Hoffman, Beerbohm win teaching prize

first_imgPhysicist Jenny Hoffman ’99 and political theorist Eric Beerbohm are this year’s winners of the Roslyn Abramson Award, given annually to assistant or associate professors for excellence in undergraduate teaching.The $10,000 award, established with a gift from Edward Abramson ’57 in honor of his mother, goes each year to members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) “in recognition of his or her excellence and sensitivity in teaching undergraduates.” Recipients are chosen on the basis of their accessibility, their dedication to teaching, and their ability to communicate with and inspire undergraduates.“Jenny Hoffman and Eric Beerbohm are outstanding young scholars who also have the ability to inspire students’ curiosity in the classroom and beyond,” said FAS Dean Michael D. Smith, the John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Each has a passion not only for their fields of study, but also for helping undergraduates to learn and explore. On behalf of the College and the entire FAS, I offer my thanks and congratulations.”Jenny HoffmanHoffman, associate professor in the Department of Physics, said that she is flattered to receive this year’s Abramson Award, but she’s not entirely comfortable with the term “teaching.”“It’s kind of a funny word,” said Hoffman, who teaches “Wave Phenomena” and has created the freshman seminar “Building a Scanning Tunneling Microscope.” “Students do the learning. I try to guide them and to provide an environment that fosters self-confidence and curiosity. But the most important learning happens outside of the classroom, when they work together in the lab or on the problem sets.”Hoffman’s willingness to go where the learning happens is part of what makes her a remarkable teacher. Rather than holding her office hours in the Department of Physics, she holds them in the Houses the night before her problem sets are due. There, she not only answers students’ questions about physics, but also advises them on their academic careers.“I usually show up at 8 or 9 p.m. and leave around 11 p.m. or later,” Hoffman said. “Half the class comes. We do physics and have life conversations. I talk to them about where they’re going to graduate school and what they’re doing for summer research. Sometimes they gripe about being up late and doing their problem sets, but mostly they seem to think it’s fun.”Hoffman said that as an alumna she understands that many of the students in her classes won’t become research scientists, but physics teaches students problem-solving skills that will serve them well, regardless of what they choose to study or do for a living later.“Are they going to remember all the quantum mechanics formulae?” she asked. “Probably not. But physics is great for problem solving. It teaches you that, if you think and dig hard enough, there’s a right answer at the end. Students get a good education here at Harvard, then take those skills into whatever else they do.”Hoffman plans to use the award money for something that’s even more important to her than physics: motherhood.“The award will pay my maternity leave,” she said, smiling. “So, in a way, I guess I’ll still be teaching.”“In my teaching, I try to convey the hazards of living in a representative democracy like ours — the way we can be implicated in the acts of our state, even if we attempt to opt out of political life,” said Eric Beerbohm, one of this year’s Roslyn Abramson Award. Photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer Eric BeerbohmBeerbohm, associate professor in the Department of Government, teaches students about democracy. And, like most good teachers, he tries to put concepts into practice.“For those of us who work in democratic theory,” Beerbohm said, “breaking down the authoritarian relationship between the lecturer and student can help us clarify the concept of democracy itself.”In class, Beerbohm pushes students intellectually to get them to push back. He engages them in a “thought experiment of the day” to get them to consider how people ought to govern themselves, and to sound out the students’ convictions. He also uses technology, running a live online feed of students’ comments during his lecture. He says that undergraduates’ questions about political theory not only further their learning process, but also help him to advance his own studies.“It’s extremely difficult to do political theory — at least sustainably — without teaching,” Beerbohm said. “In political philosophy, we need a sense of where peoples’ convictions lie before they delve into the canon in political thought. We need to see how they react when they try on a theory for size.  In some cases, student expressions of bewilderment at the premises or conclusions of a theory can be just as important to my research as engaging with published work in the field.”Beerbohm said that political theory isn’t optional for those who live in a democracy. It’s crucial for students to reflect on values such as equality, liberty, and dignity in order to be good citizens. He pointed out that everyone is political in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.“In my teaching, I try to convey the hazards of living in a representative democracy like ours — the way we can be implicated in the acts of our state, even if we attempt to opt out of political life. If democracy has this hazardous character, there’s a sense in which political theory is a mandate that falls upon all of us privileged enough to have the time to reflect on the justifiability of our political institutions.”The fact that political theory is a practical exercise in no way detracts from its intellectual rigor, Beerbohm contends. On the contrary, he believes that students develop as intellectuals precisely by breaking theories down and seeing whether or not they can withstand rigorous scrutiny.“Reducing a political theory to its component parts and testing it is enormously difficult,” he said. “That’s part of what makes it such a rewarding activity. In class, I try to show how the moments of surprise — when the conclusion of an argument isn’t expected or even welcome — are evidence that one is doing it right. That’s the excitement of following the argument where it leads.”Beerbohm will use the proceeds from the award to develop new undergraduate courses on theories of law and lawmaking.last_img read more

