh fruits and normal production levels for major fruitsin the United States should boost the fresh-fruit CPI 2 percentto 3 percent in 2001.Fresh vegetables: After low farm prices in 1999, farmersreduced acreage in 2000, and prices climbed. Farmers took note, and shipments are expected to decline during 2001. Assuming normal weather and continued strong demand, the fresh-vegetable CPI should increase 2 percent to 3 percent in 2001.Processed fruits and vegetables: Adequate supplies of mostfruits and vegetables for processing is expected to limit theCPI increase to 2 percent to 3 percent in 2001.Sugar and sweets: Relatively low inflation, along withincreased production and lower retail for selected sugar-relatedfood items, is expected to limit the index increase to 1.5 percentto 2.5 percent in 2001.Cereal and bakery: With grain prices lower this year andinflation-related processing costs modest, the CPI is forecastto rise 2 percent to 3 percent. Most of the costs to produce cerealand bread products — more than 90 percent in most cases — arefor processing and marketing. Grain and other farm ingredientsaccount for a fraction of the total cost.Nonalcoholic beverages: The CPI is forecast to rise 2 percentto 3 percent. Prices of coffee and carbonated drinks, which accountfor 28 and 38 percent of the index, rose 3 percent (coffee) and4 percent (soft drinks) in 2000. Recent near-record arabica beanproduction in Brazil should lead to larger U.S. stocks and continuedmoderate consumer prices.last_img read more

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Blueberry ‘farm’acy

first_imgBy Gerard KrewerUniversity of GeorgiaFor more than 60 years, the University of Georgia’sblueberry-breeding program has developed varieties adapted to thestate, where farmers now have the fifth-largest blueberryproduction in the nation.Growers have planted millions of blueberry bushes as a cash crop.Homeowners have planted countless bushes, too. Everyone knew thedelicious berries were great to eat. But only recently has theirhidden health value been revealed.It turns out that this humble fruit, native to the river basinsof south Georgia, is one of the world’s great health treasures.AntioxidantsBlueberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants, whichhelp human bodies prevent cancer, heart disease and stroke.Scientists have long known that blueberries contain vitamins A, Cand E. This is where some of the antioxidants are located.However, anthocyanins and other compounds, some of which providetheir rich blue color, are blueberries’ major sources ofantioxidants.Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and TuftsUniversity have shown that blueberry extract can improve themotor skills of both mice and humans.Mice fed blueberry extract had improved memory, too. Research isunder way to see if blueberries can improve human memory.Still moreBlueberries also contain the cancer-fighting compound, ellagicacid. And they have significant amounts of dietary fiber, whichhelps prevent colon cancer.Recent research by the UGA food scientists indicates thatphenolic compounds found in blueberries work against colon cancercell lines.These amazing berries contain a compound that helps preventurinary infections, too, by keeping bacteria from attaching tothe urinary tract lining.As you can see, blueberries have benefits from the top to thebottom. The harvest is in full swing in Georgia, too, so you canget fresh blueberries now from the grocery store or producemarket.Freeze ’emFrozen blueberries are another economical source of healthbenefits. You can pick you own at many Georgia farms and freezethem. Or you can buy them in plastic bags at the store.For the past year, I’ve been eating them almost every day with mybreakfast cereal. I’ve much felt better since I started regularlyincluding blueberries in my diet. If you’d like to plant blueberries in your yard, they’re fairlyeasy to care for and can provide years of health-enhancingberries.The on-line Georgia Extension publication, “Home GardenBlueberries,” (pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/l106-w.html)can show you how to grow them.Or ask your UGA Extension Service county agent, who can alsodirect you to any nearby pick-your-own blueberry farm.(Gerard Krewer is an Extension Service horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)last_img read more

