“READERS FORUM” FEBRUARY 19, 2018

first_imgWHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?We hope that today’s “Readers Forum” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?Todays “Readers Poll” question is: If the Republican primary for the 8th District Congressional race was held today who would you vote for?Please take time and read our articles entitled “STATEHOUSE Files, CHANNEL 44 NEWS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, READERS POLL, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS”.  You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily. If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us [email protected] LinkEmailSharelast_img

Firefly Music Festival Will Become A Fully Fan-Curated Festival In 2017

first_imgFirefly Music Festival has become a behemoth over the past few years. The Delaware music festival has attracted 90,000 fans for many years running, and has become one of the landmark music festivals in the country. In doing so, the festival has formed a strong bond with its fanbase, using a survey system to find out artists that their fans would like to see in The Woodlands. In fact, Blink-182, Earth Wind & Fire, and Busta Rhymes were all booked in recent years specifically due to fan requests, while the festival has booked “31 of the top 30 mid-tier acts and 7 of the top 10 headliners” in the past four years in response to fan demand. Using their fans to crowd-source their lineup decisions has paid off, leading to a true connection between Firefly fans and promoters Red Frog Productions.Now, in 2017, Red Frog and Firefly will take their connection with their fans even further, as the festival has announced that the entire festival will essentially be decided by fan voting. The festival team posted an update on the event’s website today, explaining that fans will help decide the food, the art, the design, and the overall feel of the festival. See below for a portion of their full statement:“As each Firefly is built, it is a lengthy and complex process with ups and downs, lefts and rights. There are numerous decisions to be made about every inch of The Woodlands. What stays and what gets replaced? what do we hang here and built there? Hammocks or swings, tacos or crepes, kickball or capture the flag? Starting now, you will have the opportunity to be involved in every piece of Firefly. Throughout the next seven months, we will be releasing several surveys specific to each area of the festival. Artists, attractions, food, camping, merchandise, etc. These are your opportunities to voice your opinion, to help curate the best weekend of the summer…”In a festival market filled with homogenous lineups, seemingly endless corporate sponsorships, and many of the same attractions, it’s time for fans to finally have their voices heard at a large-scale festival. The only question is, will fans create a festival that the majority of festival-goers actually like? Or will this new strategy end up as another gimmick? With the involvement of festival giants Goldenvoice, one can only wonder how much power they will cede, especially given their involvement in the disappointing Hangout Festival lineup. We can only hope that real fans will show them a thing or two at Firefly this summer by democratically deciding on an amazing event!last_img read more

Cracking flight’s mysteries

first_imgEngineers at Harvard University have created a millionth-scale automobile differential to govern the flight of minuscule aerial robots that could someday be used to probe environmental hazards, forest fires, and other challenges too perilous for people.Their new approach is the first to passively balance the aerodynamic forces encountered by these miniature flying devices, letting their wings flap asymmetrically in response to gusts of wind, structural damage, and other real-world impediments.“The drivetrain for an aerial microrobot shares many characteristics with a two-wheel-drive automobile,” said lead author Pratheev S. Sreetharan, a graduate student in Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Both deliver power from a single source to a pair of wheels or wings. But our ‘PARITy differential’ generates torques up to 10 million times smaller than in a car, is 5 millimeters long, and weighs about one-hundredth of a gram — a millionth the mass of an automobile differential.” PARITy stands for passive aeromechanical regulation of imbalanced torques.High-performance aerial microrobots, such as those that Harvard scientists describe in the Journal of Mechanical Design, could ultimately be used to investigate areas deemed too dangerous for people. Scientists at institutions including the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Delaware, the University of Tokyo, and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands are exploring aerial microrobots as cheap, disposable tools that might someday be deployed in search-and-rescue operations, agriculture, environmental monitoring, and exploration of hazardous environments.To fly successfully through unpredictable environments, aerial microrobots — which resemble insects, nature’s nimblest fliers — have to negotiate conditions that change second by second. Insects usually accomplish this by flapping their wings in unison, a process whose kinematic and aerodynamic basis remains poorly understood.Sreetharan and his co-author, Robert J. Wood, recognized that an aerial microrobot based on an insect did not have to contain complex electronic feedback loops to control wing positions precisely.“We’re not interested so much in the position of the wings as the torque they generate,” said Wood, an associate professor of electrical engineering at Harvard and core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. “Our design uses ‘mechanical intelligence’ to determine the correct wing speed and amplitude to balance the other forces affecting the robot. It can slow down or speed up automatically to correct imbalances.”Sreetharan and Wood found that even when a significant part of an aerial microrobot’s wing was removed, the self-correction engendered by their PARITy drivetrain allowed the device to remain balanced in flight. Smaller wings simply flapped harder to keep up with the torque generated by an intact wing, reaching speeds of up to 6,600 beats per minute.The Harvard engineers say their passive approach to regulating the forces generated in flight is preferable to a more active approach involving electronic sensors and computation, which would add weight and complexity to devices that need to be as small and as lightweight as possible. Current-generation aerial microrobots are about the size and weight of many insects, and even make a similar buzzing sound when flying.“We suspect that similar passive mechanisms exist in nature, in actual insects,” Sreetharan said. “We take our inspiration from biology, and from the elegant simplicity that has evolved in so many natural systems.”Sreetharan and Wood’s work was funded by the National Science Foundation.last_img read more

