Up from the ruins, slowly

Posted On Mar 1 2021 by

first_imgJoyce Klein Rosenthal, an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Design and an instructor in the School’s Risk and Resilience Master in Design concentration, spoke to the Gazette about lessons from past disasters and possible first steps toward rebuilding following the devastation of last Monday’s massive tornado in Moore, Okla.GAZETTE: After a natural disaster like the tornado that hit Moore, how soon should officials start planning for rebuilding?ROSENTHAL: It’s hard to pin down, it can be weeks or months, but you have this recovery period where people lost homes and are finding a place to live or are just trying to get in touch with loved ones and let everybody know they’re OK.After Katrina, there were some urban planners who came in a week or two afterward, saying, “OK, let’s talk about rebuilding,” and it was really too early.When you do come into this recovery phase, though, there are some precedents that are outstanding. You may remember a couple of years ago, Greensburg, Kan., was virtually wiped off the map by a devastating EF5 tornado. It destroyed homes and businesses, but the whole community came back together and worked with a creative architect, Bob Berkebile, who’s been one of the pioneers of green design. He worked with Greensburg to design better, “to build back better.”I’m an urban planner who’s really interested in process and that’s why I’m interested in Greensburg. Because it was very much community-based, with multiple charrettes and residents deciding, “OK we have the opportunity to rebuild our whole town, how should we do it?”GAZETTE: What was good from a planning standpoint about what happened in Greensburg?ROSENTHAL: When it was the right time — and certainly the week after may not be the right time — but when it was the right time they sat down and had community-based meetings and charrettes and asked, “OK, how are we going to rebuild?” There were a lot of different types of buildings destroyed — schools, businesses, and homes. They did a very green design, but you can also ask questions like, “Will we require that every home have an above-ground, concrete-lined, very heavy-duty shelter?” They really went through an intensive process of public deliberation.GAZETTE: You teach courses in the risk and resilience concentration. Can you talk a bit about what a resilient city is?ROSENTHAL: Resilience is a concept with a long history in ecology. Its specific meaning is when an ecosystem is disturbed, it can reach equilibrium again, though perhaps a different equilibrium.A community might encounter shocks, whether through social conflict, or economic or natural disaster, like the Oklahoma tornado, but they find a way to provide basic services and come back to some level of functioning and stability. Flexibility and redundancy of urban systems are characteristics of resilient cities.We find that social isolation is a real risk factor in many disasters and social networks are particularly important [in building resilience]. I’m doing research in the Rockaways [in Queens, N.Y., post-Sandy] and you can see where these informal social networks were important, where people had to rely on their neighbors for the first weeks to feed themselves, to meet basic needs.GAZETTE: Can resilience be planned or designed for?ROSENTHAL: A lot of designers will say yes, because we know how not to plan for it. If you said, “How can we alienate people or make it more difficult to visit your neighbors?” you might invent an automobile-based, low-density city. You’d make it difficult to cross the street and walk through your neighborhood, especially for senior citizens who might not be able to drive anymore.If you design small-scale street grids, clusters and mixed uses, urban greens and pedestrian ways, you’ll get more social connections between neighbors. We need to collect more empirical data, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that making it hard to walk makes it difficult to visit your neighbors. Design isn’t the only factor in social connectedness, but it is one worth investigation and experimentation.There is also a substantial role for urban planners in integrating hazard mitigation, or resilient design, into plans and designs for urban redevelopment. We need to work with communities before disasters to prevent as many hazards as possible and to ensure a healthy recovery.last_img read more


Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services Issues PSA

Posted On Jan 18 2021 by

first_imgChautauqua County South County Office Building in Jamestown sign. WNYNewsNow file image 10/16/18.MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all Social Services clients with an appointment for today in Mayville, Jamestown or Dunkirk, to not come in for scheduled appointments or non-emergency services. The agency says negative actions will not be taken on the case as a result of missing an appointment.The Department is using this time to update their practices and ensure safe facilities for both clients and staff as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications, both certification (initial) and re-certification for assistance should be mailed to Chautauqua County Department of Social Services 110 E. 4th St., Jamestown  or 319 Central Ave., Dunkirk or dropped off in either location – drop boxes are available.The department says it is essential that all clients  include a working phone number so we can contact you for an interview by telephone. Emergency needs will still be addressed on site at our Dunkirk and Jamestown locations. The Department will communicate further updates as they develop. 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