Changes to Harvard health care

first_imgWith the announcement of changes to the University’s health benefits for faculty and nonunion staff in 2015, the Gazette recently sat down with four members of the University Benefits Committee, a group of faculty and administrators from across Harvard charged with advising on potential reforms to the University’s benefits plans. The four discussed how the committee came to make these recommendations, how they believe these changes are designed to protect benefits for the long term, and how faculty and staff will be affected. Participating were Michael Chernew, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and benefits committee chair; Barbara McNeil, founder and head of the health care policy department at HMS; Brigitte Madrian, the Aetna professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School; and Patricia Byrne, executive dean at Harvard Divinity School.GAZETTE: What are the biggest changes that employees will see next year?MICHAEL CHERNEW: The main changes are that the premiums that employees pay monthly will go down, and the cost that employees and their dependents will pay at the point of service will rise in certain cases. In-network deductibles will be introduced, as will coinsurance. Out-of-pocket maximums, the total amount that employees potentially pay out-of-pocket, will decrease. Finally, we are adding a new lower-premium, high-deductible plan. Overall, we hope to give individuals and families more visibility into and control over their health care spending.BRIGITTE MADRIAN: Another important change is an increase in the level of coverage available under the dental insurance plan.GAZETTE: Tell us more about that.CHERNEW: The dental plan used to be structured so that once an employee or family member hit a cap of approximately $3,000 in benefits, coverage ended. The new dental plan still has cost sharing, but we’ve added a catastrophic component to provide additional coverage.GAZETTE: Are there things that aren’t changing?BARBARA McNEIL: A number of important things aren’t changing. Preventive care coverage will not change — it will still be fully covered by Harvard. Nor will regular doctors’ visits change.Two other points: In terms of the overall program, Harvard is paying about 77 percent of premium costs. That overall premium subsidy is competitive with its peers, but Harvard’s strategy does favor families and lower-paid employees, by subsidizing their premiums at a higher rate. The eligibility thresholds will be essentially the same: 17.5 hours a week or $15,000 per year will make most individuals eligible for benefits.GAZETTE: What costs are increasing?PATRICIA BYRNE: There are some cost increases. When you move out of preventive care — which isn’t changing — and into hospital stays and surgeries, for example, the employee will now share a portion of that cost with Harvard. The smaller portion, by far. When you are in your network of physicians, there will now be a deductible of $250 for an individual and a maximum of $750 for a family. You will be responsible for the remaining 10 percent of the costs up to the out-of-pocket maximum. The emergency room copay will also go up from $75 to $100, an increase consistent with our peers.GAZETTE: What costs are decreasing?MADRIAN: There are several aspects of the health plan that will actually make health care costs less expensive along some dimensions. I think the most noticeable one is that the monthly premium payment for health insurance coverage will go down. If you stay with the same type of coverage that you have now, the deduction from your paycheck for health insurance every month will be lower under these plan changes.In addition to out-of-pocket maximums going down, both pharmacy costs and office visits will be included in the out-of-pocket maximum calculation.GAZETTE: Who’s immediately affected by these changes?CHERNEW: The specific benefit design changes for 2015 apply to faculty and nonunion staff. For unionized staff, these changes will be subject to negotiation.GAZETTE: Why is Harvard making these changes? And why now?CHERNEW: The University and the benefits committee are continually looking at the benefits structure. We’ve been making changes of various types and have been thinking of making changes for a long time.The motivating factor, frankly, is that health care costs have been rising. Between 2002 and 2012, benefits costs have risen from 8 percent of the University’s overall budget to 12 percent. Even for an institution as well off as Harvard, that sort of growth isn’t sustainable. There are a lot of other revenue pressures that the University is facing, such as the tuition net of financial aid and research funding. So, we are constantly trying to come up with a benefits package that is competitive in the marketplace and enables employees to have some control over their spending but is fiscally sustainable given the competing needs for Harvard resources. So on balance the new benefit package reduces the rate of increase in Harvard’s spending on health care.McNEIL: The committee spent more than two years deliberating this particular set of changes. We looked at a host of possible options, how they would impact our budget, compared how these changes related to the similar activities going on at our peer institutions, and assessed how they would affect our community. We also hired a consulting firm to provide us with data from our peers and to help us with analysis of our own data.BYRNE: It was a very impressive set of conversations, and there was a lot of lively debate and argument about this on the committee. It was not pro forma. In addition, we worked with senior leadership to put the health care plans out to bid to make sure we were starting with as low a cost base as possible, and worked with outside consultants to analyze various contract and plan design alternatives.GAZETTE: What were the guiding principles of the committee as they went through this process?CHERNEW: As Harvard University and the country as a whole grapple with health care spending, people are constantly trying to figure out how to provide coverage that meets people’s needs in a fiscally sustainable way.Remember that the members of the committee also are faculty and staff, so we’re very sensitive to how these changes will impact people. Our guiding principles include preserving access to health care and increasing transparency and control over health care costs for individuals in our plans.We’ve tried to do