Video: Best of Garage Cam — Food CIty 500

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Wexners give $3M to HKS’s Center for Public Leadership

first_imgLeslie and Abigail Wexner, founding and sustaining donors of the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard’s Kennedy School, announced today an additional gift of $3 million to the center. Their gift, an extension of the couple’s longtime commitment to inspiring, preparing, and connecting tomorrow’s global leaders, brings the Wexners’ total commitment to the center and HKS to more than $42 million.Les Wexner built Limited Brands and now serves as chairman and CEO. He and his wife, Abigail, an attorney, are among the nation’s leading philanthropists. Les Wexner’s alma mater, The Ohio State University, recently named its entire medical complex in his honor. Both Wexners are deeply engaged in numerous community activities in their hometown of Columbus, Ohio. In addition, they serve as cochairs of The Wexner Foundation, which promotes the vitality of Jewish communities throughout North America and is highly supportive of Israel.The Wexners’ engagement with the Kennedy School began in 1989, when the foundation established the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program. This initiative has enabled more than 200 Israeli public leaders to come to the Kennedy School in pursuit of a midcareer master’s degree.In August 2000, a gift from the Wexners launched the Center for Public Leadership, reflecting a longtime interest in leadership and history by Les Wexner. Since then, their ongoing counsel and generosity, underwriting core operating expenses, have enabled the center to become recognized as one of the top university-based leadership institutes in North America. CPL serves a growing number of young, aspiring leaders at the Kennedy School and beyond through scholarships, workshops, field trips, and conversations with visiting leaders. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Soccer under siege