Wayne Brady Will Join the Cast of Hamilton in Chicago

Posted On Jan 18 2021 by

first_img View Comments Wayne Brady(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Wayne Brady’s going from the Land of Lola to the room where it happens. The Emmy winner and Broadway alum will join the Chicago cast of Hamilton, assuming the role of Aaron Burr from January 17 through April 9 at the PrivateBank Theatre. As previously announced, Joshua Henry (Chicago’s current Burr) will take the role on tour beginning March 10.Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical began performances in Chicago on September 27.Brady recently starred on Broadway in Kinky Boots; he also appeared in Chicago in New York and Rent at the Hollywood Bowl. His numerous screen credits include Whose Line Is It Anyway? and The Wayne Brady Show (earning an Emmy for both), and the current CBS reboot of Let’s Make a Deal.The current Chicago cast of Hamilton also includes Miguel Cervantes as Alexander Hamilton, Ari Afsar as Eliza Hamilton, Karen Olivo as Angelica Schuyler, Alexander Gemignani as King George III, Chris De’Sean Lee as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, José Amor as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, Wallace Smith as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison and Samantha Marie Ware as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds.last_img read more


Shumlin announces $575,000 for J & L remediation project in Springfield

Posted On Jan 1 2021 by

first_imgOn Monday Governor Peter Shumlin announced $575,000 in grant funding to begin the environmental remediation process at the former J & L Plant 1 in Springfield.The Governor presented the awards, one for $400,000 from the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission and the other, totaling $175,000 from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, to Bob Flint, executive director of the Springfield Regional Development Corporation. SRDC purchased the former J & L property in 2002.The funding will allow work to begin on cleaning up the contamination on the property, specifically the removal of the former chip shed and associated soils behind the building as well as the removal of asbestos from the former office area.The $575,000 was made available to the State and the SWCRPC through ARRA awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Governor Shumlin lauded the strong partnership between SRDC, the Southern Windsor County RPC, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Department of Environmental Conservation.‘This is a great example of how collaboration among local, regional and state entities can be a catalyst for bringing this part of Springfield back to life,’ the Governor said.Flint said, at Monday’s announcement, that the J & L property was a core part of Springfield identity and would now start the path toward becoming part of its future once again.He indicated that the remediation work would begin this summer and this portion would be completed by year-end.last_img read more


