Journey to D.C.

first_imgAbout 900 fellow classmates and I spent a good portion of our time at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) fully engrossed with last fall’s presidential election.Walking to class, sitting in the HKS Forum, on a bench in the HKS Courtyard, over coffee, or over books, it was all we talked about.Witnessing the most electrifying campaign of our generation with classmates who were certifiable political junkies, and all deeply committed to public service, was an almost transcendent experience. And it could only have happened at the Kennedy School.I remember the debates, especially during the primaries. The passion of my classmates was matched by their abundant political knowledge, a breadth of experience working on and around the issues they discussed, and myriad connections to the political players involved.Some were absent for weeks at a time, leaving to field organize for Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama. It was not uncommon to read classmates’ writing about the campaign in a major publication or see them on the news discussing political strategy or the organizing work they were leading, all while maintaining their course loads.What touched me the most was the uncommon civility present at all times in our political dialogue. No shouting. No name-calling. No anger that a handshake and a smile couldn’t resolve.I was a Hillary Clinton supporter during the primary season, and one of only two black Clinton supporters at the School. This made me one of the more sought-after faux pundits at HKS. Classmates wanted to get inside of my head, and many wanted me to defend my stance. Some weeks, I’d spend hours debating the intersection of race, politics, and gender with members of the HKS community. But the discussion was never acrimonious. And I always learned to see things a bit differently afterward.I started writing about politics during the election, creating a blog to keep a record of evolving opinions of the campaign. I took classes at HKS with Luciana Herman, an adjunct lecturer in public policy, and Timothy McCarthy, an adjunct lecturer in public policy, history and literature, that allowed me to spend time finding and developing my voice as a writer. Guidance from those courses ultimately helped me to get one of my commentaries published, with an assist from an Institute of Politics fellow. Without the resources the Kennedy School provided, that opportunity might not have been available.I graduated in June with an M.P.P. I’m now a Kroc Fellow at National Public Radio, my job an outcome of my HKS policy-analysis exercise and an internship I had while a student. In my office, deadlines are hard, and the time to pontificate can be short, as with any news organization. Being where I am now makes me appreciate last year even more.A chance to talk about politics and policy, in a safe space, with time to really think, and with friends who care, is something hard to come by in our current political climate. Knowing that makes me even more aware of the value my education at the Kennedy School. Witnessing history is amazing. Doing it with class is rare.If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student and have an essay to share about life at Harvard, please e-mail your ideas to Jim Concannon, the Gazette’s news editor, at read more