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Bountiful blueberries

first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of Georgia A late spring freeze followed by heavy rains were a blessing for some Georgia blueberry growers. But they brought more hard work to others, according to University of Georgia experts.The heavy rains delayed harvest of the southeast Georgia crop, causing some early concerns about highbush berry quality. “We had to work harder to make grade due to the heavy rains this spring, but it’s turning out to be good year for rabbiteye growers,” said UGA Cooperative Extension blueberry agent Danny Stanaland.“We grow two blueberry crops in Georgia – highbush and rabbiteye,” Stanaland went on to explain. The highbush crop in some areas of southeast Georgia, which is the state’s major commercial production area, “was hit hard by the late freeze and will produce only about 35 to 50 percent of the crop.” Robust rabbiteye cropFortunately, blueberry fans all over Georgia can expect a bumper crop from the rabbiteye variety. “It will be the largest crop of rabbiteye blueberries we’ve had in several years,” Stanaland said. That’s especially good news for Georgia’s 300 blueberry growers. The majority of the crop is rabbiteye variety, and about 10 percent of the total crop is highbush variety. “The highbush variety blooms and fruits early, making it more susceptible to the low temperatures and rain,” Stanaland said. “But, May 20 we finished harvesting highbush. That crop is gone.” Growers are now harvesting rabbiteye berries in three phases. “The early rabbiteye berries were wet and had some grading issues because it required more selective picking to get the good berries,” he said. “Now that it’s dry again, it’s much easier to harvest and grade, and fruit quality is very positive. We have the heaviest rabbiteye fruit set we’ve had in years. So, while we were short on highbush berries, we are going to be long on rabbiteye.”Pick-your-own timeIn the northern half of the state, where most blueberry operations are pick-your-own, growers are reporting larger-than-normal berries and an abundant crop, just in time for many markets to open this weekend. In 2008, Georgia blueberry growers harvested more than 14,000 acres of blueberries with an off-the-farm value of close to $61 million dollars, slightly above the five-year average. This year, growers expect to harvest between 12,000 and 14,000 acres, but that figure could surge as high as 15,000 to 20,000 acres, according to Stanaland and county Extension agent reports. About 75 percent of those acres are in southeast Georgia. Prices are holding steady in spite of the abundance of available fruit this year, which usually drives prices down. Growers are getting about $14 per flat — or $1.40 per pound — for fresh berries, only a shade lower than last year’s price.last_img read more

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Homegrown herbs

first_imgSpaghetti sauce would be lost without oregano. Salsa just wouldn’t be the same without cilantro. Rosemary chicken would just be, well, chicken without rosemary.All these dishes are made possible by herbs that can be grown in home gardens.Herbs “are actually fairly easy to grow in Georgia,” said Paul Thomas, a University of Georgia horticulturalist. “We have the perfect temperature, the perfect sunlight and acceptable humidity. As long as you do the appropriate soil adjustments, herbs can be excellent garden plants to grow.”Many herbs originated in the Mediterranean’s sandy, well-draining soil, not the hard-packed red clay encasing much of Georgia. To make herbs happy here, most gardeners need to add a few soil amendments and plant in pots or spots in their gardens that drain well.Thomas manages well-drained soil in his potted herbs by adding lots of sand and compost to the soil. He also plants herbs that spread easily, like mint and oregano, in containers.Out in the garden, Thomas digs a long trench two feet deep and fills it with thoroughly mixed compost, sand and native soil. In it he plants herbs that need a large root system, like fennel, rosemary and dill.“The goal is to make sure when it rains or I irrigate, the water goes right through the soil and does not accumulate where the roots are,” Thomas said. “South Georgians will actually have to add more compost to the sand.”Thomas’ favorite herbs are mint, basil, chives and rosemary. He adds mint to sweet tea, basil to turkey stuffing, pizza and salads and chives to soups, hamburgers and potatoes au gratin.Although rosemary is one of his favorites, Thomas warns that rosemary shrubs can grow quite large. Even small plants can spread to three or four-feet wide.Perennial herbs include rosemary, chives, oregano, marjoram and mint. Cilantro and parsley are annual herbs. Dill can be biennial.To master herb growing, Thomas says follow these 10 rules:1. Herbs do not like to sit in wet soil. An easy way to keep them happy is to plant them in a raised bed. Because the soil is above ground, it will drain very easily.2. Water herbs thoroughly when they start flagging. They will tolerate drought but their flavors won’t be as strong. Never allow herbs to go more than two weeks without water.3. Always plant herbs in full sun. If either their leaves or the soil doesn’t dry out after a rain, they will become more susceptible to diseases.4. Never crowd an herb garden. Plant herbs a foot apart so air can move between the plants.5. Never apply full strength fertilizers. If the package says 1 pound per 100 square feet, use half. Fertilizer minimally – once at the beginning of the growing season, four weeks later and then again another four weeks later after four weeks (about July). Follow treatments with a thorough watering.6. Always harvest herbs in the morning. The cut surfaces of herbs need to be bone dry by mid afternoon or disease will take over.7. Use a hose, not pesticides. If you find bugs on your herbs at 7 a.m., use a water hose and apply a spray from the side. The sideways water stream will wash the bugs off, and most never get a chance to return.8. Leave the black and green and yellow striped caterpillars on fennel and dill. They are black swallowtail caterpillars. Keeping the larva on fennel will result in butterflies later in the summer.9. Don’t let weeds crowd herbs out. This includes grasses as herbs cannot compete with them.10. Never mulch herbs with leaves or other debris. Winter-mulched herbs do not survive well. Thomas’ herbs survive over winter because he rakes all the leaves out of his herb garden.“You’ll find the more you use herbs, the more you treasure them,” Thomas said.last_img read more

