USS Mesa Verde Completes INSURV

first_img View post tag: INSURV View post tag: Naval View post tag: Defense Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Mesa Verde Completes INSURV View post tag: Verde View post tag: completes January 21, 2014 The INSURV was established 130 years ago to inspect US Navy’s ships and to report on their readiness. The ship’s inspection comes after the ship completed both ARGMUEX and COMPUTEX exercises and is getting ready for the upcoming deployment as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).She also assisted in recovery of the US Navy’s MH-53E helicopter that crashed off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va. on 8 January.Crewmembers of USS Mesa Verde have been preparing for the ship’s deployment for a few months. The preparation included extensive and exhaustive checks, equipment testing and cleaning.USS Mesa Verde is the third San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the US Navy, designed to deliver a fully equipped battalion of up to 800 marines.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, January 21, 2014; Image: Wikimedia View post tag: Defence View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Navy View post tag: Mesa Industry news View post tag: USS USS Mesa Verde Completes INSURV USS MESA VERDE (LPD-19)USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) returned to Norfolk, V.A on 17 January 2014, having finished her brief underway within the ship’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). Share this articlelast_img read more

Detailed guide: Coming to the UK for seasonal agricultural work on English farms

first_imgThis is national guidance for England.You must book and stay in managed quarantine if you have been in, or through any of the red list countries from where travel to the UK is banned during the 10 days before you enter the UK.You and your employer must follow this guidance if you are coming to England to work on a farm as: You should make sure your operations follow industry best practice on social distancing.Follow guidance on what to do if an individual gets coronavirus symptoms if anyone in the group develops symptoms.At the end of 10 days self-isolation on the farmIf no one in the group tests positive or has coronavirus symptoms, employers should make sure that workers are aware of: avoid contact with others on the farm outside of your cohort group follow social distancing rules Take a rapid lateral flow testYou can take a rapid lateral flow test in the following ways: new continuous cough high temperature loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste clear instructions about their working and living arrangements translated guidance on any local restrictions guidance on social distancing industry guidance on social distancing information about rapid lateral flow testing, and how you will help them meet these requirements information on what to do if they have symptoms you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms your condition gets worse your symptoms do not get better after 7 days For a medical emergency dial 999.Others in your household or cohort groupIf you develop symptoms, the household or group (cohort) you live and work with will also need to self-isolate for 10 days.After your first 10 days in EnglandIf offered, you should continue to take 2 rapid lateral flow tests every week while you are working on the farm.You must also comply with the other rules for England.Employing seasonal workers from overseasFollow this guidance if you are a grower, labour provider or agency bringing workers from overseas to work on farms in England.You must make sure that workers have documentary evidence to confirm that they are travelling to your farm to carry out seasonal agricultural work. Workers must have these documents before they travel.Within 2 hours of workers arriving at the farm, you should give them: NHS Test and Trace sites or community testing sites (subject to availability in your local area) Your first 10 days in EnglandDuring your first 10 days in England, you can work on the farm if you are living on the farm. Your employer should place you into a ‘household’ or cohort group that you will live and work with most of the time.You should: You can call NHS 119 to arrange for a test if you do not have access to the internet.You must self-isolate for both of the following: If you still have a high temperature after 10 days or are otherwise unwell: If you get coronavirus symptomsYou should apply for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test if you get any of the following symptoms: a seasonal agricultural worker under the Seasonal Workers Pilot an EU worker with settled or pre-settled status, coming to pick fruit or vegetables You should support your employees so they are able to take 2 rapid lateral flow tests every week, or if they test positive, a confirmatory PCR test. workplace testing, if your employer has signed up for this ordering rapid lateral flow tests to be sent to you via the workplace testing offer at least 10 days from when your symptoms started until you are better and no longer have a high temperature guidance on dealing with suspected cases of coronavirus current guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing), both on and off the farm add the farm address as your home address select ‘No’ when asked if you need to self-isolate select your occupation as ‘seasonal agricultural worker’ from the menucenter_img Your employer should tell you who the trained operator is.You could be fined if you do not do this. You may receive phone calls checking that you have taken the tests.What to do if you test positiveYou must self-isolate immediately. Your