The Best Defense Is Good Offense: DOJ Challenges Local Public Defense Programs

Posted On Dec 18 2020 by

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Lauren Kirchner, ProPublicaShortly before Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation last September, he told an interviewer: “Any attorney general who is not an activist is not doing his or her job.” One of Holder’s more activist initiatives received attention last week when The New York Times highlighted how Holder’s Justice Department began the novel practice of filing arguments in state and county courts.“[N]either career Justice Department officials nor longtime advocates can recall such a concerted effort to insert the federal government into local civil rights cases,” Matt Apuzzo wrote for the Times.The agency has used so-called “statements of interest” to file arguments in existing court cases—sometimes cases brought by the ACLU, Equal Justice Under Law or other advocacy groups. One issue that’s garnered particular attention from Justice Department lawyers is fair access to legal defense, a right guaranteed by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division has filed four such statements in the past two years, a time in which bipartisan support has emerged for a renewed examination of how local and state governments are providing legal representation to the poor. The department maintains that it does not take a position on the facts of the case, but it argues larger points about civil rights issues with national implications.“It’s very much like having an amicus brief, but it’s an amicus brief by the United States Department of Justice,” said Norman Reimer, executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “That carries a lot of weight. No municipality or state wants to be found to be violating Constitutional rights in the eyes of the Justice Department.”As the Times story shows, local prosecutors and defense attorneys for the cities and states that suddenly come under this national microscope may not appreciate the attention, however. Nor do they necessarily agree with the Justice Department’s premise that it is not taking sides in the cases at hand. Scott G. Thomas, the attorney who defended Burlington, Washington in a suit challenging the city’s indigent defense program, objected to the way the case turned Burlington into a political symbol, telling Apuzzo, “it’s the Department of Justice putting their finger on the scale.”Joshua Marquis, the elected district attorney in Clatsop County, Oregon, who also serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of the National District Attorneys Association, considers problematic indigent defense systems more episodic than epidemic. “The idea that this is somehow symptomatic of some sort of major civil rights emergency in America is just plain crazy,” he said. Where smaller jurisdictions lack funding for indigent defense, it follows that the prosecutors in those same jurisdictions lack funding, too. “To me, that’s just as dire a problem,” said Marquis, “and since, frankly, most victims are poor people and people of color, I would be really impressed to see the United States Justice Department pick that up.”The Supreme Court ruled in the 1963 case Gideon v. Wainwright that each state had to establish means of representation for defendants who couldn’t afford it themselves. But the federal government only provides best practices, grants and training; it’s left to the states to decide how to interpret Gideon‘s mandate and how much money to allocate to it. Some states leave the decisions about indigent defense and funding for it entirely to counties. As a result, the quality of one’s counsel heavily depends on the location of the alleged crime.“It’s very difficult to explain the patchwork quilt that is the right to counsel in America,” said David Carroll, executive director of the Sixth Amendment Center, an advocacy group for indigent defense. “People watch TV cop dramas, where everyone asks for a lawyer in police lockup, and they come back from commercial break, and there’s the lawyer … The difference between what they believe and what’s actually happening is very broad.”The gap between what many Americans consider to be adequate defense, and the reality on the ground in local courts, is what advocates say these lawsuits seek to close. The potential remains for many more investigations and filings, as well. “The DOJ could almost take a dart, and throw it at a map, and there would be a problem with indigent defense in that particular place,” said Ernie Lewis, executive director of the National Association for Public Defense. “And I don’t think I’m exaggerating.”Here are the jurisdictions where DOJ lawyers have filed statements of interest in cases addressing indigent defense:Washington (Cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington)In an August 2013 statement of interest in Wilbur v. City of Mount Vernon, the Justice Department asked a federal court in Washington to appoint an “independent monitor” to oversee new reforms to the indigent defense system there. This was the first statement of interest of this kind, and advocates say it had a huge impact — in signaling that the Justice Department was going to enforce this issue in a new way, and in tangible changes to the Washington system, as well. The judge in the case “took it and really ran with it, and there’s big changes now happening all across Washington,” said the Sixth Amendment Center’s Carroll.In the conclusion of his decision, which refers to the 1963 ruling in Gideon, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik wrote: “The notes of freedom and liberty that emerged from Gideon’s trumpet a half a century ago cannot survive if that trumpet is muted and dented by harsh fiscal measures that reduce the promise to a hollow shell of a hallowed right.”New YorkBack in 2007, the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a suit on behalf of 20 defendants against the state of New York, arguing that five counties were denying effective counsel to indigent defendants. Ontario, Onondaga, Schuyler, Suffolk and Washington counties did not have a public defense system or standards in place at the time; they had just contracted with private attorneys on an ad-hoc (and apparently inadequate) basis. The Justice Department joined the suit with a statement of interest in September 2014. A settlement followed within weeks, mandating the creation of a new public defense office, standards for defendant eligibility, and more state funding for the attorneys.Alabama (City of Clanton)With its statement of interest in February of this year, the Justice Department joined a lawsuit against the city of Clanton for its practice of setting bail without regard for a defendant’s flight risk or ability to pay. Christy Dawn Varden, a plaintiff in the case, was arrested for shoplifting at Walmart, and a judge assigned her a $2,000 bond—$500 for each of Varden’s four misdemeanor charges. Living on $200 a month in food stamps, Varden could not pay the bond, and so stayed in jail. “By taking action in this case, the Justice Department is sending a clear message: that we will not accept criminal justice procedures that have discriminatory effects,” said Holder in a statement. “We will not hesitate to fight institutionalized injustice wherever it is found.” As a result of the case, city officials agreed to reform the way it assigned bail.GeorgiaIn March, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest addressing the rights of juveniles accused of delinquency in Georgia. The complaint alleged that officials were denying the juvenile defendants’ right to counsel, by encouraging the children to waive a right that they didn’t really understood they had. It argued that these young defendants were subject to “assembly line justice”; acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta said “The systemic deprivation of counsel for children cannot be tolerated.”ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more