In the crosshairs of an academic crackdown

first_imgIt was a straightforward proposal and seemingly benign research topic. In 2016, as a newly tenured associate professor of sociology at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Amy Austin Holmes — now a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center — was thrilled to receive a grant to analyze the impact of the new, restrictive NGO law on civil society across Egypt, whose government had become increasingly autocratic under the rule of military strongman President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. At the time, she had no reason to believe her work was being tracked by state intelligence.Each of her five associates would study a different group or region of the country, with her own focus being the Nubians in the south. She was drawn to the culture and history of the Nubians because of their similarities to Kurds, another group that was central to her scholarship.Descendants from an ancient civilization in the Sudan, Nubians have lived in the border area between Sudan and Egypt for thousands of years, though dam construction along the Nile forced their relocation several times in the 20th century. Holmes knew that as an African ethnic group, the Nubians had been “Arabized,” or forced to relinquish their language and indigenous identity, like some of the Kurdish groups she had studied.Two major political developments affecting the Nubians had occurred in recent years, and she wanted to study the impact these changes had on the community.In 2013, after a military coup removed the democratically elected Mohamed Morsi and appointed an interim president and suspended the constitution he’d signed into law the previous year, a new version of the constitution included an article promising Nubians the right to return to part of their traditional homeland in Egypt within 10 years. It was a surprising and unprecedented gesture that hinted at a possible new period of liberalization.But in 2016, under el-Sisi, a new law was drafted forbidding NGOs to accept foreign support, a move that would hamper civil organizations — including those that served the Nubians.Amy Austin Holmes (center, top) with members of the Syrian Democratic Forces at a Newroz celebration on March 21 in Kobane in northern Syria. Credit: Wladimir van WilgenburgBy the time Holmes embarked on her Nubian research, the climate was fraught, since a protest law had been put into place even before the NGO law. “They made it illegal to protest … and all of these horrible things started happening,” she said. “Disappearances, and the mass death sentences.”Using the grant approved by her university, in February 2017 Holmes traveled south from Cairo to Nasser El Nuba, a Nubian resettlement village, to conduct interviews. Several months after her visit, the political climate for Nubians began to heat up.That September, Nubians in Aswan staged a peaceful protest calling for the “right of return” promised in the new constitution. In response, Egyptian security forces again cracked down on protesters. They detained two dozen prisoners for two months — culminating in the death of a detainee named Gamal Sorour, who had previously been the head of the General Nubian Union in France, a human rights organization.“The state-controlled media accused the Nubians of being separatists,” says Holmes. “But the irony is that the Nubians are not separatists; they are asking for what’s been granted to them in the constitution.” (The Kurds in Syria, she points out, also are not asking for independence — a fact often misrepresented by the media.)A scholar is labeled an “operative”Despite not publishing or writing anything about her visit to the Nubian resettlement village, in the spring of 2018, news articles and television reports began to appear referencing Holmes’ visit, which had taken place more than a year earlier. The reports — published just before el-Sisi was declared the winner of the elections — suggested Holmes was an operative, intent on internationalizing the Nubians’ cause. And she was able to pinpoint their source.