Jam fans have taken note of Owen York, as the 13-year old pianist first turned heads with a show-stopping four-hour performance in January for Umphrey’s McGee fans. The popularity for York’s mash-up piano medleys has only grown, and he even got to perform a cover of David Bowie on the floor of Madison Square Garden! Very cool.Today we’re delighted to share a brand new venture for York, as he debuts an instrumental jazz composition entitled “Lotos.” The three-minute piece sees the young pianist tackle an intricate composition in style. Accompanied by British drummer Matt Griffiths, “Lotos” showcases the skills that earned Owen York a seat as the youngest member of Rockland Youth Jazz Ensemble, an elite group of musicians from New York and New Jersey.Watch the video of Owen York’s “Lotos,” taken in July at the French Woods Camp in Upstate New York.Be sure to check out York’s YouTube channel for covers and medleys of Radiohead, Grateful Dead, Beck, Steely Dan, Umphrey’s McGee, Phish, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel, Neil Young, Gorillaz, Outkast, Mashups and more!
In the midst of heavy summer touring, Philly funksters Swift Technique have released a brand new single, “Annawanna”. The song is a classic dancehall anthem with a modern soul twist, featuring the expressive vocal talents of Chelsea ViaCava with a simple yet powerful message of devotion and love. The band’s typically propulsive rhythm section is tighter than ever and the ST horn section provides the punch that drives the tune home. Swift pushes the disco groove into an absolute frenzy before dropping into a sweet and soulful outro that will have you slow dancing with your sweetheart.Most recently, Swift Technique has earned the coveted opening slot at this summer’s XPonential Fest, getting airplay (and more) on the only Philly Station that matters–WXPN home of the World Café–and have been serving as the backing band for Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles fabled leader Jason Kelce.“Annawanna” is the first in the band’s summer singles series–with single #2 coming in August. The Band will enter the studio with the legendary Phil Nicolo this winter for their first full-length release.Listen to “Annawanna”, Swift Technique’s new summertime jam, below and head to the band’s website for more information.Upcoming Swift Technique Shows:JUL 21The Ardmore Music HallArdmore, PAJUL 27XPoNential Music FestivalCamden, NJAUG 02The Stephen TalkhouseAmagansett, NYAUG 07Musikfest presents Swift Technique!Bethlehem, PAAUG 10Pearl Street WarehouseWashington, DCAUG 30Levitt AMP Music Series presents Swift TechniqueTrenton, NJAUG 31SummerSounds Park presents Swift TechniqueGreensburg, PASEP 02Adirondack Independence Music Festival presents Swift TechniqueLake George, NYSEP 08Twilight Concert Series presents Swift TechniqueKutztown, PAOCT 20Downtown 27 @ the ClocktowerStaunton, VA
A highly respected world leader and peace negotiator is the recipient of the 2010 Great Negotiator Award, co-sponsored by the Future of Diplomacy Project at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation.This year’s honoree is Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland and recipient of the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize, for his work on diplomacy and negotiation throughout his career. Ahtisaari will receive the award during a visit to Harvard on September 27.Ahtisaari played a pivotal role in negotiations for Namibian independence from South Africa in the late 1980s, served as the chief U.N. negotiator on Kosovo from 2005 to 2006 and helped end hostilities between the province of Aceh and Indonesia that claimed as many as 50,000 lives over the years of conflict. Among the eight previous recipients of the award are U.S. Senator George Mitchell, United Nations Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.
Read Full Story Harvard Divinity School Professor Janet Gyatso has been named among this year’s class of national and international leaders elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.Gyatso, the Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, is a specialist in Buddhist studies with concentration on Tibetan and South Asian cultural and intellectual history.“I am very honored to be in the company of so many fine scholars, artists, scientists, and leaders, and most gratified at the recognition of my work,” Gyatso said upon learning of her election into the Academy.Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing—and opportunities available to—the nation and the world.Members contribute to Academy publications and studies in science, engineering, and technology policy; global security and international affairs; the humanities, arts, and education; and American institutions and the public good.“This honor signifies the high regard in which you are held by leaders in your field and members throughout the nation,” wrote Academy chairperson Don M. Randel in his letter to Gyatso.The new members of American Academy of Arts and Sciences will be inducted at a ceremony on October 7, 2017, at American Academy of Arts and Sciences headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This will include a total of 13 new members from Harvard University.
