BC/EFA Easter Bonnet Competition Raises Record-Breaking $4.5 Million

first_img Off-Broadway Top Fundraiser: Avenue Q – $28,577 First Runner-up: Heathers – $24,363 Also joining in the celebration and competition were Rory O’Malley, Michael Riedel, Newsies kids Luca Padovan and Zachary Unger, Mothers and Sons playwright Terence McNally and star Tyne Daly, Kim Zimmer, Joe Carroll and fellow Cinderella cast members, Nathan Madden, Phoebe Pearl, Violet’s Sutton Foster, BC/EFA Producing Director Michael Graziano and Executive Director Tom Viola. This years’ judges included Gregg Barnes, Christopher J. Hanke, Carly Rae Jepsen, Michael McKean, Jim Norton, Patrick Page, Annie Potts and Anthony Rapp, in addition to Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction winners Eric Forst and Peg Wendlandt. The event, held at Minskoff Theatre on April 21 and 22, featured original presentations, songs, dances and bonnets designed by the companies of Broadway productions. 57 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies participated in six weeks of fundraising. Menzel, Washington, Cranston and Drescher, who were introduced by Of Mice and Men stars James Franco, Chris O’Dowd and Leighton Meester, announced the final tally of donations at the conclusion of the competition. The company of The Lion King took home the top honor of best presentation, with After Midnight securing the runner-up spot. The special award for bonnet design was presented to the company of Once. The top fundraising award went to Kinky Boots, which raised $284,170. The full totals are as follows: National Touring Shows Top Fundraiser: The Book of Mormon – Latter Day Company – $405,009 First Runner-up: Wicked – Munchkinland Company – $277,109 Second Runner-up: The Book of Mormon – Jumamosi Company – $209,023 Third Runner-up: Wicked – Emerald City Company- $182,704 Broadway Plays Top Fundraiser: All the Way – $186,424 First Runner-up: Mothers and Sons – $100,102 Broadway Musicals Top Fundraiser: Kinky Boots – $284,170 First Runner-up: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – $208,697 Second Runner-up: Cinderella – $206,941 Third Runner-up: The Book of Mormon – $181,065 The 28th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition, which featured a host of stars including Idina Menzel, Denzel Washington, Bryan Cranston and Fran Drescher, raised a record-breaking $4,532,129 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The event has raised over $58 million for the organization since it began in 1987. View Commentslast_img read more

