Opening academia widely

first_imgFor any student, the decision to pursue a Ph.D. represents a major academic challenge and a multiyear commitment.For students from under-represented groups, however, the challenges don’t always end at the classroom door. From combatting racial and gender preconceptions to justifying to family and friends the decision to pursue a Ph.D. rather than a professional degree, many face hurdles that can dissuade them from even applying to graduate school in the first place.In an effort to dispel the notion that graduate school and careers in academia at elite institutions can be beyond the reach of minority students, Harvard last week co-hosted the second Ivy Plus Symposium.With support from the president’s office and the deans of the Business School, Law School, Kennedy School of Government, and the School of Public Health, the weekend event, co-hosted with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-sponsored by a group of Ivy Plus institutions, attracted 130 undergraduates and 19 program directors from across the country, and was aimed at giving them the chance to get an up-close-and-personal view of graduate student life from current Ph.D. candidates; to network with nearly 60 faculty members, including 20 Harvard faculty, alumni, and administrators; and to get to know each other.“We and other top universities suffer from the perception that pursuing a graduate degree at our institutions is an unattainable goal,” said Sheila Thomas, assistant dean for diversity and minority affairs, who, along with Stephanie Parsons, helped to organize the symposium.  “The sponsoring institutions conceived of this symposium to break down this wall.  We wanted to provide an opportunity for our faculty and the students attending to engage with each other around their scholarship.”While increasing diversity at the graduate-school level is a national priority, the symposium is just the latest of Harvard’s efforts to attract greater numbers of minority students.When he was appointed in 2008, then-Dean Allan M. Brandt made increasing diversity among graduate students a priority, and led the transformation of the recruitment, admission, and retention efforts at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).Brandt was instrumental in enhancing student experiences at Harvard, through the adoption of best practices in graduate advising and mentoring, increases to the funding package offered to graduate students, and the creation of programs that help graduate students navigate a challenging academic job market.“The recent Ivy Plus Symposium is but one example of Harvard’s ongoing efforts to assure the great diversity of our graduate programs,” Brandt said. “We have found that diversity is essential to the excellence of our programs, which are committed to preparing the next generation of researchers and scholars, pushing the frontiers of knowledge across the globe.”Under the leadership of current GSAS Dean Xiao-Li Meng, the Whipple V.N. Jones Professor of Statistics, that commitment has been continued as faculty have been encouraged to engage in practices designed to give students — particularly those whose academic background may be unfamiliar to faculty — equal footing during the admissions process.In recent years, practices like those have paid large dividends. In the three years since Thomas’ position was created, the number of minority students admitted to GSAS has steadily increased, and the percentage of incoming students who are under-represented minorities has more than doubled, from 5 to 11 percent of the students matriculating and from 7 to 16 percent of U.S. students entering GSAS.“One of the goals of this symposium is to bring together these potential future applicants with the faculty from all our Ivy Plus schools,” Thomas said. “Whether they apply to Harvard or not, this is about allowing them to gain a different perspective on this place, and for our faculty to get a different perspective on students who attend schools they may not recognize.”Equally important, Thomas said, the symposium offered a chance for program directors from a host of universities to connect with faculty and administrators.“It’s important for our faculty to have those conversations with program directors, and vice versa,” Thomas said. “We want program directors to feel comfortable advising their students to apply to our schools. But it’s also important for our faculty to understand what students are learning as undergrads, and what kind of research experiences they’re having. It’s that exchange of information that builds important relationships.”While Harvard has made supporting a diverse student body a priority, those efforts aren’t limited to the students on campus.In an effort to encourage undergraduates to consider pursuing a Ph.D., Harvard has developed two programs aimed at giving students hands-on research experience: the Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard (SROH), a 10-week research internship for non-Harvard undergrads in life sciences, humanities, and social sciences; and the GSAS Research Scholar Initiative, a post-baccalaureate program that provides up to two years of individualized research and academic training for people who are considering a Ph.D., but are not ready for admittance.For students such as Kyrah Daniels, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Harvard’s Department of African and African American Studies who took part in a question-and-answer session with prospective graduate students, the opportunity to attend the conference was too important to pass up.“I think it’s tremendously important for Harvard to host events like this,” she said. “I wish I had something like this, because I felt so alone in my own grad-school-application process. I felt like I didn’t have anybody to look up to with regard to what the actual nuts and bolts of the process would be like. So I’m grateful I have the opportunity to meet young students who are interested in grad school, because they’re going to be my colleagues one day. And I’m also excited to meet people who want to push research further.”While Harvard has made strides in efforts to recruit greater numbers of minority students into the graduate ranks, Thomas said there is still more to do to dispel the notion that grad school remains off limits to all but a few.“In the context of Harvard, we have an even higher bar to clear,” Thomas said. “From our point of view, Stanford, Yale, and the other Ivies are our peers. But from the outside … there is still a perception that Harvard is at a different level, so it’s even more important for us to make it seem like this is a place that you can come. If you decide this is a place you want to be, if this is the place for you, you can be here.”last_img read more