In a major and surprising shift, the Trump administration late Tuesday fired FBI Director James Comey. Citing recommendations by Justice Department officials, President Trump said Comey was dismissed for mishandling the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices. Skeptics of that rationale were quick to note that Comey oversaw the criminal and counterintelligence investigation into alleged ties between Trump associates and Russian officials, as well as Russia’s involvement in hacking the 2016 election. Comey had earned the ire of both political parties for his unusual pronouncements late in the campaign confirming the FBI’s probe into Clinton’s use of private emails for some public business while she was secretary of state. Alex Whiting is a professor of practice at Harvard Law School who focuses on complex international and domestic prosecutions. From 2010 to 2013, he coordinated the ongoing investigations and prosecutions in the prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. Before that, he was senior trial attorney with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and was a U.S. prosecutor. Whiting spoke with the Gazette about the legal issues surrounding Comey’s dismissal.GAZETTE: Critics have questioned the timing of FBI Director James Comey’s dismissal, and yet both Democrats and Republicans complained about his handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails. And, of course, the president is authorized to hire and fire the FBI chief. How do you see this event?WHITING: I think that’s correct about the complaints and about the authority of the president. But what’s odd is that if Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation was really the motivating factor, Trump could’ve done this months ago. Also, his [previous] statements, as well as the statements of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have been praiseworthy of Comey with respect to the investigation — at least the announcements of the investigation. So there’s the timing issue about why he waited until now to do this. And that makes people think that there is another reason he did it now, and that it has to do with the ongoing Russia investigation.GAZETTE: Does he need a specific reason to hire or fire the FBI director?WHITING: No.GAZETTE: If the firing was related to Russia, does that technically prevent him from doing this, no matter the issue of how bad it looks politically?WHITING: That’s a good question. He has the authority to hire and fire, that’s correct. He has to get Senate confirmation to hire, but he has the authority to fire. If it turned out he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation and he did it in order to impede that investigation, then that could rise to the level of obstruction of justice. But the important thing is that most people aren’t thinking about this in terms of the legal authority to hire and fire Comey, but rather about the norms he has violated and the independence of the FBI director and the credibility of the FBI and its investigation. That’s really where the problem is. There’s a perception — and it’s a pretty widespread perception — that the reasons he gave for the firing are a pretext, and it really was to get rid of Comey because Comey was aggressively investigating the Russia case.GAZETTE: Given how infrequently FBI directors are let go, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s letter announcing the rationale for Comey’s firing did not appear heavily grounded in the law. What do you make of this, and, legally, how can Attorney General Sessions recuse himself from the Russia case and yet weigh in on firing? Is there a legal definition of recusal in play here?WHITING: On Rosenstein’s memo, I think what he said was right about the errors that Comey made. They were violations of Department of Justice policy and practice. He didn’t commit crimes or break the law, but [there were] violations of practice that did undermine his stature and his credibility. So the rationale is one a lot of people agree on. It’s the conclusion that’s the problem. Does that lead him to be fired? Most people think not. And should he be fired right now, when he’s leading this investigation? Again, most people say no.GAZETTE: What does recusal mean in this context?WHITING: It’s a fine line. Some people have raised that question. Sen. [Patrick] Leahy, for example, has said this violated the recusal. I think that what Jeff Sessions would say — and it’s debatable — is that this had nothing to do with the Russia investigation. That’s what he was recused from. This had to do with Comey’s conduct in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, and that’s why Sessions could act without violating the recusal. He would make that distinction.GAZETTE: Are the early comparisons to Watergate and the “Saturday Night Massacre” apt or overblown? Is there a legitimate case to be made for an obstruction of justice case?WHITING: I think it’s hard to know, and it’s too early to tell. I think some of the comparison is apt, and some of it isn’t. We don’t know where this investigation is going to go. It’s certainly not clear — at this point it’s far from clear — that it’s ever going to implicate the president himself. And so perhaps in that way it might be different. However, in terms of protecting the integrity of a law enforcement investigation, there are a lot of