Economics of stem cells

first_imgWhile some of our trained stem cell graduate students have been recruited to fledgling stem cell companies in Georgia, most of our best students are being snatched up by Ivy League schools and leading stem cell companies in other states as soon as their training is complete. If we don’t create opportunities within our state, we will continue to lose these leaders and fall further behind. We have access to and can train the work force for local stem cell companies. Keeping them in Georgia is the issue.The stem cell train has left the station, and Georgia’s scientists are on it. We now need the public to get on board. Obama can help stoke the fires on that train with additional funding that will give our state a two-for-one benefit: improving health and improving economic development.The foundation has been laid in our state and can be leveraged for high-paying stem cell jobs that will help improve the quality of life for Georgians. Georgia’s higher institutions educate students that are going elsewhere for high-paying careers. Our goal should not end at education; rather, we also must attract the companies to the state to keep our best here in rewarding careers. Georgians must actively steer the stem cell economics train toward our state instead of standing on the platform and watching it go elsewhere. We, as a state, have a competitive set of complementary skills that competes with anyone in the world. To move the momentum forward, researchers across the state have banded together to form the Georgia Stem Cell Initiative. More information about this group, as well as how to get involved, is available at the Web site www.georgiastemcell.org (Steve L. Stice is a Georgia Research Alliance Scholar and director of the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center and is the founder of ArunA Biomedical, Inc., a Georgia stem cell company.Robert M. Nerem is the Parker H. Petit Professor for Engineering in Medicine at the Georgia Institute of Technology and director of the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues, a National Science Foundation-funded engineering research center.) President Obama’s anticipated action on the isolation of new embryonic stem cell lines is welcome news to many, but frankly, it will have little impact on speeding stem cell therapies for the majority of Americans who need them. Those in need of therapies will continue to wait.The initial outcome of the president’s act is simple: researchers in states such as California and New York that made major investments to fund and create new stem cell lines will have more flexibility. Instead of duplicating laboratories – one for federal funding and one for state funding – labs in these states can combine stem cell lines in one laboratory, freeing resources for additional research.However, advancing stem cell therapies will require more financial investment from both the public and private sectors.Little new research will happen in Georgia if only new lines are allowed and dollars aren’t available to turn them into therapies. That isn’t to say we aren’t in the game. Thankfully, despite political setbacks, stem cell researchers in Georgia haven’t sat on the sidelines during the Bush administration. They’ve made major advances.It’s important to note that although politics put us behind some of the more progressive states, Georgia institutions have a proven, competitive record for being awarded scarce federal stem cell funds. So the notion that Georgia and stem cells don’t mix is wrong.Significant research funding has been awarded to researchers in the state through several sources, including the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. Even the U.S. Department of Defense is funding regenerative medicine and, indirectly, stem cells. Continued funding is keeping Georgia fiercely competitive in fundamental areas. We are poised and ready to implement advancements in this field.Progress ReportGeorgia researchers are alive and well in the stem cell race. A 2006 study showed that 67 percent of the state is supportive of stem cell research.The University of Georgia is advancing the basic understanding of stem cells in cancer and drug discovery and is determining the effectiveness of new stem cell therapies. The Medical College of Georgia is advancing nonembryonic stem cell therapies. Emory University recently announced their participation in a cell therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and