all of this in a way that avoids putting individuals at significant risk and studied many alternative benefit designs, all in the context of massive payment reform ongoing in Massachusetts and the rest of the country now.BYRNE: I think anyone who eavesdropped on the benefits committee would be impressed by the extent to which the committee thinks about the individual. The committee brings up a lot of “what-if” situations to explore all kinds of scenarios. We realize how diverse the workforce is and how important wellness and health insurance are to faculty and staff members.McNEIL: We also discussed in detail the impact of heavy-duty drug costs. We wanted to make sure our community was protected against the possibility of enormous prescription drug costs by having an out-of-pocket maximum that included pharmacy costs — recall that this maximum is now lower than it had been before.CHERNEW: Lower out-of-pocket costs and the reimbursement plan for those who earn less are designed to mitigate the sort of potentially negative financial consequences of health shocks. Some costs may increase, but we wanted to avoid having anyone in a really catastrophic situation.GAZETTE: Are these changes going to mean that people have to switch doctors?McNEIL: The changes in our benefit design do not imply that an individual has to change his or her doctor. That doesn’t mean that it might not happen, however. For example, the plan in which an individual is enrolled might change its list of physician providers. This happens frequently, and it’s totally outside Harvard’s control.GAZETTE: You mentioned that there is a new high-deductible plan option. Can you tell us more about that?MADRIAN: With this high-deductible plan, the employee is completely responsible for a higher initial level of medical expenditures, but in exchange will have a lower monthly premium. In addition, those who choose this plan will have the option to set up a health savings account where they can make tax-deferred contributions that can be used to cover health care expenses, including those that go toward meeting the deductible.Those funds can be rolled over from year to year, are fully portable, and can also be used to pay for post-retirement health expenses, tax-free. This is a tax-advantaged way to save for health care expenditures, while at the same time getting a lower monthly premium. For those who choose the high-deductible plan and set up a health savings account, the University will seed that health savings account with a $500 contribution for individuals and $1,000 for families.CHERNEW: These changes give individuals who consume health care more efficiently an option to capture some of those savings.GAZETTE: How does the new plan compare with our peers?CHERNEW: Our goal was to stay on average about where the market is — in this case, our peers in the Ivy League as well as local employers — and we believe that these changes are about where the market is. Our plan is skewed to favor lower-income individuals, but in the grand scheme of things we think this benefit structure is comparable and competitive across the board.MADRIAN: In terms of plan design, most large organizations have a deductible, they have coinsurance, and most large organizations have added the option of a high-deductible health plan. So the changes that we are making are in line with the direction that employer-provided health plans across the country are moving.CHERNEW: We didn’t make these changes because others are making these changes but because of the underlying set of market dynamics which are common across a lot of similar organizations. So what you’re seeing is similar organizations responding similarly to a set of market environment changes.GAZETTE: Harvard has a huge endowment. Why can’t it use that to offset some of these costs?MADRIAN: A large fraction of the endowment is earmarked for specific expenditure purposes, such as funding a faculty chair, financial aid, or a new building. The money from those gifts — which make up the endowment — isn’t available to fund employee health benefits. While we need to provide an attractive benefits and compensation package to retain the best faculty and staff, we’re a university, and we can’t lose sight of our primary mission: teaching, research, and the dissemination of knowledge.GAZETTE: It seems like my health insurance changes every year, while other benefits are more static. Why is that?CHERNEW: In an ideal world, things would be stable for all employees from year to year. However, all of the vendors that we purchase coverage from, be it our pharmacy benefit management firm or the health plans, are constantly making changes as they try to address ongoing issues in the health care sector. We try to minimize the ramifications of that, but there will inevitably be some individuals who are affected by that.I think that, from the benefits committee’s standpoint, what we would like to convey is, first, a sense that we are aware of and paying attention to the complexities going on in health care. Secondly, frankly, we want to manage expectations because there’s no optimal set of things that will work for everybody. Thirdly, that most of what is done involves a set of tradeoffs, and we would like, to the extent possible, to allow those tradeoffs to be made by individuals and their families as best they can. By shifting more of the costs from premiums to point of service, we give individuals more awareness and control over their own health care spending.GAZETTE: Are there any changes to pharmacy benefits?McNEIL: We are switching pharmacy vendors to further lower premium cost and to ensure the best possible customer service. We kept the pharmacy copayment structure the same. There will likely be some disruptions because people will have to make some changes — for example, get a new pharmacy insurance card and perhaps get prescriptions rewritten for certain things. Hopefully, after this early transition period, customers will have a positive experience.GAZETTE: Why is health care so expensive?CHERNEW: Essentially, the reason you see the change is because of the fiscal consequences of medical progress. Over time, there have been a lot of advances in health care, which are wonderful. The way we treat cancer, heart disease, almost any medical condition we have, has changed. That’s generally a good thing, but it’s also more expensive.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s encourages students to receive vaccination at Sunday’s Flu Fest