“Military intelligence wrote a report and sent it to the media outlets, who literally copied and pasted from the military intelligence report into their articles,” Holmes says. To her dismay, her home university, AUC, did nothing to publicly defend or clarify her work. So she defended herself — and called out the racist campaign against the Nubian minority in a piece she wrote for The Washington Post.Being targeted by Egyptian state-controlled media was a shocking signal, she said, and it ultimately led to her decision to extend a sabbatical in the U.S. that started in early 2018 out of concern for her safety.Holmes, who is also a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, notes the irony of her situation. “I was one of the first academics to write [critical] commentary about the devastating Rabaa massacre in 2013, and nothing happened to me. Four years later I am interviewing Nubian minorities in the south of Egypt and I’m labeled an agent.” The only independent university in Egypt, AUC continues to be silent on the incident.Challenges of studying minorities in the Middle EastToday, as a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center, Holmes is working under a yearlong grant to continue the research she began in Egypt, and is writing a book about her experiences. Her fieldwork has allowed her to see patterns across the minority groups she studies.“I was interested in the Nubians because I saw a lot of comparisons to the Kurdish issues I had been studying,” she said. “Both groups are non-Arab minorities living in Arab countries being repressed by centralized governments and forced to ‘Arabize.’”But it was her interest in Nubian history and culture that apparently attracted the attention of el-Sisi’s intelligence agents.Holmes is all too aware of the fates of other scholars and journalists in the region. In 2015, an Egyptian court sentenced her AUC colleague Emad Shahin to death in a mock trial while he was out of the country. Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni, a visiting scholar at AUC who was researching Egyptian labor unions, was tortured to death in Cairo in 2016. Several more of Holmes’s colleagues at AUC have been detained or barred from  returning to the country once they leave.Overall, her experience underscores the difficulties of studying minorities in the Middle East. “All over the region,” she said, “I see the crackdown on journalists and academics as two sides of the same coin.”The roots of authoritarianism in the Middle EastTo explain the authoritarianism sweeping the region, Holmes goes back to the birth of these nations.“The 1950s and 1960s were the height of pan-Arabism that emphasized the homogeneous nature of the newly independent states such as Egypt and Syria,” she said. “It was a rejection of colonialism by saying, ‘We are all one Arab people and have to be united.’ A strong military played a very important role as an institution, and that is where the autocratic governments emerge from.”Her research on the crackdown on civil society illustrates the nature of Egypt’s slide toward authoritarianism.“The reason I find this anti-NGO law so fascinating is because I think it shows that el-Sisi is not just targeting those people who are clearly critical of the regime, but also now the groups that provide basic services, or even work to defend the government’s own laws,” she explains. “To me it says that the regime is so paranoid and afraid of independent initiatives from civil society, regardless of the political orientation, that anything that smacks of independence from the state is a threat.”For now, Holmes will remain in the U.S. to work on a book under contract with Oxford University Press. The tentative title is “Coups and Revolutions: Mass Mobilization, the Egyptian Military, and the United States from Mubarak to Sisi.” She is writing articles and giving talks about the semi-autonomous region of northeastern Syria that is under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S. ally that now holds about one-third of Syrian territory.Weatherhead Center visiting scholar Amy Austin Holmes is an associate professor of sociology at the American University in Cairo. She is also a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.For the read the full story, visit the Weatherhead website.last_img read more