first_imgThe governing body of international soccer is on increasingly shaky turf.An ethics committee on Monday barred longtime FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and Michel Platini, president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), from the sport for eight years for ethics violations in connection with a $2 million payment that Blatter made to Platini in 2011.Blatter, who headed FIFA for nearly 18 years, insisted the money was for consulting work Platini did for him between 1999 and 2002. But the committee found “no legal basis” for the payout and ruled the pair guilty of a conflict of interest. Blatter was fined 50,000 Swiss francs (about $50,600); Platini was fined 80,000 Swiss francs.At a news conference, Blatter, 79, denied any wrongdoing. His adviser told reporters that Blatter would appeal the suspension. Platini, 60, once widely seen as a likely successor after Blatter retires in February, also intends to appeal.The sanctions are just the latest in a string of high-profile embarrassments for FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) that began last May when the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives associated with the organization on 47 counts including racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering for their alleged roles in a 24-year corruption scheme. In September, Swiss authorities launched a criminal investigation into a sweetheart contract that Blatter signed and the $2 million payment to Platini. Earlier this month, U.S. officials indicted 16 more FIFA officials on charges of racketeering, conspiracy, and corruption, for a total of 41 people and entities charged thus far by the DOJ. Of those, 12 people and two companies have already been convicted.Matt Andrews is an associate professor of public policy at the Center for International Development at Harvard University. He also co-leads Sports Complexity and Governance Indicators, a collaborative research project with the International Centre for Sport Security that studies governance and economic factors that influence the development of sports industries around the world, particularly soccer, known outside the United States as football. Andrews spoke with the Gazette about FIFA’s ongoing troubles and what it will take to clean up the organization overseeing the world’s most popular sport.GAZETTE: How significant is it that football’s two top executives have been banned from the sport?ANDREWS: It’s obviously significant, but at the same time I don’t think it’s the end of the story. I have heard lots of people praising the decisions to ban these gentlemen by referring to the saying, “The fish rots from its head.” Physiologically, however, the saying is incorrect. The fish rots from the gut. Our argument is that is exactly the problem with football. The game itself is in trouble. Probably 60 percent of the national associations across the world are bankrupt, engaging in a patronage network in which one finds many other worrying challenges, including corruption and money laundering and human trafficking. Many players also earn wages below the poverty line in clubs across the globe. These are the bigger issues that require attention, beyond banning two personalities.As far as FIFA is concerned, there’s no way that Blatter and Platini could maintain their positions. There are too many problems and allegations for some not to be true or for the sport to be able to proceed without real action. But we should remember that Blatter got his position when his predecessor had the same kind of departure. The risk is that people pay too much attention to replacing these men, and they don’t pay enough attention to cleaning up the sport and making it viable in the future.GAZETTE: Were you surprised at the ethics committee’s ruling?ANDREWS: No. I think that both men seemed to have made mistakes in respect of the specific incidents for which they were charged. As soon as the committee actually made the charges, you knew that both of them were in trouble. The fact that the committee moved on this was a bigger issue because Blatter and Platini seemed to be quite bulletproof before the allegations were made. What I find interesting is that this transaction between the two men from years ago was revived for attention, which makes me think that somebody on the inside told somebody something to move these guys aside. It’s often the case with these big scandals.GAZETTE: Does banning Blatter and Platini significantly clean up FIFA? What reforms can or should be instituted to sanitize the game?ANDREWS: There is certainly an argument that if you get rid of people at the top — if that’s where the corruption is — then it helps you. But I think the corruption is throughout the organization, and indeed the sport. If you look at the list of people who are standing in the wings waiting to come up, these are all people who have long histories of working in and around FIFA, and there is no way they can be seen as immune from the mistakes of the past. It doesn’t really seem to me that it’s going to clean anything up by changing one or two personalities at the top.FIFA is essentially meant to be an association that represents other associations. But it has really become a big private-sector organization that makes $1.5 billion a year and does not pay taxes. There are some huge conflicts of interests that emerge in making this money. The time has come to separate the business side of the organization from the sports representation side. And it is time to have more transparent and formalized ways in which money is raised and contracts and events are awarded, and in which members determine how the money gets spent, so that it doesn’t get determined by a few individuals at the top. A whole lot more accountability and transparency is required.Football itself could also do with more transparency. Most of the regional confederations and over half of the 209 national associations don’t publish annual financial reports, for instance. There’s just a huge amount of opacity in the sport. I think that’s where they should begin to make improvements: Get the confederations to publish their financial statements, support players’ unions in holding these bodies accountable, and