Here’s What You Need to Know for Tonight’s LIRR Commute

Posted On Dec 18 2020 by

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island Rail Road commuters heading back to work after a snowbound weekend were greeted with long delays and packed trains Monday as the railroad continued the exhaustive task of digging out from Saturday’s powerful blizzard.The news for the evening commute may do little to assuage frustrated commuters who had rough start to the work week.The LIRR announced Monday afternoon that train serviced had been restored on the Port Washington branch. Still, four other branches remain suspended: Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach and West Hempstead. The LIRR noted that the suspensions were due to the “on-going effects of this weekend’s blizzard.” Diesel service was also restored in Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and Montauk branches, as well as between Greenport and Ronkonkoma.“Please allow extra travel time and expect delays and crowding,” the LIRR said.There is still no service between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, which means Islanders fans with tickets to Monday night’s game will have to take an alternate route to the Barclays Center. The railroad recommended fans take LIRR trains to Penn Station, where railroad tickets will be honored on the No. 2 or 3 Brooklyn-bound trains.As the blizzard walloped the region Saturday, officials decided to suspend service on all lines beginning at 4 p.m. Officials had said crews would work throughout the day Sunday with the goal of having all branches fully running by the morning.The LIRR has encouraged riders to visit www.mta.info for information on suspended branches.(Photo credit: MTA New York City Transit / Leonard Wiggins)last_img read more


OKEA assumes Draugen operatorship as Shell exits

Posted On Sep 28 2020 by

first_imgNorwegian oil and gas company OKEA has completed the acquisition of a package of Shell’s interests on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and is now taking over the operator role on one of the fields. Draugen; Source: Wiki Commons – Author: Sven Mandel – under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license Shell’s Norwegian entity, A/S Norske Shell, last June reached an agreement with OKEA to sell its entire 44.56% interest in Draugen field and 12% interest in Gjøa in Norway for NOK 4.5 billion ($525M).The acquisition also included the office building “Råket” in Kristiansund, Norway.The Norwegian authorities gave the green light for Shell’s proposed sale to OKEA in early November.Shell said on Friday that, with the deal completion, the company is exiting its 44.56% operated interest in the Draugen field and 12% non-operated interest in the Gjøa field, representing approximately 14% of A/S Norske Shell’s total production in 2017.In a separate statement on Friday, OKEA said it will assume operatorship of the Draugen field effective from November 30, 2018. As part of this transaction, 153 employees will transfer from Shell to OKEA.OKEA’s CEO, Erik Haugane, said: “We are very pleased with the work that we have accomplished with Shell since the signing of the agreement on 20 June 2018. Thanks to our comprehensive and dedicated work together, we are able to close this transaction on schedule. This is the beginning of a new chapter for OKEA, as operator of one of the most prestigious fields on the NCS.”Rich Denny, Managing Director of A/S Norske Shell, said: “Today’s deal completion was achieved despite a tight timeline from the sales and purchase agreement in June 2018. It was made possible by good collaboration between Shell and OKEA and with constructive dialogue with the Norwegian Authorities.”This deal was part of Shell’s global $30 billion divestment program.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more


Wilson Sells One, Buys Two Bulk Carriers

Posted On Sep 28 2020 by

first_imgNorwegian shortsea liner shipping company Wilson ASA has decided to dispose of one bulk carrier oldie and acquire two 5,000 dwt bulkers.The company has entered into an agreement with an unnamed party to sell MV Wilson Reef, an open hatch singledecker built in 1975.The 6,258 dwt vessel is expected to be delivered to its new owner in the first quarter of 2020, according to Wilson.In a separate announcement, the company said it signed an agreement to buy the 2007-built MV Lauren C and the 2008-built MV Nicole C.VesselsValue’s data shows that both ships are owned by UK’s Carisbrooke Shipping.The ships, which will be renamed, are planned to be acquired during the first quarter of 2020.Marking the company’s entry into the 5,000 dwt segment, the acquisition is said to underpin “Wilson’s long-term belief in the market”.last_img read more