cohort group also needs to self-isolate. You could be fined if you do not do this.You and your cohort group may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to self-isolate.You should also take a PCR test as soon as possible if your rapid lateral flow test result is positive.You should follow guidance on receiving a coronavirus (COVID-19) test result.If you take the PCR test within 2 days of the rapid lateral flow test and receive a negative result, you and your cohort group can stop self-isolating.You and your cohort group must continue to self-isolate if: implementing workplace testing arrangements – read guidance for employers registering by 12 April to gain access to free tests for your employees signing up for home testing or other arrangements that may be available in your area buy groceries or other shopping collect medication this PCR test result is positive you receive a negative PCR test result but the test was taken more than 2 days after the rapid lateral flow test urgent medical assistance (or where your doctor has advised you to get medical assistance) to access critical public services such as social services and victim support services to go to the funeral of a close relative to fulfil a legal obligation such as take part in legal proceedings one of the crew on your plane, boat or train the driver if you are travelling by bus or coach Before you travel to the UK you must take a test no more than 3 days before your departure date that certifies a negative result for COVID-19.You will not be allowed to enter the UK if you receive a positive test result.Before you travel, you must fill in the Passenger Locator Form with your journey, contact details and the address at the farm where you will work and live.On the form you should: From 6 April, you must take a rapid lateral flow test on day 2, day 5 and day 8 after you arrive.Read guidance on how to quarantine when you arrive in England.You must not leave the farm during the first 10 days unless there’s an emergency or you need: at home – this is a self-reported test where you take the test yourself and report your own result under the supervision of a trained operator – this is an assisted test where the operator processes the test and reports the result They will let staff in the airport, port or station know, so they can tell you what you must do when you arrive.Travelling to the farmYou should not travel if you have coronavirus symptoms.When you arrive in England, you must go straight to the farm where you will be living and working. Someone you will be staying with at the farm should collect you from the airport, port or station.If you need to use public transport to get to the farm, you must wear a face covering on all public transport and in transport hubs, unless you have a face covering exemption because of your age, health or another condition.Wash your hands before you travel and when you arrive at the farm. Read guidance on making and wearing a face covering.Stay 2 metres apart from other people where possible, or one metre with risk mitigation where 2 metres is not possible.At the farm accommodationYou must stay at the farm address you provided when you arrived at the border.If you do not live on the farm you: will not be able to work for the first 10 days will have to self-isolate on arrival in England If it is not possible to test on the farm, you may leave the farm to collect or take a test.You should ask your employer or colleagues for help, or order a delivery if you need to: If you do not have symptoms but test positive for COVID-19 you must self-isolate for 10 days starting from the day you first test positive.If you test positive you will be asked to share your contacts with the NHS Test and Trace service. The information you gave in your Passenger Locator Form may be used to alert people who travelled to the UK with you.Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus (COVID-19) service, or call NHS 111 if: You must provide these details up to 48 hours before you arrive in England.You will need to prove at UK border controls that you are a seasonal agricultural worker.Read guidance on what you will need to show when you arrive at the UK border.You should pack and carry with you enough essential supplies (including clothing, medicine and cigarettes) to cover the time from the start of your travel and the 10-day isolation period.If you develop coronavirus symptoms when you are travelling to England, you should tell: You should ask workers to confirm in writing that they have received and understood this information. You should provide translation services if these are needed.For the first 10 days you should put workers into groups of up to 6, and strictly limit contact with others outside of those groups.The groups should be made up of workers arriving on the farm within 24 hours of each other.You can decide how big the cohort groups are (up to 6), taking into account how easy it will be to isolate different groups of workers on your farm if they develop coronavirus.From 6 April, you should help your employees to take rapid lateral flow tests on days 2, 5 and 8. You can help them take the tests by: stay at home seek medical advice You must follow guidance on safer working when carrying out work on the farm.Read more about this in the industry best practice guidance on social distancing.TestingFrom 6 April, you must take tests on days 2, 5 and 8 after your arrival in England even if tests on days 2 and 5 from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or rapid lateral flow test return negative results. This is essential to protect your community from COVID-19.Rapid lateral flow test tests are free and you will be able to access them by:last_img read more