ensure we can all see what the money flows look like. This is anti-corruption 101.GAZETTE: FIFA’s been accused of having a culture of patronage for many years. Why only now has there been an effort to meaningfully confront it? Was having a relative outsider like the U.S. Department of Justice the necessary catalyst?ANDREWS: Absolutely. It may have been corrupt for a long time, but it’s only been making money for about a generation now. If you go back and have a look at our research, even in the 1980s, the 1990s, the World Cup wasn’t a huge moneymaker. The money in sports is new, within the last generation, so it’s taken people a bit of time to catch up to it and realize the problems that go with newfound wealth. I do think, though, that it took the U.S., it took the DOJ, to move on this. FIFA is based in Switzerland, and the Swiss are constrained in tackling these nonprofit organizations. Along with FIFA, they have the International Olympic Committee (IOC) — basically, every sporting body is sitting in Switzerland — and as soon as you start tackling issues in one or them, maybe you spook them all. FIFA also reserves the right to essentially ban countries and teams if they go against FIFA, so it’s going to be very interesting to see down the line what they do to the United States.On previous occasions when countries have taken steps against FIFA or against national associations to say, for instance, that they didn’t pay their taxes or manage transfers correctly, FIFA has banned their national teams from international competition and said that it’s a global football issue rather than a national legal issue. So I think you needed a country that’s not completely in love with football (and willing to risk FIFA’s ire). With the U.S., there’s enough objectivity in the country where people are willing to take that step. But we need to remember the U.S. did not press against Blatter and against Platini. The cases that have been brought by the Department of Justice have actually not had anything to do with soccer, per se. They’ve had to do with money laundering and corruption using the U.S. financial system. I honestly think you really did need the U.S. to go forward with those cases. It probably is the only country in the world that is in a position to take those kinds of steps right now. Because for all the other countries, losing soccer would be a huge issue for them, but I think it’s a risk that could be taken here.GAZETTE: Is there something endemic to major sporting bodies like FIFA, the IOC, or the NFL that encourages ethical lapses and/or corruption, or is it just because sports businesses are so rich and high-profile that we hear more often about these incidents?ANDREWS: I think it’s a bit of both. I like to think of sports as a part of the entertainment sector. There is something about this kind of sector that is scandalous, and people love to read about scandal. But there’s also something about the industry being a little bit above the law. As with the entertainment industry, there is a lot going on that makes it vulnerable to wrongdoing as well. The money flows in in many different ways; you have a lot of people who are trying to make a quick buck; their careers are very short; there’s huge amounts of people around these players and these officials trying to make money; and I think there’s a bit of a culture of impunity that you find. It definitely is part of sport, unfortunately. And that’s what we’re looking at and trying to understand in our work — the culture behind this kind of sector.GAZETTE: What role or responsibilities do local and national governments, clubs, and other organizations have in managing sports industries?ANDREWS: It’s a very interesting question. Local and national governments have given football clubs and bodies a free ride for a long time. The clubs are part of their communities, and sometimes one feels that governments turn a blind eye to their behavior because of this. If you were just to apply some of the labor laws to football, for instance, you would find real cause for change; if you were to apply some of the common laws about financial transparency and financial reporting and tax compliance, you would also find clubs and organizations in trouble. Two of the biggest clubs in the world are Barcelona and Real Madrid. Both of those clubs are tax-exempt organizations just like FIFA. It’s quite incredible. They both have enjoyed significant support from governments, and both get to pay tens of millions for players, but they do not pay taxes even while Spain’s governments struggle under financial austerity.One of the challenges for national and local governments is to treat these clubs more like other businesses, which means being selective as to when you support them, and making sure that when you support them, that they are generating the kind of social and economic value that you expect. I have no problem with local governments or national governments subsidizing a football club in the same way that they might subsidize a business that employs people. But when you are subsidizing them and then they are not paying taxes and they are not necessarily putting the money back into your community, I think that’s a big problem. Some of the laws we use to regulate the economy generally should be used more aggressively to regulate the organizations in this sector. Regulate them as if they are private organizations, including FIFA.Beyond FIFA, however, one needs to ask tough questions about the future of football. There are 4,000 to 6,000 professional clubs globally. It’s very questionable as to whether the economics of football will allow them all to survive. Perhaps we will see some elite leagues dominating everyone else in the future, and most clubs reverting to amateur status as they were a generation ago. I think this is the way football is going, and it poses big questions for governments, clubs, and leagues. Until these questions are answered, I fear the unstructured nature of global football will continue to create opportunities for people to do things that we really don’t want them to be doing, kind of like the Wild West was before it was tamed.This interview was lightly edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