Women Funding Women 2018 Wraps – See You at DWEN in Toronto

first_imgGlobally, it is estimated that there are more than 274 million women entrepreneurs!Yet despite this massive influence and spending power of women entrepreneurs, Dell’s Women Entrepreneur #WECities research and the US Senate report on What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Thrive found that women entrepreneurs around the world receive disproportionate access to the resources needed to thrive, including capital, mentorship and technology.As a global leader Dell is committed to helping women-owned businesses scale with the help of technology and other critical resources and has expanded its program this year to further accelerate the success of women entrepreneurs.A Global Network of WomenDell and Springboard Enterprises, a network of innovators, investors and influencers who are dedicated to building high-growth companies led by women, hosted a series of Women Funding Women events across the globe this year, including in Toronto, Amsterdam, Paris, Austin, Sydney and Tokyo.Joined by nearly 900 women entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, government representatives and business leaders, these events shined a spotlight on investments made in women-led companies while encouraging more women to invest. The events helped to foster a global community that supports and invests in women by promoting investment opportunities and encouraging collaboration.We were honored to be joined by a number of other industry associations and companies supporting women entrepreneurs and investors, including, Startup Canada, EY, Accenture, WeConnect International, Incubate, SoGal, Alice, iFundWomen, Anaxago, Startup Delta, and more!You can see photos from all the events here, and stay tuned for details on our next series of Women Funding Women events which will start again in the fall.See You in Toronto for DWEN Summit 2018Although our Women Funding Women event series has come to a close for this year, we are excited to host 150 of the most inspiring female entrepreneurs, investors, government representatives and international media at our 9th annual Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Summit in Toronto from July 15-17, 2018.This two-day event will feature inspiring keynotes, collaborative break-out sessions, and unlimited potential to network and connect with other inspiring women. You may even find your next business partner at the event.If you’re interested in joining, please fill out and submit your profile to join the network. Of note, the ideal DWEN candidate is a woman entrepreneur with revenue or funding between $2-3M USD with plans to scale, however there is some flexibility based on a country’s culture and environment for women entrepreneurs. We happily direct startups and entrepreneurship advocates to our partners such as Alice and Springboard if you do not yet meet the network criteria.Invitations to the DWEN Summit, regional events and partner events will be based on your profile. You can see a recap of this amazing event here.last_img read more

University celebrates science sesquicentennial

first_imgIn 1865, 23 years after Notre Dame was founded, the study of science was introduced to the University. To celebrate 150 years of Notre Dame science, the College of Science is hosting a yearlong series of events with the local community and national sponsors, Gregory Crawford, dean of the College of Science, said.“We think it’s important, especially considering the vast expansion of our work and its value for society, to let the rest of the world know about our wonderful inventions and discoveries,” Crawford said. “We’re looking for more ideas from students, faculty and staff to help us celebrate and showcase this remarkable history that has led to where we are today.”Marissa Gebhard, assistant director of marketing and communications for the College of Science, said the celebration will commence during Science Week, which will take place Oct. 6-10, with one event held by each science department during the week.“Chemistry and biochemistry are hosting an ‘ACS [American Chemical Society] on Campus’ event, geared more toward graduate students for networking on October seventh to eighth,” Gebhard said. “The physics department will also host a DVT [digital visualization theater] show on Oct. 8 as well, which would be a great study break.”Gebhard said the week’s schedule includes lectures in applied and computation mathematics and overlaps with the “Math for Everyone” lecture series. Science Week will conclude in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center with a taping of the national radio show “Science Friday,” Gebhard said.“Ira Flatow, the host of ‘Science Friday,’ will be interviewing science faculty on stage about their research,” Gebhard said. “It will be edited, and then it will be broadcast that Friday, the 18th.”Gebhard said early lab equipment, molecule models and fossils from Notre Dame’s science history collection is on display in the Raclin Gallery of Notre Dame History as an ongoing exhibit.“It is very important that Notre Dame, as a leading Catholic university, has a reputation for rigorous scientific research because we are respected when we bring our virtues and values into conversations on issues like bioethics,” Crawford said.The historical milestones of the science department at Notre Dame coincide with breakthroughs in scientific knowledge, Crawford said.“Fr. John Zahm, for example, was an early voice who insisted that the theory of biological evolution was not in conflict with Catholic teaching,” Crawford said. “He was also an early champion of women’s involvement in science.“Fr. Julius Nieuwland discovered the basis for synthetic rubber and worked with DuPont to carry the idea into commercialization, an early example of the kind of innovation and translation that is an important part of our work today. In 1904, Fr. Nieuwland, who was also a botanist, established the irreplaceable collection of 268,000 specimens in our herbarium in our Museum of Biodiversity.”Crawford said the University’s involvement in research for the atomic bomb was due in large part to its investment in and commitment to new technologies.“Research for the Manhattan Project during World War II was conducted on campus because we had one of the most advanced accelerators in the country,” Crawford said.Science was an integral component of Fr. Sorin’s vision for Notre Dame, Crawford said.“Science is obviously a necessary component of any well-rounded education, and Fr. Sorin’s vision to become a force for good in the world called for such a curriculum,” Crawford said. “Of course, science has become even more important today as we look for answers to big human problems in such fields as health, energy, and the environment.”For the updated information on events planned for the 150th College of Science, visit http://science.nd.edu/events/150Tags: American Chemical Society, bioethics, College of Science, Ira Flatow, Math for Everyone, Science Friday, Science Weeklast_img read more