a few weeks ago hosted a meeting on the use of cellular therapies in the treatment of lung injury. The Georgia Tech/Emory Center on regenerative medicine is combining stem cells with biomaterials and developing related enabling technologies. GTEC recently brought together industrial and university leaders in a workshop on stem cell biomanufacturing that focused on translating advances in basic stem cell biology into the therapies needed for patients. By Steven L. SticeUniversity of GeorgiaRobert M. NeremGeorgia Institute of Technology So what is the potential impact of future stem cell research in Georgia? Already, through federal research grants, Georgia is training the next generation of stem cell scientists for an ever-expanding commercial market. Economic impact studies suggest that stem cell companies will have sales exceeding $3 billion per year by the end of this year with annual growth between 10 percent and 30 percent.Brain drainlast_img read more

9/11 memorial trees get help from UGA

first_imgFour years ago, Bartlett Tree Experts, an international tree company, got the call to be the people to care for the trees that will bring life back to the World Trade Center Plaza. “These are probably the most cared for trees on the planet,” said Wayne Dubin, Bartlett’s vice-president and division manager. More than 400 white swamp oaks and sweetgum trees were relocated to a New Jersey nursery four years ago to be groomed for placement at the 9/11 memorial. Only 386 will eventually call the prestigious site home. Data collected from the trees will help experts determine which trees will be best suited for the memorial. “We monitor and treat the trees to ensure maximum vigor and ideal health status,” Dubin said. To help Bartlett care for the trees, which will be cast into the global spotlight, the company enlisted the help of the UGA Consortium for Internet Imaging and Database Systems, or CIIDS, which created a database system to track the trees’ care. The system monitors and stores important information like watering schedules, pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer applications, pruning, weed control, tree height and diameter and fall color. It also includes a sensor system that reads the soil moisture and temperature in the root ball of each tree. “We have so many parties involved in this project, we needed a central repository for all the information,” said Mike Sherwood, Bartlett inventory solutions manager. “Having a central place for people to get the information was identified as needed early on. We were happy with our other CIIDS products. So, we approached them for help.” “You essentially have the history of the tree at your fingertips,” said Sherri Clark, principal developer with CIIDS. “If a tree has suffered some storm damage or its soil was too dry, you can see it. This information is important when selecting trees to move to the site.” Weekly reports are automatically generated by the system and emailed to stakeholders. center_img “It has been a moving experience to be associated with this project,” Clark said. “As a developer, I don’t often have an opportunity to have a tangible effect on the world around me and through this application I have had that opportunity.” Many years ago, CIIDS developed the UGA Cooperative Extension Distance Diagnostics through Digital Imaging System. The success of DDDI pushed the group to develop more custom database applications, said David Barber, the CIIDS director. Bartlett and CIIDS have had a long relationship. CIIDS has also developed other applications for the company, including an accident reporting system and an in-house diagnostics module and a soil sampling database. The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum will cover 8 acres, half of the site left in rubble after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The white swamp oaks growing at the New Jersey nursery average 30 feet tall with leaf canopies between 18 feet and 20 feet wide. They are expected to grow to 80 feet tall.So far, 16 white swamp oaks have been planted. Bartlett hopes the site will be ready for a few more before the end of the year. “This experience has been unique in a number of ways,” Dubin said. “It is an amazing project, and we are honored to be a part of this. It is not about the trees. It is about the people who miss their loved ones and creating a memorial for the victims of 9/11.”last_img read more