Alumnus speaks on U.S., India Relationship

first_imgNotre Dame alumnus Tim Roemer spoke Wednesday about the advances in technology that have transformed interaction and communication between the United States and India. Roemer, a Notre Dame alumnus, former U.S. Congressman [D-IN-3] and former Ambassador to India, spoke on the nature and importance of the United States’ interactions with India. The lecture, titled “Twitter, Buffett, and Darwin: India and the United States Relationship,” was the second installment of the Distinguished Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. As India’s economy develops and its middle class grows and becomes more and more successful, Roemer said the country is becoming one of the biggest markets in the region for innovative technology. India also is home to a large number of English speakers and maintains a good relationship with the U.S, Roemer said. The region as a whole has an emerging middle class that is bigger than the entire U.S. population, he said. To illustrate the opportunities technology provides to that middle class, Roemer showed a photograph of a woman wearing traditional dress, carrying a metal pot on her head and talking on a cell phone, which he said would have cost $15. The woman, Roemer said, along with a hundred others, was transporting dirt from a construction site. “She is a small-business owner,” Roemer said. “She’s on this phone while she’s working at this job, and she is calling, as a small-business owner who grows flowers – she on that phone is hiring two new people because she just got a text from Twitter that the price of flowers has gone down, and she can afford two new employees. … That phone is life-changing for that woman, as a business owner.” Roemer said the elevation of millions of people from poverty to the middle class has impacted hugely both business and trade. If India’s economy continues to grow – which, he said, is not guaranteed – multinational firms are going to shift their focus to Asian markets. “If you are an international business and you want to succeed in the next 30 or 40 years, are you going to keep selling in the U.S. and EU and depend on 50, 60, 70 percent of your sales there, or are you going to expand into those markets right there?” Roemer said. “That’s this middle-class migration that is absolutely essential for the U.S. to get a hold of, to understand, and to entice our manufacturing companies to create jobs here . . . there is a real incentive, given these trends, to do more and more manufacturing in the U.S. and export these products into these new middle-class markets so you can see the resurgence of American products in the U.S.” Roemer said that the development maintenance of a good relationship between the U.S. and India, especially India’s rising middle class, is crucial. He said the past three U.S. presidents have cooperated closely with India regarding national security as well as trade. The governments of both nations recently have “supported generally a health U.S.-India relationship,” he said. Despite problems like border disputes with Pakistan, inflation, and rising food prices, trade between the two countries is increasing, Roemer said. Roemer outlined three models for companies to emulate in order to take advantage of this relationship. First, he said the “Warren Buffett Model,” is best exemplified by General Electric [GE]. GE CEO Jeffery Immelt often holds board meetings in India to expose members to the country, culture, and market, he said. “Immelt has been very, very smart about teaching his company and getting some of his best leadership to go to some of these places,” Roemer said. “If you want to run the company and you haven’t had one of those tough assignments, … if you have run the company, and you’ve been president of India, of Nigeria, of Indonesia, you really are going to see where the future of GE is.” Second, Roemer said the “Winston Churchill Model,” is best exemplified by Starbucks. CEO Howard Schultz tried to enter India in 2005 but was not successful, he said. In 2010, however, Starbucks returned. But, the company made several fundamental changes, such as partnering with Indian companies and using domestic products.  “He figured it out, and that is the Churchill Model – try it, don’t ever give up, come back again and again,” Roemer said. “That’s Churchill’s great commencement speech – never ever, ever, ever, ever give up. Schultz did not, and I think he’s onto the right thing now, and I think he’s going to succeed in India. Third, the “Darwin Model,” is an “evolutionary model” best exemplified by IKEA, he said. When it entered the Chinese market, Roemer said Ikea changed almost everything about how it presented its products, from its value proposition to its promotions to where it manufactured its products. “You have a completely different model for almost every value network and category from Europe to China. IKEA is just going into India now, and it will be a hybrid of these two approaches,” Roemer said. “It will change again.” The U.S.-India relationship is positive now, Roemer said. This relationship will remain important because India is civically engaged, religiously diverse, and respects the rule of law, he said. “That potential influence in the entire region as India grows in confidence, as India grows in influence, as India grows in articulating its foreign policy and working with other countries is absolutely and potentially profound in the future,” Roemer said. “I’m betting that future presidents are going to see this, see the economic and religious and political advantage and continue to make this one of the most important relationships in the world.” Contact Emily McConville at [email protected]last_img read more

NDCAC to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos with community event