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UGA turfgrass

first_imgWayne Hanna beams from ear to ear when he talks about Tifton turfgrass. Some might say he’s a proud papa, and rightly so.“We develop them, and to see them succeed, it’s just like a parent whose child succeeds … it’s the same experience to see grasses you’ve developed and tested over time,” said Hanna, a retired turfgrass breeder with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.One of those grasses, Tifway 419, is a bermudagrass variety developed in the 1960s by former USDA turfgrass breeder Glenn Burton. It’s most often used on golf course and athletic fields and currently covers the field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, home of the Georgia Bulldogs football team.“The turf is off the chain,” said Georgia football coach Mark Richt, who was in Tifton on Wednesday to speak at the UGA Day event held at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. “When we line up against South Carolina (in next year’s home opener), it’s going to be looking great.”Hanna said Tifway’s ability to withstand extreme pressure from collegiate athletes is why it has succeeded as UGA’s playing field and other fields throughout the country.“It’s dense, real wear-tolerant and it recovers fast from damage from athletes,” Hanna said. “Tifway is pretty disease resistant. It just doesn’t have a whole lot of problems.”UGA turfgrass breeder Brian Schwartz agrees. “It’s a fine textured, dark green grass that’s been used successfully for about 50 years. The football field there in Athens is probably the best looking one in the SEC, in my opinion,” he said.Tifway’s name comes from a combination of Tifton and fairway, meaning it is highly suited for golf courses. It is also highly recommended for lawns, making Tifway a versatile variety.“It doesn’t take any type of special care. It does well under a broad range of managements,” Hanna noted.Tifway 419 is used in other football stadiumsaround the country, including at Texas A&M and at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. But none compare to Georgia’s field, though, according to Schwartz.“(Richt’s) got a beautiful field,” Schwartz said. “Many stadiums are torn up later in the season and his is just looking great. They do a good job there.” For more on UGA-bred turfgrass varieties, see the website at www.georgiaturf.com.last_img read more

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Cotton Variety Selection

first_imgWith so many options on the market, growers have had to learn how to manage different varieties. In Terrell County, McGhee used different seed varieties from different companies, planted them in field trials and harvested the crops to see what variety worked best in his county. “We rely heavily on cooperation with our county agents to get these trials planted and harvested,” Whitaker said. “We use the information from these trials implemented by our agents to get an idea of how well varieties perform across the state.” Nick McGhee, Terrell County Extension coordinator, is one of those cooperating Extension agents.“This program is something that a lot of the growers in Terrell County can benefit from. Cotton variety selection is an important decision that they face every year,” he said. With cotton prices plummeting below 60 cents this winter, selecting a variety to plant for the upcoming season is a critical decision for Georgia farmers. The University of Georgia Cotton Variety Selection Program provides growers with the research-based information they need to produce the state’s No. 1 row crop.UGA Extension agronomist Jared Whitaker, who helped start the program, said he has seen the right variety choice add $100 an acre or more to a farmer’s bottom line. In 2014, DP 1252 B2RF, CG3783 B2RF and PHY 333 WRF were the varieties with statistically similar and highest average lint yield when averaged across all 20 trials. With regards to consistency across those trials, those same varieties had yields within the top three of 12 varieties evaluated in at least 45 percent of the 20 trials. For more information about variety performance from this program, contact your local county agent or visit the UGA Cotton Web page at ugacotton.com.The data produced from the cotton variety selection can be seen at ugacotton.com/cotton-variety-selection/.According to UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia produced more than $1.2 billion in cotton in 2013. “We started the program so that we could evaluate a small set of promising varieties across a large number of locations and environments to observe performance in various situations and get an idea of where varieties perform best and which are most consistent,” Whitaker said.Jeff Davis County cotton farmer Wayne Herndon has helped with the program since its inception. Whitaker uses Herndon’s land to plant and test different cotton varieties.center_img “The program allows us to see what variety works best in different types of soil and environments,” Herndon said. “And it has helped me decide what varieties to plant.”Rather than growing cotton in just one part of the state for the UGA program, Whitaker aims to grow cotton in different counties across Georgia to see how the different varieties perform in various environments. Cotton seed can be expensive, and yields can be attributed to the variety that farmers choose. According to McGhee, cotton producers have the potential to increase their gross revenue by more than $3.5 million annually in Terrell County if they choose the right variety. “They were all planted in the same field and managed the same way, which determined what variety yielded the best,” McGhee said. (Jordan Hill is an intern with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