Perspectives on gene editing

first_imgMedicine is at a turning point, on the cusp of major change as disruptive technologies such as gene, RNA, and cell therapies enable scientists to approach diseases in new ways. The swiftness of this change is being driven by innovations such as CRISPR gene editing, which makes it possible to correct errors in DNA with relative ease.Progress in this field has been so rapid that the dialogue around potential ethical, societal, and safety issues is scrambling to catch up.This disconnect was brought into stark relief at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, held in Hong Kong in November, when exciting updates about emerging therapies were eclipsed by a disturbing announcement. He Jiankui, a Chinese researcher, claimed that he had edited the genes of two human embryos, and that they had been brought to term.There was immediate outcry from scientists across the world, and He was subjected to intense social pressure, including the removal of his affiliations, for having allegedly disregarded ethical norms and his patients’ safety.Yet as I. Glenn Cohen, faculty director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, has said, gene editing comes in many varieties, with many consequences. Any deep ethical discussion needs to take into account those distinctions.Human genome editing: somatic vs. germlineThe germline editing He claimed to have carried out is quite different from the somatic gene therapies that are currently changing the frontiers of medicine. While somatic gene editing affects only the patient being treated (and only some of his or her cells), germline editing affects all cells in an organism, including eggs and sperm, and so is passed on to future generations. The possible consequences of that are difficult to predict.Somatic gene therapies involve modifying a patient’s DNA to treat or cure a disease caused by a genetic mutation. In one clinical trial, for example, scientists take blood stem cells from a patient, use CRISPR techniques to correct the genetic mutation causing them to produce defective blood cells, then infuse the “corrected” cells back into the patient, where they produce healthy hemoglobin. The treatment changes the patient’s blood cells, but not his or her sperm or eggs.Germline human genome editing, on the other hand, alters the genome of a human embryo at its earliest stages. This may affect every cell, which means it has an impact not only on the person who may result, but possibly on his or her descendants. There are, therefore, substantial restrictions on its use.Germline editing in a dish can help researchers figure out what the health benefits could be, and how to reduce risks. Those include targeting the wrong gene; off-target impacts, in which editing a gene might fix one problem but cause another; and mosaicism, in which only some copies of the gene are altered. For these and other reasons, the scientific community approaches germline editing with caution, and the U.S. and many other countries have substantial policy and regulatory restrictions on using germline human genome editing in people.But many scientific leaders are asking: When the benefits are believed to outweigh the risks, and dangers can be avoided, should science consider moving forward with germline genome editing to improve human health? If the answer is yes, how can researchers do so responsibly?CRISPR pioneer Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT responded immediately to He’s November announcement by calling for a moratorium on implanting edited embryos in humans. Later, at a public event on “Altering the Human Genome” at the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), he explained why he felt it was important to wait:“The moratorium is a pause. Society needs to figure out if we all want to do this, if this is good for society, and that takes time. If we do, we need to have guidelines first so that the people who do this work can proceed in a responsible way, with the right oversight and quality controls.”,Professors at the University’s schools of medicine, law, business, and government saw He’s announcement as a turning point in the discussion about heritable gene therapies and shared their perspectives on the future of this technology with the Gazette.Here are their thoughts, issue by issue:BioethicsAside from the safety risks, human genome editing poses some hefty ethical questions. For families who have watched their children suffer from devastating genetic diseases, the technology offers the hope of editing cruel mutations out of the gene pool. For those living in poverty, it is yet another way for the privileged to vault ahead. One open question is where to draw the line between disease treatment and enhancement, and how to enforce it, considering differing attitudes toward conditions such as deafness.Robert Truog, director of the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School (HMS), provided context:“This question is not as new as it seems. Evolution progresses by random mutations in the genome, which dwarf what can be done artificially with CRISPR. These random mutations often cause serious problems, and people are born with serious defects. In addition, we have been manipulating our environment in so many ways and exposing ourselves to a lot of chemicals that cause unknown changes to our genome. If we are concerned about making precise interventions to cure disease, we should also be interested in that.