Outdoor Updates: Fears of explosions near natural gas pipelines grow in Appalachia

first_imgCarnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise line, reached a settlement with federal prosecutors to pay $20 million because its ships have continued to pollute the ocean despite being convicted of a similar pollution charge previously. Carnival pled guilty to violating terms of probation stemming from a 2016 criminal conviction for discharging oily waste into the ocean and then covering it up. Carnival was fined $40 million and placed on probation for five years. In the years since the conviction, however, Carnival has admitted to dumping gray water in protected areas, such as Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and knowingly discarding plastic in areas where marine life is threatened. They also admitted to falsifying compliance documents, among other things. Some of the changes that Carnival has been ordered to make including additional audits to check for violations, improving the company’s compliance program, and improving their waste management practices. An all-white panda has been photographed for the first time at a nature preserve in the Sichuan province of China. The albino animal lacks the usual black markings of a panda and has red eyes. The preserve said that the panda is 1-2 years old based on its size and appears to be physically strong, indicating that its albinism has not affected its health. This is the first time that albinism has been recorded in wild species of pandas. The condition is caused by a rare mutation in one or more genes that control the production of melanin, which pigments the skin. Animals suffering from albinism are often more sensitive to light and susceptible to skin cancer, eye problems, and predators. Carnival will pay $20 million because of its polluting cruise ships Since the beginning of 2018 there have been at least six pipeline blasts caused by landslides in Appalachia. The explosions are increasing in number just as companies are installing a new batch of pipelines across the region. The blasts have federal pipeline safety regulators worried and are instilling fear in residents that live in the path of the pipelines. “We have those same steep slopes,” Tina Smusz told E&E News, referring to an explosion along the Leach Xpress natural gas pipeline in Moundsville, W. Va that was triggered by a landslide. “I don’t know what they’re thinking. This is such a setup for ruptured pipelines.” The pipeline industry admits to the dangers of building pipelines in the mountains but maintains that they can build them safely. Regulators, however, have found that pipeline builders often take shortcuts, increasing the risk of conditions that can lead to pipeline explosions.center_img Fears of explosions near natural gas pipelines grow in Appalachia A rare, all-white panda is spotted in Chinalast_img read more