similarities. Even if Trump isn’t concerned about the investigation coming to his door, he’s certainly concerned about how it’s affecting his administration. It’s quite clear that Comey was a big headache to his administration, and this gets rid of that headache. In that respect, it feels like the “Saturday Night Massacre.”GAZETTE: Several Democratic lawmakers have called this a constitutional crisis. Can you explain what that is, and, in your opinion, are we in one? If so, what are the legal or procedural remedies available to right the ship, so to speak?WHITING: I’m not sure it’s quite at a constitutional crisis. It is shaking the foundations of our legal system and the respect for the law and the respect for the independence of the Justice Department and the FBI. There are going to be two things that likely will be the remedy. The first is that there’s much more likelihood now that there will be some kind of an independent investigation, either by Congress or a special appointed counsel who will direct the Justice Department investigation. Secondly, the person who is appointed to replace Comey will have to be somebody of utmost independence and integrity who has enormous credibility that everybody can agree on.GAZETTE: What are the benefits and drawbacks of engaging a special counsel to oversee this matter?WHITING: The benefits are that you’re going to have a more independent investigation. The drawback that the administration is likely to see is that it will have less control over that investigation. Under the procedure as stands now, [a special counsel] wouldn’t be completely out of reach of the attorney general or the president. However, there still will be independence, and it would be extremely difficult and politically impossible for the president or the attorney general to remove the special counsel or to second-guess or to block that person. So technically, the counsel would still be under the authority of the attorney general, but for all practical purposes would have enormous independence. The counsel would not have to report to the attorney general on a daily basis, for example, and would be freer to make his or her own decisions. It’s building in a greater degree of independence from the hierarchy of the Justice Department.GAZETTE: But wouldn’t that create a delay in the investigation?WHITING: It would result in some delay because you’d have to appoint a special counsel who would then have to get up to speed. And there’d be less control, so politically the Justice Department, the attorney general, and the president might not like it. And also there’s always some concern that if you appoint independent prosecutors or special counsels they will become runaway trains.GAZETTE: I think for people who aren’t lawyers, it’s assumed that the law wouldn’t permit a president to act in a way that would affect a federal prosecutor or an FBI director when that person is in the middle of an active criminal and counterintelligence investigation that may involve the president’s campaign associates. What does the law say?WHITING: No. That’s part of the law. But there is a separate statute, 18 U.S.C. 1503, that prohibits anybody from corruptly impeding a criminal investigation that is ongoing. There’s the possibility, if it could ever be established, that that’s what the Trump administration was doing.GAZETTE: Is there anything that prevents a president from appointing an ally who then shuts down either an investigation or a prosecution, irrespective of what’s been uncovered?WHITING: Yes. Whoever he appoints has to be confirmed by the Senate. It’s a majority vote in the Senate, but the Democrats could filibuster on this. This has become a political firestorm, and the Democrats will definitely filibuster if the person is not to their liking.GAZETTE: CNN reported that there are two, perhaps three federal and/or state grand juries that have now seen evidence of this Russia matter and have issued subpoenas to associates of former national security advisor Michael Flynn for documents. If that’s true, what does that tell us about how far along the investigation may be and where it might go?WHITING: It doesn’t tell us a lot. The information is that there’s a grand jury in Virginia that issued subpoenas in the Mike Flynn investigation for documents. That’s pretty standard in a criminal investigation. It means that the investigation is ongoing, and it means that it’s serious. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be charges in the end, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is imminent. These investigations can sometimes take a long time.I think the thing that is striking here is how much the [Trump] administration misjudged what the reaction would be. By all accounts, officials were surprised by the reaction to the Comey firing, a response that if true would be mind-boggling. And then there is the matter of not appreciating the politics of the case and the seriousness with which Washington and the country take these issues about law and the respect for law. There’s a feeling that the administration thinks that these things can be all traded, and they’re all bargainable, and it’s like there’s nothing sacred. I think their reaction says something about their understanding of government and the seriousness of the jobs they have, and how they’re treating them.This interview was lightly edited for clarity and length.