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Beautiful Buckwheat

first_imgBuckwheat adds nitrogen to garden plots, produces beautiful flowers and delicious pancakes.Each year I start my garden with grand visions of endless bounty. Something happens around the first part of July, though.By then, I’ve had plenty of squash and cucumbers, and even had a few choice tomatoes; basically, my stomach gets too full to keep up.Now, the spring vegetables are petering out, as well as some of those early squash and cucumbers. The stifling heat and humidity make going out in the garden almost impossible before 7 p.m.This year I have a plan to keep those garden beds from turning into pastureland. No, it’s not mountains of mulch or more hours with the hoe and tiller. It’s buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum).Buckwheat is an unusually fast-growing plant produced by commercial agriculture for its grain-like seeds. In the home garden, it is one of the best summer cover/green manure crops available.George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were some of the first American farmers to grow buckwheat, as they recognized its benefit in a healthy crop rotation. Native to Russia, the flexibility and adaptability led buckwheat to be grown on more than a million acres in the U.S. in the late 1800s.The grain is ground into flour and used in a variety of foods, from noodles in Japan to breakfast staples like cereal and pancakes in the U.S. I even had pillows made from buckwheat hulls when I lived in the tropical Pacific. The pillows are meant to be cooler because of the increased space for air. I never got past the crinkling noise I heard each time I moved.Buckwheat is easy to grow. Simply broadcast the seeds and lightly rake them in. A pound of seed is recommended per 500 square feet of garden space, or 3 ounces of seed per 100 square feet. You can’t really put too much seed down. Since it’s usually sold in bulk from the local feed store, it’s better to err on the side of too much. Buckwheat does not require highly fertile soils but will benefit from modest levels of nitrogen. Its many fine roots are well adapted to find lower levels of phosphorous, and when crop residues are returned to the soil, it becomes more available for other plants.Germination begins in about three to four days, and within 10 to 14 days, the ground should be fully covered with emerging leaves. This quick leaf cover protects the soil from erosion, retains moisture and shades out those dastardly weed seeds.Now just sit back, drink some iced tea and wait for the best part: the floral display that begins three to four weeks after planting. A large, dense planting will literally stop traffic. My neighbors tell me they always slow down to admire the 5-by-100-foot strip I planted along the roadside.The prolific flowers on buckwheat are a good nectar source for honeybees and other pollinators. The resulting honey is dark-colored and distinctly different in taste from clover or wildflower honey. The timing of flowering is also very beneficial to bees because midsummer is usually when there is less native forage available.Remember that those prolific flowers turn into a seed if allowed to develop and dry on the plant. If you do not want buckwheat carrying over into your next planting, cut the plants or till them under two to three weeks after flowering. Some farmers cut it and leave the plant residue on the surface as mulch, which will provide a premulched area for new transplants.last_img read more

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Hackett , Future Planning Associates merge

first_imgHackett & Company and Future Planning Associates, Inc. MergeWilliston, VT – on November 1, 2004, South Burlington-based Hackett &Company’s retirement plan and administrative group will merge with FuturePlanning Associates, Inc. of Williston, bringing together two of Vermont’sleading retirement consulting and administration firms with over 60 yearsof combined service.The merged company, with a combined staff of 20 “qualified plan”specialists, will operate as Future Planning Associates, Inc. under theleadership of Suzanne Stewart as chairman and Luther F. Hackett as ViceChairman. The other directors of the merged company include Jan Emmons,Marilyn Jae Lehto and Loretta Wood of Future Planning Associates and PattyBarry, Erin Helmken and Daryl Straw from Hackett & Company.”We believe that by combining our two companies we will be able to providethe full array of retirement and benefit planning services andadministration that are required in this increasingly complex field,” saidHackett. “As retirement planning takes on even greater complexity, aswell as importance to individuals and employers, our goal is to providesound advice and practical solutions that meet their needs,” he added.”Outstanding client service is our primary objective,” said Stewart in anoutline of the goals of the merged company. “In the same way that wecreate plans for our clients that are both long-term and future-oriented,this merger will ensure that Future Planning Associates will continue toprovide strength and continuity for the long term. By bringing together abroad array of individual expertise in talented staff and state-of-the-artdata systems, we will provide superior service to all of our clients,”added Stewart.With the November 1st merger, the company will operate in expandedquarters at the current site of Future Planning Associates, Inc. at 600Blair Park (P.O. Box 905) in Williston.Future Planning Associates, Inc. is a regional consulting firmspecializing in the design, implementation and administration oftax-qualified Retirement Plans, Section 125/Cafeteria Plans, HealthReimbursement Arrangements and COBRA requirements.- 30 –last_img read more