Across 160 years, Darwin speaks

first_imgWhile in Houghton Library, sorting through stacks of old manuscripts and letters from the great naturalist Charles Darwin, history of science graduate student Myrna Perez and lecturer Alistair Sponsel stumbled across something extraordinary: a previously unknown letter from Darwin to his colleague and later nemesis, zoologist Richard Owen.“We initially went [to Houghton] to confirm that a few letters we thought were here at Harvard were actually here,” said Sponsel, who, like Perez, is an affiliate of the Darwin Correspondence Project, whose American editorial office is at Harvard.“We were not really looking for a new letter,” Perez said. “One of the editors … noticed there were some discrepancies between the letters that the project believed to be at Harvard, and what she could tell from the Harvard catalogs themselves.”After cross-checking the British lists and the Harvard catalog, Perez came across a letter that couldn’t be found on any of the lists.“I was a little excited, but a bit skeptical that it would actually be new,” she said. “And then when I got it, I spent a long time looking through our project databases, had Alistair check what I did, and we finally concluded that it was a letter unknown to the project.”According to Sponsel, Darwin wrote the undated letter in April 1848, long before his landmark book “On the Origin of Species” was published. Darwin would have been 39 years old, but he was already famous as a voyager and author. Owen had previously contributed to Darwin’s book “The Zoology of the Voyage of the HMS Beagle.”“We can tell with fairly good confidence which Sunday in 1848 he wrote this,” Sponsel said. “The two [Owen and Darwin] were working on a publication for the British Navy, a handbook for people on voyages to teach them how to make scientific observations.”Perez added, “The letter, and the entire exchange, gives a perspective on the collaborative process of their work and the kind of instructions that Darwin felt were appropriate for new naturalists on naval expeditions. He makes some interesting comments in the letter, saying that he would have loved to have had this kind of manual on his own Beagle voyage.”“Unknown letters don’t come up very often, maybe about 10 a year,” said Darwin scholar Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science and Harvard College Professor. “This letter is unusual in that it is a letter from early in Darwin’s life, before ‘On the Origin of Species’ was written, and with a particular individual with whom he became almost sworn enemies.”It was “On the Origin of Species” that changed Darwin and Owen’s relationship. After its publication, Owen wrote a cruel review of the book, and the relationship disintegrated.The discovery comes as part of Perez and Sponsel’s work for the Darwin Correspondence Project, an endeavor begun in the mid-1970s by American scholar Frederick Burkhardt and now based at the University of Cambridge.  Participants there and at Harvard are dedicated to cataloging, editing, and publishing Darwin’s correspondence from throughout his life. To date, Browne said, the project has cataloged about 15,000 letters from “unexpected people in all sorts of categories, including women scientists and African colonial administrators.”“Historians have found principally through this large publishing project that correspondence is a significant element of what scientists used to do,” Browne said. “It turns out that someone like Darwin was writing letters as a way of collecting information. It was part of his scientific method.”The transcription of the letter, which is copyright of the Darwin Correspondence Project, will be published in a forthcoming supplement to the “Correspondence of Charles Darwin” (Cambridge University Press).last_img read more

Duo Arrested Following Cherry Creek Drug Raid

first_imgShare: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) WNY News Now File Image.CHERRY CREEK – Two men are facing various drug charges after the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s SWAT Team knocked down the door of their Cherry Creek home this week.The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force says Gregory Schroeder, 38, and Raymond Provorse, 26, were arrested on Tuesday morning after investigators served a Search Warrant at 6900 Main St. in Cherry Creek.Deputies say Schroeder was wanted on a DEA Federal Arrest Warrant for allegedly selling methamphetamine while Provorse was taken in to custody on an unrelated task force investigation.Provorse has since been arraigned and released while Schroeder remains behind bars. Detectives say other residents of the home were released following the investigation.Because of the deteriorating condition of the property, the Cherry Creek Code Enforcement Officer deemed the structure unsafe and uninhabitable.The Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone with knowledge of illegal drug trafficking to call their tip line at (716) 664-2420.last_img read more

Totally Trivial With Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman of Front Country