‘Only the beginning’

first_img 5The line to enter the Harvard’s 364th Commencement Exercises wrapped around the block on Massachusetts Avenue. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 18Graduates of the School of Education hold books overhead as they celebrate the conferral of their degrees. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 9President Drew Faust (center, in black) and Harvard Provost Alan Garber (front row, far left) pose with this year’s honorary degree recipients: (front row, from left) Renée Fleming, Gov. Deval Patrick, Svetlana Alpers, Robert Axelrod (back row, left to right), William Brocker, Denis Mukwege, Patricia Graham, Linda Buck, Bryan Stevenson, and Peter Salovey. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 3Natalie Portman, the Academy Award-winning actress, returned to Harvard Wednesday afternoon to address graduating seniors during the annual Class Day celebration in summery Tercentenary Theatre. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 20Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister Jonathan Walton leads the benediction. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer With cameos by former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, world-famous soprano Renée Fleming, and even Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman ’03, Harvard’s 364th Commencement could not be described as boring. But in between the moments of glamour and the reverence of tradition were deep-hitting remarks about the newly minted graduates’ place in a shifting world.President Drew Faust reminded alumni that Harvard’s work is “about that ongoing commitment, not to a single individual or even one generation or one era, but to a larger world and to the service of the age that is waiting before it.”Patrick, the speaker at Afternoon Exercises, told the crowd, “I want us to be uneasy about the chronic desperation of communities some of us are just one generation away from living in; about the way we dehumanize the fellow souls we call ‘alien’; about the carelessness with which we treat the planet itself.”There were laughs, certainly tears, but as Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister Jonathan Walton observed, this week is called Commencement because it’s “only the beginning.” 6Custodians Bill Dyer (from right), Michael Shaw, Paul Hughes, and Tom Gallagher high-five graduates as they head into Tercentenary Theatre. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 7Raphael Arku, S.D. ’15, and his 4-year-old daughter, Souzana, celebrate outside the Carpenter Center during Commencement. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 10Commencement marshals are pictured in the Yard. The marshals organize the processions from the Schools and Houses. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 13Harvard President Drew Faust greets Sietse Goffard ’15 before Commencement. Provost Alan Garber is in the background. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 23U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was honored at Radcliffe Day. She was introduced by her former benchmate, retired Associate Justice David Souter ’61, LLB ’66. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 1Students greet each other under the flag at University Hall prior to the Baccalaureate Service held each year inside the Memorial Church. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 4Fadhal Moore ’15 and Michelle Ferreol ’15 received the 2015 Ames Award, an honor bestowed on those who exhibit exemplary leadership and passion for helping others. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 14James P. McGlone delivers the Latin oration during Commencement Exercises. “Knowing this language has improved the quality of my writing,” said McGlone. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 2ROTC Commissioning Ceremony guest speaker U.S. Army Gen. David. G. Perkins delivers remarks. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 16One of the most acclaimed opera singers and sopranos of all time, Renée Fleming sang “America the Beautiful.” Fleming also received an honorary Doctor of Music degree. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 17Mandi Nyambi (from left), Chika-Dike Nwokike, and Chisom Okpala celebrate good times. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 21“I don’t want unrest in the streets. But I do want unrest in our hearts and minds,” Deval Patrick told graduates during his Commencement address. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 22Families from around the world convene at Commencement, but sprightly Kulia (left) and Hihimanu Montgomery traveled to Cambridge from perhaps the farthest point in the United States — Oahu, Hawaii — to see their sister Paoakalani graduate. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 15Harvard Commencement begins with the cry, “Sheriff, pray give us order,” which was delivered in style by Middlesex County Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 19Jovonne Bickerstaff sheds some tears as she and Jacqueline Rivers rise for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ conferral of degrees. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 8Jonathan Walton, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister, gives “A Service for Seniors” in the Memorial Church during Commencement. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 11Anna Dolan ’15 (right) watches the procession into Tercentenary Theatre. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 12Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana walks through graduates. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 24Supreme Court Associate Justice and this year’s Radcliffe Medalist Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks during Radcliffe Day. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographerlast_img read more