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Exchanges that will be 100 percent covered by FairPoint by 2010

first_imgCountyExchange NameTelephone Number Prefixes Milton893 Underhill899EssexIsland Pond723 Enosburg Falls933 Waterbury241, 244OrangeNewbury866 Essex Junction288, 878, 879 Vergennes877BenningtonDorset867 Vermont 100 PercentBroadband Exchanges in 2010 Fairfax849 Salisbury352 Williamstown433 Washington883 Lunenburg892ChittendenBurlington338, 651, 652, 654, 655, 657, 658, 660, 859, 860, 862, 863, 864, 865, 951, 985 AddisonMiddlebury382, 388, 443 Richford848 Manchester362, 366CaledoniaConcord695 St Albans524, 527 v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}Vermont 100 Percent Broadband Exchanges in 2010 v364051 Timothy McQuiston 2 23 2008-09-23T21:43:00Z 2008-09-30T21:07:00Z 2008-09-30T21:07:00Z 1 204 1168 Verizon 9 2 1370 10.2625 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} Swanton868Grand IsleGrand Isle372LamoilleStowe253 Norton822FranklinEast Fairfield827 Morrisville888last_img read more

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Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy at the Economic Recovery Conference at Champlain College

first_imgThank you, President Finney and Champlain College, for hosting us at this timely conference today.  We welcome this opportunity to offer Vermonters, Vermont businesses, and Vermont communities a chance to learn more about how they can take advantage of the recently passed federal economic recovery act.  And the more rapidly and effectively that Vermont puts these resources to work, the better we will be able to keep Vermonters working today, and the better we will be able to lay the groundwork for growing our economy for the jobs of tomorrow.   I d like to thank the Vermont Procurement and Technical Assistance Center and the Vermont Small Business Development Center for sponsoring and helping to organize this event.  For those of you who don t know about the great work these organizations do and the many other organizations represented at this conference today I really encourage you to take advantage of their superb knowledge and expertise about doing business in Vermont.  I also want to thank Governor Douglas, Legislative leaders, and so many Federal and State officials for being here today.  The Congressional Delegation worked closely with the Governor and the Legislature under the leadership of Senator Peter Shumlin and Speaker Shap Smith and with State agencies to make sure that the economic recovery plan is a good match for Vermont s job needs today and in the future. Vermonters are hurting today because of the economic and financial crises gripping the world.  We have a rising unemployment rate.  The State s budget, local municipal budgets and local school budgets are all stretched to the breaking point.  Our roads and bridges are strained and worn.  And hard-working families are struggling to put food on the table.  This really is one of the worst economic messes our country has seen since the Great Depression. As President Obama so clearly told the nation last week before a joint meeting of the Congress, rebuilding the foundation of a strong economy won t be easy.  It will take sacrifice, and it will take wise, concerted and sometimes courageous action.  And this economic recovery package is just one part of the solution.  We still have to stabilize our financial markets, our housing market, and consumer confidence in our overall economy.Some want these efforts to fail.  Worse yet, some pundits and even some politicians seem determined to try to make these efforts fail.  We cannot afford that kind of corrosive negativism in the best of times.  And when it comes to setting right an economy that has been going off keel for many years, this is anything but the best of times.  As for this Vermonter — and I think as for many, many Vermonters — I want this President and this country to succeed.  Some of the tools we need for economic recovery are in this legislative package, and the workshops where these tools will be put to work are right here in Vermont and in other states.  If Vermont gets a little head start on other states — that s OK by me.  This conference, which we re told is the first statewide conference of its kind, can help us jump off the starting block.   And I must say that the interest you have shown in being here is a sign that Vermonters are ready to lead the way back to economic vitality.  The economic recovery package is bold action taken by the Federal government to help put Americans back to work and we must be prepared to quickly and constructively take advantage of it. The package includes tax relief for working families and for businesses.  There are investments for broadband deployment, for job training, for electrical smart grids, for water and transportation infrastructure, for better schools, for housing, for first responders, for new energy sources, and for a whole host of other items that will help cushion pressures on the State budget, and for helping to lay the groundwork for a renewed and vibrant Vermont economy.In all, we expect Vermont will receive more than $700 million in direct federal funding under this economic recovery package, with hundreds of millions more coming to the State through competitive grant programs and tax reductions for individuals and businesses.President Obama has ordered Federal agencies to detail all of their economic recovery plans on the www.Recovery.gov(link is external) Website a site that I suggest you all bookmark on your computers.  According to the site, most of the Federal funding won t be released to states or noticed for competitive bidding until May.  But all of Washington has been impressed by the quick and competent way that formula grant funds already are flowing to the states, including millions of dollars to Vermont. Nevertheless, we hope that today s sessions will give you a sense of the breadth of opportunities available in the economic recovery package, will help you get a sense of how these resources will be directed, and will get you started thinking about ways your business, your organization, your municipality, or you yourself can take advantage of these opportunities.I ll caution you now — we probably won t have answers to all of your questions today.  As this bill goes into implementation it s impossible to know the details of everything.  My staff, the governor s staff, and our workshop panelists will do their best with the information they have available.  Most Federal and State agencies are still working on their rules and distribution plans right now, so please feel free to follow up with any of us in the weeks and months ahead. Again, thank you all for coming.  We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to be here today.  I hope you ll find this a worthwhile conference because the economic recovery package really is a unique opportunity to save and create jobs and to make life better here in Vermont. Thank you.last_img read more