Colleagues remember Ehrlich’s wit and warmth

first_img November 1, 2005 Managing Editor Regular News Colleagues remember Ehrlich’s wit and warmth Colleagues remember Ehrlich’s wit and warmth Mark D. Killian Managing Editor Routinely the first in to work in the morning and the last to leave at night, former Chief Justice Raymond Ehrlich’s mastery of the law and his work ethic were legendary. But when friends and colleagues gathered at the Supreme Court recently to reflect on the late justice’s life, it also became quite apparent that Ehrlich played as hard as he worked, and was quick with a joke or a phrase that put those around him at ease.“There are all these things I could say about Justice Ehrlich — what an incredible jurist he was, how he studied cases thoroughly, understood both sides, and neutrally applied the applicable laws to a case — and yet when asked this very question by a reporter, I said, ‘He made me laugh,’” said U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Rosemary Barkett, who served with Ehrlich on the Florida Supreme Court. “He had a great sense of humor. He was a gentleman and a gentle man, and I loved him.”Justice Ehrlich died in July, at the age of 87.Born to Jewish Russian immigrants who fled Czarist tyranny, Ehrlich was born in Swainsboro, Georgia, in 1918, and he practiced law in Jacksonville from 1946 until his appointment to the state’s high court in 1981 by Gov. Bob Graham. He served as chief justice from 1988-90 and is remembered for his precise and insightful opinion writing and for releasing and promoting a groundbreaking report of gender bias in the Florida legal system that led to significant reforms in the law and legal culture affecting women.“I have one small bit of Ray Ehrlich wisdom to share with members of the court because I watched him do this more than once,” said Jacksonville lawyer Bill Graessle, who clerked for the justice. “When one of your colleagues is off on some tangent and has got an opinion just totally wrong and you are arguing and trying to convince them, do what Ray did. Look your colleague in the eye and smile and say, ‘That doesn’t even make good nonsense.’”Other Ehrlich adages included, “Pick pockets shouldn’t brag;” “I can’t learn anything new if I am talking;” and “Don’t use your race horse to plow your field.”“Who else could have gotten an expert witness to once admit in public, in court, that dead chickens don’t lay eggs?” said Graessle, who also noted Ehrlich once wore University of Florida Gator boxer shorts over his suit pants to a birthday party at the court.“Raymond Ehrlich loved the life of learning and the law,” said Ehrlich’s stepson, Jack Bettman. “But perhaps equally important to this truly special and wonderful man was the happiness and joy he exchanged with others. Ray told the best jokes and he told them well. It will be a long time before any of us can forget Ray’s sweet smile and the twinkle in his piercing blue eyes. I will always remember the image of Chief Justice Ehrlich laughing with Chief Justice Rehnquist on the back of a fishing boat.”“Justice Ehrlich best exemplifies the fulfillment of the American dream and a life dedicated to the spirit of American democracy,” said Chief Justice Barbara Pariente, noting Ehrlich never forgot the lessons his parents taught him about the barbarism of the land they left behind. Those lessons, Pariente said, grounded him to the belief that the role of the American lawyer is to enforce this country’s fundamental freedoms.“Justice Ehrlich explained it this way: ‘The Bill of Rights wouldn’t be worth the paper it is written on, except for a vigilant and a strong bar,’” Pariente said. “And Justice Ehrlich believed in this principle with all of his heart and all of his soul.”Former Bar President Terry Russell said when he looks back at his career over the past two decades, there is not a single significant event that Ehrlich was not a part of.“’What would Ray do?’ became and continues to this day to be a question I ask myself in any challenging professional, and sometimes personal, situation,” Russell said. “It is only a few times that you have the opportunity to share the friendship of exceptional people who you know will make a positive difference in your life. And in spite of his well-known sassy sense of humor to which so many of us were well-exposed and his warm and embracing nature, his integrity, ethics, professionalism, and sense of justice set a standard beyond which he had no peers.”Former Justice Major B. Harding said Ehrlich had an unsurpassed reputation for excellence and he was thrilled to get to know a man of such distinguished reputation when he was a young lawyer.“I was. . . privileged to have followed Justice Ehrlich and succeeded him when he retired,” Harding said. “When I moved into his office, I went through the desk drawers. They were empty, except for a brochure indicating where he bought his bow ties. I carried on the bow tie tradition.”Former Justice Ben Overton noted that while Ehrlich had a habit of regularly using the term “little lady” in addressing women – and that he “tightened my grip on my conference chair” when Ehrlich used the term on Justice Barkett — Ehrlich had a passion for women’s issues and for women’s rights.“I did love Ray,” said Barkett. “I loved Ray for a lot of reasons.”Barkett said even though Ehrlich came from a big Jacksonville firm, “I would marvel at how he could, with his background, put himself in the place of each party to a lawsuit to understand their point of view. He could understand the argument of an arrestee claiming abuse at the hands of the police, and he could understand a policeman’s argument of false claims made against them. He could see how a company or businessman might feel aggrieved and understand the feelings of a single shareholder or a debtor or that of someone who was poor. Once understanding the claims he would neutrally with no prior leaning in one direction or the other gauge the legal merit of the claim by reading carefully all of the facts and the applicable law. So of all of those things that I could have said about what a great jurist he was, and what an important man he had been who had given up a very successful career in order to give back to the state that he loved, why would I say that he makes me laugh?“He made me laugh because he laughed at himself,” Barkett said. “And he laughed at us, and he made ourselves laugh at ourselves.”last_img read more