first_imgMelody Walker and Jacob Groopman are grabbing attention everywhere they go.  Along with their progressive bluegrass band Front Country, they have garnered gold in band competitions at both Rockygrass and Telluride, Melody’s debut record, Gold Rush Goddess, was named one of the top 50 records of 2012 by No Depression, and Melody won the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in April of this year.That is a nice collection of kudos for a couple of musicians who have been on the scene for just a couple years.Melody and Jacob, who live in Northern California and hail from San Francisco and Richmond, respectively, can be found recording and playing as a duo when not on the road with Front Country.  Just this week, they set out from California on a two month tour that will take them all over the country.  Jacob and Melody are touring in support of their new release, We Made It Home.BRO recently caught up with Jacob and Melody to get Totally Trivial.BRO – One thing you can get in NorCal that you can’t get in Richmond?Jacob – Seriously amazing authentic dim sum.  I never even knew about this until I moved out to California.  In Richmond, we didn’t even get a sushi place until I was in high school.  Of course, I’ve not lived in Richmond for almost 15 years, so maybe there is some dim sum there now.Melody – Poison oak.  Y’all have poison ivy over there, but apparently the rash is the same, so . . . .BRO – One thing you can get in Richmond that you can’t get in NorCal?Jacob – Great Civil War history!Melody – All kinds of weird Southern foods that don’t even exist on the West Coast.  What is creasy salad?  Chitlins?BRO – In five words or less, finish the following statement – “Winning the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest was better than . . . . “Jacob –  . . . not winning!Melody – . . . getting tarred and feathered.BRO – Most recent song that you heard and immediately had to listen to again?Jacob – This is random, but it was a song by a UK artist named Goldfrapp.  I was in our neighborhood record store, heard it, and had to go home and find it.  The album is called Tales of Us.Melody – I do this all the time, but most recently it was “Gone and Back” from Alaskan songwriter Anna Lynch.  She released it as a teaser for her new album, and you can listen to it here – It’s super catchy and has this cajuny swing that makes me want to dance.BRO – Favorite guilty pleasure while on the road?Jacob – White Cheddar Cheez-Its.Melody – Chex Muddy Buddies.  But we do not give in to these pleasures anymore.  Why, you got some?BRO – Last movie that made you cry?Jacob – Forrest Gump.  It’s the only move that’s ever made me cry.  “I miss you, Jen-nay!”Melody – It doesn’t take much.  I guess Gravity got me for a second, even though that movie was stupid!BRO – Most played song on your iPod?  You proud of that?Jacob – I have no idea.  It might be “Bubbles,” by Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Zakir Hussain.  I can’t get enough of that song and I am very proud.Melody – I’ve worn out Graceland – the whole album – pretty good on road trips over the years.  It never gets old and always puts a smile on my face.  That’s basically like musical heroin.  I will never quit you, Paul.BRO – What state do you anticipate driving through least on the big tour?Jacob – Nebraska, because it NEVER ends.  This time, though, we’re actually stopping for a gig in North Platte so maybe I’ll change my tune.  Texas is also really large.Melody – Sorry, Nevada, but it’s always you.  There no gig here and you not very scenic on I-80.BRO – Favorite tune on the new record?Jacob – I’m a big fan of how “Betelguese” came out.Melody – I like “O Heartbreaker” because it’s really a pop song snuck onto a folk record.BRO – If you could have just one guest sit in on the big tour, it would be . . .Jacob – Tim O’Brien.  One day it will happen.Melody – David Rawlings.  Sorry Jacob.Melody and Jacob will be racking up some serious miles in the car over the next couple months.  If you get a chance, catch them when they hit a town near you.  For our Colorado readers, the duo will be in Carbondale, Longmont, and Boulder by the end of this week.  Jacob and Melody will be in the Southeast by the end of November, hitting Washington, D.C., Richmond (VA), and Johnson City and Knoxville (TN).For more info on tour dates and how to get your hands on the new record, check out  Also, be sure to listen to “We Made It Home” on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

3 changes that could affect your financial life in 2015

first_imgby: Steve NicastroThe New Year is all about change and getting a fresh start, like setting personal resolutions to improve your physical and mental well-being. But our financial health often gets overlooked.If you’re seeking to give your finances a new beginning in 2015, it’s vital to be aware of these three important financial changes that took effect at the start of the New Year.1. Contribution limits on retirement, flexible spending accounts riseWant to save more for your retirement in 2015? Well, you’re in luck: The contribution limit for a 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan has been increased to $18,000, a $500 bump from 2014. And if you’re age 50 or older (or turning 50 anytime before Dec. 31, 2015), you’ll be able to stash away an additional $6,000 as a catch-up contribution, a $500 increase from 2014.What if you’re self-employed or a small-business owner with a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA? Good news: You’ll be able to contribute $53,000 to the account in 2015, a $1,000 boost from last year. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Pension funds must set ‘proactive’ tone over water-risk engagement