“To me, the conversation around Dr. He is not about the fundamental merits of germline gene editing, which in the long run will almost certainly be highly beneficial. Instead, it’s about the oversight of science. The concern is that with technologies that are relatively easy to use, like CRISPR, how does the scientific community regulate itself? If there’s a silver lining to this cloud, I think it is that the scientific community did pull together to be critical of this work, and took the responsibility seriously to use the tools available to them to regulate themselves.”BusinessWhen asked what the implications of He’s announcement are for the emerging field of precision medicine, Richard Hamermesh, faculty co-chair of the Harvard Business School/Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator, said:“Before we start working on embryos, we have a long way to go, and civilization has to think long and hard about it. There’s no question that gene editing technologies are potentially transformative and are the ultimate precision medicine. If you could precisely correct or delete genes that are causing problems — mutating or aberrant genes — that is the ultimate in precision. It would be so transformative for people with diseases caused by a single gene mutation, like sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis. Developing safe, effective ways to use gene editing to treat people with serious diseases with no known cures has so much potential to relieve suffering that it is hard to see how anyone could be against it.“There is also commercial potential and that will drive it forward. A lot of companies are getting venture funding for interesting gene therapies, but they’re all going after tough medical conditions where there is an unmet need — [where] nothing is working — and they’re trying to find gene therapies to cure those diseases. Why should we stop trying to find cures?“But anything where you’re going to be changing human embryos, it’s going to take a long time for us to figure out what is appropriate and what isn’t. That has to be done with great care in terms of ethics.”MedicineGeorge Q. Daley  is dean of HMS, the Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine, and a leader in stem cell science and cancer biology. As a spokesperson for the organizing committee of the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, he responded swiftly to He’s announcement in Hong Kong. Echoing those remarks, he said:“It’s time to formulate what a clinical path to translation might look like so that we can talk about it. That does not mean that we’re ready to go into the clinic — we are not. We need to specify what the hurdles would be if one were to move forward responsibly and ethically. If you can’t surmount those hurdles, you don’t move forward.“There are stark distinctions between editing genes in an embryo to prevent a baby from being born with sickle cell anemia and editing genes to alter the appearance or intelligence of future generations. There is a whole spectrum of considerations to be debated. The prospect includes an ultimate decision that we not go forward, that we decide that the benefits do not outweigh the costs.”Asked how to prevent experiments like He’s while preserving academic freedom, Daley replied:“For the past 15 years, I have been involved in efforts to establish international standards of professional conduct for stem cell research and its clinical translation, knowing full well that there could be — and has been — a growing number of independent practitioners directly marketing unproven interventions to vulnerable patients through the internet. We advocated so strongly for professional standards in an attempt to ward off the risks of an unregulated industry. Though imperfect, our efforts to encourage a common set of professional practices have been influential.“You can’t control rogue scientists in any field. But with strongly defined guidelines for responsible professional conduct in place, such ethical violations like those of Dr. He should remain a backwater, because most practitioners will adhere to generally accepted norms. Scientists have a responsibility to come together to articulate professional standards and live by them. One has to raise the bar very high to define what the standards of safety and efficacy are, and what kind of oversight and independent judgment would be required for any approval.“We have called for an ongoing international forum on human genome editing, and that could take many shapes. We’ve suggested that the national academies of more countries come together — the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. and the Royal Society in the U.K. are very active here — because these are the groups most likely to have the expertise to convene these kinds of discussions and keep them going.”LawCohen, speaking to the legal consequences of germline human genome editing, said:“I think we should slow down in our reaction to this case. It is not clear that the U.S. needs to react to Dr. He’s announcement with regulation. The FDA [Food and Drug Administration] already has a strong policy on germline gene editing in place. A rider in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 — since renewed — would have blocked the very same clinical application of human germline editing He announced, had it been attempted in the U.S.“The scientific community has responded in the way I’d have liked it to. There is a difference between ‘governance’ and ‘self-governance.’ Where government uses law, the scientific community uses peer review, public censure, promotions, university affiliations, and funding to regulate themselves. In China, in Dr. He’s case, you have someone who’s (allegedly) broken national law and scientific conventions. That doesn’t mean you should halt research being done by everyone who’s law-abiding.“Public policy or ethical discussion that’s divorced from how science is progressing is problematic. You need to bring everyone together to have robust discussions. I’m optimistic that this is happening, and has happened. It’s very hard to deal with a transnational problem with national legislation, but it would be great to reach international consensus on this subject. These efforts might not succeed, but ultimately they are worth pursuing.”ScienceProfessor Kevin Eggan of Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology said, “The question we should focus on is: Will this be safe and help the health of a child? Can we demonstrate that we can fix a mutation that will cause a terrible health problem, accurately and without the risk of harming their potential child? If the answer is yes, then I believe germline human genome editing is likely to gain acceptance in time.