Coronavirus reaches Kyrgyzstan, via Saudi Arabia

first_imgTopics : Kyrgyzstan has confirmed its first coronavirus cases, as three citizens tested positive after arriving from Saudi Arabia, the healthcare minister said on Wednesday, a day after the Central Asian country closed its borders to all foreigners.Healthcare Minister Kosmosbek Cholponbayev delivered news that the pandemic had reached the landlocked nation of 6 million people at a news briefing.Kyrgyzstan borders China, where the outbreak first began in December, and two of its neighbors, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, also confirmed their first cases this month. All three countries and Tajikistan, another former Soviet central Asian republic, have moved to ban or limit public events and suspended Friday prayers at mosques.Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have also closed their borders and the former is locking down two of its biggest cities to contain the outbreak. last_img read more

Venezuela records first coronavirus death

first_imgVenezuela reported its first coronavirus death on Thursday after a 47-year-old man with a pre-existing lung disease died, the government said.The man from the northern Aragua state had previously suffered from an “occupational disease in the lungs,” Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez said in a television address.The patient had been admitted to a private clinic suffering from pneumonia and three days later tested positive for COVID-19, Rodriguez said. Topics : They had been visiting Venezuela for business or tourism but got stuck by the government lockdown.Peru, which on Thursday extended its lockdown and border closures until April 12, likewise authorized the departure of tourists on especially arranged flights.Around 400 Canadians and more than 300 Americans are due to be repatriated from Thursday, their embassies in Peru announced.Some 200 Canadians queued outside the country’s diplomatic mission in the capital Lima waiting to board buses to take them to the city’s military hospital, from where they were due to board a flight to take them home.Peru has recorded 580 coronavirus cases and nine deaths.It has closed schools and universities, imposed a nighttime curfew and a ban on all road traffic.center_img The South American country has now reported 107 coronavirus cases.It is under a total lockdown with businesses and schools closed and its borders closed to commercial flights, although cargo arrivals are still allowed.The pandemic is causing particular concern in Venezuela because its economy has collapsed, with people already suffering shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine, and the breakdown of public services such as water, electricity and transport.Meanwhile a “special flight” organized by several European countries left Caracas with more than 360 passengers on board, including 139 Spaniards, 56 Italians, 44 Germans and 26 French nationals.last_img read more

COVID-19 takes toll on Pelni as ports temporarily close

first_imgThe national shipping industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has disrupted the flow of goods along shipping routes.In addition to shipping, the COVID-19 outbreak has also taken a toll on passenger ship operators, with a number of ports temporarily closing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.State-owned shipping company PT Pelni has suffered a sharp decline in passenger numbers since the COVID-19 outbreak hit the country in early February, the company’s corporate secretary Yahya Kuncoro said in Jakarta on Saturday, adding that business had dropped off further after the government imposed social restrictions to curb the outbreak in March. He said that a number of the company’s passenger ships, such as the KM Dobonsolo, KM Ciremai, KM Nggapulu, KM Dempo, KM Sinabung and KM Leuser, could not operate optimally because many regional administrations had closed their ports to prevent the spread of the virus. Although the ships are still allowed to transport cargo, the closure of ports had severely hurt business, he added.Most ports in Papua, including in Jayapura, Timika, Agats, Merauke, Nabire, Biak, Serui, Sorong, Manokwari, Kaimana, Fakfak and Wasior, have been closed for passenger ships. Several other ports in Maluku, such as in Saumlaki, Namrole, Sanana and Dobo have also been also closed.Ports have also been closed in Batulicin and Bontang in East Kalimantan; Waingapu and Larantuk in East Nusa Tenggara; Blinyu and Tanjung Pandan in Bangka Belitung; Awerange and Bitung in Sulawesi and Letung Tarempa in Riau Islands.Meanwhile, chairwoman of the Indonesian National Shipowners Association (INSA) Carmelita Hartoto said on March 30 that the COVID-19 outbreak had not only had financial impacts on shipping companies but also affected their administrative and technical work. The volume of cargo exported and imported to and from China has declined by 14 to 18 percent. Shipments to other countries such as Singapore and South Korea have also declined, while domestic cargo shipments have dropped 5 to 10 percent, the association said.The clearance process at seaports is another challenge that has resulted in higher operational costs. The clearance process has been further complicated by additional procedures such as ship disinfection, ship crew health checks and travel history checks.“This has increased operational costs,” said Carmelita. Carmelita also reported that efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 had also disrupted administrative work. With physical distancing and work-from-home policies in place, business players have found it difficult to carry out administrative work, such as acquiring ship certificate, because of staff shortages.On the technical side, Carmelita said ship owners also faced difficulties conducting maintenance because of the limited number of workers available.Topics :last_img read more