first_imgSaint Mary’s will be hosting an outdoor Flu Fest and Blood Drive on Sunday at the lacrosse fields from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Though students can no longer reserve a shot, walk-ins are still accepted. The College is incentivizing students to attend with free food, games and prizes.A Wednesday email from Cynthia Horton-Cavanaugh, the interim director of Health and Counseling, said more than 500 students signed up to get their flu shot at the Fest.“All Saint Mary’s students who attend classes on campus are strongly encouraged to take part in this event,” she said in the email. “Bring your insurance card and we can bill your insurance for you. Otherwise we will bill the $20 vaccination fee to your student account. If you do not have insurance, the flu shot will be covered by the Emergency Fund.” Katie Knisely, assistant athletic trainer and healthcare administrator at Saint Mary’s, noted the importance of receiving a flu shot this year. “Now since the temperature is starting to drop, people will most likely be spending extra time inside of buildings in a confined area with more people and at a greater risk of exposure,” she said.This year’s vaccination has been designed to fight against four different flu viruses, an email from the College said. Knisley said the flu shot can lower one’s risk of getting the flu or other related infections.“Getting the flu shot could help decrease the chances of getting the flu and help prevent co-infections,” she said.Saint Mary’s is working to make the flu vaccine easily accessible through the fest, Knisley said, and The Observer has found many students are planning on attending Sunday’s Flu Fest. Sophomore Kathleen McLeod said she is getting a shot to protect her family and friends from getting sick. “The decision to get [my flu shot] this year was a no brainer,” she said. “I would never want to be responsible for giving the flu to a friend or family member and get them really sick.” Senior JoAnna Keilman  said she wants to maintain her health during the pandemic. “Honestly, I have not gotten my flu shot since I have been in college, and it did not affect me until I got the flu in February,” she said. “I want to take every precaution to stay healthy during this time, especially so we can stay on campus.”Sophomore Lauren Lambros said bringing any virus home is not an option. “My mom has a compromised immune system, so getting vaccinated has always been super important to me just to protect not only my own immune system but hers as well,” she said. “Now with COVID, having a strong immune system is more important than ever to protect ourselves and the members of our SMC community who are immunocompromised.”The first one hundred students who signed up to get their shots will received a free t-shirt from the College. Those attending the event are encouraged to wear short sleeves for easy access to the recipient’s vaccine administration location.Tags: COVID-19, Flu shots, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more