first_imgThe Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture (NDCAC) will be hosting a celebratory event for El Dia de Los Muertos on Thursday starting at 5:30 p.m. in the NDCAC building in South Bend.El Dia de Los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday held to remember and honor deceased loved ones, taking place during the first few days of November.“The celebration is a great way to celebrate being part of the larger South Bend community and for many to learn about Dia de los Muertos,” Alex Schaufele, the art coordinator for the Crossroads Gallery at the NDCAC, said.Schaufele said the celebration will include performances by campus groups, including Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro and Mariachi ND. Taqueria Chicago also will provide free food for those with a student ID, and traditional Pan de Muerto and hot chocolate will be available for all attendees.The event will also feature an exhibition of altars created by 20 community members or groups to honor the lives of the deceased. Schaufele said the NDCAC wanted the altars at the celebration because of the sense of community and celebration of life they represent.“In years past there was just one altar and it was built by an invited artist,” Schaufele said. “Through bringing multiple groups and individuals together the exhibition has helped to create a new relationship within the community. Instead of one person being honored, we have twenty different ofrendas this year.”Schaufele said a bus doing a continuous, round-trip shuttle service will transport students from McKenna Hall to the NDCAC for free starting 15 minutes before the celebration.Idalia Maldonado, the events coordinator for the Institute for Latino Studies, which is co-hosting the event, said El Dia de los Muertos shows deceased family and friends that they’re still remembered and recognized.“Unlike Halloween, the actual tradition itself is really more of a recognition that these people at one time lived,” Maldonado said. “It’s not a celebration that they’re gone and that they’re dead but it’s in remembrance that they once lived here and they’re not forgotten.”Maldonado said in accordance with the holiday, student altars displayed at McKenna Hall were dedicated on Wednesday to those that died in Puerto Rico and Mexico City from recent natural disasters while another more traditional altar was dedicated to loved ones who have passed.“This will be the fifth year that a group of students have come in and built their own altars,” Maldonado said. “They dedicate it from year to year to different entities or different groups and this year they’re going traditional.”Junior Leslie Vergara, president of Notre Dame’s Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro group, said the group will be dancing to “La Bruja,” a solemn piece from Veracruz, Mexico, and “El Buey” from Nayarit, Mexico, an upbeat song intended to evoke the happiness of the remembrance that takes place on El Dia de Los Muertos.“The wardrobe for this region calls for vibrant colors,” Vergara said. “This adaptation, though not traditonal, helps convey the message that this is a celebration.”Vergara said performing for Dia de los Muertos is a reminder of the traditions within her family.“When I lived in Mexico, I recall going to my great-grandmother’s house and seeing the altar she had put together for our loved ones that had passed away,” Vergara said. “Now that I live in the U.S., this is my way of keeping my culture alive and remembering all my loved ones that have passed away.”Tags: Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro, El Día de Los Muertos, Institute for Latino Studies, NDCAClast_img read more