Why I Still Oppose Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Posted On Sep 27 2020 by

first_imgWe’re not passing laws that pave the way for our buddy’s “mom and pop shop” to grow and make some money that provides for their families. We’re passing laws that create a whole new industry that clearly markets to kids with their gummy bears and cartoon advertisements, cost us more than we will ever get back as communities in taxes, and has created a large and powerful lobby driven by big business. Huffington Post 29 December 2017Family First Comment: Here’s a really key question…“what we really need to do as a society is to deal with the reasons why we want to get high in the first place. Is it anxiety? Depression? Let’s treat these symptoms with appropriate therapy, provide adequate mental health coverage, so that one does not have to use mind-altering substances to get by. Then, we will have truly succeeded at making progress. Habitual drug use is not going to resolve our problems. The bottom line is that we have enough issues in this country these days. This country doesn’t need another legal intoxicant. Haven’t we learned enough with alcohol and tobacco?”    www.saynopetodope.nzYes, I’m going to go “there” again. I’m going to address the topic of marijuana legalization. But not because I want to dictate what American citizens do behind closed doors in their free time, or because I claim to know the precise entirety of the long-term effects – both positive (medicinal possibly) and negative – of this drug. As Ben Cort articulates in his book Weed, Inc., “We are considering a massive shift in policy that will result in more access to a substance we know little about in its current form. We must not allow the conversation to be defined just by those who stand to profit.”It seems that when Americans are asked about their position on legalizing marijuana, many respond in favor of legalizing based on medicinal or criminal beliefs. When a recent Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) poll conducted in New York asked a follow up question that adjusted for the fact that personal marijuana possession is already decriminalized and medicalized in New York, respondents’ support for legalization dropped by a third. “One of the things that we thought was going to happen when [recreational] marijuana was legalized was that drugs would be taken out of our community,” said Candi CdeBaca, an education and community activist in Colorado whose longtime family home is steps from a commercial grow operation. “What happened was that the drugs stayed—and the drug dealers changed.” I’m going to dive into this topic again because you, the reader and the pro-pot voter, need to know that you’re being duped. Our current propositions to legalize marijuana are funded by deep pockets, to be sure. Recreational use is far different than medicinal use, and the lobbyists couldn’t care less about the communities in which they plan to place their shops.center_img As of the New Year, marijuana is going to be legal for either recreational or medicinal use in 29 states and the District of Columbia – over half the country. I apologize for being blunt about your blunt, but it’s true. But hear this: the current “fight” for legalization is much less about your freedoms and much more about big business making big money at your expense. It’s about lobbyists and an industry with no federal oversight. Since marijuana is illegal at the federal level, you get no quality standards or oversight on the conditions where it is grown, processed, packaged, or sold. It’s an industry where they need to create more users to stay in business. It’s about commercialization not decriminalization, not local folks making a living. Add to this the fact that the level of THC in today’s marijuana is literally mind-boggling, and due to its federal illegality, there are no guidelines or regulations on its potency. This is not the marijuana of the past, to be sure.READ MORE: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-i-still-oppose-recreational-marijuana-legalization_us_5a46710ee4b0df0de8b069e5last_img read more


Breaking: NFF appoints Joseph Yobo as Super Eagles’ Assistant Coach

Posted On Sep 22 2020 by

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th Omeruo welcomes second child The Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former Super Eagles’ defender and captain, Joseph Yobo, as Assistant Coach of the team. He replaces Imama Amapakabo in the three-time African champions’ technical crew. Yobo, who played for the Nigeria U20 boys, Flying Eagles, during the FIFA World Youth Championship, now known as FIFA U20 World Cup, in 1999, won his first cap for the senior team in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match away to Zambia in Chingola in April 2001, and played in three FIFA World Cup finals in 2002, 2010 and 2014. The attack-minded defender also played in six Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013, capping it with leading the Super Eagles to their third continental title in South Africa in 2013. He played a total of 100 matches for Nigeria at senior level. A thoroughbred and dedicated professional who played his club football in five countries, including sterling appearances for Olympique Marseille in the French top flight, Fenerbahce in Turkey and Everton FC in the English Premiership, Yobo scored several crucial goals for the Super Eagles in important qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations. He was also among the scorers when the Eagles thrashed South Africa’s Bafana Bafana 4-0 in a group phase match in Tunisia 16 years ago. Born Joseph Michael Yobo on September 6, 1980, the flamboyant stopper also played club football in Belgium with Standard Liege, Tenerife in Spain and Norwich City in England, having started out with Michellin-Harcourt in Rivers State in 1996.Tags: Africa Cup of NationsJoseph YoboSuper Eagleslast_img read more