EIA: Number of renewable projects paired with storage growing sharply across U.S.

first_imgEIA: Number of renewable projects paired with storage growing sharply across U.S. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The arrival of Australia’s first big battery – delivered by Tesla and Neoen at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia – generated a huge amount of publicity, then and still now, largely because it was the world’s biggest, and for its transformational impact on Australia’s main grid.But it hides a growing phenomenon that began before that famous installation, and continues apace: the growth of battery storage paired with large scale wind and solar projects in the world’s biggest electricity market, the US.According to the latest data released by the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the pairing of renewable energy generators with energy storage, particularly batteries, is increasingly common as the cost of energy storage continues to decrease.Its latest inventory shows that the number of solar and wind generation sites co-located with batteries has grown from 19 paired sites in 2016 to 53 paired sites in 2019. And the EIA says this trend is expected to continue, with another 56 facilities pairing renewable energy and battery storage to come online by the end of 2023.This is not surprising. Battery storage costs have fallen to a point so low that they are pushing peaking gas generators out of the market – and in a market where the price of gas is supposedly cheap.“Although the most commonly reported application for batteries co-located with renewable sources is storing excess energy, the majority of batteries serve more than one function,” the report notes. “Frequency regulation, which helps maintain the grid’s electric frequency on a second-to-second basis, is the second-most common use for batteries co-located with renewables. Batteries can also provide transmission and distribution support, helping to smooth out energy flows. The ability to support the integration of renewables into the grid’s current infrastructure, in addition to other ancillary services that they perform such as frequency regulation, are primary drivers in the growth of battery-renewable pairings.”[Giles Parkinson]More: The remarkable growth of wind and solar projects paired with big batterieslast_img read more

Bears Ears: Is anyone listening?