Notre Dame set to build Keough School of Global Affairs

first_imgIn August 2017, Notre Dame will open the Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs — its first new college or school since the Mendoza College of Business was founded in 1921.A University press release issued Wednesday said the school was made possible by $50 million donated by Donald and Marilyn Keough and will be housed in Jenkins Hall, a building named for University President Fr. John Jenkins to be constructed beginning in spring 2015 on Notre Dame Ave. south of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.According to the press release, “the school will conduct research on critical issues of international development, peace, human rights and governance; offer a master’s degree in global affairs and support a range of innovative dual-degree programs and undergraduate programs to enhance students’ preparation for leadership in an increasingly interconnected world.”Current professor of history R. Scott Appleby will serve as the school’s inaugural Marilyn Keough Dean, the press release stated.The Keough School will include many already-existing international units, including the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development.Donald Keough is chairman of the board of investment banking firm Allen & Company Inc. after retiring as president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company in 1993.According to the press release, the Keoughs’ contributions have also led to the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, two endowed chairs in Irish studies, a summer internship program for Notre Dame students in Ireland, Malloy Hall, three library collections, the restoration of O’Connell House in Dublin, the Keough-Hesburgh Professorships for scholars who demonstrate a commitment to Notre Dame’s Catholic mission and the Keough Hall men’s residence.“Through the Keough School, Notre Dame will prepare students for effective and ethically grounded professional leadership in government, the private sector and global civil society, engaging them in the worldwide effort to address the greatest challenges of our century: threats to security and human dignity that come in the form of crushing poverty and underdevelopment; failed governance and corruption; resource wars; civil wars; and other forms of political violence and human rights violations,” Jenkins said in the press release.Tags: Donald R. Keough, Global Affairs, Jenkins Hall, Keough School of Global Affairs, Marilyn Keough, R. Scott Applebylast_img read more

Saint Mary’s to host National History Day competiton

first_imgEvery year across the country, students channel their passion for the past through National History Day (NHD), a competition where students present projects through various media.Saint Mary’s is one such site hosting a regional NHD contest on Saturday, where students and professors will judge history projects made by local students ranging from grade to high school.Chair of the history department Bill Svelmoe said the College annually hosts this event.“Saint Mary’s has been hosting this one for many years now,” he said.The local students will present their projects mainly in Spes Unica Hall, where the history department is located.“[The projects] range from posters to papers to theatrical presentations,” history professor David Stefancic said. “And this year I have the pleasure of judging websites.”The competition organizes new themes every year. According to the National History Day website, this year’s theme is “taking a stand in history.”“The topics that I’m looking at are activism: … abolitionists, [the] Declaration of Independence, [the] Civil Rights movement in the ’50s, a young soldier from the Civil War, censorship [and] Tiananmen Square in China,” Stefancic said. “They have to do with social change and revolution.”While many history majors participate, students with any major can volunteer to judge the projects, Svelmoe said.“It’s not just [history] majors and it’s not like you have to really know what’s going on in history,” he said. “Remember, these are often little kids and, as a judge, you can request the age group [to judge].”Junior history and English literature major Brooke Lamb said it is a good opportunity for all Saint Mary’s students. Lamb said judging focuses more on the interview process and understanding what the students have put into their projects.“I think that anyone on campus could judge and [the history department is] willing to have volunteers,” Lamb said.The judges work in groups to examine and compare presentations.“You don’t judge anything by yourself — there’s usually three of you, at least, that are working together,” Svelmoe said. “It’s not all on you to crush some child’s dreams.”Judges score the students on their visuals and presentation and give feedback on the projects.“At the end of the day, you get together and you rank the presentations,” Svelmoe said. “The top ones advance [but] you try to say something encouraging about all of them.”Stefanic said student judging is a good way to see what young students are doing at lower levels.“You have a chance to see what’s going on there, particularly if you’re considering going onto teaching in grade school or junior high,” Stefancic said. “Also, you have a chance to meet some really cool kids.”The day also introduces local students to the College and Stefancic said the competition is a hidden recruiting tool for the students participating.“There have been instances where the students who were taking part of this met us and then decided to come to Saint Mary’s,” he said.Tags: Bill Svelmoe, David Stefanic, National History Day, SMC history departmentlast_img read more