“There could be situations where it could help a couple, but the risks of something going wrong are real. But at this point, it would be impossible to make a risk-benefit calculation in a responsible manner for that couple. Before we could ever move toward the clinic, the scientific community must come to a consensus on how to measure success, and how to measure off-target effects in animal models.“Even as recently as this past spring and fall, the results of animal studies using CRISPR — the same techniques Dr. He claimed to have used — generated a lot of confusion. There is disagreement about both the quality of the data and how to interpret it. Until we can come to agreement about what the results of animal experiments mean, how could we possibly move forward with people?“As happened in England with mitochondrial replacement therapy, we should be able to come to both a scientific and a societal consensus of when and how this approach should be used. That’s missing.”According to Catherine Racowsky, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, constraints on the use of embryos in federally funded research pose barriers to studying the risks and benefits of germline editing in humans. She added:“Until the work is done, carefully and with tight oversight, to understand any off-target effects of replacing or removing a particular gene, it is inappropriate to apply the technology in the clinical field. My understanding of Dr. He’s case is that there wasn’t a known condition in these embryos, and by editing the genes involved with HIV infection, he could also have increased the risks of susceptibility to influenza and West Nile viruses.“We need a sound oversight framework, and it needs to be established globally. This is a technology that holds enormous promise, and it is likely to be applied to the embryo, but it should only be applied for clinical purposes after the right work has been done. That means we must have consensus on what applications are acceptable, that we have appropriate regulatory oversight, and, perhaps most importantly, that it is safe. The only way we’re going to be able to determine that these standards are met is to proceed cautiously, with reassessments of the societal and health benefits and the risks.”Asked about public dialogue around germline human genome editing, George Church, Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at HMS, said:“With in vitro fertilization (IVF), ‘test tube babies’ was an intentionally scary term. But after Louise Brown, the first IVF baby, was born healthy 40 years ago, attitudes changed radically. Ethics flipped 180 degrees, from it being a horrifying idea to being unacceptable to prevent parents from having children by this new method. If these edited twins are proven healthy, very different discussions will arise. For example, is a rate of 900,000 deaths from HIV infection per year a greater risk than West Nile virus, or influenza? How effective is each vaccine?”Science, technology, and societySheila Jasanoff, founding director of the Science, Technology, and Society program at HKS, has been calling for a “global observatory” on gene editing, an international network of scholars and organizations dedicated to promoting exchange across disciplinary and cultural divides. She said:“The notion that the only thing we should care about is the risk to individuals is very American. So far, the debate has been fixated on potential physical harm to individuals, and not anything else. This is not a formulation shared with other countries in the world, including practically all of Europe. Considerations of risk have equally to do with societal risk. That includes the notion of the family, and what it means to have a ‘designer baby.’“These were not diseased babies Dr. He was trying to cure. The motivation for the intervention was that they live in a country with a high stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, and the father had it and agreed to the intervention because he wanted to keep his children from contracting AIDS. AIDS shaming is a fact of life in China, and now it won’t be applied to these children. So, are we going to decide that it’s OK to edit as-yet-to-be children to cater to this particular idea of a society?“It’s been said that ‘the genie is out of the bottle’ with germline human genome editing. I just don’t think that’s true. After all, we have succeeded in keeping ‘nuclear’ inside the bottle. Humanity doesn’t lack the will, intelligence, or creativity to come up with ways for using technology for good and not ill.“We don’t require students to learn the moral dimensions of science and technology, and that has to change. I think we face similar challenges in robotics, artificial intelligence, and all kinds of frontier fields that have the potential to change not just individuals but the entirety of what it means to be a human being.“Science has this huge advantage over most professional thought in that it has a universal language. Scientists can hop from lab to lab internationally in a way that lawyers cannot because laws are written in many languages and don’t translate easily. It takes a very long time for people to understand each other across these boundaries. A foundational concept for human dignity? It would not be the same thing between cultures.“I would like to see a ‘global observatory’ that goes beyond gene editing and addresses emerging technologies more broadly.”To learn more:Technology and Public Purpose project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, statement from the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing. global observatory for gene editing: Sheila Jasanoff and J. Benjamin Hurlbut call for an international network of scholars and organizations to support a new kind of conversation. Capacity for a Global Genome Editing Observatory: Institutional Design. Cohen’s blog: How Scott Gottlieb is Wrong on the Gene Edited Baby Debacle. Interpretation of Current Law and Legal Policy. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health event on the promises and challenges of gene editing, May 2017: Center Annual Conference: Consuming Genetics: Ethical and Legal Considerations of New Technologies: read more