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EPA sends $2 million in brownfield clean-up funds to Vermont

first_imgVermont s congressional delegation announced today $2 million in Brownfields grants for the state.  Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said the Environmental Protection Agency funding, $400,000 of which came from the economic stimulus plan, will go towards clean up of and reinvestment in properties blighted by hazardous waste. The City of Burlington will receive a $200,000 grant; the City of St. Albans will receive $400,000 in cleanup funds, and the New England Youth Theatre in Brattleboro will receive a $200,000 cleanup grant.There are also four regional recipients. The Windham Regional Commission will receive $400,000. The Lamoille County Planning Commission will receive $400,000. The Northwest Regional Planning Commission will receive $200,000. And the Rutland Regional Planning Commission will receive $200,000.The EPA defines a brownfield site as a location where the presence of a hazardous substance may complicate the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of the property. Cleaning up polluted site takes development pressures off of undeveloped open land.  It also improves and protects the environment.Details of the Vermont grants are available here.  To learn more about the Brownfields program, visit the E.P.A. Web site here.last_img read more

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Legislation would bolster successful SBA loan program

first_imgRep. Peter Welch unveiled legislation Monday morning aimed at freeing up credit to small businesses by expanding a successful Small Business Administration loan program. At Burlington s Chittenden Bank, Welch and members of Vermont s business and banking communities outlined details of Welch s bill, which is intended to bolster the popular SBA Express Loan Program. By increasing the SBA Express program s current cap of $350,000 to $2 million, the legislation would significantly increase access to credit for Vermont s small businesses. Welch will introduce his bill in the House this week.Small business owners throughout Vermont have struggled since the start of the current economic crisis with securing and retaining lines of credit. At a small business roundtable in Bennington last month, business owners told Welch that the tight credit environment was the single greatest difficulty they faced in expanding their businesses. Vermont small businesses need access to credit in order to weather this economic storm and right now, they don t have that, Welch said. By expanding the highly successful SBA Express Loan Program, I believe we can give our small businesses a key tool to survive these difficult economic times.Established in 1995 to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of SBA s lending programs, SBA Express reduces the amount of required paperwork and accelerates the approval process for small businesses. Because it significantly reduces costs for lending institutions, SBA Express has thrived during the economic crisis, even as other lending programs have not. The program s current loan cap of $350,000, however, has constrained the potential of SBA Express, experts agree.Bennington Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joanne Erenhouse and Chittenden Bank SBA Loan Officer Robin Shanahan joined Welch at Monday s event to reiterate the importance for both small businesses and lenders of expanding SBA Express. Franklin County Regional Development Corporation Executive Director Tim Smith and Rutland Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jamie Stewart also attended the event.Source: Welch’s office.last_img read more

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United States Senate passes Travel Promotion Act

first_imgThe United States Senate passed the Travel Promotion Act (TPA) late last week by a vote of 78-18. The House already passed the bill which is now on its way to President Obama who is expected to sign the bill into law sometime this week.   This is a major accomplishment for the hospitality industry, said Vicky Tebbetts, Vice President of the Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council. This legislation is important for the continued growth and success of the travel and tourism economy in Vermont and across the United States.    The TPA will aggressively promote international travel to the United States by creating a public-private partnership campaign to market the country as a premier travel destination with the goal of increasing the number of international visitors. The Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council commends Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch for supporting the Travel Promotion Act and recognizing the important role the tourism industry plays in Vermont, Tebbetts added.The Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council would like to thank Congressman Welch for his efforts in getting this important piece of legislation passed. At the urging of the Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council, Welch joined the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus last summer in order to represent Vermont s vibrant hospitality industry.  Welch is one of nearly 100 members in the Caucus which has worked on the Travel Promotion Acts of 2007 and 2009, promoting the brand of America to the rest of the traveling world and increasing international travelers to the United States.  In 2007, visitors made an estimated 14.3 million person trips to Vermont for leisure, business or personal travel and direct spending by visitors for goods and services totaled $1.6 billion. In addition, visitor spending entirely supports an estimated 37,490 jobs for Vermonters (approximately 12% of all jobs in our state).The TPA aims to create 40,000 new jobs in the United States to handle the 1.6 million new visitors to this country.  Travel represents 40 percent of fine dining restaurant sales in the United States, 25 percent of both family and casual dining segment sales, and 15 percent of quick service sales.  This industry also employs 13 million Americans.Source: Vermont Chamber of Commerce. 3.1.2010last_img read more