Honduras: Military Medical Brigades Improve the Health of Citizens

first_img“The medical care has covered both dental and medical specialties, and we have also offered care in psychology, psychiatry, dermatology, cardiology, gastroenterology, internal medicine, orthopedics, among others. In Tegucigalpa alone, we have provided free care to more than 45,000 people.” Organizations that participate in the clinics are providing a valuable service to Honduras, according to Dr. Héctor Galindo Castellanos. The Honduran Armed Forces concluded November 22 a series of clinics held throughout the year to provide medical care to the country’s poorest citizens. In addition to general medical care, the clinics have treated chronic, acute and emerging diseases, according to Lieutenant Colonel of Military Health Dr. Lisandro Valle. By Dialogo November 27, 2014 That’s where the brigades were inaugurated in February during an event attended by the President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Juan Orlando Hernández. “It is a very important civic engagement for the country because part of having a better life is to prevent disease, prevent violence, and what we want is to have a healthy life,” he said, affirming the government’s support of the Armed Forces and Ministry of Security, who provided the clinics. Hernández also took the opportunity to encourage the public to actively participate in combating diseases that can be avoided with prevention – especially deaths caused by hemorrhagic and classic dengue, which can be fought by keeping clean homes and yards that can become breeding grounds for mosquitos. “It is a very important civic engagement for the country because part of having a better life is to prevent disease, prevent violence, and what we want is to have a healthy life,” he said, affirming the government’s support of the Armed Forces and Ministry of Security, who provided the clinics. Hernández also took the opportunity to encourage the public to actively participate in combating diseases that can be avoided with prevention – especially deaths caused by hemorrhagic and classic dengue, which can be fought by keeping clean homes and yards that can become breeding grounds for mosquitos. “The brigades were set up throughout the country in locations with an air unit, naval unit or combat unit, and particularly in the communities of Choluteca, Danlí, Juticalpa, Catacamas, Santa Rosa de Copán, Santa Bárbara, San Pedro Sula, Tela, La Ceiba, El Progreso, La Esperanza, Comayagua, Siguatepeque and Tegucigalpa,” Valle said. “This is the fourth time I’ve come to receive medical care this year because my health has improved a lot. Also, the doctors give me medicine and I can bring clothes from here to my family. For someone who is poor, this is very important,” said Julio Segovia, 83, who attended a November 16 clinic held in Tegucigalpa. In addition to medical care and medicine, participants also received assistance from stylists, who offered hairdressing services for men, women and children. The military also provided children’s games, music ensembles and clothing donations. At the Tegucigalpa Brigade alone, the military provided 4,200 medical consultations. For the 1,736 children in attendance, they set up bouncy castles and 13 piñatas, held 16 toy raffles, and launched 20 showers of confetti. In addition to general medical care, the clinics have treated chronic, acute and emerging diseases, according to Lieutenant Colonel of Military Health Dr. Lisandro Valle. Organizations that participate in the clinics are providing a valuable service to Honduras, according to Dr. Héctor Galindo Castellanos. More than 300,000 people across the country received care from the clinics in 2014, according to official estimates – and it’s expected that more than a million people will be treated over the next four years. That’s where the brigades were inaugurated in February during an event attended by the President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Juan Orlando Hernández. In addition to medical care and medicine, participants also received assistance from stylists, who offered hairdressing services for men, women and children. The military also provided children’s games, music ensembles and clothing donations. At the Tegucigalpa Brigade alone, the military provided 4,200 medical consultations. For the 1,736 children in attendance, they set up bouncy castles and 13 piñatas, held 16 toy raffles, and launched 20 showers of confetti. “This is the fourth time I’ve come to receive medical care this year because my health has improved a lot. Also, the doctors give me medicine and I can bring clothes from here to my family. For someone who is poor, this is very important,” said Julio Segovia, 83, who attended a November 16 clinic held in Tegucigalpa. “We appreciate the assistance we have received from the Public Order and Military Police (POMP), Permanent Contingency Committee (COPECO), garment assembly factories, drugstores, Universidad Católica de Honduras (UCH), National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) and Evangelical and Catholic churches,” said Lieutenant Colonel and logistics officer of the military hospital, Nahúm Canales Cruz. “We appreciate the assistance we have received from the Public Order and Military Police (POMP), Permanent Contingency Committee (COPECO), garment assembly factories, drugstores, Universidad Católica de Honduras (UCH), National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) and Evangelical and Catholic churches,” said Lieutenant Colonel and logistics officer of the military hospital, Nahúm Canales Cruz. “The medical care has covered both dental and medical specialties, and we have also offered care in psychology, psychiatry, dermatology, cardiology, gastroenterology, internal medicine, orthopedics, among others. In Tegucigalpa alone, we have provided free care to more than 45,000 people.” More than 300,000 people across the country received care from the clinics in 2014, according to official estimates – and it’s expected that more than a million people will be treated over the next four years. “I invite all civil society organizations to join in the work of these health conferences because this will result in greater benefits for the people who don’t have access to health systems due to low income, being outside the coverage of the system or living in rural areas that are difficult to access.” A successful year “I invite all civil society organizations to join in the work of these health conferences because this will result in greater benefits for the people who don’t have access to health systems due to low income, being outside the coverage of the system or living in rural areas that are difficult to access.” I think they could have trained people in all the airports to not let any traveller from places that have Ebola through let them through to countries that don’t have that disease. And they let them into this country out of carelessness therefore they knew it could happen. Now we must pray a lot so that malignant disease doesn’t bring the Dominicanpopulation to an end. God is very powerful and will not abandon us let us trust God and in the trained personnel. The Honduran Armed Forces concluded November 22 a series of clinics held throughout the year to provide medical care to the country’s poorest citizens. “The brigades were set up throughout the country in locations with an air unit, naval unit or combat unit, and particularly in the communities of Choluteca, Danlí, Juticalpa, Catacamas, Santa Rosa de Copán, Santa Bárbara, San Pedro Sula, Tela, La Ceiba, El Progreso, La Esperanza, Comayagua, Siguatepeque and Tegucigalpa,” Valle said. A successful yearlast_img read more