first_imgLate last month the outdoor recreation industry gathered in Utah for its annual Outdoor Retailer summer trade show, known by most as OR.  Most everyone connected with outdoor recreation exhibits at or attends the event to see the latest in products and services and to plan for the next outdoor season.  For the last 20 years, Salt Lake City had served as the host city for the four-day, mega trade show – estimated to generate over $44 million worth of local economic impact.  In February, however, the OR’s largest annual participant, Patagonia, was a no show, choosing to boycott the event due to the host state’s failure to commit unequivocally to preserving public lands. Specifically, Patagonia was concerned about the state of Utah’s indication that it would ask the Trump administration to rescind the designation of Bears Ears as a national monument.  Other companies joined the boycott.Turf War As one of his last acts as president, Barack Obama signed an executive order designating Bears Ears – a 1.34 million acre tract of land in southeast Utah – as a national monument.  Bears Ears is located near the Four Corners area where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet. Some Utah business opposed the national monument designation, pointing to the energy and other mineral opportunities lost due to the restrictions from development. Native American tribes, outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists, however, cheered the executive order pointing to the order’s effect in protecting both the natural beauty of the red rock canyons and forested plateaus as well as the cultural significance of the area, which is filled with ancient rock art and cliff dwellings considered sacred by local tribes. Earlier this year, on February 3, Utah governor Gary Herbert signed a resolution of the state legislature urging President Trump to rescind the national monument designation.  Herbert also signed a resolution seeking to rescind the designation of Escalante-Grand Staircase region in Utah as a national monument, which President Clinton authorized in 1996. The resolution caused an immediate outcry by Patagonia and others in the outdoor industry. Less than a week later, Patagonia announced it would not attend the summer trade show in Salt Lake City, citing “the creation of a hostile environment and blatant disregard for Bears Ears and other public lands.” Others like Arc’teryx, PolarTek, and Peak Designs joined the boycott. Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard said in an earlier op-ed on the company’s website: “The outdoor industry creates three times the amount of jobs than the fossil fuels industry, yet the governor has spent most of his time in office trying to rip taxpayer-owned lands out from under us and hand them over to drilling and mining companies.” Governor Herbert agreed to speak with the industry and hear their concerns, but shortly after the call, the governor said, “I guess we’re going to have to part ways,” and then traveled to Washington to lobby the current administration to rescind the designation for Bears Ears.  Unhappy with the governor’s response, the Outdoor Industry Association announced on February 16 that the 2018 and future shows would be staged outside of Utah. The Rise of the Outdoor Industry In April, President Trump ordered a review of all 27 national monuments designated over the last 20 years. While troubling to outdoor recreation industry, history may later see Trump’s executive order as the proverbial “shot heard round the world” – the event that forever changed the industry’s role in the political process. Having been galvanized by the Utah protest, the industry, again led by Patagonia, REI, the Grand Canyon Trust, and others, marshaled individuals, businesses, trade organization and friendly politicians to speak up and defend the Bears Ears designation during the public comment period.  The Department of the Interior received over 1 million comments.  Former Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, indicated the actual number of comments received were an unprecedented 2.7 million. While the protest shifted to Washington, D.C., the 2017 Outdoor Retailer show went on in Salt Lake City one final time, but not before the industry became more organized and committed than ever in its history, recognizing its economic strength as it lead perhaps the most vocal protest involving federal lands since the battle to prevent building a dam in the Grand Canyon in 1960. Perhaps not coincidentally, OR opened with a breakfast meeting featuring the release of its an economic report featuring the impact of the outdoor recreation industry in each of the fifty states. In an industry that is highly focused on sustainability, conservation, and reinvesting corporate profits in protecting public lands and related causes, the outdoor industry is suddenly a key political player. Since “all politics are local,” the place to have a watchful eye may well be in the state houses as the industry begins to recognize the enormous impact outdoor recreation has on the local economy.To date, the Bears Ears review continues.  Ryan Zinke, Trump’s appointment as Interior Secretary, has indicated that it is not a question of preserving Bears Ears, but rather what form that protection should take – preliminarily recommending that the designation be “right-sized,” that multi-use management not be “hindered,” and that the Tribal nations participate in the management of the lands.National Monument or National Park? Only Congress can create a National Park, but a 1906 act of Congress – the Antiquities Act of 1906 – permits the president to designate “monuments” for protection.  Since, 1933, every president has used this authority – some more than others. Obama used it more extensively than any prior president, and one of his very last acts, as president in December 2016 was to designate Bears Ears as a monument.  Earlier this year, Trump has ordered a review of all 27 “national monument” designations since 1996. What difference does it make? There are twenty different names for “areas” in the National Park System – in additional to national parks and national monuments, we have national “landscapes, “and “battlefields” and “preserves” and “parkways” and “historic sites” and many others (including the National Scenic Appalachian “Trail”). In many respects, the differences are in name only. However, usage and management specifics are spelled out in the legislation or order creating the particular area.  While the “national” designation indicates a significant level of preservation and protection, many uses other than outdoor recreation can be permitted, such as grazing, hunting, mining, timber removal, and agriculture. Oil and gas exploration is even permitted in some national “parks.”  Congress typically treats the different “areas” equally, but national “parks” generally get more funding. “Monuments” can become “parks,” as was the case with the Grand Canyon, Bryce, the C & O Canal. Others can become “preserves” as was the case with millions of acres of federal land in Alaska known as Denali, Gates of the Artic, and Noatak. In lobbying the Trump administration to rescind or alter the Bears Ears designation, Utah Governor Herbert indicated that past presidents had been “cavalier” with their application of the 1906 Antiquities Act. He said the act was intended to grant power to protect the “smallest area necessary to protect the objects that we’re trying to preserve.”  The original purpose (and use) of the Antiquities Act was to protect Indian artifacts that were being plundered – a fairly narrow area or specific protection.  Nonetheless, earlier presidents have used the national “monument” designation to preserve large land masses such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Denali and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Among the other, more narrowly focused monuments are the Statute of Liberty, Fort Sumter, Mount Rushmore, and Muir Woods.last_img read more