Junior Rachel Greenberg complements her marketing major by working as a campus ambassador for Procter & Gamble (P&G) to promote brand loyalty and social media interest among students. As part of P&G’s “ReadyU” campaign, Greenberg said her job is more than just handing out free samples to girls in her dorm. “I’m supposed to distribute them in a way that promotes P&G but also shows students that P&G is an advocate for their college career,” she said. “It’s distributing these products for a functional benefit, obviously … but also on a deeper level, Ready-U supports the idea that … grades aren’t everything and sometimes [you] have to put the books away. “The campaign is primarily a Facebook page but also has physical components that manifest itself in marketing events on campus,” she said. The theme of the campaign is “Conquer Outside the Classroom,” Greenberg said, which emphasizes a college experience goes beyond the academic realm. “[The campaign] looks back to why we go to college in the first place, to have fun with your friends and grow as a person,” she said. “The values P&G [tries] to promote are so great for Notre Dame students specifically, who are so driven in getting good grades but also really focused on getting a well-rounded college experience.” Greenberg said she has used hall events like hall council to advertise P&G products. “I made a Pic Stitch of a few of my friends using P&G products, like a Tide to Go stick for cleaning a stain on a shirt and a friend getting ready for a party using CoverGirl mascara.” Part of Greenberg’s job is to “drive likes, comments and shares on the pictures” on social media, so she said she held a raffle to encourage students to like or comment on the pictures. “[The campaign] is not just based on advertising products but focused on building this online interactive base that’s fun and something you can do in your spare time,” she said. “It gets you to interact with the brand.” Greenberg said she reports to managers in a New York advertising agency, and she and ambassadors on other campuses are able to communicate the effectiveness of certain advertising strategies. “We’re involved in marketing strategy at the same time. You’re not just doing the dirty work,” she said. “You’re actually analyzing what works and what doesn’t work, and how to promote [products] better.” Greenberg said the campaign is primarily interested in promoting brand loyalty, which they believe will eventually drive sales. “We show that P&G is more than just a supplier, but [also] a supporter of your college experience,” she said. Contact Catherine Owers at firstname.lastname@example.org
View Comments Mary-Louise Parker, Emily Skeggs and more Broadway alums are heading to the small screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they will star in When We Rise, a series chronicling the LGBT civil rights movement from the perspective of its early pioneers. Penned by Dustin Lance Black, who nabbed an Oscar for his Harvey Milk biopic in 2009, the ABC drama also boasts Oscar-nominated director Gus Van Sant, who will helm the two-hour premiere of the seven-episode series.Tony winner Parker (Proof) is set to star alongside Guy Pearce and Rachel Griffiths (Other Desert Cities) in the project. Tony nominee Skeggs (Fun Home) will portray the younger version of Parker’s character Roma Guy. Also on tap are Austin McKenzie (Spring Awakening), Fiona Dourif and Jonathan Majors.The show’s premiere date and additional casting will be announced later. Star Files Mary-Louise Parker Mary-Louise Parker(Photo: Bruce Glikas)
Tiny aluminum soda pop tabs may seem insignificant, but not to Georgia 4-H’ers. Over the past ten years, the youths have collected enough pop tabs to donate $63,248 to Ronald McDonald Houses Charities in Georgia and Tennessee.The houses serve as homes-away-from-home for families of hospitalized children at little to no cost. Georgia 4-H’ers began collecting aluminum soda can tabs in 2002 when the 4-H District Junior Board of Directors voted to collect the tabs as a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia. Since that time, the fundraiser has supported houses in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah, Ga., as well as houses in Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tn.Since the project’s first year, Georgia 4-H’ers have collected more than 115,000 pounds of pop tabs from soda cans, cat food cans and other containers.The pop tabs fundraiser is part of the annual Georgia 4-H Junior Conference, an annual event designed in part to teach seventh and eighth grade 4-H’ers generosity through service projects. The conference was held Nov. 5-6 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Ga. In addition to the pop tab project, the 4-H’ers wrote 111 letters to veterans in Georgia’s veteran hospitals, designed 228 anti-bullying posters for Georgia schools, sewed 45 pillow cases for cancer patients, made 100 journals for residents at a domestic abuse shelter, created 66 terrariums for nursing homes and painted 150 flower pots for shut-ins.The public can participate in the pop tab collection project by taking tabs to their local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office. To contact your local office, call 1-800-ASK-UGA1.