first_imgPension funds have been urged to engage with companies on the risk of water shortages, as a report showed that more than one-fifth of companies view shortages as detrimental to growth.According to a report by CDP and sponsored by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the asset manager of the NOK5.8bn (€678bn) Government Pension Fund Global, the detrimental impact on growth will be felt keenly in emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India.The report said half of the risks identified by the 174 companies, all listed in the FTSE Global 500, were expected to stunt growth within three years.Paul Simpson, CDP’s chief executive, said companies were increasingly understanding the fact that water-related problems can damage a brand. “Over two-thirds of Global 500 companies reporting to CDP this year face substantive water risks – therefore, investing to conserve, manage or obtain water has become crucial for some sectors,” he said.He noted that companies such as Coca Cola and Nestlé had started investing to reduce their water use and improve waste-water treatment.Of those reporting on risks, 43% expect them to materialise within three years, 15% said 4-6 years and 24% expected it to take more than six years.The remaining 15% said they did not know how long it would take them to be impacted.The report, ‘From water risk to value creation’, identified the utilities sector as most exposed to “substantive” water risks, followed closely by the energy sector and those producing consumer products.Cate Lamb, who heads up the CDP’s water project, urged pension funds to put engagement over water management at the heart of any agreement with asset managers.She told IPE pension funds were “hugely critical”, due to their influence on the asset management sector and companies they own.Lamb said the current prolonged drought in California, among the world’s 10 largest economies, had helped raise awareness, as it was a state producing critical commodities, where production changes caused price hikes globally.Similarly, previous droughts in Russia have driven up cattle-feed prices, which in turn has increased the price of leather for shoe manufacturers.  “There is quite a significant opportunity for asset owners to set a more positive, proactive tone among their asset managers by including water-related issues in the request for proposals (RFPs) they issue,” Lamb said.“It’s a topic we hope to work with more pension funds on over the next year, to identify what those opportunities are.”Dutch healthcare sector fund PFZW recently confirmed that strategies to tackle water scarcity would be part of a drive to quadruple sustainable investments by 2020.For its part, NBIM has been heavily involved in the issue of water risk, first discussing the matter in 2009.It more recently called on companies to work on a universal approach to water management reporting.In an effort to make water-related infrastructure more attractive to investors, CDP has also confirmed its involvement in a new working group by the Climate Bonds Initiative.The climate bonds water infrastructure expert committee will – similarly to the groups on agricultural and property bonds launched by the initiative – set out ways for investors to assess the credentials of water-related bonds.Sean Kidney, chief executive at the Climate Bonds Initiative, said the opportunities to invest in the sector were “enormous”.Explaining the need for consistent standards in the sector, he added: “While it may be tempting to define every water project as ‘green’, water investments that don’t take into account climate change, with, for example, its increased volatility of rainfall – dumps and droughts – will come to be seen as both higher risk and not consistent with green.”For more on the Church of Sweden’s approach to managing water risk, see the current issue of IPE,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to CDP’s report ‘From risk to value creation’last_img read more

Canada: Hibernia platform resuming production after storm

first_imgSeaRose oil spill The Hibernia Management and Development Company-operated Hibernia platform, located offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, is gradually resuming production following a shutdown last Friday, November 16. To remind, the area experienced a significant storm last week, prompting the oil and gas operators offshore Canada to halt production at their facilities.While the weather conditions were well within the design limits of the Hibernia platform and the platform kept operating during the storm, three of the eight Hibernia lifeboats were impaired and taken out of service as a result of the weather.However, on Friday morning, November 16, following discussions between Canada’s offshore regulator, C-NLOPB, and the operator regarding the fact three lifeboats were out of service, Hibernia operations were halted and  the number of persons onboard was reduced to 175.Production remained halted during the week to enable the operator to assess the damage and complete the repairs. On Thursday, November 22 C-NLOPB informed that the Hibernia platform was authorized to restart production operations on November 21, after completing all necessary inspections on the facility and production systems.In a separate statement on Thursday, the HMDC said that, while the storm conditions were within design parameters, the Hibernia engineering and offshore personnel carried out a series of robust and thorough inspections of the platform and completed all integrity checks prior to resuming production operations. Close surveillance of the facility will be carried out throughout start up.The regulator also said that the number of persons onboard would remain at 175 until all necessary repairs, inspection, and analysis to the damaged lifeboats are complete.C-NLOPB added that Hibernia would also need to inspect their subsea systems, which include the Offshore Loading System, and all drilling systems prior to resuming drilling and offloading operations.Certifying Authority concurrence that these systems are fit for purpose post-storm is also required, prior to resuming those operations.The shareholders of Hibernia Management and Development Company are: ExxonMobil Canada (33.125%), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%), Suncor (20%), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%) and Equinor Canada (5%). Green light to resume production It is also worth reminding that, as a result of the storm, Husky’s SeaRose FPSO on Friday, November 16 spilled 250 cubic meters (250,000 liters) of oil into the environment after trying to restart production, which had been suspended due to Thursday’s weather. The FPSO will remain suspended until a full inspection of all facilities is completed and Husky has received the support and approval of the C-NLOPB.Meanwhile, other operators offshore Canada are also assessing their offshore facilities for damage before resuming operations.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