Rewriting your marketing rules for the current times

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jennifer Laud Jennifer is a credit union marketing consultant and the owner of Jennifer Laud Consulting. She has a background in strategy and a passion for positioning credit unions to find their … Web: www.jlaud.com Details We’re closing in quickly on the final quarter of the year, which tends to be a time for reflection. This has been anything but the typical year, so we’re going to need a bit more than some tweaks to the old goals and rules – we need a rewrite.It’s a big list of big things we’re responding to and grappling with: a pandemic, an energized movement for social justice, natural disasters, a presidential election… And all of these have an impact on our business and members. These major moments should push us to become better. In fact, to thrive in these changing times, we will need to be better. Here are a few nudges and thoughts for consideration while you’re reflecting on this year and planning for next. Ethical and Inclusive MarketingWe are expected, and required, to provide the truth in our marketing. As our starting point, we should be clear and transparent in details of our products and services, fees and terms. Beyond those basics, there is more we can do to make sure that our marketing and design is fair. Do you know what barriers exist for your member groups? This information can help you understand if the pricing of your products, the way you describe them, and the channels you’re using to make them available, are appropriate and fair. It doesn’t help to have a great product that is hard to access, or a convenient product that doesn’t really solve the right problem. Additionally, whether you’re lucky enough to have pictures of actual members or you need to rely on stock photos, be inclusive and sensitive in the portrayal of member groups. To help you find issues with how you use imagery, check to see what assumptions you’re making and if your opinion is colored by biases. When you make an assumption, is it because of a stereotype, or because you’ve done the research and talked to your audience about a problem they have to solve?Understand Your Members’ New NeedsWhen revisiting what you know about your member segments, check in on their major pain points. How have they changed this year and has anything gone from a relatively minor inconvenience to a major crisis? The way we care for children or elderly family members, the way we shop, and the way we work may look incredibly different for the foreseeable future. This means a change to members’ challenges, but also an opportunity in new priorities or preferences. To fill in the new picture, look at your data and survey your members. Transactional data, like the types of accounts or services that members are using, can help you provide support while using something new or suggestions for adding complementary services. Behavioral data, like topics being searched, can help you determine what’s top-of-mind and what information you should be providing. Really look at your products, services, and competencies. Where can you offer unique value? By looking at your membership’s specific needs, you may be able to identify solutions that are not currently being offered.Make Your Shift to DigitalIf you haven’t done this yet, it’s time. Make sure your plan incorporates social marketing, SEO and content, and email messaging. You can also add influencer-led campaigns, particularly if you have strong connections in the community or with a subject-matter-expert. Start with an audit of your website and social pages to make sure they are accurate and working correctly. Next, look at all the places where your major member groups are spending their time online, what they are reading or where they are interacting. This will help you identify what kinds of content you should create, where to place messaging and what keywords to use.Like many credit unions, if you’ve always prided yourself on your in-person interactions, this shift can be a challenge. But technology is making it easier and easier to develop very personalized digital interactions. Use the data you have, paired with what you know about each of your members, to help guide your conversations. Many tools allow you to create dynamic content or insert a relevant piece of your contact’s information. Work on making each digital interaction personalized and packed with value for that individual, just like you would do if they were standing in front of you. Stay Nimble & EngagedThink back to where you were in March; things have changed so much in the last six months. And there’s almost certainly more to come. It’s incredibly important to find flexibility when the world around us is in this constant state of change. For marketers, engaging our teams and finding creativity looks a bit different these days. Find tools that work for you, that get your brains working and allow for collaboration. It could be as simple as starting your zoom meetings with a quick innovation activity or sharing a digital inspiration board. As you’re planning out your next moves, think a little more like a futurist. What are some different routes the next 6/12/18 months could take? You may choose to create a few plans that incorporate things like a COVID-19 vaccine, changes to small business needs due to the holidays or seasons, impacts from the upcoming election, etc. What would make a big impact on your community and how could you position yourself to respond in the way you’d like?Credit unions have always had their members’ best interest at heart, and that is incredibly important right now. Push yourself and encourage your team to rise to the new challenges so you can continue to provide meaningful value to your members.last_img read more

Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

first_imgIn South Korea, which reported 191 cases, its biggest daily jump in 70 days, the government began fining people who don’t wear masks in public, The Associated Press reports. Here’s a roundup of restrictions in all 50 states.What else we’re followingWhat you’re doingWell, what a fabulous 14 days here in Melbourne! Zero new Covid-19 cases and zero deaths. We are all close to tears with joy. After a horrendous error with quarantine issues for residents returning from other countries infested with the virus a few months ago, which caused an enormous outbreak of Covid-19, we are now in a wonderful position. It took 115 days of lockdown, mandatory mask wearing (still imposed for the foreseeable future) and social distancing. The figurative steel band around Melbourne has now been lifted, and we can all dance in the sunshine around the state. — Deborah McMillan, Melbourne, AustraliaLet us know how you’re dealing with the pandemic. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.Sign up here to get the briefing by email.Email your thoughts to [email protected] Resurgences – Advertisement – Cases surge, and states go into lockdownThe fall coronavirus surge in the U.S. is at a dangerous inflection point, with cases spiking across a wide swath of the country.“What separates this moment is both the breadth of the struggle right now around the country, as well as the suddenness with which case numbers are going up,” said our colleague Mitch Smith, who tracks the coronavirus for The Times.- Advertisement – The governors of California and Washington urged their residents today to avoid all nonessential interstate travel, while the mayor of New York City warned that public schools could close as early as Monday.Elsewhere in the country, as case numbers reach terrifying heights, states, counties and cities are considering economically devastating lockdowns to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.The health care system in particular — as Ed Wong of the Atlantic reported today — is under intense strain.“The country, for many months, has seen consistent transmission, consistent infection, consistent suffering, and consistent death,” Mitch said. “But what we haven’t seen, in a widespread way, is not being able to fully help people. And given what we’re hearing from doctors and governors, I fear that’s where we could be heading.”How rules are changing in your state Sweden, where a second wave is beginning take shape, registered 4,658 cases yesterday, just under the daily record it set last week, Reuters reports. As cases have exploded in the U.S., governors have undertaken a flurry of actions to try to slow the spread of the virus. Just this week, Utah and Ohio, both states led by Republican governors, have mandated masks statewide. The governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, has long resisted a mask mandate, but this week she ordered that masks be worn at large gatherings. “If you look at the bar charts of cases in different states, a lot of them right now look like straight upward lines,” Mitch said. “And we don’t know where that goes.”center_img – Advertisement – In Illinois, where more than 75,000 cases have emerged in the past week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker suggested that he could soon impose a stay-at-home order, and he scolded local officials for not enforcing mask rules and restrictions on businesses. Mitch told us he was most fearful for the Midwest, from Nebraska north to Canada and east to Chicago. The near future looks incredibly dark for cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Omaha, Des Moines and Minneapolis, where hospital beds are filling up and cases continue to rise.- Advertisement – The New York Times is tracking coronavirus restrictions on the state level, including which businesses are open or closed — and whether officials require masks or recommend or order staying at home. Here are the latest rule changes in your state.Giving thanks, safelyHealth officials are dreading Thanksgiving this year, as the surging virus threatens to become even worse because of interstate travel and large family gatherings.The Times has assembled guidance on how to navigate this year’s holiday season if you plan to travel, from the types of coronavirus tests available for travelers to how to choose the safest seat on a plane. If you’re visiting relatives, you should expect to go into quarantine, with strict statewide requirements. (As a reminder, experts generally suggest two weeks for a safe quarantine. So for Thanksgiving, you should have started yesterday.)For college students, who may not have the option to stay on campus, it’s crucial to isolate themselves even if they test negative for the virus before traveling. “Their arrival on Wednesday with plans to see grandma on Thursday could pose a huge risk,” David Rubin, a pediatrician and public health expert at the University of Pennsylvania, told our colleagues.The actual Thanksgiving meal should look significantly different this year, experts advised, with lots of fresh air (through open windows or by hosting the meal outside), a small guest list and as short a celebration as possible. The Times’s Tara Parker-Pope writes that all guests should wear masks whenever they’re not eating and should all use separate utensils.You might be weighing whether to skip the family gathering altogether, and how to break that news to a disappointed relative. That conversation should happen as soon as possible, experts told the Times’s Christina Caron. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, told Tara that his three adult daughters had decided to skip the holidays this year to avoid putting him and his wife at risk. “You don’t want to be the Grinch that stole Thanksgiving,” he said. “But this may not be the time to have a big family gathering.” Puerto Rico will activate the National Guard to help enforce a curfew aimed at curbing the virus, The A.P. reports. Last Wednesday, the U.S. topped 100,000 daily cases for the first time. Eight days later, that number was up to more than 163,000. Thirty-seven states set weekly case records in the last few days, and 32 states — from Alaska to New Hampshire — hit that mark again yesterday. As far as bright spots, there really aren’t any, Mitch said. The only positive development, if you could call it that, is that populous states like Florida, California and New York are not deteriorating as rapidly as other places — although the situation in those states is also getting worse.In his first public address since losing his re-election bid, President Trump made no acknowledgment of the incredible surge in coronavirus cases gripping the nation. Because of the vacuum of leadership at the federal level, local elected officials across the country are begging residents to change their behavior, instituting fresh restrictions and warning of more changes on the horizon.Gov. Kate Brown placed Oregon in a partial lockdown for two weeks, shuttering gyms and restaurant dining and capping social gatherings at six people. In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a “stay at home” order, asking people to shelter in place except for essential trips, beginning Monday and lasting two weeks.last_img read more