Hungry, Starring Maryann Plunkett & More, Extends Off-B’way

first_img Hungry, the first production in a three-play cycle entitled The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, has extended off-Broadway. Starring Tony winner Maryann Plunkett and more, the world premiere will now begin previews on February 27 and run through March 27; it had previously been set to shutter on March 20. Opening night is scheduled for March 4 at the Public Theater.Penned and directed by Tony winner Richard Nelson, Hungry will be followed by What Did You Expect?, which is scheduled to bow in September; the final play, Women of a Certain Age, is slated to open on election night, November 8.Each play in The Gabriels will open on the day it is set and unfold in real time over a couple of hours. Along with Plunkett as Mary Gabriel, the cast will feature Meg Gibson as Karin Gabriel, Lynn Hawley as Hannah Gabriel, Roberta Maxwell as Patricia Gabriel, Jay O. Sanders as George Gabriel and Amy Warren as Joyce Gabriel.In the spirit of Nelson’s The Apple Family Plays and shining a spotlight on the upcoming 2016 political election year, Hungry will introduce us to the Gabriels of Rhinebeck, New York. (The Gabriels live just around the corner from the Apple Family.) Along with What Did you Expect? and Women of a Certain Age, the lives of the Gabriels will be tracked throughout the coming presidential election year. Related Shows View Comments Election Year in the Life of One Family, Play One: Hungrycenter_img Maryann Plunkett(Photo by Bruce Glikas) Show Closed This production ended its run on April 3, 2016last_img read more

Colombian, Brazilian and U.S. Militaries Conduct PANAMAX Exercise with Partner Nations

first_imgBy Dialogo August 10, 2012 U.S. Army South along with armed and security forces from 17 nations are participating in the annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored PANAMAX exercise, which is taking place simultaneously in several parts of the United States and Panama, from August 6-17. This multinational exercise brings together sea, air and land forces in a joint and combined operation focused on defending the Panama Canal from attacks by a fictitious violent extremist organization as well as responding to natural disasters and pandemic outbreaks in various locations. More than 50 Colombian military personnel travelled to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, and are leading the land component portion of the exercise for the second year in a row. Army South led this portion every year prior to 2011. Brazilian military forces are leading the maritime component portion for the first time this year. In addition to the Brazil, Colombia, and the United States, hundreds of participants from Argentina, Belize, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru will take part in the exercise. The Panama Canal is considered one of the most strategic economical infrastructures in the world. It is critical to the free flow of trade worldwide and the region’s economic stability is largely dependent on the safe transport of several million tons of cargo through the canal each year.last_img read more