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Challenges for Change school budget reduction targets $23.2 million

first_imgThe Vermont Department of Education mailed FY2012 individualized education spending reduction targets Monday to each supervisory union, supervisory district, and the three technical center districts across the state, as required by Act 146 of the 2010 Legislative session. Overall the recommendations are for a 2.34 percent reduction across the state in education spending in order to meet the goal of saving $23.2 million dollars. District-level recommendations range from a 0.5 percent reduction to a 2.68 percent reduction.The determinations were made at the district levels, but aggregated to the supervisory union level as the law requires. The determinations considered factors outlined in the law, such as per pupil spending, student-to-staff ratios and demonstrated fiscal restraint. The department examined data from the past four budget cycles on· total education spending,· spending per equalized pupil,· student enrollment to direct instruction staff,· direct instruction staff to administrative staff,· and student enrollment to administrative staff. ‘We expect most school districts and supervisory unions to take these recommendations seriously,’ said Commissioner Vilaseca. ‘And they will do their best to meet them, just as they responsibly reduced spending last year. This is new territory, both for our department and for local school districts.’The boards of each supervisory union and district shall notify the commissioner on or before December 15, 2010 whether their combined budgets will meet the recommended reductions. By January 15, 2011, the commissioner shall report to the legislative education committees the total projected amount of FY2012 budgets, with a detailed proposal by which the Legislature can ensure the targets will be met.See Page 76, sections E1 and E2, for this specific requirement at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/DOCS/2010/ACTS/ACT146.PDF(link is external). A complete explanation of the formula begins on the following page.Challenges for Change School Budget Reduction Targets Calculations Brief overview of methodologyFor any given data element, the percent change between any two consecutive years was calculated (i.e., the percent change in netted education spending from FY2010 to FY2011). Percent changes were capped at plus or minus 50 percent to compensate for very large percentage changes resulting from small changes in very small districts. Additionally, some data were either clearly entered incorrectly or not entered at all, resulting in very large or low percentage changes.The four years of data resulted in three percentage changes. Those three changes were averaged for a district. Again, to accommodate small districts, the averages were capped at plus or minus one standard deviation from the mean. As supervisory unions are different from school districts and perform different functions, a separate mean and standard deviation was calculated and used for supervisory unions and supervisory districts. School districts and the three technical center school districts used a mean and a standard deviation based on their combined data.The resulting average (capped if necessary) was divided by the relevant group mean to normalize the data. This figure became the weight for any given factor. The exception was the factor for direct instruction FTEs per administration and support staff FTEs. That factor had a low mean for the school district and technical center (0.15%), resulting in disproportionately large weights for a modest average (e.g., with a mean of 0.15%, an average of 10% results in a weight of 67). Therefore, the DI per Admin & Support weight was decreased by a factor of 0.50 to mitigate the effect of the small mean.Weights from the various factors were aggregated. To account for the varying magnitudes of education spending (Burlington versus Eden, for example), the total weights for a district were multiplied by the ratio of the district’s netted education spending to the netted education spending as a whole.Some districts had a negative total weight, resulting in a negative factor after applying the relative netted education spending factor. Statistically, it is valid to add a constant to transform the negative values to positive. This was done by adding a constant of 1 to all weighted totals. This result was then multiplied against the ratio of the required $23,200,000 reduction versus the netted education spending total (2.348%), to give a weighted percentage for reduction.That weighted percentage was multiplied by the netted education spending for all districts, SUs, SDs, and technical center districts. The aggregated targets for the State exceeded the $23,200,000, so a reduction factor of the legislated target divided by the calculated target state total was applied to each district, bringing the targets to the $23,200,000 figure.Source: Vermont DOE. 8.4.2010http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/dept/press_releases.html(link is external)center_img OverviewSection E2 of Act 146 of the 2010 Legislative session specifies that FY2012 education spending will be reduced by $23,200,000 from the FY2011 level, while achieving the outcomes for education listed in section E1. The commissioner of education is directed to develop reduction targets for each supervisory union and technical center school district.These targets were developed by looking at the member districts of supervisory unions, the supervisory unions themselves, and the three technical center school districts. Additionally, supervisory costs for Supervisory Districts were removed from the school costs (e.g., supervisory costs for the Montpelier Supervisory District were removed from the Montpelier School District costs).Entities excludedSchool districts excluded from these targets were districts that:did not operate a school and tuitioned all grades;belonged to a union school and tuitioned all other grades;were members of two unions offering combined grades K ‘ 12;were members of joint school agreements as individuals but data were aggregated to the joint school level and were included; andunorganized towns and gores.Data elementsData used were the most recent available for the following elements and are as reported by the districts:education spending (FY08-FY11);equalized pupils as calculated with the maximum allowable 3.5% loss (FY08-FY11);enrollments (FY07-FY10); andteacher / staff data (FY07-FY10)direct instruction ‘ all licensed teachers in the classroom;administrative and support staff ‘ central office staff personnel for both school and general administration, including paid teachers aides.Education spending for school districts was decreased by supervisory union assessments, costs for grades tuitioned, capital debt, and costs for technical center students.Factors usedThe above data elements were used in the following six factors:netted education spending (after removal of aforementioned costs);netted education spending per equalized pupil;enrollment per direct instruction staff FTEs;enrollment per administration and support staff FTEs;direct instruction FTEs per administration and support staff FTEs; andnetted education spending as a percent of total netted education spending, applied to the aggregated weights from 10 – 14.last_img read more