Peter Lockyer, David Thaxton & More to Step Into West End’s Les Miz

first_img Rob Houchen, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Wendy Ferguson will continue their performances as Marius, Eponine and Madame Thenardier, respectively. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables originally opened in London at the Barbican Theatre on October 8, 1985.The story begins in 1815 as Jean Valjean, a man condemned to 19 years of hard labor for stealing a loaf of bread, finds only hatred and suspicion when he is released on parole and breaks free, yearning for a new life. Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil’s score contains the signature numbers “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” and “One Day More.” View Comments Lockyer recently played the role of Jean Valjean in the 25th Anniversary North American tour of Les Miz, having previously taken on the role of Marius on Broadway. He has also appeared on the Great White Way in Miss Saigon. Thaxton received a 2011 Olivier Award for his performance in Passion at the Donmar Warehouse, and has appeared in the West End previously in Les Miz as Enjolras and in Love Never Dies as Raoul. Edden earned a Tony nod for One Man, Two Guvnors on Broadway. Schoenmaker returns to Les Miz after making her West End debut as Fantine last year. Colbourne, who recently appeared in Follies at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, makes his West End debut as Enjolras. Fleming was a Dorothy finalist in BBC One’s Over the Rainbow. A new crew of convicts, inspectors, revolutionaries and more are getting ready to storm the barricades. The record-breaking West End production of Les Miserables will welcome Peter Lockyer as Jean Valjean, Olivier Award winner David Thaxton as Javert, Tony nominee Tom Edden as Thenardier, Celinde Schoenmaker as Fantine, Michael Colbourne as Enjolras and Emilie Fleming as Cosette. The new cast members will take their first bow on June 16 at the Queen’s Theatre.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Joe Jonas’ DNCE Set for Grease: Live & More

first_img View Comments P.S. The 61st Annual Obie Awards, which recognize excellence in off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway theater, will be held on May 23 at Webster Hall; Lea DeLaria has been enlisted to return as host. Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Joe Jonas’ DNCE Set for Grease: LiveThey’re the ones that we want! Joe Jonas (not to be confused with his little brother Nick, who is a Broadway alum) will appear on Grease: Live with a slew of Main Stem faves including Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Hudgens. PEOPLE reports that Joe and his DNCE bandmates have been tapped for the upcoming telecast on January 31; they are set to play Johnny Casino and the Gamblers during the infamous school dance sequence at Rydell High. Did we mention that we’re already knee-deep in our viewing party plans?Joe Iconis’ New Tuner Will Bow at BSCWe’re dreaming of those summer nights…in the Berkshires. Joe Iconis’ (Be More Chill, Smash’s “Broadway Here I Come”) new musical will make its world premiere at the Barrington Stage Company this summer. Directed by Leah Gardiner and inspired by the Blaxploitation movies of the 1970’s (think Shaft), the production will play a limited engagement August 12 through September 3. Opening night is set for August 19 at the St. Germain Stage. Other productions slated for BSC’s season include a revival of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, helmed by Tony winner John Rando and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, which will run July 15 through August 13, officially opening on July 20 at the Mainstage.$100,000 Kleban Prize AnnouncedHugh congratulations to Stacey Luftig and Daniel Goldstein, who have been honored with the 26th annual Kleban Prize, each winning $100,000, payable over two years. Luftig takes home the accolade for most promising musical theater lyricist, and Goldstein most promising musical theater librettist. Established in 1988 under the will of Tony winner Edward L. Kleban (A Chorus Line), the Kleban Foundation has awarded approximately $5,000,000 to 62 artists including Tony winner Jason Robert Brown and EGOT-er Robert Lopez. This year’s private ceremony will take place on February 8 at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.Broadway Backwards Sets 2016 DateBroadway Backwards, the annual celebration where the LGBT community sees its stories told through the great songs of musical theater by a plethora of Great White Way mainstays, will return for its 11th edition on March 21. This year’s one-night-only event is set to play at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and benefit Broadway Cares and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City.Will Adele Pen a Broadway Musical?Did we mention how much we love The Late Late Show host James Corden? The Tony winner recently filmed Carpool Karaoke with Adele and brought up the possibility of the songstress achieving the EGOT. “The Tony’s pretty unlikely…I ain’t got time for that,” she remarked. Corden, however, was convinced that one day she should be “writing a huge musical,” to which Adele replied: “What if no one cares then?” Trust us, Adele, whether its next year or decades from now WE WILL CARE. Check out the video below!last_img read more