October 1, 2004 Letters

first_img Letters Gay Adoptions After having read and responded to the initial article over the summer on the gay adoption issue, I am once again concerned at the content of the September follow-up article. As with the first publication, the reporter fails to take any interest in seeking opposing viewpoints to his obvious support for gay adoption. He instead takes great effort to quote only those who support his position.As the reporter seems to think, any dissent on this issue is based merely on a lack of education. Or the Bar itself has apparently not done enough to “educate its members.” Then it is a children’s rights issue, not a gay rights issue. Also, there are not enough people willing to adopt. The reporter even throws in a Martin Luther King, Jr., reference to anoint support of his position in the unassailable cloth of the civil rights movement. Wait, I thought this was only about the children’s rights?Regretably, this Orwellian spin machine of an article is itself a prime indication the matter is far too divisive a political issue for the Bar to take a position let alone to undertake lobbying efforts. And it is not enough merely to state that no mandatory fees will be utilized. The Bar is supposed to represent all its attorneys rather than seek to divide them along political, moral, or ethical lines.But in an effort to downplay the divisiveness issue, the author cites a quote that “the individual lawyer was not opposed to the position but thinks it will rile up other Bar members.” What exactly does this mean? Either he is saying there are no individual lawyers opposed to the Family Law Section’s position supporting gay adoption, or if there are any, then it is based solely upon a fear that other lawyers may be opposed. Who then within the Bar would be riled up? In other words, there is supposedly no dissent on this issue, and if there is any dissent, then it is entirely chimerical or based on a lack of education.Well, the undersigned dissents because a policy supporting gay adoption is wrong for many reasons. Not least of which being that the psychological well-being of children should not be sacrificed on the altar of social experimentation. With all due respect, maybe the reporter would like to quote me on that for his next article. Mitchell A. Meyers Raleigh N.C.I read with disappointment that the Family Law and Public Interest Law Sections will delay their request to lobby for the overturn of the ban on gay adoption, citing possible “divisiveness” within The Florida Bar on this issue.This “divisive” issue has already been endorsed by the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, numerous child advocacy groups, religious groups, and Senate President Jim King, R-Jacksonville.Why? Because an entire class of Floridians are being treated as second-class citizens, while thousands of children languish in foster care while waiting for adoption. I gave up the hope long ago that The Florida Bar would ever be ahead of the curve on any issue, but I would at least hope that we wouldn’t be behind the curve on something as important as this. Patrick Howell Orlando“Gay adoption request sidelined for now” in the September 1 News was a disservice to the Bar. Instead of giving some useful information for evaluating the implications of gay adoption, it simply repeated the same old talking points of advocates of gay adoption — People are only opposed to gay adoption because they have not been properly educated on the issue; other professional associations support gay adoptions; and the state has too many children in foster care so we should allow gay adoption.None of those talking points address the issue of whether gay adoption will promote the best interests of children. Information that should be considered is empirical data about the well-being of children raised by homosexuals. What is the suicide rate of children raised by homosexuals versus that of children raised by married heterosexual couples? What about the rates of drug usage, criminal activity, sexual activity, disease, life expectancy, and homosexuality of children raised by homosexuals? Certainly, there must be reliable studies with information about the effect of homosexual parenting on children. I hope that this paper can devote some resources to disseminating such information.The Bar should not abdicate its responsibility to evaluate this issue on its merits simply because some other professional associations have decided to support gay adoption. We should consider carefully the implications of allowing gay adoption. There are many important questions we should be asking such as: Will gay adoption result in greater harm to children? Will allowing gay adoption reduce the number of children in foster care? Do gays adopt only foster children? Do gays adopt foster children at a higher rate than heterosexual couples? Is there a shortage of adoptive heterosexual couples for nonfoster care children? Will allowing gay adoption result in fewer nonfoster care children being adopted by married heterosexual couples? Please give the Bar some useful information on this important subject. Jerome Hurtak MiamiDeja vu all over again? Consider the following:• A discrete minority of American citizens is denied the equal application of our laws and protections;• After years of debate and social activism, critical mass is attained: courts decide that separate is not equal and laws begin to change to redress the problem;• Opposition to this change is fierce and wide-ranging, citing for its support everything from legal and historical precedent to religious teachings to the best interests of society in general (and children in particular) to personal repugnance.This scenario should sound familiar to anyone who lived through the ’50s and ’60s and, while the analogy is not perfect, there are more similarities than differences in the current controversy surrounding gay marriage and adoption. Opponents of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 could not envision a racially integrated society; a mere 40 years later few of them would care to admit it. I hope and trust that 40 years hence, it will be just as unthinkable to insist that any American should be denied the right to marry and adopt children. Nina E. Perry SarasotaI read the editor’s note to a letter in the September 1 News, wherein it states that the sections which are advocating gay adoption are voluntary sections and would use voluntary dues for lobbying efforts.The letter writer’s objection was not to money used for a position he disagreed with, but rather to the fact that a mandatory organization like The Florida Bar would take such a position, albeit in News’ opinion a voluntary section. Nonetheless it is The Florida Bar that would assume and lend its authority to this position.I too object to a mandatory organization taking a position I find repugnant on religious and social grounds. I have performed significant child advocacy pro bono work for 25 years (receiving a local award in Palm Beach County 1999 and an award from the Florida Supreme Court and the governor in 2002) and in my experience I believe that gay adoption would not be in the “best interests” of children as used in Florida Statutes. Moreover, my closely held spiritual beliefs are not in alignment with this position.Should the Bar allow advocation of gay adoption, not only would I object, but believe that a legal challenge may be in order. Mark Hektner West Palm Beach Lawyer AdvertisingI read with dismay that the Bar’s Advertising Task Force was considering whether to ban direct mail solicitations to criminal defendants within 30 days of their arrest date.As an attorney who has used such direct mailings for over 10 years, I can attest first-hand that the public benefits of the current rule far outweigh any potential for harm sought to be addressed by a rule change.During the thousands of free consultations conducted in response to my advertisement letter, I have enlightened defendants as to the seriousness of their charges; advised them of potential defenses and lack thereof; discussed strategies; quoted fees; estimated costs; given impressions on involved personalities; given comfort and innumerable bits of legal, practical, and human advice to all sorts of people accused of crimes, all presumed innocent, most of whom were in need of a voice they could trust. All were at no charge in response to my advertisement letter.Many recipients of my letter received other solicitations and responded to those also. This indicates that people are making an informed selection of an attorney based on more than just advertisements.Those who seek to change the rule might not give the public enough credit and assume that people are so easily swayed by clever lawyer advertisements that there can never be too much regulation. The result is that attorney advertisements all look similar and attorneys have an unfavorable, commonplace image.Rule 4-7.4 provides more than adequate safeguards to ensure that any potential for abuse is minimized, its extensive requirements need not be repeated here.While the 30-day limitation may or may not make sense in the personal injury context, crucial criminal proceedings occur within the first 30 days following an arrest. Attorney involvement is desirable immediately after an arrest. Pre-trial release, evidentiary preservation and “fast track” plea issues must be considered immediately.Many people who responded to my letter never realized that they could afford to hire a private attorney. They would have never known of the availability of an affordable payment plan and were planning on using a public defender before responding.Extending the ban on direct mail solicitations to 30 days would limit the amount of available information and choices to the public and would undoubtedly further strain our public resources. Louis N. Larsen Stuar t October 1, 2004 Letters October 1, 2004 Letterslast_img read more