Town of Union officials announce Fairmont apartment development

first_imgThe project will provide safe, affordable housing and handicap accessible housing for the Fairmont community. Construction began in June 2020 and is anticipated to be complete in August of 2021. “It’s always been a really nice neighborhood and a quiet neighborhood. We don’t have too many children here anymore but we might get more, who knows?” said Chapin. Chapin was originally against it because of how tall they are, but after numerous meetings with John Bernardo from SEPP, Chapin agreed that while she’ll never like how tall they are, it was what needed to be done to comply with FEMA. Jean Chapin has lived in fairmont park for 70 years, she has been one of the most outspoken residents against the project. Some residents have had concerns over the project, fearing that their quiet community can be altered.center_img Due to it being a project for affordable housing, this lets the town utilize its community block grant funding which enabled them to upgrade the water system for the entire neighborhood. “They’re going to be two families,” said John Bernardo the Executive Director of Serving the Elderly through Project Planning (SEPP), describing the apartments. “They’re twins each of the units with car ports underneath and the buildings themselves are going to be raised above the flood level.” Chapin now thinks the project could bring new life to her neighborhood. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Town of Union officials held a news conference Thursday morning to announce the development of 34 units in the Fairmont Park neighborhood.last_img read more

Minerva gears up for hectic half-year with schemes in the City and Croydon

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

PDI-P lawmaker passes away while being monitored for COVID-19

first_imgImam had served in the House of Representatives since 2009 and was a member of the Commission IX overseeing health care and manpower.Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, a senior PDI-P politician, heard the news on Friday while attending the funeral of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s mother in Surakarta, also in Central Java.“I ordered Central Java Health Office head Yulianto Prabowo to monitor Imam’s condition when I heard the news,” Ganjar said, adding that he considered Imam to be generous and humorous.Another lawmaker, Imran of the Gerindra Party, also passed away on Friday at midnight. The 68-year-old politician died at Bahteramas General Hospital in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, as reported by Antara news agency.Like Imam, his cause of death was not clear. However, reports from local outlets said that Imran die not die of COVID-19. (mfp) House of Representatives member Imam Suroso of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) passed away on Friday while being monitored for COVID-19.Imam, 56, died at Kariadi Hospital in Semarang, Central Java. He was immediately buried in his hometown of Pati, Central Java, on the same day.His cause of death was not reported, but Imam had been officially declared a “patient under surveillance” for COVID-19. Topics :center_img Imam had had a fever since March 18, according to PDI-P secretary at the House Bambang Wuryanto.Imam participated in social activities, including gymnastics with residents of Saliyan village in Pati, and handed out masks and hand sanitizers at a local market on March 20.Read also: House postpones COVID-19 rapid testing for lawmakersHe started having breathing troubles the next day and was taken to Kariadi Hospital.last_img read more