$800,000 In State Grants Available For Planning Projects

first_img$800,000 In State Grants Available For Planning ProjectsMunicipal Grants Program Now Administered Entirely OnlineMONTPELIER, Vt. – The state is making more than $800,000 in grants available to communities across the state for municipal planning and other special projects.Officials at the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) announced the Municipal Planning Grants of up to $15,000, which can be used for a variety of planning projects.”These grants help Vermont’s cities and towns craft plans that promote economic and housing development in our downtowns and village centers, while protecting Vermont’s working landscape from sprawl,” said Kevin Dorn, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, whose agency includes DHCA.Through a competitive process, towns can be awarded grants for such traditional planning activities as updating town plans, maps and zoning bylaws.As part of Governor Jim Douglas’ E-State Initiative, these grants will now be applied for, approved, and administered completely on-line.”This is an excellent example of how we can use technology to be more efficient in state government,” Douglas said. “By eliminating the paper involved in applying for and administering grants, we make the process faster, less costly, and less time-consuming.”The Municipal and Regional Planning Fund was first established in 1988 and funds technical assistance for town planning, zoning bylaws, implementation of town plans, encouragement of citizen participation and education, and innovative demonstration planning projects.Municipalities may apply for any amount up to $15,000 or $25,000 for multi-town “consortia” projects. Funds for the municipal planning grants are allocated by the Vermont Legislature from revenue generated by the property transfer tax.With no local matching funds required, this is one of the few state grant programs accessible to even the smallest of Vermont municipalities. Communities have 18 months to complete their planning projects.The application deadline for this program is October 31, 2008. The Municipal Planning Grant site went live on September 2nd, and can be accessed at: is external)last_img read more

VEDA announces April 15 for federal stimulus bond applications

first_imgThe Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is inviting eligible and qualified borrowers to apply for an allocation of Vermont s $135 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZFB) tax-exempt bond issuance capacity.  The next round of applications is due at VEDA s offices on April 15, 2010. This special tax-exempt bond financing is only available through the end of 2010, said VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley.  Financing a project with tax-exempt bonds enables borrowers to make needed investments at the lowest possible cost, and so the Authority is eager to commit all of the funding Vermont has been allocated.   Thus far, VEDA has committed approximately $30 million of Vermont s special tax-exempt bonding capacity.The RZFB Program was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the Stimulus Act), enacted by Congress in 2009.  All of Vermont has been designated a Recovery Zone by Governor James Douglas, so eligible and qualified projects may be located anywhere in the state.  A qualified business is any trade or business (including some non-profits), except those engaged in the rental of residential property and certain other prohibited facilities such as golf courses, country clubs, gambling facilities and liquor stores.The RZFB Program allows borrowers the opportunity to avail themselves of tax-exempt, and consequently lower cost, financing for many types of assets.  Project funds may be used for the acquisition of machinery and equipment, the construction of new facilities, and in some cases, the purchase and renovation of existing real estate. Projects should total at least $2 million to make this type of financing cost effective for borrowers. Refinancing and working capital are not eligible uses.All applications for RZFB financing must be reviewed and approved by the VEDA Board.  This review is a two step process.  First, preliminary approval (Inducement) must be granted before any significant project expenditures are incurred.  VEDA Staff will review all applications received by April 15th, and the most qualified applicants will have their proposals presented to the VEDA Board for Inducement approval at the May Board Meeting. VEDA acts as a conduit issuer for RZFBs, and neither VEDA nor the State of Vermont guarantees payment of the RZFBs.  The ability to sell these bonds is based solely on the creditworthiness of the borrower.  Borrowing terms such as interest rate, amortization, collateral and required equity contribution are negotiated on a case-by-case basis between the borrower and the bond purchaser.  Successful applicants who receive RZFB Inducements in response to VEDA s solicitation for applications will have their bond issuance allocation reserved through August 15, 2010.  Project financings that have not received Final Approval and been closed by then will have to apply to VEDA for an extension, which, at VEDA s discretion, may or may not be granted.Recovery Zone Facility Bond inducement applications may be downloaded from the VEDA website ( is external) ), or obtained from VEDA s office by calling (802) 828-5627.  For more information about the program, businesses may contact any of VEDA s Commercial Loan Officers at (802) 828-5627.VEDA s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises.  Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.5 billion. Source: VEDA 3.11.2010last_img read more