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Vermont Senate committee assignments announced

first_imgLieutenant Governor Phil Scott, Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, and Senator Dick Mazza, members of the Senate Committee on Committees, announced the Senate committee assignments for the 2011-2012 legislative session.Those committee assignments are:AgricultureSen. Sara Kittell (D-Franklin), ChairSen. Harold Giard (D-Addison), Vice ChairSen. Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden), ClerkSen. Bobby Starr (D-Essex-Orleans)Sen. John Campbell (D-Windsor)AppropriationsSen. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia), ChairSen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington), Vice ChairSen. Bobby Starr (D-Essex-Orleans), ClerkSen. Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden)Sen. Vincent Illuzzi (R-Essex-Orleans)Sen. Alice Nitka (D-Windsor)Sen. Hinda Miller (D-Chittenden)Economic DevelopmentSen. Vincent Illuzzi (R-Essex-Orleans), ChairSen. Timothy Ashe (D/P-Chittenden), Vice ChairSen. Peter Galbraith (D-Windham), ClerkSen. Bill Carris (D-Rutland)Sen. Bill Doyle (R-Washington)EducationSen. Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland), ChairSen. Ginny Lyons (D-Chittenden), Vice ChairSen. Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden), ClerkSen. Bill Doyle (R-Washington)Sen. Sara Kittell (D-Franklin)FinanceSen. Ann Cummings (D-Washington), ChairSen. Mark MacDonald (D-Orange), Vice ChairSen. Sally Fox (D-Chittenden), ClerkSen. Dick McCormack (D-Windsor)Sen. Timothy Ashe (D/P-Chittenden)Sen. Rich Westman (R-Lamoille)Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin)Government OperationsSen. Jeanette White (D-Windham), ChairSen. Claire Ayer (D-Addison), Vice ChairSen. Peg Flory (R-Rutland), ClerkSen. Anthony Pollina (D-Washington)Sen. Peter Galbraith (D-Windham)HealthSen. Claire Ayer (D-Addison), ChairSen. Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland), Vice ChairSen. Anthony Pollina (D-Washington), ClerkSen. Hinda Miller (D-Chittenden)Sen. Sally Fox (D-Chittenden)InstitutionsSen. Bob Hartwell (D-Bennington), ChairSen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle), Vice ChairSen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia), ClerkSen. Bill Carris (D-Rutland)Sen. Harold Giard (D-Addison)JudiciarySen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington), ChairSen. Alice Nitka (D-Windsor), Vice ChairSen. Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden), ClerkSen. Jeanette White (D-Windham)Sen. Ann Cummings (D-Washington)Natural ResourcesSen. Ginny Lyons (D-Chittenden), ChairSen. Mark MacDonald (D-Orange), Vice ChairSen, Joe Benning (R-Caledonia), ClerkSen. Dick McCormack (D-Windsor)Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin)TransportationSen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle), ChairSen. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia), Vice ChairSen. Peg Flory (R-Rutland), ClerkSen. Rich Westman (R-Lamoille)Sen. Bob Hartwell (D-Bennington)###last_img read more

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Construction contracts increase in both VT and NH

first_imgStatistics show that although construction in Vermont during the month of February looked to be slowing, overall contracts for future construction are above last years values. This includes residential, non-residential and nonbuilding construction. February and year-to-date data for Vermont:Similar statistics for the state of New Hampshire also show a significant increase in future construction contracts for the year 2011. February and year-to-date data for New Hampshire:Source: McGraw-Hill Constructionlast_img read more

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