Grant funds local athletic trainer programs

first_imgThanking RSRF’s President, Jerry Smith, (far right) for the grant are (left to right) Dr. Robert Rolf of Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine; John Prifogle, Milan High School Athletic Director; Robbie Kippler, A.T.C./L., DCH Athletic Trainer for Milan Schools; Ed Brush, M.S.P.T./A.T.C., DCH Director of Rehabilitation Services; and Jane Rogers, Milan Community Schools Superintendent.Rising Sun, In. — The Rising Sun Regional Foundation awarded approximately $15,000 in grants to Dearborn County Hospital for its athletic trainer programs in three school corporations.  Grant funds were used to purchase rehabilitation and first responder equipment for the athletic training programs at Milan, Rising Sun and South Ripley schools.“Each school corporation received similar equipment to improve the care, safety and service that the athletic trainers provide to injured student athletes,” stated Ed Brush, M.S.P.T./A.T.C., DCH Director of Rehabilitation Services.  “We want to thank the Rising Sun Regional Foundation for donating approximately $5,000 each for the three school systems for the purchase of needed emergency, first aid and rehabilitation supplies/equipment for their athletic training programs.”As a service to the area’s young athletes, Dearborn County Hospital Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine and Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine began providing athletic training and medical director services without charge to the Milan, Rising Sun and South Ripley systems in 2016.A ceremony recognizing the Rising Sun Regional Foundation’s grant for the Milan program was held during half-time at the Milan Indians/Lawrenceburg Tigers football game on September 1 at Milan High School.  Attending the ceremony were Mr. Brush; Robbie Kippler, A.T.C./L., DCH Athletic Trainer for Milan Schools; John Prifogle, Milan High School Athletic Director; Jane Rogers, Milan Community Schools Superintendent; Robert Rolf, M.D., Orthopaedic Surgeon and Co-Director of Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine; and Jerry Smith, Rising Sun Regional Foundation President.The Rising Sun Regional Foundation benefits residents of Ohio and Ripley Counties and the City of Aurora.  Based on a percentage of its revenue, the Rising Star Casino & Resort makes monthly contributions to the foundation.last_img read more