Columbia County lawyers raise funds for reading project

first_img Columbia County lawyers raise funds for reading project “Thank you, attorneys and judges of Columbia County for $20,000 donation,” proclaimed the sign in front of the school board building on Main Street in Lake City.The story behind the sign is a remarkable 100-percent participation of every lawyer and judge who practices in Columbia County to give money to the local public school system to buy books for its “Accelerated Reading Program.”It was Jacksonville attorney Quinton Rumph, a native of Columbia County, who sparked the fund-raising blitz by giving the first $10,000 contribution.That challenged the legal community to raise $10,000, and when matched by state funds, that meant a total of $40,000 for much-needed books for the rural community’s resource-strapped schools that were facing a $1.1-million state budget cut.Third Judicial Circuit Public Defender C. Dennis Roberts served as fund-raising chair and said the project “ties in well with President-elect Tod Aronovitz and his new ‘Dignity in Law’ campaign. . . . “There were 80 attorneys and judges who worked on this effort. No one, repeat no one, did not assist in some manner,” Roberts said, adding that the average donation was $125 per attorney and judge.“While our legal community takes great pride in its effort, we are not immune to the overall perception problem that unjustly plagues our legal community throughout the state. We felt this would be a prime example of what our profession could do when we put our minds to it and worked diligently. Hopefully, this will serve as an inspiration for the other legal communities to pull together to assist their local schools — or other worthwhile endeavors — with a similar effort.”Morris Williams, executive director of the Columbia County Public School Foundation, enlisted Roberts as fund-raising chair, and ensured that every penny raised would be used for the reading program — with no administrative funds attached.“I don’t know of any time when one profession has boldly stepped forward and organized itself and pulled something like this off,” Williams said, adding that as a direct result of the money raised by the legal community, reading skills of the county’s children have improved. “And it was attorneys and judges that did it.”Students were so excited to read the new books that they couldn’t even wait for them to hit the library shelves, grabbing them off the book cart. Students earn points as they reach certain levels in reading abilities, reading books, and taking quizzes.“I’ve been able to buy a lot of new books and new tests,” Lake City Middle School media specialist Joyce Ogden told the Lake City Reporter.“Students have really become excited about reading and have gone from hating to do a book report to being excited about their favorite authors.”Columbia High School Media Specialist Sally Moses wrote Roberts a glowing appreciation letter: “Thank you for your support and meeting the challenge of Mr. Rumph!”She said there’s been a marked increase in reading for pleasure at the high school, noting the increase in circulation of fiction books from 29 percent of circulation last year to nearly half of all books checked out this year.As Roberts said: “Of course, just as in the legal profession, reading is at the heart and soul of everything that is done in the school system.”On May 14, a ceremony honored the area attorneys and judges, along with the reading of this resolution: “It is exemplary that one profession in our community would boldly step forward to help our schools in their time of need. The Columbia County School Board hereby thanks and praises, individually and collectively, the members of the local legal community for so generously helping our school district in a time of economic need.” Columbia County lawyers raise funds for reading projectcenter_img June 15, 2002 Regular Newslast_img read more

Fire Suspends Service on Long Beach Branch

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A fire in Island Park has caused the Long Island Rail Road to suspend train service between Valley Stream and Long Beach, the railroad said.The fire occurred at an electrical substation in Island Park, said LIRR spokesman Sal Arena. Service between Long Beach and Valley Stream was suspended around 12:30 p.m.The Island Park Fire Department responded to the fire and the situation is still ongoing, Arena said.Buses were expected to arrive in Long Beach around 2 p.m. for customers affected by the suspension. Also, all Babylon branch westbound trains will stop at Lynbrook to accommodate Long Beach customers, the railroad said.The cause of the fire is not yet known, Arena said. It’s also unclear when service will be restored.last_img read more

New podcasts, credit unions, and lost shoes with TODAY Show’s Jean Chatzky

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr It’s that time of the year again as we have our annual visit with NBC’s TODAY Show Financial Editor Jean Chatzky on the show to share some of her financial tips, thoughts on credit unions, and more. In this episode, Jean joins us to discuss her new podcast called: HERMONEY — which is geared toward women and finance.Jean shared that there just wasn’t a whole lot on the web that dealt with this topic in-depth, so she launched HERMONEY to fill the bill. And it’s already off to a smashing start with big name guests, helpful money tips, and a ton more. Jean also mentioned that her podcast would be good to play in a credit union lobby for members to listen to as they waited in line.We also touched on how credit unions, even though they have experienced a surge in popularity lately, can deliver their message more succinctly and clearly to the average consumer. Jean has some insightful advice for CU’s from the consumer perspective. By the way, Jean is a huge credit union advocate.Enjoy this candid conversation with Jean — and hang out until the end as tells the story of how she lost her shoe last week during one of her reports on the TODAY Show with Savannah Guthrie. continue reading »last_img read more