Governor Wolf Signs Bill to Deter Texting and Driving

first_img Bill Signing,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf signed “Daniel’s Law,” which enhances the penalties for an accident caused by texting while driving resulting in serious bodily injury or death.“I am proud to sign House Bill 2025 into law which enhances the penalties for distracted driving in Pennsylvania that results in a severe injury, or death,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “This behavior, which has been allowed to go under-punished for far too long, has been demonstrated to be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Distracted driving has fatal, irreversible, and grave consequences and by signing this bill, I hope to make our roads and highways safer for our citizens, and everyone using them.”“It is our hope Daniel’s Law will lead to safer roads by raising awareness of the serious consequences that can happen when you text while driving,” Representative Jaret Gibbons said.“I was honored to stand up for the Gallatin family when they came to me after suffering this horrible tragedy. While we cannot bring Dan Gallatin back, at least his family will know that through this law, his loss will help to save lives,” Gibbons said.This law is named for Daniel Gallatin, a father, grandfather, military veteran, and fireman of nearly 40 years who was killed in May of 2013 when his motorcycle was struck from behind by someone who was texting while driving.According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,328 deaths were caused by distracted driving nationwide in 2012 and approximately 421,000 people were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. Here in Pennsylvania, more than 14,800 crashes in 2015 were caused by this practice, resulting in 66 deaths. It is imperative that we make sure that our drivers are aware of the consequences of distracted driving to eliminate senseless deaths caused by this dangerous behavior.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf November 04, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Governor Wolf Signs Bill to Deter Texting and Drivinglast_img read more