Celebration of life planned Sunday for Bill Davis Sr.

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – His family and friends will have a lifetime of memories to share at Bill Davis Sr.’s celebration of life.Davis, 75 years old and a two-time IMCA Modified national champion, died Wednesday afternoon at Mercy Hospital in his hometown of Des Moines.The celebration of his very full life will be held Sunday, Jan. 14 from 1-4 p.m. at Hamilton’s Southtown Funeral Home, 5400 SW 9th Street in Des Moines. Those attending are welcome to wear racing shirts and bring stories and pictures to share.“Bill was another of the drivers who began racing an IMCA Modified in the early days of the divi­sion and really helped us lay the foundation for its success,” said former IMCA president Kathy Root, now chair of the sanctioning body’s executive committee. “He remains one of our most accom­plished drivers. We extend our most sincere condolences to his family and friends.”Davis began racing an IMCA Modified in the mid-1980s. He won 27 features in 1989 and again in 1990 to become the first driver in division history to earn national crowns in back-to-back seasons.His total of 151 feature wins is now 11th on the all-time list for IMCA Modifieds. A seven-time track champion, Davis qualified for the main event at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled on 10 occasions and finished in the top five in five of those events.He won the Race of Champions twice. Davis was elected to the inaugural Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational field and last competed at Super Nationals in 2004, driving son Bill Jr.’s car.Davis raced briefly in the early 1960s, returning to the sport to race a stock car, sportsman and late model before moving to the Modified and becoming one of IMCA’s winningest drivers.“Dad always told me ‘Racing is racing. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s got four wheels and a mo­tor,’” Bill Jr. said, recounting some of his father’s success in unconventional as well as traditional dirt track divisions. “He would race anything.”Memorials in his name may be directed to ARDS Global Foundation, Animal Rescue League or American Cancer Society.last_img read more

Outagamie openers go to Whitman, Richards, Engebregtsen, Schulte

first_imgKenny Richards jumped from the pole position to the lead in the opening lap of the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature as Jeremy Christians, Luke Lemmens and Eric Mahlik battled for second. Mahlik broke free of that battle midway through the contest but couldn’t find the grip to catch Richards. By Edward Anschutz  Defending IMCA Modified track champion Johnny Whitman drew the pole for the night’s main event and looked strong early on as Benji LaCrosse gave chase. LaCrosse closed in several times but was never able to mount a serious challenge for the lead. Tyler Sobiesczyk placed a strong second, Chris Budzban was third, Cory Kemkes took fourth and Goeff Jeche brought home fifth. Vince Engebregtsen was dominant in his Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod, leading every lap on his way to a clean sweep in the division. Christians had his race and car go up in a ball flames as the leaders took the white flag. Richards collected the win, the first for him in the division. Mahlik was second, Lemmens placed third, Benji LaCrosse was fourth and Eric Arneson rounded out the top five. Whitman led flag to flag earning the victory over LaCrosse. Lucas Lamberies was third, Jason Ebert took fourth and Andy Kleczka completed the top five. In Mach-1 Sport Sport Compact action, Ben Schulte began his title defense with a feature win after surviving a late race restart. SEYMOUR, Wis. (June 12) – One hundred and fifty-two cars packed the pit area for the first night of the 2020 racing season Friday at Outagamie Speedway powered by EWSC.last_img read more