Newly opened Racecourse Village adds to Ascot’s appeal

first_imgAs one of Brisbane’s most historically significant addresses, Ascot is well-known for having a unique blend of houses and architecture that exude charm and sophistication. Racecourse Road is the area’s original promenade, shopping street and dining hub, and today, it is still a bustling commercial centre. Thanks to the recent completion of Racecourse Village Shopping Centre, the suburb is continuing to offer its residents unrivalled amenity and convenience.With old grand homes on large blocks of land, the area has drawn increased investment in recent times, offering alternative residential options for those wanting to remain in the area. Heritage buildings and historic sites dot the suburb, combining with the new to create a suburb where contemporary melds with classical charm.Contemporary residential offerings sit alongside classical homes in Ascot.Since 1863, Eagle Farm Racecourse has called this area home – with the name Ascot given to the suburb as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Ascot in England and its prestigious Ascot racecourse.It’s no surprise then, that the Brisbane Racing Club in particular, has been an integral part of the community for more than 153 years. Nearly 10 years ago, the club made the decision to invest $1.2 billion in the redevelopment of its land around the Eagle Farm and Doomben Racecourses.Its masterplan to build a shopping centre, a sports club and hotel, childcare services, a retirement and aged care facility as well as residential offerings, has further cemented Ascot’s reputation as a premier place to live.Brisbane Racing Club has invested in the redevelopment of the area surrounding Eagle Farm Racecourse.The recent completion of Ascot House – the first stage of the prestigious Ascot Green residential development undertaken by Mirvac – has already drawn significant interest from local buyers.Mirvac Queensland’s general manager of residential development, Warwick Bible, says the first stage of Ascot Green is Ascot House, offering one, two and three-bedroom apartments overlooking Eagle Farm Racecourse.It’s attracting buyers from the local area and surrounds who come from big family homes and want to downsize without compromising on space, style or privacy.“With 90 apartments in Ascot House, the building is geared towards owner-occupiers, as a premium has been placed on ensuring apartments are oversized and with extensive communal facilities for residents to enjoy,” Bible says.Ascot House’s trackside location and incredible amenities has drawn interest from local buyers.He says being trackside means residents benefit from expansive green outlooks, with each apartment designed with oversized balconies.Another drawcard for prospective buyers is the newly opened, $40 million Racecourse Village Shopping Centre, featuring a major supermarket and 18 specialty retail outlets, including alfresco dining and medical services.“Ascot Green residents benefit from the amazing lifestyle amenities on their doorstep including the restaurant-lined Racecourse Rd and the new Racecourse Village retail precinct a mere 700m away,” Bible says.Residents of Ascot House can downsize without compromising on space or style.The Racecourse Rd precinct is packed with an eclectic range of businesses, eateries and services providers. It stretches from Hamilton at the Brisbane River to Eagle Farm racecourse and hosts markets, race day parties, festivals and all manner of community-minded events.Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell says he’s already seen a visible uplift in visitors to the area, and believes the completion of Ascot House has set the precedent for additional investment in the area.All images supplied by Mirvac.last_img read more