UK roundup: TPR, bulk annuities, Aon Hewitt, LCP

first_imgThe Pensions Regulator’s new defined benefit (DB) funding code of practice has come into force, providing trustees with an update of its 2006 guidelines.The new code, “Funding Defined Benefits”, was originally published in December 2013 and underwent consultation until February 2014.A final, revised version was published in June.The code updates the regulatory framework for DB trustees and now takes into account the regulator’s new statutory objective – to consider whether scheme recovery plans take into account sponsoring employers’ sustainable growth. It also provides practical guidance on how trustees can comply with legal requirements.Original versions of the Code came under criticism from the industry for being too prescriptive and long-winded.The regulator eventually took heed, splitting the Code into regulatory requirements and guidance.Interim executive director for DB regulation, Geoff Cruickshank, said TPR was keen to understand how trustees and employers used the code, and which aspects needed further work.“We expect trustees and employers to take the new code into account,” he said. “Our case teams have undergone a programme of training to ensure the code is applied consistently between cases with similar facts.”In other news, the battle for bulk annuity consultancy work has intensified as Aon Hewitt and legal firm Eversheds launched a fixed fee buy-in or buyout service for DB schemes.Named Pathway, the package offers schemes pre-negotiated contract terms with bulk annuity insurers, increasing certainty of price and speeding up deal negotiations.In reaction to the launch, consultancy LCP, which advises trustees and sponsors on bulk annuity deals, said it just completed its tenth fixed fee bulk annuity transaction, after launching its service in 2012.Aon Hewitt said Pathway has been designed with insurers to ensure they prioritise cases and commit to shorter turnaround times.LCP said its process was designed to manage key challenges in running bulk annuity transactions, and that it provides certainty on legal and actuarial costs.Partner at LCP, Emma Watkins, said: “One of the key features of the service is that contracts are pre-negotiated with insurers, which gives trustees immediate access to better terms than the insurer’s standard contracts.”Dominic Grimley, principal consultant at Aon Hewitt, said: “In a busy market, it is more important than ever that a firm plan of action and clear objectives are adopted to get the right deal at the right time.“Annuity purchase involves a number of moving parts.”last_img read more

​AMF makes first direct forestry investment with €1bn deal

first_img“Forestry is well suited to our strategy of increasing the proportion of alternative investments such as wind power and infrastructure in the portfolio.”AMF said that, of Bergvik Skog Öst’s total 363,000 hectares of land, 295,000 hectares was classed as “productive” forest.BillerudKorsnäs said it was keeping approximately 36,000 hectares of land from the original Bergvik Skog Öst company.The pulp manufacturer said the value of the sale corresponded to approximately SEK38,500 per hectare of forest. In addition, the company has entered into an agreement in connection with the deal to be the sole buyer of wood produced from Bergvik Skog Öst’s land for the next 15 years.After that, it would have the right to repurchase the company unless it was offered an extension of the timber agreement to the current terms, the company said.Petra Einarsson, chief executive of BillerudKorsnäs, said: “With the sale of Bergvik Skog Öst and the agreed wood supply contract from this forestland, we are creating good possibilities for a competitive and stable wood supply, both in the short-term and the long-term. We are keeping a minority stake and will have a long-term co-operation with AMF.”BillerudKorsnäs said the deal was expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019, subject to approval from the Swedish Competition Authority. Sweden’s third biggest pension fund is making its first direct investment in forestry, in a deal worth an estimated SEK11bn (€1bn).AMF – which manages SEK632bn in assets – announced this week that it was to acquire 89.9% of the outstanding shares of BSÖ Holding from Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer BillerudKorsnäs Skog & Industri. BSÖ Holding’s subsidiary Bergvik Skog Öst owns over 317,000 hectares of woodland in central Sweden.BSÖ Holding was valued at SEK12.2bn on a cash and debt-free basis, AMF said, making its stake worth just under SEK11bn.Katarina Romberg, AMF’s head of alternative investments, said: “AMF already owns forest indirectly via our holdings in listed forest companies, but now we are also getting a direct investment in well-managed and responsibly-used forests through the purchase of one of Sweden’s largest forest-owning companies.last_img read more

Silly Safari coming to Batesville Y

first_imgBatesville, IN—Southeastern Indiana YMCA is playing host to a Silly Safaris Family Fun Night on Friday, January 17th from 6:30 – 7:30 PM. The public is invited to this event to this free event.  There will be a live animal show with the perfect blend of fact and fun!  You’ll see a variety of reptiles, mammals, birds, and bugs for an experience everyone will remember. Limited space is available. Please RSVP to the Y Welcome Center at 812-934-6006.last_img