Texas Coal Plant at Risk of Shutdown Has Lost Half Its Appraised Value FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Goliad (Texas) Advance Guard:The merger announcement Oct. 30 between Coleto Creek Power Plant owner Dynegy and the Vistra company has raised questions about the future of the plant.Fears that it might be sold, closed – or both – stem from Vistra’s history of closing its coal-powered power plants.Seventeen days before the two companies announced their intention to merge, Vistra announced it was closing three of its coal-powered plants – in Austin, Houston and East Texas.Vistra CEO Curt Morgan reportedly blamed the decision on wholesale power prices, an oversupply of renewable generation and low natural gas prices.Analysts note the difficulty in today’s wind-farm and solar-panel environment for any coal-powered plant to see a profit.Earlier this year, in a research analysis entitled “The Beginning of the End,” The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) noted that “Fundamental changes in the Texas electricity market are putting coal-fired power plants under increasing economic and financial stress, including:Natural gas becoming competitive because of its price collapse.Increased competition from wind- and solar-generating facilities.New public and environmental regulations.“These circumstances,” the report says, “have combined to undermine the profitability of the companies and public power utilities and power agencies which own coal-fired power plants.”The Coleto Creek plant is among seven coal-fired plants in Texas the IEEFA lists as “at risk.”Miller notes that since 2007, “we have seen a general decline in the value of the power plant.”In 2006, the appraised value was $290,468,000. In 2018, the value is $155,000,000 – a drop of 47 percent.Should the plant close, Miller says, the immediate effect would be a loss of $3.4 million to that tax base.Broken down, the loss to the county would be $1.2 million, and to Goliad Independent School District, $1.9 million.“The loss of the plant would have serious repercussions for the community as a whole,” Miller says. “Some serious choices would have to be made. Many don’t realize that Coleto Creek is an integral part of the community.”Nothing immediate is expected because the planned merger is not expected to be finalized until spring, if then.More: No change to power plant status until spring
All in due time. Big Brother alums Nicole Franzel and Victor Arroyo have postponed their wedding amid the coronavirus pandemic, the couple exclusively confirm to Us Weekly.Franzel, 28, and Arroyo, 29, initially planned to tie the knot in December in Turks and Caicos, but they pushed the date to May 2021.- Advertisement – “We were very much looking forward to celebrating our wedding with a small group of close friends and family this December, but due to COVID-19, we had to make the difficult but necessary decision to postpone until May 2021,” they tell Us.Nicole Franzel and Victor Arroyo. CBSFranzel teased their wedding date earlier this week on Instagram. “Only ONE month til I MARRY this hunk,” she wrote on Monday, November 9. “#arroyalwedding.”Arroyo then replied in the comments section, “So excited and damn we look good …except my no shave November mustache.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The reality stars competed together on season 18 of Big Brother in 2016, at which time Franzel was involved in a showmance with Corey Brooks. The twosome split soon after the finale, and she later began dating Arroyo.The Coco Caliente podcast hosts confirmed their relationship in September 2017, noting that they had been an item for three months. “Nicole is my girlfriend,” Arroyo told fans in a Twitter video at the time, kissing Franzel more than once.“[After] Big Brother, me and Nicole stayed friends,” he told Entertainment Tonight in September 2017. “We talked a lot as friends and, you know, through her life and my life, we were just an open book. … She’s friggin’ awesome. A lot of people don’t know her beyond Big Brother, but she’s a sweetheart in real life and I love her to death.”- Advertisement – Arroyo then detailed how their relationship blossomed into something more. “Everything came together for the premiere of Big Brother 19, where we were in New York and we just clicked,” he recalled. “From then on, it was, I guess it was a love story, and now she’s my girlfriend.”Arroyo proposed to Franzel in September 2018 during a visit to the Big Brother house with fellow alums. Live-feed viewers shared the news on Twitter, pointing out that season 20 houseguests wished them well with a “Congrats Victor & Nicole” message on the pin-art wall in one of the rooms.The pair celebrated their anniversary in June, with Franzel quipping via Instagram, “Exactly 3 years ago we kinda sorta hit it off.”Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!