Foundation set up to pursue investor claims against VW in Dutch court

first_imgIt intends to do so by using the Dutch Collective Settlement Act, which allows a foundation, supported by representative investors, and a defendant company to petition the Amsterdam Court of Appeals jointly for approval of a settlement.If approved, investors that do not opt out receive payment, while the defendant receives a release of claims.  Investors that have opted out are free to pursue their individual actions.The Act can be applied to resolve securities claims of non-Dutch investors against a non-Dutch company.The court’s decision is enforceable throughout the European Union and several other European nations.The foundation, since its launch last week, has attracted a rapidly growing number of supporting investors, including some European pension funds, according to Anatoli van der Krans, senior adviser for European investor relations at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann (BLBG), the US law firm financing the foundation.A San Francisco judge has already appointed BLBG lead counsel in the consolidated class action involving Volkswagen’s American depositary receipts in the US.But Germany, in contrast with the US, has no opt-out class action system, said van der Krans.He told IPE: “While there is an opt-in group model procedure – KapMuG – this is a lengthy process, does not solve all procedural aspects, and comes with a ‘loser pays’ rule.“Furthermore, any settlement will only apply to the group, not to all other investors.”The VISF’s board includes Huub Willems, the former president of the enterprise chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeals; Jean Frijns, former CIO at the civil service pension scheme ABP; Frans van der Wel, professor in accounting at VU University of Amsterdam; and Rob Okhuijsen, an expert in mass claim resolution and former board member of the Royal Dutch Shell Foundation.Investors can join at: http://volkswageninvestorsettlement.com.Meanwhile, third-party litigation funders Bentham have appointed lawyers Quinn Emanuel to pursue legal action against Volkswagen in Germany, using the KapMuG model process.They are currently putting together a list of investor plaintiffs.Jeremy Marshall, CIO at Bentham, said: “Dutch foundations are not the silver bullets they are portrayed to be. The danger is that investors are effectively in a subservient position – if VW says ‘You’re not getting anything out of us’, you’re stuck.”Marshall added: “With the certainty of litigation in Germany, it is hard to see how a defendant would come to a settlement with a Dutch foundation before that German litigation is itself compromised.” An independent entity – the Volkswagen Investor Settlement Foundation (VISF) – has been set up to pursue investors’ claims against Volkswagen in the Amsterdam Court of Appeals.The claims centre around revelations last year that the car manufacturer used “defeat device” software on thousands of diesel vehicles sold in the US, enabling them to violate emissions standards.The revelations provoked a collapse in the share price, with €25bn wiped off the company’s market capitalisation on German exchanges in two days.The VSIF is seeking compensation for economic loss on all Volkswagen securities, including equities and fixed income stocks, that were publicly traded outside the US, and purchased or held by investors worldwide between 23 April 2008 and 4 January 2016.last_img read more

TAQA files decommissioning plans for two North Sea platform topsides

first_imgThe North Cormorant platform facilitates production from the North Cormorant and Cormorant East Fields. Oil and gas imported from Otter is separated out and processed via the North Cormorant process facilities. Tern platform topsides; Source: TAQA Tern is a fixed Installation serving as a manned drilling and production facility for the Tern field, which lies within the East Shetland Basin of the UKCS in licence block 210/25. Under these plans, topsides of both these platforms will be removed onshore for reuse, recycling or disposal. The oil is then routed to Cormorant Alpha for onward transmission through the Brent Oil Pipeline System to Sullom Voe. The execution window for the North Cormorant topside decommissioning is at the earliest possible date in 2024 through to project completion in 2028. Tern field North Cormorant platform; Source: TAQA Associated gas, and gas imported from Tern Alpha, is exported through the Western Leg and the Far north Liquids and Associated Gas System (FLAGS) Pipeline to the St. Fergus terminal. Separated gas is distributed between the Tern, Hudson, Kestrel, Falcon and Cladhan facilities as fuel gas and lift gas, with any excess being exported via subsea pipelines to Hudson, Kestrel, Falcon, Cladhan and Otter facilities. The large steel jacket / sub-structure of the North Cormorant platform will be subject to a separate decommissioning programme. The North Cormorant platform is located in Block 211/21a in the UK Northern North Sea. The field was discovered in May 1974 by Shell / Esso with the platform installed in 1981 and production starting in February 1982. The large steel jacket / sub-structure of the Tern will be subject to a separate decommissioning programme. The Tern platform is located in Block 210/25 in the UK Northern North Sea. The field was discovered in May 1975 by Shell / Esso with the facility installed in 1988 and production started in February 1989. The execution window for the Tern decommissioning programme is at the earliest possible date in 2024 through to project completion in 2027. A CoP application for Tern has been prepared and was submitted to the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) in 4Q 2019. The CoP date for Tern is currently anticipated to be in 4Q 2023. TAQA Bratani has filed its decommissioning programs for the Tern and North Cormorant platform topsides, located in the UK North Sea, to the UK authorities. The North Cormorant is a fixed installation serving as manned drilling and production facility for the Cormorant North field, which lies within the East Shetland Basin of the UKCS in licence block 211/21a. A Cessation of Production application for North Cormorant is currently under preparation and will be submitted to the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) in 3Q 2020. The CoP date is currently anticipated to be 4Q 2023. Oil from the Tern, Hudson (operated by Dana), Kestrel, Falcon and Cladhan fields is produced and exported from the Tern installation to North Cormorant through a 16-inch subsea pipeline, and then via the Brent Oil Pipeline System to Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands. The installation is located in 167 metres water depth and consists of a four-legged, steel jacket substructure, anchored by piles to the seabed.last_img read more