Long Island Blizzard Dumps 30 Inches, Halts Travel

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York There was a period when it seemed this winter would be remembered not for Mother Nature’s fury but instead for sweaty 60-degree December days. Not anymore. The blizzard of 2016 lived up to the hype, spawning swirling and driving snow that caused whiteout conditions, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency and issue a travel ban that was lifted at 7 a.m. Sunday, 15 hours after it had gone into effect. A blizzard warning that had been in effect since early Saturday also expired. “Traveling has resumed and has resumed without issue thus far,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a Sunday morning press conference. When Mother Nature’s pent up fury finally got under control, nearly 30 inches had fallen on the Island. The Nor’easter also proved fatal. Three people apparently attempting to clear snow had died, a 61-year-old man in West Hempstead, a 94-year-old Smithtown man, and a 75-year-old woman from Huntington Station. Overall, there were 18 reported deaths from the blizzard, which slammed much of the mid-Atlantic. In Suffolk, County Executive Steve Bellone told the Press county and state roads are passable but secondary roads could take more of an effort to clear. Calling it an “extraordinary” storm, he said it could take a few days for crews to clear all the snow. Bellone did say the county “dodged” a bullet because there were no reports of significant flooding, which was a top concern among state and local officials. On Sunday morning residents awoke to mounds of snow along sidewalks and in driveways. There was the ubiquitous hum of snow blowers and sound of shovels colliding with pavement. Instead of drifting snow, LI was being bathed in a glorious blue sky, but despite the superb conditions it could take a few days for local municipalities to clean up the mess. The National Weather Service’s Upton office released unofficial snowfall totals that surpassed even upgraded predictions of up to two feet. Hicksville had the most significant snowfall with 29.6 inches. Other communities saw a little more than two feet, while others were lucky enough to record about a foot and a half. In Suffolk, the highest total reported by the weather service was 26.5 in Commack. The storm was so powerful that officials decided Saturday afternoon to suspend service on the Long Island Rail Road and institute a travel ban on the Long Island Expressway and Northern State Parkway. The travel ban has since been lifted. But officials at the LIRR said service would remain suspended with crews working through the day to make tracks passable and clear LIRR yards that remain buried under two feet of snow.“The problem we’re still having is the Long Island Rail Road, which sustained significant damage in the yards,” Cuomo told reporters. Crews, the railroad said, will focus on the most highly-traveled branches with the goal of returning service for the Monday morning commute. At area airports, airlines were working on a reduced schedule after going a day with no flights at all. Long Island MacArthur Airport said flights were cancelled until late Sunday afternoon and advised travelers to check with airlines for updates. The above-ground power lines across Long Island appeared to hold up well through the storm. The number of people without power fluctuated all day Saturday, with PSEG Long Island reporting that it had restored service to more than 25,000 customers. The one death in Nassau was a 61-year-old West Hempstead man who suffered cardiac arrest while shoveling snow, Nassau County police said. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Suffolk County police reported two blizzard-related deaths. A 75-year-old woman shoveling at her Tippen Drive home had difficulty breathing and was transported to Huntington Hospital, where she died, police said. In Smithtown, a 94-year-old man collapsed near his snow blower and was pronounced dead at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, police said. “I think it’s something we’re going to pay a lot more attention to,” Bellone said of getting the word out about elderly residents shoveling deep snow in the bitter cold. UPDATE: Authorities have identified a fourth blizzard-related death. A 66-year-old man was fatally struck by a snow plow in front of his Oyster Bay Cove home on Sunday, Nassau County police said.(Photo credit: New York Governor’s Office)last_img read more