Christmas plays season-high 35 minutes, avoids foul trouble in SU win

first_img Published on February 13, 2014 at 1:58 am Contact Stephen: | @Stephen_Bailey1 PITTSBURGH — For all the fear and worry that surrounded Jerami Grant’s role of backup center coming into Syracuse’s 58-56 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the 210-pound sophomore forward played only about five minutes in the middle of SU’s 2-3 zone.Junior center Rakeem Christmas played a season-high 35 minutes.“I thought Rak did a great job tonight,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Not having Baye (Moussa Keita), he had to play without being in foul trouble.“He hasn’t had to do that, so he’s been a little bit reckless sometimes. Tonight he was very good.”Christmas finished with seven points, five rebounds and three blocks, but his biggest contribution was undoubtedly keeping Grant on the wing. Christmas spaced out his fouls through the game, only sitting down for the last 1:55 of the first half and a span of 2:44 midway through the second stanza.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFacing a tough Panthers frontcourt led by Talib Zanna, who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, Christmas may not have been a defense stalwart, but he was certainly a presence.“Pitt always plays physical,” Grant said. “They’re a physical team. We knew what to expect coming into the game. They’re definitely one of the more physical teams in the country.”Early on, Christmas’ cautiousness was apparent. He jerked his hand around following an early whistle — not on him — and was careful to defend Pitt players driving to the rim.But despite SU getting routed on the offensive glass, he improved as a rim protector. He blocked Zanna twice before picking up his first foul on a moving screen with 13:13 left in the first half.Then he didn’t pick up his second until the 1:55 mark in the first half on a Zanna take. During that time, Grant held his own at center as the SU zone tightened and denied the entry pass into the high post.After picking up his third foul 3:27 into the second half, Christmas played the next 3:21 with three fouls before exiting the game at the same time as Zanna.Then he returned to spell Grant once more before picking up his final foul with 4.4 seconds left.“He did a great job not picking up a lot of fouls so he had to go out and sit,” Grant said. “He did a great job. Definitely, I’m happy the way he played on defense.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

USC nabs two victories over weekend

first_imgDespite a slow start against the likes of Washington and UCLA recently, the USC women’s tennis team wasted no time in putting down Fresno St. on Thursday, then beating Pepperdine on the road Saturday.“We played really well in stretches this weekend, especially against a good Pepperdine team,” said USC coach Richard Gallien. “[Pepperdine] played us really hard and we stuck it to them.”In Malibu, the Women of Troy (10-2) continued their recent string of success with a decisive 5-1 win over the No. 30 Waves.In what seemed to be the theme this weekend, USC started strong out of the gate, garnering victories at the top early and often, with quick wins by the No. 2 Sanchez and No. 18 sophomore Danielle Lao.Sanchez has been dominant of late, especially in the singles department, and neither Marianne Jordan of Fresno State nor Pepperdine’s Arianna Colffer could slow her down.Now at 25-1 overall, the senior has not only provided an automatic win for this season, but she has also helped groom Christian during their time playing doubles’ together.Christian pulled eked out a victory against Pepperdine’s Ale Granillo with a 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (10-8) win.Now entrenched in the third slot, she will be relied upon to be a strong, consistent presence as the competition gets stiffer.“[Kaitlyn] is a gamer,” Gallien said. “She plays so well and just continues to get stronger. It was a luxury to start her early, but now we need her against some of these other higher girls [No. 3s] even though she banged.”Lao rebounded from a singles loss against Washington to pick up two victories, edging out Anamika Bhargava of Pepperdine 6-4, 6-2 and Fresno State’s Laura Pola 6-1, 6-2.“Danielle is a tough trooper and she’s been playing hurt for awhile now,” Gallien said. “[Bhargava] has been Pepperdine’s No. 1 the last two years and it was good for Danielle to come out and beat her solidly.”With sophomore Valeria Pulido out indefinitely with a stress reactor in her ankle, and without a timetable to return, junior Alison Ramos and senior Cristala Andrews each moved up a spot to No. 4 and No. 5 singles as senior Lyndsay Kinstler slid into the sixth spot.Andrews, who has beaten up on lesser competition on court six this season, has now won two matches in a row, despite a previous 0-3 mark at the No. 5 spot in singles play before the weekend.Facing an overmatched Bulldogs squad, USC rode the momentum from winning the doubles point, capped off by an 8-7 tiebreaker win by senior Maria Sanchez and freshman Kaitlyn Christian over Melissa McQueen/Marlanne Jodin, to win all but one singles match on the day and finish with a 6-1 victory.This week, USC hosts a pair of home matches starting with Syracuse at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, before facing Arizona State at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16.last_img read more