CDC’s preparedness chief named acting director

first_imgJan 27, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Richard E. Besser, MD, who formerly directed terrorism preparedness and emergency response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was named last week as the agency’s acting director.Besser replaces Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, who had led the agency since July 2002 and stepped down as President Barack Obama took office last week.Besser took the helm of the agency Jan 22, according to a brief notice on the CDC Web site. He had been director of the CDC Coordinatng Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response since August 29, 2005, according to Glen Nowak, CDC media relations director.”He started 2 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit,” Nowak said.Nowak said Besser was appointed acting CDC director by Charles Johnson, acting secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Former Sen. Tom Daschle has been nominated as HHS secretary but has not yet been confirmed.A pediatrician by training, Besser, 49, started his CDC career in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) in 1991, working on foodborne diseases, Nowak said.Besser served as an associate professor of pediatrics and director of the pediatrics residency program at the University of California, San Diego, from 1993 to 1998, according to the 2000 EIS directory.He later returned to the CDC and served as epidemiology section chief in the Respiratory Diseases Branch, acting chief of the Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch in the National Center for Infectious Diseases, and as medical director of a CDC campaign to promote appropriate antibiotic use in the community.He received a bachelor’s degree in economics at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., and earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency and chief residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, the CDC said.Besser has authored and co-authored more than 100 presentations, abstracts, book chapters, editorials, and other publications and has received many awards for his work in public health and his volunteer service, according to the CDC.Gerberding had led the CDC since Jul 3, 2002, when she was appointed by then-HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. Previously she had served as part of a four-member CDC interim leadership team, which had functioned for about 3 months following the resignation of former CDC Director Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan in March 2002.Gerberding’s CDC leadership began less than a year after the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001 put bioterrorism high on the CDC’s agenda. Some major events during her tenure included increased federal spending for state and local public health preparedness, the campaign to vaccinate many frontline health workers against smallpox in 2003, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and monkeypox outbreaks of the same year, a major CDC reorganization launched in 2004, and a growing focus on pandemic influenza preparedness in response to the spread of H5N1 avian influenza starting in 2004.See also: May 14, 2004, CIDRAP News story on CDC reorganizationhttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/bioprep/news/may1404cdc.htmlJul 3, 2002, CIDRAP News story on appointment of Julie Gerberdinghttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/bioprep/news/gerberding.htmllast_img read more

Hands on experience

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Facebook’s Zuckerberg embraces remote work beyond Silicon Valley

first_imgTopics : “These aren’t necessarily offices,” Zuckerberg said, although the company would likely create “some kind of physical space” to foster community. “The idea for these hubs is that we want to create scale. We want to focus the recruiting energy in some cities where we can get to hundreds of engineers.”The total effect on costs of the shift to remote work is unclear, Zuckerberg said. Savings related to real estate, food and labor costs will be partially offset by additional expenses for travel and logistics associated with home offices.He said the company was committed to keeping its current office spaces, which include a tony Menlo Park headquarters designed by architect Frank Gehry, featuring a rooftop garden and a courtyard sheltered by redwood trees.The sky-high compensation packages common in Silicon Valley will not necessarily be transferred to other parts of the country, however. Zuckerberg said salaries will be adjusted if Facebook employees opt to live in less-pricey regions, consistent with the company’s existing cost-of-living calculations.“We pay very well, basically at the top of the market, but we pay a market rate. And that varies by location, so we’re going to continue that principle here,” he said.Internal surveys indicate that about 60 percent of Facebook employees preferred a flexible approach to work, with a mix of remote and office-based functions, Zuckerberg said.Within that group, he said, just under half reported they would move to another region if given the option.He said there were no differences in the results by gender. Facebook Inc will permanently embrace remote work even after coronavirus lockdowns ease, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday, accelerating the tech sector’s geographic diversification away from its home in Silicon Valley.Zuckerberg said the world’s largest social network would start “aggressively opening up remote hiring” in July, expecting that about half its workforce would eventually do their jobs outside Facebook’s offices over the next five to 10 years.The company would take a more “measured approach” with existing employees based on job function and past performance, he said, and set a January 1, 2021 deadline for staff to update the company on their new locations for tax purposes.center_img The move is the most significant yet by a tech giant to reimagine what work culture will look like in a post-coronavirus world, as the pandemic upends office and commuting habits for companies around the world.It follows similar announcements earlier this month by social media rival Twitter and payments company Square, both led by Jack Dorsey, which were the first tech companies to permit remote work indefinitely.But Facebook is a much larger company, with nearly 50,000 employees, and it went further in laying out a novel proposed structure for remote work. Its decision is likely to have a pronounced impact on the San Francisco area, where the tech sector’s rapid growth has strained regional infrastructure.Facebook, which has already said it will stick to plans to hire 10,000 engineers and product employees this year, will also build three new “hubs” in Atlanta, Dallas and Denver where remote workers in those areas could occasionally convene.last_img read more